..people who come from Islington. What, you were expecting something else?
Afternoon, and greetings from Manchester where myself and Mrs X are on a house hunt for a possible move back to the north. Upside, I get to see more games at The Reebok and the tea tastes proper. Downside, I won`t be able to see the semi-annual grudge match between T`Wanderers and The Arse. Shame. Nothing I like more than being spat on from above, and those of you that have ever sat in the visitors end at The Emirates will know what I`m talking about.
Obviously the main story is still Gary Cahill and whilst there is disappointment remaining that he didn`t get to play on Tuesday night, focus has now moved to the possibility that he will be on the move, possibly as early as January. In fact most of the papers have seen this as an inevitability.
We all knew that Cahill was going to go eventually and towards the end of last season there was a feeling that he may not even have started the season in a Bolton shirt, the manager saying at the time that he wouldn`t stand in Cahill`s way if a top club came in for him. He reiterated this yesterday. His mention of a top four club coming in for Cahill begs the question of who these days is a top four club, and there has been a mention that the Go Compare Man wants to take him to Inter.
The cap that he received for coming on against Bulgaria has added more money to his minimum release clause, which in these days of purse tightening will probably see the numbers of suitors diminish to City and Chelsea.
Cahill will leave, as all players who get into the international team gravitate towards those teams that can get into the Champions League. But the renumeration has to be right. The cut price deal that took Anelka to Chelski still sticks in my craw. It`s not like he is playing any better now than he was with us. But that`s a different story and would eventually end with how I want to eviscerate a certain ginger haired manager. I notice that Villa have ended their search for a manager without a single mention of Sheffield`s most famous gardener.
Before Cahill can go anywhere, there is the little matter of the game at Arse on Saturday and he is going to have to play in that game with Ádám Bogdán behind him rather than Jussi. This is going to be a big game for the Hungarian, but St Owen has no doubt that he will perform well:
‘I have tremendous belief in young Adam Bogdan, so much so that we have allowed Ali to go out on loan. We now have to develop Adam and Ali has to go and play in the Premier League. It was always going to be a win-win situation. We didn’t want Jussi suspended but it will allow Adam the opportunity to show his qualities.’
It is a win win situation. If he goes on to perform heroics then his stock will rise, he can boast that he has done well at one of greatest grounds in the country (and it is a nice ground, it`s just some of the fans who are the problem) and it will give the manager a nice headache when Jussi comes back and, in the longer term, Splinters. If he doesn`t do well, no harm done. Our Indian sign over Arsenal disappeared a long time ago and we now have to make do with lording it over West Ham, although there is the possibility that that will disappear come May.
Some of the Arsenal players seem to be running scared though. Denilson, speaking to the official Arsenal website said:
‘When you play Bolton you can’t think that it is an easy game. You have to think it is a good game, a brilliant game and you have to win, the same as if you play Chelsea or Manchester United.’
I wouldn`t mind if Denilson and his Arse team mates did treat the game as if they were playing Stretford or Chelski, as they regularly lose to them.
Bolton played well at The Emirates earlier this year but were undone when Gallas used Mark Davies`s ankle as a trampoline. The team are on the up and we are playing something that is more recognisable as football. That is not to say that when you play Arsenal you play them at their game and here is the opportunity to mix it up otherwise we could take a Blackpool type beating, and I`m not talking about the kind you can get just off the Golden Mile by Madam Lucy either.
A lot will be made by Arsenal fans about Kevin Davies and his flying elbows over the next couple of days, which is good as it will mean that they aren`t focusing on the teams other strengths. We will go into the game in more depth tomorrow, as there is an awful lot to say on it. However the team go to London at near full strength, with only the suspended Jussi missing.
Finally, and I don`t like to kick a man when he`s down, unless he`s tending his roses somewhere in South Yorkshire, but Danny “The” Shittu just cannot seem to get it into his head that he isn`t as good as he thinks he is. He has turned down a trial at Celtic as he believes that, as an ‘established’ international he shouldn`t have to go through the ignominy of having to prove his fitness. So by that logic, Reggie Davani, Papua New Guinea’s leading scorer, could say the same thing.
Described by the Glasgow Evening Times as the “former Watford and QPR man” (which suits us fine, keep our name out of it, we really don`t want to be associated) he says:
‘Contrary to negative reports about what happened between me and Bolton, God has destined me to join a team that would put smiles on my face and that of my fans.’
Danny, I really believe not even God can help you now. As my dad was wont of saying about a certain dimple chinned American “The problem with Kirk Douglas is that he thinks he`s Kirk Douglas”.
The problem with Danny Shittu is that he thinks after playing against Lionel Messi at the World Cup he’s Lionel Messi.
And with that, we`ll bid you good afternoon. The Arsenal preview will follow tomorrow.