Daily Archives: December 17, 2012
Reading Preview, Jack Wilshere and Transfer Speculation
So another weekend of Premier League action passed by without any football from the Red Half of North London. However, I’d learned a few lessons from the weekend’s fixtures,
- Newcastle has become a complete shadow of the team that took the Premier League by storm last season, and Papiss Cisse’s black goalscoring magic has gone with the wind.
- The Twitchy Ol’ ‘Arry finally got his first win and he’s odds on to perform another Houdini trick to save QPR from relegation.
- You don’t have to be bald to go a la Zidane on a fellow professional. You can have a Lice Haven like Marouane Fellaini and finally,
- It’s so difficult to get a win at Anfield, even Liverpool can’t do it.
Arsenal visit the Madejski stadium to play a Reading side swimming in relegation waters. The Royals are currently languishing at the bottom of the Premier League and will seek to change their fortunes around, as their manager, Brain McDermott has vowed to end the slump.
The Royals will come against an Arsenal side badly bruised from the humiliating Capital One cup exit to fourth-tier Bradford City. In Arsene Wenger’s press conference, he was barraged with a couple of question in regard to the poor quality of players he has signed in recent times, with fingers pointed at Gervinho, Chamakh, Squillaci, Andre Santos and Park CY. As expected, Wenger tried not to show off his dirty linen in public, so he did his bit to defend them, as he always does.
The manager has apologized for the Bradford debacle and stated that his team has to bounce back quickly. The boss also declared that his team is hurting, and a win against Reading tonight will go a long way in restoring confidence to the team.
Those folks that have been airing their opinions in the wake of the Bradford defeat haven’t stopped yet. George Graham put himself in the back pages after he stated that Arsenal will never win the Premier League again, but Gary Neville, yes, the Devil that damaged van Persie’s metatarsal in 2007, has come out in Wenger’s defense.
Trust me, it’s worth a read.
Santi Cazorla has voiced his opinions as well, stating that the team has lacked maturity. I’m not going to point my fingers at the Spanish hobbit because he had a great game by his standards against Bradford. He was ubiquitous in midfield, played a million and one corners, fired a couple of shots goalwards, provided the assist for Thomas Vermaelen and errrr…missed the first penalty.
Jack Wilshere on the other hand, has talked about the criticism his manager is getting and he wants the team to step up and be counted,
A lot of people are criticising the manager at the moment, but there will be a time when they look at the players and ask questions of us. We don’t want that, so we have to step up and be counted. We need to roll our sleeves up, put our foot in and do what we are good at – keeping the ball.
In football, there’s only so much a manager can do and he leaves the rest to his players to do their bit on the pitch. If Wenger, at his current age, was at the end of that drilled cross from Kieran Gibbs, I bet my last quid that he would have converted that chance, unlike Gervinho that has a problem with his technique.
I’m really happy to know that he has been called up by Ivory Coast for the forthcoming African Cup of Nations. The sooner he gets away from the team, the better for everyone else.
Wilshere has been a breath of fresh air this season and he has already spoken about his desire to remain at Arsenal for all eternity,
“I know the club are going through a bad time, but it’s not a problem for me. I’m 20, I’ve still got a long way, touch wood, to go in my career. Players like Robin are older and maybe he thought ‘I haven’t got time any more’. And Cesc wanted to go home to Spain, which was understandable.
But, for me, I’m young and there are older players around me, and also younger players around me. So in the next three or four years, we can challenge for everything”
Moving over to transfer tidbits, the club is getting ready to make a decision on Johan Djourou’s career, with the player featuring sparingly this season, and Napoli reportedly placing him on their radar.
With the Gunners having major concerns in the attacking department, Today’s Football News has reported that Arsenal has used Santi Cazorla to coax compatriot Fernando Llorente to join the club…the same trick that worked with Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski.
The Daily Mail reports that Demba Ba has issued a “come and get me” plea to the Gunners, as he’s available for just £7.5 m. The Senegalese forward has been in good form this season, with 11 Premier League goals already to his name. The arrival of his compatriot, Papiss Cisse in January coincided with a strange goal drought for Ba, but he has been firing all cylinders in this campaign.
Moving on to today’s game, Wenger revealed the latest news regarding his injured lot. Andre Santos and Walcott aren’t ready yet and the boss is as confused as me in regard to Abou Diaby’s severe case of Diabytes. Laurent Koscielny has recovered from his groin strain but tonight’s game will be too soon for the Frenchman. However, Giroud is fully fit again, and he’s odds on to start tonight.
I expect Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna to start at the fullback positions but I’ll like to see Wenger tweak things up in midfield. Mikel Arteta will continue doing his thing in the holding role while Jack Wilshere will man the box-to-box role. I would really love to see Tomas Rosicky start in the playmaking role, which would allow Cazorla go to the right wing. This is a period where we need Arsenal’s senior players to make the step up and Rosicky’s cameo performances all season long have been encouraging.
Nothing less than a victory will do. Arsene Wenger stated that this team is very serious, so he’ll have to prove it with a win tonight.
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