Thursday, February 24, 2011

one big test is done + injury news

Barca big test in the Emirates is done and dusted but 2nd leg is still looming. our slim aggregate win over the Catalan side had sent them down to the drain but they are not dead yet and capable to overturn the deficit and win the game. if we are not careful, we would be sent packing early; one thing we are not going to please to see.

Let us concern over Barca game later because one cup final is sitting right in front of us. on Sunday, Arsenal are going to face Birmingham City in Carling cup final. this is the first final since 2005 successful FA cup glory and as you already know most of players involved in the game have moved on. now a new generation of players bursting through and ready to rumble. only Persie, Clichy and Cesc are the remaining piece of the invincible as others have left the club. Carling may have not been in our short list before but certainly, 5 years drought has brought us to common sense: any trophy is worth fighting for. Wenger believes it could be our floodgate to more titles this season or next.

Indeed, one win would invite others to join. if these lads taste the sweetness of lifting a trophy, they want more and if not, crave for bigger success. the likes of Wilshere, Song, Nasri, Djourou are now the main men in the team. if they were only babies back in the day Vieira lifted the FA cup, they are now more than ready to lead this team to win on Sunday. a fact that Nasri is being mentioned as Player of the Year by many, is one of the main reason we should keep our head up and try to win the game no matter how people ridicule us.

It is the first test Arsenal young squad will face ahead of big match in mid week against Barca. I believe whatever the outcome on Sunday would eventually have an impact on the Champions League game. if we win and lift the cup, it would provide major moral boost to the the team and instill a belief that they can win anything if they want to. but if we lose, I don’t want to talk about this but I must, we could be facing major moral crisis for the rest of season. losing in the final and 2nd leg in Champions League is difficult for any team and it is hard to comeback from such mental state. let’s hope it is not the case.

Despite disappointing result in FA cup 5th round, we are still entitled to claim quarter final if we can trample Leyton Orient at home. we played with major players rested thus, the result reflects on itself. a replay will be played on 2nd of March, which will push our encounter with city rivals sp*rs to a later date. another stumble block for us. you can see here that our fixture is currently not our best friend. important matches wedged between each other which could affect our performance in the long run. we must take one step at time or will be trapped inside our own maze. in the running for four championships is delighting indeed, however there is always a catch. we have to play in 3 to 4 days between each match which could spark trouble for our current fitness level.

Last night win against Stoke City paved way to get closer to man utd by 1 point. though we are playing one more game than them, we can put more pressure to league leaders and, hopefully, they would stumble and fall. no one is assured of success. you can take a look at our London rivals, chelsea. they finally taste some bitterness which forced them to face the fact that they are human after all.

Okay, I put injury news in the title but I intentionally leave it as the last topic I will discuss here. yes, big result for us but it comes with consequences at the same time. as we all know, last night we saw our two key players humbled by injuries. Cesc came off early with Walcott accompanied him later on. Cesc is suspected to suffer from another hamstring injury. the last time he had it, he had to miss three weeks. Walcott is less fortunate though, his ankle sprained and would probably take longer to heal than  Cesc’s hamstring. there is no further news from the club but we can safely say that both may lose a cup final match this Sunday. you can read Wenger’s post interview here. he doesn’t sound happy at all about our injury list as we are still without Vermalen for another 4 to 6 weeks. in the article above, you can also find that Wenger is also less certain on Koscielny and Persie. he asks us to wait until Friday and see whether both would make it to Wembley or not. I don’t know about you but I’m worried. Koscielny was a bit static in the first half of the season but has been strong recently. he combined well with Djourou and currently best partnership in Arsenal season. Persie has been doing scoring spree since his comeback from horror Achilles injury last season and hampered by another injury before making comeback during winter matches. in general, these two players will be greatly missed if both fail their medical tests on Friday. let’s hope they will do well.

That’s it. we are currently, without four key players on Sunday. nothing is yet confirmed but if things stay this way, we have to prepare ourselves. like I said, they are big players to the team and without them, we would be less in attacking numbers but will not lessen our strength. we are more than capable to beat Birmingham and I believe we will if Arsenal stay focus in 90 minutes and commit themselves accordingly. referee will be more generous in handing out cards, so we must be really careful not to get caught on simple and silly fouls. Brummers might try to wind us up and push for yellow to referee for nothing.

That is all for now. a very lengthy post but I hope it’s worth our time. let’s focus on the final and worry less on Barca because we should not mix everything into one cup or it will taste like gutter. and I must remind you, we still have to entertain Sunderland at home before flying off to Barcelona.

Later all…

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