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The manager has some difficult decisions to make today. It is hard to disagree with the notion that the FA Cup proves on paper at least the easiest route to silverware this season but higher priorities are on the horizon. With key personnel out injured for the season or a large chunk of it, the manager will be desperate not to pick up anymore major injuries but more than that I think it is simply down to the fact that at the start of the season the FA Cup sits third on the list of priorities, well fourth if you include a Champions League spot. With a congested fixture list coming up he will not be able to play the same 11 across all the remaining competitions, it would be a sure fire way of exiting all of them.

Fulham at Old Trafford is a fixture that would have been a guaranteed three points to the home side in the past, today it is no surprise whatsoever that the away side managed to grab a draw. But tonight's game is a different game completely. Manchester United will have no pressure to take the game to Arsenal unlike their last game. I wonder how Moyes will approach tonight's game. Liverpool proved incredibly successful taking the game to Arsenal, pressing us high up the pitch and not letting us get out of our own half. I am not sure whether Moyes will have the bravery to do that at the Emirates and instead may decide to park the bus and hit us on the break with pace and obvious quality in van Persie, Rooney and Mata. I wouldn't be surprised to see the latter.

Mikel Arteta who was quite possibly the best player on the pitch at the Emirates in the game in November. Jack Wilshere trained yesterday so is available for selection. If Jack is 100% fit and firing on all those proverbial cylinders then he will more than likely start in the number 8 position. Oxlade-Chamberlain came up with the answers from that position against Crystal Palace last weekend but playing at Anfield is a different kettle of fish. I would rather he started the Ox on the right, that way he can still play with the confidence that he has surely picked up this week.

 

I tell you what for nothing, I would rather be playing Ian Holloway's open Crystal Palace than Tony Pulis's rejuvenated team. I haven't watched his Palace team so I don't know if they compare to his previous Stoke sides but the improvement in results is crystal clear. I imagine that they will be looking to defend in numbers and try to stop us from playing through the middle. What is slightly reassuring is that his Stoke team picked up 0 points in the red half of North London during his time in the Premier League.

Put another way, they have won only once at home in the league since the end of November. A 1-0 victory over West Brom, so that form along with all the off pitch issues has risen the expectancy levels up somewhat. The good news for Arsenal is that they are missing a very key component in the heart of their central defence. Centre back Dejan Lovren is out through injury so is Gaston Ramirez. Dani Osvaldo has been suspended for headbutting his team mate in training which is very kind of him but they do have Victor Wanyama coming back into the squad for the first time in weeks as he overcomes an injury of his own. Victor was allowed to kick as many Arsenal players as humanly possible in that first game so I'm interested to see how the referee handles him this time round.

The Cottagers have been in a right mess this season. In recent weeks they have been hit for 4 by Liverpool, 4 from Everton and 6 against Hull City. Can we have one of those please? We haven't won by a larger margin than 2 clear goals since November 30th when we beat Cardiff City 3-0. Even then you have to go back all the way to October 19th when we scored 4 against Norwich. While we have been dominant in many of our games we have rarely had the chance to put on our comfy slippers and slurp on some hot chocolate. Instead having to knock back Whiskey shots to control our nerves like during the final stages at Villa Park on Monday or recently at St James' Park. If we start the game as we did in games like Tottenham in the FA cup then we should have a good chance to score early. Fulham have conceded the most goals this season with 46. That is 27 more than us in 21 games which is quite remarkable really.

 

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more