So, the exam season is done and dusted with for this year. There are the admissions to look forward to, but there’s still time for that, and of course you don’t want me to bore you with them. Things more important than career decisions and life itself, makes a return this weekend, i.e football, with Arsenal having to travel to dreadful and forlorn Southern Wales to play some dodgy team named Swansea.
Yes, the same side that we made look like Barcelona, not once but twice, with the media garnishing them with nicknames such as ‘Swansealona’ and all of that. The same side that has bought some less known alien, from the planet of the aliens, and made him look like a world beater. He goes by the name Michu, short for Miguel Pérez Cuesta.
The Gunners come on the back of a disappointing draw at Southampton, which came on the back of 4 consecutive Premier League victories. This kind of topsy turvy form, where we thrashed Newcastle 7-3 before putting up a putrid performance against the Saints, sees us below both London rivals Chelsea and Sp*rs in the table.
But of course, this is the cup, where form, reputations do not matter in the least, and anything is possible. Arsene Wenger has reiterated his desire to win the FA Cup this season, to put an end, to what will soon be 8 years of hurt.
There’s an aura around a team that is built through the history of the team,That makes them feel strong together. It’s an energy that builds up inside the team that you sense. That is linked with the success that the team has achieved.It’s the same the other way around. You only achieve if you really believe. It’s always a vicious circle.I believe the fact that you can be consistent improves the confidence. After, it’s [about] winning the trophy.For us, what is important [is] to fight for the Premier League. As long as we don’t do that, something will be questioned.Even if you win the cup, [which] is important to me, people will say ‘Yes, but we want you to fight for the Premier League’. That’s where the strength of a club lies. The strength of the club here demands you fight for the Premier League.
The transfer window has opened up some exciting possibilities. And we all know the number of players we have been linked to. Of course, I am not going to go into the details, because there is a lot of bullshit out there.
The strongest rumours of the past two days have been that of Arsenal looking to sign Spanish international striker David Villa from Barcelona, with the Mirror reporting that Arsene Wenger has made a personal plea to the player to join Arsenal. Other rumors indicate, we may be making a bid for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy.
Of course, one of Arsenal’s main targets, Lewis Holtby slipped from under our noses, to join the mugs down the road, at the end of the season, which is quite laughable, considering they have always been under our shadow. But seriously speaking, it is another quality player, pursued by Arsenal, who we haven’t been able to sign.
I am not sure if it was a matter of wages, something which the manager has been speaking about recently.
We don’t have a big gap between what our players earn at Arsenal,We are more a socialist model and vulnerable because of that.We have something that is defendable in front of every single player. We make exceptions, but the exceptions are maybe not as high as elsewhere.We have an amount of money that is dedicated to wages. Within that we try to do things that make sense and are defendable.I’ve believed all my life to pay well people who work for us. If you can afford to do it, you do it. But we have no players on £200,000 a week.As long as our business is organised so we do not need any help from anybody… then it is defendable,Afterwards, you can always say, ‘Is it enough, is it too much?’ That is a more philosophical question.
The club has managed to free a bit of this so called wage budget, having released Marrouane Chamakh to West Ham and Johan Djourou to Hannover, both on loan deals, till the end of the season. Sebastien Squillaci has been linked with a move, but there are very few clubs vying for his signature, which is hardly surprising. Meanwhile, Andrei Arshavin has rejected a loan move to Reading, which is quite puzzling. It would have been in the best interests of all the parties to help the relegation threatened club. Probably, he is too lazy.
Right, on to the team news then. Swansea have only one player out, in Neil Taylor, who is out for the season. Arsenal welcomed back Abou Diaby and Andre Santos, meh, back to training, but none of them will be expected to feature. I expect the following sides to be put out today.
I prefer Jenkinson over Sagna in this game, because Sagna has been piss poor recently. His attitude and his mind have not been in the right place, and everyone wants to see a tryer like Jenkinson been given a chance.
I would also like Rosicky and Giroud to start instead of Chamberlain and Podolski, as I feel they will give us some more directness and freshness, something we tend to lack, and did lack in the Southampton draw. Walcott seemed so poor against Southampton, but with the good attacking football, that Swansea can play, you can also expect some very high defending, which will allow the speedy Englishman to run into plenty of pockets of space.
Swansea will set up how they always do. They have a very neat passing side, and the combination of Jonathan de Guzman and Leon Britton is reaping rewards. Michu seems in spectacular nick at the moment, while Wayne Routledge and Pablo Hernandez can be very tough to handle on their day. Add to that, Danny Graham, who always has an eye for goal, it could be a very tough match for Arsenal.
Wojciech Szczesny believes that the Swansea defeat last year was the turning point for the side, while Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has laughed at suggestions that recent meetings between the two sides will have an effect on today’s game.
All in all, it could be a very exciting game, between two sides that love to play good football.
Enjoy the game wherever you are!
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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