Laurent Koscielny’s Injury Update and Arsene Wenger Plays Down AC Milan’s Title Chances
After watching Arsenal bow out valiantly from the Champions League Knockout Phase, I was faced with the grueling task of boring myself for the best part of 90 minutes watching the only team carrying “England’s flag” in the competition.
Chelsea came up against a side with so many skillful and technical players that they were better off playing football on the “streets” instead of the green grass. Like a classic tale of the Three Little Pigs, Big Bad Benfica huffed and puffed but they couldn’t “blow” Chelsea’s house away.
The match clincher arrived when Ramires the Great Lizard made one of his trademark aimless surging runs only to get clattered by some bloke, El Flop-ino picked up the pieces and sent a cross to Asamoah Gyan…Cabo Snoop…Salomon Kalou, who dispatched his effort with consummate ease.
In the other quarterfinal, those expecting a shock result were made to go back home empty-handed as Real Madrid strolled past this year’s surprise package, APOEL Nicosia.
Still sticking with the Champions League, Arsene Wenger has stated that AC Milan has no realistic chance of lifting the trophy this season. Arsenal’s gaffer said that he knows Milan “very well” but they are not up to the task as they face a daunting challenge in the form of the emperors of modern-day football, FC Barcelona.
He also joked about the condition of their pitch, labeling it as a disaster when his team came around for the Italian Job in February. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion on issues like this, but I’m indifferent. If Milan pulls off a very against Barcelona, the world as I know it won’t come to an end.
Moving over to Arsenal news, Carl Jenkinson has earned a place in the spotlight following his recent “controversial” hairstyle he unveiled when Arsenal hosted Tottenham at the Emirates. The youngster has had a fledgling career understudying the consistent Bacary Sagna but a stress fracture in his back sidelined him for a large chunk of the season.
Arsenal.com released a special report on Jenkinson’s Mohican haircut with razor-thin sides. In the special report, his teammates Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Robin van Persie voiced their concerns about the hair-do but Jenkinson defended his decision stating that he let his hairdresser “do what he wants”.
The Ox says that it’s getting out of control while van Persie quoted:
“We all want to help him. We have the slight feeling that this hair is a bad influence on the team, or maybe it’s a good influence since everyone is having a laugh”
Judging from the recent pictures of Jenkinson’s hair-do, I must say that I’ve seen worse. If you label Jenko’s hairstyle as controversial, what will you say about Marouane Fellaini’s Lice Haven, or Joey Barton’s Nazi-like hair-do.
However, I strongly believe that I could sharpen my knife with Marek Hamsik’s tomahawk hair-do.
The standout players in the hair malfunction business will certainly be the entire TP Mazempe side that showcased their talents in the 2009 Club World Cup.
Last season, a relatively unknown center back joined Arsenal from FC Lorient for £8.25m. With the long-term absense of Thomas Vermaelen courtesy of an Achilles tendon injury, he and the much-maligned Johan Djourou forged a very strong understanding and earned a catchy joint nickname, Djourcielny.
The way his career has turned around is a massive fairytale. Five years ago, he was plying his trade in Tours FC, a Ligue 2 outfit. In his second season at Tours FC, he was an ever-present figure, missing only four league appearances and he earned a place in the Ligue 2 Team of the Year at the end of that season.
FC Lorient snatched him up for €1.7m and he was also a regular starter in the mid-table outfit, amassing a 100% tackle rating. With the exits of Mercenary Gallas, Phillippe Senderos and Mikael Silvestre, Arsene Wenger offered this lad a chance to play top flight football on a consistent basis.
He notched up 43 appearances in his first season at Arsenal and even got on the scoresheet three times. His account opener was in the 6-0 mauling of Blackpool, his next was a solid header against Ipswich and his last and most important, was the match winner against Everton in February 2011.
He has also received two red cards in Arsenal colors, the first on his debut against Liverpool and the other for a professional foul on Nile Ranger when Newcastle visited the Emirates.
The lowest point of his Arsenal career will undoubtedly be that infamous cock-up he had with Wojciech Szczesny in the Carling Cup final but he had an excellent season for Arsenal by his standards.
Koscielny has grown in confidence and ability this season and he has become a contender for the Player of the Season alongside Alex Song and everyone’s favorite, Robin van Persie.
Having missed last weekend’s win over Aston Villa suffering from tendinitis, there is some positive news on his knee, so there’s no Kos for concern. Koscielny remains confident of facing QPR but I hope he doesn’t play for two reasons.
The first being that he’s not fully fit and his replacement Johan Djourou didn’t put a foot wrong against Aston Villa. The second and most important reason is that Koscielny is a yellow card away from getting a two-match ban, and we have Manchester City lurking around the horizon.
That’s today’s bit.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button