Happy birthday to Arsene Wenger who is 65 years old today.
Retirement age isn’t it? Sadly not but darn I wish it was and applied to football management. Fergie wouldn’t have won as many trophies as he did and now we’d be wondering who is set to become our new manager. If only eh….
Anyway, the birthday boy has been talking about the team news ahead of tonight:
Chambers is back in our squad after suspension. Coquelin is not in the squad. Szczesny is not here as he is suspended and will be replaced by Martinez.
And on the injury to David Ospina:
It is exactly the same one [as from the World Cup]. He had his first injury at Nice – it was a knee problem and he was a bit rushed back and did not use his leg, so his muscle became weaker. Then he got injured in the World Cup. After that, he came to us injured after the World Cup and it took him two months to play again. I had to bring him on against Galatasaray without a warm up and being prepared, so he had a recurrence of that injury. It means he is out for two to three months, now we have to be really careful because it is a recurrence of a thigh injury, which is very difficult. It is a long-term injury.
Beggars belief doesn’t it! I’m sure there must have been other goalkeepers available in the summer and ones who were fit. Alex McCarthy springs to mind, a big, tall and strong keeper who excelled for Reading but no, yet again Wenger signs a crock, a player who we won’t now see until January.
Emiliano Martinez will now get his chance and I hope he takes it. He’s only 22 years old but so is Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea is just one year older. If he’s good enough, he’ll prove it tonight and lets not forget, Szczesny was his age when he was first confirmed as our number one keeper!
It is a big game for us and I just dedicate all my energy to getting things right to perform, because at the moment I feel there is a difference between the quality of our performances and the points we get.
We want to add something to the quality of our performance and get the points that you feel is there in the team. That little percentage we can improve in the team is vital and I hope we get it.
Well Arsene, that’s your job. Get the defenders defending properly, the midfield organised and get the players motivated and make no room for any passengers.
Not only are we missing Szczesny, Ospina and Coquelin but we travel without Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo. Not sure what is happening with Mikel Arteta, but Aaron Ramsey should be fit to start, as should Jack Wilshere.
Despite our absentees, Anderlecht manager Besnik Hasi insists his side won’t take us lightly:
Arsenal are playing in the Premier League every week – they are playing big games. We are playing in a smaller competition and we need these types of games to get better.
We are a very young, talented team. But for us it will be a mistake if we are thinking that because Arsenal are missing some players and have not been at their top level in their competition, they will not be difficult opponents. That mistake will not happen here.
Well I hope the boys have packed the Kwells today as our last match on the road was a disaster. The way we rolled over for Borussia Dortmund was embarrassing! A repeat of that kind of showing again tonight will leave us with an uphill battle to progress through to the knock-out stages.
It’s about time this team clicked, it’s about time Arsene Wenger got the balance of the team right and each player does his job and does it well. That has to happen tonight otherwise our Champions League hopes will hang by a thread. Well, getting out of the group stages I mean….
We are playing Anderlecht, not Munich, Madrid or Barcelona! This is a night on which we should be thinking about nothing other than returning to London with three big points in the bag and I’m confident we will.
A display similar to what we witnessed against Galatasary should make sure we do!
Arsene Wenger will then have had a nice birthday and he deserves that doesn’t he……
Have a good one all…..