So last night went pretty well for Arsenal. I had a feeling Chelsea were going to do something against Barcelona and they did. They put on a miserable tactical masterclass and nicked a goal. They head into the Camp Nou with a one goal lead. We've been there before. We know what Barca can do to you. So they won't be brimming with confidence. Still, what it does show you is that if you play with tactics in mind, you can take down any side. If Barca were in the Premier League I think they'd find things far harder than they do in Spain purely because English teams generally wouldn't indulge Barca in quite the same way the Spanish clubs outside of Madrid do.
They'll be tired from yesterday and my hope all along has been that their focus will be in Spain when Chelsea come to us on Saturday. Abramovich bought Chelsea with one goal in mind... that was the Champions League. I can't believe the players aren't aware of that and I can't believe there massive bonus structures aren't geared that way. I'm sure I read that the Champions League was worth £13million to the squad? I may have just completely made that up... so don't quote in the pub this evening.
Still, I guess the flip side of the argument is that Chelsea just beat the best side in Europe. Now they're playing Arsenal who have lost to Wigan and QPR in the space of two weeks. I doubt they'll be too concerned about playing us at the weekend especially as it's looking quite likely we'll have Ramsey or Chamberlain in centre midfield. Still, Abou Diaby put in a whopping 45minute shift against the footballing giants of Oman. That's kind of like putting a ninety in against Barcelona!
Szczesny has been speaking to Arsenal player and he's made some encouraging noises.
"I'm 22 years old and I don't think I'm an established number one. I still need to prove myself at this club."
"I do feel confident, but if we had this conversation in a few years' time and I've played 500 games for this club, I'll feel like I'm an established number one.
I'm not quite sure he believes what he's saying there. Some of his performances this year indicate that not only does he believe he's number one, he also believes that there is no one at the club who can challenge that status. I mean seriously, who claims Fabianski is the best number 2 in the country? What a ridiculous statmement to make. We need a proper number two who can push him next season. Some of the errors he makes in a game stem from arrogance. His distribution from the back is nervy at best and you can guarantee that he'll present a goal scoring opportunity at least once a game because of it.
It's nice that he wants to play 500 for the club. It feels like he's the long term solution but he needs someone to push him. He's doesn't have that at the moment. Nor do a number of other players at the club. Alex Song is a player who needs competition. M'Vila would be a good start, though the Daily Mail seem to think that'll be at the expense of Songinho heading to Inter Milan. The story seems to have about as much credibility as the Robin to Manchester City / Barcelona rumours but there you go, tis the season for silly stories!
Jan Vertonghen rumours won't go away because he won't let them.
'I have a few things lined up at the moment, but it's difficult to say anything about that at the moment. I'll see what happens, if something becomes concrete.'
He's desperate for a move. I just hope it's to Arsenal. We need 4 top class defenders next season. We always need 4. We've never had that. We'll pick up injuries, they'll all play at least 30 games, so we should just do the deal for the versatile Belgian.
Anyway, that's all I have for you today. Geoff is taking over for the next 4 days as I'll be in Copenhagen. If you have any good reccomendations, let me know in the comments. I like beer and good times.
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Have a great weekend!