Friday, 3 May 2013

Wenger to persist with Podolski -Fabregas cryptic on future -Gonalons rumours intensify

Morning Gooners.

I've finally exited my Arsenal lockdown since last Friday. It got to a point where I was desperate for the game to actually happen and for all the talking around it to stop. So Man United came. We did the whole guard of honour thing, we scored first after the greedy badger gave the ball away and were then pegged back by a penalty conceded by Bacary Sagna and scored by the aforementioned badger.

I thought we were good enough to win that game. However the visitors did have the better chances. Two players stood out for me: Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey. I think it's the fact the work so hard for the team which put them above many of their colleagues. Special mention must also go to Laurent Koscielny for placing the badger in his pocket for almost the entire afternoon.

The Lukas Podolski experiment to me didn't work. But that's an instant judgement. Perhaps given time it may result in the German becoming our best option as a central striker. I think that all players need time when moved to a different position to be truly judged. The fact that Podolski had just one shot in the 71 minutes he was on the field isn't promising.

But I don't believe the manager will change anything for tomorrow's late kick off at QPR. I think he'll stick with the German, primarily because the pitch at Loftus Road is so poor. I'd imagine the ball will be in the air for a hefty proportion of the game.

Wenger told Arsenal Player:

"I believe he has the qualities because he is a good finisher.
"He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations I believe he can be a part of that. Overall I am convinced in the coming games he will show it.
"At the moment, yes [I will play Podolski in the middle]. A definite decision has not been made but if there is an opportunity then there is a good chance I will do it."

I thought on Saturday Gervinho offered us more movement up front in his 19 minute cameo than Podolski did in 71 minutes. The German came too deep too often and while that left space in behind, we only exploited it when Theo got our goal.

It's hard to know what QPR team are going to turn up tomorrow. It'll be their first home game since their relegation was confirmed last weekend. Will they take the handbrake off and put in a performance? Will they want to dent our ambitions for the top four? Yes, of course they will and they'll want a repeat of their 2-1 win last season. But on the other hand, they could get thumped by this Arsenal team who have the best defensive away record and are unbeaten in seven and the league's most in form team.

Team news ahead of the game is good. There are no fresh injury concerns and the manager only has two players on the sidelines - Lukasz Fabianski and Abou Diaby.

I'd be very surprised if the manager didn't select an unchanged side to face Harry Redknapp's men. The only change he might consider is bringing in Carl Jenkinson for Bacary Sagna. But I don't see that happening. I believe the reason why Wenger has persisted with Sagna is because he wants the Frenchman's experience in the team and that's the one thing Jenkinson hasn't got.

Elsewhere, Cesc Fabregas has been rather cryptic about his future when he was asked about it.

He said:

"I do not know what is being said and even what is written. 
"I can only say that I alone know my own future."
I would not be surprised one bit to see him back in an Arsenal shirt at some point in the future. He's recently become a father for the first time and priorities often alter when that kind of life changing experience takes place.

And finally the tabloids have finally caught up with the rumour that Arsene Wenger is scouring Lyon's Max Gonalons first revealed by Gunnerblog.

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

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