Team news and PR shambles

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As expected, the team is battered and bruised for today. Hleb and Rosicky are both out, joining Eboue, Gallas and Lehmann on the sidelines. That leaves us weak on the flanks – the two positions we have the least cover for, and it shows – with Walcott and AN Other standing by to fill in. It’s possible that the AN Other will be Eduardo – and I’d certainly like to see him start, up front ideally but when needs must, why not on the wing.

We have an excellent opportunity to go five points clear of the current champions and we must take it.

I could claim there’s nothing else newsworthy going on but any Arsenal fan with a keen eye on the web knows that’s not true.

The aggressive actions of the lawyers of our second highest shareholder, Usmanov, have opened an enormous can of worms and that can of worms is wriggling in fury.

There were plenty of Arsenal fans uncomfortable with the new shareholder before yesterday, but the actions of his lawyers have very kindly ensured that the story will spread further and wider, and no number of stern letters or emails will be able to stop it from doing so now.

If Usmanov was keen to ingratiate himself with the people who help make his shares worth what they are, he’s sure going about it a funny way. And as PR exercises go it’s a hilarious shambles – The Times this morning runs a story on it, the Media Guardian has a story too, and Channel 4 talks about a “mugging” for Usmanov in a case that has become “an internet cause celebre”. And more on the viral expansion of this story from Chicken Yoghurt.

As Arsenal fans, I would urge you all to follow this story keenly and make your own minds up.

Come on your rip-roaring reds!


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