Wigan vs Arsenal: “Scary” December starts today. Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on December 3, 2011 4:30
Arsenal today face Wigan Athletic away from home as they start a series of eight games, in less than a month.
After last week’s disappointing draw against Fulham, today’s game went from being a tricky away fixture to a must-win game and that’s because of course we simply cannot afford to drop points if we honestly mean business in the title race.
In yesterday’s press conference, manager Arsene Wenger explained that this month will NOT define the season but I respectfully disagree as tough away fixtures against Wigan, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Fulham could indeed help us understand whether we can actually have a go at this season’s English Premier League or if a Top Four position, yet again, will be our primary objective.
One player who will not help the cause during the Christmas period is Abou Diaby, injured, again, and out for ten days.
Those who read me often will know that I like Abou, one who brings something different in midfield, but at the same time I just can’t stop thinking about the fact that for the last few seasons he has been taking the place of some other talented player, one who can stay fit and be an asset during busy periods like this one.
Fortunately, Francis Coquelin and Emmanuel Frimpong impressed against Manchester City in mid-week and although they are different type of players, at least we know that in case of emergency we have backup as we of course wait for the return of Jack Wilshere.
Two players who however failed to make an impact against the Citizens were Marouane Chamakh and Ju Young-Park. And if the South Korean can use the lack of first-team action as an “excuse”, the Moroccan showed that we might never again see the player who was so brilliant at the start of last season, the one who single-handedly carried our offensive department when Robin and Nicklas were out injured.
And this brings up back to the backup subject, this time not in midfield where again, we are covered, but up front, an area of the pitch where the only Robin has been delivering this season, meaning that if the Dutchman suffers an injury, simply put, we’re toast.
And it’s a shame, really. In defence we are looking stronger and stronger with each game with Laurent Koscielny enjoying the form of his life and Thomas back to full fitness. In midfield, as said, we are pretty much covered as we wait for the return of Jack but in the offensive department we’re lacking something and knowing Arsene, no reinforcements will be signed to strengthen this department, here’s hoping we don’t pay the price for this, in the last part of the season.
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 Tomas Rosicky and Abou Diaby not available for the game, there aren’t many changes one can do to today’s line-up.
Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey will hopefully be rested and ready for action after disappointing against the Cottagers as I would start with the same eleven who started last week but of course hoping for a different scoreline at the end of the game.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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And of course, don’t forget you’re still in time to pick your preferred team for this game. And when the final whistle blows, don’t forget to rate the players, comment on their performances and share your personal ratings with your friends. All this and more, available at http://www.arsenal-interactive.com.