I have been delaying writing/posting this until midday in order to ensure that there is no transfer before I write. Despite our best wishes it seems no transfer has been completed in time to be in the squad for United. Whilst this was not completely unexpected but there was a resounding feeling among fans that at the moment we are in no shape to go to Old Trafford and get a result. Whilst I really am a little worried there is no doubt in my mind we still are capable of getting a result if we perform at our top level over the 90 minutes.
Yesterday we saw the Champions League draw which sees us in Group F pitted against Marseille, Olympiacos and Dortmund in a tough and testing but certainly winnable group. This is excellent news for us as it will provide us with some excellent football to watch whilst not being a group that we should necessarily fear. I for one am pleased with the draw and they all represent stern tests, both home and away which will provide great experience to some of our younger players.
Injury/Suspension news is a little scary going into the match this weekend. It is a little early to know exactly who is in or out at this moment though the injury doubts are as follows. Be warned, those of a nervous disposition should turn away now: Vermaelen, Koscienly, Squillaci, Gibbs, Diaby, Song, Frimpong, Eastmond and Gervinho. Of those Vermaelen and Gibbs are the only ones with a chance but I think Vermaelen may be the only one that makes the cut.
So our team as it stands will look like this: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Djourou, Sagna, Rosicky, Lansbury, Ramsey, Walcott, Arshavin, Van Persie. He may chose to go for Arshavin in the centre and opt for one of the new wingers out wide but he has seemed reluctant to use Arshavin in the middle despite many opportunities.
In transfer news it seems we have finally made an offer for Cahill. A transfer value of £17m has long been mooted by Bolton. Our opening offer reportedly has started at just £6m. Whilst it is clear though is that these are the start of negotiations and as such this is not what our final offer will be. It is apparent, and has been for some time that we will never meet the £17m valuation they have set. I am guessing Arsenal are hoping to meet somewhere in the middle and I do feel Bolton would sanction the deal as he would be free to leave for nothing in 12 months time. There is definitely a deal to be done I just am not sure how interested Wenger really is. This could just be a speculative effort as we know he rates Koscienly very highly, and based on this season he looks to be on the money. Cahill in that regard would be seen as a squad player and used mostly as backup which is why he may have been so hesitant to offer earlier. What would be great is if Squillaci went in the opposite direction as part of the deal. The links with Hazzardm M’Vila and Ayew continue as well as new ones to Swiss youngster Xherdan Shaqiri.
That is all for the day and unfortunately the post is shorter than I had hoped. Not much to write about without the new signing. Make sure you tune in tomorrow for an in depth preview to the united game as well as “5 reasons Arsenal can beat Man United”.
Enjoy your day!