Friday 13 February 2009

Villa Clouds and Silver Linings

Friday, Friday, Friday. Where does the week go? Its almost half way through February already, it will be Spring soon and there is almost nothing of the season left and we have nothing to play for.

Stop right there. There is a massive amount left of this season. I think we were still top of the table at this stage last year, and then look what happened. I am sure there will more to come this season.

The defence, for the first time in years, is looking quite competent at the moment. That is a real bonus for sure. It is also the platform upon which we can build our attacking game, which has been suffering a bit of late.

Given that most of the players will have been involved in the internationals this week, I think we can expect Wenger to make some changes for Monday night's game against Cardiff. The talk is that Wilshere might play on the right, which would be an exciting prospect for the lad. Because make no mistake, the arrival of Arshavin at the club and the imminent return of Walcott to fitness will mean Wilshere is unlikely to get many other opportunities to start games, other than the Carling Cup.

But the focus has got to be on winning the game on Monday, not on giving Wilshere a chance. If he is the best player available on the night, then fine, play him. But I would now like to see Arsenal take the FA Cup seriously this season. The next round against Burnley at home, whilst not to be underestimated, means that we should be looking at a Quarter Final place. If we can get a bit of luck in the draw, then who knows. As things stand, I would love to win the FA Cup this year.

Whisper it quietly, don't tell anyone, but we stand as good a chance as any to win the Champions League as well. The only team that worries me is Barcelona. Can we take Man Utd, Liverpool or Chelsea on the day? We know we can.

That, of course, leaves the small detail of the Premier League. And even old Ted is struggling to be optimistic about that. The fly in the ointment is Aston Villa. No-one said they could stay the distance this far, but they have proved a lot of people wrong so far. Chelsea have to go to Villa Park next Saturday and my money is against Chelsea getting three points. The Hiddink factor may get Chelsea a draw, but I can equally see a scabby late goal by Milner winning it for them. In contrast to Tony Adams, who seems to have a curse on his managerial career, Martin O'Neil is a lucky manager. I really don't think Villa are out of contention for the title.

If Arsenal can, at last, sort out some offensive weapons to complement our solid defensive base, then we can climb up the table. So long as we beat Sunderland, then the worst case scenario is that we are 4 behind Villa (if Chelsea win). We will only be 2 behind Chelsea if Villa win.

And thats why I am now hoping for Aston Villa's success to continue. Chelsea in 5th place having spent £400m - now that's worth fighting for.....


1979gooner said...

Thanks for keeping things going Ted.

Wilshere has been unlucky not to get more starts, this has frequently down to Arsene's blind faith in Eboue, one hopes that last weekend's events may have changed this.

I am very excited by Arshavin and Walcott coming back, we shall have options on the bench as well if things are not going well.

We need a win badly against cardiff.

Obsinho said...

When did Kenyon claim that Chelsea would be "profitable" company by? I can't remember if it was this year or 2010.

Either way, posting a loss of £350m over 4 years makes a mockery out of the notion of clubs as finanically viable. Chelsea are by all accounts bankrupt.

And the fact that Abramovich has converted a portion of the c £700m debt into equity does not disguise the farce that is Chelsea's balance sheet.

I really do hope the intolerable cock that is Platini does see throgh one of his mad legislative threats some day soon, if merely to quieten the Gooners out there who are still so desperate for us to win they would happily risk our very existence as a going-concern.

Anonymous said...

I just want Livescum to drop out of the top four, thats all I as for. With Villa getting second or third hopefully (villa fan)

Ted said...

A fine sentiment indeed. Well said.