Sign him up!

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Gilberto is quoted as saying he wants to finish his career at Arsenal. There are compelling arguments for both sides, here they are, you choose.

Sign him) He is 31 now, he has awesome experience and is still one of the best holding midfielders in the world, he also has the dressing room and I suspect it would be a downer if Wenger threw out another 30 something year old, just because he’s over 30, that may have had something to do with Vieira and Henry going as well as Pires holding out for two more years, Dennis was the exception, I think Gilberto has been the model professional and as such we should keep him around until he is 34, so extend his contract by a year and show some loyalty, he has.

Sell him) By the time his current deal ends he will be 33, we’ll get nothing for him then and arguably £7mil now would be good business, especially as we have cover in abundance. He is getting to the age where his skills will decline and he will get more and more aggrieved by being on the bench.

Whichever way you look at it it’s a conundrum, I would keep him, as to me he is the Martin Keown of the third generation and a steady hand when we need it, he hasn’t complained once even though he was snubbed, outrageously in my book, for the captaincy.

You don’t just dump the wife because she’s getting older do you? Well in theory you don’t!

The lacklustre performance midweek was a good thing, it puts the fringe players in their place and sends out the message, you just weren’t good enough against the team the big boys beat 7 nil, so bide your time and keep your heads down.

We need a thumping win against Reading to send a big message out and by Monday the chasing pack will be at our heels and ManU will more than likely be top, albeit for two days.

Robin should be back soon and I personally can’t wait, for me Ade works hard but is not really a prolific goalscorer, I think with Robin by his side he will get more goals, Eduardo will happen but he has the curse of the ‘new boy from abroad’ syndrome, but he will come good, of that I have no doubt.

We still need a world class center back and a left winger (Did anyone see the awesome Ribery last night?), I have a feeling Wenger has something in store for us, it doesn’t need much, just a bit a stability when Gallas or Toure are out, Djourou can offer that, but Phil I don’t think can. Drafting Song in is like the days of Stepanovs and Cygan, okay, but not world class and could cost us.

You already know my views on goalkeepers, the Bolton Finnish keeper with the hard to pronounce name is being touted, but I’m not sure, I like the way he wastes time though.

It will be a very boring weekend unless of course ManU lose, Liverpool lose and Chelsea lose. Oh if only!

Till tomorrow Grover’s.


Carling Cup team get Champions league run out

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Well, I don’t have much to say about that! We got the point needed to qualify, we didn’t concede and we showed that we can play in the rain (Clutching at straws here!).

When the team was announced I was quite shocked. All the players that were being touted for a call up were being played. Diarra, Eduardo, Diaby, Walcott, Gilberto, Denilson, Bendtner and Song (I kid, I kid) were all in the starting 11. It was in effect, the Carling Cup team. Thats where the similarities ended! A dull bore draw was all that could be mustered on a damp evening in Prague.

I’m not going to go too deep into individual performances today. Bendtner and Eduardo were quiet all night, that may be down to the lack of service from midfield. Denilson was a peripheral figure, Gilberto plodded along and Walcott wasn’t at his best. I did think Diaby was good. He was up and down the wing all night and showed a lot of skill and pace. He does have a habbit of fading in and out of games though. I thought Diarra looked great again, his power and pace really shine through.

I’m not going to talk about Song too much. I don’t really rate him that highly. If I slate him, people will argue he helped keep a clean sheet, which is fair. I’m not going to bash him, I just can’t wait for our big Swiss centre back to return from Birmingham. Song gives me nightmares.

I thought Almunia showed great character last night. He dealt well with back passes in shocking conditions and he made a couple of great saves when called upon. Good man!

Arsene Wenger reckons he could use the same team against Seville in a couple of weeks.

“The young players could play in Seville. To finish first is important. You play a team that is second and the second game is at home, so it is a double advantage. I have not looked at the groups; it is a bit early to speculate who we might play.”

I suppose he has to trust the players he has, and I’m sure they are good enough to turn over Seville. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice top spot for a bit of rotation though? Mind you, it tends not to matter where you finish in your group. You can end up playing one of the big boys regardless.

Overall, we can’t argue with the result, it was fair and we’ve now done enough to qualify.

The Reading vs Arsenal game is set to be a family affair for Sonko. Apparently he holds the record for the most relatives playing professional football. Read here for snippets of Arsene’s 4-4-2 interview.

Its going to be a boring day on the newsfeeds, so here’s a suggestion.

Don’t go anywhere else and enjoy the blogging forum here at Le Grove!

See you there!


Arsenal 9 Slavia Prague 0

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Yep that’s my prediction, we lost our record to a pedestrian Liverpool side last night, it has to be the shortest held record in Champions league football, our kids will want it back, where better to do it than in Prague.

Okay we need to get the team right first and this is the team we should go with.


Sagna Hoyte Gallas Traore (with Clichy and Gilberto as options)

Walcott Denilson Diarra Diaby (with Gilberto and Eboue as options)

Bendtner Eduardo (with Ade as an option)

I know I have Gilberto in two possible roles but that’s because I really, really don’t rate Song. Is it me? What do you people think?

I believe this team will get at them from the off, is young enough to go for it and good enough to get the 9 goals we need to have any chance of addressing the ‘great’ and ‘lucky’ balance once more.

When we got 7 everyone said ‘yeah but look at the team we played’ I haven’t read one article this morning that said that about Liverpool, I can’t call them the scousers any more as red nose said they weren’t.

We did Fergie yesterday and the simple way to sum up his criticism is he himself isn’t English, so cannot have an opinion. Wenger makes his stand on the matter very clear here.

Liverpool and Spurs planning new grounds irritates me a bit, as Liverpool will have the option of 74.000 seats, I hope we have that too as we could most certainly fill the ground, getting in and out though is another matter.

I think Wenger has a real problem with Rosicky as he always seems to be injured, maybe we should get a left winger in January as I’m not sure Rosicky will ever be a regular, shame as he’s so gifted, but we can’t play him, lose him for 2 then wait three more for him to be good, then he gets injured again.

I sincerely hope Wenger doesn’t get tempted to buy English as he feels under pressure, there really isn’t an English player I would want, save maybe Joe Cole, but then he’s like Rosicky and besides Chelsea would never sell him to us.

I hope we use our third kit tonight as I really don’t like the white kit, if it was red and white (pardon the pun) maybe, but I never liked the red current kit, when we had white shorts against Sheffield it grew on me a tad, but I prefer red or yellow.

If we can get through tonight without any injuries we should get 6 points from the next two and then be ready for the Chelsea game, and for the first time since Abramovich came I think we can do them.

Happy blogging Grovers.