Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “We are very proud of what Barack Obama has achieved and respect what he has done, we plan to send him a letter of congratulations and invite him to come to game at Upton Park the next time he is in London,” – West Ham director Mike Lee.
Runner-up: “We know we’re a decent team and we were in a temporary position, if we have a decent run to the end of the season, and we’d expect that with the players we have, then fifth, sixth or seventh is by no means impossible.” â€“ Michael Owen.
Today’s overview: This Friday morning there are a number of intriguing “exclusives” whilst Arsenal and Arsene Wenger are the main focus ahead of the clash with Manchester United on Saturday.
Following his excellent performance last night, Robinho is the center of attention in The Independent, with Jason Burt claiming “Chelsea are considering whether to renew their interest in Robinho.” But the lead story in The Sun, by Ian McGarry, claims the Blues are in fact targeting “a shock move for Michael Owen in January.”
The other exclusive in The Sun today is that “David Beckham looks set to be axed for Englandâ€™s clash with Germany on November 19.” Jason Burt also reveals in the Independent that “West Ham United could finally be put up for sale by its beleaguered owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson after the Icelandic billionaire ordered an immediate review of all his assets following the crisis that has decimated his country’s economy.”
Following a disappointing week for English teams in Europe, Tony Cascarino urges Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and United not to get too down hearted. “I still think that each side will progress to the group stages, at least one will be in the final come May, and that an English club will probably lift the trophy again.”
On Arsenal, Neil Ashton runs with an “exclusive” in the Daily Mail, that Theo Walcott “is preparing to hand Arsene Wenger a massive boost by declaring himself fit for tomorrowâ€™s lunchtime showdown at the Emirates with Manchester United.”
Andy Townsend in the Daily Mail lays into the Gunners in a piece titled “Where are the power players who will fight for Wenger?” In the Guardian, David Hytner seems to pinpoint a solution, claiming Nicklas Bendtner “could save the Gunners’ bacon.”
Steven Howard also questions the wisdom of Arsene Wenger, describing the recent happenings at the Emirates as the “madness of King Arsene.” And in The Times, Gabriele Marcotti provides five options open to Wenger to make the difference this season in the defensive midfield area.
In the best of the rest, Simon Burnton in the Guardian looks at the phenomenon of badge kissing and describes it as “cheap sign language for not a lot, done by people for whom ‘loyalty’ is just a word.” And in the regular feature in the Guardian, Rob Smyth provides “the joy of six” on the greatest ever footballs. Whilst Matthew Leach in the Telegraph reports how last year’s FA Cup giant killers Havant & Waterlooville have become victimes of their own success.