FA Premiership, April 16th: Arsenal Vs Wigan
Wigan deserve enormous credit. In their recent games, whilst battling to avoid demotion, they’ve shown real fight and have come away with good results – they beat Liverpool, United and only shambolic officiating deprived them of much-needed points at Chelsea. What may appear to be a simple 3 points on paper, is anything but.
That result against United last week could very well work in our favour. Any hint of complacency floating around the dressing room leading up to the game should be eradicated from the collective minds of the players. Wigan will need to be viewed as a challenging opponent capable of hurting us.
Also, I think said result should remove the element of surprise from the equation. We’ve seen they are capable of turning it on against the big boys – and Liverpool – so we should be ready for them.
Again, there isn’t much to report in the way of team news. Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs have returned to full training, but are unlikely to feature. Laurent Koscielny will miss out and he finishes the last of his 2-game ban. The main talking point regarding selection will be the left-side of the attacking triumvirate. Previous incumbent, Yossi Benayoun, has performed admirably, and may be in line for a start, whilst those of us clamouring for the regular inclusion of Oxlade-Chamberlain will be hoping he gets the nod. I personally think Wenger will bring Tomas Rosicky back into the centre and play Ramsey on the left.
The Welsh captain may be a maligned and berated figure at present, and the left-side of midfield may not be his ideal position. But I can’t help feeling he’s going to play a stormer sooner or later and shut those fans with selective memories up. People forget the trauma – physical and emotional – the boy has been through, and 2011/2012 does represent his first full season for the club. He’ll come good.
I think the team will look a little like this:
Szczsney; Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Santos; Arteta, Song, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, van Persie
As far as my bold and rarely accurate predictions go; a comfortable 2-0 win with goals from van Persie and Ramsey. I know they’ll be a few who’ll be eager to trash me back to the stone-age for even implying Ramsey is capable of a good game, but my faith in him shall not dwindle.
In other news, our outspoken and charismatic keeper,Wojciech Szczesny, has been having a few words printed, and they’re the kind of word that make you like him that little bit more. Spoken like a fan as well as a player, the Polish stopper has this to say regarding his future at the club, and the silverware drought of recent years:
“I can’t imagine myself in the next few years’ time playing anywhere other than here. In fact, I won’t move until we win something,”
“Recently, one of the journalists asked me whether I have bigger ambitions than playing for the third place in the Premier League with Arsenal. God, sure I have! I look at the table and realise that is our maximum this year.
“It is seven years since Arsenal won something and it won’t change this season. But the next one? Who knows?
“I stand in front of a mirror and say to myself: ‘Damn, I’m interested in winning trophies only with Arsenal.’
“I want to be part of the team that show fans the bad times are over. I won’t leave until we achieve this.”
Sometimes, it’s nice to hear that from the players. He has all the credentials to be a club legend and one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Two of my biggest Arsenal heroes are David Seaman and Jens Lehmann, and I think Szczsney has the potential and attitude to be as good as both.
That’s yer lot today, dears. Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. Enjoy the match tonight wherever you may be watching it. Take a moment to comment below and follow my Twitter account @_ArmchairGooner