Morning all, and it’s been a crazy week for all connected to the Arsenal – we beat a Barcelona side which is dubbed “the best in the world” and then drew to a lower league side, Leyton Orient, having dominated pretty much the whole game! I’d have taken the Orient draw in order to win the Barcelona game, so it’s not the worst result in the world – the pessimists will say it’s another game – the optimists will say that we’re still in four competitions, and quite a lot in them…. so we should be happy…
But in the next 3 weeks or so, we have an astonishing six games in 17 days, and it’s completely our fault – we could and should have avoided that by actually beating a very under average side, and we’ve got to consider what the consequence of that inability to win will be? Of course, obviously, we have another game to play… but surely if we’re playing more games, we’ll be utilising more players – more players that can’t always be outside of our first choice picking – Song and Sagna both played against Leyton Orient as did Arshavin, who can definitely be considered an important player.
Our 6 games in 17 days are:
- 23 Wed Feb – Stoke City at Home
- 27 Sun Feb – Birmingham City in the CC final
- 02 Wed March – Leyton Orient at Home
- 05 Sat March – Sunderland at Home
- 08 Tue March – FC Barcelona Away
- 12 Sat March – Manchester United Away
Can you believe it? That is a seriously tough run in…
Now, for season ticket holders, they lose a credit in a way, as the Leyton Orient game will now be considered as part of their season ticket – to be honest, watching our second team misplace 20 passes and scrape through to the next round of the cup is not as good as seeing our first team take on the likes of Barcelona.
Arsenal vs Stoke
So back to the Premiership, and Stoke travel down to the Emirates tomorrow in what is a MUST WIN game… and if we win, we will go one point behind United, albeit, with a game in hand. It’s essential that we capitalise in the hope that United don’t win their next game. Personally, regardless of the fact that we have the Carling Cup final on Sunday, Wednesday’s game – in my eyes – is bigger. Well, firstly, simply because it’s the next game. But more importantly for me is the Premiership – within one point of United – who have a tough run in, and we could be a few points ahead of them by the time we play our next round of the Champions League (optimistic?)…
The team news is that Djourou is back and so is Van Persie, both who had slight knocks / strains earlier in the week – with Diaby still injured and suspended, the team picks itself:
Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy
Wilshere – Song
Walcott – Cesc – Nasri
With a bench of Almunia, Eboue, Gibbs, Squillaci, Denilson, Arshavin and Bendtner…
That’s just the 9 changes from the Leyton Orient game… Arsene will be having a press conference in the morning, so we will see if he chooses the same team as me…!
So, onwards and upwards I say… and finally, the Daily Mail are trying to scare Arsenal fans by taking a different stance on Nasri, saying he won’t sign for us unless we win a title, which is the opposite of what he said… he said – “I want to win trophies with Arsenal”…. whilst rumours are rife that we’ve signed a couple of Barcelona youngsters (again)… more news on that tomorrow…
Update: We have signed Jon Miquel Toral, a Barcelona “C” attacking player – apparently he spoke to Cesc before deciding to join the club!!
Anyway fellow Gooners, have a good day and surely, I’ll speak to you during the day in the comments!!