Hello all. Apologies for my absence in the week that has seen the return of the dreaded international break. Looking back at the news it seems little of real interest happened.
In the wake of the defeat at Old Trafford the players responded as one would expect. I have to say I felt for the skipper. Thomas Vermaelen found himself back in the side at short notice and I thought gave a very good account of himself. Reflecting afterwards he said,
“We’re still top of the league and need to keep the confidence we’ve had over the last couple of weeks. There’s no reason for that to change dramatically. We’re still confident we can win games and we have a long way to go.”
On Tuesday the boss was persuaded to engage in a Twitter takeover. Cue several thousand tweets about coats and zips. Enough said about that. Wojciech Szczesny spoke of the perception, one I feel that is justified, that he has improved considerably this season. For him any difference is only mental, but I cannot help but feel that he has made fewer bad decisions this season than when he went through a temporary blip last season.
“It comes down to maturity. The older you get, the more games you play and you know how to deal with things, you know how to prepare for things. It is not only about being professional, it is also about being relaxed and you don’t feel that when you have played 10 or 15 games at the top level.”
On Wednesday it was the turn of the excellent Arsenal Ladies to make the news as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 3-2 win in Glasgow. They may have surrendered their league title this season but they continue to be leading lights in the womens game.
By Thursday there was so little news that the usual fabrications about our impending signings in the January window. As ever I have no desire to fuel such nonsense, other than to say I won’t believe Emile Heskey is an Arsenal player until he is unveiled at Highbury House at midnight on January 31st. The players we have got seem to be developing a tight bond, something highlighted by Jack Wilshere.
“We’ve been out a few times. We didn’t do it for a couple of years but over the last six months we go out for team dinners and we meet up outside of football, which is good for the team. Sometimes you just want to get away from football, you want to sit down and talk about life, your family and things like that. We’ve been doing that this season and it’s really showing on the pitch. We’ve done really well this season and towards the end of last season; I think the team spirit plays a massive part in that.”
Yesterday was international day. Headlines were grabbed by Laurent Koscielny for all the wrong reasons. Foolishly he got involved in a spat and a less than convincing slap sent Oleksandr “Linda Lovelace” Kucher plunging theatrically. That is a red card every time, and he will now miss the critical second-leg of the World Cup play-off against Ukraine. Things do not look too healthy for the French, beaten 2-0 on the night.
As if to rescue a pretty bare week this morning Arsenal have announced the signing of a new long-term deal by the ‘improved even if he doesn’t think so’ Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal have acted in the last year to secure the future of their best young players and it is good to see Wojciech among that group.
So that was the week that was. Have a cracking weekend ‘holics, and thanks for popping by again.