Saturday, 12 March 2011

Wenger needs season defining victory - Fabregas "wanted to shoot himself"

Morning Gooners.

By about 7.20pm we'll know what kind of season we're going to end up with. We've suffered the disappointment of the Carling Cup final and going out of the Champions League. Now we've got a chance to get to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, if we can win at Old Trafford later.

Which Arsenal side will turn up, I hear you ask. The one which wants to win and will do everything in its power to.Or the side who can't be bothered and think that running after an opponent is beneath them. I not really sure I know. And I would hazard a guess that Arsene Wenger doesn't know either.

He'll want a response that's for sure and with us not having a game midweek, will put out a strong team.

Wenger said:
"We need the result, I must say, because we need help. We have been touched severely recently and we are, of course, chasing after a big win.
"I share the disappointment of the last two weeks, but we cannot miss two very big targets because of that. It is very exciting.
"We are in the quarter-final of the FA Cup and in a good position in the league. It is down to us to respond to the disappointment. Our future lies in the way we respond, and I'm confident."
I don't think the manager will make the same mistake as he did in 2008 were we went to Old Trafford in the same competition and played a team which included a number of squad players.

Tonight we need to show we're up for the challenge. The only way to do that is to win the game. I wouldn't call this game do or die for the outcome of this season but it can't be far off.

If the game ends a draw, the replay will take place at the Grove on Friday night. Not the best of days to hold a replay, but I understand the reasons behind the decision.

The manager confirmed yesterday some bad news on the goalkeeping front. Wojceich Szczesny will miss the next six weeks at least and Vito Mannone, who Wenger may have recalled from his loan period with Hull City, is also out for a similar amount of time.

So, despite my initial reaction yesterday, I think an emergency loan signing is now more not less likely. We can't really afford to have a rookie goalkeeper between the sticks going into the business end of the season.

And unfortunately, despite his talent, I don't think the time is right for James Shea to step up to the first team. We need someone with a proven track record of playing at the top.

Who that might be I don't know. But would think it won't be Jens Lehmann who is linked with the going position by the Daily Mail.

Finally for today, there is some stuff about Cesc Fabregas in the papers this morning. His dad talks, via Spanish radio I presume to The Sun, about Tuesday night as being the Captain's biggest disappointment in an Arsenal shirt and wanting to "shoot himself" because he was unable to help his team mates because of his injury.

Fabregas senior said:
"I talked to Cesc after the game and he told me he felt so powerless that he just wanted to shoot himself.
"He was looking forward to this match with much enthusiasm. It was such a special game for him because it was against Barcelona in the Nou Camp.
"But it turned out to be one of the worst days of his life.
"His display was badly affected by his physical condition. From the first moment he realised he shouldn't be playing."
We're now without Cesc for the next two games at least. I just hope he can take this time to fully recover and help us to achieve our aim of winning something this season.

There is more Cesc related news in the Daily Mirror who say Barcelona are to discuss in the next fortnight who their transfer targets will be next summer. I think we'll need to cross that bridge as and when that might happen.

So that's it for now. I'll post my match preview a little later including who I think will be in our starting line up. Until then, enjoy your Saturday.

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