The days after Tuesday night’s slightly backs to the wall, slightly lucky win against Montpellier have passed slowly. We’ve waited for this weekend’s visit to Eastlands with nothing but the sound of tumbleweed blowing across the training ground at London Colney….
Oh, alright then, it’s not been like that at all. This week, Arsenal fans got the news that we’ve been waiting for since last summer. Jack. Is. Back. And he’s pissed. Alright, so I made that last bit up, but if Abou Diaby was talking about taking “revenge on time” for the amount of injury trauma he’s suffered, then Jack must also be burning with a similar sense of indignation. It ain’t much of a leap to think that, is it? Thinking about this, the excitement I feel at the prospect of seeing this most prodigious of Arsenal midfielders back in our red and white, I feel slightly fucking ridiculous. You know, what with being an adult member of the human race and all that.
But then, this is Jack Wilshere, the kid that stood toe to toe with the likes of Xavi and Iniesta last February and acquitted himself wonderfully. It’s natural to be excited, I think. But, of course, it would be daft to expect Jack to be back to his best immediately. He’s missed even more football than Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey did after their legs were broken. The good news for us is, with our midfield currently functioning as it is, is that we don’t need him back to his best immediately. We don’t even have to try and rush him back to the first team. Clearly a bad result on Sunday, might induce a bit more panic than we’re currently feeling, but with Coquelin, the Ox and Ramsey all available as cover for the first three, it’s be a shame to run him into the ground as soon as he’s back. Not that I think we’ll do that. Not with Arsene saying he won’t be coming back to the first team for”a few weeks”.
So, how do you see the Manchester City game going? For some reason, I feel strangely confident that we will go and get a result there. Ok, so it’s not strange. City haven’t started the season spectacularly, the old adage that it’s harder to stay on top to get there (something we can certainly attest to) ringing true for them- thus far. Whereas we seem to have bit more solidity to us this season, we’ll certainly be travelling in much better shape than we were in our last visit to Eastlands. Remember that? Djourou and Vermaelen at full back? I also think that City being at home, they will want to take the game to us. They will want to have a football match against us and I’d back us in a proper football match against anyone.
OK, maybe not anyone…
You’ll remember that we, deservedly, beat City last time out via a wonderful Mikel Arteta goal. But, that was at home, last season and I don’t think it will have much bearing on Sunday’s match. City will be dangerous, clearly they will, and I do expect us to be on the back foot for periods of this game. But I think our ball retention is good, we have improved defensively and we have a few players in this team who are genuinely capable of winning the match for us. I’m not too worried about recounting the threat that City pose, they’re the league champions for a reason. But this Arsenal side know that an early season win at the home of the champions would be, in the words of Mikel Arteta, be “a bit of a statement” to those who believe, that without Judas, we are merely Europa League fodder.
They’ve got the incentive, they’ve got the ability, they just need to show it. And, maybe, defend a bit.
Come on you Gunners!------------
If you’ve been having problems accessing this site on your work computer using the URLS globalgooners.com and gossip.globalgooners.com should sort that problem for you.
Get your free LadyArse app here for Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone [iPhone coming soon]
Get your free Arsenal wallpaper, Facebook covers and Twitter headers here