Friday, 26 March 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Friday March 26

Eduardo, originally uploaded by Ashburton Grove Blog.
Morning Gooners.

We finally it appears that there is a football game to watch this weekend. Birmingham away. It was two seasons ago when we were top of the league, five points clear, that we went to St Andrews with a realistic chance of winning the title.

This time round we go to the same round two points behind Manchester united and a single point behind Chelsea but with real momentum.

Our form over the past few months has been excellent.

I'm sure whatever team Arsene decides to play, we will go there and take all three points back down the M1/M6 with us.

Quite rightly the manager says that this is our most important game, prioritising it ahead of the Barcelona game on Wednesday.

For that reason, Wenger said Sol Campbell will play at St Andrews, report the Daily Mirror.

He said:
"I will pick him for the next game because the next game is always the most important one.
"We have fought for the whole season to give ourselves a chance of winning the championship, and now we are in this position it is a priority."
One person who will want to banish the demons of that fateful day in February 2008 is Eduardo.

Our Crozillian striker, as we know, had his leg broken that day by a horrendous challenge by Martin Taylor.

But Arsene is backing him to come through. I expect he will play some part in the game, whether starting instead of Nicklas Bendtner - who is having a fitness test today on his ankle - or coming on as a substitute.

The Sun report Arsene is yet to talk to the player about the game.

Arsene said:
"I have not spoken to him yet about that but it will certainly have a weight in his mind.
"That is part of a career as well, to show you have that mental strength to deal with those kind of situations and Eduardo has a lot of mental strength — he can deal with that.
"Overall we want him to come back there and just win our game.
"That is the only way you can deal with that situation.
"Eduardo will have to face the fact he returns there, which will make some articles, but he has just to prepare his mind to deal with all that.
"It is like you drive the same way every day in your car. One day you have an accident. Afterwards, you have to live with it. Life goes on.
"It is only once in the 1,000 times he has played which he has had an accident.
"It happened at Birmingham but it could have happened somewhere else."

At yesterday's press conference, Arsene said all negotiations about contracts had been put on hold because of the forthcoming fixture schedule.

That will effect the talks with William Gallas agent, who will not resume for another three weeks.

The Times report it will also have a baring on the future of Mikaƫl Silvestre and Sol Campbell who are also out of contract at the end of the season.

Arsene said:
"I feel we are winning the battle to keep Gallas, but somebody could offer him a massive amount of money and I don't know if he will sign or not.
"We will not deal with any contract now because we have games every three days and we will focus on our targets.
"The three players are all focused because they are at an age where they know they have to deal with that. It is not the same as when you have a player of 23 or 24. A player of 33 or 34 is in a normal situation with that. For a player of 23 or 24, it is an abnormal situation.
"We want to focus on the games. It is a crucial stage for us. Birmingham is the absolute priority. We have fought like mad to be in this position, so we want to take advantage of that."

Steven Howard in the Sun writes about how we are no longer a team without players over 6ft tall.

Robbie Savage has been talking about how we can defend against Lionel Messi.

In his Daily Mirror column, he suggest we use Alex Song to man mark the little Argentinean.

The Daily Mail report we've failed in our attempts to sign 15-year-old goalkeeper Odesseas Vlachidimos from Stuttgart for £1m.

And The Sun have a story about Nicklas Bendtner planning to move in with his girlfriend.

And that's your lot. Have a good Friday.

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