Anthony Stokes finally ended his transfer saga by signing for Sunderland after it looked certain that Charlton Athletic and the muppet that is Alan Pardew had signed the kid. So obviously I’m delighted Pardew has missed out on the talented youngster! Given the choices between Celtic, Charlton, Falkirk and Sunderland I was surprised at his decision – although Roy Keane is probably his idol.
Other departures rumoured at the moment (trust me, there’s going to be loads of these this month) are that Freddie Ljungberg might be off. It’s hard to say if this is just January’s silly season or whether there is actually any truth to the stories, but it’s clear that Freddie isn’t the same player as he was a couple of seasons ago. And he’s also one of the teams highest earners which means there’s talk about trying to get him off the wage bill. With Rosicky & Hleb it means the only other winger apart from Freddie is Theo so I suppose if it depends if Arsene is ready to make Walcott more of a regular in the side and actually thinks he’s ready to start games.
But our average age of the squad is the early 20’s so would Arsene really offload one of the few experienced players in the squad?
There are the usual Frank Ribery rumours which seem to never go away. Considering most of Arsenal’s major signings are pretty secretive until the player actually signs for us means I don’t really buy this story. It looks like Ribery’s agent is just pimping out the kid to the highest bidder. Again.
And the Daily Mail speculate that Lauren could move to West Ham United. Again, like Freddie he is one of the few experienced player so I highly doubt he will move!
And onto tonight’s Carling Cup tie against Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger has just named a 16-man squad for the game which leaves out all the big names and only includes Fabregas (who has returned from suspension) and Kolo Toure who can be considered first team players.
From the fringe players Baptista, Theo Walcott, Djourou, Abou Diaby, Song and Justin Hoyte are in the squad and will probably start tonight.
Although it is a far weaker squad than Saturdays team in terms of experience the young guns have earned their place in tonights squad so good luck to them all and lets hope it’s an enjoyable night for the boys!
We should be confident because we beat Liverpool on Saturday (albeit with a stronger squad) and also beat Everton in the previous round.
You feel that Baptista needs a good game to kick-start his season and hopefully Walcott can be a big influence tonight alongside Fabregas who will be pulling the strings.
Well I was one goal off at the weekend but tonight will be a completely different proposition as Liverpool look likely to start with a very strong first eleven after getting knocked out of the FA Cup. They will take the Carling Cup seriously now but I still believe that with Kolo and Fabregas in the team we always have a chance. Unfortunately Aliadiere will probably start but with support from Theo and Baptista we should offer a decent threat upfront.
As ever I think we can nick it tonight, and I would have been happier if a couple of senior players like Henry or Hleb were on the bench just in case we needed them but I think if things go our way we could nick it 2-1!