Indeed it is. So another crap performance away at Fulham, but a decent result for a change as RvP’s excellent strike with his chocolate leg from a fantastic through ball by Cesc, coupled with some sublime work by Vito Mannone to keep the home side out, sees us win 1-0.
Before the game about 200 of us cruised along the river Thames from Westminster, out east before turning around and heading for Putney. The sun was shining, songs were vocal and the beer was flowing resulting in a quality pre-game for all!
Right, so, the plus points. Mannone was awesome with some fine reaction saves from close range, while the defence did a decent job limiting Fulham’s chances. Song also had a relatively good game, helping to protect the back four and winning the majority of tackles in the middle of the park. The negatives? Well we looked quite lethargic at times, struggling to find any rhythm or indeed our own players at times. Diaby was probably the most guilty of losing possession cheaply, how he is starting ahead of the likes of Vela and Ramsey is beyond me. Rosicky will, i would imagine, replace him in the starting lineup once fully fit, but Diaby continues to blow hot and cold too regularly to be taken as a starter.
One of those blowing more cold than hot at the moment is Cesc. Aside from his killer ball to RvP for the goal on Saturday he was practically anonymous, as was Arshavin. It’s hard to say if there’s something legitimately wrong there and that they’re genuinely not happy (suggestions from others about Cesc’s body language showing that he’s regretting not moving during the summer are probably a tad OTT), or if they’re simply just out of form. They’re human and it happens, but no doubt we’ll get all the bollocks about Barcelona resurface soon!
The club published their financial results yesterday, showing healthy profits, much to many people’s annoyance following our lack of activity in the transfer market and areas in the squad that need addressing. Peter Hill-Wood delivering the news with all the tact and guile of Prince Phillip! Interestingly though he stated that funds were, and always have been, available for transfers, and for the first time stated that it was Wenger’s belief in his project that prevented us bringing in players in the last window, the boss added that one of his objectives, aside from making winning teams, was to ensure that the club made money.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, but shouldn’t the business side of the club not lie with the board rather than the manager? Otherwise you have a conflict of interest. You may want to buy someone like Yaya Toure as he would improve an area of the squad that needs addressing, so you shouldn’t be also trying to crunch the numbers working out when your next gas bill is due! If the manager needs cash to make a winning team then he should be fighting tooth and nail to get it if its available. I’m not asking for us to live beyond our means here and do a Leeds, but a little outlay from the highest ticket prices in the country towards squad improvement would be nice. I guess he still believes that Song, Diaby, Eboue can win us the league. Hmmm……..
Anyway, Olympiacos at home tonight in the CL.Team news is Bendtner is out after crashing his car on Sunday, nothing serious but enough to rule him out for one game. Denilson’s back injury is worse than initially feared, turns out to be a fracture similar to the one that ruled Gilberto out for most of the season a few years back, he’s expected to miss 8 weeks. Eduardo is back in the squad after missing Fulham for whatever reason it was, while Theo is in/out of the squad depending on what you’re reading!
Tonight won’t be easy, Brazilian legend Zico, who did great things getting Fenerbache onto the CL scene, is now at the helm of the Greek outfit, while familliar faces will feature, namely Matt Derbyshire formerly of Blackburn fame, while ex-Villain Olof Mellburg is marshalling their back four, which has only conceded twice in their opening ten games this season. Plus we’ll no doubt make things hard for ourselves as usual. But here’s hoping for a win and an improvement of recent form.
COME ON YOU REDS!