Arsenal's matches keep coming thick and fast (three in the next nine days), and there will be plenty going on here, but let's fit in a link roundup today:
7AM Kickoff was full of praise for Johan Djourou after the Birmingham City match:
This is where the individual play of Johan Djourou came in very handy as the big Swiss defender cleared all 6 headers that came his way. Interestingly all of his tackles were aerial as well and he made three of those successfully too. It’s too soon to start hailing him as the first choice center back (he was destroyed by Everton aerially losing 7/10 duels) but Arsenal fans will be wondering when Djourou will be able to play more than once every two matches.
Arseblog was less full of praise for Chris Waddle's ESPN commentary, though, in his thoughts on the match.
A Cultured Left Foot talks about Bacary Sagna's excellent play and demeanor on Saturday:
Bacary Sagna though deserves special praise. Having played in all three of the matches over the festive period, his defensive consistency is matched only by the calmness of his temperament. Having been stamped and battered, he refused to buckle to Bowyer’s vile thuggery. Hopefully the FA Disciplinary department will look at the incidents with an enthusiasm that matches that shown by Bowyer in committing the crimes. It is baffling to believe that Bowyer was once on Arsenal’s books.
Lee Bowyer, for his part in the above, is in trouble, according to the Telegraph:
Bowyer could face a six-match ban if referee Peter Walton deems he was guilty of two red-card offences during this fiery encounter. The Football Association contacted Walton on Sunday to ask whether he had seen the second-half incidents in which Bowyer stamped on Bacary Sagna and then, later, appeared to rake his studs down the back of the Arsenal defender’s calf.
ACLF criticizes Alex McLeish's role in his team's style.
Meanwhile, in other, non-Bowyer news:
Arsène Wenger is almost totally convinced that assistant manager Pat Rice will extend his contract. The man has been at Arsenal since 1964. 1964! 1964!
Wenger thinks that the team is showing signs of a growing ability to cope with pressure on the pitch.
Kieran Gibbs could be available as soon as Saturday's Leeds match.
And finally, because he's been Arsenal's best player this year so far, here's an older Samir Nasri goal. Mmm.