Arsenal vs Stoke City preview: Let’s keep the run going! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 22, 2011 23:45
Arsene host Stoke City on Sunday afternoon knowing that three points would see them get closer and closer to the so-called Top Four zone.
For maybe the first time this season, I am feeling positive and confident going into our next game as Sunderland first and Marseille then were two games that surely gave confidence and self-belief to the players, especially the game won in the last minute in France.
Tomorrow, in a way, we should aim for the same, a win, the three points and more smiles at the end of the day. The beautiful football, the Arsenal football as we know it, should for now be ignored as indeed, our focus should exclusively be on winning the game.
It will not be easy. Arsene Wenger, on Friday, hinted at the possibility of resting Robin van Persie. Now please don’t take this as an attack against our manager but rested to start with who?
Both Marouane Chamakh and Chu Young-Park haven’t featured enough to be ready to replace our captain as our manager blew chances after chances to give them – especially the South Korean – a place in his starting eleven to evaluate their fitness level and how big of an asset they can be for us.
During the press conference, the manager also spoke about Andrey Arshavin in reply to George Graham’s remark that the Russian was a poor buy. Personally, I feel that as a “buy”, you can’t archive him as poor, considering how he helped us to qualify for Europe in his first couple of months.
But, I would be lying if I deny the fact that he has been very, very disappointing in recent years. After all, this is something that Andrey himself admitted and what is worrying is that according to Arsene, the attitude of the player is fantastic so I’m afraid this is the best version of the Russian that we can get at the moment and from what we saw lately, it seems that his position is on the bench.
To conclude, it seems that Thomas Vermaelen and friends will not be back in time to face Chelsea as they still need two weeks to be back to full fitness. Shame, of course, as I believe that we should desperately use the Bolton game in the Carling Cup to “experiment” ahead of the game at Stamford Bridge but that’s on Tuesday, tomorrow we have Stoke and that’s the game we should focus on!
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
With Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson both out injured, it seems we will finally see how good Laurent Koscielny is as a right-back.
The Frenchman was phenomenal on Wednesday night but I just can’t see Arsene starting with Johan Djourou on the right, he’s not at all comfortable in that position. In midfield, I would drop Tomas Rosicky on the bench with Aaron Ramsey starting, not for the goal, but because I doubt the Czech can play three games in a row.
In the offensive department, both Andrey and Theo were very disappointing in France so I would start with Gervinho on the left and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right. With the Carling Cup around the corner this won’t happen of course, but oh well, we can always hope.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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