Gunners Must Send Wolves Packing……

Now the full extent of our latest glut of injuries is clear (Cesc out for at least six weeks, Gallas at least three and Arshavin possibly back for the Man Shitty game, on April 24) our beleaguered team entertain Wolves at the Grove today.

Were I a hopeless romantic, I would interpret the fact that the last time the Wanderers made their only previous foray into the Premier League we were Champions, as a portent of our crowning as Champions this season. However, not only have recent setbacks on the injury front and crucially, two dropped points at Ginger McLeish’s ploughed field, soured my view of our chances, but as an engineer by education, I’m fairly unromantic (as many ex-girlfriends will confirm).

Wolves, as original founders of the football league, were formed nine years before us and therefore their glory days are well behind them; a League Cup win in 1980 being their last silverware. Having been promoted this season as Championship winners, it would seem they are safe from joining Pompey, and hopefully Hull, in the Championship next year, lying as they do in fourteenth place, five points above the drop zone. Their form has been indifferent, three losses, two draws and two wins in the last seven games points to a home win for us however one of those two wins was away at West Ham.

The Wolves manager, Mick McCarthy, will no doubt be quietly confident of  catching us on an off day, with an “after the Lord Mayor’s show” kind of lethargy he will hope to exploit.

The press will portray McCarthy as an honest, blunt-speaking type – a typical product of a Barnsley upbringing; his flat, Yorkshire tones would not go amiss on an episode of Emmerdale (farm). I enjoyed him taking down the Mank mad dog Roy Keane a peg or two after he had a pre-pubescent style hissy-fit during Irelands 2002 world Cup campaign.

The danger man will obviously be Kevin Doyle, their top scorer with seven for the season, their next highest scorer being defender Jody “Fanny” Craddock who has chipped in with five strikes– clearly a player to watch out for when the referee awards a free kick against us near the penalty area for the first foul we commit tomorrow.

As for us, we know in all likelihood we won’t see Cesc till the World Cup at the earliest, however I harbour a secret hope he’ll be back for the last league game and the Champions League final – so maybe I am a tiny bit romantic! Wenger has bluntly denied rumours circulated by the mischief-making press that Cesc was played with a leg already broken by one of McLeish’s muggers last Saturday.

Nasri would be the shoe in to take Cesc’s place but the centre back partner for the Verminator is a conundrum I am glad I don’t have to solve. The question is Campbell or Song? Assuming Sol is only good for one game a week, and then if he plays today he is out for Tuesday’s return leg at the Camp Nou.

The problem is, do we risk a less mobile Sol on Tuesday or save him for League games only? If we play Song at centre back on Tuesday, we’ll lose his midfield drive against the Catalans and that could be crucial as only a win (or an unlikely a score draw of 3-3, or above) will suffice. Being radical, one could argue for Song to be at centre back today as Wolves do not have the midfield brilliance of Iniesta, Xavi and Keita, add to that the fact that we don’t play next Saturday then conceivably Sol could play on Tuesday and be able to return for the NLD (where the assembled masses of cro-magnon Spuds will give him a sporting welcome back to the Lane, of that I’m sure), on the fourteenth of April. The caveat there would be that we would then have the away game at Wigan on the Sunday after the NLD and that would surely test Sol’s fitness.

Assuming the minor strains attributed to Clichy and Denilson clear up, I would guess Wenger will select the following 4-3-3:

Almunia
Sagna Sol Verminator Clichy
Nasri Song Denilson
Eboue Bendtner Diaby

My own selection would be with an eye to Tuesday:

Almunia
Eboue Song Verminator Clichy
Denilson Nasri Diaby
Walcott Bendtner Rosicky

One thing’s for sure, if we see a draw at Old Toilet before we kick off, then it’s game on for our title chances and a much jollier pre match Peroni (or four) at the Arsenal Tavern.

So to all of you going today, crank up the volume to 11 for our Wednesday night heroes – “Come on you rip roaring Gunners!”

By our guest writer charybdis1966


101 Responses to Gunners Must Send Wolves Packing……

  1. kelsey says:

    Morning chary.

    I find it nearly impossible to envisage the team that will start today. What will interest me is :

    Will theo actually start.

    Where is vela ?

    Could merida play a part.

