Monday 5 March 2012

Time to stand up.

Good times!
 Just one more day to go before we entertain Milan at home. Before that, we have some good news and some bad, but we are used to the bad getting worse so no surprises there.  Let's start with the bad first, you are the judge if it is bad or worse. Not so surprisingly, we have some injuries, having played meaningless international friendlies and league games within a gap of three days so it's understandable. Gibbs and Benayoun, both are injured, but it still remains to be seen if they are fit enough to play tomorrow. Diaby, after making his annual appearance, is back to his hamstring problems, again, it remains to be seen if he will be fit for Milan. Arteta was injured against Liverpool, but survived the onslaught by Henderson and it is not as bad as it looked on the pitch when he was stretchered off.
He says,
It must have looked very serious to everyone as I left the pitch on a stretcher, but I'm pleased to say that I'm fine now and hope to be back on the pitch very soon.
And I really hope that he is back for the Champions League, without him, the midfield just looks to light-weight.

The good news is that, Chelsea dropped points against West Brom and we are three points clear from them now. Apart from that, Rottenham also lost their home game to Manu and the points gap is reduced to four points and we can start aiming for the third spot now. Funny, just two weeks back they thought that they are running the title race and here they are 13 points from Manc. Well it takes more than half a season of good run to win the league, doesn't it? Maybe it was over confidence or maybe the oppositions played better, I know we did, but the fact remains that the title is a far fetched dream now and they'll want to hold on to their third spot. There is an interesting article that might some up "there" season in a sentence.

We clearly have the momentum and after our last five games, we must back ourselves to get to the third position. Chelsea are on our tails but after AVB got sacked after their last night's defeat, it just looks a bit more difficult. Arsene had mentioned a couple of weeks before that the bad luck is like a forest fire, today you might be in it but it no one knows when it'll change direction and catch someone else. Let's hope that it doesn't come back to us.

There have been heaps of praises for Szczesny and deservedly so, from AW. His performance against Liverpool was top class and that was exactly what was needed to prepare for the Milan game. He won't forget in a hurry the blunders against them in the first leg, but this performance will go a long way in doing his confidence some good. Arsene says,
I believe in him, that's why he plays. He is young, talented and gave a good performance. The target is to give another good performance on Tuesday because we need it again.
Deducing from the above statement, does it imply that the players who don't play regularly is because he doesn't trust them? Let's not go too deep into it, we are hard at a luxury to bench players just because they are not performing well. The fact that our best option to replace Arteta on Saturday was Diaby, who has been out of the game for considerable time, shows the state of our decimated squad.

Arsene has insisted that he'll not rest players for the Champions League, or rather, it's not an option to rest players. Yes they have been through a trying period and it is tough to manage a schedule with the size of our squad. But it is also important not to give up on your chances. If there is a chance for success, we have to go for it. Again, our task cannot be explained in more simpler terms, we have to score five unanswered goals and if that has to happen we cannot afford to rest RVP. We have had some goals from other parts of the pitch in recent games, but if we have to get any closer to that 5 goal target, RVP has to get going.
Arsene says,
It is not an argument for us. We want to have a real go tomorrow, we want to make it possible. I would not be very credible to tell you we want to score five goals and then leave Robin van Persie out. We will not accept going out of the Champions League because we want to stay in. We will give it our best shot tomorrow.
We have had a very tough season till now, but the resilience and the confidence with which this team has rose to the challenge is commendable, throwing away any of this would just be a pity for the team. People have criticised and added to Arsenal's agony, they have complained about lack of signings, about quality of signings, about Arsene's decisions about his inability to make important decisions any more, but the fact remains that we have come a long way, from being a team at 17th position in the table who got beaten 2-0 by Liverpool, to 4th position having beaten Liverpool 1-2, at Anfield, and still going. Before going for Wenger's neck, you might want to think about what he has achieved this season when the odds were against us and this proves his achievement with the team.

We will have a clear picture about the squad that will feature tomorrow night, so  I won't get into that right now. One thing is true, there is not a bad thing now, that can surprise the team and we cannot get of. I am sure, good times are here.

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