Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Wilshere disappointed - Vela latest - Wenger allows himself one signing

Morning Gooners.

So our final Premier League game in a period of four matches in ten days sees us take on Manchester City at the Grove tonight.

It is arguably our biggest test of the lot of them considering we're up against a form team. City are on a better run than Chelsea so tonight could prove to be tricky. There doesn't appear to be too much concern about the threat our opponents hold, but I think we should be wary of them.

Perhaps that's because they will be without one of their players who is slowly starting to have an influence at Eastlands - David Silva. Or is it because they will be without Golden Boy winner Mario Balotelli who is on the sidelines with a knee injury. Two players who would arguably make tonight's game tougher to win but not impossible.

I'm sure Jack Wilshere is disappointed Balotelli isn't playing. I'm guessing the young Englishman would have like to personally introduce himself to the Italian.

And it seems the City camp isn't the place to be if you're looking for team unity, as Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure try to take each other out in a punch up during training yesterday.

There seems to be much focus on City and that's not a bad thing. They sit a two points above us in the league having played a game more. With Manchester United's win at home to Stoke last night, they have opened up a five point gap with us, so a win tonight is important to keep with the pace.

At yesterday's press conference Arsene Wenger was asked little about his own club and more about the opponents. He had to speak on the morals of spending £1 billion on buying a football club and a shed load of players. And why he turned down the chance to manage at Eastlands.

It is now the final push our players will have to make in this Christmas / New Year period and then the manager will no doubt rotate again for the FA Cup game on Saturday against Leeds.

The manager said changes to the training schedule had helped keep the players fresh:
"We have changed some of the work we have done, the preventative work. We have as well rotated a lot and that's the main reason some players have not been overloaded."
With no fresh injury concerns, I think we're likely to see the same team who played against Birmingham at the weekend.

And talking of the game on Saturday - Lee Bowyer has accepted a charge of violent conduct and banned for three games by the Football Association. 

Transfer window watch
The manager has also spoken about the move Carlos Vela will make this January.

Wenger said:
"Bolton is one of the clubs that has shown an interest — we have many clubs that have shown interest and I am not surprised. 
"I want Carlos to play at the top, top level and the club who gives me the biggest guarantee to play will have the chance to sign him. 
"I would expect it to happen in early January because he is keen to play."
The Frenchman has also stated that the only piece of business Arsenal will do a player(s) coming into the club rests on the return from injury of Thomas Vermaelen.

Wenger said:
"Thomas is just on the fringe of getting back on the pitch again. 
"The next ten days to two weeks will be an important test for him and hopefully he can get through well. We will see.
"At the moment everyone at the Club looks positive but I will have to make a decision before the end of January."
There was mention of Bolton's Gary Cahill, but I think it's too early to get into discussing that at the moment.

And finally, after all the false starts, Aaron Ramsey will report back to Arsenal today following his loan spell with Nottingham Forest.

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