I'm not too happy with Sky this morning thanks to their decision to have Premier League games played on a Monday night so that they can be broadcast live. I've got nothing against either Blackpool or West Brom and they both play an attractive brand of football but I just can't see myself tuning in tonight.
What's worse is that once Arsenal's Champions League group is out of the way they will be playing on a couple of Monday nights and in my opinion that will ruin my weekend from a footballing perspective. Added to that I also like to have a Fantasy Premier League rundown on a Monday morning and of course that just isn't possible because of tonight's game. With just tonight's game to go my team is struggling a little for the week and if it hadn't been for Kevin Nolan's 20 point haul yesterday they would be struggling a lot more. Thankfully I have a few players playing tonight and maybe the possibility of my fantasy team making up some ground will tempt me into watching the game but I doubt it.
Recently I have spoken about Alex Song and his willingness to push a lot further forward this season. For a holding midfielder he seems to venture too far forward but he has now scored in his last three games and Saturday's last gasp winner was a prime example of what he can bring us when he goes against what I would see as his role on the pitch. The manager spoke after the game about how much Song is pushing forward and he admitted it was probably a little too much for a holding midfielder.
I don't think it will affect Arsenal too much as they play the likes of West Ham whose ambitions are very limited against them but against any of the better teams in the league it could prove to be fatal. In the past I was unconvinced by Song's ability and I didn't think he was good enough to play the holding role for Arsenal but he proved me wrong last season with some very good performances. It would seem that he has decided to take his game to the next level and prove that he can also be a creative and goalscoring force in the Arsenal team which is all well and good as long as he doesn't neglect his other duties.
I can remember quite a few years ago when the Arsenal manager of the day(probably George Graham) banned players from having a beard and I would imagine if he was around at the moment he would have a few words with a few players about their ridiculous hair styles. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for diversity and having your own individual look but when you see the heads on Bakari Sagna, Song and now Denilson too it's a little too much in my opinion. What are they doing in their spare time that they feel the need to make themselves look so silly and do any have them have partners who would be prepared to be frank with them and tell them they look so silly. I'll say no more about it though, just in case anybody who knew me in the 80s comes up with some photos of a few of my hairstyles in those days.
Back to footballing matters and the long haul to the Ukraine on Wednesday night, with Cesc Fabregas struggling again with his hamstring I think that he has to be rested for that game. It was interesting to hear him say how badly he felt he played in the first half on Saturday and to put it down to the trouble he's having with his hamstring. He missed quite a few weeks with that injury already and if it is still causing him problems that's very worrying as we have seen so many players over the years who permanently struggle with hamstring problems and it would be a disaster if Cesc entered that category. He is Arsenal's best player and if they are to compete with the very best they need Cesc fully fit and in the team.
On the plus side, not only will Jack Wilshere be available to play against Shakhtar om Wednesday but he has also finished his domestic ban and his inclusion in the squad will give the boss more options for the game against Newcastle this weekend. If Cesc is doubtful, then Wilshere or Samir Nasri(or both of them) can play in the central role as we look to make up ground on Chelsea who have a tricky trip to a Liverpool team who have at last climbed out of the relegation zone.
With Arsenal, Chelsea and "Manure" all winning on Saturday and City and The Spuds both losing there is a chance for West Brom to move into the Champions League places tonight if they beat Blackpool. I'm sure they won't finish there but it means that Liverpool are now only five points behind City and three behind the Spuds which gives them hope of making some progress towards fourth place. We will have played away from home to all of our major rivals by the end of the year which means we will have them all at home in the new year. It's an advantage that we have to make the most of if we're going to seriously threaten for the Premier League title this season.
I forgot to mention on Sunday that we drew Wigan at home in the quarter finals of the Carling Cup, with the game to be played at the end of this month. We have an away trip to Aston Villa in the league beforehand and a home game against Fulham after it and it's a game we can most certainly win. If we do, we are only a two legged, January semi final from a trip to Wembley for what is a very realistic chance of winning a trophy. It may only be the Carling Cup but it's a trophy and we won't have had one of them for six years next summer if we don't win it, unless of course we manage to win another trophy.
That's the lot for today.
See You Tomorrow.