If it ain’t bust, then make one

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Well, where do I start? Obviously not with England, who have as much chance of going to Austria and Switzerland next summer as I have of becoming an alpine yodelling champion.

There is plenty of news though. On the injury front, Swiss Phil is alleged to be unfit, but of more importance Robin van Persie is out for a month after suffering a ‘knee knock’ on international duty. He’s been crucial to us over the last few games, but it’s a good opportunity for Eduardo and/or Bendtner to step up to the plate. On the plus side, Gallas returned for France and Denilson has signed a new contract. “I am pleased, very pleased” said Le Boss. He’s pleased, it seems. And so am I – Denilson is talented little bundle of footballer with an eye for a good pass and no qualms about getting stuck in.

Of course, it was the AGM today, but I wasn’t there so I can’t really comment, other than on the official stuff that has come from it. Two great pieces of news, really: firstly, the directors have revised their lock-down agreement all the way to 2012, albeit with various ifs and buts that could see it end sooner. But either way, the club now looks unlikely to change hands before April 2009 at the earliest, and that, to me, is a small victory in a long battle. I’m not sold on the idea of one person owning the club as his plaything and I’m certainly not sold on someone who sees it as nothing more than a way of making money. There will doubtless be twists and turns galore in this story, but let’s hope not yet. The club needs stability off and on the pitch.

And finally, one to warm the cockles. (A bit like the story at the end of John Craven’s Newsround about Poo-poo the panda siring triplets. There, I’m showing my age). At the AGM today the directors unveiled a cut-down model of a bust they have commissioned of Arsène Wenger. It’s a fantastic gesture and plenty of Arsenal fans have been saying for years that the man is a genius and should be turned into a statue (though not literally, god forbid). So much of what the club is and has become is down to him and he has more than merited it.

Ah, the real stuff starts again on Saturday. Can’t blooming wait.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.