Friday, 24 September 2010

Walcott fitness boost, Szczesny offered hope, Wenger's right to speak out

Morning Gooners.

Friday is finally here the third most enjoyable day of the week in my opinion. Football being round the corner tomorrow, the end of the working week and drinks at the pub at lunchtime.

We'll start with some good news. That of Theo Walcott's return from injury. The Daily Mail are reporting the 21-year-old is using a deep freeze treatment to aid him in his recovery from ankle ligament damage.

It involves going into a sealed ice chamber, at a temperature is minus 110 Centigrade, and spending three minutes getting really cold.

It's worked wonders and will mean Theo will be back taking part in full training next week, according to The Sun. However expectations of him playing against Chelsea are low. He might well be fit enough to get injured again for England when they play Montenegro on October 12.

The highs and lows of following Arsenal. 

Arsene Wenger hosted his pre-match press conference for the West Brom game yesterday. Normally these events for home games take place on Fridays, but because we're due to announce our figures today, it was brought forward.

One of the items brought up by the journalists was the comments made by Wojciech Szczesny in the media.

The manager dealt with this in a calm manner, saying the young Pole would get his chance.

He said:
"He is right, he deserves a chance but the keeper in front of him, Mannone, deserves a chance as well. 
"It's part of their job as a football player to live with competition and decisions. 
"I believe the best thing for him is just to focus, work hard and trust us. 
"No club in the world has started more players at the top, top level than we have. Nobody, so he is in the right club. 
"But impatience is a characteristic of youth. 
"What they forget when they are 20 is that they can play until they are 40, whereas a normal player can only go to 32 or 34 if it all goes well, so what they lose at the start they gain at the end of their career." 
The manager also said the club would offer the player a new deal. His current contract ends in June.

I think the interesting thing about what Arsene said was that he obviously believes Mannone is ahead of Szczesny in the pecking order. Great things are expected from the Pole, but it is the Italian who Wenger sees as the next in line for the gloves should Almunia and Fabianski not play.

Szczesny will get his chance that's for certain if he trains hard and impresses the manager. But when that might be, may not be soon enough for our impatient keeper.

Wenger was also asked about the criticism he received from his fellow managers.

He said:
"That is nothing new. Most of the time it was down to the fact I criticised violent football, and I am ready to do that at any price, to come out on that because I don't accept it. 
"Everybody should be on the same wavelength on that, without criticising any manager. When I say: 'This is a bad foul,' I just say: 'This is a bad foul.' I do not consider who it is, where it is or the manager. I just think it is a bad foul. 
"Pulis and Allardyce shouldn't take it personally because I do not criticise them."
I have no doubt that these managers will continue to criticise our manager. They play the game in their own style as do we. And I don't think they'll be on our wavelength any time soon.

One of the problems is that none of these managers will have watched Wenger's press conferences to understand what he said. They'll be being asked by a journalist who may embellish what our manager has said when asking them to respond.

The other point I will make on this issue is about pundits. Many seem to read the headlines of the stories on websites and in newspapers and know the story inside out without bothering to read what's actually been said.

If they took the time to read the quotes rather than just the headlines they would be in a far better place to comment on the issue than give just a lazy and uninformed response. 

As I said earlier, the club are to announce their accounts today, when record profits are said to have been made. 

According to the information released to the press already, the debts for the Highbury Square development has gone.

Our only debt is the stadium, where we still have a mortgage for around the £220-£230million, plus the annual interest on borrowing the money, which is thought to be in the region of £16 million.

No doubt more on that on the official site later.

A bit of linkage for today. Danny Fullbrook of the Daily Star says the one game touchline ban for Arsene Wenger wasn't enough. 

I have to disagree. I have seen far worse go unpunished. But this comes from the Daily Star who have an anti Arsenal and Arsene Wenger agenda.

Early team news for West Brom. Vermaelen is out, Diaby is a doubt and Rosicky and Eboue will have fitness tests this morning to see whether they can take part.

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