As we approach the United game the news gets worse and therefore my mood is dampening with each coming hour. If our form wasn’t enough of a concern going into the match, the pre match news has been littered with bomb shell after bomb shell of bad news for us.
First there was the news that Thierry had strained his calf in training, then we were told that Vermaelan might not actually make it and that the chance was slim and finally the cog that has turned the Arsenal machine; Mikel Arteta was ruled out with no uncertain terms.
A lot of the pre match hype/press talk or whatever you would like to call it has, for obvious reasons centred around the mauling provided to us by the old adversary. A lot of the talk from all sides has been not to write Arsenal off and there will be no repeat of the Old Trafford result, whilst I am in agreement to some extent, I am, at the same time very concerned with the similarities between the build up to the two games. In fact many are saying that the build up going into this game sees us in worse shape.
On the one hand we have the ridiculous calls for the firing of Arsene Wenger, we have 10 injuries in key areas of the pitch which leaves our defence decimated and our attack and midfield short of options, we are missing Gervinho and some balding attempt at a footballer due to the ACN thus reducing our options further. Essentially we are fucked. The team that played that day actually had two specialist left backs, if you can bring yourself to call Traore one. He is after all the steaming pile of turd (with lots of fleas, and maybe a touch of sweet corn) that was a key part of Man Uniteds attacking plan.
Jenkinson, Djourou, Koscielny, Traore,
Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin
This was the team that got annihilated and if we line up tomorrows likely XI, we will see we are not far improved. If anything we might be in worse shape given the current form we find ourselves in.
At least before the United game there was some positives in beating Udinese. At the moment we are getting outplayed by some of the worst teams the league has to offer so one can only imagine what might happen tomorrow.
I cannot remember the last time I wrote such a bleak pre match post ever but I genuinely fear the worst. I, of course would happily be proved wrong and have no perverse hopes like some crazy fans I have seen and heard on Twitter hoping we lose so there is more pressure on Wenger. I think if we have a good day and a bit of luck we are more than capable of beating them. In fact any team is capable of beating anyone so would not be overly surprised to see us win but at the same time I am concerned with the options available and the apparent susceptibility of the defence to get scared under pressure.
Djourou, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Miquel,
Song, Ramsey, Rosicky
Walcott, Van Persie, Arshavin
This is the team most likely to play with Thierry facing a late fitness test the only possible difference but even that is unlikely. What I would like to see is Oxlade-Chamberlain given the opportunity to impress in place of the ever so frustrating Arshavin. This would provide us with frightening pace up top and the outlet on either side to create some very swift breaks.
Either way, with that front three as well as the skill in midfield you would, at a minimum expect the team to be competitive and at best win the game. I feel our passing game has been hampered by teams coming at us and pressing higher up the pitch so we need to counter this as it is certainly going to be Manchester United’s approach.
I hope my bleakest and most negative post yet is not misconstrued for lost faith. I love Arsenal, I love Wenger and I still will after the game regardless of result. That doesn’t mean logic and honest opinions cannot be aired. I have stated my very real concerns as a fan and whilst they are only fears, I also hold great hope. I dream of a Van Persie double and a Henry goal at the end to seal the deal which CAN happen.
With that I shall leave you to cure your hang over’s and I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Up the arse!