Arsene Wenger did his pre-match conference yesterday and there were some interesting stuffs there. I always thought and remembered that these press conference were done on a Friday leading up to match day, or maybe it was just my bad memory playing tricks on me.
He was asked about his criticism of bad tackles (this will be last time I touch on this topic cos frankly, I’m sick of it) and the response from other managers especially Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis. Why can’t people get it that he was not condemning specific clubs or managers or footballers, and that Wenger is solely concentrating on each individual tackles itself. It’s not a vendetta against anybody, so please get over it.
As usual, the injury situation gets an update and there were a few more apart from Kieran Gibbs who were crocked from our Carling Cup win. Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Eboue are the lastest additions to the injury list with ankle and knee problems respectively. Apart from one incident with Rosicky getting taken down when a counter attack was on, I can’t recall any other tackles involving those two. Which just goes to show how strong Jack Wilshere is physically. He was the one getting kicked around and yet he remains clear of any injuries. Something doesn’t quite add up there.
Thomas Vermaelen is misses out on the West Brom game and would not be available for the next two games which makes his return in a very important match for us, next weekend against Chelsea. The same is also expected of Cesc Fabregas but it is still too early to tell, according to Wenger. I’m hopeful that it means that Laurent Koscielny gets a rest on Saturday in what should be a straightforward home win for us.
No disrespect to WBA, but it should be a very winnable game for us and there is no point risking players. Koscielny have played all the games bar one due to suspension and he deserves a rest and be prepared for the Champions League away game middle of next week to Partizan Belgrade. It would also help for Johan Djourou to get another 90 minutes under his belt or moving Alex Song back into defence and perhaps giving a chance to Craig Eastmond, who is presumably gutted to miss out on the North London Derby.
The Wojciech Scszescny rant got a mention as well in the press conference and Wenger was quick to dismiss the complaint from the player. The justification was simple “what a keeper misses out in his early career is gained in the last part as keepers nowadays can prolong their career up to the age of 40″. Not quite sure how that will sit with the young Pole. He knows that apart from Manuel Almunia, there’s the 24-year-old Lukazs Fabianski and the 20-year-old Vito Mannone ahead of him right now. All three of them are very very young and for him to wait to get his chance will be very frustrating. Wenger will have to make some choices there.
On the bright side, Arsenal only have one more remaining debt on their hands and that is the Emirates Stadium. This is after Arsenal have completely paid off their debt on the Highbury Square development six months ahead of schedule. That is £133 million slashed from our deficit and the club will be expecting an income of around £30 million once the apartments have been sold off. That leaves us with the stadium’s debt of £16 million annually which is easily paid off by the earnings we get from our Champions League adventure, if not from ticket sales.
All these will only increase the noise should Wenger stick to his frugal spendings. According to some papers, a figure of £50 million should be available to the manager to bring in new players and many fans would be very disappointed if he doesn’t do so. For me, it is non-topic at the moment as I’m quite happy with the squad that we have and who knows whether that figure which is being bandied around is even true.
Match preview tomorrow. Till then, have a nice day.