Huge signing boost! Does football get any tougher than this?

Morning all.

Some good news to kick off with about Bacary Sagna:

I love Arsenal, I love playing for Arsenal, I love my team. Arsenal is the most followed team in France and I remember I used to watch them when I was in France so it was a pleasure to play for them, so why leave? 

It’s great here. It was like a dream when I joined the club because I used to follow Arsenal when I was in France and then I had the opportunity to join them and it’s a pleasure to play for the team.

If those comments are recent and real then it’s great news. Just get on and sign up Bacary!

Onto today….

A beautiful sunny morning but a horrid place to go to…

In fact Stoke City are right up there in my top 3/4 clubs of whom I have nothing but disdain for!

Stoke City away has to be one of the toughest places to go in our Premier League calendar. They are dirty cheats strong physically both on and off the ball our players to show all the steel they have within and let football win the day.

Stoke are doing reasonably well with their results and maybe sitting in 15th place fails to reflect the problems they are causing opponents this season.

Manchester City huffed and puffed their way to to a 1-0 victory at The Etihad last weekend, Stoke were victorious over Manchester United at home and in between times, they drew with both Southampton and Swansea.

So it’s not going to be easy.

Tomas Rosicky:

[I‘m expecting] a typical game when you go to Stoke. It’s always very similar – they are a very physical side, very aggressive and it’s a very tough place to go. 

All the away games are pretty similar so we need to be really well prepared [for a] physical and aggressive style of play. We need to match them in those attributes and, if we do that, we can be successful.

Then of course there will be the usual hostilities from the home fans, all directed at Aaron Ramsey of course but he won’t even be there. That wont bother Tomas though:

For me, [the crowd at the Britannia] doesn’t matter at all. The atmosphere in the stadiums here in England is great anywhere you go, so that side doesn’t bother me at all.

I’m quite surprised this fixture hasn’t been moved for television, after all they like all that kind of stuff! Maybe Manchester United are playing Fulham and Sky Sports think an upset is on the cards. Nah, surely Fulham would win that?

Thomas Vermaelen returns to the squad after injury and Mesut Ozil is expected to return as well and if thinks it’s been tough so far, this will really open his eyes. Ryo Miyaich might be included too as he was snapped by the photographer during yesterdays training session.

Anyway, the players have all had a two day break from training so they should be well and truly rested and raring to go.

Arsene Wenger says:

March is the month. If we are close at the end of March we will know much more.

Let’s kick it off with three points…

Our record up there isn’t particularly good but if we want to be in the race for the league at the end of May, we really need to win today.

COYRRG’s…

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