Talk from Platini here today about the amount of foreign players used for Arsenal and Man Utd:
“I am totally against this philosophy and I am a firm believer that we need to take care of the identity of the club.”
This is something we have heard from him before, I said all I had to say on this yesterday. Gerrard is also worrying about the foreigners in the Premiership and their effect on the England team’s performance. This is so uttlery stupid but as Arseblog says it will grow and worsen depending on England’s performance in Euro 2008, if they fail to qualify then there will be a storm of media articles about limiting foreign players. For Christ’s sake even Gordon Brown is having a look at it now, the stupid thing is that restrictions may go against EU law, and in any case it would lower the quality of the League and not necessarily make English players better.. They need to get a grip, a meritocracy is the way forward.
Mixed news now, Cesc saying he is not motivated by money, and doesn’t want a move away from the Gunners, see the Telegraph article here.
“Being a Gunner is very special, something I am proud of. This is a really small club on the inside, like a family, but it’s huge on the outside.”
He’s been a major factor in our great form this season, his 11 goals and passing ability are a centrepoint of the team. The Spanish press are always sprouting these stupid rumours about him and fair play to him he always shows his Arsenal colours. Incidentally suspended for the next game against Wigan.
Another central midfielder speaking about transfers is Diaby, he is thinking about a move away as soon as January if he doesn’t get games:
“I need playing time. I thought that I would continue [to play] after I scored (against Derby County) but it did not happen.”
I would be very sad to see him leave, it is a problem for Arsene that we have so many good central midfielders in the squad, a good problem, but still Diaby has shown a lot of promise. With Flamini keeping even Gilberto out of the team Diaby doesn’t have much of a chance and you can take your pick from Denilson, Diarra, and Song who also want to play there.. Diaby has played on the left for us a few times but that isn’t his natural position. I would rather lose Song and Diarra to keep Diaby, after all he knocked John Terry out..
Germany coach Joachim Lowe wants Lehmann to be playing first team football before Euro 2008, he said he is going to have a serious chat with Lehmann about the situation, although he is backing him to play in the tournament.
Also Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti has doubted whether Arsenal are good enough to win the Champions League:
“It’s necessary to know how to handle the pressure and tension in the best way. I am not sure they are trained for this.”
This is a concern, obviously with a young side we may not have the experience to hold up under pressure but this season has shown a new resilience in the squad which was missing last season. We shall have to see how we hold up come spring, I don’t want to comment this early, but I do think the squad is much matured this season and have learned from the mistakes last year.