Tricky trip to Croatia, I’m thinking.
With Dinamo Zagreb already 4-1 up against Ekranas of Lithuania, our opponents, barring some miracle, are already decided. We’re talking about a side that’s won the Yugoslavian title four times, the Croatian championship seven times – so a really tough opponent.
And with the first leg away, it means we have to be right on our toes against a side already presumably quite fresh thanks to Champions League action. And the first leg is only 11 or 12 days away…
Elsewhere, as you’ll know already, three more academy players have gone. Ryan Smith to Derby on a permanent deal and Muamba and Larsson to Birmingham on loan. None of the above, if we’re honest, were going to make it this season or at all, so it’s not a massive loss, other than numerically.
It does, as has also been pointed out, leave Hoyte and Walcott as our English flag-bearers. And Walcott, all seventeen years of him, would appear at this stage to be far more likely to play than Hoyte.
11.54am Arsenal have confirmed they are in informal talks to flog Cole to the Russkis. The sooner this is over the better, quite frankly. I wonder what informal talks are? Text messages? A bit of chit-chat over a barbecue?