After the thrilling encounter at the bridge against Chelsea, our attentions must turn to Marseille. A fortunate win against the French side away means we top the group with 7 points. A win against Marseille today at the Emirates will see us rise to 10 points, which will qualify us for the next round. We’d have to then pick up another 2 points from the remaining two games to ensure we’re first… but first thing is first, let’s try our best to get the three points tonight…
Against Marseille, we were lucky to come away with three points due to the pressure the home team put on us, but then again you make your own luck… and we capitalised on our chances through Aaron Ramsey – whose eye for goal could be a very good blessing in disguise – he’s confident he can score double figures – which I would love him to do – especially if Gervinho, Walcott and Arteta can also do the same! Arsene singled out the progress of Aaron Ramsey yesterday and proclaimed that there is much more to come:
“He is on the way up. We speak about Robin van Persie but Aaron was out for one year when he was just getting into the team. That is tremendous. It is completely normal that he improves now because he is young. And there is still a lot of improvement for him. Secondly he is back to his full physical potential which is huge. We see that when we analyse the games. The worry we had is that he might be touched by being out for such a long time when it comes to the challenges. I have been impressed by the way he dealt with the whole situation.”
Over to the team news and despite the importance of the game, I think Arsene will still rest & rotate a little bit. We know Chamakh is out of the squad with a knee injury and I’d expect Park to come in and replace him; well, I expect Park to start and Van Persie to be rested, but we will see what happens. It may be an opportunity for Vermaelen to come back into the team, so my line up is as follows:
Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Santos
Rosicky – Song
Walcott – Ramsey – Arshavin
With a bench of Fabianski, Djourou, Mertersacker, Arteta, Frimpong, Gervinho, Van Persie
The reason I’ve included Rosicky in the starting line up is down to the sheer number of games that Arteta has played in a row recently and this is an ideal time to rest him ahead of the home game against WBA. I may be wrong with Gervinho and Van Persie, they may get a start as they’ve both had a rest now – but it’s a perfect time to start Park, at home, in Champions League group of which we are top of. We may have to play a stronger team than I’ve put out simply down to the fact that Marseille are a very good team and if we do win tonight, it will take us to 10 points.
In other news, Stan Kroenke visited the training ground yesterday. He met the players, spent time with the manager and staff and then had a long interview with Arsenal.com, take a read if you have time, but in short, he was very complementary of Arsene Wenger and what he has brought to the club:
“Arsène has been here 15 years and you look at what the Club had as assets and revenues back then. It’s fantastic the growth that has occurred within the Club. It has been done very responsibly and they have the record for participating in the Champions League for the most consecutive years. For long-term stability and an approach to excellence, I think that’s unsurpassed really.
We’ve got a long way to turn the season around, but we’re making progress and last weekend’s win was a very important win for us. We will see where we are in the next couple of weeks, but we have two home games now – first tonight against Marseille and then on the weekend against WBA. Two wins out of those two games and both CL qualification and Premier League ascendency will be ours!
All that is left to say… is… come on you Gooners!!!