Yes, possibly the most momentous moment since the departure of Pascal Cygan has occurred: Alex Song has left Ashburton on loan for the rest of the season. The cynical amongst us may see this as Arsene following the dictum that 'revenge is a dish best served cold' - especially as Alex has received possibly the most stick of any player during the Wenger era. While this criticism has perhaps been overstated, it's also not unjustifiable on the performances I've seen. Whether we ever see him in an Arsenal shirt again remains to be seen; I'm certainly not holding my breath.
The team news for tomorrow is not great. Baptista has now been ruled out, a great shame considering his red-hot form in the CCup this season. He definitely seems like a player who's best when he starts and plays up-front, rather than Arsene's current tactic of throwing him on in centre-midfield for ten minutes at the moment. On the plus side, his injury does seem to be less serious than first feared.
While a partnership of Adebayor and Aliadiere is probably the more likely, I would like Theo to get a chance up-front. He needs a goal and playing as a striker would surely facilitate this; on the wing he seems to be struggling to beat players, causing him to lose confidence and impairing his subsequent shooting ability. I heard a bit of abuse directed towards Theo at the game on Sunday, and while he didn't have a good game the crowd needs to get behind him. He's a young lad and heckling him for missing a few chances is not the way forward. I seem to remember Adebayor receiving similar criticism when he missed chances last season and now he's a folk-hero. And, unlike Song, Walcott clearly has the potential.
Who's going to play in midfield tomorrow also remains a question. Walcott may have to play in midfield as, with Hleb and Eboue(?) out, who else will play on the right? And with Rosicky rested and Freddie injured, who's going to play on the left? Diaby didn't seem too comfortable on the left last time, but I think Diaby-Denilson-Gilberto-Walcott may be the line up.
Whoever plays, I still think we'll have too much for them.