Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wenger's half time rocket revealed -Sagna's farewell lap -Galatasaray's cup involvement misjudged

Morning Gooners.

Sorry it's been a while, I've been hiding under a stone. I don't think I've been so stressed out by a football match as I was by the Wigan game.I just wasn't my usual positive self. Don't get me wrong, I never gave up my belief that we'd beat them but I really can't wait for this season to be over. It's added years to me!

I thought the atmosphere on Tuesday night was one of the best I've experienced at the Grove. There was so much vocal support for the team and the manager. It's crazy to think that this time last year there was infighting between supporters, the manager and the board were taking both barrels from some of our fans and the "spend some effing money" chant was evident at virtually every game.

To my mind it's changed because we all know that beating up this team isn't going to help anyone. Any negativity won't aid our cause in securing Champions League football. And while I'm not convinced the competition is the be all for us, I certainly don't want to be playing in the Europa League. I'd rather us not be in Europe at all. However that isn't an option for us.

We now have to go to Newcastle and win. A third place play off is a possibility if things go our way. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. But it would be nice not to have a Champions League qualifier to play in August.

Tuesday night's stand out player - apart from Santi Cazorla - was Theo Walcott. He's really stepped it up in the last three games with important goals and I thought his work rate was superb. Often he can be rightly criticised  for going missing in games, but he put in a fantastic display and to my mind should have had more than just a goal to his name.

The England international has spelled out how Arsene Wenger got the best from his players in the second half on Tuesday night.

He said:

"We got a rocket. We'll keep that in the dressing room. But it's great that the manager has that passion and it got a bit more out of the players. 
"We all knew how big it is, not just for the manager but the fans, the players and the club itself. It's massive to be in the Champions League. The manager gave us a kick up the backside. 
"I felt we did show some good play in the first half but we didn't manage to take our chances. Thankfully we did in the second."

Having hit his 21st goal of the season, I think we'd all agree that Theo has stepped up his game this season. Awarding him his contract was the correct thing to do and as he's developing still, we've not even got the finished article. I don't think playing him down the middle in the formation we are currently using plays to Theo's strengths and really playing as an out and out central striker is a non issue for me. He plays as a second striker at the moment, coming in from the right.

Arsene Wenger has always done right by Theo. And I can't see that not continuing.

As for the manager's rocket, well he's used it before. But there is no point in using it every game as you won't get the response you want.

Elsewhere, away from Tuesday's game, Bacary Sagna has been speaking about his future. At the moment it is unresolved with the France international only having one year remaining on his contract at the end of the season.


Sagna told French paper Le 10 Sport:
"Of course it makes me proud to read PSG are interested. They are a very attractive club.
"Personally I’ve not been approached by PSG. I don’t know if they have contacted my agent or if these are rumours.
"I don’t close any door. I could very well extend my contract here in London but equally I could leave at the end of the season. I only have one year left on my contract — we will see.
"At the moment I am fully focused on Arsenal. I don’t know what will happen this summer.
“I have to see the directors again regarding an extension to my contract. Monaco would be a new challenge. I don’t close any door to PSG, Monaco or Arsenal.
"At Arsenal, in the dressing room they tease me every day telling me I will leave to play at PSG. But it is speculation. I don’t know what is going to happen."

During the lap of appreciation, Sanga remained at the back of the group with his children. It looked as though he was saying his final farewells to the Gooners who had stayed behind to clap the players. Many will remember that Alex Song was moping around at the back of the group last year... a sign that Sanga is off?

I'd heard that there had been movement with the Frenchman's agent prior to his interview with Le 10 Sport to extend his contract. Arsenal were open to doing a deal with him which would see them offer him more than a one year extension. I'll guess that's one of the options he's currently mulling over.

And finally the clubs involved in this summer's Emirates Cup pre-season tournament have been announced and include Galatasaray. I really believe the club has misjudged the feeling among many Gooners towards the   Turkish champions.

I really hope the weekend goes off without any trouble. But I'm not sure I'll be there at the moment.



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