The Premiership status quo returned on the weekend with Chelsea scraping a 1-0 win and Sp*rs and Liverpool unable to win at home… There has been a lot of debate over Sp*rs current form and also how Liverpool will challenge us for the top four… What is obvious, especially after today, is that all the teams above us will drop points and it’s up to us to ensure we can win our games. We play against Swansea tomorrow and the game is simply a must win. A win would put us on 39 points, which would be 1 behind Chelsea and 7 behind Sp*rs and give us a clear 4 point game between us and Liverpool.
Team news ahead of the game is that we don’t have any of our full backs yet and Vermaelen is still injured – the versitile Coquelin is out, Mertersacker is ill – but on the flip side Djourou may be back. Before I look at the team in more detail, let’s have a look at the project line up:
If Djourou & Mertersacker are available, then they should and will probably both play:
Djourou – Koscielny – Mertersacker – Miquel
Arteta - Song
Walcott – Ramsey- Arshavin
If Djourou & Mertersacker are not available, then we’ll be forced to move Song to the back:
Yennaris – Koscielny – Song – Miquel
Arteta – Ramsey
Walcott – Rosicky – Arshavin
If one is available and another not, then you can mix & match the above two teams!
On Sky Sports News this morning, they did a montage on Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and to be honest, his highlights was pretty damn good – for me, the boy is in better form than Arshavin and should have a few more starts. We can’t write Arshavin off, he has more to offer than he has offered this season. And he can produce “the moment” in a game that makes the difference.
He will be on the bench of course, no matter who we start and he will be along side Thierry Henry. Lee Dixon thinks Henry can make a difference when he comes on to help us going forward…
If the game is locked at 0-0 with 30 minutes remaining, who you gonna call, Arsene? Well, there is only one man and his first name is Thierry. It would take a brave man to say Henry will do to Swansea what he did to Leeds, but I can’t resist!
And whilst Henry’s return has caught our eyes and the media’s attention too – one man who we can’t forget about is “that man”, the 21 goals this season man… Robin Van Persie… who hasn’t had any press coverage in the last few days, but is by far our biggest threat of the game. The goalscoring hero is in fine form and perhaps with the media away from him, he will get a bit of a break on the pitch and get a few goals… he is due another one or two isn’t he?
On the transfer front, Henry’s arrival has kept the papers and fans busy and it doesn’t look like we’ll get any other players in, which in reality is quite worrying considering our squad depth. We’ve more recently been linked with another left back, despite Arsene saying that nothing is happening – although on Friday, he did say he was a “little closer” to something. Whether or not Oman’s Saad Al-Mukhaini is the answer, I don’t know… I suppose we’ve got to trust the manager about this, as we do potentially have Gibbs & Sagna back next week… fingers crossed…
Back to Swansea tomorrow and as I’ve said many times – it’s a MUST win game. We simply cannot afford defeat. United at the Emirates is next Sunday… wins inspire wins… Come on you Gooners!