Arsenal have hardly started the season the way we’d hoped. Sure last weekends win away to Aston Villa had helped us regain a little confidence, however the Carling Cup and Champions League losses leave us a little deflated ahead of a challenging weekend.
Games against Everton and Manchester City produced decent enough draws, but we’ve yet to really make a statement of intent this campaign.
A North London Derby renders form irrelevant however. Saturday’s match at Emirates provides the perfect platform for us to prove our title credentials and build some momentum in the league, not to mention sticking one to the Spuds.
Many of Arsenal’s first choice XI received a decent rest this week after their 3-0 victory over the Villains, and will be itching to hammer our arch enemies on our home soil.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain even revealed they had to tell new signing Alexis Sanchez to slow down in training. The Chilean knows the importance of derbies as big as these and certainly appears up for it judging by his fighting attitude.
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The Ox revealed to Arsenal Player:
Alexis and Jack played 90 minutes the other day and they’re usually on second-day recovery. But today [Thursday] Alexis really wanted to train and people had to tell him to take it easy.
That just sums up how much everyone wants to be around the squad and training, and I think he knew we had a massive game coming up this weekend and, as a new boy, it’s good that he does know that.
Obviously everyone else that’s been here and been involved in a north London derby knows how big it is, so that just proves the intensity goes up in training and everyone just wants to be around and pushing for a start.
Arsenal will have a very strong lineup out tomorrow evening and it’s definitely one that can crush the Spuds. But we need to bring the fluency and decisiveness we witnessed against Villa, and play with plenty of confidence.
After what was a triumphant end of the season with the FA Cup win, a decent transfer window, World Cup win for our Germans and then grinding wins over Crystal Palace and Besiktas, Arsenal have somewhat stagnated.
Players such as Welbeck and Alexis show what work ethic can do, while Mesut pulled the strings last weekend to great effect. Although our defence has yet to gel, hopefully with more games under the belt together we will start to witness the cohesion at the back that was our foundation for our title challenge last season.
If we can manage all three points it’ll be deemed a big win. That’s what we need – a real injection of confidence and belief.