It has emerged today that Fabregas will be missing for the second leg against celtic, having been withdrawn at half-time against portsmouth. Wenger says he could return at Old Trafford at the weekend, but it would be interesting (I don't mean enjoyable) to see how we'd fare without him. I feel that the result would more than likely provide food for thought for Wenger, who apparently regards our squad as huge, and for any fans who've got carried away with the good start.
As for the celtic game, Fabregas' absence suggests to me that it may not be plain sailing, and an early goal for the visitors could herald an unbearably nervy night, but to expect much from that ordinary celtic side is probably a bit unrealistic.
The flying start continued with the aforementioned home game against pompey ending in a 4-1 win. Abou Diaby plundered a surprising, and impressive, brace on his first start of the season. The laughable comparisons to Vieira have duly reemerged, but perhaps, and this is tentative on my part, the new formation can be good for Diaby. I don't see him ever being capable as, say, a partner for Fabregas in a 4-4-2, but maybe with the insurance of Song in front of the defence Diaby could add some dynamism in place of Denilson. The Brazilian does at times seem like a poor man's Fabregas and in the name of variety Diaby could be a viable alternative in that position... BUT, Denilson deserves it at the moment because he has some acquaintance with the word 'consistency' and doesn't have such an infuriating tendency to take too many touches on the ball in a central area.
With United battering Wigan 5-0, and chelsea providing a trademark dull performance to triumph 2-0 at Fulham, it was left to Liverpool to ensure that the weekend was not completely a reversion to bland familiarity. Mistakes led to three goals conceded at Anfield, and Aston Villa left with a 3-1 win to remind everyone what a dogged proposition they have often been, and can still be, under Martin O'Neill.
Returning to Arsenal and the subject of our 'huge' squad, Wenger would do well to recognise that this hugeness is mostly the result of dead weight- he keeps citing almost permanently injured players as part of our supposed strength. Ok, Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky will at some point be off the injury list, but we all know that these names will be readily replaced on that list by Eduardo, Van Persie, and, er, Rosicky. In any case, it would border on negligence for Wenger to ignore the holes at centre back and defensive midfield- with Song off to the African Nations cup for up to a month... After the grim twist that 07/08 took, for the same problems to derail our charge yet again would be a bit too much like Groundhog Day.