I’ll start with some of the news from the past days. Arsene Wenger says he wants to add three more players to the squad:
“It is important [to strengthen] because we will lose players in January with players going to the African Nations Cup,
We lose Gervinho and Chamakh together so, first of all, it is important to strengthen up front. It is important that we find one midfielder and one defender as well. So we are still short of three bodies.
My time has been taken up [by players going out] and it was a very difficult summer on that front because we had to face adversity, negativity, but it had to be done. Overall, we tried to do as well as we could.”
It’s good to hear that. But, yes there is a big but, I have to say Arsene’s got it wrong this summer. He knew Cesc and Nasri were leaving, he said long ago that Bendtner will leave as well. He’s had all the time in the world to bring a centre back, which he didn’t do. He sold Cesc a while ago and had a lot of time to bring in a creative midfielder. Yes, these things aren’t that easy, but with enough money it can only take a few days to complete a transfer. And we have the money. Whether it’s the board that’s restricting our manager, or Arsene himself doesn’t want to pay too much above the price he thinks is realistic, we’ll never know.
What we know though is that we have no new players for the game tomorrow, which is disappointing. Considering all our injuries and suspensions, we are extremely short of bodies and I was convinced we’d see a new player come in before the game. That didn’t happen and I have to say I’m really worried about tomorrow. The players who won’t be able to take part are Abou Diaby, Gervinho, Alex Song, Kieran Gibbs, Emmanuel Frimpong, Nicklas Bendtner, Squillaci and Jack Wilshere. Thomas Vermaelen is also a little doubt.
Firstly, Carl Jenkinson needs to have the game of his life at right back. He did well when he was called in over the past few games and I have faith in the youngster. His Champions League performance against Udinese should have given him a lot of confidence and I hope he plays well tomorrow. Bacary Sagna needs a good game on the left too. United are extremely dangerous on the flanks and our full backs must play well if we want to keep a clean sheet, and that will be vital.
Now on to our midfield. That is the real worry for me. The boss will play Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky, but who will the third player be? I can’t see us playing 4-3-3 with the current players. Maybe he’ll revert to 4-4-2 with a midfield of Arshavin, Rosicky, Ramsey and Theo with Chamakh and Van Persie up front. I suspect Henri Lansbury, Ryo and Alex Chamberlain will be on the bench and those will probably be our only options should the manager decide to change things. We may as well see Armand Traore at some stage of the game, probably as a left-sided midfielder. It’s hardly something to give you confidence, is it?
Not much else going on. We’ll face Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup, but there’s still enough time until then.
Let’s focus on the game tomorrow now. We’ll need to be on top form if we want to beat United. I’ll be quite happy with a draw, to be honest. I can’t see us winning this one. I’m usually optimistic, but this time I’m really, really worried. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been that nervous before an Arsenal game. I’ve always thought that we’re strong enough to beat any team, but right now, with so many absentees, I can’t help but be scared.
But who knows. Arsenal can surprise us sometimes and hopes high that tomorrow will be one of those nice surprises from the boys in black and blue. I may be worried but I can’t wait. Till Monday.
COME ON YOU GOONERS !!!