As we edge closer to Anfield, the anxiety is still on the rise. Even if both, Arsenal & Liverpool, have not been as successful as their histories suggest, they will still want to prove themselves and will be going for each others necks tomorrow. It has been a while that both of them have enjoyed cup success, although Liverpool just tasted and felt what it is to be among the cup(s) again. I know Carling cup is not something you would brag about too much, but I guess if Arsenal were offered the cup, they would take it now. Again, you could see how the team crumpled after last year's Carling cup loss.
Contrastingly, Arsene has tuned down the hype surrounding Liverpool's cup success, which is understandable, you wouldn't want "that" to play on your team's mind too much.
I don't think will have a massive impact. What is at stake is a Champions League position.There is no point emphasising on the importance of tomorrow's game, any points lost will add to more pressure. Although, we saw last weekend how pressure can have that positive effect too. But there was also the anger, the general hatred towards the opposition and the enmity to get everyone charged up. There will be something more important and at stake when we play tomorrow's match and that is the top four trophy. That should be enough to get the team worked up.
Liverpool have the same target as we have and it will be tight, but compared to us they are in the position we are in with Tottenham , but they have a game in hand.
Tomorrow, again, the role of RVP will be very vital for our success and though there have been goals from other areas of the pitch recently, I still feel he'll play the more pivotal role. Though he wears the number 10, and personally would like to play behind the striker, he has had to play the role of a number 9 which is the lone, main striker up front. Bergkamp, who knows the role of the no.10 very well, has heaped praises upon RVP and the way he has handled he pressure this season.
He has been playing in a role which is very difficult. I think it’s easier for a guy like Robin or me to play behind the striker, and feed the main striker and sometimes get the space to do your own thing. But basically he is the one up front who has to make a difference, which puts a lot of pressure on him, but it seems like he can deal with it.And it's no surprise that he has to adjust his role, given our failure in the striker department apart from RVP...not-touching-the-Park-issue.
The return of Sagna has given us a much needed boost, along with Jenkinson, who looked quite comfortable on Sunday, playing as a left back, and with that new hair-cut of his, he sure looks like an assassin ready to slay his prey. Santos is still some time away from getting back to training, but we have Gibbs back in the side and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he has no injuries, at least till Santos is back. Last thing we need is TV playing there which means we have in the Song/Squillaci/Miquel in defense. Song shifting in defense will again expose our midfield, and with no Coquelin for at least 4 weeks, it would be suicidal. Mertesacker is definitely out of any plans in the immediate future, but he has been recovering well and now able to walk without crutches. I, personally am ruling him out of the season. But there are no reasons to worry, we have regular players playing in regular positions now, it looked like a chess match which was half way through.
I felt that for a long time we had to play players out of position and when we go into crucial games that is not ideal. You play a right back in the right back position, and a left back in the left back position and it gives you a natural balance.We'll have a clearer picture of what team we are going to play by tomorrow noon, so not predicting anything now. The team news on the official site mentions mainly the injuries. Surprisingly, nothing has been mentioned about Gervinho! Again, we'll have more to talk about on that tomorrow. Finally, Wenger slams all the critics who under estimated Arsenal and doubted their future.
When people want you to be bad, they tell you that you are bad. Sometimes you have to accept that you are questioned but sometimes the questioning is not always based on facts. But we have to live with that and I believe the best answer is to give the kind of performance we gave against Tottenham, not to talk too much and play.And it's true, there no use blabbering and defending your team always, it's better that your deeds on the pitch speak for yourself, and I think it has been a major catalyst in the increased mental strength of this team. The comebacks we have had this season, speaks volumes of the teams psyche. Although, a lot remains to be achieved, the potential certainly cannot be denied.
Finally, a little push from me, to get the team charged up!
Note: I have added a "Follow me" button to the right hand side of this page, please click on it if you wish to be updated regularly on this blog
-Image courtesy: http://arsenalfcblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Arsenal-v-Tottenham-Gunners-celebrate_27245091.jpg