Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Giroud's appeal rejected -Wenger's predicament -Arsenal make history -The Ox is feeding

Morning Gooners.

Sadly unsurprisingly the Football Association has turned down Arsenal's appeal of Olivier Giroud's red card. It means his three game ban starts immediately and the handsome Frenchman will miss the games against Manchester United, QPR and Wigan.

Luckily the appeal wasn't adjudged to have been frivolous and Giroud will have chance to add to his 11 league goals this season at Newcastle away if selected. However seeing as he's only hit the back of the net once away from the Grove in the league - our first goal at Upton Park in our 3-1 win there - I'm not sure we'll see it happen in the north east.

It leaves Arsene Wenger with a predicament. Who does he pick to lead the line on Sunday and for probably the remainder of the season. I know the majority of fans want to see Lukas Podolski given a chance but for me playing through the middle isn't his best position and when he's had his fleeting chances with this team he's not risen to the occasion.

Maybe the work the manager has been doing with the German on the training pitch will make him into the player who can lead the line. But at the moment for me, the jury is still out. I'm not saying he can't play there. I just don't think at the moment there is enough evidence to say he can.

Theo Walcott is another option. But since he signed his new contract injuries and form have kept him from playing through the middle and I believe his best position is on the right hand side of our attack, cutting into the box between the full back and the centre back.

My preference would be for Gervinho to be handed the front man's role, especially for the game on Sunday. He's had his chances to play as our centre forward on a few occasions this season and while isn't a natural target man, his trickery will bamboozle the Manchester United defence and could lead us into some good positions where we're able to score. He's recently had a good run in the team, was taken out of it for the Everton and Fulham games, but should be given a chance against the Champions.

I'm of the belief that we should welcome the Manchester United players on to the pitch with a guard of honour. It's the classy thing to do. And hopefully it will send a message to the board that Manchester United won the title this season because we sold them our best player. And if we're to compete for trophies - like they claim our ambition is to do - then we can't afford to sell to our rivals.

Bayern Munich's model is to pick off the best player from their rivals each season and have snapped up Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze for the start of the Pep Guardiola era. He's a player we tried to sign last summer but weren't prepared to meet his buy out clause.

Last night's Champions League semi final was a sight to witness. Let's forget the dodgy refereeing decisions. They didn't change the game. Barcelona were completely dominated for the large majority of the game and this Bayern team deserved their win. And to think that Arsenal have been the only European team to beat them on their own soil this season. That's special.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been talking about that now famous victory.

He said:

"The win over Bayern Munich [last month] wasn't enough to get us to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals, but it was still a massive boost for us as a side.  
"We are still feeding off the momentum of that and a win over United can have the same effect. 
"Obviously it is a massive game for us with a Champions League place at stake, but it is also massive for next season with the confidence we can get from winning."
Five wins and a draw have seen us put together a fantastic run. And that should continue on Sunday with a win against one of our fiercest rivals.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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