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Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy

Team Coach

By Boris Mellor
February 16 2008

Quite a few fans feared that the African Cup (ACN) would undermine Arsenal's assault on the title. In particular, many feared that Senderos would not be good enough at centre back, yet the Gunners have only conceded two goals in the last five Premiership games, with three clean sheets.

Pundits believed that Arsenal would be the team most affected by the loss of players, yet the Gunners have dropped far fewer points than their closest rivals have.  During the ACN, the Gunners have built up a lead of five points, an amazing achievement.  

 Now the ACN is over, and it should see the pressure on squad resources lessen, but the injury problems remain severe. Only two out of the three returning African's are fit, and meanwhile Sagna, Senderos, and Clichy all have question marks over them. Sagna has a family problem; the other two are carrying injuries, so it is two in, and three out. Not much improvement there then.


Indeed the injury list is longer than ever with: Johan Djourou (groin), Robin van Persie (thigh), Abou Diaby (calf), Manuel Almunia (sick), Denilson (hamstring), Tomas Rosicky (hamstring), Theo Walcott (thigh), Clichy (hamstring), Alex Song (muscular), Bacary Sagna (personal reasons), Emmanuel Adebayor (muscular) and Philippe Senderos (knee/thigh).

Wenger claims he has only 14 fit players available and that even some of the injured will have to travel.  Even with such a limited squad restricting choice Arsene says he will not put the rest of season in jeopardy. In other words, he will keep some players back for the Milan game, some fans do not like that idea, and they are entitled to their opinion, but I know that I would rather see Arsenal win the league, and then the CL, before the FA Cup. The Gunners already have 10 cups, but not one CL trophy, and have not won the league for four years.

It is not that Wenger does not want to win this tie, he will aim for one of his miracle performances, but it is not Monte Carlo or bust. He would be a fool to put all his money on one trophy; he wants to be in all three, but not at the expense of the league. So if it goes wrong tomorrow I will be disappointed, but rather that than blow the CL and League. It should not be forgotten how, a few years back, the team became exhausted in going out of the cup at Old Trafford, and went out to Chelsea in the CL in the same week, and nearly wobbled in the league. Fortunately, the team steadied itself and won the league.

Psychological Blow My Arsenal

When United beat Arsenal in the cup that year, and the Gunners played well, the pundits claimed that United now had the upper hand. Then Arsenal lost to Chelsea in the CL, and it was feeding frenzy time. The press were cock a hoop, Arsenal's season was finished, they would implode. When the Gunners played a third game that week, at home to Liverpool, and were behind at the end of the first half it seemed, for a moment, that the press were right. However, the Gunners won 4-2 and the rest is history.

Wenger, on  looking back has often blamed the cup for costing Arsenal the CL that year, and he concluded that he should have played an even weaker team.  There is no doubt, in my mind, that if Arsenal had beaten Chelsea they would have had a very good chance to lift the cup with big ears. Yes Man U beat Arsenal in the FA cup that year (2004), but it was Arsenal that went on to win the league with 90 points unbeaten.  I know which I prefer.


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Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
Arsenal Times (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 09:28
Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
Merlion96 (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 09:56
20-Feb and 23-Feb for me.

And of course, "Rope da Dope" on 16-Feb.

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 11:50
Err which years?

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
80'sGoona (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 13:38
smart wenger, save the players for milan. If we go out, I'll be dissapointed for about half an hour, my mind will shift to milan. We can afford to lose this imo. Man utd cant.

That game in the CL against chelsea the team could hardly run. If the same happened against Milan in the 2nd leg due to playing a strong team today, I'd throw a fit!!!

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
Bwana Wenger (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 14:05
i will die.(Sm117)

Warning: Supporting Arsenal is not for the faint at heart... It requires hard balls...

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
16/02/2008 16:08
Sorry to be pedantic but i think Man Utd won that Cup tie mentioned above at Villa park, I think it was 2004 semi final. Come on You Gunners this evening and wednesday and next weekend!

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
AJ The Gunner (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 16:09
what will be will be

Re: Wenger will not put rest of season in jeopardy
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
16/02/2008 21:22
Yes it probably was Villa, but the same point applies

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