Monday, 8 March 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Monday March 8

There is loads of Arsenal related news around this morning following the Burnley win on Saturday.
There seems to be a difference of opinion as to whether Arsene Wenger is going to risk playing Cesc Fabregas tomorrow night against Porto in the Champions League.

Most can agree that Cesc will have a scan today. But no one quite knows if he's going to start.
In the Daily Telegraph, Arsene said:
"He has a little chance to be fit. "I'm ready to take the gamble but, if it is more than a 50 per cent chance that his hamstring goes, I will not take it."

While in the Guardian he adds:

"You look at the numbers of F ábregas, they are amazing. Fourteen [Premier League] goals, 15 assists. He's a fantastic player, with fantastic attitude and commitment. And what people forget, he has an unbelievable work rate, too.

"He is everywhere and this season, he has made a big step forward, massive. He played at 16, but at 22 he has matured."

Alex Song is in line for a recall as is Sol Campbell, who should recover in time from a groin strain.
The Times reports that Porto won't come to the Grove to put 11 men behind the ball.
Midfielder Raúl Meireles said:

"We will not be ultra defensive in London, that's not our style and to try to play that way would be a disaster for us.

"Arsenal are a dangerous team in attack and to give them the ball would cause chaos for us. The big battle will be in midfield.

"I'm optimistic and our squad have the confidence that we will reach the last eight."

The rest of the Arsenal related articles centre around Theo Walcott.
In the Sun, he talks about going from hero to zero in a week.
He said:

"The thing is I'm always the country's biggest hope or the biggest disappointment.

"You set standards for yourself and want to be as good as you can every single game, but sometimes it doesn't go your way.

"It's doesn't bother me whatsoever. Maybe if I keep performing like that it will shut people up."

Walcott added:

"Me and Nicklas were having some good banter because he could have had a hat-trick but it didn't go his way. Hopefully on Tuesday he will put those away.

"Crossing and my left foot are the two big things I have been working on lately.

"I came inside and saw it open up and managed to score with my left foot. Hopefully I can do that more often."

And most of the papers are keen to explain why Walcott pointed to an imaginary watch on his wrist.

In the Sun he explains how he missed the team bus on Friday night for their journey to the hotel.

He said:

"I was late for the bus the night before and I had to get a car to the hotel, so that's why I was pointing to a watch.

"It was Paul Johnson I ran over to because he was waiting for me in the car. I wasted a bit of his time. I probably will get a fine, but I'll take it!

"I shouldn't be late, but I just got caught in traffic. Maybe it will be forgotten about now!"

While in the Daily Mirror he adds:

"I've had so many injuries this season and people don't realise how hard it is to come back from setback after setback after setback.

"I can get into double figures with the amount of injuries I've had this season.

"You can't be at your best straight away and if you think you can, then you put pressure on yourself. I think that's what I had been doing this season. Chris Waddle? I heard what he said but I don't listen to people on the outside of football. I listen to
people around me. The boss, Mr Capello, my family and the people around me.

"I'm not going to get carried away. I will look back at my performance against Burnley and see what I can do better.

"Crossing and my left foot are the two big things I have been working on lately."

In The Times, Tony Cascarino in his column for the Times doesn't believe in Nicklas Bendtner.
He writes:

"Bendtner is never going to be as good as he thinks he is Nicklas Bendtner is one of those players who prompts fierce debate among fans.

"Is he good enough to play for Arsenal? I don't think he'll ever be a great striker. He's got a lot of ability but I just don't see him putting it all together.

"He's certainly not as good as he seems to think he is. The Denmark striker has the arrogance of a top player but still hasn't delivered the goods yet."

While in the Daily Mirror Stan Collymore want to talk about Arsene again.

"Arsenal fans were upset with me last week when I suggested that if Arsene Wenger cannot stand the physical nature of English football he should seriously think about managing abroad instead.

"So it was nice to see the Professor doing a U-turn by saying he does actually like the physical side of the English game after all.

"I was beginning to have my doubts after his frequent rants about the treatment of his team from other sides and referees.

"It is refreshing to see him back up my observations that English football is as much about physicality as it is about pure football philosophies.

"I don't agree with his continued campaign against Stoke's Ryan Shawcross for the challenge which broke Aaron Ramsey's leg.

"But Wenger clearly does appreciate a well-timed challenge as he built one of the best sides in Premier League history - with plenty of bite in the tackle - when Arsenal went unbeaten to win the 2003/2004 title."

These two are really idiots. I have not the time to go into why they are wrong at the moment, but perhaps tonight I will dedicate a post to former players who now work in the media.
Finally for today, the Daily Mirror say we're keeping an eye on 18-year-old Cardiff City full-back Adam Matthews. We're in competition with Manchester United, Spurs and Aston Villa for his signature.

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