Friday, April 24, 2009

Arsenal - Heading For an Upset or In Over Their Heads?

If there was any question about the quality of Arshavin before his four strikes and four goals against Liverpool on Tuesday, well, let's just say there's one tiny Russian sniper on this team who comes to play every day–end of story.

Of course, we were left scrambling at the office for a good pirate feed to watch the match but it seems at the height of the season, the pickings are suddenly slim to none. We ended up "watching" the epic battle and game of the season, via website text updates.

We're leaking goals at the moment and I'll be happy to see Almunia and Djourou back in the line-up against Middlesbrough this weekend. I'm willing to give Sagna a pass for his mistakes against Liverpool because he was still on jello legs from a bout with the flu. And we'll likely see Adebayor in a tune-up for the really big Champion's League match on Wednesday against heavily favored Man U.

I can't comment much on the Liverpool match because I've only seen Arshavin's fantastic highlight reel and it's difficult to judge a team performance from text updates but from what I've read it seems we're beginning to sag a bit, especially through the middle and back. We know Silvestre is crap, but Denilson and Song continue to play Jekyll and Hyde and we're never sure who will show up.

One thing's for certain, we'll have to be at our best when we face off against the league leaders next week. And we'll have to do it without RVP, Clichy and Arshavin.

The news today seems to indicate Fabregas will be suspended for a couple of matches over the "spitgate" incident. Fabregas is clearly a passionate guy, and I'm sure he'll be pissed–I can only hope he takes it out on Man U. I think he will.

Walcott will bring the speed, let's hope he also brings his guns.

We know Adebayor can change a game in an instant and he's done it to Man U before.

But the newest Man U slayer is Nasri and by all accounts he's one of the few who looked to be hitting top gear against Liverpool so we'll hope that continues.

We've got a few more wild cards up our sleeve in Eduardo, Diaby and the wildest of all, Bendtner.

And most importantly, we've already beaten Man U this season.

Hopefully, we've learned our lessons against Chelsea and Liverpool and we'll come hungry and prepared to secure victory this weekend against a Middlesborough team who is at the bottom of the league and clawing for survival like a rabid raccoon in a garbage can.

It's not a must-win for Arsenal on paper but I think we need all the steam we can muster ahead of next week.

A win against Middlesborough would be nice.

But a win against Man U at Old Trafford would be better than...(fill in the blank)

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