Just like the game show, this will be our last lifeline. When we drew at Newcastle, United lost. When we only managed to drew at home against Sunderland, United lost. Now that United drew their last match yesterday, we are suddenly back in the title race. From the doom and gloom from the madness of the last 5 minutes of the Liverpool game on Sunday, a chance is placed on our doorsteps.
To take that chance, we have to travel a very short period of time down the road to Tottenham. Yes, the chance for Arsenal to claw their way into the title challenge is to pick up a win in the North London Derby. And why not? We’ve already picked up 2 league winning games there in the past and we are surely capable of doing it. A game that is already a high stake one has now been given an added angle.
3 simple reasons why we cannot afford to drop points tonight;
1) Newcastle provided us with a window and now we need to creep into the crack. Potentially, we could be a point behind after May 1st.
2) Spurs beat us at the Grove. It was a smash and grab job that they did on us. The defeat still rankles in our memory. They have not one the double over us during Arsene Wenger’s reign and thus should never be allowed to happen.
3) We help Manchester City along the way and deny Spurs the chance to play in consecutive seasons of the Champions League.
This game promises to be a cracker. There are players available to both managers. Thomas Vermaelen and Ledley King are 2 defensive stalwarts who will not be playing a part in the game but apart from that, both teams should have their best 11 out on the field. For Arsenal, here’s who I hope will start;
Alex Song’s return could be the most pivotal one for us. His calming influence in front of the back four will be needed when there are midfield runners at the opposite camp. Luka Modric and Rafael Van Der Vaart are the two most dangerous ones which he will have to keep and eye on. Even if Wenger did say that he might have to rotate things around in the midfield what with Jack Wilshere already playing far too many games.
Is Wenger taking into account the possibility of Wilshere playing through the summer and perhaps thinking of affording him some form of rest now? But we’ve seen, especially in the Liverpool game how lethargic our young midfield maestro is. Whilst he is young and generally recuperates fast, we cannot take that for granted. However, even if that is the actual case, I would still play him in tonight’s game. Tells you a lot of what I think about his possible replacements in Abou Diaby.
There’s lots of good match-ups all over the pitch and it will be tight. For much of the season, a certain individual has carried the team. First, it was Samir Nasri, then Robin Van Persie and lately, it has been Wilshere. These players have done their part to help us the best they can and it would be crazy to expect any player to retain their best form throughout 8 months. Someone else needs to step up to the plate and pull the team. I’m looking at Andrey Arshavin, Cecs Fabregas and Alex Song to pick up the responsibility now.
Nothing much else I can add to this except that we must win the game tonight. For our title hopes and to avenge the defeat earlier in the season. Time for us to put them in their place. Come on you rip roaring REDS!!!!!!!