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Premier League Hot Gossip: Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea

Sportingo.com’s Mark Apostolou brings daily coverage of the Premier League’s hot gossip. 

The North London derby can be a tough encounter but Arsenal teenager Armand Traore may have come a little too prepared for battle as he was arrested on suspicion of carrying a knuckle-duster at the Spurs match on Saturday (The Sun).

The 17-year-old French star, who wasn’t playing, was allegedly caught with the weapon on the way into White Hart Lane with a pal. Apparently, the allegation was enough for Arsene Wenger to consider dropping the youngster from his first-team squad. Traore is said to have apologised after being cautioned, though a club source is quoted rather bizarrely as saying, “Armand had no idea he’d done anything wrong because the laws are different in France.”

One player who should be in fighting mood is Spurs forgotten man Jermain Defoe. But after sitting on the sidelines so long, he says:  “I’ve just got to be patient and wait for my chance. I feel fit, strong and am fully committed to the cause. Everybody knows how passionate I am about this club. I’ll keep working hard in training and make sure I am ready physically and mentally when called upon.”

It’s honourable that JD is content to sit it out until Bent, Berbatov and Co break a toe or whatever, but Tottenham supremo Daniel Levy is rightfully worried that the England international may do a ‘Sol.’ That’s see out the remaining two years of his contract and then scarper for nothing. It’s going to be a difficult balancing act – come January what’s the betting they give the former Hammer an ultimatum that reads something like, ‘Sign the contract, or we’ll sell you’. Letting Defoe just rot in the reserves would do little good and leave the club at a financial loss.

Lovable former diver Cristiano Ronaldo admits he enjoys nothing better than watching his favourite DVD over and over again – and, no, it’s not the limited edition box-set of the works of cult Polish movie director Krzysztof Kieślowski, but the match footage that won him his dream move to Manchester United.

The Portuguese international put in such an outstanding performance for Sporting Lisbon in that 2003 friendly win over United that Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs spent the trip home begging Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the Madeira-born teenager. That pleading did the trick. Maybe the wing wizard can now move on to making his own 90-minute compilation of step-overs and tricks. I’d watch that … if I was drunk.

Chelsea are clearly a team in crisis, Jose Mourinho is not a happy man and hasn’t been for some time by the look of it. On top of his continuing rift with chairman Roman Abramovich, he now has an injury crisis to contend with as Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard won’t be fit for Sunday’s Premier League crunch match against Manchester United (various).

Things are not rosy at Stamford Bridge right now – a draw at home to Rosenborg was the latest in a succession of average performances. I am sure things will improve in West London – they do after all have 326 international players on their books.