Just a couple of Arsenal stuff to get through today.
Except for Samir Nasri who has a knee problem but is still expected to recover enough to feature in tomorrow’s game against Fulham, all others maintained status quo. Robin Van Persie will be assessed after getting his first 70 minutes in a game since returning from a long lay-off. You do hope there’s no setbacks for RvP, having played so few games each season, he deserves to get some sort of an injury-free run going.
We’ve got arguably the weakest team left in the competition in the semifinal. Ipswich Town are from the Championship which is a league below the Premier League. No match is ever easy but the draw has certainly made us a bigger favourite than we already are prior to the semifinal match-up being named. Depending on the run of injuries, I’m more than inclined to pick more or less the same squad for the match against Roy Keane’s side. No matter how you look at it, we’ve surely got the luck of the draw and Gooners should take their first trip to the new Wembley for a cup final.
Are we even surprised by this? Arsene Wenger has no plans for reinforcement come January transfer window. Yes, our defence has leaked goals to allow teams back into the game when Arsenal should have been well over the horizon. But it is more of a collective failure of the team to defend rather than individual mistakes. We’ve got the best midfield around and we also have sufficient firepower up front. With the system that Wenger employs, we only really need a striker/game. Something which is not hard to do as Wenger has a choice from 3 players. The goalkeeping position may be a possible new acquisition for Wenger but I think we have to respect and acknowledged how well Lukasz Fabianski has done since coming into the side this season.
The outcry from the English media is sad. No country has a birthright to host any particular events. England has the capability in terms of infrastructure not forgetting the wonderful and massive crowd support. Perhaps even more than those in the other participating countries but it does not mean that the votes are a shoo-in. As we’ve seen with South Africa, the World Cup is an important event not only on the sporting scale but also socially. Don’t get me wrong, I also believed that England should have been chosen. I just can’t accept the accusations that have been thrown in the direction of eventual winners, Russia, in the aftermath of the decision. The calls for Andrey Arshavin to be denied re-entry back into England just because he supported his birth country’s bid is just childish.
Qatar got the same kind of backlash which I thought were undeserved. I went on some kind of a defensive rant on Twitter yesterday to defend the winning nation. I’m sure the group that presented the bid as well as those that were there to judge the bids realised that it is going to be hot in Qatar. Which is why they’ve come out with the cooling concept for every stadium. I don’t get how people can make judgement and statements without as much as looking at Qatar’s presentation. Everything is there on the FIFA website, if you care to find out more. I’m not sure if it’s a tradition thing but I come from a country where we don’t take in alcohol at stadiums. If that is your quarrel then surely there’s something wrong. Don’t tell me that you can’t support your own country whole-heartedly if there is no alcohol in your system.
Fulham match preview tomorrow. Have a nice one.