Wednesday 11 April 2012

Back to business...Wolves vs Arsenal

Good to see the number 8 jersey on worthy shoulders!

It has been a horribly long time since I dropped the last post. It has been a low 10 days for me, health-wise. But now I am back in business, after being sick. No this sickness is not because of Ashley Young's potential Olympic gold winning dive against QPR, or the FA's decision against Arsene and not even Balotelli's kung-fu practice on Alex Song, neither from FA's reluctance to punish Maverick Mario for trying to involve violence in his game. Maybe those things will make you more than just be sick, but feels good to be back.

One thing that I did not miss was our continual form, if not ascent. But there has been something in the past two months that has almost ensured that the ascent is slow but steady and the things that looked bleak at the start of this season are proving quite sparkling now. Our win over the cash kings has just strengthen that belief that, maybe, money isn't everything.

I have never seen this league being so fierce in competition, where, barring few teams, almost every team has a reason to fight until the end of the season. There are only 6 games left to be played and it is almost impossible to predict which teams will finish in the third and fourth spot. I am considering that Manc, 10 points ahead of Arsenal and 8 behind Manu, won't give up on their title challenge. However, a lot of teams have just evaporated under pressure of the title race in the past. Manc are showing signs of that kind of pressure. Rottenham, who were in the hunt for the title until they came across us and then their slump in form, are now struggling to stay in the fourth spot.

Back to tonight's match against Wolves. When you look at the league table, you will see Wolves at the bottom. It's so easy to be complacent and underestimate your opponents in such situations. We have already paid the price against QPR just 10 days back and we are not lucky enough, like some other teams, to have referees who would be grateful enough to be the 12th man on the pitch. But you just get the feeling that there are enough players in our team who have got their heads screwed tightly to their shoulders, who will be sensible enough to guide themselves and the team to focus.

Arsene has shielded himself from any kinds of prediction and do the simpler thing, take each match as it comes, and try to win it. He says,
Let's not anticipate, that is something else that is important. When it gets to the last sprint, the focus on the next game becomes the most important part because you are always tempted to anticipate. We have the experience to know just to deal with the next one and that is the only important thing.
Although, Arsenal has been successful on each of their trips in the past to the Molineux, Wolves have a decent group of players in their team, but again, predicting anything based on what is "on paper" is as good as predicting what's out there in the universe.

As far as team news is concerned, we have Gibbs out due to a groin "fatigue". AW insists that it's not an injury, it is just a rest for his groin. If I am not mistaken, it is Gibbs' 9th or 10th straight game after returning from injury. But given his age, you would expect him to be fitter, but there you go. Which means Santos gets a start in a long time. He offers that extra edge in the attack, thanks to his Brazilian roots, but I am not too sure about his defensive capabilities. Jarvis has been pretty good for Wolves this season, and Santos will do good to keep him quite. Gervinho still stays out with an ankle injury, Benayoun might get another start in place of him. Kos is suspended after clocking 10 yellow cards this season and Djourou takes his place. Sagna's inclusion is still doubtful. There was no news about him being injured, I think AW will want to play safe. But excluding Sagna might mean changing 3 of the back four and that may give enough reasons for our defense getting out of sync.

All things said, I think it is a good chance for us to score some goals, gain on the goal difference. 3 more points and that would put us 5 points safe from the fourth spot!
Go Gunners!

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