Another legend and former captain returns to the Grove today, the second one that we’ve had after Thierry Henry with Barcelona. From 1997 to 2005, he was the best midfielder in the league with probably only Roy Keane the only other player that is the same level as him. Those were glorious years for Arsenal. Numerous trophies were won with him in the side. It was the first time that the Premiership have seen a hard tackling midfielder with bags of skills as well. Only a shift of his body and he would be able to go past 2 players at the same time. He is Patrick Vieira.
Now that the adulation is out of the way, there is a match to focus on. Those inside the stadium as well as players fielded by Wenger should shake the legend’s hand and get that out of the way. During the game there should be no respect shown to him. We have to prove that we’ve gotten over the final 10 minutes of horror show last Sunday. We are still not confirmed to be finishing in the 3rd spot as long as we do not achieve another victory.
If we are to win this game, Silvestre simply has to sit on the bench. With the pace that Bellamy and Tevez possess, not forgetting a certain Togolese, the Frenchman will be left gasping for breath by the midway mark of the first half. If Song is fit enough to feature, let’s put him at centreback. Even though Wenger thinks that the does not yet possess the required reflexes to play in that position, it is not one that is strange to him. Song has played in that role at Old Trafford and came out with flying colours. With Fabianski potentially earning another start, we need more assurance at the back than Silvestre can provide. So here’s what I want to see;
After another full week of training, I hope Van Persie finally gets a start. With him in the side and the quality that he has, Man City will not be so relaxed in defence and probably have get some form of protection from their midfield. That would help to reduce the threat they have going forward. Walcott has done well in 45 out of 90 minutes of DW Stadium and if fitness permits should start again today. I’m one of those who thinks that it is better to stick him out every game until the end of the season to see how he handles himself in a succession of games.
We’ve played City twice already this season. The Carling Cup tie was effectively over from the time the line-up was announced, but then we did not go there with the intention of winning anyway, if not Wenger would’ve put more first teamers in there. However, the September fixture left a lot of bad taste in the mouth. Not because we ended up losing the game but because of what preceded it. The fact that Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate his goal in front of the travelling fans was just utter stupidity, then he went on to stamp on Van Persie’s face. If Arsenal can’t be fired up for this one, then I don’t what to say.
Let’s beat them and show them that money can’t buy everything. Above all, let’s make some idiot eat a huge amount of humble pie.