With all the transfer talk that has consumed us this week, and of course, the distraction of the Champions League midweek games (which saw Inter go 3-1 up at Barcelona and Munich go 1-0 against Lyon – more on that later)… we’ve totally forgotten about the big game this weekend against, none other than Champions League contenders, Man City. Time to look ahead to this weekend’s game…
Earlier this season, we lost 4-2 to our new rivals, and it was a highly charged affair, with Emmanuel Adebayor exactly some physicality on our players, injuries to Cesc and Van Persie, not for the faint hearted. We let our emotion get the better of us that day and in our desire to equalise, and then win, we lacked defensive discipline.
This weekend has to be a different game, we have to start with intention and try our best to control and force the issue. The worries of course, going into this game have been the lack of defensive strength in both the central defensive area and the defensive midfield area. Our first choice triangle would normally be Song ahead of Gallas and Vermaelen, but now we’re looking at having Eastmond or Diaby ahead of Campbell and Silvestre – it’s just not the same.
Going into the end part of the season, with Almunia dropped for the remaining three games, we’ll most likely have Fabianski in goal and he really doesn’t look the piece, despite what pundits and our goal keeping experts say – and despite what Arsene says of him. We have seen him 18 times last season and another 7 this term and he’s failed to impress and instead done the opposite, and even been nicknamed Flapianski… I’m sure he’ll get another chance to impress or unimpress this weekend.
Earlier this week, there was story about Arshavin possibly returning for this weekend, but he revealed yesterday that he won’t make it:
‘Alas, the latest data says I should fully recover within a week, so on Saturday I won’t be able to enter the pitch,’ he said on Wednesday night.
‘I hope to play in the remaining matches of the season – against Blackburn and Fulham.’
Which brings me onto the rest of the team news. Rumours are that Robin Van Persie will start up front, and we’ll continue with the 4-5-1 approach that we’ve regressed into, thus fielding only 1 striker, and 5 midfielders… here’s the potential line up…
Sagna – Campbell – Silvestre – Clichy
Eastmond – Diaby
Walcott – Nasri – Rosicky
With a bench of Mannone, Eboue, Merida, Henderson, Bendtner, Vela and Eduardo
With big games, sometimes, I take a look at the opposition, and today is one of those games…
Richards – Toure – Kompany – Bridge
De Jong – Barry
Johnson – Tevez – Bellamy
After seeing Henry return to the Emirates not that long ago, we now have another two players back at ground in Kolo Toure, the captain of Man City and Adebayor, the striker whose has netted 13 times this season… compared to Niklas Bendtner’s 12… Kolo Toure has asked for Ade to remain calm, so hopefully he’ll listen and not go crazy again…
With us just 7 points ahead of Sp*rs and 10 ahead of Man City, who both have a game in hand on us, it’s more than vital that we win our remaining games. We have to start this weekend by disposing of Man City and I’d love to see Van Persie get back on the scoresheet after his prolonged absence from the team!
Come on you Gooners!!