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A Not So Good Friday For Arsenal

By Rachid Parchment

A happy Good Friday to everyone reading.

Ironically if you’re an Arsenal fan there’s not so much good about this Friday, unless you choose to look at it from a religious perspective or you won the lotto last night or you had a rather eventful start to the day with your significant other, but now I’m beginning to stray from the point.

We play Wigan tomorrow and injuries have grabbed us by the scruff of the neck at the moment. Added to the fact that William Gallas is done for the rest of the season, yesterday the club’s official site gave word that Gael Clichy is out for the next two weeks with a back problem (hopefully it’s not from having a “Good Friday” with his significant other). About the injury, Arsene Wenger had this to say:

“We lost Gael Clichy for two weeks with a back problem. We have to once again rely on the depth in the squad – that is quite strong. As well we have to rely on our mental strength because until now we have dealt well with all our injury problems”

On my last blog I considered whether it would be best to partner Kolo Toure at the back with the youthful legs of Johan Djourou or with the age and experience of Mikaël Silvestre. Now we have to add another player to the equation which would make us wonder if Wenger will partner Toure with Djourou and put Silvestre at left back or if he will partner Toure with Silvestre and put Kieran Gibbs at left back or of course give Djourou and Gibbs starts center back and left back respectively. My choice would be to put Djourou in with Toure and have Gibbs in at left back against the lesser teams and put Silvestre in against Villarreal and Chelsea. My reason for this being these are our next two cup ties and they’re our main priority right now and Silvestre’s experience could be very useful to us. That’s not to say that we’ve secured 4th and can afford to take our foot off the gas as that’s really not the case.

Gibbs has done well at left back so far this season and while he still has a couple things left to learn about the defensive aspect of the game he gets involved in the attack down the left hand side with Fran Merida and Andrey Arshavin very nicely, as we’ve seen in the Carling and Fa Cups this season.

Eduardo and Robin Van Persie will face late fitness tests before the game against Wigan tomorrow. Should they both be passed fit to play I doubt they’ll see much playing time tomorrow as Wenger will be mindful that we have the return leg against Villarreal in the Champions League just 4 days later. Maybe a cameo late in the 2nd half will be the most action they see, just to get some match fitness ahead of Wednesday.

While I’d rather overlook this, the reserves lost 3-0 to Tottenham last night. I really don’t feel like getting into a loss to Spurs right now so for more on that just click this. Tomas Rosicky was expected to feature at some point in the match after being out of action since January 08 but surprisingly he wasn’t even on the bench. Maybe it was a bit too hopeful of us to expect him back before the end of the season but it sure would be nice to have him to give us more options for rotation in the FA Cup and in the Champions League as well since Arshavin’s cup tied. Maybe we’ll see him feature in the final league games of the season as a way of getting him conditioned to go again next season.

Finally, Lassana Diarra claims he learnt nothing from Arsene Wenger during his time at Arsenal.


”You cannot understand the whole world. I respect the way you train, but I learned more with (former Chelsea manager Jose) Mourinho. Mourinho taught me to fight. I spoke looking into his eyes.

”If you had a problem, it would be discussed. Wenger never addressed me until I told him I was going. He talked to others, but not me. I feel like I never played for Arsenal.

”If people do not remind me of them (Arsenal), I forget about them. It’s erased from my memory.”


Well don’t worry pal, I’m pretty sure 20 years from now fathers won’t be sitting around telling tales to their children about you either. It’s not the first time he’s talked about this and I really can’t see the point of him getting into this again. Oddly enough you’d think with a head as big and bulbous as his he’d have a big brain and maybe he’d be more receptive than most people. I guess he couldn’t really find the time to learn anything though when all he did in his 6 months at the club was whinge and moan about not playing and wanting to leave.

Anyway, that’ll have to do for today. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a full preview ahead of the Wigan game.

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Later folks!

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