Friday, 11 March 2011

Wenger won't make an emergency signing - Van Persie to play tomorrow

Morning Gooners

With the manager's press conference taking place yesterday as he and his team travel to Manchester later today, we got to move on from Tuesday night. Obviously there were questions relating to our defeat but I wouldn't have expected any different.

The team news isn't rosy, unfortunately. Wojciech Szczesny will have to see a specialist about his dislocated finger. He could be out for up to six weeks. The manager is considering an emergency loan - he must ask the Premier League for permission to make the signing - and has even identified a target.

I have no idea who it will be. But I will hazard a guess and predict we won't sign anyone.

As I said, Szczesny could be out for up to six weeks. Two of those weeks are a break for international fixtures. So in reality it is down to four. For the next two fixtures - Manchester United and West Brom - Manuel Almunia will be in goal and reserve team keeper James Shea will act as his understudy.

That cuts the time down to three weeks after the international break.

The manager likes to muddle through with what he's got. Remember in the January transfer window when we were crying out from a central defensive signing. And what happened, we got to February 1st and not a single player had been signed.

He would rather stick with what he has rather than take a punt on a player who he's not yet ready to sign. And when you sign a player - especially on an emergency loan - unless you know them very well you don't know what type of character you'll be bringing in.

The new guy could be a disruptive influence on the other players - change the mood in the camp - start fights. At least with the keepers he's got, Wenger knows the characters and what to expect.

We're going into a very important time in the season - the business end. This is a critical moment for this team - one where they have two trophies in their sights. If Wenger signs the wrong guy those two trophies could be gone.

And the manager isn't prepared to end the season without winning something. We've the Premier League and FA Cup left.

Wenger said:
"We want to deal well with the two psychological blows that we had recently, and that's our purpose. If we manage to do that, then it will be an advantage.
"In the last month we have lost the Carling Cup final and gone out of the Champions League, so if you had a global view of the last three months you had every reason to be optimistic.
"I've said since the start of the season that we will go for all of the competitions. We've got two left. We need to keep the right attitude to turn the luck around on our side a little bit."
And I think this weekend is important. If we bounce back with a win it will push us on again. We've got to get our momentum back. I think that is key. That will mean playing our most influential players at Old Trafford.... the one's we've got left who aren't injured.

And the early team news is that as well as Szczesny, Cesc Fabregas is out with a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury. He'll miss the game tomorrow and more than likely the trip to West Brom Saturday week.

Alex Song still remains on the sidelines as does Theo Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen.

The good news however is that Robin van Persie has suffered no ill effects of playing on Tuesday night and is available. I think that is a minor miracle myself but very good news.

I think van Persie will start at Old Trafford and the manager will play a strong side.

There is some stuff around about Arsene Wenger bashing UEFA, all very interesting if you're into that sort of thing. I would much rather concentrate on the football now. Tuesday was a very disappointing evening for every Gooner, so I just want to move forward and think about winning things.

Some transfer tittle-tattle for you? The Daily Mail link us to Le Havre for 16-year-old Benjamin Mendy, who plays left back for France's under-17s.

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