Saying Arsenal-news is scant would be putting it mildly, today. With the dust settling after some all-important international friendlies, Wenger’s ire has been as forecast as it is true.
Mathieu Flamini of course was the high profile injury scare after the international-round, though since then the player has come out and said the injury is far from what we all feared. The midfielder says:
“It is just a little tight spot behind the right thigh. It is nothing serious, I hope I’ll be ready for Blackburn.“
We’ll leave that for the club-physios to decide, but I’m sure he knows the gist of his bodily makeup. In the end, the only other news to report on is what actually happened in the international matches: Senderos captained his country as Switzerland lost 1-2 to England (said as if England was some far-off oriental country), Lehmann got a hammering in the local press even as he kept a clean-sheet for Germany, Bendtner and Walcott both scored for their respective teams while Eduardo did not have the best of days for Croatia.
Arsenal.com have put up a report showing key seasons with the first teams to break the 60-point barrier in each season – Arsenal broke the threshold first this season, in the same number of matches as the Invincibles did several seasons ago. While not jumping to too many conclusions, it’s lead a few people including myself to have a look at the fixture list immediately before us.
February is dominated by ‘non-Premiership’ matches, being the FA Cup fixture against Manchester United and our Champions League welcoming of the Italian matchfixers. Of the league matches to be played, one involved a win against Manchester City a few days ago, with only Blackburn at home and Birmingham away to be played later on.
Manchester United have their local derby against City at home and eventually travel to Newcastle for a game at St James’, while Chelsea have a Liverpool side to fend off at Stamford Bridge as their solitary league commitment for the remainder of the month.
Barring an absolute stuff-up, Arsenal should be getting maximum points from these fixtures. Even as badly as we were playing last season, we annihilated a Blackburn side 6-2 at home, and while that scoreline may not happen again, a win by anything should at least be expected. The Birmingham ghost should be put to rest at St Andrew’s, too.
Will Manchester United fumble their lines in the big Munich tribute – especially with their nifty AIG logo next to their ‘we remember’ slogan, don’t bet that they wont. A trip to Tyneside is somewhat tricky as well, though it would be no surprise to see their getting maximum points from their outings as well.
In the end, the point is that the league is not going to be decided this month, despite what some members of the press have been saying. Only one thing could possibly distract said competitors from the job at hand, and that is the Champions League and cup commitments – While Arsenal and Manchester United have each other in the FA Cup and Milan and Lyon respectively, Chelsea have their date with Olympiacos, Huddersfield in the FA Cup and Tottenham in the League Cup – the only bet I’d be willing to have is on Chelsea fading away in the league for the sake of those competitions.
Which of course, would be hilarious in its own right – Chelsea were famous for being a cup team way back when, and after millions of pounds spent, still are.
Hopefully there’s something proper to report soon. Good night, all.