Arsenal had a great 5-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night but it didn't get as many headlines as it deserved due to the goings on at "Manure". It's amazing how their fans now feel about Wayne Rooney considering that he was their idol not so very long ago. In my opinion he hasn't played well since he injured his ankle last March and maybe some of the reason for that is mental as well as physical. Whatever the reason is, it has left their club in turmoil and with Liverpool in the relegation zone I wonder are we seeing the break up of the traditional top four.
Of course the other two teams in that traditional top four are Arsenal and Chelsea and Arsenal find themselves in a very sound financial position at the moment as opposed to Chelsea who are only keeping their heads above water thanks to the backing they get from their owner. It's no surprise that "Manure" and Liverpool are having footballing troubles at the moment as their financial situations leave a lot to be desired to say the least.
The two teams who will be looking to step up and stake a claim for a permanent top four place are Man City and The Spuds and both of them have started their league campaigns in a positive fashion. Man City currently sit in second place in the table while The Spuds are in fifth place and both of them have tough matches this weekend in their quest to maintain their challenge. After losing 4-3 to Inter Milan in the Champions League last night The Spuds have to play the early game on Saturday against an Everton team who have found some form after a slow start to the season.
City of course have to play at home to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon and they know they can put some real daylight between themselves and Arsenal if they can win that game. First of all they have to play Lech Poznan at home in the Europa League tonight and despite having a large talented squad it won't be easy for them to then play an Arsenal team who have had two extra days rest, on Sunday. With the players at their disposal and the fact that they are at home City are probably the favourites for that game but it will be dangerous for them to underestimate Arsenal.
If the stats on physioroom.com are to be believed then both Sagna and RVP will be back from injury for that game but I doubt it very much myself. Sagna may well be back within a week but I can't see RVP returning until a week or two into November at the earliest and even then it will take a while for him to play his way back into the team. However, the most important player for Arsenal to have on the pitch on Sunday is Cesc and after he got an hour of football under his belt last night, in his own comeback, I'm hoping he will be raring to go.
Arsenal lost 4-2 away to City last season in a game where they gave away goals very cheaply and also hit the woodwork a few times themselves. The big talking point in that game was of course the reaction of "he who shall remain nameless" when he scored his goal against Arsenal. It remains to be seen whether he can get into City's team on Sunday but if he does I wonder if we will be treated to some more of his thuggish behaviour on the pitch or, if the worst happens, another controversial goal celebration. One thing we can be sure of is the fact that the Arsenal fans will give him a very hard time as they know that he was wound up the last time they did it.
I will of course be doing my usual pre match analysis and prediction on Sunday but regular readers will know that I always predict a win for Arsenal, no matter who the opposition is, what the competition is, or where we are playing. As an Arsenal fan I can't consider any other result and I firmly believe we are good enough to beat any team when we have our full squad available and we play at our very best.
We beat a very well regarded Shakhtar Donetsk 5-1 on Tuesday night at home in the Champions league and in our previous home game in that competition we beat Braga 6-0. We are getting plenty of plaudits for those results but the managers of the two teams we thrashed seem to think that it was due to their shortcomings on the nights in question, rather than brilliance from Arsenal. We sit proudly on top of our group with full points from three games and 14 goals scored in the process which is more than we could have hoped for at this stage. However, the trip to face Shakhtar in a couple of weeks will be our hardest game in the group and if we can avoid defeat that night then I'm sure we will top the group.
That's more or less it for today, except to say that I'm giving my blog a go on blogger at the moment as well to see if I can get a reaction as things at Oleole don't seem to be going too well at the moment. The blog will be available to read at the same time on both sites and feel free to comment on either of them and let me know what you think. The Oleole version can be found here and as you're already reading the Blogger version I don't think there's any need to tell you where it is.
See You Tomorrow.