Friday, 27 January 2012

Aston Villa (A)

In a turbulent week for Arsenal and the manager we've heard good and bad things. So lets start with the obvious talking point, the decision to replace Alex OC with Arshavin. From my perspective he was our best player now Wenger claims he was cramping up and on one hand I can believe that on the other he looked fine to me. The reaction of RVP said it all, it just made no tactical sense, he gave an option going forward and power coming back. The fans who were clearly unhappy made their feelings known and for the first time that I can remember actually turned on Wenger which wasn't particularly nice to see, but caught in the moment where we looked as if we could steal the game I understand the reaction. As if to prove the fans right Arshavin came on and did nothing, I think putting the blame for their second squarely on him is unfair but he didn't help the situation. Anyway that's in the past and some of the more senior players have come out and said that we all need to be going the right way and they count on our support. That's the end of that.

There's good and bad new this week regarding players. Let's start with the bad news and get it out the way. Wilshere has suffered a setback in his progress, from what I can gather he felt some pain in his ankle whilst running, at the moment we don't know how serious it is, fingers crossed. Gibbs will miss this weekends clash with Villa as he's still not ready and Arsene has basically said, we aren't signing a left back so I think we can rule ourselves out of doing anything this window. Now finally onto some good news, Sagna is nearly ready and is back in full training and there is a rumour that he might be in the line up on Sunday, but lets not get our hopes up. Alex OC is perfectly fine and in the words of Wenger himself "He will be involved on Sunday." Arteta and Henry are also back in full training and are close to being fit.

Picking a team for Sunday is complicated due to so many possibilities so I'm gonna have a stab at it and see what we actually field: SZCZ, Vermaelen, Mert, Kos, Sagna/Yennaris, Song, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, Arshavin, RVP. Now a lot of that is guessing so don't hold me to that. We could well see Coquelin step in as he is fit again and Alex OC may start but I just think we're more likely to see him come on later in the match. Benayoun is another possible starter. There is no doubt this is an important game and we need a trophy and that's no understatement but I think Arsene will have half an eye on Bolton midweek.

So in terms of the Villa side we'll see I'm really not sure. There is no doubt they'll pose a threat with the likes of Agbonlahor, Bent and the old enemy Robbie Keane whose on loan from LA Galaxy. Petrov can also be a pain in the arse on his day, so plenty of threat going forward but I don't think the defence is overly great and I can see us getting some joy out of it.

So a difficult game, to cap off a difficult week and we'll be made to work for a result that is much needed. So till Tuesday COGY!!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa