“It’s Wenger’s fault for starting Ramsey on the left”.
“Vermaelen had a shocker, simple as that”.
“Song should have tracked back with Diakite”.
“If Van Persie had put us 2-1 up…”.
These are a few of the reasons given for us dropping three points last weekend, and while they all contain some substance one has to remember that sometimes football does not go how we want it to.
It’s an inevitability that winning streaks will finish, that silly goals will be conceded and supporters will be left disappointed.
Its part and parcel of a clubs football season, especially one as tumultuous as ours this year.
There were a couple of games along the winning run (Anfield) where we were fortunate to bring all three points home, and after you scrape a victory the poor segments of play both offensively and defensively always seem to pale into irrelevance.
The only manner in which we can respond is to do what we have already done twice this season and recover from an inadequate performance by giving one that is most adequate, and kicking on with another positive run of results.
There can be few better ways of proving our worth than against the premier leagues most expensive and avaricious squad, who seem to have lost all sense of propriety along the way to becoming what they are.
Arsene Wenger mentioned in his press conference that in the last couple of seasons Manchester City have come to our shores in search of draws, and that he expects a different attitude from them on Sunday.
Last season’s goalless draw was one of the most infuriating results I have ever witnessed, as we dominated the majority of the game.
I think they only managed to muster one solitary effort on target as well, which further highlighted our dominance.
Yet both teams stand to lose too much by not playing for the victory, so tomorrow’s affair will be lively and packed with goals I shouldn’t wonder.
Robin Van Persie is currently in his longest dry spell this season, but being the ‘big game’ player he is I wouldn’t bet against him doing the necessaries this Sunday.
He’s been my Fantasy Premier League captain all season for good reason, and while my record in the gambling department is hardly exemplary I would still suggest you don’t bet against him.
Fortunately we have our strongest squad returning to us for this weekend, which means our strongest defence again which is crucial.
A couple of individual errors from our best centre back last week arguably cost us, yet as I suggested above its rarely worth centring individual blame in a collective sport.
Thomas Vermaelen has won us far more games than he has cost us this season alone, and I’m sure he’ll prove his worth this weekend.
My line up would be:
Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie.
I was surprised to see Aaron Ramsey in the line up last week, especially on the left, and I think the aggressive way in which Wenger responded to journalists questions about Ramsey’s selection meant that he conceded that he made an error in judgement.
I can’t see Arsene making the same mistake again against much trickier opposition.
Kieran Gibbs has always been a little suspect in his positioning and this weekend’s game is exactly the kind where he’ll need to make decent decisions about when to attack and when to hold back.
Hopefully the sharpness he has picked up in his run of games will aid him in that.
In other news, it seems clear that regardless of how often Marouane Chamakh tells the press that he’s staying at Arsenal for next season, Wenger doesn’t see it that way.
When pressed on his smoking antics last week and whether he’ll be an Arsenal player come next season, Wenger said “it is too early to say”.
If his lack of playing time didn’t connote a certain lack of conviction that Chamakh is good enough for the red and white shirt, then statements like that certainly should.
That’s about all I have today, enjoy your Sunday and check back on the site post game for other articles.
(halls_dja on twitter for news and views).