Good thing about the defeat to Newcastle on Sunday is that Arsenal are immediately offered a chance to make amends for the meek effort in the last game. Games come thick and fast during these period of the season and it continues right until the end of the year. It’s only 2 days plus since that yet another awful home performance against a recently promoted side. Whether that is enough for anything to be rectified on the training ground or even mentally is still a big question.
From what the players have been saying since that defeat, redemption is obviously something everyone is looking for with this Wolves game. Theo Walcott says that the game around the corner so quick after the last game is a good chance to make amends on the disappointment. Sebastien Squillaci echoes the same tune by admitting that 3 loss on the trot is not the mark of a great team like Arsenal. He also does not want to hide behind the fact of fatigue in spite of the midweek’s long trip to Ukraine seeing that many of those who played on Sunday did not even take the flight there.
On to team new, the FA has dismissed Arsenal’s appeal for the Laurent Koscielny’s red card and he will now serve a two-match ban having already seen red once before this season. While it was entirely a lost cause to fight for, I’m just happy that the suspension has not been extended on grounds of frivolous appeal. Covering all other injury news, Arsene Wenger announced that all of those who featured on Sunday are fit to play. That includes Samir Nasri who suffered an ankle injury and hobbled off midway through the second half. The only downside is that there are further complication with Thomas Vermaelen’s return and as for now, the Belgian has no return date set.
That will probably mean a similar line-up to that which played Newcastle will be used.
That would probably be what Wenger would choose but I hope that is not the case. Tomas Rosicky played no part on Sunday and could very well start this one. He has generally been very positive this season, either in attack of in defence. Away from home, I do think we need maybe another body in midfield who can share defensive responsibility with Alex Song and Jack Wilshere. The man likely to be replace should Rosicky be used is Andrey Arshavin. It also could easily be Theo Walcott who retains his place in the team.
We have to start the game like it is a cup final for us. Start with real hunger for the win and utilize the speed of our passing to the best of our abilities. The longer the game stay scoreless, the more the home side will feel more confident. Given the state of our defending at the moment, that could easily mean conceding another goal. Scoring an early goal would at least force the home side to lose their defending shape and be a little more expansive in their game in search for an equaliser. With Arsenal, when a game is opened up, we can easily score a few more.
After what happened on Sunday, there is no need to stress particularly on any single player. Almost to the man, Arsenal were poor in that game. We need a collective improvement in the team to find something out of this game. Regardless of the individual quality of Wolves, they have not done too bad this season. Lest we forget, they have also beaten Manchester City at home and could repeat that scalp against us.
Wolves have their fair share of critics this season. Not least in Danny Murphy who highlighted how some teams like Wolves have to take responsibilities for some of the horrendous injuries that we’ve already seen this season. In captain Karl Henry, Wolves have a real hatchet man in midfield. Our players will have to be wary of that as I think that psychologically, Arsenal could ill afford to witness another bad injury to one of their players.
Without hard work there is no reward. Even with all the talent in the world, if it is not matched by the right attitude and right determination, there would be no success story. I’m sure these players realise what they have that so many other players cannot even begin to imagine that they could have. Time to put things right.
Here’s to a good performance. Till tomorrow.