Saturday, 14 April 2012

Quick News Round Up: Santos, Wilshere return and Team News

Morning all,

Just a quick round up of the various bits and pieces of news floating around at the moment.

Don’t Mess With Santos

In a rather hilarious interview with ESPN Brasil, Santos touched on a couple of subjects including the conduct and behaviour of a foul, horrible player; Mario Balotelli.

“In the first half Balotelli almost broke Song’s leg, then he harshly tackled Sagna. Someone had to be hard on him, put him in his place, someone had to say something to him because he was doing what he wanted, and that’s not how things work.”

It is quite something to have a player come out and say such things and to be honest it is a little endearing. It is this kind of attitude that is seemingly devoid in the team at times and one which all Championship winning sides have to some extent. It even makes me look past his awful performance against Wolves.

Campbell brings out the best in Wenger

In response to comments made by Sol Campbell to the BBC about Wenger having to spend in order to win trophies and lacking the ambition needed, Arsene Wenger had this to say:

"The best way always to give advice is to show by example. Give your own money and we will spend it." 

He also was asked about our transfer policy:

"That has not changed at all. Our policy is to spend the money we have available, if possible, in an intelligent way and a wise way."

Wenger took it in good humour but more importantly used the opportunity to highlight that he does in fact want to spend what money he has available. I think the key here is that he is alluding to the fact he has not had much money and he always looks to spend what he can in an “intelligent and wise way”. While some Arsenal fans might be concerned with these comments, it is no real surprise that we will not break the bank.

Team News

With no football this weekend, the legs have slightly longer to rest so there shouldn’t be any fresh concerns from the Wolves game. In fact we are starting to see some of our players return. Kieran Gibbs is rated as 50:50 for the game so I would imagine he will not be risked but Gervinho seems to have a better chance of playing as he was given an 80% chance by Wenger. In his pre-match conference, he also highlighted that Coquelin and Diaby will be back with the squad this week but will be just short for the Wigan game.

I know to suggest Diaby will be fit may induce fits of laughter amongst the Arsenal faithful but if you look at the qualities he can bring to the team surely we should be urging him to full fitness instead of ridiculing him. We have seen Robin Van Persie and more recently Thomas Rosicky overcome a series of problems which kept them out for large portions of the season in the past so anything is possible.

That leaves us with just three injured players; Frimpong, Mertesacker and of course Wilshere.

Jack Wilshere Update

When assessing Jack Wilshere’s chances to make it for the European Championships, Wenger had this to say:

“We are now in mid April, the Euros start in the middle of June. Jack has not played the whole season and anyone who knows what is required at the top level, in terms of intensity, it’s getting short now. He has not joined the first team. He is still in the gym and running.”

This is a clear indication that Wilshere is unlikely to feature much, if at all this season. It is apparent from his comments that Wenger is exercising extreme caution and one can expect he will be unhappy if he goes to the Euros if he only plays a couple of times.

Well that’ll have to do for today.

Have a great weekend.


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