Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wenger's target -Jack's X-ray boost -French teenager hits radar -Oxlade Chamberlain promoted?

Morning Gooners.

We've got the last drips and drabs from the post match round-up at the weekend to see us through today and then we'll be looking at a very bleak picture in terms of Arsenal news for the remainder of the international break.

Let's start with the manager who's been talking about the league title. We know his thoughts on us winning it - we're 12 points behind Manchester City so until we close that gap there is little chance of us winning it but realistically we've got no chance because we started the season so badly - but what does he think about Roberto Mancini's men winning their first league title since before I was born?

Well, he think that they are there for the taking. It just depends on what day the opposition are going to take their chances. Watching the first half of their game with QPR at the weekend, they showed that they are susceptible to conceding goals as much as any other team. They could have easily lost at Loftus Road, but they are in a run where the confidence is high and they are winning games.

Come the end of this month or the middle of December, things might look different. And if we progress as we have done and go to Eastlands on December 18 with a good run of results behind us it could be an excellent game of attacking football.

And I think that is what the manager is targeting. Get to the City game without any slip ups and we'll have a good chance of getting a result there.

Wenger said:

"If they are still there with that difference in December, then you can say it will be difficult to catch them. 
"No team has no vulnerability in our League or any other League. They have quality. They can score goals, they can be efficient. They are the ones to catch. 
"They had some impressive away results, especially at Tottenham and Man United but we have to see. The potential is there but we will see on a longer period."

And after 11 games no team in the history of the Premier League has won the title. Whilst I don't think we're in the hunt for the league title and that a place in the top four is our aim for this season, the manager has to give his players the motivation to want to go out on to the pitch and believe they can achieve something this season.

I think the last eight games have proved we can take something from this season. We've gone on a run of results which have certainly added a sense of positivity about the club's chances both to us as fans and to the players at the training ground.

Have we stopped the rot? I'm not sure. The best test of that will come after a defeat, should we have one. If the players pick themselves up and continue doing what they've been doing and go on to win more games then yes. But if we lose all our confidence after one poor result, we could be in for a long and difficult season.

If the players come back from the international break and continue where we left off, we've got a good chance of prolonging this run. Whilst not wanting to say we've won the games before we've played them our league fixtures prior to the trip to Manchester include visiting Norwich, playing Fulham at home in a late kick off, heading to Wigan and then facing Everton at the Grove.

Those are all games we should be winning. Sprinkled in between these fixtures are two Champions League games and a Carling Cup quarter final match with the fore-mentioned Manchester City.

We've got Thomas Vermaelen back in the side. Abou Diaby will be a month away, so might be able to make his come back in the Carling Cup game if his recovery is going to plan. And then there is Jack Wilshere, who looks set to make his return in red and white around Christmas after he had positive news about his injury when he had an X-ray yesterday. I can't wait to see Jack back playing for us. He may really push us on in the second half of the season.

In other news, The Sun report that Alex Oxlade Chamberlain could get a late call up to the senior England squad for their games against Spain and Sweden. The youngster has been taken out of the limelight at Arsenal whilst the manager and his coaching staff have been working with him at the training ground. We've seen glimpses of his potential,  but there is a feeling he needs to add more to his game before we'll see him in competitive action regularly.

A bit of transfer speculation as well. The Daily Mirror report we're interested in signing 17-year-old Le Havre teenager Jeremy Balmy. He's also being watched by Spurs and Valencia.

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