Will tired legs tell in the battle for top 4?

by & filed under News Review.

So it’s a super Saturday lined up for Arsenal today. We’re heading to the midlands to take on a strong West Brom team. The three points are essential and this game can certainly be bundled into the ‘I’m not sure what’s going to happen’ pot. Last year it took the worst goalkeeping performance I’ve ever witnessed to turn West Brom over… hopefully we’ll make lighter work of the fixture today.

Our team is pretty fit considering the stage of the season we’re sitting in and the shape of our squad in years gone by. I’m hoping the front three goes unaltered today. Cazorla should stay out left with Giroud down the middle flanked by an in form Gervinho (fingers crossed). That should cause plenty of problems, especially as we’ve had a whole week off with plenty of time to practice together.

The midfield doesn’t need to change either. Rosicky, Arteta and Ramsey can sometimes be a touch crab like, but if the Czech turns up today and keeps things moving at a high tempo, then we should be fine. The discipline of Ramsey and Arteta gives the back four more protection than they get when Diaby or Jack play.

The only change that might happen in the backline could be the return of Monreal. I always feel more comfortable with him in the starting line up. His positioning is much better and his instinct for knowing the right time to go forward is better.

This should be 3 points today. There are no excuses. We need to fly out the traps and press WBA. The Reading game was played with confidence and creativity. If we can take that away from home today, the result should be favourable.

Chelsea and Spurs both play tomorrow and both have ties that are relatively tough. Chelsea have Sunderland which is only potentially challenging because of the circumstances of a new managerial appointment. Spurs face Everton which is problematic because they’re in form and in the mix for top four. They’ll be tired and depleted as well. Hey, even Steve ‘the mouth’ Bould agrees…

“Being in Europe can be a factor”

“It’s extremely tough, the travel. It can affect and I think sometimes, if a negative result comes along within that time span, it can affect your season. It’s going to be tough.”

So chatty these days…

This weekend is going to be an interesting one… if we win today, we’ll have made progress on someone.

Have a great day! See you in the comments.

429 Responses to “Will tired legs tell in the battle for top 4?”

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  1. Joppa Road

    Bordering on arrogant this post.

    “This should be 3 points today. There are no excuses”. Are you sure Pedro??

    “flanked by an in form Gervinho ” ..wtf? He had an OK vs. Reading and now he is in-form? He’s utter useless.

    0-0 today.

  2. Latest football News

    I think by Monday, we will be tied on points with Spurs and still have a game in hand. Sunderland Chelsea look dicey on paper as well but I think Chelsea have enough in their amoury to beat Sunderland.

    Remains to be seen how Spurs will cope without Bale, Defoe and others in the next couple of games. They have not had a real injury problem this season.

  3. Johnny5

    Got a feeling we will give west brom a bit if a bettering today then it’s a case of wait and see what happens tomorro. If both spuds and chelski win that is just shit . Also if we don’t win and Everton do they could leapfrog us. I just hope we get three points today

  4. Joppa Road

    What amazes me with this blog is that the fans have memories like gold fish. Every week we are going to give our opposition a good hiding yet we have only won 15 league games all season!

    Do you not think Steve Clark has the measure of Wenger tactically? Of course he does. Do you not see Lukaku creating havoc in our defence. Of course he will.

    Yes we might scrap out a one nil victory but don’t be surprised if it’s no where near as comfortable as a few are making out. It’s a very tough ask for this Arsenal side today.

  5. Johnny5

    Joppa

    It’s typical though that wenger gets the best out of the players now we have practically nothing to play for. We will win today might not be a walk in the park but I think we will get three points

  6. Johnty79

    2.2 draw today last minute equilizer by them. Spurs to win. Champs league over thank god.. And I’ll tell you why…

    Lukaku vs kosieny….8stone weakling vs brick out house.. Imagine if they met in prison I know who’s in trouble…koz is good at under 16 level or midget football but against big strong men in the pl it’s a no no….I look forward to coming back on after 5pm to revel in my brilliance…

  7. vicky

    Spurs are really idiot. Who cares about Europa League ? They are exhausting their resources for a meaningless tournament. they should rather focus on PL.

    Expecting a hard fought victory simply against WBA. Their attack is not good enough to win against us.

  8. Joppa Road

    Disagree completely Vicky. I would love Arsenal to win any trophy including the Europa League. Would be a huge achievement.

  9. Joppa Road

    Europa League – meaningless tournament according to most Arsenal fans. Their arrogance know no bounds.

