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Found his new home at the Grove

It’s always nice not to fret about Arsenal players when they return from internationals. The fretting is mostly about the niggles and injuries that they may have picked up while with their respective national squads. For once, at least until otherwise inform by Arsene Wenger in his customary press conference later today, we seemed to have survived the curse.

However, what is more important are those that did not play for an international cap. Some due to injuries, some due to illness. Alex Song and Johan Djourou falls into the former. Both are crucial to our success in the coming weeks. Not least because we have very limited backup resources for the duo.

Curiously enough, in the latest injury news on the official website, Denilson is not there. With Abou Diaby’s absence through suspension, he looks the likeliest to play should Song not be able to make it. Even if Song does improve on his condition and deemed fit enough to play, I would rather not risk him with the Barcelona game coming up in midweek.

With Arsenal this season, we cannot say that its only Wolves. We have to start giving every team that we face the same importance. After all, they did just beat Manchester United last week. A result which lifted the doom and gloom from our remarkable drawn game. However, if Denilson cannot be entrusted to do a job against Wolves, then you would really have to start questioning his worth to the team, no?

Speaking of Diaby, he has supposedly given an interview about his future. Are we surprised that he did not mention Arsenal? The club which gave him the push to his career? The manager who signed him and gave him plenty of chances? Chances which more often than not, has been thrown away. Incidents like last week are the reasons why question marks will still hang over Diaby. He cannot make the transition from a competent player to a world class one because of his consistency and temperament. I’m sorry Abou, we all like to play to Barcelona or Real Madrid but if you don’t work hard and show it week in week out, there’s really no point talking about that.

Meanwhile Djourou’s absence will be keenly felt by us. Why? Mainly because Sebastien Squillaci and Laurent Koscielny just do not work as a centreback pairing. Even though they speak the same language, their understanding and camaraderie is poor. Would that mean that Djourou is the leader at the back? Someone who shouts instructions throughout the game? They may not work as a pair but individually, Koscielny is held in high regards. First by Wenger, and now by Laurent Blanc.

Also read this interview here with Xavi, by Sid Lowe. You really get a lot of insights into the mind of statistically the best passing midfielder in the world. Provided Sid’s understanding of the Spanish language is that good, we can all know understand what Xavi really meant in his past remarks regarding Cesc Fabregas. I also love the fact that he mentioned Samir Nasri in the same line as Fabregas. What a shame the Frenchman will be missing for next week’s game.

Match preview tomorrow. Have a pleasant Friday.