It’s all about momentum. And a debut.

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Ahead of today’s game, some snippets from the Currant Bun. In the first, Robin van Persie apprently promises to sign a new double-your-wages contract, but only if Arsenal are in a position to win things.

“Financially the last offer made by the club is fine but that isn’t everything for me. It’s about my ambitions and how they can be fulfilled in the coming years. The club and I want the same and it is our intention we achieve that.

“Arsenal have promised me they will do everything possible to make that extra step to a level where we win prizes on a regular basis. In the last four years I’ve had only one prize, the FA Cup, and that’s not enough. I want to achieve more and I feel I can play an important role in bringing Arsenal to a higher level.”

Now look, I think van Persie is a marvellous footballer and I don’t blame him at all for waiting. After all, we’ve regressed this season, let’s be frank – and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the other top players are keen for Wenger to add to the squad with quality signings before committing their futures to the clubs too. All the fans are keen for it to happen, so why should they be different?

He commented about the FA Cup being his only trophy in four years: “That’s not enough” he said. I see where he’s coming from here, but I’m also a bit cautious about ‘expecting’ more trophies. I mean, is one trophy in four years really that bad in the grand scheme of things, especially when those four years also saw us reach the European Cup final (2006) and miss out on the title by just four points (2008)? The fact is, the gap between success and failure is small – and there are three or four other sides equally ambitious to win the pots available. We won nothing between 1979 and 1987, nor did we win anything between 1998 and 2002 if I recall – though in the latter period the barren years were bookended by doubles. Was it deemed ‘not enough’ then? I actually can’t remember, but I don’t think accusations of failure were anything like as strong then as they seem to be now. It’s a normal gap between success and failure for a big club. And the kind of gap other big, ambitious clubs would eat their auntie’s hat to get near.

Anyway, I digress because the other Sun snippet was an odd story about Adebayor being abused at Lagos airport by a disenfranchised gooner.

“He screamed ‘You get paid £80,000 a week to put the ball in the back of the net and you’re still f***ing rubbish. I pay good money for a season ticket to pay your wages’. Emmanuel completely lost it and had a right go back. He said ‘I get £110,000 a week if you must know’. It just made the guy even more angry.”

Please tell me that Adebayor doesn’t really get ONE HUNDRED AND TEN THOUSAND POUNDS A WEEK? I capped that up because yes, I appear to suddenly be 12 years old.

But come on, that’s bunkum of the highest magnitude, Adebayor. Unless that’s what he gets with all other endorsements he earns. A fairly depressing thought either way.

Onto today, and the real excitement is the certainty of a debut from Arshavin. Personally, I’m hoping he comes on as a substitute but that Eboue starts. I really do want this to happen, because I’d like to see what the pressure of having someone better than him in his position will do to Eboue. But obviously, this little psychological experiment need not last long – maybe three minutes. Perhaps four.

I’m really buzzing about today, as most gooners are. When the kind of buzz arrives that arrived on Monday, you’re desperate for that buzz to keep buzzing.

Let’s keep passing, keep probing the wings, and fight for every ball. We’ve got to win it – if you ask me it’s pivotal to our season, I really do believe that. A limp performance and we’re back to square one. Another pacy and attacking performance and we could just kick start something interesting.

Come on you rip-roarers…


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