Monday, 5 March 2012

A cracking weekend for all Gooners -Wenger's concern over trio -Jack's back?

Morning Gooners.

What a weekend to be a Gooner. A 2-1 smash and grab win at Liverpool, Chelsea lose, Newcastle draw and Spurs thumped 3-1 at home. I don't think since the season started we've seen that many results go our way.

The league table now looks interesting. Four points behind Spurs and three points above Chelsea who yesterday sacked Andre Villas-Boas. We're on a fantastic league run now. Since losing to Manchester United, we've drawn one and then won four on the bounce, showing some amazing character and determination to come back from being behind in our last two games.

Those two games against Spurs and Liverpool came after the humiliating defeat in Milan. If the players wanted to repay the fans for a shocking performance at the San Siro, they've certainly started to put some credit in their account. But the return leg tomorrow night is where we can restore some pride.

We've got nothing to lose from going out there at the Grove and doing our best. No one really expects us to turn around a four goal lead the Italians have. Who knows what might happen if we get a goal early in the first half. If we turned it around it would be an amazing achievement. I certainly won't rule out us producing something special, but I do think the game is about restoring pride and the player putting in a performance after really letting us down in Milan.

Is it impossible to expect a recover from being 4-0 down? Probably but that's not the attitude the manager wants from his players.

He said:
"We want to make the impossible possible. From the first leg it looks impossible but we have to have a real go, play with belief and think we can do it.  
"You never know. Maybe I will change the structure of the team to go for it and see if we can put them under pressure and score some goals. 
"We have nothing to lose. For us to find the right balance between having to completely go forward and not concede a goal will be the difficulty for us because they have talented players."

If we look back to where we were after the Milan result, you wouldn't have dreamed in a million years that this team could turn this result around. But the last two results have given us belief. Coming back from being 2-0 down at home to Spurs by scoring five uninterrupted goals has helped. Then this weekend's comeback against Liverpool has added more belief that something special might happen.

When this Arsenal team play like they did against Spurs we've got every chance of pulling off something special. A lot has got to do with the belief these players have that they can pull something out of the bag.

The manager has injury concerns. Abou Diaby is certainly out with a hamstring injury and Yossi Benayoun has a similar problem although it's thought his is less serious. Kieran Gibbs is also a major doubt. Mikel Arteta should be fit after leaving hospital and traveling back to London with the team on Saturday.

Robin van Persie is certain to play, but I imagine there will be a recall for Gervinho on the left. We'll have to wait and see, but I really don't imagine the manager will make wholesale changes, not when there is still a glimmer of hope that we could turn this tie around. What he won't do is take a chance on anyone. We know our most important next game is on Monday week against Newcastle.

The manager has also been boosted with the news from Jack Wilshere's latest scan.

Wenger said:

"The last scan was good and he can start to jog, so he is on the way back.  
"We have to be very cautious with him, though I hope to have him back by the end of the season. We go step by step."
I don't think we should risk Jack at all. I'd prefer he didn't play at all this season if there is any chance of him suffering a set back. We need him to be 100% for the start of next season and if that means he's not selected for the European Championships then unfortunately that's the way things go. He's still very young and will have plenty of opportunities to play on the world stage, even if it isn't this summer.

The manager will hold his Champions League press conference later. Let's hope for some good news regarding the injuries. Until tomorrow.


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