Up next – away at Sunderland (FA Cup)

AJ’s away for the weekend … so you have the Ormer!

Possibly the most important game of Arsene Wenger’s reign. A dramatic statement: why do I think that?

Well, firstly, that’s how Arsene will approach it … but mainly because it follows his unprecedented level of criticism of the team – following the abject performance against Milan in the San Siro on Wednesday evening. How the team reacts (whether we win, lose or draw) will determine a number of issues for the rest of this season, the Summer and beyond, both in Arsene’s mind and in his transfer dealings. I for one think he has already made up his mind on the course of action if we do not WIN the FA Cup AND finish in the top four.

It goes without saying that, even if we win comfortably and secure a place in the quarter-final draw, the “most important game” tag just moves along a week to the Spuds visit.

So, from the Italian School of ground preparation to the Tyne & Wear Agricultural Academy and some big decisions for the Boss. He must throw the proverbial kitchen sink at Sunderland, but with our injury list beginning to grow (again) he must keep an eye on individual burn-out and injury cover.

I think he will drop RVP to the bench and start Chamakh with Arshavin and Walcott up front. Rosicky, Song and Coquelin in the middle with Sagna, Djorou, TV and Gibbs at the back. The Club’s tallest keeper to start … how does his goals-per-game ratio compare to “Wookash”?  I do think that Chez adds a certain something to the side … but his distribution on Wednesday was woeful. Almost every  clearance (read, pass) went to a Milan shirt … and two led directly to goals. This is not new … so I’m not sure why our defenders can’t see it … and not choose the “safe” route of a pass back. It is similar to when our players leave a ball to go out for a throw-in … from which we immediately lose possession: Grrr!

Anything like that annoy you?

As I write, Ryo has opened his account for Bolton by scoring against Millwall in the FA Cup. May this be the sign of things to come!

Back to the game … my prediction is 0 – 3 to the good guys, with Arsh to open the scoring. What do you think?

AJ will be back to sum up after the result … until then



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