Hello everyone. More grim news for us today as Hleb officially got his three match ban and will not play the rest of the season. That means more playing time for Theo so we have that to look forward to.
The important news though still regards the Flamster, and now it really does look like he's halfway out the door. Peter Hill-Wood spoke about him and he seems resigned to losing him.
"We have made what we think is a pretty generous offer and we are waiting to hear whether he will accept or not."
"You just don't know nowadays. You think players have a pretty good life, but, somehow, someone persuades them the grass might be greener somewhere else.
"So I don't know the answer, all I know is we think we have pushed the boat out."
So that seems like it's pretty much it for Flamini. Too bad he was one and done. He had a great year but if he's going out like this then I'm gonna be right pissed off. Once again we made a player into what he is and then as soon as he gets another offer he's gone.
So as phatbastard wrote in the comments on yesterday's post, it's time to look at our options for the holding midfielder role. So first I'm going to lay out all of our options in the center of midfield, not just the holding role. Currently in the first team we have Fabregas, Gilberto, Diaby, Denilson, as well as Song and Djourou who can both play there. I think of Cesc and Denilson as similar players even though Denilson is thought of by some as a holding midfielder. I think Gilberto is obviously the best candidate in the current squad available, so if Arsene doesn't bring anyone in than we need to keep Gilberto and have him teach someone else the role throughout the season. Djourou and Diaby could both do the job if they just got some time playing there, which they haven't gotten.
The other option is bringing someone in. Now chances are if we do bring someone in, then as usual it will be someone we have never heard of who is young and will probably piss off as soon as he is good (although I hope he won't). We've been linked with a few central midfielders but I think if Flamini really does leave then the speculation at the position will really pick up. Anyone have any suggestions? And please don't say Mascherano, Gattuso, etc...
Also, we could bring someone up from the reserves. Again, as phat pointed out in the comments, most of our highly touted young midfielders are more attacking players than holding ones. We have Gibbs, Lansbury, Wilshere, Randall, Merida, etc, but not too many holding players ready to break into the first team. I've emailed Young Guns writer J. Sanderson to ask him to let us know about who he thinks are our best options coming up in that position so hopefully he will get back to me.
In other news, Lukasz Fabianski looks set to get to test his skills in the Premiership in the last three games this season. Arsene said he wants to play him a few times to see if he is ready to be the number 2 keeper next season. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does and while he shouldn't face too much of a test against Derby, Everton should provide a good test for him.
Havard Nordtveit is looking to be our "New defender" that we all want to see brought in this summer. He's been playing well and he is the reserves team captain and hopes to get promoted to the first team squad next season. He is only 17 but everyone speaks very highly of him and his head is in the right place judging by his comments. He said he's hoping to get in the squad for next season's preseason games, which is a good goal for him to have and I think he will be in that squad. He's working hard and playing well and I'd like to see him get a run out. Keep it up lad.
And that's all I have for ya today. Cheers all.