We’re getting close kids! The Charity.. sorry… Community Shield is this weekend, featuring the Arsenal Retirement Home versus the Northern Scum. It’s a match that I rarely get excited about other than it being the flare that is sent up to warn of proper football coming shortly. So there is only a week of preparations to get through before we can see our lads in serious action again.
First up in that preparation is The Amsterdam Tournament, which is working out as an ideal warm up for the match up against FC Twente, currently being mismanaged by Steve ‘Euro2008 Commentator’ McClaren. I think Arsene will be feeling pretty confident that Steve poses little threat in terms of tactical awareness, and the run out against Ajax is ideal.
Of course in the background there is plenty of stuff going on. The newspapers have taken to linking us with every centre midfielder in the known universe for one thing, and so far we look no closer to signing one – something that Arsene has publicly acknowledged. It is odd though – if we need a new midfielder, and I realise the transfer window is still open for a while yet, that we wouldn’t try to get someone in before the season started rather than during its first month. But Denilson has played well in the few run outs he has, and the lure of a first team place will hopefully push him to become the great player he has the potential to be. His challenger for that spot, Abou Diaby, needs to stop hanging out with Tomas Rosicky and RvP if he wants to claim the spot – he has been far too injury prone in recent months, or most of his Arsenal career if you want to be cynical, although Sunderland’s hatchet man Matt Smith had a hand in that. I still doubt whether he has it in him to last a whole campaign. And keeping with the script the gangly Vieira wannabe is injured once again, FFS! What is it with our players, the season hasn’t even started and we’ve got more casualties than a party thrown by Michael Barrymore. Scarily, Ebouseless got a run at centre midfield against ‘Ze Germans’, which I’m hoping was merely a plan to get him some fitness and not a test run for yet another position switch.
Meanwhile Jack ‘Wonderkid of the week’ Wilshere is impressing everyone still – enough so that he has been given a first team squad position. I can’t imagine that he’ll see much of the Premier League, despite Arsene assertion that he wouldn’t be afraid to throw him in, but it is still wonderful to have such a hot prospect, an English one at that, coming through the ranks. I’m sure Gael Clichy is wondering what the hell is going on with him consistently being one of the oldest players on the pitch for us in the warm up games.
And first up we get West Brom, who are fresh up from the Championship. They’ll be out for an upset so it’ll be a tougher game than it looks on paper but hopefully we’ll knock the confidence out of them early on and from there it will be a steady slide into oblivion. I’m particularly keen to see Samir Nasri take the field – if he can be more of a Pires than a Hleb then I think we’ll challenge for honours again this season. If not, we obviously need younger players!
Roll on The Amsterdam Tournament enjoy it Gooner’s, the real curtain raiser for ‘proper football’! C’mon on The Arsenal.
By Paul Wright Allgoonerdup roving reporter.
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Lets get commenting Gooners…