    Are clichy and diaby actually fit as they were both carrying injuries against barca .

    Could we be surpised and see eastmond start .

    denilson had a groin strain after tuesday, is he fit.

  2. dandan says:

    Chary that is a good evaluation thank you.
    I believe Sol who has surprised many already still has more in him. Wenger’s one game a week is a smoke screen, So Sole may well play in both games with Song in front of him.

    Denilson is also coming into his own again and could well have much to say over the next 6 weeks.

    All is not lost, our squad is one of many equals who have played together for years, trust them and yes make sure the 12Th man, The Emirates crowd do their bit and roar the team on to a significant victory.

  3. dandan says:

    Oh and Morning all.

  4. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all – it was a near impossible task trying to second guess what Wenger has in mind today – Barca on Tuesday and the NLD are 2 very important games for different reasons.
    So to follow the cliché much loved by footballers – “I’ll take it one game at a time” and assume Wenger will put out the best teams he can for each game.

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Good point Kelsey – has Wenger finally run out of patience with Vela?

    Dandan – I sincerely hope we are seeing the real Denilson now, ad not the one who got outjogged by the referee.

  6. Morning all

    I’ll be a 12th man today and looking forward to it enormously. Two games in 4 days lovely 🙂

    What to do with Theo – I heard a debate on Talksport the other evening on whether a footballer could be a professional sub which is exactly what Theo is turning out to be.

  7. Good point dandan about the fact that these players have been playing together for years and if now is the time they tick then fantastic……

  8. Why would Wenger have run out of patience with Vela? Where does that come from – I know hes too handsome for his own good but hes still a good footballer too – makes no sense to me. If he’s been naughty ie out clubbing we’d know about it for sure.

  9. chary – I’m being a ticket fairy today and have to meet a man at 2.30 at the ground so I reckon I won’t get to clink peronis with you and the others 😦

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    Well Peachy, it ‘s only circumstantial evidence as Wenger has had the chance to play him fairly often when we are struggling to score/create openings and he’s chosen not to.
    Unless Fran’s gossip about Carlos’s partying ways are true I could just be guessing.

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    Not to worry Peachy,I’m sure some of the usual suspects will still be there.

  12. London says:

    Morning all

    Excellent post Chary. Top drawer pre match.

    ————Almunia
    —Eboue,Song,Verminator,Clichy
    ——Diaby,Denilson,Nasri
    —-Walcott,Bendtner,Rosicky

    This is the team I expect to start today. My guess is that Wenger will want to practice the formation he has in mind for Tuesday. Although I expect Walcott to drop to the bench, swapped with Eboue and the return of Sagna.

  13. charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks London – I agree we’l see the anticipated Tuesday line up at some point in the game – I only hope it;s when we’re 3-0 up and cruising.
    Anyway – I’m heading off now as I’ve a few chores on the way to the ground.
    See you later.

  14. blaze gooner says:

    i hope Arsenal can finish wolves off as soon as possible.
    dont give them hope, crush them right at the beginning.
    go gunners!

  15. Hi blaze – I’m hoping we’ll put them to bed early, 3-0 at half-time and then we can watch them playing like Barcelona 😉

  16. VELA – been on the bench recently, is fit, and some of us on here love him…

    how about theo and carlos stretching the barca full backs and opening space for diaby and nasri to maraud from centre field on tuesday night.

    he has to get a game today.

  17. btw – united are taking a beating and a half here… totally dominated.

  18. easter starts well, at best united will now get a point

    so we make up on those 4 points by beating the wolves.

    and hope the spuds and scousers take points of the chavs.

  19. Rasputin says:

    Hi everyone 😉

    Great write up chary.

    Chelski 1 nil up 😦 … come on you mancs

  20. rasp i am cool with a chelski win

    after this, utd have an easy run in

    chavs have two tough games to drop points.

    if they win, we will be 1 pt behind utd and 3 behind chavs

    i see them drawing against both pool and spuds… dropping 4 points.

  21. blaze gooner says:

    im okay with a chelski win, then hoping spuds and liverpool can do us a favour.
    but im still hoping for a draw, without rooney i can MU are vulnerable to drop points. chelski’s run-in arent really that difficult at all.

