After all that frantic scurrying around to seal the Arshavin transfer, it’s all gone a bit quiet, hasn’t it? Since then, even the media have been so shorn of ideas that they’ve resorted to making up stories about how the deal was completed late, even though the Premier League had already confirmed that the papers arrived in time but they were so short staffed that they processed them, along with many others, on the Tuesday.
Despite the storm the press tried to whip up, the other nineteen Premiership clubs saw the evidence and declared themselves happy, so only Reading’s Steve Coppell had a whinge, calling the deal ‘a total sham’. That Coppell was so easily duped into believing the garbage is embarrassing enough, but quite frankly what has it to do with him anyway?
Back to the matters in hand, and tomorrow we make the short trip to White Hart Lane, attempting to continue what is nearly ten years of unbeaten league matches against our local rivals. Despite this, Spurs are in confident mood, and have new signings of their own, albeit those they let go in the first place. Their transfer policy gets more entertaining by the day.
It is our only away game in a month that we should do well in. Tomorrow’s short hop is followed by home games against Sunderland and Fulham, and cup games at home to Cardiff and Roma. It is a real opportunity to get back on track, especially with Villa having a busy month, including league trips to Blackburn and Everton, and another game with Chelsea wrapped around a UEFA Cup trip to Moscow. If we are still behind them come March, we can start worrying.
As for everyone’s favourite Russian, I would be surprised if he featured either tomorrow or against Cardiff a week on Monday. With match sharpness still missing, it should be a slow build up, but by the turn of the month, when the games begin to take on real significance and difficulty, we should be looking for him to make the impact we’re hoping for.
That said, he might be on the bench tomorrow, but with Eboue fit again (quelle surprise), we have the same options we’ve had for a while, and they should be enough for February.
Enjoy the game tomorrow, fingers crossed Ade silences them yet again.