Just a brief rant before I preview the Shakhtar game. It is a strange old business, blogging, having been writing for a while now one gets a real insight into what it is like to be a journalist. The one thing that I had never previously appreciated was the fact that the most popular articles can be the worst, while some of the best attract the least attention. I think one can see this in the Arsenal blogging community in general too, there is little correlation between reader numbers and the quality of the blog. Some of the most popular are excellent, some are not, while some of the least read are outstanding, others are not.
Obviously ratings and reader numbers are key in the media in general. One can see that some awful newspapers like the Sun attract massive numbers, while some better written papers have much smaller readerships. There are different markets out there, unfortunately in this country there is a rather large uneducated chav readership, the lowest common denominator, and a lot of drivel is peddled to appeal to this bunch. This means that the more sensationalist the headline and the more exaggerated the story, the greater the number of readers attracted.
It's hardly an environment that encourages good journalism to flourish, and that's probably why blogging has taken off in such a big way, there is something for everyone in the blogosphere and that cannot be a bad thing. The mainstream media can no longer afford to be as complacent as they have been in the past, this is also a good thing. Blogging allows idiots like Robbie Savage to have their stupid arguments dismantled in public, it allows fans far more of a say, it means that journalists cannot get away with the shoddy as they used to, it must be generally healthy force. Still, I would advise you not to get sucked in by the sensationalist headlines, behind the sensationalism is often very little of any real meaning.
There are a few midfield injury concerns for the trip to the Ukraine. Cesc is out, while Song, Denilson and Arshavin are doubts. Obviously Jack Wilshere, he of the new spanking contract, will start, I would imagine that Samir Nasri will also start in midfield, maybe Diaby is near a return, I have not heard either way. I think it will be a bit of a mixture and it will be hard to predict the starters. I would guess that Eboue, Djourou and Rosicky will come in, I would hope that Szczesny gets a game but realise he may well not. Shakthar away is a rather different prospect to the reverse, it will be frosty in terms of the crowd's reception and the temperature. I just hope we can avoid any injuries with so many important games coming up thick and fast.