A little positivity

Tonight we face Italian side Udinese Calcio in their Stadio Friuli with a narrow 1-0 lead to our advantage, from the first leg & with the club being read something akin to the media equivalent of the last rights this morning we could all do with a little positivity couldn’t we?

Well this is the best I’ve got…

On reflection (and this is me attempting to put a positive spin on things) 1-0 isn’t such a bad lead to hold. We know that any kind of win or draw will see us through but so would a 2-1 defeat thanks to the beauty of the away goal and while our squad may be very much depleted we will be able to field a side that should have enough to see the job through.

Auditioned for role of Lion-O in Thundercats movie

With the injuries we have (which I will come to once I’ve stopped trying to be positive) and the fact that Djourou & Rosicky had to go through late fitness tests yesterday it’s hard to predict a starting XI.

I would imagine that with so much riding on the outcome that Bacary Sagna will revert to right back & Tommy Vermaelen will most certainly play centre half, the choices of who makes up the back four alongside those two are more interesting. As I said Djourou only passed a fitness test yesterday so it could be a risk starting the Swiss alongside Vermaelen, what we don’t want to see is Johan suffering a reoccurrence of the injury early doors and having to be replaced & thus a restructuring of the back line,  so it seems most likely that Alex Song will drop in next to TV with Djourou starting on the bench. The Cameroonian has played in this role before & whilst it may not be ideal I think it is the better choice then fielding Ignasi Miquel, that isn’t a slight on the young Spaniard it’s just that we need as much experience as we can get from our squad and he doesn’t represent that.

So with Vermaelen & Sagna filling their traditional & best positions it seems likely that Armand Traore, our only left back with enough of a spleen to stand up right now, will make up the back four.

Frimmers

 
With Song moonlighting as a centre half for the night defensive midfield duties are likely to fall to Emmanuel Frimpong. Yes that does contravene the ‘experience’ requirement but needs must and as long as the Ghanaian doesn’t see the face of Piers Morgan on the head of every opposition player I’m sure he’ll perform admirably in the role & his drive and determination could be much needed.

The rest of the starting line up pretty much names itself by default so with that in mind and adding the above together we could see a side looking like this: Szczesny – Sagna – Song – Vermaelen – Traore – Fimpong – Ramsey – Rosicky – Gervinho – Arshavin – Van Persie.

*The only alternative I can is Djourou starting which would push Song into midfield & Frimmers to the bench.

I’m sure the Italians will be looking at what is going on at our club right now and feeling confidant that they can take advantage of that but I think that providing we can find a little more spark in the midfield and can score at least one goal (to go with our only other goal so far this season) we’ll see the job through and be in tomorrows draw for the group stage.

But this is me attempting to be positive, which doesn’t mean I am forgetting how huge this game is. We can not afford to loose, our position right now is too precarious. A win and safe passage through to the group stages would be a real shot in the arm for the club. We certainly need that…

"Merde, my plan has failed"

It may have pained them to do it but UEFA have helped slightly by suspending Wenger’s suspension until after the game when an appeal hearing can be heard. I hope the boss can use that advantage and not just spend the evning getting frustrated & kicking and throwing water bottles. His team need him to take charge & direct them tonight.

Can now afford to have teeth fixed

So yesterday saw Samir Nasri move as close to joining Manchester City without actually joining Manchester City without joining Manchester City. Arsenal revealed that they had accepted an offer from the cash rich side and had allowed Nasri permission to speak with the United Stadium outfit. That may have been a little pointless because I’m sure that Nasri knew & has known for quite some time just what Mancini’s side we’re willing to pay him.

When you look at the money we are getting for a player in the last twelve months of his contract, & with no interest in signing a new deal, you have to say that it is a good bit of business. £24m is the reported fee & we wouldn’t have gotten anything near that from any other club at this juncture, not when they could just sit back and take him for free next summer.

The Frenchman isn’t as a big a loss as he may seem to be, yes on his day he can be outstanding but those days have never been seen with any suggestion of regularity during his time at the club and while they are not ready made replacements players like Gervinho & AOC can bring to the table much of what Nasri has taken away with him.

What the deal also does is add to our now bulging budget & Wenger has said again that he intends to make additions to the squad.

In the spirit of positivity I think we’ll see those additions arrive from tomorrow. We should consider that perhaps we have two differing list of targets – One which is reliant on Champions League football and another which is not so much fussed about top level European competition.

The worst news of the day yesterday was that Jack Wilshere has suffered a set back in his attempts to overcome injury and the best estimation of a return I have seen so far is three weeks, lets hope it is no more than that and the youngster doesn’t occupy the treatment room with the regularity that the Tommy’s previously have.

PMA

It seems so easy to be negative about everything Arsenal related right now and to criticise the club & prophesise certain doom but we need to remember that those are the reactions better suited to  Sp*rs fans, it is the kind of negativity & doubt which keeps them in our shadow. Once we start sinking to those same depths it becomes a struggle to get out – just ask ’em!

Thanks for reading & be sure to keep a positive mental attitude today!

UP THE ARSENAL!

Paul.

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5 Responses to A little positivity

  1. BigDaveTaylor says:

    I think winning one nil in the first leg is a very good result! If we were in the knock out rounds, I’d take a nil-nil in the home leg. The reason we are a lot more nervous this time is because of our current squad status and form. Although you could argue that Udinese were unlucky not to score at the Grove, we could of had a couple more too. I personally think both teams will score tonight, but we will either draw or win outright. They have no away goal……. we do!
    Positive!!!

  2. Paul says:

    I like the positivity mate! I think it will be an entertaining game, but sadly more so for the neutral. A you know, I’m not renowned for my ‘good feelings’ but I’ve got one right now. PMA!

  3. FinchleyGooner says:

    The fact that we have only scored 1 goal in 3 games this season so far is a wrorry thou isnt it? think we’ll make it thru tonite but wenger has got to look at squad and see same problems as us and fix them before united

  4. FinchleyGooner says:

    good point well made BDT – is still a worry espcially when van Persie gets injuries. Would like to see us sign a 20-30 golas a season striker but who is their that would come to Arsenal?

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