Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Fabregas admits injury concern - RVP was not ready - Israeli midfielder on our radar?

Morning Gooners.

After a defeat there is nothing better to refocus yourself with than another game of football. Luckily at this stage of the season we're playing every three or four days, so perhaps tomorrow night's fixture at Wolves could be a blessing in disguise.

It's a tough fixture, we know that Mick McCarthy's team will be up for this one. They won't need any encouragement from their manager to put in a shift against us.

All the adverse headlines against them will do McCarthy's team talk for him. It is important however the real Arsenal show up tomorrow night.

So far this season we've stumbled from one defeat to another and then come back with a big performance. You think we're then getting somewhere before another dire display makes you think everything is not as good as it seems.

The manager however is in a frame of mind where his players need to make that response.

Wenger said:
"We have to pick ourselves up. We are ambitious, and that is why we have to get our spirit on this (Wolves) game, focus again and come back with points.
"I concede it was not one of our better days against Newcastle, but it was also very harsh to lose the game as well because they had one shot on target and we had a few chances.
"It was down to who made the first mistake. We got caught on a set-piece and that is where we were guilty."
The problems with the Newcastle game are clear to see. Their tactics were spot on and we were void of ideas.

One player who was having an off day on Sunday was Cesc Fabregas. It was obviously down to injury which the Spaniard admitted.
Fabregas said:
"The good news is there's no tear on the hamstring, nothing. It's just a little bit of fluid but it keeps coming back and it's very annoying. 
"We are working on it, looking at my hips because they are always very tight. We have to work on it but also understand that I am 23 and I've played many, many games. 
"It's a lot of games for my age and I have to take care of myself."
We do need to handle our captain with care. There is no point us looking at the short term when we'll need him for the second half of the season.

And when you've got ten other players looking at him to be the player who brings them through a game with a match winning performance even when he's not 100% fit, you have to worry.

It seemed on Sunday no one else was able to step up and take charge of the game when it was clear Fabregas was having an off day.

And that's why I believe the manager decided to use Robin Van Persie, because he needed someone to make a difference.

The manager himself admitted:
"We pushed him in too early because I had to do something. You saw it was very difficult for us to score a goal and there is always a set-piece or a cross or a pass where he can make a difference.
"It is a plus [to have Van Persie back] but you can see he is not ready."
You could see that Robin wasn't the answer on the day and I was surprised the manager chose to use him first rather than Nicklas Bendtner. But you can see that he needed someone to come on and make that difference which we would normally hope Fabregas would provide.

Our home form for league games is worrying. And if two newly promoted sides can come to our stadium and get results it does not fill you with much hope for the second half of the season when are title rivals come to play us.

And the players realise it is our home form which will determine how we fare in the league this season.

Theo Walcott said:
"The Emirates is a fantastic stadium, the pitch is massive, teams want to come here, put men behind the ball and catch us on the break. 
"If we don't get that early goal it is sometimes very difficult for us to break teams down. 
"But we can cope with it and, hopefully, our home will soon become a fortress again."
And even though Newcastle didn't get their goal from a counter attack, the players have to realise that an early goal is vital.

To often at the Grove we don't seem to start our performance until the second half. We need to get out of that mindset and start going for a win from the kick off.

There seems to be a united voice about what the players are saying. And the thoughts are well summed up by Sebastien Squillaci.

He said
"When you played for a team like Arsenal, after two defeats you need to respond. A great team doesn't concede three defeats in a row.
"So the next game will be really important, we need to show that Arsenal is a great team. We need to respond well at Wolves on Wednesday.
"The boss didn't say anything after Newcastle. The fact we play every three days is a good thing. We can come back quickly.
"It's too early to talk about the title. We lost a game but it's not catastrophic. The season is long. But for sure, we don't have to lose anymore points at home. We know that home results are very important to be champions."
The FA has announced that Arsenal are set to appeal the red card handed to Laurent Koscielny. The appeal will be heard today, so if it is rescinded, he would be free to play against Wolves tomorrow night.

Early team news for tomorrow night's game is that Samir Nasri is a doubt with a calf injury.

Elsewhere The Guardian, have a piece about the share dealings of Alisher Usmanov.

Finally, the Daily Mail say young Israeli midfielder Omri Altman is being offered a trial with the club.

The 16-year-old has been at Liverpool's training base for a trial and the newspaper believes Newcastle have shown an interest in the player who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
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