Saturday, 30 October 2010

Arshavin has to perform today with Walcott breathing down his neck

West Ham come to the Grove today and Arsene Wenger has reminded his players that there are no easy games in the league after the West Brom debacle.

The manager said at yesterday's press conference that all his players needed to be focused with the task in front of them.

He said:
"It was a lesson learned and it confirms to me that if you are not 100 per cent focused, you will drop points against any team in this league. 
"In fairness to my team, West Brom is the only game since the start of the season where we didn't perform well and that is credit to them. 
"But as well, it shows that, just once, if you are not completely there you are caught. I think we have got the lesson now.
"We focus highly on tomorrow and go step-by-step to try to put every energy in every single game."
Which is exactly what Cesc Fabregas said after Arsenal's win at Manchester City. We look only to the next game. It is the most important game we play and should be the one we focus on.

The one player who has to rediscover his top form is Andrey Arshavin. Yes he has countless goals and assists to his name this season but his work rate in defending the player behind him leaves a lot to be desired.

I think unless there is a vast change in this the manager will seriously look at dropping the Russian.

Theo Walcott could be the player to benefit from the Russian's questionable place in the team.

He has shown in the early part of the season before his injury how hungry he is for a starting place and to deliver on the highest stage.

It can't be too long before the manager has to make a tough call. And I believe it is the Russian's place in the forward line which is more up for grabs than any of his colleagues.

The manager said:
"The secret is that we play for each other. We play united. 
"And if we manage to do that anybody in our team can score because we are always going forward a lot. 
"The basic target for us is to keep playing for each other."
Which is one area in which Arshavin game doesn't reflect his place in the starting 11.

I don't deny he is a world class player and arguably one of the biggest talents at our club. However I am becoming frustrated with his lack of effort in tracking back and helping out those playing behind him.

Yes, he does give us a lot going forward, but when the first defender is the centre forward, we need Arshavin to do his best for the rest of the team.

Today I can see the manager reverting back to the same team which played against Manchester City, with one change - Koscielny in for Djourou.

We know Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs are out. Van Persie, Ramsey Vermaelen and Almunia remain on the sidelines and Jack Wilshere is serving the last game of his three match suspension.

My line up would be:

Fabianski

Sagna - Koscielny - Squillaci - Clichy

Song - Denilson

Nasri - Fabregas - Arshavin

Chamakh

Full line up on the blog when it's announced. Come on you Reds!

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