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The Opposition View - Arsenal

The Opposition View - Arsenal
With great thanks to Arsenal season ticket holder Gary Lawrence(@garythegooner56), we ask a few questions about his beloved Gunners side. We ask about the future of Arsene Wenger, where he thinks Arsenal will end up and his prediction for tonights game.


1) Arsene Wenger has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, do you think it is deserved and where do you stand on his future?

This is the most difficult one for me to answer. I think Arsene has brought a lot of the criticism on himself. Both with some of his team selections and the system we play. For instance we should have played 2 upfront against Bradford Rosicky & the Ox should have started & he plays some players out of position i.e Ramsey out wide & Gervinho upfront & to be honest every time the opposition has a set piece I worry we'll concede a goal as the zonal marking system we use doesn't work.

The fact we didn't have a shot on target till the 68th minute at Bradford is also very worrying. But the media has an agenda against both Wenger & the club & have created a witch hunt against him which after all he's achieved he doesn't deserve. He's kept us in the top 4 despite limited resources in comparison with Chelsea Man City & Man Utd. Depending on who he buys in January and where we finish it may well be his last season. I'm hoping he leaves on a high after all he's done for Arsenal Football Club.

2) Who are the player/s to look out for in your side ahead of Monday's game?

Our best players at Bradford were Wilshere & Rosicky so I'd say those 2 plus Cazorla.

3) As we approach the half way mark in the season, you are sitting in mid-table, where do you think you will finish come the end of the season?

I think we can still make top 4 depending on who we buy in January.

4) What are your strengths and weaknesses as a team that you have noticed over the past couple of games?

Our weakness is set pieces which I've already mentioned also our build up play is too slow. One of our strengths used to be how we could move the ball quickly to turn defence into attack. We have very technical players & can dominate the opposition but tend to over elaborate at times.

5) I would ask who has been your best signing in the summer, but that one is fairly obvious in Santi Cazorla. However, how do you think Oliver Giroud has settled into Premier League football?

I agree on Cazorla & feel if Giroud gets the right service he could be a very effective player for us. He's very good in the air and brings other players into the game. Podolski needs to do a lot more and is capable of playing much better than he has done so far this season.

6) What position would you like to strengthen in January and any players names that spring to mind?

Ideally I think we need a striker a powerful midfielder in the Felliani Toure mould and a keeper to challenge Szczesny. Also if Walcott goes in January a replacement for him. As for who those players are it depends who's available to buy. But that's Arsene Wenger's job!

7) If you could offload any player from your team, who would it be and why?

Gervinho. It can take a year or so to adapt from French football to the Premiership so I've been patient with him but he hasn't improved and that miss against Bradford was the final straw!

8) What Reading player do you rate the most and why?

The Reading player who concerns me most is Jason Roberts he caused us all sorts of problems in the 7-5 game. I also like the Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak as well but don't think he's played lately.

9) Expected line up for the game?

I'd like to see Szczesney, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermalean, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla, Giroud & the Ox (Chamberlain).

10) What's your prediction for the game?

Dare I say it a narrow 3-2 to The Arsenal!

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Date:Sunday December 16 2012
Time: 5:16PM

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