Let’s go with a different flavour today and start with a completely unknown African player who’s set to go on trial with Arsenal for just over a week. I’m sure that, on the wild assumption that Arsene reads the fans’ blogs out there, he must get a real kick out of hearing how rediculously bemused some people are by his scouting antics.
Nevertheless, Tresor Mputu is the boy’s name, and he’s reportedly on the shortlist to get a ten-day trial with Arsenal sometime over the coming months. To be fair, he’s only obscure to those not well versed in African football – Tresor is a full international for The Congo, and before anyone sniggers too much, two words: George Weah. Not saying that we’ve found the next one, but just that Wenger seems to know what he’s doing, more often than not.
In other news, Arsene Wenger has come out saying should Lehmann fight for his place, there is no reason to think that he will not be in the Starting XI once more. Arsene says:
“He is up for the challenge because he is 200% professional. Jens doesn’t want any presents. Jens wants to play because he thinks he is the best keeper. It makes it worse to put him in and out again. He has done nothing wrong. Almunia has been in the team and the team is doing well. It is as simple as that.“
Unless the German keeper’s been given a right hammering for his words to the press behind closed doors, I personally think it’s a foil to keep Almunia on his toes – the Spaniard’s made only one positional mistake of note against Manchester United, and is doing okay, to be fair. I’m sure the defence and keeper are used to each other by now, which is all the more reason to keep the status quo going for a little while longer.
In other news, Reading-man Gunnarson plans to mark Cesc out of the game like he did to Carrick and Scholes. Twisting the words a bit, it’s good to see Cesc is considered the full amalgamation of two players, bwahahaha. Eat that, Mancs.
Watching the league challengers sees Man Utd beat Blackburn Rovers 2-0 with a quickfire double from Christiano Ronaldo, the bastards. The Devils now top the league three points above Arsenal, who now have two games in hand – one about to be played tonight. Good news comes in the form of Chelsea losing it a bit, drawing 1-1 with Everton.
Reading-away Preview, and it predictably will be a much changed team from the 0-0 draw against Slavia several days ago, with the defence regathering some familiar faces, but that’s where the predictability of calling this side ends.
Having gone through the difficult patch of Liverpool, Manchester United and Slavia awaw, we should see the 4-5-1 abandoned in favour of the more attacking 4-4-2 formation.
Adebayor should keep his place, with his partner being one of Eduardo or Walcott. Eduardo should start ahead of the Englishman, as Wenger continues to try and adjust the Croazillian to the English game and using Walcott as an impact player off of the bench.
With Rosicky’s injury, I do see him coming off the bench as well, with Hleb switching to the left wing and Eboue bombing down the right. Fabregas picks himself, with Flamini favoured over Gilberto to bite back at any Reading players even thinking of living up to their ‘kicking’-promises.
With a bench of Lehmann, Senderos, Gilberto, Rosicky and Walcott, is this team good enough for a win at the Madejski? So long as they can reignite their fighting-for-every-ball ethic, I think they should be able to win this match without too many problems. Reading have geared themselves up for this match, make no mistake, and the whole ‘English-bravado’ of Coppell will have an ego that would not want any bruising. 1-0 to the Arsenal?
Here’s hoping for 3 points, regardless of the scoreline. I once won a college tipping/predict-the-scores competition when the 2006 World Cup was on, but I’ve since lost my aura in that department. I frankly don’t care. Come on, you Guuuuuuuunnersssss..!