Are You Ready For the Weekend?
By Ben Giber
There is nothing like an impending and potentially season defining Arsenal game to distract me during finals week. Couple that with the abundance of transfer rumors caused by what seems to be a new, proactive transfer approach by Arsene Wenger, and my scores could well be on course for disaster.
As a Gunners fan, I couldn’t be happier. Although Arsenal is set to go another season without a trophy, there is reason for excitement looking towards the climactic clash with West Brom. If Arsenal are able to win, it will have an impact far beyond just three points added to the final tally for the season. A victory will ensure automatic Champions League qualification, which besides supplying some of the most exhilarating fixtures of the campaign also represents twenty five million pounds in revenue. This revenue is vital to keeping Wenger’s transfer plans for this summer intact. As if additional motivation is needed, Jack Wilshere’s 3,000 pound bet with Jermain Defoe also hangs in the balance.
Regardless of how eager the Arsenal players are to finish the season on a high, this match will not be a walk in the park. West Brom are currently occupying 10th place, staging a dramatic last minute comeback in a 2-2 draw with Bolton in their previous game. The Baggies have won three of the last five games at the Hawthorns.
Arsenal’s confidence should be boosted by the fact that Newcastle, Liverpool, and Tottenham all managed to win away to West Brom. In addition, Gervinho looked quite dangerous against Norwich and Theo Walcott has regained his fitness in time to play a role in the game. Keeping that in mind, the starting lineup should be chosen to take advantage of the typically fast start that the Gunners tend to make, in an attempt to decide the outcome of the game as early as possible.
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This starting lineup utilizes every bit of the pace that Arsenal has to offer. If the squad maintains its concentration for the whole game, especially in the final fifteen minutes when West Brom has scored the majority of their goals, victory is essentially guaranteed. With third place secured, Arsenal fan’s can look forward to next season optimistically and look back on this campaign as a strong show of character from the squad. I certainly am ready for the weekend, are you?