Sam Allardyce has met the press in the lead up to the game at the Emirates this weekend and as usual didn't really have anything interesting to say besides the usual pat on the back for himself, this time he didn't miss the opportunity to tell everyone that he wasn't surprised by Monaco's victory at the Emirates a couple of weeks ago. He truly is one of the greats, isn't he, Sam Allardyce, able to predict things that have already happened. That's the kind of foresight needed to finish in the top 10. Fantastic. Anyhow, here's what he said, as quoted in The Express:
“In terms of Monaco, we haven’t got the quality of players they’ve got. I think that’s the first and foremost.
“Monaco have been what we haven’t this year, and that’s being extremely good at not conceding goals.
“Everybody thought that it was an easy tie, but it wasn’t when you look at their defensive record. I think when they played, they had only conceded one goal in the last 11 games.”
Big Sam also revealed that Alex Song is struggling with a knee problem, and was left at home while the rest of the West Ham squad traveled to Dubai for some warm weather training, but it is expected that he will make the West Ham squad for the weekend.
I must give Allardyce some credit, however, as he did go on to make some valid points about the premier league bringing in a mid season break, as quoted in The Wharf;
“The time of the year was perfect in terms of the training facilities”. “My old friend at Blackburn Michel Salgado helped us out. The lads have enjoyed the quality of Dubai which is very important at this time of year. The little bit of rest physically and mentally will help us focus more on the last 10 games of the season.
“I’ve been doing for the past 14 years with all of the teams I’ve had. The research into this needs to go to the League Managers Association to add to the fact that the Premier League needs a mid-season break, and I think the evidence is there for all to see.
"It reduces the risk of injuries. Teams coming out of Christmas and New Year are very fatigued and it’s why the English teams that play in big European competitions are not advancing to the latter stages, because everyone else has had a break and they haven’t. For us, it’s just about doing what we normally do, getting away for a few days and coming back and hopefully increasing the level of results than we previously had and hopefully that will work over the next 10 games.”
Remember I said valid points, not interesting, there's a difference. Finally, how great was it to see P.S.G stuff Chelsea last night? P.S.G deserved to go through 100%, there was some despicable behaviour from the Chelsea players last night, no more so than John Terry who managed to stand on Oscar's head, while fluffing his arms around like a headless chicken, barging his way up to the referee. Just says everything about Chelsea, doesn't it? They are more concerned with getting players sent off than the welfare of their own team mate.
Here's a Question; if Wenger was slaughtered by everyone for being so naive and far too attacking against Monaco, then should Mourinho not face the same criticism for going so negative against a team with 10 men? (Not for the first time this season has his defensive tactics cost his teams points; the draws at both City and United, for example).
Before I forget, I wrote a piece on the Just Arsenal News site on which players deserve new contracts, have a look at it and let me know what you think. It's a really good site for anything Arsenal related.
Anyhow that's it for now, more from me later or tomorrow. follow me on twitter here @ Cosmic__Kid.
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.