Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ramsey's target -Vermaelen's pledge -Wenger tracking African international? -Boo-hoo Alex Song!

Morning Gooners.

***Sarcasm Alert***
Well it was nice to see that Fulham didn't roll over and have their tummies tickled by Chelsea last night. They put up real resistance to only be defeated 3-0 by their local rivals. I bet they'll do the same when we come paddling down the Thames on Saturday!
***Sarcasm Alert ends***

To be honest I thought Martin Jol's side would put up a fight to ensure they took something from last night's game. I know we shouldn't look to other teams to do us a favour and Fulham have nothing to play for in reality, but I just know things will be different on Saturday when we rock up at Craven Cottage.

It puts Chelsea back into third place on 61 points, still with a game in hand on us. There next game is at Anfield on Sunday.

I guess I'm just frustrated that we dropped points on Tuesday night. Yes a draw against Everton is a good result in the grand scheme of things and it hasn't done our chances of finishing in the Champions League spots irreversible damage. But that game was there to be won. And had we been more clinical in front of goal we would have finished the night with all three points.

And while it is great to see Aaron Ramsey rightly being singled out for his fantastic performances by winning the Man of the Match award on the official website for the second time in two games, how I long to see one of our forward players put in a match winning performance which sees them pick up that gong and the team three points.

The Welshman spoke with the media following Tuesday's stalemate and has targeted all three points on Saturday.

He said:
"It was important for us not to lose against Everton and we still have a lot of confidence.  
"Tottenham and Chelsea still have to play each other. They still have tough games. The teams are still going to drop points so we're positive and confident that we can finish in the top four. 
"We always knew that this week was going to be a big week for us and hopefully now we can finish it off strongly and get a win at Fulham. That would put us in a really strong position."
And Per Mertesacker echoed his team mate and told the official site:
"They (Spurs & Chelsea) play against each other and Everton have tough games as well. It's absolutely tight and hopefully for us we can win our important games, especially when we look at Saturday away at Fulham. That's the next target. 
"We are in an interesting position and we've come back very strongly. We've responded well in the last couple of weeks and we're still on a good run."
The one thing we need to do to ensure of our Champions League involvement next season is worry about our own games first. An Arsenal win on Saturday would pile the pressure on Spurs who face Manchester City in north London 24 hours later.

The Champions have the bit between their teeth and are pushing their rivals until the end before giving up their crown. Losing on Sunday is not an option for them. Having beaten Wigan last night and seen the greedy badger save Ferguson's men the indignity of being beaten by West Ham to salvage a point, Mancini knows even how slim the odds are, he needs his players to win every game to save him from possible unemployment at the end of the season.

Anyway, we can look forward to the weekend more tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Captain Thomas Vermaelen has made it known (through his agent Kees Voss maybe?) that he's keen to stick around at Arsenal and win back his place. Read the story in the Daily Mirror or Daily Mail.

Personally I don't think we should jettison the Belgium international after one poor season. I think we should persevere with him and if his dropping sparks him into life by knowing his place in the team isn't a foregone conclusion just because he wears the armband, then that can only be a good thing for the club.

We need as many good players in the squad as possible. And having Vermaelen as back up choice to Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny isn't a bad option. In fact I believe we need another top class central defender to add to the mix and increase the competition. At present our squad is too light on quality and having several top class players should be the manager's aim. There isn't a limit to the number of those you can have in your squad.

Some people will say that Vermaelen won't be happy sitting on the bench. And that's correct, he shouldn't be. But no player has a divine right to start each game. The modern game is all about having a squad with the quality of player which able to cope with four competitions. At present we don't have strength in depth and that is something the manager must address in the summer.

Meanwhile, we've been linked by The Sun with a move for Salomon Kalou. Personally I can't see it. Why would we make a move for him now when he was available on a free transfer last summer?

And finally it seems Alex Song isn't happy with his position as a bench warmer at Barcelona, according to his uncle. Well I say boo-hoo to you Alex Song. You made your bed...

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

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