One giant leap for Arsenal, one trapdoor for brave Wiganon May 15, 2013 at 9:14 am
The twitter fallout after the game was telling, naturally the Arsenal faithful were delighted with the win, but there was a definite sense of sadness at knowing it came at the expense of Wigan Athletic. Martinez’s side were brave, tenacious and lucky at times, but overall you feel that it was their ability to self-destruct at the back that defined their season, similar to our own plight at one stage.
With Kone and Maloney firing the goals, I thought Wigan had a strong chance this season of avoiding a relegation dogfight altogether, but as mentioned above, defensively Wigan have not been solid enough and conceded some awful goals. It is easy for me to empathise, I know an awful lot of Latics fans, it’s a shame their football didn’t get what it deserved.
For Arsenal however it was just one giant leap towards top four safety and another season of Champions League football. We have a game against a Newcastle side that has floundered since January, but because of Pardew’s daft comments regarding this game, I expect them to be fired up. For those that haven’t seen it, Pardew (the bounder!) laughingly suggested that now Newcastle were safe from relegation he didn’t care if he lost 4:0 to Arsenal. I hope we do beat them 4:0, it would be funny to watch Pardew squirm as he is asked if the result is legitimate.
We go into the game in good form after the second half last night. We took advantage of the tired legs of Wigan and really put them to the sword by breaking with pace, using the guile of Cazorla and Rosicky to penetrate Wigan time and time again. It was great to see Poldi grab a couple of goals, it will be interesting to see if Giroud is now benched for Sunday’s game or whether he is restored to the starting line-up, I suspect he will be restored but credit where it’s due, Poldi has done OK for us up there as his two goals showed last night.
Theo was very bright last night too, attacking well and scoring a great goal and then doing the donkey work too. He kept Wigan’s defence stretched and burnt Scharner for pace on more than one occasion, the 34yr old didn’t know what hit him. I was delighted to see Rambo score too, the lad needs goals because the rest of his game has really got back to where it should be, but he is missing his goals that he used to get regularly, I can see them returning as he keeps getting in the right positions, it’s just the composure and now the monkey is off his back, perhaps he will grab one or two in the last game – here’s hoping!
We have enough quality to put the Barcodes to bed, I thought Wigan would be more of a banana-skin and so they proved with Maloney’s free-kick just before half-time ensuring Wigan went in at the interval level at 1:1 but Newcastle will offer a different threat. Newcastle without Ba seem a bit toothless at times. Papiss Cisse up front seems to be struggling for goals and defensively Newcastle appear to be at the races but they always seem to motivate themselves against us so expect no favours. I just want the three points and at this point I really couldn’t care less how we get them.
Injury news so far is that Arteta is feeling his calf after last night with Arsene citing him as a major doubt. This is a massive problem as the work that he does is often lost in the razzmatazz of the attacking by Cazorla and Rosicky. I hope he can pass fit, otherwise I expect Ramsey to take that role and Wilshire to come in for Ramsey’s current position. This might leave us open defensively as Arteta and Rambo both put in an awful lot of miles just chasing and tracking back, so it will be interesting if Wilshire does the same, I suspect not but hopefully we will score enough so it doesn’t matter.
Fingers crossed for more team news on Friday.
Come on you Gooners! It’s firmly in our grasp!