Gulf Sides Tee Off

8-year deal for Fabregas? That’s a stonker of a deal for both parties I imagine. Arsenal tie him down long-term (or at least guarantee a big fee should he decide to leave), while Fabregas presumably becomes one of the best-paid 19-year-olds in the land.

Onto tonight, and apart from it being the hottest show in the United Arab Emirates, (Dubai on our shirts, Emirates on theirs, everyone paying for their half-time refreshments in Dirhams), it’s a chance for Arsenal to prove that there’s more to winning corners than just taking them and aiming them in the general direction of goal. As well as creating them, we need to convert some of the chances that come our way tonight.

On a different note, am I right in thinking these new UEFA rules promoting home-grown players are now in place? I believe they are in effect as of now. And as I understand it, they mean we need to field four players in our squad of 25 who have been brought through the ranks in England (for three years, between the ages of 15 and 21).

By the look of things, we’ve only just scraped home. Walcott and Hoyte are our two obvious ones, while Fabregas and (I think) Djourou also qualify due to the length of time they’ve spent with Arsenal. You’ve got to say though that if one or more of those were to be injured, we’d be dragging people out the reserves to satisfy the rules.

So anyway, off the whole circus goes.

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