Wednesday is here and we have a very important match to deal with all the way up in the midlands at a place called Wolverhampton. Quite literally, one of the worst places I've ever been. Outside Merseyside, there aren't many places that refuse to let me pump petrol before I pay. Wolverhampton was one of those places. They wouldn't even unlock the door at 0730 in the morning. I had to have my Ginsters curried steak slice passed through a caged window.
Anyway, the football team used to reflect the place. Nasty, agressive and oh so classy. However, Jez Moxley took it upon himself to sack the man keeping them afloat and in his wisdom, he decided to do it without finding a replacement. So, Wolves are rooted to the bottom of the league, the caretaker manager hasn't a clue and it's looking pretty certain they'll be relegated.
Like I said yesterday, it would be a total shock if we didn't come away with the points. We have plenty of players in form and I'd say we've probably taken a second wind of momentum after putting City to the sword at the weekend.
Injury news is looking ok. The biggest loss we have to the team is Koscielny. He's out with a two match suspension. JD will step into his shoes and I'm sure he'll do a great job. The last two times he's had to step in, we've won. There's a good defender in there somewhere, we just don't see it when he's stuck out at right back. Gibbs is out with a fatigued groin. It's not unsurprising. What's surprising is he isn't out for 6 weeks. Santos will step into the fold. Gervinho is out with an ankle problem as well.
I'm not sure what the coach will do today. Most of us are eager to see Chamblerlain come in and show what he's got. The boss doesn't seem too keen. Is part of his mindset around that warding off the interest of the England manager? I hope not. Still, when the team plays as well as it does when we have all the old boys playing, why take a risk?
We don't need explosive creativity today. What we need is a hard fought performance and desire by the bucket load. If we win the next two games, you'd have to say that 3rd place is looking as good as sealed. We simply MUST win tonight. There can be no excuses. Wolves are the whipping boys of the league. If we lose tonight... we might as well have drawn the last 3 games. We have to make picking up 3 bonus points against City count.
Arteta has the right idea and I've no doubt the youngsters will be looking to him to lead the way this evening.
"We've put in a big effort, we are in a strong position now and we don't want to waste it. We had a setback at QPR and it says a lot for our spirit that we came straight back.
"Everyone was saying we were in trouble again because Newcastle look really strong, Chelsea have been winning and I'm sure they'll be there until the end.
"I don't think it will be easy, we have some good examples this year when we have dropped points against teams near the bottom.
"We have to go there with the right mentality and the right approach and sense of pride. When you're playing away from home there are no easy games in the Premier League.”
Bang on my friend... we need to make sure the complaceny monster stays in the dressing room today.
The manager took time out to praise Sagna. He's often an unsung hero in the side. What I love about him is that you get the same level of commitment in every game from him. He flies into tackles, he has a tremendous amounts of pace and he seems to have a lot of love for the club.
“I must say with the right back position I have been quite lucky because we had Lee Dixon when I arrived, then Lauren, and Sagna afterwards. They have all been real winners and extremely consistent. On that front we were very lucky.
“They are all real battlers, they are ready to die to win. All these players have been inspirational for everybody because their physical level, commitment, intelligence and desire to win is all there.”
I was also told on a personal level from someone who works with him on the charity front that he's one of the nicest footballers to work with. He never asks for anything and always wants to do whatever he can to help. Let's hope we have a rocket performance from him this evening!
There's a lot of online rage about Balotelli and his lack of a suspension today. I can't be bothered to get into it too deeply. He won't play for City again this season, he's ruined his career to a degree. I don't know why people are constantly shocked at the ineptitude of the FA. Until they start ruling using common sense, we'll always end up with decisions like yesterdays. I do find it amusing that you're more likely to get in trouble for a bit of bad language than you are over breaking someone's leg. Where is the sense in that? If you break someone's leg in Sunday League in the Uk, you can find yourself in court and jailed. That's how serious it is... Anyway, we've more important things to deal with.
Two final things to talk over.
Wenger said Yossi gives balance to the side and he'll decide on his future at the end of the year. He said it's a global decision because he has many players out on loan. I think age probably comes into it and possibly players he's looking to sign from elsewhere. He's a top player, I'd be disappointed if he had to make way because we had to bring back an average loanee.
Second story. Bild reported that Mertesacker would be returning early. Wenger reported that he's in Germany running, but not kicking a ball yet. He's fine though. Also, there have been a number of reports indicating he's being shipped out in the summer. Now, I haven't had a catch up with Pam in a while, but everything I've heard about the German is glowing. He's an absolute top professional. He's loved by everyone and he gets involved in arranging social events outside of the captain. I'd be shocked if Wenger shipped on a defender who gives us something we've never had at the back... height.
Right, that's it for today, enjoy the game if your'e heading up there, good luck with your illegal stream if you're not!
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See you in the comments!