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Friday 6 March 2015

Pre-Man United press conference..

The manager met with the media this morning and the team news is as expected. As I said in the Q.P.R post, the manager has confirmed that Gabriel will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a hamstring injury, ruling him out of the Monaco return leg. How do we keep getting these injuries? It's beyond ridiculous, and whereas I was always of the opinion that it was down to bad luck, i'm not convinced anymore and it really is high time we did something about it. This article from October shows Arsenal have suffered the most injuries in the premier league since 2002, with over 300 more than Liverpool. Absolutely terrible. Wenger also confirmed that both Monreal and Szczesny will face fitness tests today to see if they make the squad. It would be great to have Monreal back as he really has been our best defender this season, and arguably the most improved player in the squad, so overall the squad will pretty much be the same, although I have a felling there will be a few changes with the starting lineup, Ramsey, Walcott, Welbeck and Chamberlain will all start I think, while Chambers might also be given a run out. There was no mention of Jack Wilshere or any of the other sidelined players, however.

When the manager said that 'only players who make defensive contributions will start' really did feel as though he was talking specifically about Walcott and you really have to wonder whether or not he will be here next season, with only a year left on his contract. I don't think the club will put up with the shenanigans of his last contract extension, so watch this space. It's funny how players like Walcott and Podolski were key players in the squad not two seasons ago and now one is out on loan with his Arsenal career all but over, and the other is hardly getting a look in. The level of depth in the squad really has improved, lets hope it will contribute to better performances.

The manager was also highly complimentary of Welbeck in the press conference and said he was 'delighted he signed him' and said he believed Welbeck can play 'anywhere up front', I really get the feeling that the manager prefers him out wide, however, with his impressive workrate, which Wenger also complimented. He is picky about our strikers, is our Arsene. Once again Ozil was another topic of discussion and the manager had a few interesting things to say about him, rejecting the fresh, less than informed criticism from yours truly, Paul Scholes, where he said This nonsense. Anyhow, Wenger said that:

"I believe he has the quality, he puts a lot of effort in to help the team and he works much harder than his style shows. "You can be cheated a little by his style of play, because he is fluent, easy, subtle and he does not look like he puts the effort in, but he does. "I knew he had a good physical potential, but did not know how good he was physically. He has a huge physical potential."
This would be a good time to mention those 'Ozil covers most ground stats again', which you may have here's a link to that. I really do wonder what people are watching when they talk about Ozil, I just can't understand the criticism he gets, this season alone he has 4 goals and 6 assists in 16 appearances, and he also has the third best minutes per assist rate in Premier League history. Still though he's not much good that chap, is he?

Its been nearly 10 years since out last win at Old Trafford and the manager said he's determined to put that wretched record behind him and claim a victory that would be  a huge boost for the rest of the season.
 “I don’t believe too much in history. I just believe in the performance on the day. At the moment, we are doing very well away from home. The size of the pitch is exactly the same everywhere, it’s just down to how much we turn up and how much effort we put in to win the game."

Let's just hope the team turn up with a performance as good as the match at the Emirates earlier in the season, and hopefully this time get the right result. I'm never too confident about a trip to Old Trafford but when you look at the struggles United have had this season we should be getting through this tie, but it's Old Trafford and it's Man United, so normal rules just fly out the window. Strange place is that Old Trafford, it just does something to the team, to the payers and to the manager.

Anyhow, that game is not until Monday so there's plenty of time left before we really get into that nonsense. In the press conference today, Wenger was asked about how manager's should behave on the touchline and responded brilliantly, with 'Why do you look at me'? Remember this? of course you do.

Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.

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