When the players are playing qualifying games for their countries they finish playing on a Tuesday night, but as these are friendly games they are taking place on the Wednesday night. It means that the players will only return to the club on Thursday morning, and our match against The Spuds is the early game on Saturday. It's a game that will see Arsenal go to the top of the league if they win, although a win or a draw for Chelsea away to Birmingham later in the day will put Arsenal back to second place.
The early news from the England camp is that Kieran Gibbs will start for them at left back. In his Arsenal career to date he has seldom played more than one game at a time before getting injured. I just hope that he doesn't get himself injured in this game, as we could do with some competition and cover in the left back slot. The way the squad is shaping up at the moment we are looking very strong in all positions, and the other teams in the Premier League should be very afraid.
Anyone who knows me well will know how I feel about Robert Pires. He was an absolute legend for Arsenal, and despite the fact that he played with Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp, he was my favourite player in that team. He has trained with Arsenal recently, as he has looked to find a new club since his contract with Villarreal expired in the summer. The boss said that he would have signed him for Arsenal, but we already have enough players in his position, and I think he was right.
It has emerged today that Pires has signed for Aston Villa, and I have to say that it really hurts. I don't know how I will feel if he plays for them against Arsenal in only 11 days time. If he was to play in that game and score I don't think I would be a happy man at all, even if Arsenal scored ten goals. He was such a brilliant player to watch, and he played the game with a smile on his face. I can only hope that he plays for Villa when they play the Spuds, as we all know how much he loves scoring against them. His smile was always biggest when he scored against The Spuds.
I usually keep up to date with the results of Arsenal's fantastic ladies team, but it has been a little different this season. After winning the league yet again last season the Arsenal ladies team signed up to the new format of the Ladies Premier League. However, that league doesn't start until some time next year, which means that they have to go through a Champions League campaign with no league matches in between.
They reached the last 16 of that competition, but lost 2-0 away to Rayo Vallecano a couple of weeks ago. I was away for the weekend which meant that I missed the result of the return leg last Thursday afternoon. The Arsenal ladies took a 3-0 lead, and looked set for the quarter finals but a goal 12 minutes from time by Rayo seemed to be putting them out on the away goals rule. In the very last minute of injury time Arsenal managed to grab a winning goal, and they are now through to the last eight, with the games to be played next March. The draw for those quarter finals will take place this Friday.
It's that time of the week again where I have a look at the standings in the Fantasy League that I'm running in conjunction with 11Gunners. The last two weeks have been very bad for my team, and most of the ground that I had made up in the last couple of months has now been lost again. In those two weeks I've lost 270,000 places overall, but I haven't given up all hope just yet, and I still think I can get back into the top 50 of my own league. The league itself is now ranked 42nd out of over 215,000 leagues which I am very proud of. Here's a look at how the top ten in the league stands.
|1||Leave-Ma-Arcelona||Gurdeep Jugpal||46 ||746|
|2||THE UNDERDOGS||mike booton||58||741|
|3||Laverick 'N' Sons||Stephen Laverick||63||733|
|4||Izadie F.C||nazrul nazri||43||725|
|5||In Arsene We Trust||Sam Griffiths||60||718|
|8||FC Baculum||Tom Letts||69||705|
|9||The Silly Sausages||chris schooling||55||704|
|10||Finchley Massive||alexander harrison||58||702|
That's the lot for today.
See You Tomorrow.