Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Hill Wood against Dein return | Diaby row | Duo's Liverpool return

Morning Gooners,

I thought I would try to separate the footballing and business side of my posts, because quite frankly it would have been a very long read. You can read my thoughts on the future of the club and why I don't have any sympathy for Alisher Usmanov in my first post of today.

Before I leave the talk of the future direction of the club, I thought I'd bring you this gem from the Daily Star. The chairman Peter Hill Wood has told his favourite newspaper he would be against the return of David Dein in any capacity at Arsenal.

The Star report:
"Dein left the club four years ago over "irreconcilable differences" – the biggest one being his desire to see the Gunners move to Wembley, rather than build a new stadium."
Seeing as we'd moved into the new stadium when Mr Dein was asked to clear his desk at Highbury House, I think they're being a bit disingenuous about the real reasons for the former vice Chairman's departure.

Anyway, as I posted last night, there needs to be quite a bit of smoothing over before Mr Dein can make his return to the club he loves.

Back to the football and two players will be heading into training this morning with the aim of making the first team for this Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

Whilst Johan Djourou and Wojceich Szczesny have been keeping their fitness up during the last week or so, this will be the first time both have featured in a full training session with other members of the first team since before they picked up their respective injuries.

With the Anfield club picking up all three points last night against Manchester City, it will be a tough game at the Grove. And it is now all the more important that the pair are fit to start.

As nice as it was to see Jens back in goal, Szczesny is the only keeper we have who offers the same sort of presence between the sticks as the German. I would have major concerns if Manuel Almunia was forced to play because the Pole isn't ready.

Whilst the defence has done well enough in the absence of Djourou, you can see that we miss his composure at the back when he's not playing.

Let's hope for no minor or major set backs for either of them on the training pitch this week.

It's interesting to read that Robin van Persie read Abou Diaby the riot act during half time at Bloomfield Road on Sunday because the Frenchman had got a needless yellow card for kicking the ball away.

I know Diaby must have been frustrated with himself because of his poor control, but to get yourself booked so easily is a criminal offense at this level. 

So it's good to read he wasn't allowed to get away with it by his team mates. And fair play to Robin for being the man to step in and put Diaby right.

Jack Wilshere spoke post match to the media and has the right attitude. He says we're still in the title race and it's going to be very close.

He said:
"We are chasing them but we have got a game in hand and United have still got to come to the Emirates. If we win those games, we are within one point of them. 
"We are confident they will drop points – we just have to keep battling and improving and get the three points every week.
"United rotated their team on Saturday [against Fulham] and did well, but I think playing in Europe is going to catch up with them. It's important we get our recovery now and look forward to the Liverpool game."
There is no doubt our run in is very tough. It's even tougher because we should have won the three games we drew against West Brom, Sunderland and Blackburn.

But as Jack says, win against Liverpool and Tottenham and we can be within a point of them by the time they come to play Everton at Old Trafford on April 23.

It's a big ask, but I'm sure that Arsene Wenger has got these players motivated to give their all, because this is their chance. There is no coming back next season and trying to win the league again. I would even go so far as to say, some of these players won't get another chance like this to win a trophy with Arsenal.

Robin van Persie is of the same opinion. It's now or never.

"I believe we have turned the corner. We have seven games to play and it's up to us now.
"Our aim is to win all seven because we have it in ourselves, we just have to prove it now. We are a great team and it's up to us.
"We needed this. In the last couple of weeks we didn't win so we are very pleased."
Five days of good training will stand these players in good stead for the Liverpool game. Then it's on to White Hart Lane. Always a tough game.

There is of course a piece of transfer speculation to end on. It is in the form of our old friend and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who we are being told is not for sale by the Italian club, according to The Sun.

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