Apologies for the lack of blogging yesterday, it was my friend’s funeral and then we all went back to her house for what turned out to be a celebration of her life rather than a mourning of her passing and no-one wanted to leave.
I’m sure you’d not begrudge me that.
Now, apologies out of the way, what’s going on at Arsenal?
Quite a bit it seems.
Buy now you’ll have all had your say on Rambo’s transfer to Forrest on loan, a good thing in my opinion as it will get him back to fitness without diminishing the power in our midfield.
Hold your chuckles.
So, the match. Anyone looking forward to it with more excitement than a visit to the dentist to have your wisdom teeth removed without anaesthetic? Didn’t think so.
We simply HAVE to win. Will a draw or a defeat be a disaster? In terms of the overall league standings not really, but given how last weekend and mid-week went we simply have to arrest this slide now before it takes hold.
Talking to my Man U supporting mate he said he just wasn’t feeling it from United this year and he’s been on the money for the whole time I’ve known him. My response was that IF we could get our team mentality right it’s there for the talking, his reply? A team can get used to losing.
And that’s very true.
We will go to Villa with a strong line-up. I know some are moaning the absence of Cesc but I don’t think it will be that big of a loss. His form due to his injury has been sub-par to say the least, and with a fully-functioning and flying Nasri in there alongside Jack we should be much more effective. The only worry I have in there is Songinho’s refusal to play in the position he is paid for.
I’m not even going to discuss the ludicrousness of the conversation regarding taking the captaincy away from Cesc.
At the back I think Djourou should retain his place but I don’t know of he will. Sagna will be back in his rightful place (Eboue isn’t really a loss is he? Unless, that is, Sagna gets injured) and the other places will be taken by Squillaci and Gibbs with Clichy still injured. That does leave us quite light in defensive cover.
Wouldn’t be an Arsenal season any other way would it?
Up front we should see Chamakh come back for the ineffective Bendtner who should be lucky to retain his place on the bench after his display against Braga. Arshavin should also come back and that just leaves a decision to be made between Theo and TR7. I’d start Tom, leave Theo for late in the game when his pace will pay off more against tired legs and TR7 is a tireless worker, and also a player who must feel very unlucky not to be in the starting line-up on a weekly basis.
We need players to step up. We need them to show that they are hurt and embarrassed by what has taken place over the last seven days. In short, we need someone who is capable of grabbing the game by the scruff and trailing the rest of the team over the line somehow. I think we have those players in Jack, Sami, and Chamakh and TR7 to some degree as well. Will it be enough? It needs to be, but the others need to step up too.
Song NEEDS to stay back, the centre-backs NEED to know what the hell is going on back there. The full-backs NEED to be focused on defending first, attacking when appropriate later. The midfielders NEED to support Chamakh, and Arshavin NEEDS to be awake.
That’s a lot of needs, very few of which have been fulfilled lately.
Heading in to this match Villa have scored 15 goals to our 27, and have conceded 20 to our 15. At home they have only conceded five of those though, whereas we have leaked six on our travels. They are also more prone to conceding in the last 10 minutes of games with half being let in as the match drew to a close. That would be good as we used to score lots then, now it seems we like to let others back in to matches instead.
Keeps it interesting.
Then again, we’ve scored six in the last 10 whereas they’ve only scored two. It does show a trend from Villa to switch off or tire near the end of matches in a way we can only dream of.
Lose tomorrow and it will be about more that just the three points. It will be about the belief in this team, it’s ability, and it’s mental strength or lack of. Win and we go top, albeit maybe only briefly, but the world would suddenly seem a lot rosier than it does at the minute.
Losing another game, our third in a row in all competitions is unthinkable, so I’m not going to think about it. My feelings before matches have been on the money so far this season with only the West Brom match catching me out. I feel a win for us tomorrow.
Let’s hope I’m right huh?
|scored at home||10||17|
|scored 1st half||9||12|
|scored 2nd half||6||15|
|scored opening 15||3||4|
|from open play||7||20|
|from free kicks||0||0|
|direct from free kicks||1||0|
|inside 6 yard box||6||9|
|inside 18 yard box||8||16|
|outside 18 yard box||2||1|
|from open play||14||8|
|from free kicks||1||2|
|direct from free kicks||1||1|
|inside 6 yard box||7||6|
|inside 18 yard box||8||8|
|outside 18 yard box||5||1|
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