  10. Willie

    I’ve watched some of our games versus West Brom (and Swansea, lately), where it felt like we were playing Barca. It’s obvious West Brom do not have any qualms playing us-most teams don’t these days. I think we’ll make very hard work of it, esp. if we don’t get going early enough.

  11. Pedro

    Joppa, you are so fucking miserable…

    It’s a tough game according to you… but if we win… there will be a reason it’s not relevant.

    The Europa League is an irrelevant tournament… well, compared to the Champions League.

  12. Mayank

    Gotta agree with Joppa here. There’s no indication that today’s match will be easy unless you’re only comparing both teams on form.

    We’ve helped out many a team to get out of slumps over the years.

    That said we really shouldn’t be conceding silly goals at this stage of the season. WBA have shown they have enough fire power to be good for a goal at least at home. Are we good for 2-3 goals away? Sure. But if we let in more than a goal we’re not going to win this one.

    Another one for the defence to prove themselves I’d say.

  13. Danny

    …to revel in my brilliance….
    Well my Frosties just went all over my laptop.
    I gotta use that as a part of a lyric in a song – great stuff!
    As for today, well you all know we’re going to suffer for 2 hours and I really mean suffer…..but we might win.

  14. Cesc Appeal

    Only game I will excuse Arsenal for losing now is United at home…even then they have nothing to play for, will be coasting (as much as a Fergie team ever does) and they’ve looked shoddy a lot….though they still get the victory.

    Even a Yid mate of mine said he thinks we’ll do United 2-0 at home.

    Maximum points from the last games and we’ll finish third I believe.

    Someone is going to open a door for us, Chelsea still have to take on Spurs and City could yet get sucked into the race…not so much chance but easily believable.

    I hope that this car crash of a season will be the rocket up Le Senile’s derriere that he needs to make some big signings and see out his final year with some class.

    What I believe though is that we’ll spend all summer chasing that St Etienne striker and trying to wrap up that Bilbao defender on a free.

    Yet again try to sign Capoue at the last minute and fail and Wenger will say ‘this is my most complete squad ever.’

    I’ve said it before for me it’s:

    Begovic £10-15 Million
    Williams £8 Million
    Capoue £10 Million
    Isco £20-30 Million
    Jovetic £15-25 Million

    Isco has the potential to be a Fabregas again for us, looks a real good prospect and I sincerely hope not just for us but Isco himself that the reports he’s a greed a deal with Chelsea are not true.

    People might be underwhelm by Williams but he’s like having a Campbell back in the back four, he’s a natural leader on the pitch and will command that back line and the defensive middle player with or without the armband. Tough tackling, no nonsense defender who’s really impressed.

    Capoue, watching Matuidi for PSG just goes to show all this rubbish that you don’t need a shielding middle player is just that…rubbish. You need someone who’s going to cover ground and put in hard challenges disrupting a teams rhythm…how often has a player like that destroyed a game for us?

    Jovetic, if reports are to be believed this is already done…I’ll wait till I see him in a shirt…but would be a great signing. Has composure and a good touch, good shot on him as well.

    Begovic, we need a cast iron number one and someone to give Schez something to think about.

    Even with Wenger’s ineptitude as a manager that team should be far and away enough to put us in contention for silverware next term.

  15. Foreheadinho

    Poor Joppa and Johnty, so sad and miserable. At least Joppa will be happy with a win and is intelligent. Johnty I am afraid needs help. Please seek that help and consider switching to be a Man City fan and leave Arsenal and it’s fans alone.

  16. Mayank

    Finals of the last 5 Europa Leagues.

    Atlético Madrid – Bilbao
    Porto – Braga
    Atlético Madrid – Fulham
    Shakhtar – Bremen
    Zenit – Rangers

    Hardly impressive. Three good teams on there. Most teams don’t even play their first team till the last 2-3 rounds.

    I’d value it at the same level as the League cup. I’d like to win it but won’t really lose sleep over the eventual winners.

  17. Pedro

    Cesc, looks like a attainable shopping list… I just wonder if we’d have the balls.

    You haven’t got a right back in there… I hope we don’t go into next season with Bellerin and Jenkinson.

  18. Cesc Appeal

    Pedro

    Yeah that’s what I was going for, people say Hummels and Gotze etc…we could AFFORD them, but would they leave their clubs, I just ask why would they.

    Those players are all easily gettable…think I made up a word.

    RB? Do you think Sagna’s off then?

    Read we’re in for Corchia or something, I’m never really sure with full backs, always seems a hard market to dip into?

