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Arsenal V Montpellier HSC

Drop, rest or stay

The money keeps on rolling in at Arsenal. Yesterday, it was announced that we have new and improved deal with Emirates to continue their association with us via the naming rights of the stadium and the logo on the team shirt. I’m no expert on the finance side of things and I urge you to have a look at SwissRamble’s Twitter timeline from yesterday. Simple and easy way to understand what the deal means to us.

From that, we can see that immediately, we have a bigger amount of money coming into the coffers. Money that means little to me if it is not reinvested into the team. Be it improving and extending the contracts of the current players or be used in player transfers as well as supplementing the wage part of those new deals. Some are reporting that with the influx of money from this deal as well as the “new kit deal“, we would be able to shop for players in the range that Falcao is bracketed in. Somehow, all that seems unlikely.

It is because of the manager that we know. Arsene Wenger may have been hampered by the stadium move but a small part of me (not to be confused with the boy inside of that traitor) thinks that he is also detest purchasing players at such high values. What I do hope is that we at least increased the range that we normally deal with. It is inevitable because the market dictates the price, we will have to follow suit or be left behind. If we could move to shop around the 20 million mark, for one or two additional players, then I seriously think we could challenge in the current and longer term.

However, all that won’t happen until the turn of the year, at least. For now, we still have to depend on the existing squad to find the results and keep plugging away until further reinforcement could be brought in when the time comes. Aston Villa are our next opponent and we’ll be the last Premier League game played today. A win would only push us up a maximum of one spot but that league standing is not what we’re chasing today. What we are chasing, is that little bit of consistency. We’re riding on the front of that momentum gained from the derby win and the qualification to the knockout phase of Champions League.

We cannot let the good results of the last 7 days come to waste by dropping points at Villa Park tonight. They are sitting in 18th place with only 1 win in their last 8 matches. Paul Lambert have a squad bereft of star names and are relying on young players to survive in the league. However, we’ve been in this position before when we played Norwich. We all remember what happened that day. If the players think that they could just strut out onto the pitch and could go home with all 3 points in the bag without effort, then we are bound to be disappointed tonight.

Manchester United had to come back from being 2 goals down to win, when the last game was played at Villa Park. Somehow, I don’t think we are able to overcome that, should we face the same situation. Perhaps that’s being too negative but our confidence are not exactly impregnable. We achieved our first clean sheet in 6 games, with that win over Montpellier in midweek and we have to continue to improve on that front.

It could be a welcomed return for Kieran Gibbs at left back, enabling Thomas Vermaelen to move back to his preferred central position, or maybe not. The Belgian, while being captain, has struggled for form. Both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are in much better shape and form than him at the moment. In the ideal world, a captain would be our best player on the pitch but that is not the way it is going now. Would be a big decision for Wenger to put Vermaelen on the bench and I don’t think that will happen despite the above mentioned facts.

Jack Wilshere got the attention in the last game with his goal and scored the last time he played at this ground too. That, coming from a Marouane Chamakh assist, completed with a stooping header into the empty net. Wilshere has shown glimpses of his brilliance in the few games that he has played since his return but not at his best yet. The signs are there that he will eventually return to his all action best soon enough and that only augurs well for us.

With Everton coming up in midweek, some consideration will have to be placed on resting some players. Even Wilshere himself, have to be protected against being burned out. Both Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta have played in every single league game thus far. Everton are a much stronger opposition than Villa and one of them might have to settle for a place on the bench tonight. It looks more likely to be the former rather than the latter, after the kicking he got from the Montpellier team.

I’d be very surprised if Wenger starts with our best 11 and maybe he could even use that reason to give Vermaelen a rest. We’ll have to see. No matter which players are selected, they will have to fight and perform. The run must continue.

Up The Arsenal

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