It’s Saturday, there should be football

Morning all,

Remember when football used to be played at three o’clock on a Saturday… Well because the skull smashers are involved in the ACME Europa League which has something to do with Thursday nights and Channel Five (Much like Spursdays) our game this weekend is taking place on Sunday lunchtime.
In terms of news it’s all much the same as it was yesterday morning, Jenkinson is out along with Kieran Gibbs and long-term absentees Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Bacary Sagna. In his Friday lunchtime press conference the gaffer said he had yet to decide who would deputise at right back but that it would be one of Djourou and Koscielny. I mean obviously it will only be one of those two, it would be ridiculous for both of them to play there, they would just keep running into each others space, knocking each other, giving the opposition chances and generally getting in a right pickle – you just don’t ever see that from Arsenal defenders so why start now…
For my money it has to be the Swiss, with the back four all change once again there is no point in breaking up the ever improving centre back pairing of Koscielny and Mertesacker.
With regards to continued lay off Wenger says Jenkinson will be out for between ten days and two weeks, Vermaelan should be with us at some point in the same time frame as should Gibbs. Diaby is apparently a little further behind in his rehabilitation which frankly surprises no one and ‘ve only mentioned it here just in case we all forget who the hell he is.
It will be interesting to see who Wenger picks to start in the midfield, Alex Song is a certainty and I would be surprised to see Mickey Arteta lose his place. We’ll need the Spaniard to be every bit as scrappy and tenacious as he was in midweek but hopefully he’ll also be able to provide a bit more of a creative element to our play because there is little point in keeping the ball from Stoke’s evil clutches if we don’t do anything with it.
It would be a massive surprise to see Tommy Rosicky start his third game in a week so expect Aaron Ramsey to come back into the starting line up after his match winning exploits in Marseille to face the man responsible for stealing a hugely important slice of his career.
So actually, it seems fairly obvious doesn’t it…
Ok, so it’ll be interesting to see who makes up the front three… Please let it be interesting…
Robin Van Persie is a given, so let’s not cock about in a futile debate, but surely neither Theo Walcott nor Andrey Arshavin can be guaranteed a starting birth? They’ve done precious little to merit automatic inclusion but then the question is, who comes in for the pair?
Gervinho on the left in place of the Russian seems sensible. I still think the Ivorian’s decision-making is letting him down a bit, he does fantastically well when we gets possession of the ball making mazy runs, beating defenders and getting in and around the box but then he seemingly panics and fails to pick out the best option. To be fair to him, I’m not suggesting that happens on every occasion but it does appear to be a more regular occurrence then we would like to see.
While Wenger told the assembled media yesterday that he likes Arshavin and that the player has a great attitude he must surely be aware that the Russian isn’t bringing enough to the table at the moment and doesn’t warrant a start.
So who replaces Theo? Seemingly nobody…
We’re not going to see AOC thrown in, Shawcross would try and tear him to pieces. like a Yorkshire Terrier with an envelope freshly dropped through the letterbox but in a much more vicious, brutal, malevolent and barbarous manner. So I guess Theo starts on the right again, I just hope he does himself some justice this time around.
I do feel a certain degree of frustration on the lads behalf, he isn’t a winger yet he continues to be stuck out on the flank and expected to pull it out the bag. Sadly it just never really happens and the poor lad gets criticised by people like me.
That said I don’t really know which position would suit him better, we all know he wants to play through the middle but his finishing doesn’t justify it. Also I do think that if Wenger was ever going to give him the chance to prove himself as a striker it would have happened by now wouldn’t it?
I really do want to see Theo push on and become the player we’ve thought he would be and whilst I am not at all suggesting we cash in on the lad I do sometimes wonder if it’s one of those cases where a fresh start in a new environment would benefit the player. But could you imagine how frustrated we would all be if he left and started to turn it on game in game out at another club – I think I would have to peel my own face off and force myself to watch as a one-legged festering pigeon feasted upon it such would be my devastation.
We’ll look ahead to the game in a tad more detail tomorrow so for now the only other piece of interesting news is that I’m delighted to be lucky enough to be attending the Arsenal AGM at the Emirates next Thursday.
If it wasn’t for Fanshare and the Arsenal Supporters Trust I wouldn’t have a cat in hell’s chance so this goes to prove that if you want the opportunity to be involved with the club there is no better way then signing up to either/both FanShare and the AST. Hit the Arsenal Supporters Trust tab at the top of this page for more info on how to join. From as little as £2 a month it’s more than worth it.
I would also like to direct your attention to a new Arsenal based site – The Arsenal Collective a website designed to commemorate why we as football fans have chosen to become supporters of The Arsenal. You even find a little something written by yours truly if you hit this link
Right enjoy your Saturday and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.

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