Looking Ahead To A Clash with Old RivalsBy: Sairax | December 11th, 2010
A weekend without Arsenal just isn’t as much fun is it? It already feels like Monday can’t come soon enough. It’s a big match, first place v second place, and one that has a history of being intense and full of drama. That’s why recent comments from Patrice Evra can still get us all fired up before a game, it’s all part of that age-old rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal. Need to refresh your memory?
Now if that doesn’t get you pumped up for the match, I don’t know what will. Martin has already written a great post about previous big clashes between our two clubs, you should check it out. With the title race being so wide open this season, we could really make a statement by beating ManUtd on Monday. They also have a match against Chelsea 6 days later, while Chelsea have a game against the Spuds this weekend, so it’s going to be a big week for the top of the table.
You might also notice that currently Manchester United are unbeaten in the league. The only reason they don’t have more points is that they have racked up too many draws. You may recall that Arsenal once had their own unbeaten record. In fact, we went a whole season unbeaten in the league. Then came the day where we were set to extend our run to 50 games unbeaten in the league. It was away at Old Trafford:
They ended our unbeaten run that day with that disgraceful display you can watch above. And now we have a chance to really take hold of the league and end their unbeaten run at the same time. Just a thought.
A quick news round up for you all. In the build up to the game on Monday, Fergie has asked the ManUtd supporters to stop chanting vile abuse at Wenger. I commend him for speaking out, though I’m not sure that will do much if those fans are not dealt with by security on the grounds.
In injury news, Gibbs is expected to be out 3 weeks with an ankle sprain, which is unfortunate. He can’t seem to catch a break with injuries these days. Djourou and Clichy are expected to be fit for the clash, and Fabregas is still a question mark. He’s trying his best to be fit for the clash, but he might only be ready for the bench from the looks of things. They will probably leave it until the last second to decide whether he’ll play, so we’re keeping our eyes on the situation.
In the world of transfers and the like, Wenger has stated that Almunia will not be sold in January even though his agent has come out and said Almunia wants to leave. In fact, Wenger says Almunia has no agent, so how could said agent have talked to the press? This is all very bizarre indeed, but I think that there is still a very good chance that Almunia could be gone in the next transfer window, especially with reports that Malaga are interested in taking him. With regards to other transfers, it seems our little Brazilian wunderkind Wellington Silva was denied a work permit and will not be able to join the team in January. The plan now is to send him on loan and most probably appeal the decision on the permit. It’s all a bit complicated, but you can get all the best information on the situation from Young Guns Blog who is following the story. It’s unfortunate for Wellington since everyone was so excited to see him join up with us, but hopefully a good loan spell will be sorted out for him and he can come back to Arsenal within a reasonable amount of time.
Finally, some random links: Marcel Desailly talks about Samir Nasri being the surprise package in this year’s Premier League season; a closer look at Arsenal’s WAGs teaming up to help orphans in Zambia; and Tony Adams talks about his experiences in Azerbaijian. It’s a really interesting read and of course TA mentions that if he were to ever manage a team in England, it would be the Arsenal. Martin Keown also weighs in on his mate’s decision to go so far away to become a coach in a league most people have never heard of.
That’s it for today. Martin will be back tomorrow with an epic preview of our game on Monday. Make sure you also check out our contest where you can win a Dennis Bergkamp shirt! You have until kickoff on Monday to get your answers in, so hurry up and enter and good luck!