I think it’s safe to say that the weather this past week has been as fine as our form, and with our form showing few signs of abating I hope that the weather will follow suit.
Perhaps the whole “global warming” fiasco is beginning to pay dividends, there’s nothing better than a sunny weekend comprising of fry up, beers, football, more beers, Indian grub, perhaps some rum, then Match of the Day at half 10 with Arsenal on first, having handed an opposition their posterior, gift wrapped.
With journalists typically being intransigent at best, they do insist on living off of the most recent result; thus when two months ago we didn’t pick up a league point for a month the only cure to the canker spreading through the roots of the club was to get rid of the manager and the board.
Now with the same manager and board in employment we are “back to our best” and winning the race for 3rd in the league! In January the papers would barely have granted us Europa League.
Therefore it won’t surprise you to know that there’s very little in the way of bad news to report, except for the announcement that Wenger will have to serve another European touchline ban for expressing his opinion about a referee’s performance.
I don’t wish to bleat on about this too much but we all know that UEFA’s monopoly on illogicality and apparent free speech oppression is getting tedious to say the least.
According to Wenger the only bit of team news any different to last week’s is that Koscielny is back in the side, which should give us an extra spoonful of solidity.
Djourou had a good game last week, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think I’m alone in wishing to see Koscielny back in the line up as soon as possible.
Whether he’ll start I’m not sure, but our Frenchman seems to be a tough as a UEFA sanctioning so I wouldn’t be at all surprised. With regards to Wilsher no news is good news and the good news here is that there’s very little news, which is good.
All signs, scans, observations and tests are positive, so a late April return is on the cards.
Mertesacker and Frimpong are still out until the summer, Coquelin do for an April return too I think.
QPR’s form has been somewhat below that which was expected after their January additions, and remaining in the top flight for next season is their only aim now.
They certainly have the personnel to stay up, but whether they have the resolve remains to be seen, clubs playing for survival tend to fight like cornered animals, so let’s hope they’re manifested in a more Hamsterial, Gerbilian or Guinea Piggean variety this weekend.
Having won just one game in their last eight, and with us looking to hit our eighth win on the bounce, form dictates just one winner.
Let’s hope that our players do not go into the game with that mentality, because with tricky fixtures coming up, at home against Man City and Chelsea and away to Stoke, three points here is vital.
Providing Koscielny is fully fit I think the team selects itself right now:
Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Gervinho, Walcott, Van Persie.
I think that Gervinho is the kind of player who needs to play regularly to become effective, and after picking up an assist in last week’s game I think we should allow him the time to build on that.
Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn’t seem like the kind of player who we’ll need to work hard to get form out of, whereas to me Gervinho does; Oxlade-Chamberlain’ss current confidence will allow him to come on and change a game while I think Gervinho needs to find confidence from the start.
Ramsey gets too much in the way of bad press from our fans for my liking, but with Rosicky’s continued resurgence and experience for me there’s only one option to start in the middle of the park.
If you’re making to short journey to Loftus Road then pack your sun cream and your voices, you always do anyhow.
Check back on the site for player ratings and other stuff.
All the best…
(halls_dja on twitter for more news and views, thanks).