Itâ€™s hardly a bolt out the blue given the Wengerâ€™s own utterances about not wanting to leave his latest footballing creation in the lurch, but itâ€™s great news nonetheless: Wenger has signed a new deal that will take him to 2011.
â€œArsenal is the club of my lifeâ€, he told Arsenal.com.
Itâ€™s brilliant news for the club, and for the fans, as you just donâ€™t pluck Wengers out of thin air. Three league titles, four FA Cup wins from five finals, a League Cup final, a UEFA Cup final and a European Cup final â€“ wonderful.
As is pointed out, assuming all goes well and he remains until 2011, he will become Arsenalâ€™s longest serving manager. How fitting that would be.
On the pitch
And hereâ€™s a Gilberto transfer story. Itâ€™s not the first one and you can see how these kinds of stories get written. Gilberto not made captain + Arsenal have Diaby and Denilson + then they sign Diarra = Arsenal will accept Â£8m for Gilberto. Itâ€™s early days but on current form weâ€™d be mugs to let him go â€“ heâ€™s having a superb season already and was superb last season too.
The Diarra signing remains an interesting one though â€“ where is he going to play and who is he going to displace? Unless that is he magically transforms into a potent winger with the pace of Overmars, the trickery of Rocastle and the eye for goal of Pires, in which case I can see what Wengerâ€™s done there.
And as arseblogger mentions, Bendtner has some balls to be moaning about being dropped against Portsmouth. Itâ€™s quite refreshing to have someone like him running around like a bull in a china shop, on and off the pitch, and he can get away with it while making the kind of impression he is currently doing, but itâ€™s the kind of thing that could quickly become quite tiresome.
A quick word on Lehmann. Personally, I was impressed with the way he bounced back having been dropped during the 2005-6 season, and I expect him to do a similar thing this time round. Heâ€™s got the focus of the European Championships to keep him going, but more importantly than that, even at 37 he is a better keeper than Manuel Almunia. I accept that the latter has improved, and that heâ€™s a decent shot stopper and all that, but he is not a world-class keeper.
Off the pitch
The Independent this morning reckons Kroenke has cooled on making a full bid for the club â€“ and would prefer to carry on the work he has been doing to raise standards in the MLS. Interestingly, it also claims heâ€™s not interested in joining forces with Dein and Red & White Holdings â€“ which if true, makes a bid chuffing tough to push through.
Especially so assuming Fiszman and/or Bracewell-Smithâ€™s stance on not selling their shares is correct.
Thatâ€™s it â€“ bon weekend and all that.