Wednesday, November 26, 2008

To have and to hold

With news on any possible sale of the club conspicuous by its complete absence, JFK's been getting his feet firmly underneath the table to such an extent that he's submitted a wishlist of players he'd like to bring in in January, evidently feeling sufficiently secure to put the pressure on Messrs Wise and Ashley to deliver.

Rumour has it that the two names at the top of the list are John Arne Riise and Denilson. While the former wouldn't be too much of a surprise - the Norwegian hasn't enjoyed the best of times since leaving Merseyside for Serie A side Roma in the summer - the capture of Denilson, even on short-term loan, would be an eyebrow-raiser in light of Arsenal's recent woes. It may be a commanding defensively-minded midfielder that the Gunners are desperately in need of if they're to cling on to their place in the top four, but really they need all the bodies they can get.

Meanwhile Shola Ameobi has labelled Shay Given "world-class" - presumably his next trick will be to let us know about the toiletary habits of bears. Is it just me, though, or is there something interesting in the pointed comment "We're delighted that he is here"? With Giovanni Trappatoni playing Given's pimp to a host of Italian clubs, doesn't it sound suspiciously as though Ameobi's been put up to this by JFK?

For his part, JFK's also been talking about clinging onto what we've got - and not in relation to Little Saint Mick, no doubt to his relief. Yesterday's subject was Charles N'Zogbia, by and large a fringe player since JFK's arrival at the club.

Am I alone in being disappointed that N'Zogbia isn't accommodated in the team more often? I appreciate that Duff hasn't been playing too badly of late in the Frenchman's preferred position on the left wing, but N'Zogbia has more thrust and directness to his game. While he's not a natural left back (his positional sense from a defensive perspective is still suspect), he would give us an added attacking option in home games against sides likely to sit back and absorb pressure, and would also be worth a more central role in midfield as long as someone like Nicky Butt was in there too for the meat-and-potatoes work.

JFK has also been quoted as saying that Wise "has been given the task of removing some of the players that I feel are not good enough for the club". So, who's he identified as being surplus to requirements? Hard to say. Geremi, perhaps, and maybe Cacapa? He's probably seen enough of the Xisco Kid and Gonzalez to want rid - i.e. very little...


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