No Arsenal players reported injured on international duty
With the exception of Johan Djourou, who returned to Arsenal earlier in the week with swelling in his kneecap, it appears that our players have escaped their international matches unscathed. It’s always possible that some niggle or tweak will surface in the next day or two, but for now, no news is good news.
Eduardo was the only gunner to find the back of the net in yesterday’s matches, but several of our players contributed to their international teams. The most notable participation, however, belongs to Vermaelen. He played 45 minutes without incident. Hopefully this is an indication that he could start Saturday if the boss believes he’s had enough preparation.
I was going to provide a detailed summary of each player’s performance for their country, but I discovered that the job has been thoroughly completed on another site. Rather than duplicating someone else’s hard work, and doing any real work myself, I thought I’d just offer you this link.
Naturally, the international fixtures resulted in a quiet day for club football news. Very little seems to be going on in the transfer market, but there was an interesting article suggesting that Brede Hangeland could arrive at Arsenal by Saturday. The story is rather circuitous but supposedly originates with Norweigan newspaper reports due out this morning. I must admit that I’d like this report to be true, but severely doubt its veracity. Arsene Wenger wouldn’t panic into an important transfer just because one or two defenders are suffering minor injuries. In fact, Arsene Wenger wouldn’t panic into an important transfer under any circumstances.
There are some signs that point to Hangeland arriving at Arsenal, but with one player leaning our way, the natural order of the universe demands that another player lean away. To keep the equation balanced, the French newspaper L’Equipe is now reporting that Arsenal are likely out of the race for Chamakh after refusing to increase our 6 million Pound offer. Again, I’m not sure that I take this story at its word. Apparently Arsenal’s bid is still the biggest on offer and the player will leave for free next summer if he doesn’t move now. I’m not sure that Fulham’s smaller offer is made any tastier by the addition of Diamansy Kamara. While we’re clearly playing hardball with Bordeaux, I get the impression that we are still squarely in the middle of this saga.
As far as our interest in the Serbian defender Subotic goes, his agent denies that there’s been any contact. That would mean that an English tabloid fabricated the story, which would be a shocking turn of events.
The touching news of the day comes from the mouth of Alex Hleb. The internet is chock full of stories about his regret at leaving Arsenal. He’s full of praise for Arsene Wenger and love for the Gunners and admits that his departure was a dreadful career move. Hleb explains in detail what makes Arsene such a tremendous manager and how Wenger was responsible for his development as a player. It’s tempting to dismiss Hleb as a spoiled athlete who got what he had coming to him. And that probably sums it up. But I will say that it’s impressive for a modern athlete to have any introspection and remorse these days. So bravo Alex, now go have fun at Stuttgart…right back where you started. If his career was a game of Chutes and Ladders, Alex would have just slid down the huge chute at the end of the game that takes you right back to the beginning.
And that about does it for today…Wait! I’ve forgotten the bombshell news of the day. You might want to sit down. (Which I’ll assume you’re doing because it’s weird to stand up while you’re reading on the internet.) Nicklas Bendtner has changed his number from 26, to 52. That’s right, he’s now twice the player he was last season, literally. Now before you panic over the shirt you’ve purchased with the number 26 emblazoned on the back, Nik has offered to pay for your upgrade to this new, more exciting shirt. And after all, you can’t just show up at the stadium or a pub wearing a Bendtner shirt with the wrong number on it, now can you? Absolutely not. And now you won’t have to. Let’s just hope that the doubling of his number corresponds to the doubling of his goal tally and not merely the doubling of his squandered goal opportunities. If you want some other possibilities for why Bendtner chose the number 52 (besides his statement that it’s a lucky number for him), just check out Gunnerblog. (Warning: Gunnerblog’s explanation may cause headaches.)
And NOW we’ve covered all the relevant news of the day.
Tomorrow I’ll try to publish some rough shot attempt at a season preview.