Monday, 28 January 2013

Giroud's determination -Banner has no place at Arsenal -Villa says his goodbyes?

Morning Gooners.

Our reward for beating Brighton on Saturday is a home tie with Blackburn. As a fan I would have fancied another away trip to lower league opposition, but with this fixture coming days before our first leg tie with Bayern Munich, a home tie is probably preferable.

It will allow the manager to rotate his side and give some players a breather. Although we can take nothing for granted, we should ease passed Blackburn. I really enjoyed my trip to the seaside on Saturday. A win made it a fun day out.

The difference made by the introduction of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott changed the game. But it was Olivier Giroud who took the game to Brighton with two fantastic goals. I like it when he's in this sort of frame of mind. He was determined to win the game for us and would do what ever it took to ensure we progressed into the next round.

Giroud said:

"We always need the determination. I think it’s a very important thing in football. When you don’t have It, you can’t play very well, because you need it. It’s important for me and all the team. We showed it again tonight. 
"[For the first goal] Lukas gave me [the ball] in the right position and I just tried to hit the target and not to shoot too strongly. I liked it. I’ve tried to work on it in training.  
"I liked the second one because I made a good run and Abou gave me a wonderful assist. I did not have a lot of time to finish, and I finished very well. 
"I was not so far from the hat-trick again. I want to continue to work hard, to succeed and get my first hat-trick soon."
Giroud has his critics and clearly is a work in progress but I don't think 13 goals and nine assists are a bad return at this point in the season. He's clearly not in the same league as the greedy badger, but he's made a positive impact on this team.

If he was more clinical in front of goal then I'm sure he'd have more fans. At the moment he's still adapting to the league and I think needs more time. But four goals in two games isn't a bad return. Maybe we're witnessing the start of a scoring streak.

It was Theo Walcott's goal which won it for us. And the confidence we played with in the final 20 minutes should be the norm for us.

Walcott told talkSPORT:
"I am very confident in the team, this team just needs to realise how good we actually are and not read into too many bad thoughts. 
"We have a very good team, very young and great on the eye at times. 
"We can be cold at times as well, but we are starting to learn and we are starting to get back to our best."
Wednesday night's game is a huge test to see exactly if we've found some form. Liverpool will be wanting to respond after being dumped out of the cup by Oldham. And the manager will restore his big guns to the side to ensure we are at full strength.

There is no place for a banner which disrespects our manager and I'm not surprised that Gooners got upset with it being unfurled in the away end on Saturday. We're in a difficult enough position as it is without the need for negativity from within our own camp.

Wenger isn't going to walk away from the club. The majority shareholder isn't going to fire him. So there is little point in causing upset with fellow fans who believe he should be allowed to get on and do his job. He want us to judge him at the end of the season. Let's wait until then to make up our minds as to whether he's taken us as far as he can.

It would be nice to think he's going to be active in the final few days of the transfer window adding a couple of quality additions to the squad.

One might be David Villa who started last night's game for Barcelona against Osasuna. The Spain international collected an assist for Lionel Messi's third goal of the game as he put himself in the shop window with a good solid 90 minutes.

Was that Villa's last game in a Barca shirt? Possibly if Wenger has his way. But it's so hard to see the manager making any signings now. But we've got to hope he does. His team can beat anyone on their day but you never know which Arsenal is going to turn up. And when there are players out injured, sick or suspended, we've got little depth in the squad.

I've heard we're looking to do business. It's whether we can get the deals done which concerns me. Let's hope we can.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.

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