Tonight we have a massive game against Liverpool. It’s the first of two big home games that at this point really are must wins. But I guess we’ve been in that sort of position all season long. I don’t think there’s added pressure but we need to string together a good run. Oddly, we’re closer to the top 4 at this stage than we were last season despite our worst points performance so far under Wenger. But that’s just a small comfort. We have it all to do yet.
Vermaelen is fit again but I have a feeling the boss will stick with Kos and Mert simply because we don’t really need to risk him if he’s not 100%. Sagna and Gibbs will return to flank them. It’s in midfield that the boss will have a couple of decisions to make. I think we might see a trio of Wilshere, Ramsey and Diaby with Santi wide. Ramsey has done well in deepest midfield role but he needs someone like Jack alongside him. I think Diaby is more suited to playing in the hole ahead of them but the boss may just rest Abou and go with Santi. Up front, Giroud will lead the line with Theo and Podolski. No brainer there. Whatever the team is, we’re better than Liverpool. We beat them at Anfield and we have to do it again. They’re 3 points behind us in 7th place. If we lose, our panic stations will be at panic stations.
The Danger Man
Liverpool are a pretty average team. Raheem Sterling is a good young star and Gerrard is still a good player despite his downturn in form this season so they’ll be problems but there is only one player we have to worry about in my opinion and his name is Luis Suarez. He’s an annoying gnat of a player but really tricky to deal with it. His close control, speed and penchant for “winning” free kicks and PKs will make him a handful. And even though we’ll be dealing with a speedy character, I still think Mert should play with Kos. I think having Kos on him with Mert sweeping would be ideal. I really think we should NEVER go with Kos and Verm again unless we’re forced to. It just doesn’t work. If work hard defensively, we’ll win this one handily. Liverpool have been as inconsistent as us so you just never know but the game is at the Emirates and we’ve already beaten them once this season.
We drew Blackburn at home. Couldn’t ask for more. So far this season’s cup run looks bright. I really do hope we can keep going. We should beat a struggling Championship side but after Bradford, anything can happen I guess. But we’ll be favorites to enter the quarterfinal draw.
The boss has been praising Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski for adapting quickly to the league. I’ve been a bit surprised too. Perhaps the pressure to replace RVP’s goals that was heaped on them has helped them thrive quickly. A bit of a sink or swim situation. Whatever the case is they have had exceptional first seasons in English football so far. BUT it’s more or less half time. Remember Chamakh? The coming months will truly show how fit, adapted and ready they are. It’s in April and May that the lack of a Christmas break hits new signings so let’s hope they don’t hit a wall. Having a healthy squad will help with rotating them in and out. For now, the trio has done very well in an inconsistent team.
David Beckham is training with us till he gets a new club. The boss immediately squashed any rumors that we would sign him in the short term. He’s a little too old for us now I reckon but it’s good to have a player like him around. No matter what people think of him, Becks has always been a tremendous professional. Even at 37, he’s still a physical specimen and trains extremely hard. More than anything, he’s a leader and winner. For the young players, it’ll be great to train with a legend like him. Just for the buzz, enthusiasm and energy Becks creates, I’m glad he’s training with us. And you just never know with cheeky Arsene. Becks as an Arsenal player? Seen stranger things.
As I write this, there’s about 30ish hours left before the transfer window slams shut. And we are at a grand total of ZERO players in. It’s looking bleak. Even the rumors have died down which is never a good sign. A few respected sources in the twitter-verse still believe that there might be at least one player coming in but I doubt it at this point. David Villa and Momo Diame are probably the most likely if we did sign anyone but I won’t hold my breath. It’s going to put massive pressure on the players we have and the manager as well but it would be typical Arsenal wouldn’t it?
Tonight we have to be professional. After the wins over West Ham and Brighton, we have some confidence back. We need to take full advantage of these two home games and pick up maximum points. The margin for error is non-existent so it’s time to play every game like it’s our last. Any missteps now could be fatal. We’ve played City twice, Chelsea twice and we have United and Everton at home to come and of course Spurs away. So we are in a position to overhaul those ahead of us. We just need to start taking our chances. Time is running out.