    Bellerin is getting lauded but I agree, I don’t want two young rookies essentially having to hold down a position in our defensive line for a season. Though I am excited to see what this Bellerin turns into, even sites that usually hate us like TalkSport and the Mail are saying ‘Arsenal have got the real deal here.’

  19. Mayank

    LFN

    I’d say both Isco and Goetze have about the same potential. Goetze might be a bit ahead right now. But I think Isco will suit us better.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    LFN

    No I think Gotze is different class…Isco can get there though.

    Just don’t think Gotze will leave BvB…he’s essentially like JW for us, you just can’t see it.

  21. Mayank

    Pedro,

    One year on his contract still left. We’ll probably offer him a new deal in the summer. However, if he doesn’t take it it’s not like we’ll get big bucks for him nor is he on massive wages. We might even keep him till the last season. We’ve done that with a few over 30s haven’t we?

  22. Toli83

    Tight win today, West Brom have looked flat of late. One of those teams not playing for anything and not in relegation scrap either.

    Giroud needs to put early chances away today.

  23. Nasri's Mouth

    The thing with Sagna is I wonder whether he’d get a decent contract (more than 2 years) at a CL club, so he might not have too many attractive other options.

    Hopefully someone at the club will know whether his drop in form is merely that or something more longterm.

  24. Nasri's Mouth

    Joppa: Across the Bay @33/1 in the Grand National

    Is he a young English horse that just needs an opportunity ?

  25. Joppa Road

    Nasri – grow up and try and make some useful points for once. Would be a fkin first that’s for sure.

    10000000000000/1 Keyser or Nasri to not be annoying ****s.

  26. Nasri's Mouth

    Joppa: grow up and try and make some useful points for once.
    Would be a fkin first that’s for sure

    Slightly ironic there, given I spent some time yesterday explaining where you went wrong with your English kids theory yesterday.

    But don’t let that stop you hey 😉

  27. Joppa Road

    Nothing wrong with my English youth theory. Better coaching and more money ploughed into it. Simple as that.

    Gambon: My two horses are…

    Across The Bay @33/1
    Paddy the Plasterer @66/1.

  28. Al

    Absolutely crazy we are letting Sagna go. He has one year left, just keep him and have him fight it out with Jenks (competition) and see if he is willing to take an elder role like Winterburn and Dixon used to.

  29. Johnny5

    A1

    Dude sagnas shown he’s not up for the fight even when he walked straight back into the team he wasn’t all that interested. His game as CB is the best he’s played all season. He wants to go I think.

  30. Rhys Jaggar

    Biggest plus in Arsenal’s favour was Gallas’ face when he came on in injury time at the derby. His face was arrogant, smarmy and smug: said he thought that Spurs Top 4 was a gimme and Arsenal were fucked.

    He, more than anyone, should have learned from 2008 that things are more complicated than that.

    Arsenal shouldn’t think that they’re a shoo in now either. They’re not. They’re well positioned and have an easier run-in. But they still have to win the games.

    The next three rounds of league matches may clarify things somewhat.

    But Spurs couldn’t defend for toffee against Basel – could have been 4-0 down easily. For them, the crux match is against Chelsea. They can’t afford to lose it.

    No Bale, no Lennon, they struggle to open teams up. I can see them drawing a few.

    Still think Arsenal need 70pts to be sure, maybe a couple more.

    No room for complacency to get that, after all…….

  31. enkben

    Hope those who claim we ll struggle against west brom later don’t go bashing other arsenal fans for celebrating ‘a win over an average side’, if we do win.

  32. Al

    Johnny5 April 6, 2013 11:03:56

    A1

    Dude sagnas shown he’s not up for the fight even when he walked straight back into the team he wasn’t all that interested. His game as CB is the best he’s played all season. He wants to go I think.
    ===================
    I think he is just disgruntled as he is a player who has and has shown on a load of occasion he plays with a lot of heart.
    Hopefully, he can be managed correctly and won over

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    @enkben

    Doubt it, if we win it’ll be very quiet in here. (and other blogs) Human nature means that people prefer to whinge about a loss than celebrate a win.

  34. Joppa Road

    Ekben – why would I bash any fans if Arsenal win? I just don’t think it will be easy today and I rate Steve Clark so am expecting a tough game.

    I’m not sure Arsenal, under Wenger will be aware just what an important run in this is. He probably tells them go out and just enjoy it. Sometimes fear of losing is a good thing. Not sure Arsenal care either way under this management style.

  35. Johnny5

    A1,

    ‘Managed correctly’

    Sorry have you been following arsenal lately?

    We will mishandle the fuck out of any contract talks that may be ongoing and sell him. The profits won’t make themselves either if psg make the offer he’s gone. Simples.

  36. Greenmount Gooner

    Joppa RoadApril 6, 2013    11:29:59
    What is the point of Nasri’s Mouth?

    To counter the relentlessly negative drivel people like your good self post on here constantly!

  37. enkben

    @ joppa road
    My point was, sometimes after a win , when I come here, instead of some here praising de team, they focus on some mistakes and bash those fans who choose to celebrate by saying stuff like ‘they re an average team so we should be beating dem easily’ or we struggled to beat a midtable team

  38. Johnny5

    Enkben

    You can understand why they do it though can’t you?

    We should be easily beating the likes of WBA Norwich reading etc but we do tend to make hard work of it.

  39. Al

    Johnny5 April 6, 2013 11:29:23

    A1,

    ‘Managed correctly’

    Sorry have you been following arsenal lately?

    We will mishandle the fuck out of any contract talks that may be ongoing and sell him. The profits won’t make themselves either if psg make the offer he’s gone. Simples.
    ==============================
    Hence, why i said “HOPEFULLY, he can be managed correctly and won over”

  40. Toli83

    Talent wise Nani has a lot in his locker.

    One thing I can guarentee you is that is Fergie can’t get the best out of him and discipline him then Wenger definitely won’t be able to.

  41. Mayank

    “No Nani you doughnut.”

    Ah.

    Why are you so wound up so early on a Saturday morning?

    Also, Nani’s hardly worth 20m either. Maybe if he goes to PSG or Porto. No-one else will pay that much for a player that can’t beat Valencia for the first team.

  42. Johnny5

    Gambon,

    I’d pay it. He’s worth it. We pay theo 100k. Nani is better than theo so it’s a no brainer for me and £20m ain’t bad either.

  43. Cesc Appeal

    Gambon

    I’ve been hitting the sauce pretty hard last few weekends, no real reason why…at the risk of sounding like a raging alcoholic I found the best medicine the morning after is to have a beer, in all seriousness, beer and food

  44. Al

    Toli83 April 6, 2013 11:42:24

    Talent wise Nani has a lot in his locker.

    One thing I can guarentee you is that is Fergie can’t get the best out of him and discipline him then Wenger definitely won’t be able to.
    ———————–
    I actually think Wenger can, due to the fact that he is less restrictive compared to Fergie when it comes to allowing players to do what they want and expressing themselves

  45. Johnny5

    A1,

    I admire the optimism bud but I don’t share it if we get an offer that wenger deems reasonable he’s gone. And I don’t even think he’d take much convincing to leave us. Like I said the profits for this year need to come from somewhere or our whole financial stance gets exposed as being bollocks.

  46. enkben

    @johnny5
    If u see how they describe our team, saying we hav e lot of dross and average players, they of all people shouldn’t expect us to beat anyone easily.

  47. Toli83

    For that money I’d rather get Arda Turan, better player and not bottle job in he big games either.

    It’s important we strengthen with battlers as well skill.

    Nani is whining little cunt.

  48. Mayank

    “Also Zenit bid £25M for him.

    Hes easily a £20m player, this isnt 1999.”

    That was last year. That was on the back of two seasons with a combined 55 starts 17 goals and 24 assists. Impressive stats.

    This season he’s has 6 PL starts with 1 goal and 2 assists.

    This without any major injuries. There’s probably 2-3 players in the world that can command 20m on the back of a season like this.

    PSG and maybe Zenit will offer about 15m for him. The rest will not bother with a player that SAF hasn’t been able to keep motivated.

  49. Inter YourGran

    Afternoon all,

    Close win for me today. 2-1, 0-1.. Just the three points, please…

    Think Podolski should start this one and move Cazorla back inside with Rosicky starting from the bench. If Gervinho’s or Giroud’s done fuck all by half time, switch it.

    Bale’s injury is insignificant if it’s for two weeks only. Everton are without Fellaini and Pienaar and most likely Miralles tomorrow.

    On His Own & Balthazar City each way in the National today if you’re spending large with a cover of Cappa Bleu & Sea Bass to recoup the funds.

  50. gambon

    Mayank,

    Cos Fergie has fallen out with him, teams wont forget that hes one of the PLs best players, i say again, easily a £20m player, and im not even a huge fan.

    Toli, i think hes vastly better than Turan.

  51. gambon

    Luke Shaw is going to be a seriously good player, top level.

    Also, i met Hooiveld in a nightclub a few months back with a few of the lesser known players, very nice guy. Like southampton as a club.

  52. Nasri's Mouth

    @gambon

    Sorry to point out you being wrong again, (it’s getting a bit of a habit isn’t it?) but while I’m sure you’ll be keeping your eye on this blog, desperate to call someone a cunt when they say something positive, the truth is there are less comments after a win than after a loss. Not just this blog, others too,

    Whether a win,draw or loss, there are just as many things to discuss, but people don’t attach the same level of importance to them.

  53. Inter YourGran

    Agree about Shaw, Gambon. Looks a good player and very composed at such a young age. Southampton’s academy is doing well producing good British young players at a high level. Good revenue stream for the club and any youngster for there nowadays is costing tens of millions.

    Always like them since the Le Tiss days and their relegation dogfights every season. Wigan are the current premiership’s yesteryear Southampton.

  54. Tim

    to Johnty79 or whatever your name is.. Koscielny an 8 stone weakling? Bullshit. He’s miles better than Vermaelen, he is one of the quickest defenders in the league, he makes mistakes but his performances lately have been unreal, including really tough fixtures like Bayern.

    Strength isn’t always the answer against strong attackers. Senderos was a big lad, and he was statistically the leagues worst defender against Drogba.

  55. Cesc Appeal

    Gambon

    Agree about Shaw.

    Would rather have Monreal and Shaw than Gibbs…Gibbs isn’t bad bad, just positionally not great and a constant injury worry.

    Though with Monreal I feel like our defence is a lot more solid

  56. gambon

    Pretty happy with Monreal & Gibbs, like Nacho a lot.

    That said Shaw could be different class. Hes 6 months younger than Hector Bellerin and looks like one of the better PL left backs.

    Chelsea will sign him in the summer.

  57. Inter YourGran

    😆 Claus Lundekvam, brilliant….

    We don’t need Shaw, although he’s a good young player suited to Arsenal’s model. I’m happy with Monreal & Gibbs in all honesty. Gibbs is ever improving and a local lad. He’s done very well this season and last season, unfortunately the injury curse keeps striking. It’s a problem, but not a Diabyesque one. Luckily, we have a Spanish International in Monreal who’s what I call a good pro. Nothing flashy, nothing calamitous. Just does his job well quietly and consistently in a position that requires it.

    I don’t agree with the ones who think Sagna will leave this summer. I think he’ll stay another season with the option of a further 12 months on slightly improved terms. I think that give Jenkinson and Bellerin the 18 month transition to be a number one & two. No point in spunking money on a right back, we don’t really need.

    The mooted war chest would really only require;

    Out – the usual suspects (Denilson, Bendtner, Chamackh, Arshavin, Santos, Squillaci, Djourou, Coquelin/Frimpong, Fabianski/Mannone) Raising est. 25-30m in fees and saved Wages.

    In – Begovic 15m
    Capoue 10-12m
    Centre Back 12-18m (N’ Kolou, Sakho, Tasci)
    Goezte/Isco – 20-35m
    Jovetic – 20-24m

  58. Inter YourGran

    Also, If Arsenal start buying players like Maher this summer i’ll lose my rag. I’m glad we missed out on Zaha also to be honest. I’m one that’s not been overtly impressed by his performances and the price tag was obscene.

  59. bankz

    Lukaku isn’t in the Starting XI’. This could be good new for us. Anywayz we need to keep our defensive shape to win all 3points.
    Giroud and Cazorla have to be clinical as we won’t get as many chances like we had last week.

  60. vicky

    What is the point in discussing who are the players we can sign with our budget. At best,we will sign one player from those mentioned above. It never turns out the way we want,does it?

  61. Joppa Road

    I guess I was right about today judging by the early passages of play. One day you lot will listen.

  62. Rob The Goon

    Afternoon all…

    Rare bob – 22
    Roberto gold back – 22

    For obvious reasons…

    cappa bleu – 12

    And an arsenal win thanks!

  63. Joppa Road

    Cowley…why?

    Don’t quite understand why you wouldn’t play Lukaku. Need a second to see this game off.

  64. Arsene's Nurse

    Oh Ramsey you fucking cunt!!! That would have been a sublime goal. I feel sorry for him though because he knows what a fuck up that was.

  65. Keyser

    That wasn’t a clear pen, considering Chris Foy didn’t see Stuart Taylor completely taking Giroud out as a penalty not sure what one is anymore.