Focus has to be on Birmingham…

As Arsene rightly put it, the focus has to be on tomorrow’s game… if you haven’t already, check out the preview here. One thing that is certain is that Arsene is focussing all his attention on tomorrow’s game and it’s essential that he does that and that the team does that. I would be a fool if I thought Arsene hadn’t been thinking or planning for Barcelona, but in reality, we’ve worked so hard to get here – two points off the top with all top teams having played that same number of games – that it would be foolish to throw it all away on one game.

Arsene was in the press today saying this:

“I don’t choose at the moment. I think the League for me is the most important. Birmingham is the absolute priority for me.”

And you’ve got to agree with his view. There is no point resting players on Saturday – potentially inviting the loss of points – to put all your eggs in one very hard basket. If we win tomorrow, it will put us in good stead for the Barcelona games. And you never know, United and Chelsea may continue to drop points. One thing is for certain, is that next weekend, one of them definitely will, and both may as United and Chelsea go head to head.

And for that reason, it’s likely that Arsene will field a slightly stronger squad than I previously thought, and there is also good news regarding Niklas Bendtner, whom seems to have recovered from his injury and should start tomorrow. The line up looking like:

Almunia

Sagna- Campbell – Song – Clichy

Denilson – Diaby

Nasri– Cesc – Arshavin

Bendtner

With a bench of Fabianski, Eboue, Silvestre, Eastmond, Rosicky, Walcott, Eduardo

With the exception of Gallas, Vermaelen and Van Persie, it’s the strongest that we can field… and talking about defenders…

…three of our players, noteably all defenders – in Gallas (32), Campbell (36) and Silvestre (32) – are nearing the end of their contracts and Arsene has confirmed none of the three players

“They [the players in contract talks] are all focused. They are at an age where they know they have to deal with that, so that is not the same. When you have a player of 33, 34 he is in a normal situation. When he is a player of 23, 24 he is in an abnormal situation. I stopped talks with Gallas because it is important that we focus on the games we have. We play Birmingham, Barcelona, then Wolves, Barca then Tottenham. It is a crucial stage for us.”

And of course, it makes a lot of sense, all of this contract nonsense should be kept to talk about at the end of the season. I am very excited about tomorrow’s game and can’t wait for it – so good luck to the boys, and I’ll hopefully be back with match day live.

For those of you who have Javascript enabled, you may have noticed the Wibiya toolbar on the bottom… I’ll be on the “chat” system during the game tomorrow, so feel free to join me if you’re watching or want to read the match notes. The main use for the toolbar is the integration with the translation tools and of course more integration with twitter…

Finally, a quick note on the comments…. we’ve had some recent posts from other blogs posted as comments – sometimes unrelated to the post in question – I think it’s more appropriate to comment by writing comments yourself or if you wish to comment on something from another site, please reference the site.  One thing we learnt from last post’s comments, is that most people think Almunia is the worst goalkeeper out of the top four, but in reality – Reina, Cech and Van Der Sar have made some terrible mistakes this season, but do have a track record.

Onwards and upwards… come on you Gooners, let’s put those Brummies to the sword and return to the Emirates with three points and loads of goals… we’re due a big win in the league, surely?

Til tomorrow…

  • zaheer

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!
    (and aston villa and bolton)

  • Sam

    Thanks Dev!

    Only 3 points is important today. We’ll leave the big win for another day. Have a feeling Chelsea will drop points again.

  • JDD

    i think we will win but i dont think itl be easy i rekon maybe 2-0.and i have a feeling jack wilshere will help us in the race for the title by taking points off manchester utd.and i hope villa will do the same to chelsea.all the top 3 have tricky games this weekend.

  • tom G

    spot on with the defensive line up Dev. Just Rosicky and Walcott for Arshavin and Nasri.