Date: 1st May 2009 at 8:04am
Written by:

Hart on Arsenal

Despite the fact that Arsenal come to Fratton this weekend off the back of a champions league meeting with Manyoo in midweek, that they will be missing several key players and of course the 2nd leg of this champions league takes place on Tuesday Paul Hart knows we are in for a tough game.

Mikael Silvestre and Eduardo are both out and with that champions league game in mind Robin Van Persie is not expected to be risked – add to that doubts over Manuel Almunia and Emmanuel Adebayor, who are said to have picked up knocks, they are some key men missing out so it helps, but Hart knows ‘whatever team Arsene Wenger puts out they will be a handful’, and it will.

It is all very well people thinking ‘changing the team with that game in mind means we win’, but we all know that Arsenal have a more than capable batch of younger players willing and able to step in – not to mention having Andrei Arshavin available – so it will be tough either way so ‘anticipating a tough game’ is exactly right. That said the experience we have means that as talented as the players that come in are, they lack the knowledge, know-how and all the tricks in the book that our experienced pros do.

The beauty about this game at the weekend is Arsenal will come to play football and will come to win, so we will have to respond and look to counter this threat, and ‘should’ also get some chances – so I am looking forward to it!

Even ‘if’ we did win it does not appear as though we will see Hart uttering the words ‘we are safe’ though: ‘I would still be hard pushed to say we are safe if we beat Arsenal but it would make the situation look an awful lot better.’

Admit it, if we won – not that I am expecting this, but at the same time I am not writing the game off – we are safe, which to be honest I think we already are…

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Kidd not going to Ipswich?

‘Reports’ have started to grow that Brian Kidd is a wanted man at Ipswich to work alongside Roy Keane, who tried to get him on his team at Sunderland and of course played under him when he was a coach at Manyoo.

Whilst Hart is not surprised to see these ‘links’, as the guy is a great coach – and using the tern ‘great’ is not loosely used with him, as he is – but nothing has been mentioned to him about a move: ‘Brian has not talked to me about anything to do with Ipswich and I think he would tell me if anything of that sort was happening.

‘But it’s no surprise to me if people are showing an interest in him because he is a great coach and very sought after.’

To be honest I am not convinced that Kidd will stay beyond the end of the season…unless Hart gets the job, which is something that I feel is a near dead cert – not that I am still convinced by this…

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James will never quit on England

There was me thinking that David James will play through until the end of the world cup next summer and then decide to call time on his England career…

Perhaps not, as he has told Radio Solent that he will never retire from international football: ‘I’ll never give up on playing for my country, but there will come a point when some people will wish I would.

‘As long as I’m fit and capable to play in the Premier League then I’ll put myself forward for England selection and I think that’s only right.’

As much as I love the guy I think it would probably be right to call it a day after the world cup finals, but hey he knows himself best…

I would still imagine that Fabio Capello, or if a new manager came in, would be looking to a new keeper after the world cup, as starting with James for qualifying for the European championships in 2012 is unlikely to begin with a bloke that is highly unlikely to be the keeper for these finals, if we got there? He would be nearly 42 by then and I would not think he would still be playing for England, even if he may still be playing for us – that said, with Jamo you can never say never!

As always please share you thoughts on all the above in the comments below – you know what to do…

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