After what has been a week of ups and downs for Arsenal, following the disappointment of losing to Chelsea, thankfully only in the Capital One Cup and then the impressive 2-0 win over Liverpool that kept us at the top of the Premier League and notably 5 points clear of both second and third place, following Chelsea’s loss to Newcastle and of course Liverpool’s defeat at the Emirates, things are looking good for the Gunners.
I personally think beating Liverpool and going 5 points clear at the top of the league has almost completely wiped away those thoughts of being knocked out of the Capital One Cup because, although it was disappointing, knowing that we are now 5 points clear and have less competitions to worry about, we can focus on the Premier League and make sure we give this title push a go.
The other competition that we are obviously still involved in however is the Champions League and it could be a far greater challenge now that we lost to Dortmund at home two weeks ago. The defeat meant that although we are still in the running for qualification, coming first place in the group looks a lot tougher, and it’s largely dependent on what the outcome is in Dortmund this week. I think whoever wins will go on to top the group because both teams are likely to beat Marseille, whilst Napoli will surely get beaten by one of us so, that largely leaves it between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.
But enough of the future talk because right now we need to concentrate on the game against Dortmund and there is some unfortunate news that both Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs could miss the game through injury. Both players have been in very good form and are big parts of the reason for why we are in such a good position overall this campaign, so to know that both could miss this crunch game of the season is very worrying.
Wenger said after the Liverpool game: “Jack has an inflamed ankle. Will he be available for Wednesday? I do not know. We will have to wait until Monday to see. Gibbs has a calf problem. I don’t know exactly how bad it is.”
In my opinion as vital as this game is, I think Wilshere should be rested rather than rushed back because we all know what happened last time. Whilst as for Gibbs, Monreal can certainly do a job to fill in whilst the Englishman is gone. The main worry for me is in fact if they will be available for the other crunch clash of this week, which is at Old Trafford against Manchester United. We definitely need the squad to be fit and ready because if it is, then this will be the first time in ages that I will be confident of going to United and getting all three points!