Time for a very brief Swansea City catch-up.
Dobbie + Lita + Cash = Maynard?
Rumours were confirmed earlier in the week that a 'cash and Dobbie' deal is on the table for Bristol City's Nicky Maynard.
Dobbie was so influential in Swansea's final championship season – a true fan favourite – but is he worth hanging onto? I guess if he never warms to the different game that is the Premier League, the answer is no. But I can't see this being it for Dobbie and the Swans. I feel he still has something to prove. His time is running out though, so he'd better shape up soon or he will be gone.
Lita is another who has been rumoured to be included in that deal, but it hasn't been confirmed by the club and seems a little unlikely. Dobbie AND Lita AND cash for one decent Championship player? I think not. Lita is one worth hanging onto for his clinical (albeit rare) goals and strength up front.
Nicky Maynard has scored eight goals for Bristol City this season, from 25 appearances. This is in the Championship mind you, and we all know the step up the player would have to take. Star boy in the Championship can mean nothing in the Premier League. Look at Danny Graham – last season's top scorer, but took a while to get going (though now, thankfully, he is putting away a few good goals).
The club needed a little exfoliation – scrubbing off the dead players and replenishing them with new, moister players (is it me, or is this blog turning a little erotic...?)
Are you really sad to see David Cotterill go? I can't say I'll give it much more than a shrug of the shoulders. The club have cancelled his contract by mutual consent, which I feel is fair enough. In the past few weeks there was chat of Cotterill moving to ADO Den Haag but it didn't happen.
He had a few good seasons with Swansea (along with a few terrible penalty misses), but in a midfield rammed with speed, accuracy and strength, he would never have made a starting line-up/bench/cup match line-up/cup-match bench, so he's essentially just dead wood. Cheers David, but it was unlikely to work.
Brendan Rodgers has essentially given his blessing for Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor and Steven Caulker to take part in Team GB after the players were shortlisted.
As Mr Rodgers says, it would disrupt pre-season and the start of the 2012/13 season, but if the players want to play in the Olympic squad, who are we to say no?
Frankly I couldn't give a shit about football at the Olympics - there are enough major tournaments to be a part of and it will easily be overshadowed by Euro 2012.
For the three Welshmen it may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity as Wales may not qualify for a major tournament in the next ten years. However, the players should be aware that they're club needs them more than Stuart Pearce, for a competition that... nobody really cares about.
Swansea vs Arsenal
Swansea can win the game on Sunday! Back in September the travelling Swans were unlucky not to grab a point at the Emirates (thanks to the rare mistake from Michel Vorm, who threw it at the heels of Angel Rangel, leaving Andrey Arshavin to slot in a fine strike). In fact, with a little more cutting-edge, a win wasn't that far out of reach for the Swans.
With the home crowd behind them, it's more likely this time around. Saying that, Arsenal have warmed as the season has progressed (currently 5th in the table) and may appear more dangerous this time.
The Arsenal legend that is Thierry Henry has returned to the club, and I expect to see him feature at the Liberty. We all know he is capable of scoring a few, so Williams and co will have to keep concentration up at the back. Going forward it's got to be Graham, Dyer and Routledge starting, with Sinclair coming off the bench later in the game.
I predict a cheeky, though well-earned, 2-1 victory to Swansea.