It was good long weekend and it gave enough time to recharge those batteries for what lays ahead. Though the beaches help you get your mind off anything, I simply couldn't miss this weekend's action and praying for some specific results. It was more or less adding on to my peaceful time, but all comes down to tonight.
Rottenham dropped points again, and apparently we kick started their downfall couple of weeks ago. They have not been able to get three whole points off a match since we beat them. Actually, they have been unable to conjure even a single point since then. That leaves a potential gap of one point between them and us. That is why a win today will certainly make us contenders for the third spot, not that we weren't already, however our position last month will tell you how far we have made it.
Chelsea had a close win over Stoke, so they too are knocking on the door for the fourth spot, and we definitely cannot abandon that position.Any result in favor of Newcastle will only get them closer to the fourth place. Although we might be the team with the best current form, however, Newcastle have surprised a lot of teams this season and have been pretty consistent.
Newcastle's defense is going to be tough to get through with Coloccini in very good form. A lot of teams have employed negative tactics against Arsenal this season, preferring to defend in their box and catch us on the counter attack. Many of them have been successful and it wont be a surprise if Newcastle do the same. But the defense isn't the only thing to look out, they have a pretty decent midfield and last year's 4-4 would not have been forgotten in a hurry. Not to mention the double barrel of Demba Ba, who has proven to be a wonderful bit of deal for Newcastle being one of the top scorers in the league, and, Cisse, who was bought in the winter window, has settled quite well and scored a couple of goals. TV and Kos will be kept busy by those two.
It is good to see that all of our full backs have returned back from injury. Andre Santos will be available tonight if required and so will be Ramsey and Arteta. Our midfield looked a bit light weight without these two and others were on the brink of exhaustion against Milan. But Wenger would love to keep the momentum going and he has called for more consistency at home. Our last 3 matches at home have seen us score 15 goals and 3 against us. Wenger says,
We can play at a pace that, at the moment, maybe nobody else can sustain. When we are on our roles that is good for the morale of the team. If you look at the times we have reversed games; Villa, Tottenham, Liverpool, Sunderland and now Milan, you would say there is something special in there.It might sound like bragging and good banter, but it's the truth and also good to see him bragging about his team's recent successes, and why not, if he takes the blame for his team's failures and defends them, he has every right to brag about the success.
The display against Milan would have given the team a renewed confidence and the belief that there is certainly something in this team. We still have some players who have not scored or performed as much as is expected out of them. Gervinho is one of them and he certainly learned his lesson against Newcastle on the opening day of the league. Arsene says,
At Newcastle, he had a bad response to provocation from Barton. He was shocked because he felt he didn't do a lot. But I think he learned his lesson in the first game and it's better than learning after 20 games. It's better to know what you are facing in a new league. If you want to play abroad and work abroad then you have to adapt to the local culture.We won't be seeing any of Barton tonight after his switch to QPR. So, I am hoping that it'll be a fair game where football could be played peacefully.
It was great to see Ox play in the midfield against Milan and perform like a pro. It was shame he had to limp off because of an injury. Although there is no news about the seriousness of the injury, Wenger has warned against exhausting him and says that he must be used wisely.
His feet are on the ground but we have to manage him in a responsible way as well. The problem when you have a talented player like that is that everybody wants him to play every single game. If you do that then he will be injured.Maybe he is being a bit over cautious, but you can't blame Wenger after his recent bad luck with young players getting injured. I am sure Wenger knows how to handle him, and use him when needed. He has the whole future ahead of him, and who better than Wenger to shape that.
The official site reported this morning that Rosicky has signed a new deal. His contract was about to expire in the summer and the signing could not have come at a better time. He has been in fabulous form in the past month and restored that creativity in Arsenal's midfield.
The manager, my team-mates, the staff and the supporters - everyone plays their part in making this a great Club, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I believe we have a really talented group of players and, together with the manager, the future looks bright. It's always been my goal to win trophies here at Arsenal, and I will fight hard to achieve my dreams here.It's nice to see a player feel so much for the club and wanting to achieve success here itself. A refreshing change from players who have left the club for so-called success.
Three points will keep Rottenham on their toes, and Chelsea just out of the top four and put some more gap between Newcastle and us. Let's hope we keep the consistency at home and continue to score those home goals!