There’s no doubt we’re currently in rude health, and Wenger must be happy that the only selection problems he has for the cup final – barring an injury tomorrow – are positive ones. Does he select Campbell ahead of Toure or Senderos? Gilberto ahead of Edu? Will Freddie come in for Fabregas, and who will make way up front? I think it’s safe to say that van Persie, Reyes, Henry and Bergkamp all hope to start in Cardiff. Tricky one.
The final will no doubt be made more interesting by the addition of an unknown quantity – new ownership for Man U – which it’s safe to say has gone down like a turd soufflé amongst their fans.
Taking off my partisan gooner cap, I do have sympathy for their fans given the patent lack of footballing heritage of the new owners and the debt being taken on, but it’s hardly surprising this has happened. If you are a plc, it means you are for sale. And they’ve been sold.
Having said that, the debt is manageable – at least, you’d hope it was. After all, we’ve taken on some £260m of debt in building Emirates Grove, and very few of our fans (yet) are wailing about that. I suppose the difference is that we’re getting a shiny new stadium for our money, whereas Man U are getting an odd-looking 75-year-old who wears his trousers too high.
Wenger has insisted recently that the summer will be one of evolution rather than revolution, and that only Edu will be off. How much truth is there in this, I wonder? Mr D, who sits next to me, made an interesting observation on Tuesday as the team was being listed on the big screen. Over the futures of how many of the starting eleven are question marks hanging – spuriously or otherwise? The answer, as far as we could see, was seven. Bear with me here…
Lehmann – There’s been talk of us signing a top-class keeper all season
Cole – Colegate has seriously undermined his position at the club
Campbell – A dead cert to stay
Senderos – Even deader cert to stay
Lauren – Has got on with his job quietly and effectively, and has a new deal. Will stay.
Pires – Rumours have abounded of a departure, though he professes to want to stay.
Vieira – Who’s willing to bet me there won’t be more Madrid rumours this summer?
Edu – Gone, as good as.
Reyes – Linked all season with a return to Spain.
Van Persie – No chance of leaving, as he’s now making a real name for himself.
Bergkamp – Will he get his extra year?
Now look, I know most of the above is conjecture, and nothing more, but it’s food for thought.