Another wet and dreary day really sets the tone for the month and is the most miserable of backdrops for a potentially interesting encounter in the land of Orcs.
To say Stoke are one of my least favourite teams would be an understatement; I loathe Stoke to a level on par with our main rivals and that in itself tells a story. They are an anti-Arsenal movement, (or so I have convinced myself) and deserve to be dispatched in a way befitting them. I would love to go into details but I am trying to keep this clean.
It will be a tough encounter and is probably as much a of a “must-win” game as any other we have had over the past few weeks. Chelsea’s win leaves our situation a little more precarious than it should be and I won’t go into detail over their unlikely heroics other then to say; if they win the Champions League it will be an absolute abomination. They are a really poor team and deserve to be where they are in the league. The cup runs somehow taint the picture and I quite frankly do not like it one bit.
Aside from my own neurotic thoughts, we have a serious game of football which needs to be approached with all the vigour with which we approach any big game. We will need to work hard, be strong, committed and certainly be willing to put our life on the line. We need to press high up the pitch and keep the pressure on the Stoke XI to ensure we dictate the game. We will certainly need to be wary of any breaks/punts up the pitch.
Team news is as expected really; Diaby is unlikely to feature yet again. This time illness strikes and really sums up the luck this lad has. Many people laugh, I for one just feel sorry for him. He, and I hate to use the word but, he has unbelievable potential. He could be a world beater.
The rest of the news according to Arsenal.com is; Walcott (hamstring), Arteta (ankle), Mertesacker (ankle), Wilshere (ankle) Frimpong (knee). It sounds as though Mertesacker is in line for a return sooner rather than later but I would imagine his Arsenal season is certainly over. He does have a chance to take part in the Euros as it seems he has returned to training with the squad.
The team I expect to line up would be:
Sagna Koscienly Vermaelen Gibbs
I expect that either Gervinho or Benyoun will slug it out for a place on the left. Benayoun should be well rested and is on a good run of form. In contrast Gervinho, after a fairly promising start to his Arsenal career has been on a downward slide. He certainly seems to have the, dare I say it, potential to become an important player. He just isn’t clicking at the moment for whatever reason and I guess that is something that needs to be addressed.
Aside from the pre-match news, the other big news from the week is the double award for Van Persie for being the best player in the league. Well that’s not news to me. On that note, I shall leave you.
Here’s to hoping we secure a vital three points.
Come on Arsenal!