Greetings from a very sunny Brisbane. After a weekend of drizzly rain the sun is out and it’s a glorious sight. Still a bit chilly though, for our standards, and that means I’m rugged up on the couch as I write this.
Before I move onto today’s Arsenal news I want to clarify a couple of things from yesterday’s post, where I spoke about the central-defensive options in our squad and who I would like to see begin next season as the starting pair. I went with William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen (or Johan Djourou) and unsurprisingly I received a fair bit of criticism about leaving Kolo Toure out of that selection.
Some people seemed to be of the opinion that I don’t like Toure or would like to see him go. This is untrue. All I said yesterday was that I feel that Gallas is a better player than Toure and given their inability to gel as a pair, I’d prefer to see the Frenchman start ahead of the Ivorian. It’s nothing personal, just that I feel Gallas is a stronger player at this stage of their respective careers and I think he showed that in the second half of the season after being stripped of the captaincy.
One point I was trying to make yesterday was that given a choice between keeping Gallas or Toure at the club, I would keep Gallas. As well as being based on my opinion that he is a better player, it also takes into account the fact that the Toure would command a far higher transfer fee and that he is due to head to the African Cup of Nations for a couple of months at the start of 2010. As such, I feel that losing Gallas would have a far greater impact on the short-term future of the club and I would prefer him to stay.
That said, I would certainly like Toure to stay at Arsenal as well. Previous seasons have showed that we need as much depth as possible and I think going into next season with Gallas or Toure providing the experienced half of the defensive pairing and Vermaelen and Djourou providing the up and coming half, things look pretty good. Alex Song and Mikael Silvestre could provide emergency cover while I can’t really see Philippe Senderos staying at the club.
Someone made the suggestion yesterday that I have been racist towards Toure and the other Africans in the squad which I want to stress is absolutely untrue. I’m a huge admirer of Toure and Alex Song and I’ve stated many times before that Emmanuel Adebayor is my favourite Arsenal player. While I felt his attitude last season was poor and I feel it’s probably best for the club and player that he leaves, I’m also of the opinion if he was to get his head right and choose to stay then I’d be the first to welcome him back. I must admit that Emmanuel Eboue frustrates me beyond belief with his diving and attitude at times but the notion that this is because he is African is laughable.
Anyway, I hope that clears things up and I just want to do quick news round-up to finish things off today:
- Although there’s been no word on the official Arsenal website, The Daily Star has claimed that Robin van Persie has signed an extension to his contract to keep him at the club until 2012. It’s obviously good news if true. Van Persie is a huge favourite of the fans enjoyed his best season at Arsenal in 2008/09 and to lose him at this stage of his career would be very disappointing.
- Nicklas Bendtner’s father has refuted claims that his son is interested in joining Roma. Apparently the Bendtner’s are on holiday in Rome and some jerk of a journalist has started the rumour that he is there to cut a deal. Yawn.
- Abou Diaby is getting personal conditioning training over the break to prepare himself for next season. I think it shows there is fire in the belly of a player who is often criticised for being lackadaisical and lazy. I’m still of the opinion that he’ll come good and hopefully his efforts will improve his on-field performances next season.
And that, my friends, is that. Enjoy your Tuesday and please refrain from calling me a racist! Or ugly. Or stupid. Wahhh.
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