Tuesday, 9 March 2010

No Fabregas, No Excuse

No Fabregas, no excuse. That's what Arsene Wenger said and it's what I say.

Arsenal should win tonight. One of the reasons that Arsenal have been continually written off this season but come bouncing back each time is that while ManUre and Chelski might have better first elevens than us, Arsenal probably have the better squad, so they can always be guaranteed to put a good team out against the so called 'lesser' team regardless of the form and fitness of any particular players.

True, we had a little blip in form when Robin van Persie first got injured, but I believe that was due to the psychological blow of losing one of our most influencial players more than it was due the team to missing him on the pitch, and I think the fact that we have gone most of the season without him and not done too badly bears out that assertion.

If you look at tonight's match, we will be missing van Persie, Fabregas, Gallas, Ramsey, Gibbs and Djourou, but we will still probably have a bench that includes Sagna, Silvestre, Denilson, Rosicky, Vela and Eduardo, who would all get into most first elevens. So the players should not be allowed to use the captain's absence as and excuse.

As the first leg of this tie showed, it is indeed a funny old game and you can never tell what's going to happen once the players cross that white line onto the pitch, but this Arsenal team has enough to beat Porto comprehensively. Like Arsene Wenger, I'm backing Nicholas Bendtner to come good tonight and make up for his misses at the weekend. I hope he scores; he deserves it.

I expect tonights line-up to be:

Eboue; Campbell; Vermaelen; Clichy
Nasri; Song; Diaby
Walcott; Bendtner; Arshavin

So, come on lads, do it for Aaron.

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