Apr 032009

Quite a bit to get through today, which tells you that the international break is finally over.

Firstly, the team news for tomorrow’s game with Man City sees Cesc, Adebayor and Walcott return from their respective layoffs, but van Persie, Eduardo, Diaby, Nasri and Vela miss out. None of those injured appear to be out for long, with Diaby and Van Persie perhaps the two that may miss the most playing time.

But with Cesc returning, injury niggles can be put aside to look forward to the prospect of his link up play with Arshavin. Both make runs and spot runs, and the thought of the two of them in the same team is likely to terrify opposition. I also think Walcott’s return is critical – he was building up some real momentum before he got injured, and his pace could make the difference towards the end of games.

With Bendtner carrying a slight knock, I’d expect Adebayor to start up front, with Cesc back in midfield, but Theo might remain on the bench to be an impact sub late on. Having said that, we are short of wide options – Arshavin may start on the right, but with Nasri, Vela, Eduardo and Diaby out, we’ve lost our entire left side. Gibbs may even be called upon to fill the gap, as Denilson is likely to start in the centre.

Next season, we may have another wide option in the form of the returning Armand Traore, who is determined to make an impact when his loan at Portsmouth ends. He’s got the talent, no doubt about it, and I have a feeling his future lies in midfield, rather than as Clichy’s understudy – he has been playing a more advanced role for Pompey, and seems to be adapting to that very well. I’d like the see the boy succeed, he’s got the ability and he has his head screwed on.

Elsewhere, we all know about Barca’s president talking about what a great signing Cesc would be. Yep, and winning the lottery would be a good thing too. Let’s leave the transfer talk until the summer though – with Spanish presidential elections going on it’ll be as ridiculous as ever.

Right now, we have more important things to think about – a win over City would put Villa under enormous pressure for their trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, and would be the perfect preparation for Villareal.

Real football is back, and its crunch time. Enjoy.

  4 Responses to “Players returning, players absent, and players wanting to stay”

  1. Nice concise and factual blog. Makes for a fresh change. Well done.

  2. I read Barca are willing to pay £45M for Cesc. That would be tempting!

  3. nope… we cannot afford to let players leave now. We need atleast one season with our full strength and lets face it, the team now is as close to the invincibles as they can get.
    They have quality, hunger, desire and fire to go at the opposition. With nasri, cesc, andrey and theo in midfield… the team looks dominating and terrifying. Say what you may, the thing that has hurt us the most is loosing key players every season and not being able to replace them because they are unavailable i.e not for sale or too high priced.
    We need one good (very good) season where we have same team for atleast 2 years and the youngsters(:P teenagers for us) should be blended in the squad slowly under the guidance of senior players.

    NO.. No one should leave this summer.(not even ade… tho if we bring in Villa i wont mind). We may need to solidify our defense and we will win the trophy
    Even this year, the FA cup looks a good prospect and the CL doesnt look far ahead.

    Keep it up Gooners!!!!

  4. Very precise. Fact is, Cesc ain’t going no where. The Barca dn Real talks are just barks and no bite. Y would he want to leave? Iniesta and Xavi are stll there and Real is a team living on past glory. I bet he will leave i about 2yrs and by then we shoud have a replacement

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