We find ourselves only one day away from the biggest match of the season. That is until we play against another big club in which case that will be the new biggest match of the season and so the cycle goes as Sky hype up matches and the fans follow suit. It is hard not to get carried away and start thinking that the future of the whole cosmos relies on an Arsenal win. When put into context though, this is essentially just any other match. Of course it will be harder than most matches this season but it is still only worth three points.
Whilst I would love a win and think we are capable of getting a result we mustn’t get carried away if the result doesn’t go our way. It doesn’t mean that the club is not moving forward and has not improved. As we have already seen in the big games this season; anyone is capable of beating anyone and anyone is capable of putting lots of goals past the others.
My point I suppose is; I hope we do not get carried away regardless of which way the result goes. We win, then fantastic, another win, another three points and our run continues. We lose, then no real biggy, we go back and win our next few games.
Since we have recovered and gone on to have somewhat of a run it is hard to imagine losing and even harder to take it when it happens in these big games. I just hope that crazyness does not ensue following the result whichever way it may go.
In terms of team news, there is nothing overly promising as nobody is returning to the squad but it seems as though there is nobody fresh who is added to our defensive heavy injury list.
It would seem that Kieran Gibbs is likely to be out for another week which is great news but somewhat on the sadder side of things is the news that promising full-back Carl Jenkinson is out for an undetermined amount of time. The fracture has not healed as the club would have hoped and another scan is scheduled in four weeks time to make a decision on how to proceed. Now I know I have said this before but I am no medical expert and nor do I claim to be one but a stress fracture in the back sounds like some nasty stuff. It however is not career threatening though according to Arsene Wenger but the mere mention of potential career threat might be an indication that there going to be a considerable amount of time before we see Carl Jenkinson’s name on the team sheet. A real shame. Strangely there seems to be no mention of Diaby again so one can only assume he is out for much longer than the ten days predicted back in the last week of November. On a more positive note it seems like Jack Wilshire is steadily improving and is on course for a return to the first team by mid-February. I wouldn’t be surprised if the medical staff didn’t secretly think he may return slightly before that but are estimating on the cautious side.
So despite the rather large absentee list, there is still room for optimism especially when over the next month or so we are likely to see a return from the majority of the injured players which can only help our charge up the table.
So with the above in mind I would imagine a fairly similar side to the one that faced Wigan. In fact I would expect Wenger to name an unchanged side to the one that faced Wigan. It is a team that, whilst compiled for sums comparable to just one Man City player should have more than enough to hold their own. I like the mix of youth and experience in the team right now and with the best striker in the world up front you are always in with a shot.
If we can defend as a team, keep our work rate up then I more than expect us to cause Man City problems.
The other highlight in terms of Arsenal related news was of course the Champions League Draw where we find ourselves pitted against the Itallian Champions; AC Milan. It is quite early to start speculating about the outcome of this match so all I will say is that whilst there were easier opponents out there, I still feel it is one we can win. Of course a lot can change with a transfer window and x amount of injuries before we get there.
In other news the rumour mill is frantically trying to link us to a number of players as it seems the January transfer window is imminently about to swing open. With only a couple of weeks to go we are expected to see more and more nonsensical stories as the days go by. One story that keeps reappearing though is that of the potential transfer of Podolski. Despite an awesome international record he has never been overly prolific as far as domestic football is concerned so it would not be risk free but one thing is certain, he would be far superior to our other options on the bench. It does seem strange that Wenger would spend so much money on a backup when he seemingly is reluctant to do so for a starter. He has all but ruled out the move however that means nothing really as he has himself admitted a reliance on Robin Van Persie and as much as I hate to say it, there is going to be some give somewhere with his fitness.
Well aside from that there is not much else to report on.
Until next time Gooners.