There not being a whole heap of news coupled with the fact I’m in a slight rush means we’ll get through today’s entry quickly.
Gael Clichy has spoken about the different pressures facing Arsenal after the loss at Middlesbrough, saying that Arsenal could have been as much as six points in front of the chasing pack, but now sit ‘a mere point’ ahead. Several players have mentioned correctly that no-one ever expected us to be where we are now – and many bloggers have done their best to emphasize this. Gael goes on to say:
“We have a strong squad and we are first and were playing well without five star players. It was a bit unlucky [to have so many out]. But we know with all these games we are going to get some injured players so we have to be focused now.
All the games are big but of course Chelsea is a massive game. Plus with only the one-point gap between ourselves and Manchester United, and Chelsea only a few points away, we have to play a great game.“
And that sounds like a rather pumped player. We can only hope that players like van Persie and Flamini will be back well in time for the Chelsea clash, but it can only be expected that whatever players take to the field, one and all will be bigging themselves up to face those well-off fellows down West.
Wenger has re-iterated this by stating his faith in the players that are available – while admitting that there is some creative spark lost with the notable absentees, the manager feels that his reserves should be good enough to hold their own.
With that, the news that will bring smiles to faces is the imminent return of Flamini, Robin van Persie and Abou Diaby, who Wenger reckons should make it into the squad to face Chelsea. The manager says:
“The one who has a realistic chance is Flamini. One who could be in the squad is Van Persie. Diaby could be in the squad as well. We don’t know about Cesc and Hleb.“
Fabregas and Hleb remain major doubts as ever – which is why one has to suspect van Persie is being put on the fast forward to recovery. It is no secret that whenever the team seems to be playing badly in the past, van Persie’s individualist streak has often seen us through down to one moment of brilliance. Fingers crossed it’s all one ‘Top Secret’ plan by Wenger to bring the entire squad back against the Blues.
Finally, Wenger has reiterated that he frankly does not mind who Arsenal play in the Champions League’s second round, and that it is not the end of the world should the club finish second behind Sevilla. Expect a full preview of the Steaua game tomorrow.
That, alas, is that. Don’t get all mellow after Middlesbrough, now. There’s plenty to be happy about. See the table to the right there? Yup. Number one, fellas. At least for the rest of the week.
Chins up, gooners.