Sunday, 4 May 2014

Arsenal vs West Brom: Match Preview + Wenger's transfer quotes


Literally nothing to play for today, as Manchester City did our job yesterday. Win, lose or draw, whatever happens, fourth is sealed.

We should look to win, though. Facing West Brom at home is ideal to finish our impressive home record with a bang, not to mention improve on our points tally.

The outside chance for third remains as well. IF Chelsea lose today as well as next week, and we win our matches, third is ours. Long shot, anyway. No need to keep my hopes up. I guess I'm desperate to see Arsenal improve on fourth, especially considering the Premier League season we've had prior to the 5-1 Anfield game.

Today's just one of those nothing games, so I hope the manager will rest some of his players. I'd probably give Sanogo a run, not to mention rest Ozil, Arteta, Ramsey and either Mertesacker or Koscielny. Now that Gnabry's fit, trying to integrate him won't be a bad idea either.

Of course, these are just fantasies. Wenger won't change much in the lineup, even though there is absolutely nothing to play for. I suspect only Giroud and the fullbacks will be rested, while the others unnecessarily overplayed. What a predictable guy.

Anyway, now that the pressure is off us, I'd expect to see a mesmerizing Arsenal performance. We play well when there's no pressure, and we certainly play well at home. Seeing that there's nothing at stake except for a 1% chance at third and a near-perfect home record, I think we'll be an attractive side to watch today.

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Remember this Arsenal side, guys, for it will be one of the last times we'll see them like this. Arsene Wenger went all psycho in the press conference, pretty much confirming half of what I had predicted in my last post.

Says Wenger: "The main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close. We want to add something that makes us even stronger, but number-wise it will not be

Number-wise it will not be massive?!

We have Fabianski leaving. Viviano leaving. Kallstrom leaving. Bendtner leaving. Sagna almost definitely leaving. Podolski and Vermaelen possibilities as well. That makes it eight players needed in the summer, not to mention a wild card purchase. Nine players needed in two months, and Wenger says "number-wise it won't be massive"?!

Remember I said this yesterday?

"2. Arsenal will fall short of players. There will be at least one panic purchase on deadline day, and in the end we'll lack in depth in at least one area. Whether it's goalkeeper, defence, midfield or forward, I don't know. Whatever happens, fans will come out with their excuses. Stuff like Wenger wasn't allowed to spend by the board, World Cup was an unnecessary distraction or clubs deliberately didn't sell their players to Arsenal, will be doing the rounds."

 Yeah, like it or not, it's happening. Live with it. Because this is what our manager proceeded to say:

"From my experience the World Cup years have always been very quiet until the end of the World Cup, with no players reachable. Everybody is focused in the country on their national team and there is not a lot happening, people are away so I believe this year again you will have to wait until July 15 to start going."

 Well, Mr Wenger, that didn't stop Chelsea from doing their business early, did it?

And it's not like they bought some promising 20 year old nobody. They bought DIEGO COSTA, one of the hottest strikers on Planet Earth, the dream player for any football club!

If our need for a striker is obviously more than theirs, why didn't we try to buy Costa as well? Did Financial Fair Play stop you? Or the referees? Or injuries?

"We have only two players who are out of contract - Fabianski and Sagna."

Incorrect. Viviano, Kallstrom and Bendtner are out of contract as well.

“I want to keep [Fabianski]. He’s 29 and has a decision to make. Does he want to stay here or move and have a guarantee to be No 1? He knows I want to keep him. I hope, because we have shown faith in him for long periods, that we will be rewarded for that.”

Come on Wenger. We know that Fabianski is leaving, emotional blackmail won't help. Just accept it and move on, or else offer him a bumper deal with the promise of being a regular first-teamer. Why are you pulling a van Persie all over again?

Even though there is time for it, the summer is already showing signs of turning into anarchy. Late deals, panic buys, injury crises, unprepared squads... this will turn into a repeat of summer 2011 under Wenger. I guarantee it. And I'll quote this on September 2nd (that is, if Wenger stays, of course).

Enjoy the World Cup, guys, and pray to Lucifer that Wenger calls it a day after Hull, because otherwise, we're in for another embarrassing summer. Indeed, another embarrassing campaign, possibly.

Ozil didn't sign up for this.

-Santi (Follow me on twitter: @ArsenalBlogz )