No Time Left for Excuses
With must-win matches versus the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea still ahead, there’s simply no room for anything but a win against West Brom. They play some nice football and might even threaten us in attack, but ultimately their defending is atrocious and their midfield should be completely overmatched by whatever lineup Arsene selects. (Except for Song of course.) Wenger himself even said he welcomes this opportunity to play Albion in the midst of this scoring drought.
The team selection should be interesting. None of the injured players return. I hate to say this, but Arshavin might be rested. He looked tired at the end of the Fulham game and Wenger might decide to use him as a super-sub if we’re struggling late. (Which would be a travesty.) Wenger did say that “one or two” will be rotated. Vela and Arshavin are the most obvious answers with Bendtner and Eboue likely coming in. Gallas will be out, but not rotated. It doesn’t seem a huge loss because Djourou had been playing well before his absence and Albion shouldn’t be heaping pressure on our back four.
If West Brom play the way they have most of the season it could be an entertaining and open match. That would also suit us just fine. We narrowly beat them in our first meeting 1-0 but that was so long ago it feels like last season. Let’s face it, if we don’t take all three points tomorrow, it doesn’t really matter what Aston Villa do the rest of the season. It will really indicate that we’re not a top-four quality side. With our backs to the wall and last place West Brom next on the schedule, a top side should find the quality to demolish this opposition. Let’s hope that’s exactly what happens.
Our next five matches feature some of the league’s biggest strugglers. If we can find a way to win four or five of those matches, we will likely overhaul Villa during that stretch. They play Manchester City, Sp*rs, Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton. It’s not unreasonable to think that they might get only five or six points from those fixtures. (or fewer…pretty please.) If that’s the case, then this is our big chance. If we have any hope of finishing fourth, we need some cushion heading into the final run-in against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. It all starts with three stylish and convincing points against West Brom.
Come On You Gunners!