First things first today I just want to say a big ‘thank-you’ to all the Aussie Arsenal supporters who left their comments on yesterday’s post – they were most appreciated. Cheers also to the other supporters around the world who left their thoughts as well. It’s amazing to think this blog has readers from Mexico, France, Switzerland and South Africa (to name but a few) as well as virtually every major city – and some not so major – in Australia.
The idea to develop some sort of a pub community in Australia via the blog seems to be something that a lot of you want to get involved in and as such I will pursue the potential with the folks at Arsenal Australia. I’ll let you know how things progress.
Moving on now and virtually all of the Arsenal news around the place at the moment relates to Euro 2008. The tournament kicks off in just over ten days and with a multitude of Arsenal players on show in Switzerland and Austria it will be essential viewing.
One of the lesser-known Arsenal players who will be looking to impress is Johan Djourou. Although he plays as a central defender for both club and country, Djourou today spoke of his desire to have the opportunity to play as a defensive midfielder at some point in the future.
“Playing in front of the defence is the position where my qualities are expressed best. Arsene Wenger says this to me too. Unfortunately, we do not play a system which enables me to hold this spot, like Claude Makelele does with Chelsea. [As such] I have not had many possibilities of showing my midfield capabilities. I hope my chance will come in the next few years.”
Is it a case of the manager trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? There’s no question that he had a difficult season just passed, struggling on loan while at Birmingham and spending most of the time on the injury table after to returning to Arsenal midway through the campaign. As such, it will be interesting to see how things pan out both during Euro 2008 and over the next few seasons.
In other news Arsenal-bound attacking midfielder Samir Nasri apparently had a ripper of a game for France overnight, running the show in his country’s 2-0 win over Ecuador. Substitute striker Bafétimbi Gomis (what a name!) may have grabbed the goals but according to the player ratings dished out by Goal.com Nasri was the star performer, finishing up with a score of 8.5. It doesn’t need saying that a few 8.5 performances for Arsenal next season by Nasri would be most welcome. He’ll certainly be one to watch for France as Euro 2008 rolls on.
To complete the sprinkling of Euro 2008-related news it was announced yesterday that every Arsenal supporter’s favourite little Spaniard – Cesc Fabregas – has been given his country’s Number 10 jersey for the tournament. Fabregas is yet to start a major competition for Spain as a first-choice player but after the award of the Number 10 shirt it seems he is set to line up in the starting team for their first game against “Golden” Guus Hiddink’s Russia on June 10. I will definitely have a soft spot for the Russians in this tournament after everything that Hiddink did for Australia in the World Cup in Germany but I’m also hoping the Fabregas has a good tournament as well.
The final news of the day is that Real Madrid look set to bid for Alex Hleb. I said a couple of days ago after it was confirmed that Hleb would be leaving that I couldn’t care less where he ends up playing but having said that, the more club’s that want him the more money Arsenal will get for his sale. So all in all, good news I feel.
And that’s about it. Once again, thanks to everyone for their great feedback yesterday. If you went MIA I encourage you to leave a comment today and let me know what you think. Have a good one.
What do you think?
Have your say on Djourou, Nasri, Fabregas or Hleb by leaving a comment.