Sunday, 26 February 2012

Wenger's call over Walcott or The Ox -Gooners become the 12th man

Morning Gooners.

We head into this afternoon's game with only one aim. It has to be to win the game. I don't want our tactic to be to avoid defeat - we showed what happens when the manager picks that option when we played AC Milan to disastrous consequences.

What I want the manager to do is pick the best team available. I suppose his options are of course hampered by injuries. But that means we might have to play some players in their right position.

Szczesny in goal is a given. The back four will consist certainly of Sagna and Vermaelen with late fitness tests given to Koscielny and Gibbs.

In midfield, Song and Arteta are certain to be the deep lying midfielders. In front of them, the manager has a choice. I suspect he'll play Rosicky in the centre behind Robin van Persie. It's options he has on the wings. Two to chose from either: Theo Walcott, Gervinho or Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

The Ox has been our form player, Gervinho the one who is above the other two in the pecking order and Walcott, well at the moment he isn't the player he was or we want him to be. I hope that Wenger will pick Gervinho and Oxlade Chamberlain. But I think he'll go for Walcott over the youngster.

Some are calling this Wenger's most important north London derby. It's not. There have been bigger games than this one under his reign. But it is no doubt an important game. We need to win it. We need to restore some pride in this great football club. This team needs to respond to the defeats in Italy and on Wearside.

The manager can be blamed for poor tactics and team selection. He cannot be accused when the players don't give 100 per cent. The scandalous performance in Milan was down to the players not being up for the fight. Had they been we'd have done a lot better than we did. A line must be drawn and today is where the fightback needs to begin.

Like others, I don't see a top four place as winning a trophy. But getting into the Champions League spots this season will be a great achievement for the manager and this squad. With Chelsea picking up a win yesterday, we need to respond by taking all three points today.

Tomas Rosicky has issued a rallying cry. He said:
"The outside world will try to separate you, they smell blood, so we have to stick together and for the rest of the season fight for fourth place. 
"We are there right now so we want to keep that position. Togetherness is very important; we can't be influenced by the outside. 
"We have the quality to [finish fourth], there's no doubt about it, but we have to avoid performances like those last week."
It would be great if we could create a siege mentality around the club. To put everything to one side and have an us against the world attitude. We need to be united. We need to provide the team with the 12th man they need off the pitch to support them through. This is not a time for division, we need to give this team 100 per cent of our support.

I'll be there singing out my heart for my team. I hope all those who are there at the Grove with me this afternoon will do the same.




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