Morning all. I wish the weather would make up its mind today. Cold for five minutes, warm for ten.
The news is only slightly more colourful today, with Francesc Fabregas Soler telling all who care to listen that the ‘Cesc-Boom‘ (que?) is going strong in England, compared to Spain, where apparently, Arsenal and Liverpool are ‘not Real Madrid’. Quite right, Cescy. Two clubs (heck, almost all of the entirety of English clubs in general) who used their own resources (until the last few years) to play within their means instead of going bankrupt a million times to afford the Pushkas’ of the world, only to be bailed out by the Spanish royal family just as many times, to win the league and euro competitions with a healthy bankroll. I really, really do not like Spanish clubs. Cesc goes on to say a lot of stuff about Spain, mostly, going on about experience and the like.
I mention experience (and imply, laterally) as to bring up young players, which Hoyte and Nordtveit certainly are. Justin Hoyte has spoken to Arsenal.com about the competition for the right-back spot, saying:
“Yes the competition is tough but it is the same as last year with Emmanuel Eboue playing and Mathieu Flamini in there sometimes too. Competition is good for us and good for the team. Hopefully I can work hard in training and break into the team. I just want to play as much as I can.“
And doesn’t he just have a lot of work to do. I’m glad to see he’s at the very least ‘reluctant’ to leave, and is a Gooner at heart. I would not say ‘right him off’, just yet. There were moments last season (Spurs, First leg, Carling Cup Semi) where he showed brilliant wing play and defensive solidarity that should definitely keep Eboue on his toes. All on paper, of course. The theory of that doesn’t take into account what Sagna offers, which is even greater defensive nous and strong gallops up the wings. I really like Justin, though. He gives the squad that casual, cool Caribbean look when everyone’s running in for a hug. Best of luck to him.
As for Harvard Nordtveit, Wenger has spoken extremely highly of him on the club’s official site, saying
“He is very mature. In fact I have rarely seen a boy of his age so mature. Physically we need to get him up to the Premiership level, at the moment he is a bit behind. But technically and tactically he is already there. He is an intelligent boy with good vision. He has a good pass out from the back and he is strong too.“
We’ve heard similar things said about Cesc, already mentioned. It’s a reason to be positive, you’d gather.
In a quick round up of other news, Jens Lehmann has not been included in Germany’s squad to face Romania, and hence will probably be unfit to face Spurs. I would not have put him ahead of Almunia, anyway. It’s just not justice, people. Other than that, Aaron Lennon of Tottenham fame has been declared fit to play against us.
And it’s with Spurs that I end off. Do not for once write them off – if anything, it will mirror our season last year that we could play so badly to start with, and then beat a huge rival against the run of play so comprehensively. I still believe that Arsenal should win (and perhaps comfortably), but our own cockiness will be the first thing that hurts us. At least we’re playing away from home, which should keep the players aware of the task at hand.
And with that, it’s another signing off to get done.
*Sign off: Completed*.