Feb 072010

Put yourself in the position of a footballer, trudging off the field after a poor performance, both individually and collectively. You know you should have done better, you know the media are going to have a field day in the morning, that the fans are going to debate your right to a place in the team, and worst of all, that you’ve let your manager down – the man who signed you, nurtured you, and gave you an opportunity on the big stage.

How would you react? There is only one right way – to knuckle down, and hope that the following week you get a chance to prove everyone wrong and your manager, who has believed in you, right. You want to be the player who picks up the ‘most improved’ gong at season end (patented: Alex Song), but more importantly, you want to be part of a winning team.

The last thing you need is the axe. You may deserve it, but if you just had a chance to put things right…

That is the situation facing a couple of our players this week. While there were some decent performers against United, there were some who simply weren’t good enough on the day. Worse, there were a couple whose work rate was not up to the accepted standard. Don’t think for a moment that they haven’t been told – despite his reputation as a calm man who doesn’t scream and shout in the dressing room, Wenger isn’t afraid to dish out a private rebuke.

After any poor performance, there are always calls for changes, but with Diaby and Bendtner still short of fitness, the only realistic tweak is a recall for Ramsey. However, Wenger prefers Denilson in tight games, primarily for his positional sense and tackling ability. Both traits went AWOL last weekend, but he is likely to be given the chance to make amends.

There will be no excuses for anyone failing to leave their heart and soul on the pitch today. Not only do they have a point to prove, but they have a manager’s faith to repay, supporters to please, and most importantly of all, a league to challenge for. It is crunch time – we may win, we may lose, but a lack of application will not be acceptable.

As I said yesterday, the bookies have written us off, so if you’re an optimist like me, the odds are ridiculously appealing. It is when our backs are against the wall that this team shines, as we did in the corresponding fixture last season, coming away with the points after a 2-1 win. Sportingbet are still offering 14/1 on that scoreline being repeated, and 9/1 on Cesc opening the scoring, two bets I’ve snappedtheir hands off for. And one quite neat thing about Sportingbet – if anyone gets sent off, you get your money back.

I cannot shake the feeling that we’re about to see something very special this afternoon. I am genuinely looking forward to it. The players are rested, motivated and angry.

Come on you reds.

  16 Responses to “The same XI from the United game have the chance to put things right”

  1. im not one for wholesale changes but i do feel like wenger should change a few players from the united game. i peronally think sol campbell,diaby and eboue should be in the team today. clichy is lacking confidence at the moment so having sagna,campbell,gallas and vermaelen at the back would definately make us stronger and more physical. as for eboue and diaby, i personally think they should replace denilson and rosicky for todays game

  2. If Denilson plays today arsenal have no chance.Hes Baggage.

  3. Long time reader, frist time poster. What a refreshing blog as most Arsenal blogs are just whinging about what we haven’t got.

  4. If we go with the same team, then expect the same result! Denilson and Almunia should not start today, I’d rather we played Manone and Diaby instead.

  5. I wil prefer diaby 2 com in 4 den15 nd i tink clichy shld b rested
    keep d faith

  6. Diaby is seriously under rated. Bentner likes a challenge. Both are physical and rise to the occasion. With Bentner just standing up there, Chelsea will have more trouble at the back whether Bentner connects or not because they’ll have to cater for crosses either way. That allows the mid field to come in more.
    As for Diaby, I love him. I feel we need him in the team AS MUCH AS SONG. When he wins the ball, he gets three yards on you when he turns, before he runs. When he runs, he’s like a train and keeps the ball real tight to his feet, and he can shoot. He converts defence into attack constantly now he plays in the centre, and Arsenal score on average nearly one point more when he’s playing. We needed him especially with Man U and we need him for Chelsea. Fans will soon realize how important this man is. Almunia is the opposite… he does not ‘claim’ the ball, and can’t handle the big games. Fabs on the other hand has fire in him. He may be naive, but he has that fire that this team really needs right now. These guys would NEVER allow themselves to get walked all over. Almunia should be no. 2 NOT the big games. He hasn’t got the balls and never claims the ball.
    Bentner – crosses
    Diaby – because he’s OUR MAIN MAN. He’s not the best player – he just fits.

  7. On the inside of the door to the Arsenal dressing room should be the following notice in large letters…


  8. If Denilson plays we have little chance. Diaby in his place gives us more. If Almunia doesn’t score on himself, maybe we can get at least a point here. Set Bendtner as the target man and let Arshavin play off him.

  9. Frankly speaking, the premise of your ascetion is wrong. If the players have just had a bad day at work it would matter to them what people are saying about them like you suggested. However, Almunia has been flapping for a long time now. Denilson has equally been a passenger for sometime. How you think that it would make any difference this time is beyond me.

  10. GREAT LAST LINE:”I cannot shake the feeling that we’re about to see something very special this afternoon”. YOU said it, Oracle, and you don’t know what you said…

  11. is it 6-0 yet

  12. I think you asked and 2:0 at half time is yo answer! Song is the main problem not Denilson now who do you all blame for our beating?

  13. SACK WENGER !!!!!!


  15. Ugh, horrible result. So much for optimism.

  16. Please come back to SI and update your bandits thread!!!!!

    At least pass on the save – the works top notch and we’re all going crazy over the lack of info.

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