Good morning good people of Le Grove. Apologies for the late post and the probable short length of this one. I’ve had a manic week and I’ve got a manic day ahead.
I’ll crack straight in with the gloating… Spurs lost in the quarter finals of the Europa League against Swiss team Basle. What made it so fantastical is that the game was an absolute slog. It went to extra time. Then the penalty shoot out ended it. Adebayor missing in quite horrendous fashion.
So Spurs are out of Europe, which means they can focus on the league… but I think they’ll be shattered. Which can only support us for the run in.
The news for Norwich tomorrow is that Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere return to the squad. Jack could find himself starting because Rosicky is out with a tight hamstring. Therein lies the problem with the Czech, give him 5 or 6 games and it destroys his body. You can’t rely on him long term, but he’s been a perfectly placed stop gap whilst Jack has been out.
So the only real conundrum for Arsene centres around whether he lets Walcott loose at the expense of Gervinho. Which, based on form and the general love he has for the Ivorian, would probably be a no. We’ll have a pretty strong bench though.
Norwich will come with a game plan tomorrow. Chris Hughton is a quite a savvy manager. We often struggle against Norwich. They can play football to decent standard and they have a collection of quite average players who seem to play 20% above their ability. If we play to the level we have been over the last few games, they shouldn’t pose a problem. I just hope Arsene sends out a motivated group of players. We’re heading into muddy waters… we’re on a run. Let’s hope we don’t get complacent.
One player who certainly wont be short of motivation is Thomas Vermaelen. He’ll be slipping back into the starting 11 off the back of a Mertesacker suspension. It’s his first game in a while, so we’re either going to see vintage Thomas or it’s going to be a nightmare. He doesn’t play well with Koscielny at the best of times, I’m not sure how he’ll stack up after a period out.
It’s interesting times for Thomas. Being third choice when you’re the captain is a bad place to be. It almost undermines you to the point where you’d have to think about leaving. It’ll be a real shame to lose him this summer, but realitically, what are the options available to him? Either accept third choice and hand the armband over… or Arsene makes him first choice when he has more solid options.
Wenger really didn’t think this one through… despite statements like the below…
He is a great man and I didn’t make him captain by coincidence. I knew there is something mentally special there. He responds in positive situations and in less positive situations like when you don’t play.
I’m not sure the sign of a great captain is someone who takes getting dropped well? He should never have been give the armband. For me, the man for that job was always going to be Arteta. If the armband does come up for grabs this summer… I’m not sure who will take it. You’d imagine the Spaniards role will get marginalised next season, which rules him out… outside that, I can’t think past Jack. He’s too young though. You can’t give it to the front three… I’m not sure Sagna is going to be here. None of the keepers would merit it… and you certainly don’t buy in a captain.
It’s crazy… there’s no Mr Arsenal outside Jack Wilshere.
Who would you pick?
Catch you in the comments…