1/10: The most important 3 points in the run-in?
I’m feeling pretty off this morning as the UEFA Champions League draws were made and names like Shakhtar, Schalke, and Spurs popped up. No disrespect to either Shaktar or Schalke but it could have easily been us in that position, had we not been complacent enough to place second in the easiest group of all; giving us the toughest possible draw.
But our moaning period is over, we are out of 3 competitions but we still have the League to play for. We win all our remaining games and the trophy follows us back to N5. But it’s not that easy as it seems. We begin a run of 10 games which includes visits to Shite Hart Lane and Stoke, and home games to Liverpool and Man United. But of this lot, the most important game is tomorrow’s trip to West Brom. The Baggies are in good form, unbeaten in their last 4 League games, their best run of results in 5 months. But they face an Arsenal side that has no lost in 11 League games, since the defeat at Old Trafford in December. We have also not lost a league game in the month of March since a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in 2008, but our record against the newly promoted sides this term has been quite poor with our only win coming at home against Blackpool.
Tomorrow’s line up virtually picks itself. Almunia remains in goal, backed by Mad Jens on the bench. We get another feel of the Squillaci-Koscielny combo flanked by Sagna and Clichy. We will probably see a midfield trio of Denilson, Wilshere and Ramsey. It will be interesting to see how well the Welshman performs on his first Arsenal start since THAT injury. A forward triad of Nasri, RVP and Arshavin completes a depleted Arsenal side. We can bring on Rosicky, Chamakh and Nikky B from the bench if need be. But it should be noted that despite our injuries, we should still have enough quality to see off WBA.
The International break could not have come at a better time because after this fixture, a two-week hiatus follows and then our next League fixture against Blackburn Rovers. A fully fit Arsenal team will beat any team in the League any day but we are not afforded that luxury at the moment. Our injury list is ever growing, with Alex Song (knee), Diaby (groin), Szczesny (finger), Fabianski (shoulder), Djourou (shoulder), Fabregas (hamstring), Walcott (ankle) all out. While Szczesny, Djourou and Fabianksi will probably miss the rest of the season, the other injured players should be fit in two to three weeks.
Under normal circumstances, we should have most of our players back for that fixture, rested and ready to fire through the rest of the campaign. We are just 3 points behind United, they are having a lot of issues at the moment, with injuries, SAF’s ban, and we should not be dropping any points now. The return of the injured players should give us enough momentum to get 3 points in most if our remaining 9 games. Let’s just get maximum points from tomorrow’s game and we will be in pole position after the break to complete the season on a high.
We have put too much into this season to finish without any trophy, let’s get our acts together and make this a season to remember. We can start by claiming 3 points against West Brom tomorrow.
Let’s do this!
From wherever you are reading, hope for the best!
9jabred says so!