The games really are coming thick and fast now. Tonight we’re down on the south coast, and this time round Wenger has made sure the team is prepared for anything the vagaries of the coastal weather system will throw at us. My Arsenal spy tells me they’ve gone south armed with an inflatable life raft and matching redcurrant galoshes.
As rumoured, tonight will also see the return of something very un-Arsenal – an Englishman. Sol Campbell will replace the weary bones of Swiss Phil, and given that Kolo is also less than fresh, he’ll probably be in the side on Saturday too. Talk is he’s fresh, fit and raring to go. Good – in his prime, he’s still a superb defender, and he has a lot to prove to a lot of people. If he wants to make Germany in the summer then he has to perform for his club, and I think he is only too aware of that.
Lose it tonight and I think it’s fair to say we can kiss goodbye to fourth spot, but if we win, Saturday will be interesting, when the Totterers have a tough away game at the Toffees and we’re at home to the Baggies.
In the wider Arsenal world, the main story on the back of this morning’s Sun concerns Cole, and how he’s definitely off in the summer. The story goes he’s got the hump with Dein for giving him the bird (does that work?) and is stropping all over the shop as a result.
My own position hasn’t changed on this; Cole is too valuable a player to just let go of. That said, from being the darling of the Arsenal fans when he broke through – until his meeting with the Russians last year in fact – many Arsenal fans are now entirely ambivalent to him as a person. His meeting with the Russians tainted him, and if he wasn’t such a good player, it’s got to the point where many Arsenal fans would be happy to see the back of him.
I hope it’s all bunkum and that he’ll stay forever, because I can’t think of a better left-back anywhere.
But with Clichy and Flamini more than able and more than willing in that position, his loss would be less of a blow.