Birmingham 7am

Good morning.  I spent 4 hours on my motorcycle yesterday, driving around in rush hour traffic.  It was my first rush hours in 6 months and it reminded me that one of the dangers of rush hour traffic is that you get into the habit of looking at the brake lights of the guys way ahead of you.  Then, before you know it, you’re locking up your brakes because the guy right in front of you is completely stopped.

Birmingham is that car right in front of us.  Sure, Birmingham is a Yugo.  But you don’t want to ram your Ducati into the back of a Yugo.  Because the Yugo is going to come out on top.

So, here’s to the boys staying focused on the Yugo in front of us and not putting in a repeat performance of the last Birmingham match.  They are going to be tired.  They are banged up.  The pitch is not going to be as nice as Emirates.  Birmingham are going to play hard.  But they Arsenal are far and away the better squad and three points here is a must.  Especially with Man U playing relegation bound Newcastle.

There’s some bright spots in injury news: Almunia, RvP, and Toure are all better off than previously thought.  Wenger is refusing to say if Almunia will play tomorrow even though he will travel with the team.  Of course, this leads to some great comedy from Lehmann who now thinks he ought to start.  I would start Almunia, because I firmly believe that players shouldn’t lose their starting spot through injury. Also, I like the stability that Almunia provides at the back (though to be fair, Jens was only 10% crazy in the match against Milan).

It looks like van Persie is ready to return but Wenger won’t play him tomorrow.  I miss RvP but I’d gladly not see him play for the rest of the year if it meant he could play every match next season.  As much as I’d like to see Ade and van Persie terrorizing defenders, I want to see the pair play for a whole season, rather than get what we saw against Tottenham; a shell of a great player who hobbles off at half time.

And finally, Toure is reportedly not as bad off as previously thought.  Good.  Here’s to a speedy recovery.

So, tomorrow’s match is an early match and only available in the states on Setanta.  Which means I have to watch the tape delay at Doyle’s.  The owner is also in charge of the pub team and he smartly put the match on at 7am so that I could make the 10am practice.  Thanks Russ.  So for you Tacoma supporters, Arsenal is on at Doyle’s at 7am tomorrow, see you there.

That’s about it for today.  There’s some stuff about Wenger staying at Arsenal for 8 years and some fat guy ate up some more shares of the club making him the fattest cat in the board room.  The first story is just speculation and the second story makes me want to puke.   Nothing to cover there.

Chelsea’s insane owner has lost over £578,000,000 to win “5” trophies (which counts a Charity Shield and a League Cup) and he still claims Chelsea are bigger than Arsenal.  This reporting period sees another £75m in Chelsea losses while Arsenal claim a pre-tax profit of £20m.  This is almost exclusively due to the fact that Chelsea spent £135m of their £200m in turnover on wages last year while Arsenal continues to grow the club through hard work, good scouting and the genius of Arsene Wenger.  I have to say, though, that I don’t see Abramovich leaving the club any time soon but I do see the cash drying up.  No man, not even a Russian oligarch, can spend £100,000,000 a year and get no return.  And when the cash dries up, Chelsea’s fall will be astronomical.  Which will suck for their long suffering fans.

OK.  Now I’m done.  3 points tomorrow puts us just 2 points shy of St. Totteringham’s Day so, UP THE ARSE!