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Friday, 21 January 2011

Lots of loans, Wigan (h)

The entire Arsenal fringe squad seems set for time away from the club. We already knew that Vito Mannone is at Hull and that Jay Emmanuel-Thomas had joined Cardiff City for the rest of the season. He is now going to be joined there, until the end of February, by Aaron Ramsey. I've said on here before that I fear for Ramsey's future as an Arsenal player and this has done nothing to assuage those fears. I accept that he is short of matches, but I would rather see him knocking about on Arsenal's bench than the likes of Denilson. The same goes for Henri Lansbury who has been sent back to Norwich for the rest of the season.. Lansbury is the most unlucky player at Arsenal this season having burst on the scene with a fabulous display at Spurs in the Carling Cup. I am surprised and disappointed that he has not been sent down the same route as Jack Wilshere and been loaned to a side in the Premier League if Wenger felt further experience was necessary. Henri has already spent a whole season at Watford, so I fail to see what he's supposed to be learning at a club in the same division. With Carlos Vela also set for a loan deal, and Kyle Bartley at Sheffield United until the end of the season it is very much a case of hoping and praying for no more injuries.

I'm going to stick to my guns and ignore the transfer hype until something actually happens for Arsenal. I will not pass comment on Arsene Wenger's assertions with regards to Abou Diaby covering Alex Song in the event of a defensive crisis - the very thought does not bear thinking about quite frankly. If you want to read what he had to say then it's at www.arsenal.com

Wigan Athletic are the visitors tomorrow and I'll be hoping for a repeat of the comprehensive stuffing they got at the start of last season. On the last couple of occasions we've played them Arsenal's defence has failed to do its job, but the attitude on the pitch (badly affected by the ridiculous team changes just after Christmas) cost the team on both occasions. Tomorrow should be different with the team close to full strength. Robin Van Persie, Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere should all return to the starting line-up and anything less than a victory with this team is quite unthinkable. I have no doubt that N'Zogbia and Rodallega will cause us problems at the back as they have done for a number of defences over the past two seasons - if Wigan could defend properly then they wouldn't be struggling like they are.
I would like to think that, if we can make a rare fast start to the match, and kill it off (no chance!) that Arsene would take the opportunity to rest one or two of the players ahead of the Carling Cup on Tuesday. What is more likely is that we will struggle to hit the net, against an inspired goalkeeper, before Nicklas Bendtner comes on to get a late winner! In truth I wouldn't mind too much if that scenario develops, just so long as Arsenal get the three points.
This is the team I think we might see tomorrow:
Szczesny - Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy - Song, Wilshere, Fabregas - Nasri, Van Persie, Walcott

I hope to review the game at some point tomorrow night, probably after Match of the Day.

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