Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Aston Villa (A)

Well when you look at the game on Sunday, we weren't outplayed, we had a goal ruled out and Joe Hart pulled off some good saves. Maybe a loss wasn't fair, 1-1 I think would have been a more even scoreline but there you have it, that's football. Now that's taking the positives from the game there are negatives of course. 

Firstly, our full back situation is becoming more and more of an issue. Its all well and good shoving Vermaelen and Djourou in but there are situations when you simply need a trained fullback. When your 3-0 up and coasting there isn't an issue, when your playing league leaders and you know its going to be a tough match its a totally different story. Obviously Santos and Sagna are out for months and we won't be seeing either for quite some time, but there is encouraging news for Gibbs who Wenger said "He is I think one week maximum away. He could be present at Aston Villa or the game after [against Wolves]. Of course, you want him back and to play". Jenkinson on the other hand is neither here nor that at the minute, he was at least 3 weeks away 3 and a half weeks ago so read into that what you will.

Secondly when your 1-0 down and chasing a game it says a lot that the option you turn too is the two men who have a combined total or 2 goals between them all season. Arshavin clearly has something up with him and you can clearly see when he plays that he believes his time at Arsenal is over, bar a rapid return to form. You could tell when the ball fell to him just inside the box and he hit the side netting it was going to the be another one of those. Chamakh on the other hand, I don't remember touching the ball. His career looked so promising when he arrived and whether it was through lack of games or confidence he looks a shadow of the player he was. We just don't have the depth of the other big clubs (bar sp*rs).

Anyway the City game is gone and now we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and look to the trip to Aston Villa tomorrow night. In recent years we haven't performed too bad up there but in the past it was a game we simply didn't like. We went there and even our own fans expected very little, thankfully though times have changed and they're on a bit of a poor run. Quite frankly with Chelsea playing the yids on Thursday a win will put the pressure on both and hopefully put some distance between us and Liverpool who we only lead by goals scored.

I would expect to see again a similar squad to the one we played on Sunday purely because nothing has changed. So our threats will again come from Gervinho and Walcott down the wings and of course Robin Van Persie up front. In terms of Villa threats well obviously Darren Bent causes problems (lets hope he didn't finish his shopping on Sunday). N'Zogbia has his moments but so far this season he's been pretty poor, hopefully that will continue tomorrow night.

Aston Villa have lost to 4 of the top 6 at home so far this season which means if we want to be challenging for the top 4 we have to keep up the trend and beat this lot. As always with the Premier League if you want the top prizes, you have to play the top football. We were on a nice little run before City and the players still seem upbeat after Sunday so lets hope we can pick up where we left off.

It's been a long one today so thanks for sticking with it. Just a quick word regarding Wolves at Home. Firstly the original date scheduled for the match may be changed. The tube drivers want more money which may make life very difficult for fans trying to reach the Emirates. So the date for this match may change over the next few days, so check the Arsenal site and Sky Sports News for updates. Regardless of that, the pre-match post will be over the next few days I would say probably the 23rd, until then COYG!

Prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal