It seems Arsène Wenger has come to his senses.
All the talk in the newspapers this morning is of Andrey Arshavin being unleashed against Sunderland this afternoon.
The Russian playmaker may not yet be match fit and he’s certainly got a way to go to learn how to deal with the rough and tumble of the Premier League, but as long as he keeps his head, I expect him to have a positive impact on the rest of the season.
Given that he is known to be outspoken and prone to lapses in self-discipline, keeping calm when opponents try to rile him will be a domestic challenge.
There has been much debate about where exactly Arshavin will play. A second forward perhaps? He could easily play that role although Wenger has a habit of blooding players in wide positions who he later hopes will play more centrally.
He did it with Thierry Henry, he is doing it with Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela.
I fear Wenger still doesn’t entirely trust Vela to start Premier league matches, and the Mexican needs more playing time to force himself into the mix.
But it seems as if Wenger has realised that Manu Ebouè simply has no place in Arsenal’s first team.
For a manager who talks about playing with flair and adventure, in the right way and ‘with the handbrake off’, Ebouè has been the cause of so much stalling in the Arsenal machine.
So I was delighted to read Wenger’s comments this morning about his new record signing.
“The potential is there, the skill is there, the technical quality is there. We have always played with two creative players on the flanks.
"It is very important for our efficiency. I believe he will start right or left because that is a position where we can move a lot – so I can start him on the flanks. I feel always when a player can pass people in the final third they have something special. What I like about Arshavin is he is calm in his final ball.”
Er, no you haven’t always played with two creative players, Arsène, because Ebouè has played wide for the past 18 months and done little to justify his place. Of course, injuries have forced his hand but can Wenger really say that the Ivorian has contributed more than Vela would have done?
Today should be the day we get back to the type of football we used to see under Wenger - the days of Marc Overmars, Freddie Ljungberg, Bobby Pires and Jose Antonio Reyes. Heck, even Alex Hleb brought some magic to the team even if he was equally infuriating.
As I mentioned earlier this week, a fellow Addict said to me that with Arshavin, Nasri, Walcott and Rosicky, Ebouè should never play for Arsenal again apart from when Sagna is injured.
Let’s hope he is demoted at the start today and that this really is the beginning of the end for a player who has never understood what it means to play for The Arsenal.
COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!