“He had another setback on Saturday that we are concerned with.”
So, bad news for our favourite Belgian and maybe another indication that we do things wrong on the fitness side of things. He had zero problems last year, this year he’ll have been out for a minimum of 5 or so months. Is it coincidence that we have more crocks than anyone else? Is it just bad luck? Or does Wenger have to address how hard he trains players throughout the year?
Arsenal’s injury return dates are like women’s notches, take what they tell you and multiply it by 5. Rosicky, Gilberto, Diaby, Eduardo, Theo, Robin and Thierry have all been 6 weekers that turn into 3-4monthers. It’s a really big problem and one that GPS alone doesn’t seem to be able to solve.
The positives out of all this?
Well, firstly I can tell you categorically that there has been no cover up of a long-term injury by the club. That much is clear. I’m pretty sure that last season, Wenger knew JD was going to be out long-term and he decided against making a defensive signing before the window shut. Then it shut and Arsenal.com told us all he was in trouble. That was very naughty and ultimately costly.
This season he’s turned a new leaf. He’s lost Vermaelen short team, though realistically, due to the length of time he’s been out, he’s a long termer. He’s also lost Squillaci for 2-3 weeks. The key behavioural change is that he’s come out and admitted it and decided to purchase a new defender.
He’s umming and ahhring, like he usually does but I believe that he knows Song and Miquel are not suitable at the back. That said, I’m starting to wonder whether Wenger gets off on going against the grain? Why make 3 changes when you can make 8? Why play your best player in the semi finals of the FA Cup when you can drop him? Why buy two proper centre backs in the summer when there are two cheap ones available?
Anyway, my money is on Chris Samba. Don’t ask me why and don’t hold me to my thought process, I just have a feeling he’s the one. His fitness record is pretty spiffing as well. He’s played virtually all Blackburn’s games over the past 3 seasons, so that’ll mean he’s got at least a year until we run him into the ground. He might not be amazing on the deck, he might not be the next Maldini, but as a stop gap and an addition to our back 4, why the hell not?
His odds have just improved that little bit further with Wenger intimating he’ll look to the Premiership.
In my dreams, have to say though, my love is strong for Per Mertesacker.
Tonight’s game has significant importance for our season. We could not only win our first trophy of the last 5 years, we could also win the trophy for winning the first trophy of 2011.
Cesc says we should be wary of a team that sees us as the biggest two games of their season (tell that to Spurs). I agree, we can’t go out tomorrow night thinking that we have the game in the bag like we did against Leeds. I’d be telling the boys that nothing short of an absolute spanking will be acceptable. These are the games that we need to go out and dominate the opposition. I want to see us express ourselves, I want to see creativity and I want to see some goals.
Most importantly, I want to see 100% concentration from the start. Switching off is complacency and laziness. That can’t happen tomorrow. I don’t want to sit here on Thursday morning spamming tractor boy comments ripping me for being so assertive about this thrilling victory I believe we’ve got in the bag.
Sagna JD Song Gibbs
Jack Denilson Cesc
Theo RVP Nasri
Now, that side would tear Ipswich a new combine harvester. I can see Nasri and RvP possibly being rested, but if I was Wenger, I’d prioritise trouncing Ipswich away and have a nice relaxer at home in second leg. That’s me though, not coach of the decade, surrogate father to 427 pro footballers.
Keep an eye out for striking sensation Connor Wickham, according to many, we like him a lot.
After this game, we’ve got West Ham. A game that shouldn’t be tricky, yet always seems to be. Hopefully they’ll be knackered after their win against Birmingham last night. The match will be like the dress rehearsal for the Carling Cup Final! After that we’ve got Leeds with the added incentive of a 4th round with Huddersfield. If we dismantle them, we’re in the quarters of the FA Cup and three games away from a possible cup double.
Then we have Everton, Newcastle and Wolves before the big one… Barcelona at home. If Wenger manages the next few weeks sensibly, we’re in with what I would describe as a ‘f*cking great position.’
First things first though, the carrot crunchers…
See you in the comments!
P.S. If you have spares going for any upcoming ties and you want to be put in touch with desperate buyers, drop me an e-mail (especially if you’ve got Barca spares).
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