  22. blaze gooner says:

    i think MU can*

  23. Rasputin says:

    Team news …..

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Campbell, Vermaelen, Silvestre, Eboue, Song, Denilson, Walcott, Eduardo, Rosicky.

    Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Nasri, Vela, Clichy, Eastmond, Bendtner.

  24. Rasputin says:

    That’s a very attacking line-up. Two comments. AW doesn’t trust Silvestre and Song will be CB on tuesday.

    I expect us to score loads today …. 4 nil is my prediction

  25. tommystout says:

    i rasp its a bit of en eye opener that team for sure…. but they should be well capable of beating them hansomely, so get your clinical boots on mr eduardo!

  26. tommystout says:

    how did you feel about chelsea winning rasp?.. i wasnt so fussed totally agreeing with SFhawkes outlook on the run in

  27. it’s all coming together, tommy

    lets get those 3 points in the bag against wolves and soldier on.

  28. Rasputin says:

    Silvestre’s playing??

    Hi Tommy, not happy with a chav win, that put’s them 6 points ahead with a vastlky better GD

  29. left back, clichy not 100% so rested for barca

  30. rasp, have you seen the chelski run in?

    away to pool and spuds.. both chasing 4th hard

    manure are weak as piss without rooney, they wil get more of a game at the lane and anfield.

  31. Rasputin says:

    Poor Eduardo, that was an embarrassing miss

  32. Rasputin says:

    I know SfH, but they have to lose two and draw one and we’ve got to get 3 points from every game … it’s asking a bit much.

  33. ?

    if we win today, we are 3 points behind them, with 5 to play each

    meaning, they draw away to pool and spuds.. they drop 4 points

    we win our 5 games, and we win the title by a point!

    lose 2 and draw one? why would we need them to drop 7 points if we are only 3 behind????

  34. kelsey says:

    Good positive start but as rasp said what a dreadful miss by DuDu. Strange line up.Don’t need any high crosses for sure.Theo looks up for it.

  35. rooting for sunderland aswell today, they make spuds drop points for 4th

    and the game against chavs will mean even more!!

  36. Rasputin says:

    Ur right SfH … there is hope 😛

    Sunderland 1 nil up … Bent hahahahahaaa

  37. penalty sunderland 😆

  38. bent on a hat trick

    i wonder if honest arry’s missus is watching 🙂

  39. tommystout says:

    i think its gonna be long range efforts to win it today, cmon lads … shoot on sight

  40. Rasputin says:

    We should be 2 nil up already.

  41. tommystout says:

    why is it every single commentator winds me up?

  42. tommystout says:

    i wish walcott had a trick or 2

  43. ooo bent misses another penalty for hat trick

  44. tommystout says:

    wheres our 12th man???

  45. tommystout says:

    who’s captain today? big al??

  46. kelsey says:

    the balance is all wrong, eboue down the left is weird. song and campbell surging through the middle, and eduardo is just not in the game. move theo into the middle imo and rosicky out wide.

  47. without that big man up front in this system, it just does not work

    bendtner is so key to our 4-3-3, eduardo is not a hold up striker and keeps losing possesion.

  48. tommystout says:

    your right kelsey, thinks maybe vela down the left could be a good option

  49. christ, 5 live have just said song is coming off with a groin injury 😮

  50. vela left, theo right, nikki b down the middle.

  51. tommystout says:

    well why should that surprise us, where would we be with out all these freak and untimely injuries this season….
    i think its a credit to wenger how the quad has worked for us this season.

  52. tommystout says:

    squad! imagine wenger on a quad! LOL

  53. tommystout says:

    2 shots on target , not good enough really!

  54. kelsey says:

    wenger wants to keep nasri and bedntner back for barca but he must make changes.
    dudu has lost his pace and isn’t really challenging

  55. kelsey says:

    denilson also very quiet, i would bring on diaby if he is fit add some height.

  56. going to be another late show…

  57. Rasputin says:

    Got to be another late show or that really is our title hopes over …..

  58. Rasputin says:

    Where’s the f***ing urgency?????

  59. this bloody barca tie!!

  60. kelsey says:

    it ain’t gonna happen folks.

  61. Rasputin says:

    We’re strolling around with our title hopes hanging by a thread????

