Flooding in this part of Australia today. Lovely British-simulation, really.
Arsenal news sees Mad Jens Lehmann ‘crocked’ for the Man City game after doing in his Achilles tendon. Is it really an injury? Is it Wenger sparing Jens from any further cock-ups? It is one thing to make two ghastly mistakes in two league matches, but it really would be putting untold pressure on your person knowing you’ve gone and done ‘one a game’, thus far. Give him a month or so, and that pressure will be allayed. Almunia hasn’t had this kind of opportunity to prove himself since the 04/05 season, and I honestly think he’s a much better keeper than back then, anyway. That bizzare peroxide hairdo of his seems to have brought the monkey out of him. All the best, we hope.
Of course, with Lehmann and Gallas both out, our defence is once-again rearranged. We can only hope that Senderos rediscovers his partnership with Kolo Toure, and that Almunia is fitting of his place, there. Sagna, encouragingly, should give Senderos a slightly newer lease of life, I feel.
The far more interesting news concerns tactics; mainly, Alex Hleb not being played in a support-striker role on a permanent basis. Totally understandable and valid a reason, sure. But then I recently had to move house because the owner’s father had taken ill and needed the room. Another valid reason, that ushers a rather noticable *sigh*, as such. I can be happy with that analogy at least. Hleb, in the two games and friendlies he’s played in this role, has been nothing short of brilliant. But now, with Adebayor making his return against Man City tomorrow, and Eduardo challenging for a place, two strikers up front is what Arsene will barrack for. The saving grace is, of course, that we now have formation-options within matches, or between matches, to change tactics as seen fit. Whether Arsene becomes a ‘adapt-to-the-team’ manager is to be seen. If we were playing a Big4 (™®©) team, perhaps Hleb would slot in there in an attempt to ‘outpass’ the opposition. Against anyone else, excpect Alex to be on the wing somewhere, and Eduardo, Ade or van Persie slugging it out for a spot up front.
For those looking for an hallucinogenic fix, try Arsenal-mania’s new site design: Drag your scroller up and down and watch the jiggling-fun. My eyes are quite sore, now. (For those that haven’t noticed, I’ve taken it upon myself to laud/chastise people’s site layouts – Like the oscars, really. Sitting on my soapbox that I justified for myself. The irony is evident.)
In other news, Arsene Wenger has given ol’ Sven a pat on the back. That, and Gilberto Silva, after starring roles in Arsenal’s rehabilitation hot-tub, is set to travel to the opposite end of the Earth to play in some friendlies. Annoying, ever so slightly, agreed?
Man City preview tomorrow. That, and more rain. Until then.