Before I took about Wolves I have to make a quick word on yesterday’s post.
A few people quite rightly pointed out that it was Marouane Chamakh that took over the duty of marking Andy Carroll for the Newcastle goal and that Gael Clichy was unfairly criticised.
For that I apologise, but for me it doesn’t change my point of view: for me we have a real problem with winning the ball in the air and rarely approach the situation with any intelligence.
Thanks to everybody who commented – I will be adding individual replies on yesterday’s post as soon as I’m finished with this one.
The biggest news going into tonight’s game at Wolves is that Laurent Koscielny’s red card appeal has been turned down by the FA. Quite why was sent off is beyond me — am I the only one who did not see any contact? — and I am obviously disappointed to see his appeal knocked back. Fortunately his two-match ban was not extended on the grounds of being frivolous, so he will be available at White Hart Lane for the North London Derby.
Koscielny’s absence will see Johan Djourou return to the side, with Thomas Vermaelen still struggling to make any improvement with his achilles problem. Regular readers will know what a supporter I am of Djourou and he has been getting better with each game this season since returning from long-term injury. Tonight is another opportunity for him to show what he can do.
Cesc Fabregas’ hamstring problems have been restricting him in the last few games but with the manager’s declaration that he is now fully fit, he expects to see a better performance. Fabregas was quite frankly poor against Newcastle and you have to think our lack of creativity in that game was in part due to his below-par performance. This team looks to Fabregas for guidance and leadership — perhaps too heavily with other inspirational figures like Robin van Persie and Thomas Vermaelen in and out of the team — and when he struggles so does the team.
Tonight’s starting line-up could be an unpredictable one.
Lukasz Fabianski will keep his place in goals despite a bad error at the weekend while the back four looks certain to include Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou and Clichy. Fabregas, Wilshere and Song should all start in the middle but I have a feeling Song may be rested. He is has been abandoning his defensive duties a little too often for my liking at the moment and it may be a good time for Denilson to come in and simplify things in the middle.
Further forward I have no doubt that Andrey Arshavin will start on the left and Marouane Chamakh will play through the middle. That leaves an open spot on the right, so it will be out of fit-again Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky or Theo Walcott to fill the final spot. Personally I think it will be Nasri.
All that matters tonight is that we register three points. We could win the game 1-0 with a goal in the final minute, or edge it in a 5-4 thriller, but all I care about is winning. This is not normally my position but with Chelsea still five points ahead and having just lost to Liverpool, their next bad result may be some time away.
As per usual I’ll be watching the game at The Oscar Wilde in Berlin so on the off chance that you’re around, be sure to come along and cheer the boys on.
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