Arsene Wenger sets his side out to face Birmingham and to do one thing, win. Following the draw vs Spurs in midweek Arsenal will be looking to stay top of the league. It will not be an easy game and there is a lot of injury worries for Arsene”s team. Robin Van Persie picking up the flu aswell as Johan Djourou on the sidelines with a thigh injury. However Phillipe Senderos has been passed fit after picking up a knock in the midweek game. And of course two blows in the team as Kolo Toure and Emmanual Eboue have begun the African Nations Cup with their respective countries.
Arsenal could have a lot of key men fit however as players like Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and many others will hopefully be raring to go as they have had a well deserved weeks rest for the Burnley and Tottenham games. But the blow is Robin Van Persie as everytime he starts again he seems to be slowed down or stopped due to more injuries and we hope when he comes back training his season of injuries will be done. As Arsene says we need edges in these types of games.
The main thing Arsenal want here is a win and no matter how much the margin is a win is the most important thing in order to keep things going in the Premiership. This is what Arsene had to say in his pre-match press conference.
“We rested a few players recently to give them a breather mentally. It is all more mental than physical at the moment. But you still need an edge in these kinds of games and I feel that is down to how well you prepare, especially mentally. That will make the difference.”
Arsene was handed Manager of the month too on Friday and we hope the “curse” does not strike. This is what he said.
“I don’t believe in curse, I believe in performance. It is as simple as that. I’ve won the Manager of the Month award many times and won the next day.”Alex Song is also missing as he is with Cameroon at the African tournament. This is what Arsene said on the situation. Interesting to see Justin Hoyte may get a game center half. However I would prefer a quality center half much more. Micah Richards maybe perfect. So when Kolo gets back he knows he is not in the team for sure but he will get a lot of games because I really think we are not covered well in that area as Djourou has not proved much for Birmingham and Senderos is a poor play in my opinion. This is what Arsene said anyway.
“We had hoped Song would not be retained by Cameroon,” he said “But they gave a list of their squad and he was in it. He now looks like he will play with Cameroon. The latest all the African Nations Cup players are back is on February 10 but Justin Hoyte had a good game in the centre of defence so we can count on him. Gilberto can also play centre back, even if he does not even enjoy it.”
Also Robin Van Persie is understandibly upset by his injuries. This is what Arsene said.
“He is highly frustrated,” said Wenger. “You don’t see him smile. He loves football so much that he is sad when he does not play.
“We thought we were over it this time. The only positive thing on Wednesday night is that he was feverish and perhaps what he felt in his muscle was the effects of the flu than a real set-back. I did not see any muscular set-back during the game.”
The most imporatant thing is that there is no slip-ups on Saturday for Arsenal.