Saturday 25 February 2012


Now, will he come back??
 I think we are pretty much accustomed to the fact that Arsenal quite capable of unveiling surprises on and off the pitch. Whether we like them or not, is a point of debate. Astonishingly enough, just when I, and I am assuming the Arsenal fans contingent too, were exercising our grey cells as to how can this current squad be utilised to maximum effect and with whatever resources we have, right then, Arsenal decide to loan Arshavin back to his old club! With whole of the transfer window gone with rumors and speculations surrounding Arshavin's future, whether he will be transferred to his old club and Arsene clarifying that he is going nowhere till summer, just to keep our squad quantified enough, this move has certainly raised some eyebrows.

Arshavin's contract is about to expire soon and he'll be staying with Zenit till the end of the season. I don't know what sense this deal should make and that too at such a crucial time ahead of a, once-in-a-lifetime, asteroid-hitting-earth type of derby! I mean, maybe my shallow thinking power has missed a trick here, but with all the injuries happening and our players getting dominoed now and then, the last thing we needed was a further depleted squad. If not the most effective, Arshavin was certainly a star prospect, one of the senior experienced member of the team and could be a valuable player coming of the bench, well at least some of the times. Like the time when he delivered a pin-point cross to TH14 which got our winner against Sunderland couple of weeks ago. There are not many players who produce that kind of moments of brilliance.

Clearly we are all baffled, at least I am. I won't be surprised if our squad is surprised by this decision too, and we don't need anymore distractions ahead of such an important match. I don't know the exact details of this switch, maybe Arshavin requested it for more playing time. The official site only managed to comment,
The Russia captain returns to his home city and former club, managed by Luciano Spalletti, in order to maximise his opportunities for regular first-team football ahead of Euro 2012 in June.
You might as well have sold him in the winter and make some money out of him while you can. I don't the monetary details of the deal, but it is understood that Zenit will Arshavin's wages and also a £1m loan fee. It might be to cut down on costs with the financial results to be declared or even maybe to have another million in that "transfer kitty". I was under the impression, after this weeks Reserves(?? more like first team benchers) vs Norwich match, that it was a chance to give the bench warmers a bit of football and keep their legs moving. After Arshavin having scored a brace in that match, this is simply inexplicable, at least for me.

Well, back to people at the club, there have been inspirational quotes sprayed throughout the official site by most of our players. All about the importance of the match ahead, and how they are ready for the challenge. Out of everyone, RVP sounds the most aggressive, and understandably, being the captain.
He says,
What better way to set things straight again than to beat Spurs?I’d rather be playing them now than on any other day, and we know that a win is absolutely vital. They’re above us for the first time in many years but it’s in our hands to change the way things are going, win the game and start moving closer to them. A  draw will not be a good result for us, either in our bid to catch up with Spurs or in our efforts to fight off our other challengers for a Champions League place.
And it's important for the team, to stay focused on the task at hand no matter what happens around. It looks like everyone is doing a fair job keeping the others on their toes and it is up to players like RVP, Song, TV, Szczesny maybe even Walcott , players who have been at Arsenal for quite some time now and know what this derby is all about. The anger, the hatred and the general despisement towards our rivals should be carried forward and these players are responsible to make sure that the next generation keeps up with this rivalry!

Sagna broke his leg in this year's reverse fixture and maybe he has a lot to prove tomorrow. He might well be aware of Bale and his pace and trickery.
He says,
The first game was a nightmare for me because I got injured and was four months out. Every game is important but the derby is the killer one. This is one of the biggest games of the season and we know we have to win it. It will give us even more power to move forward.
Talking about Bale he says,
He is a very good player, he was PFA Player of the Year last year and he deserved it. He is a great player, but every weekend we play against great wingers. He is extremely quick, that's why you have to stay close and make sure he does not come quickly at you.
Sagna has been one of Premier leagues most reliable and consistent full back and I suggest you keep your eyes on this mouth watering battle down our right flank, it is going to be a feisty one.

There is an interesting news in the Daily Mail about Gareth Bale. Apparently, Arsene tried to sign Bale when he was at Southampton but later chose Walcott over him preferring the more pacier one that time. Yes, we don't rue that at all! Maybe because Bale used to be a left back in those days, and sometimes still manages a game in that position, but we had enough LB's then with Cashley Cole and an upcoming Clichy.

As far as team news goes, there is no news about Kos, but he is expected to be fit and I am sure the medical is working very hard to get him to play to his maximum fitness. Gibbs, who had a minor problem, will go through a fitness test. Same is the case for Ramsey, who has an ankle injury but again, no news on him. Coquelin is definitely out for some time. It's surprising the Arsenal official site's homepage looks the same as I left saw it last night, no hint of news. Either that or the website team are taking the weekend off to celebrate Arshavin's loan deal!

Hope to see some more news before tomorrow's game, and we'll have a general prediction about our squad for tomorrow. Have a gunning Saturday!

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