Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mind games from Jol and Wenger

By 1970’s Gooner

First it was Jol who a few days ago let the world of North London know that Aaron Lennon was ready to return to first team action.

Then Wenger had to reply with his “dilemma” of whether to start with Diarra in the right back position.

Who the hell are they kidding?

Lennon has been out since March due to a knee operation. That is a good four and a half months without running, touching a ball or playing a competitive game (or even a reserve game).

He has only been back to training with the ball two weeks ago.

Do you really think that Jol has any intention of naming Lennon in the starting eleven for a crunch derby game.

A game where every inch of grass will be fought over like it is a North Pole oil reserve free for all finders’ keepers?

Bring him on I say! Clichy will have him for breakfast. He would have subdued him anyway even if Lennon was at peak fitness.

Meanwhile on the other side of North London Arsene Wenger is not really sure what to do for the right back position.

Does he start with Diarra or Flamini or Sagna or indeed Hoyte? So many options it’s embarrassing!


Granted, Diarra has played two consecutive internationals for France in this position so he is match fit.

He has not impressed me very much but what is important of course is the impression he made on Mr Wenger.

However, would it be sensible to start with a player whose normal position is in central midfield and has never played for the club yet, let alone in the North London Derby?

Especially when you have the club’s two recognized right backs fit and rearing to go.One, Sagna, has been excellent in all of his appearances so far. The other, Hoyte, has been trusted with that position for more than 50 games.

Not to mention the excellent Flamini who, when asked to fill in this position, has been as good as any of the club’s other right backs.

In fact I personally think that Flamini can have a successful career in this position (especially at left back where Arsenal do not yet have adequate cover).

So let’s stop the mind games please.

Come to think about it I hope that Mr Wenger is playing mind games and Mr Jol is not!

The real dilemma for Wenger is who to pick to partner Fabregas in midfield; Diaby or Flamini.

The real dilemma for Jol is whether to pick young Bale for his first North London derby on the left flank or go for more experience.