Wigan V Arsenal: It’s still a must win game!

Our title hopes might be unrealistic now but there is still a lot to play for. Finishing as close to the top as possible is important from a psychological point of view. It would give the players and supporters further belief that we can do it next year.

Automatic qualification for the Champions League hasn’t been secured and it’s a luxury we can certainly benefit from. If we lose focus at this stage and with more than half the team out injured, it would be easy to get dragged into the fight for fourth place. The players will have to get over their disappointments and turn in a professional performance at the DW stadium.

Even though this is an away game, I believe this is our easiest fixture from the ones that remain. That makes it all the more imperative for us to get a good result here.

Tactics

One big positive and the reason I feel this is our easiest game from the remaining fixtures is that the hosts will play football. At least they will try to.

If it were up to me, I’d change the formation because we just don’t have the personnel to carry on with the 4-3-3. It would be a huge risk to play that formation with most of our centre backs and DM’s missing. I’d prefer a 4-4-1-1 for this game with Walcott just in behind Bendtner. Having said that, I’m quite certain Arsene will stick to his preferred formation and throw some youngsters into the deep end.

This game will be a tight affair till the first goal is scored. The longer the game goes on without a goal the harder it will be for us. It’s difficult to imagine that our players will have the same mental strength with the title now seemingly out of sight.

The hosts have a fragile defence and if our movement and coordination are good enough there is no reason we can’t score a few goals. We just need to do in the first fifteen minutes what we’ve been doing in the last quarter hour of games in recent weeks.

Wigan, for their part, will fancy their chances simply because we have more than half our first team out injured. They need a result to stay clear of the relegation battle and that’s motivation  enough.

We will need to be well organized and close knit to keep a clean sheet.

Team Thoughts

Will Robin van Persie start? That’s the question many of us want an answer to. Against Spuds we saw the difference the Dutchman can make. Despite that I’ll be surprised if RvP starts because he’s had absolutely no match practice. Most players play a game or two in reserves and then make a few substitute appearances when they are returning from such a long injury break. Arsene could start him out of pure spite for the Dutch national federation but I can’t imagine such a petty thought even entering Le Boss’ mind.

We can also looking forward to a couple of youngsters in the starting line-up. Eastmond is likely to be one and Merida might get a game as well.

On the face of it the idea of Silvestre in defence and Eastmond as a DM is really scary no matter who we are playing. Sol and Silvestre will have to use all their experience to keep the midfield organized and close to them. Of course, the question whether Sol can play two games in a week is yet to be answered.

The team I’d like to see is,

Almunia; Sagna, Sol, Silvestre, Clichy; Eboue, Nasri, Diaby, Rosicky; Walcott; Bendtner.

That would be a 4-4-1-1 with Eboue and Rosicky on the wings and Walcott in behind Bendtner.

Arsene will probably start with Eastmond in the middle instead of Walcott up front with Bendtner, although he might use the winger in place of Eboue. I definitely believe that Walcott deserves a start.

Bottom-line

The disappointment of the loss against the Tinies was huge, but their win over a full strength Chelsea side does throw some perspective on it. The season is not over and we need to maintain focus on each game as it comes.


10 Responses to Wigan V Arsenal: It’s still a must win game!

  1. BJOHNSON says:

    ARE YOU SICK? WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE WALCOTT IN OUR TEAM?

  2. brentCPH says:

    Because Walcott can do no worse than Rosicky or Eboue have been doing lately. He’s flawed for sure but he gets to the same positions as Rosicky and Eboue (by speed instead of technique). And with Rosicky, Eboue and Walcott in we’ll have plenty of speed AND technique. We’ve been sorely missing our speed with RVP, Arshavin, and Cesc out so Walcott should get the nod if he’s training okay.

    We have everything to lose and nothing to lose at this stage and Walcott has a level of star quality (in there some where) that we’ve been missing in the last two games.

    At this point Second place is a noticeable improvement on recent seasons and a welcome disappointment for this season. Deep down, most of us would have been happy to be disappointed with second in the end this term. So, good performances and a %100 record for the rest of the campaign should be looked at positively…. Plus Wenger has been more vocal about his ability to spend money than usual so we can take solace in that as well.

    Gooner logic ladies and gentlemen

    4 life

  3. Aussie Jack says:

    With players available, or not available if you like, this is a game of two halves two seperate games., forty five minutes each.Time to play Eduardo, Vela, and Eastmond. Let`s have some serious fun. Change the style, change the game, confuse them.

  4. Nischit says:

    i’m going for a big 6-0 win. To cut the gap on GD to chelsea. We then win the next two games 3-0, and win the final game with whatever the heck goal difference is required to clinch the title. Sounds simple dunnit?

  5. aniruddh says:

    I think top three places in the league are now automatic places for champions league group stages, correct me if I’m wrong

    • desigunner says:

      Yes top 3 are, but we are not certain to be in that right now. And based on the Wigan performance even top 4 looks shaky unless Song comes back.

      • Aniruddh says:

        I was actually about to say that just look, at what we were doing with possession giving it all over the park and not putting in enough effort to retrieve it. I think wenger lost us the game, he should have asked opur central defenders to stay put, not run with the ball that much and to hold firm at the back and he also didn’t make changes to the team till the 75th minute which is really unlike us. Lets just hope we win at least one more game (be it against fulham) and we can keep our league position intact.

  6. Idd says:

    aniruddh – I will not correct you. You are not wrong.

  7. KINYUA,NBI-KENYA says:

    Folks, its important for us to acknowledge the improvement made by the team despite missing the title. Many thought we couldn’t make the top four this season. Liverpool might be in deeper trouble than we are. Keep the faith Gooners.

  8. Hong_gunner says:

    We have to put up a fight tonight, and with the world cup and the summer window both arriving, players may want to prove a point. Here’s my starting 11:
    almunia
    eboue sagna sol/silvestre clichy
    eastmond
    nasri diaby
    bendtner persie rosicky
    Thats a balanced line-up to do the job, i feel. Bendtner will start on the right, to be used as a fulcrum to get out of our half while we defend, persie’s movement will tear up wigan’s defence and bendtner can run behind the line at will(or at persie’s will, rather). I’ve always believed Persie in the middle and Bendtner on the right is a top class combination.

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