Saturday, 9 March 2013

Cazorla and Jenkinson show right attitude -Wenger tracking £10m Dutch midfielder

Morning Gooners.

A weekend without Arsenal playing feels very strange at this stage of the season but this month we've got two such weekends. No game today or tomorrow because of Everton's continued involvement in the FA Cup, so our players have a weekend off.

It gives us the manager plenty of time to prepare for Wednesday night and more importantly next Saturday's game with Swansea. Whatever the result in Germany, we need to hit the ground running in the league on our return. There can be no slip ups. We need to find some consistency which has been so missing from our results this season.

This term our best spell in the league came in December where we won four games on the bounce. And while we've managed to go five games unbeaten for two spells - at the start of the season and prior to last weekend's defeat - we've been unable to kick on.

We've got a series of games on paper which look winnable. But how often have we thought that? There have been too many draws in our results this season against team who are arguably weaker  But if we can finally get into some sort of form, we could finish the season off with a very productive series of games.

And the players know it's not been good enough. Santi Cazorla speaking yesterday and being very honest about our form this season.

Cazorla said:

"We have definitely had our ups and downs, there have been good times and bad times. 
"The team has lacked a bit of consistency and sometimes we have made mistakes that have cost us dearly - removing these from our game will help us improve in the future."

I think Cazorla has suffered like the rest of the team this season. He's been pretty much an ever present in the team and  that cannot of help his form when he's dipped. But with the manager not believing he's got the options in the squad, the Spaniard has started 27 league games out of 28. And in the other he came on as a substitute.

Personally I believe the team is good enough to challenge for the top four. But our home form has cost us. We've lost seven times at the Grove this season. Which is worrying. Something isn't quite right and I can't put my finger on it. Neither can the manager it seems.

But the season isn't over and we've got to fight until the end. We know we only managed to secure third place last season on the final day of the campaign. And the players know they can't give up.

Carl Jenkinson, speaking to the official site, said:

"If we go on a good run now, we’ll finish in the top four. I’m sure of that.
"If you look at Tottenham’s run in, it’s quite difficult. They’ve got some difficult games so we’re going to hope that they drop points. 
"If we focus on what we’ve got to do, I think it will take care of itself."

It appears likely that Jenkinson will remain in the team for Wednesday's match with Bacary Sagna still an injury concern. I think of our younger players Jenkinson has come on leaps and bounds from last season. He's not suffered a drop this term and has in my eyes improved as a player.

But despite our stand off with Sagna over his contract, I wouldn't sell the Frenchman this summer - unless we were offered an amazing amount of cash. He still has a lot to offer this team and the continued departure of experienced players at the club isn't helping us to progress.

And the transfer rumour of the day is from the Daily Mail. They report we're scouting AZ Alkmaar’s 19-year-old midfielder Adam Maher, who is valued at £10m.

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

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