So there was something more impressive than me writing a post from my blackberry this weekend. Yep, Liverpool announced themselves back on the scene with a terrific 3-1 win over Manchester United. Who’d have thunk it? Dirk Kuyt with a storming hattrick. Luis Suarez showing what happens when you buy top talent right now. King Kenny becoming a King again!
We’ve come out of the weekend having gained a point on United which is a huge relief. This season doesn’t stop giving does it?
The table is looking tighter than a pair of Jamie Redknapp trousers. Win our game in hand and we are joint top. You know what that means don’t you? Yes, it’s ours to lose.
If we win the rest of our games, we’ll win the league. That’s the best position we’ve been in for an absolute age. You know what’s better? If you’re English, our next 9 games are all on the telebox, so you’ll either get to watch the greatest run in of this decade or you’ll be able to watch the nastiest car crash since Peaches Geldof was given her own TV show.
Tomorrow night is the night we’ve all been fearing the most. It now holds special relevance to our season because it seems we’re incapable of bouncing back from set backs. We take our slightly depleted squad over to one of the scariest stadiums in the world to face the most scary attacking force in world football.
Barcelona rested most of their key players at the weekend against Zaragoza. They won 1-0 after a late winner from Ketia. Busquests, Villa and Abidal will all play and there might be an appearance from Puyol. He’ll be an important player for them as Pique is suspended.
The odds are horribly stacked against us especially considering we don’t have a fully fit Alex Song. The thought of Denilson getting yet another game against Barcelona fills me full of dread. I don’t understand why Arsene doesn’t adapt the team around our best players instead of constantly throwing in a player who NEVER performs. He’s far too slow to take on Barcelona and he’s far too negative.
I’d go with this team…
Sagna Kozzer JD Clichy
Cesc Jack Diaby
Nasri Chamakh Arshavin
I really see no advantage to playing Denilson. He’s a poor player and Barcelona will absolutely exploit his inclusion. Having Cesc there will be worth its weight in gold. Judging from Wenger’s comments, Nik B is facing the axe in favour of Chamakh with his improved fitness and hopefully work rate. The pitch is monstrous, we’ll have to be at our very best for the whole game if we’re going to pull anything off.
Like I mentioned earlier in the post, this isn’t just about proceeding to the next round, this is about getting some confidence back into the side. If we win this, I’ll be extremely confident we can win the league. Lose this and I’m not sure how it’ll go. It’ll be the 3rd disappointment in a row and an away game at Old Trafford in the cup next will look absolutely terrifying.
This could be a very bad week or extremely good one. I’m not making predictions…
In other news…
Club level season ticket renewals are set to fly out the Arsenal mailing room within the next two weeks. We’ve seen the effect of recession and high inflation on the crowds so far this year. It’s simply not an option for many people to travel to every game. I know there are many internet super fans who claim that they’d give their right arm for a ticket, however, I can confirm that the reality is, those people are never interested when I have season tickets to loan for the year. It’s all talk, if you read someone saying something like that online, tell them to speak to me and I’ll put them in touch with plenty of people who want to loan out tickets.
New flash. They won’t get in touch.
Football in its current state is a massive investment. If you’re club level, you’re looking at a minimum £2,500 outlay. That’s not where it ends though. Throw in that you’re probably averagly spending another £50 a game on travel, food and drink and suddenly, you’re looking at a further £1500 on top of that.
Arsenal have gone incredibly quiet on this front. They’re complaining that the wage bill has risen a further £10million this year and that’s before Nasri has signed up. There is also the additional 2.5% tax that has gone on a ticket. So basically, the club are refusing to rule out an increase in ticket price. Like I said a few weeks ago, the most obvious way of recouping extra revenue is to stick it to the home fans.
I for one would be disgusted if that happened. We’ve sat around bragging about how much debt we’ve paid off over the past few years whilst charging extortionate prices for everything Arsenal. The club never pays out a dividend to share holders but rest assured, everyone on that board is handsomely rewarded as are all the people who work at the club. I find it quite disgusting that players like Diaby are paid well above their grade, not delivering and the cost of these wages are going onto the fans…
I can’t predict what the increase is going to be or if there is going to be one at all. All I’m saying is that if there is one, it’ll be a f*cking liberty. Perhaps the club should take a chunk of the unspent transfer revenues of the past two windows and donate that to keeping the cost of our tickets down?
Anyway, keep your eyes peeled, whatever the club level increase is (if there is one), you can bet your bottom dollar standard tickets won’t be too far behind…
The AST have already urged the club not to do the obvious, you should too, let your thoughts be known through the Arsenal Website and tell them that you think ideas like this are detrimental to the already empty bank accounts of the battered Arsenal fans.
What do you think about the price increase? Inevitable? Not going to happen?
Let us know in the comments…