Yesterday the news broke that Arsenal football club had signed a new £150m deal with the Emirates airline, extending its shirt sponsorship to 2019. The naming rights to the stadium have also been extended to 2028 as part of the deal.
This will bring in £30m a season to the club and the deal is said to be one of the biggest in footballing world!
Ivan Gazidis has been talking about how wonderful this deal is and what it brings to the Arsenal table etc, click here to read it all.
But the most interesting comment he made was this:
This deal is all about football.
It is all about giving us the resources to be able to invest in what we put on to the pitch for our fans. The manager will have more resources available.
We kept some powder dry in the summer, so we do have the ability to make a move or two in the January window, but that will be based as always on what Arsene Wenger believes is available in the window and the kind of moves he thinks might help us on the pitch.
So, there we have it from the clubs Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis. Arsene Wenger is the one who decides on whether or not we spend money and how much we spend.
Onto today’s match, a 5.30pm kick off against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have striker Darren Bent back which isn’t good news for us but missing are Joe Bennett, Chris Herd, Charles N’Zogbia and Richard Dunne.
Joining Diaby, Fabianski and Rosicky on the injury list is Theo Walcott and Andre Santos but after his little cameo in midweek, Gervinho is available for selection, as is Kieran Gibbs.
On the team selection for today, Wenger has said:
There are no major injuries, a few tired legs and that will all be assessed on Friday, I have not decided what I will do yet. I have time and we’ll see who is available, who is a bit less available, who is a bit tired and who has some knocks and bruises but there is nothing major.
I think from that comment, we can expect to see one or two changes from the side that started midweek. Gibbs will no doubt slot in at left back and Gervinho could also start. After that I haven’t a clue. Arteta must surely need a break but who can replace him? The same can be said about Cazorla.
But Wenger can’t afford make too many changes, we all know what that does to the team….
Aston Villa haven’t beaten us at Villa park in 13 attempts since coming from two goals down to win 3-2 in December 1998 (D6, L7).
We have lost only two of our subsequent 27 league meetings with Villa. Last season we overturned a 2-0 deficit in the FA Cup fourth round beat Villa 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium.
But we shouldn’t and must not be fooled by history, we have seen us slip up against lower positioned league sides too often, Norwich this season being the most recent. This game will be another tough one IF any one of our players of the manager think it’s won before we kick off.
Paul Lambert, who will be in the stands doesn’t care about the history of results between the two clubs either:
It’s Arsenal but we’re at home so we’re going to go for it. We haven’t beaten them here since 1998 so it just shows how hard it’s going to be.
I can’t influence what’s happened in years gone by but I can influence what goes on now.
Be assured though, if we turn up with only half a mind of the job in hand, Villa will register a home win and any confidence we built up last weekend and midweek will be gone again.
Wenger target is to get into the top four by Christmas and push on from there so he needs to make sure his players are ready to make that happen by carrying on from where we left off last weekend.
That’s it for another day…..