Bradford v Arsenal… The Preview

We travel to Bradford tomorrow for a game that we could win and should go out to win… and if we do win it, we’ll be in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup… maybe, just maybe, we could win something? No? Too much for us to handle… okay, never mind… just send out the kids then!

Arsene has Thomas Eisfeld in the squad for tonight’s match and he’ll be joined with a fullish squad. Which is great news, as it looks like we’re taking the game seriously… well, as seriously as we can with resting our main players. Arsene spoke about the team available and said:

“The only new player who is not available is Olivier Giroud. He got a kick on his back on Saturday. He has not recovered and he will be out. We will have an experience squad at Bradford. We have a good recovery time ahead of the game at Reading on Monday. So we can use the players we want to use. Theo is still out. Along with Diaby, Santos, Koscielny. Vito Mannonis back in the squad. Nico Yennaris has a back problem and Ignasi Miguel has a thigh problem.”

Based on manager’s verdict, I think we’ll be looking at the following line up:

Szcznesy

Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen (c) – Meade

Coquelin – Ramsey

Gervinho – Rosicky – Arshavin

Chamakh

Not a bad line up and it will see the likes of Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Sagna, Oxlade, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud etc all rested ahead of the important league game with Reading next Monday. The likes of Mertersacker and Vermaelen will have to play as far as I can see Miquel, Djourou and Koscielny are all injured and Squillaci is, well, Squillaci. Eisfield is in the squad and although I don’t think he’ll start, I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the bench…

“I heard they beat Wigan in the last round, so it should be hard if they’ve beaten a Premier League team. In Germany we say that cup games have their own rules, because anyone can beat anyone. At the moment, I’m very happy. I don’t know what the coaches think. Of course I hope I get the chance to play in the game, it would make me really pleased.”

We’ll see what we have in store for us tonight, but a win would go a long way to getting some confidence back into the squad.

The Weekend

The weekend has finished, the games have been played. We’re now only 2 points behind Sp*rs, 5 points behind Chelsea and the battle for fourth is truly on…

Man United are a whopping 15 points ahead of us, and in all reality, no title this season… but the season isn’t over – we can still salvage fourth or possibly third if we go on a run, and we are still in three other competitions, which perhaps we need to start focusing on.

The game with West Brom was a little controversial as we were awarded a penalty that looked like it shouldn’t have been awarded. I’m not going to dwell on that right now, but the victory was much needed. It didn’t matter how it happened, it was needed. We will need to now build on this win and add some consistency to our game and our results. In actual fact, we played better than I thought, we passed the ball around well and we really got in and around them.

Le Boss spoke today and said:

“I am very pleased because the team has shown a resolute attitude, determination, togetherness and quality in our game going forward and we defended well. It is good to see your team when their backs are to the wall. You can see that the players turned up, like Arteta – who missed a penalty [against Fulham] – he took two penalties today, so that is very positive. You could see that they had decided to win the game and nobody else could do it, that is what pleased me the most. The only decision I have certainly made is to leave Sagna out because he played with a bad ankle [against West Brom]. We will put a team out with experienced players who have quality and who have a chance to win the game.”

Reading away, next Monday, then Wigan away, games we should win follow that, I really hope we can start putting a run of games together very soon…

  • Arsefan101

    Fingers crossed we have an easy run of games now to get some points on the board.

  • derk

    I’m really in 2 minds about Gervinho. He is so wasteful in front of goal,
    no composure, lack of technique and really no killer instinct. Also his decision
    making and crossing/passing in the final 3rd is extremely poor. He could have
    had a hatrick against WBA. However he has qualities that can make him an
    excellent forward. He his quick with good acceleration, he can take his man on
    and dribble past people at will. He continually gets into great goal scoring
    positions, and he creates a lot of space for other teammates as he draws
    defenders to him. However he seriously needs to improve. Arsene should be more
    ruthless to get the best out of him for remainder of the season. He has had a
    full season under his belt and now its time for him to take it to the next
    level. If not he should be replaced in the summer.

  • oijer

    Do our hearts beat faster at the prospect of Arsene’s reported Jan targets –
    Huntelaar, Zaha and Henry? (Forget Nani – at £20m Arsene will never buy him -and
    neither should he) Are they significant signings? Well, significant mostly as
    confirmation that we charge like a Big Club but behave like a small club. The
    five million received from LFC for Theo paid to Schalke for Huntelaar. A 24 year
    old regular England player for a 29 year old irregular Dutch international. An
    old guy come for his last big pay-out instead of an experienced youngster eager
    to make his mark. Henry? We all love him but at 36 years old he is way past his
    best. Shades of Sol, Sukor, Silvestre? Significant? Hardly. Lastly, the Xstal
    Palace youngster. Would HE be significant? Perhaps – but NOT this season. One
    for the future maybe

  • oijer

    I hope the Chamster turns up with his “Reading form” tonight otherwise
    we are going to be as sharp as a billiard ball up front. Lets not forget
    that the Chamster and Theo (and to a lesser extent Chapman) saved us in
    the last round and 2 of those 3 are missing….so there is a massive
    onus on the Chamster. If he doesn’t perform we’ll be tippy tappying to
    oblivion. I’m afraid Gnabry is the new Quincy, IMO.

    The main
    reason I’m worried is that Lord Wenger has treated the Chamster fucking
    appallingly since that Reading game, not even putting him on the bench
    despite the fact that when he doesn’t play Chapman we are left with the
    useless Forehead as a central striker and no other option

    Don’t
    get me wrong the Chamster really went off the boil for more than a year
    but when he was a regular in the side (upon joining and when Van Savile
    was injured) he did well, in my opinion far better than Chapman. Then
    after a year or more of no form whatsoever he has a stormer at Reading
    and Lord Wenger doesn’t even see fit to use him as a sub thereafter.
    Surely if we’re paying the guy 60k per week and on the odd occasion we
    play him he does well, he’s got to be worthy of a more prominent role
    given our lack of attacking options

  • kiki

    What just happened? We had a first rate team go up against a League Two team and we were behind most of the way. Credit to Bradford, but Arsenal needs to put it away.

    These are trying times for the club. No doubt that I am grateful that we are still a top team, and I don’t doubt that any one of these players want to win some trophy, but something is amiss! Maybe it is just the quality of the players or the team just needs more time, either way, we need to make the problem known and fix it.