Tuesday 5 May 2009

Death or Glory

A combination of the bank holiday weekend, a comfortable scoreline against Portsmouth (which seemed to flatter us from the highlights), and the result from the first leg, means that expectation levels are relatively low for tonight's game against Manure.

But that's not a bad thing. Time after time in recent years, decades even, its exactly this sort of situation that sees the best from Arsenal. Its only 1 goal.

The team news from Arsenal is pretty positive. RVP should be fit, which means we will revert to 4-4-2. That said, its unlikely to be a proper 4-4-2 with two up top - Wenger will surely tell RVP to try and find some space on the left hand side of the pitch. In addition, Cesc should return to the middle of the park alongside the impressive Song, Theo on the right, and Nasri on the left.

The back-4 is predicted to be Gibbs-Sylvestre-Toure-Sagna, and that sounds about right, although a debate could be had over whether Djourou and/or Eboue should play.

A short word for Eboue - his turnaround this season has been amazing and coincides with a return to full back. I never thought the day would come again when Arsenal fans would want to see Eboue in the team again, but I think he should play tonight. He has big-game experience and is excellent going forwards. However, I suspect the defensively stronger Sagna will resume duties against Rooney tonight.

And so here we go. Its make or break time. All or nothing, monte carlo or bust. The cliches are endless for this sort of situation. And rightly so. This is what its about. This is the chance Wenger has been waiting for all season. This is the chance to stick a massive hole in ManUre's red-veined face. There is nothing left to play for this season. Lose tonight and the next meaningful game is the Champs leagure pre-qualifier in August.

And so long as the team goes out and fight for every square inch of the Emirates' magnificent pitch, then I won't ask for more. Its Death or Glory.


Jeff said...

Nice one, Ted.

1979gooner said...

I was thinking the same about Eboue, his form has been great recently, well done Emmanuel.

As you say the pressure is off which may be a good thing.