Apologies for my absence over the past few days, my server has been somewhat temperamental.
It is a bit late to tell you about the game on Saturday night but you can see my summary here on my Sunday column:
Yesterdays win was fantastic in my book, we were made to show a few characteristics that have been beyond the side in the last few seasons. It was one of those days that we had to really dig in and grind out a result, it was a chance to close the gap on Chelsea and a chance that we couldnâ€™t afford to miss.
If you take stock now, our start to the season has not been a bad one at all, we have been to Everton, United and City and got 3 points out of it â€“ its not form that would set the world alight but many teams will go to those three places and get nothing.
Tonight we take on Olympiakos at the Grove and they are a decent side so its not going to be the rollover some people seem to think it will be, Olof Mellberg and Enzo Maresca are players I rate pretty highly and we all remember when Mellberg scored the first ever competitive goal at the Grove.
We have yet more absentees for this game, Bendtner has had a very lucky escape from a car crash but will miss the game after not training as a precaution, Walcott is still not back and Denilson has been ruled out for two months with a broken bone in his back. He is the third player in the last six months to have damaged their back with Clichy having what sounds like an almost identical injury at the end of last season, Walcott has had back problems too. Is it something someone should be looking at in the training routines?
Tonight is a chance to show how good the team can be, we saw the ugly side of the team on Saturday and we battled out a win, now is time for the convincing win to back it up. We have to win all our home games in the Champions League, and all our home games in all competitions, if we are going to win something this season.
I would like to see Eduardo given a start down the middle tonight, its games like this when he can grab some important goals to get the game over and done with without much hassle, Arshavin will probably start on the left again and there is a chance Eboue could slot in on the right, van Persie could get a rest and be introduced in the second half.
In midfield I hope to God we don’t see Diaby again, though I fear we will. I said last season I wouldn’t give a toss if he was sold on and I stick by that, he is giving more of the ridiculous that sublime at the moment, he unbalances the whole of the midfield when he is playing. If Wenger wants a tall player in the middle of the park why doesn’t he just buy Peter Crouch and stand him in the middle of the pitch? Thats all Diaby offers at present.
I’m looking forward to this game but a win is far from a certainty, I don’t think we will lose the game but a draw is a possibility, another clean sheet would keep Mannone’s confidence up and the confidence of the defence as a whole.We might see Carlos Vela tonight as well, he needs to start performing and pressing for a starting birth.
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