A quick look at today’s top headlines:
Peter Hill-Wood’s letter to the shareholders is encouraging but there are two problems with it. One, it’s bloody late, and comes after his initial tirade which was unprofessional and stupid. It will repair the damage, but why not do this earlier, or keep your mouth shut until this?
Two, the board will not be in a strong bargaining position unless Dein is adequately replaced. As such, Wenger’s ‘appointment’ will have as much of an impact, if not more, on Arsenal supporters as the board’s position.
Effectively, the board has painted one side of the story – the other side we still have to hear. Let’s hope we do hear it soon.
Speaking of the Wenger’s appointment, he says that the new director of football will be appointed in the close season. Considering that Arsenal’s season is more or less over, maybe Arsene should start looking now? I think the decision will be announced in a couple of weeks and that Wenger is speaking to the people he wants in. Knowing Wenger, it’s quite likely that he has just one person in mind.
Fiszman has denied reports of secret talks with Russian investors and Wenger will be sorting out the futures of Baptista and Reyes soon. Baptista back to Real, Reyes to ???
While we’re on Arsenal, here’s an Amy Lawrence interview with William Gallas. If anything, it paints Gallas in a more positive light than media coverage.
Goal Video of the Day
Cristian Vieri, when he was still young and a real superstar.
Eriksson has English support
This one is too good to be made up.
Talking to the Sunday Times mag, Eriksson had this to say:
“I have always been able to do this job. I have never heard a bad word during six years of travelling around the country.
Everyone has always been polite to me, even after the defeat by Portugal.
If I land at Heathrow today people still want my autograph, which is nice, and a lot of them say ‘Sven, you did a good job’.
Before England, I had never been sacked in my life. I don’t sit here pining about it but I loved being a manager and I am still young enough to do the job.
For the first few nights back in Sweden, I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t really stop thinking about what had happened. It wasn’t like I was in a depression but it was a recurring thought.
I couldn’t talk about the World Cup and haven’t spoken about it until now. We should have done better, I am absolutely convinced of that.”
One, it is clear that Eriksson has a different percept of his popularity than we do. Second, this does not point to Eriksson coming to the Prem, it’s just him talking about his future. He is available as a manager, but I’d figure he’s looking for a top club to approach him.
I suppose he could come back and coach England again 🙂
Saturday Premiership Results
Manchester City 0-2 Aston Villa
City’s result will a big disappointment for them but they have a week to prepare for United and they are always up for the derby, so I guess they will probably score against us. United will score as well, so it’ll be interesting to see if it’ll be a draw or a straight win.
Middlesbrough 2-3 Tottenham
Spurs have three quality strikers, all capable of playing for the top four sides. They lack the mental strength to be a top side though, although a couple of additions to this squad should help.
Blackburn 4-1 Charlton
Charlton’s fight to survive relegation is all but over. They host Tottenham next weekend and travel to Anfield for the final day of the season. They’re chance of surviving went out of the window when they couldn’t beat Sheffield United at home.
Blackburn have an outside chance of getting into Europe via the Inter-Toto, but it’s going to be difficult.
Chelsea 2-2 Bolton
Chelsea now have to hope for United to drop points against City next weekend and barring that, they have to hope that West Ham can perform a miracle at Old Trafford. The later looks very unlikely, so the next weekend could easily decide the title (or make us wait till the 9th).
Bolton are a point ahead of Everton and travel to West Ham next weekend. A win for them there ‘should’ seal a European spot.
Portsmouth 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool fielded a weakened team in order to prepare for their Champions League final – and no one can blame them for that. With Ballack and Carvalho injured, the team tired and looking more like Arsenal than Manchester United in scoring stakes, this is Liverpool’s perfect chance to make something out of their season.
Sheffield United 1-0 Watford
Sheffield United’s Premiership status is secure. That’s about all we can say about this game. Props to Sheffield United for fighting hard all season.
Game of the weekend, although West Ham’s 3-0 away win over Wigan will rank close. Match report and goals here.
Wigan 0-3 West Ham
West Ham have given them an excellent chance to survive, potentially at the expense of Wigan. They need to get a result against Bolton, and hope that Wigan lose to Boro and Sheffield United. The Sheffield game is away and will probably result in a loss, so the next weekend will also more or less decide the fate of both clubs.
Matches still left:
Arsenal vs Fulham
Reading vs Newcastle United
- Michael Owen is back in action, and ‘should’ play a role against Reading. Here are some training pics.
One thing I’ve noticed about Owen – he’s always laughing in his training pics and celebrating like a kid. I take it as a good sign – he loves his football and that’s important.
- Leeds are almost relegated – and the fans are pissed off enough to get violent.
- Ji-Sung Park is out for the season for Manchester United, and will be reassessed in August. He will meet with Dr Steadman, the same doc who has worked with Ruud and Owen (and Dyer as well, I think) before.
United will miss him on the pitch, but hopefully Fletcher will get fit and Richardson will stay fit. And with Eagles scoring a goal and generally looking quite assured, there’s another player we can call upon if things go south.
United need to win their last three games – taking either City or West Ham lightly is not an option considering the importance the games will have for both teams and Ferguson would want to win the title at Stamford Bridge – to win the Prem.
- Chelsea have lost Carvalho and Ballack to injuries – with Ballack out for the season.
Mourinho’s comments on Carvalho’s injury:
“He is definitely out.
He has injured his knee and it is a big blow for us. He has been our best defender this season – it is as simple as that.
We lost at Liverpool in the Premiership without him and we go to Anfield again without him.
But when we lost in the league we had to play Paulo Ferreira at centre-back. We have better options for centre-back this time.”
Not much faith in Ferreira, is it? I wonder if Essien will be persisted with in defence or will Boulahrouz will finally play at centre-back?
Yesterday we heard reports that Sam Allardyce was going to leave Bolton. As expected, that news has been debunked as bollocks.Sam Allardyce has resigned, despite Bolton denying these reports earlier.
- Guts & Fighting Spirit a requirement at Newcastle United
- Everton 2-4 Manchester United – match discussion and goal videos