Arsenal take a valuable point at City | We’ll push for a striker in January if we’re in contention | Jack starting contender after international break

by & filed under Match report, News Review.

Nerves were jangling pre-match. Thomas Vermaelen was missing due to injury and Aaron Ramsey had managed to land himself a starting position in the front three. Midfield stayed the same and Vito Mannone continued with the number one jersey (not literally before anyone corrects me).

The opening ten minutes were pretty cagey. Sloppy passes from both teams but overall, possession domination from Arsenal. Cazorla was the first one to fire off a shot and in general, the Spaniard looked like the most motivated man on the pitch. Diaby struggled to get into his stride, whether that was being overawed by playing next to Yaya, or just a general dip in form was unknown.


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Arsenal enter the cauldron today, we need to establish our credentials, destiny is ours!

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Southampton, the team we beat 6-1 last week beat Villa 4-1 yesterday, and don’t forget Villa are no mugs, they beat us about 19 years ago.

I know that because I have a good mate that supports them and he often reminds of that fact. He also bets me every year they’ll finish above us and that my friends is all you need to know about Villa fans!

So the Premier League once again proved to the world there are many winners because any team can do you damage, on their day any team is capable of beating any team.

Look at the contrasting Blackburn games of last season for example.

A win today would put us in second place, we should only be thinking of 3 points because to be considered challengers we need to win these games and the last time we played them, we had a weakened side and yet still managed a win.

This is a great time to be playing them, their defence is crap, the confidence is dented by our old chums in Madrid and we are buzzing.

We have a lot of competition for spots all over the park, and we have Giroud, who will explode on the scene soon, so perhaps the hardest game so far is where he’ll do it.

Cazorla will have his own personal battle with Silva and Podolski will be keen to put the Argie strikeforce in its place.

The first 10 minutes will be crucial because they will throw the kitchen sink at us, then we’ll score on the break and they will fall apart, I can see it as I write, this will be our Jerusalem! Today has our name written all over it and we get to wear our home kit, though our socks may well be red.

There really isn’t anyone I would cringe seeing for the Arsenal today, unless it was Chamakh, Park or Squillaci and we all know that won’t happen so it’s happy days being a fan right now.

This might also be a game for Arshavin, not sure how fit he is but sometimes big games bring out the best in big players, and regardless of what he’s done in the past and what you think of him, he was a great player and that you don’t lose overnight.

At least we don’t have to suffer 4 – 18 year olds on the bench so I don’t really care who he does use today. Here’s what I think.

Chezzer (injury permitted)

Jenkinson Mertesacker Vermaelen Gibbs

Arteta Cazorla Diaby

Gervinho Giroud Podolski

I think he’ll choose Giroud for his height and Gervinho over Walcott or Chamberlain but as I said I wouldn’t have a problem if he had Arshavin and Oxo out wide.

This squad excites me with it possibilities but every player today needs to pull their weight.

Today Daniel enters the Lions Den and we need battlers not bottlers, for those of you who aren’t Christian and don’t know this heroic story, believe me in that the odds are against us and using bad language is neither big, nor clever.

Diaby once compared himself to YaYa Toure, brother of drug cheat Kolo. Well today Abou, you have your chance to benchmark yourself, do us all proud!

I’m going for a win today Grovers, but not an ugly one, a graceful and poetic one.

Today Arsene gets to find out if he has screwed up or pulled off the masterstroke of the season.

And don’t forget what I said about bad language. Go with God today people, I think we may need a little help up there!

Arsenal finally have a team of fighters now the big time Charlie’s have gone.

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Right as Pedro is in West Virginia listening to Banjo ballads whilst tasting tree bark, you have me for the weekend, today I want to talk about this new look team and what I think the difference is this season.

Theo Walcott must sign or be sold by this January in my opinion.

I have always supported Theo and long believed he would come good, I still do, but we’ve offered £75k a week and he wants £100k, he clearly hasn’t proved his worth to this team so here’s what I would do.

Play him up front between now and December, if it works and he starts banging them in then pay him the money, if he doesn’t then sell him to the highest bidder, like we should have done with Flamini.

We have a number of options now with Gervinho, Giroud and Podolski but you can never have enough up top in the EPL and using them as subs would keep players fresh.

Look what’s happened to Gervinho, drop him and put his place under threat and he starts playing well, it’s not rocket science is it?

Also I did hear that getting shot of Song’s influence has also helped. I’m also reading a lot of how Wenger’s team is playing better even after losing two of it’s best players. No it’s not, it’s playing better because he got rid of Song.

I have been saying for years now that this team would play better without him and now it is, this isn’t an ‘I told you so’ but to me it’s obvious that we pass better and quicker going forward and we defend better when we are being attacked.

Yes Bould’s influence was immediate but so was the lack of Song, we no longer have a wasted player in there. See how long he stays at Barca.

It won’t be long before Giroud starts banging them in, I remember when Ian Rush went 10 games without scoring, I also went 10 games at the same time, and guess what, we both scored on the same day, though my 20 yard back heel was a tad lucky!

I have to say we now have a team that I don’t wince at when I see a certain player trotting out, gone are the Song’s and the Eboue’s, gone are the Squillaci’s and the Chamakh’s and Carl Jenkinson is beginning to look like a classy right back at last, even ‘I don’t sing the anthem’ Ramsey is playing well.

It’s been a real pleasure this season Arsenal, I so hope we can keep it up starting with the Northern Chavs tomorrow.

Some say Cazorla has made the difference, some say Podolski and some say Steve Bould has made us look exciting this year, maybe even contenders, but the big difference for me is this team fights for every ball, we got rid of the big time Charlie’s in the last two seasons and now we have a team of grafters, a team that finally shuts players down and a team that moves the ball at pace and has a shot at the end of it.

Add the skills that this team has coming back and we really do look good, this next week will tell us if it can compete, lose our next two and we won’t challenge, win them and we’ll be favourites! I think I want this season more than any other because of Robin, how funny would that be if he left us for trophies and we won them all!

Ok we can all dream but with Jack and Sagna still to return and Kozzer yet to start, I think we have the makings of a very good team. Yes I wished he had bought a few more players but he didn’t, so we have to hope the players we have are good enough, so far, so good Arsene!

Have a great day Grover’s, tomorrow is the big one.