Leyton Orient Preview: Forget Barca – we must focus 19 February, 2011Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
It’ been a great week to be an Arsenal fan, today has been the first day where I haven’t been watching countless videos and flicking through all the photos from the Barcelona game. It really was something special, it’s a match no Gooner will forget in a hurry.
But we must.
Well, the players and staff need to anyway. All too often I’ve seen us loving a big result and then in the very next game drop points because we just expect to turn up and win. We’ve cut it out of our game more this season but I can still see examples looking back at the results. In September we beat Braga 6-0 before drawing to Sunderland. We bounced back the next game beating Spurs 4-1 in the Carling Cup but then followed that by losing 3-2 to West Brom at Home. After Christmas we had a great 3-1 win over Chelsea but then we go up to Wigan and draw 2-2; I went to both of those games and it was very frustrating to see but not surprising.
You can say we might’ve been tired or that it’s not the same because there were many changes to the team but it’s not about individuals it’s about Arsenal Football Club. There has been many occasions where we expect to just turn up and win because we’re better on paper than the opposition, but we all know the game isn’t played on paper it’s played on grass. It’s what happens out on that pitch that counts and if you’re not up for it then there’s a chance you’ll lose. We’ve been close to slipping up recently against Leeds, Huddersfield and Ipswich by underestimating our opponents.
There’s no doubting we put in that extra effort when we play teams such as Barcelona, which is to be expected. However we should be trying to play our very best in every game no matter who the opposition is. Leyton Orient will be the lowest ranked team we’ve played this season and I’m hoping that has no affect on how we play. We won’t have our strongest team out but I’m talking about effort, I want to see us playing as well as we can to see us through to the next round of the cup. Not just do enough to get the job done – do our best.
I don’t want to sound like another boring old moody Gooner because I’m proud not to be one of them, I’m just saying I hope we have put the great result in the week behind us and are fully focussed on the task at hand tomorrow. They might be a mid-table League One side but that shouldn’t matter, it should make them easier to beat but it shouldn’t change anything about the way we go about our game.
Anyway, moving on now! It looks as if we’re fully fit apart from obviously Fabianski, Vermaelen and Diaby as Djourou and Walcott have recovered well from Wednesday. However I think anyone with a slight doubt, minor niggle or tired legs will be rested. We should have a good enough squad to give some players a rest but I fear major rotation upsetting the side.
I’m sorry to sound so negative if it looks that way, I don’t mean to I’m just being overly cautious. Wednesday’s win has just got me even more hungry for silverware and although we can joke about the quadruple, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t consider that as our target. Wenger says we are going for every competition so we must focus in every game whether it be Europe, league or the cups.
Wenger says we will be focussed tomorrow and it’s that article that has prompted this post. Wenger says:
“We can gain more respect from everybody if we turn up on Sunday with absolutely full commitment then people will say this team is ready to have a real go and not choose the competition or the games. When you are a top-level competitive man or team you go absolutely 100 per cent committed into every game.
The media give more importance to some games than others but for us to win trophies we have to take a distance with that and be able to switch from one competition to another with exactly the same commitment.”
That is what I’m trying to say. If we can show the same application tomorrow that we would in any other competition then it shows our professional approach. I didn’t like watching us struggle against Huddersfield, Leeds and Ipswich and I don’t want to see us make the same mistakes again.
I have no idea how Wenger is going to pick the team tomorrow but I would guess at something like this:
Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Gibbs
Song – Denilson
Bendtner – Chamakh – Arshavin
Wilshere, Fabregas, Clichy, Djourou, van Persie and Walcott could all do with a rest but I would like to see most of them on the bench if they don’t get to start. That team there is more than good enough to put on a good performance and it’s another chance for some to impress. Almunia could do with the games if we want to keep him sharp, Arsene likes to rotate the ‘keepers in the cup so I think he’ll start as he did against Huddersfield. Arshavin has been improving recently but that whole front line would benefit from having a good game; Chamakh said in the press recently he feels tired at the moment and doesn’t blame the manager for being on the bench with RVP in the form he’s in. Well it’s a chance for Marouane to show what he can do again.
To be fair I literally have no clues this week what the team is going to be so it’s hard to talk about it now. I’m interested to see who Wenger picks. Whoever it is though I hope they have the focus and the determination needed to overcome the problems I mentioned. Forget who Leyton Orient are, they’re just another 11 men who we need to beat. Chelsea we’re knocked out in hilarious fashion today (HAHA Ashley) so that makes us slightly more favoured for the FA Cup. Win tomorrow and we go a step closer to another trophy of the still possible quadruple.
I’m looking forward to the game. I hope we stuff them, feels like we haven’t had a big win in a while and after Newcastle it would be nice to actually complete one. Orient will be massively up for this, the O’s are situated just 6 miles down the road for us so it’s a big derby for the fans and players. I hope we rise to the occasion also and do the job.
Come on you Gunners.