The good news on the injury front is that Nicklas Bendtner suffered no setbacks on his return to training on friday and hopefully he can make it back to competitive action in a couple of weeks or so. Sadly Rhys Murphy has suffered a serious ankle injury that will take him several months to get over, obviously we wish him all the best as he contemplates a long spell in the treatment room. Interestingly Arsene was more than a little coy when talking of Sol Campbell's situation.
The article I wrote yesterday on Barcelona's unethical courting of Cesc Fabregas has stirred up a bit of controversy, I know it was a bit over the top in its language but for me that got across just how frustrated a lot of Arsenal fans are with the behaviour of these arrogant clubs. Arsene has today revealed that he wrote a letter to Real and Barca about their behaviour:
"What they speak about in Madrid or Barcelona, how can we influence that? We wrote them a letter. We do not say that Messi and Kaka will sign next week here. If one day we want to sell a player and they are interested they can call us. They don't need to go through a newspaper. [I wrote the letter] a long time ago to say we are not ready to sell any of our players. I don't remember when but they did not write back."
One thing I find amusing about all this is how Real and Barca detest each other so much but they are so remarkable similar. Arsene explains how the election system of Spanish clubs leads to the increased amount of baseless speculation in the media about players, this may partly explain why the big Spanish clubs are so bad but it doesn't justify it to any degree. The fact that Madrid and Barca never responded demonstrates the rank lack of class of these two arrogant clubs. The arguments used by their fans that try to justify the behaviour of their clubs are nothing but weak and tired. Arseblogger has found a copy of the letter (NSFW).
Frankly I don't care if they are not used to hearing criticism of their precious clubs because their domestic media is so full of propaganda that keeps the fans of the big fans reading the propaganda that they want to read. The calls of 'hypocrisy' are incredibly weak and not one single example has been cited which demonstrates Arsenal to have acted in the unethical ways as Barca and Real have done repeatedly. The facts are clear and Laporta has repeatedly acted in a way which is not right and proper, his words have been a disgrace and if Barca fans are not embarrassed then that says a lot about them. Barca are a great club in many ways, I just find it rather disappointing that they see it as acceptable to behave in this way and then point the finger of blame everywhere but at themselves when the facts are pointed out to them.
Finally the story about gunmen attacking the Togo team bus in Angola puts a lot of this into perspective. The driver was killed and nine others were injured. It must have been a truly terrifying experience for anyone involved. If I were a Togo player or any other African player there would be no way in the world that I would hang around in Angola and risk my life for a football tournament, it calls into question whether the whole thing should be cancelled now. After all if anything else happens after this incident, it will now be seen as something that was very preventable indeed. In my opinion the tournament should be cancelled, I even agree with Phil Brown for once, blood will be on FIFA's hands if anything further occurs.