Lazio Preview And Other Assorted Musings

Hello dear readers.  What a glorious day it has been.  And what better way to spend it than stuck inside on a training course all day?  Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me too much, but when the weather’s nice I do like the option of being able to take a longer lunch and whatnot, but this is made impossible by the time constraints of training days.  It would’ve been cool if it was one of those assault course, raft building, walking over hot coals type thingys…but it wasn’t.  New IT systems don’t have a necessity for you to go splashing around with your workmates on a lake in the New Forest.  Shame.  Brainiac has learned me good that computer monitors make good floatation devices, so I’m sure there was scope for some kind of aquatic fun to be had.  Or we could’ve set fire to the IT kit and walked over the embers.  Scratch that – just setting fire to it would’ve been fun.

Pyromaniacal tendencies aside, there is some blogging to be done, and blog I shall.

Tomorrow sees our first game of the Amsterdam Tournament, against the mighty legion of Rome.  No, not Caesar and his minions (or even AC Roma), but Lazio.  Arsenal have enjoyed relative success against Italian clubs in recent years – since 1970 our record reads like this, P28 W10 D8 L5  And included in these stats are the Cup Winner’s Cup win over Parma, the 2-0 against Lazio, the 5-1 mauling of Inter at the San Siro and most recently, the Fabregas inspired drubbing of Juve at Highbury.  Happy, happy, times.

So what can we expect to see from Arsenal tomorrow?  To be honest, I don’t really know.  Le Boss hasn’t done his press conference yet, no doubt preferring to drill the players thoroughly today and tomorrow before doing so.  So it is left up to me to use my considerable powers of telepathy to read his mind.  Bare with me….Oh.  It would seem The Daily Mail has beaten me to the punch and made up divined that Arsene is confident Tomas Rosicky will play some part in the tournament.  Good work wannabe-broadsheet-but-really- a-crap-tabloid fellas.  Seriously though, I would expect that he would play some part, but it’s probably too soon to expect that Lazio will be his comeback.  After all, he wasn’t match fit to begin with, so a lay off (however short) won’t help him get up to speed for the start of he season let alone a game tomorrow night.

Eduardo is also unlikely to feature as his work permit appeal hearing is tomorrow.  However (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), he played in Austria because it was abroad (i.e. not in England, for you non-geographers) so he doesn’t/shouldn’t need a permit to play in the ‘Dam Tournament.  Whether he needs to actually attend the hearing I don’t know, but if he does then it is very unlikely he’ll feature in the game.

Johan Djourou is also still recovering from a knock/heat exhaustion , as is Emmanuel Adebayor and Theo Walcott, so until we hear otherwise from the gaffer, it’s safe to assume they will be rested until 100% fit again.  That leaves us with the same options we had for the Emirates Cup.  Personally I think it’s time to step it up a notch and start fielding teams that are likely to play in the league.  Oh wait, we can’t as a load of first teamers are out.  But I’d like to see less of Gibbs, Flamini and Traore (who I rate, btw), in favour of more established players.  I would also like to echo the sentiment of GilbrtoSilver of Gunnerblog.com, who reckons Hleb is a poo winger, but decent central attacking midfielder (actually, I said that too already, didn’t I?).  He relishes that position and we see the best of him when he plays there.

Something I thought I knew, but didn’t because it was only a rumour at the time but now has been confirmed, is that we have signed young Frenchman, Gilles Sunu.  Apparently, chief scout, The Grimster, recommended him to the boss.  Probably as they share the same first name.  Oh yeah, “Ché” is big on first names – that’s why we were going to sign Arsene Oka for £20million before someone pointed out that he’s shit*.  Still the DoF position is still going…

Also revealed today is that we’ve signed Kyle Bartley.  I know – I don’t either.  But someone out there does and told Arseblog, who I’m now linking to so that he doesn’t get the arse with me for nicking his story…even though I have.  Cheers Arseblogger – nice to have you back.

Finally, Irish Arsenal legend, Liam Brady talks here about the experience he expects his young charges to gain in the Champions Youth Cup.  With the likes of Fran Merida, Jay Simpson, Nacer Barazite and Vincent van den Berg all likely to play a significant part in matches against quality players from some of the best clubs in the world, he’s not wrong.  Here’s hoping that it provides a good stepping stone for the talented youngsters in the Arsenal youth set up.  I’m a huge fan of Merida, and whilst not a true winger (more a centre midfielder actually, but hey), he can play a wide position that could solve our problems on the flanks in a year or two.

 Hopefully that delicious arsey goodness has satisfied your craving.  Until next time

*This is not true in any way.  Only an idiot would believe it.  Hello tabloid hacks :o)

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