  62. kelsey says:

    11 against 11 would have been better for us.

  63. Rasputin says:

    Almunia adds to the misery

  64. that is unbelievable, dear oh dear.

  65. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES

  66. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  67. WE JUST WON THE TITLE

  68. I LOVE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

  69. kelsey says:

    my poor heart 😉

  70. Rasputin says:

    I don’t believe it, Soooper Nik 😆

  71. we get our moneys worth as gooners 😆

  72. kelsey says:

    4 against 1 and we still mucked it up for 2-0 anyway sometimes luck goes with you and we got loads of it.

    vela did nothing, ditto dudu. hope song is not out for barca. did you notice the one attack wolves had, almunia was again ball watching by his right post.

  73. point behind manure

    3 behind the chavs

    5 games to go

    title is ours, i’m telling you.

  74. kelsey says:

    those who leave early must have missed at least 6 wins this season 🙂

  75. Rasputin says:

    Nik was begging for the pass at the end, he was free in front of goal. Should have been 2 nil – do I care, do I care f*%k

  76. dandan says:

    Bloody hell, off for an ECG see you later

  77. you gotta love the sport in reading the comments sections on blogs when we win like this

    hillarious goings on 😆

  78. kelsey says:

    let’s face it we were poor and we need a bit more quality in the squad. i wouldn’t have taken eboue off,just move him to the right.

    theo just can’t finish consistently.

  79. kelsey says:

    dandan, same every week 😉

  80. Rasputin says:

    Fantastic result in the circumstances. Arsène has to take risks with the injuries the way they are so this time it paid off – maybe he shouldn’t have risked Gallas against Barça … you can’t win ’em all.

    We’re still in this and totnum are gonna lose their CL place when citeh win this evening … great day for the gunners 😛

  81. Right great day so far, manure lost, 3 points made up on them

    Spuds lost, fabulous, fires them up for the chavs.

    Next stop?

    The butchers of bilbao to nobble a barca player or 2 tonight 😉

  82. kelsey says:

    mental strength….those famous last words.

    hopefully will be a boost for the game at barca.

    End of season get shot of eduardo,vela,silvestre and almunia and replace with cl money and a wad from kroenke

  83. city 2 up already 🙂

  84. What a day to be a gooner

    !!

  85. kelsey says:

    how much will those two dropped points at brum cost us. almunia urghhhhh

  86. come on kelsey, now is a time to think positively.

    we are bang in this race.

  87. Alfa says:

    Kelsey, the Brum result will cost us less than the Man U and Chelsea results, and they weren’t down to Almunia.

    Chelsea and Man U will drop more points – we don’t have to. It’s all to play for now, what more could we want at this stage of a season which many detractors had predicted would see us out of the Top 4?

    Mick McCarthy: the definition of no self-respect.

  88. Hi all

    I was so excited when Dudu got into those good positions early on even though he fluffed his lines he was competing and I reckoned he was definitely going to score today………maybe next time ……

    Nikki should have come on earlier – his work-rate was really missing this afternoon.

    It was a very strange team selection but with Sol the gooner on the pitch the fighting spirit was never going to fade.

    Three points off the top and the chavs have some hard games away ahead.

  89. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I still don’t Adam & Eve it 😯

  90. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    What was Big Sol doing there during the goal celebrations. Going crazy like some nutter who reckons they are going be champions 😆 He needs to calm down for Barca. I hope he plays, he has unfinished business IMO. Get ready for a Sol brace 😀

  91. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I also hope Mozart has enough petrol in the tank to put in another performance like that one this morning(our time) Don’t worry about Messi, we have Mozart 😛

  92. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’d like some long balls in early to NB52 to test out barcas make shift CB’s.

  93. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    I watched the game again and came up with a thought.Hahnemann had an excellent game, and I believe he is the forth or fifth American keeper to play in the PL.Remember he went down with reading.Maybe though the Americans aren’t generally a top class football nation, they produce a high level of goal keepers simply because nearly all good American sports are more hand than foot orientated.Maybe that is an option we should look at.

  94. London says:

    New Post

  95. Carlos Vela says:

    Arsene Wenger said Carlos Vela was left behind for Arsenal’s fateful trip to Barcelona because of ‘competition for places’.

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