Hello again. For those that care, the movie I told you I was seeing last night – Mutum – turned out to be pretty damn good. If you’re a lover of international film then I highly recommend it. I’m sure Brazilian readers of the blog (if I have any!) will know what I mean.
Arsenal’s pre-season preparations continued overnight with a virtual reserve-team outfit accounting for Huddersfield 2-1 in a friendly match to honour the late, great Herbert Chapman. The Arsenal boys fell behind in the 75th minute to a goal to Huddersfield’s James Berret but were able to turn it around through two late goals from subsitutes Sanchez Watt and Nacer Barazite.
There were some notable names in the run-on side, including Lukasz Fabianski, Johan Djourou, Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela, but virtually the entire starting team were substituted at half-time. I’ve no idea how the game went as I didn’t get to watch it, so if you did manage to catch the game please fill me and all the other readers in on the highlights.
One player who did feature in the game was Justin Hoyte. The Englishman has been speaking about his future at the club and is hoping to take the chances when they are presented to him this season.
In his own words:
“Obviously I just want to play as many games as I can and hopefully I’ll do that. When I do get a chance I have to show the manager I am as good as Bac so I keep my place.”
Hoyte’s persistence and belief is admirable but I have always been of the opinion that he is just not a good enough player for Arsenal. There is no way he will be able to show the manager that he is as good as Bacary Sagna simply because he’s not. Sagna is a phenomenal right-back and Hoyte is, at this stage, distinctly average.
I really don’t know what else to say about Hoyte. As I said, his persistence and belief – not to mention his loyalty to the club – is admirable but does anyone else get the feeling that he’s just not going to make it at Arsenal? Last season when Sagna was injured Wenger chose to play Kolo Toure at right-back and I think that says it all really. I’d suggest that even Emmanuel Eboue was ahead of him in the pecking order so it’s going to take some pretty impressive improvement to turn that around. Good luck to him I guess.
The manager has also been a bit chatty since the Huddersfield game, speaking in particular about the fitness of Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo and the impact that their time out of the game will have on his decision to dip into the transfer market.
Wenger was quoted as saying:
“We believe Tomas could be available in September and Eduardo maybe in November. If we have everybody on board and nobody injured then [OK] but maybe we could do to take one more experienced player.”
While it’s certainly good news that Rosicky and Eduardo are progressing so well I think – and I know I’m not alone here – that we could do with one more experienced player regardless of their fitness. Indeed, we’re still one man short in the centre of the park after Gilberto Silva and Mathieu Flamini’s respective exits and the manager needs to fill the hole with a new signing.
Whether it’s Xabi Alonso or not – and I do think it will be I – I don’t really care, but Wenger absolutely needs to make another midfield signing. I know that Amaury Bischoff has come in but even the manager has admitted that he is a bit of a gamble so more work needs to be done to secure an additional central midfielder based on the efforts Wenger appears to be putting in.
Next up I want to announce the final results of yesterday’s Wednesday Poll. For those who missed it, the question was: “Has Adebayor won your heart back yet?” and the four responses were “Yep, most definitely”, “No, still got a lot more to do”, “He’ll never win my heart back!” and “I never had a problem with him in the first place”.
I have to say that it was a pretty predictable outcome with 57% of voters admitting the big striker still has a long way to go to winning their heart back. Interestingly the next highest selection was “I never had a problem with him in the first place” which suggests he may not have done too much wrong during his contract negotiations.
As always, I’m interested to hear what you think about – so be sure to leave a comment. Indeed, if you’re a regular reader of the blog and you’ve never had the guts to leave a comment then why not give it a go today? We won’t bite.
Oh and last but not least is the stunning news regarding West Ham’s termination of Freddie Ljungberg’s contract overnight. It’s a huge fall from grace for my all-time favourite player and another perfect illustration of Wenger’s ability to let his players go at exactly the right time. From the bottom of my heart I hope that Freddie bounces back soon because I think there is still a place for him somewhere in the game.
Speak to you tomorrow.
Have your say on Huddersfield, Hoyte, Adebayor or the need for a midfielder by leaving a comment.