Play Fantasy Arsene Wenger - Can Gunners stifle Stoke?

By Avenell Dave

Well this has been a fun week, hasn't it?

Outclassed by the Ch*vs, humbled by the Citeh Chavs and losing more players and even the neutrals as Arsene Wenger has an off-week.

It was unnecessary and ungracious of Le Boss to suggest DiVier Dr*gba did little in the game on Sunday - after all, we have players who can be anonymous too until they pop up with a moment of genius.

Whatever happened at Middle Eastlands, Wenger should ahve shaken Mark Hughes' hand. It's the Arsenal way to rise above petty rivalries and show some respect to your opponent, however much you're seething inside.

Wenger let the club down as well as himself, and worse still, the tide of criticism which certainly ahs an impact on the players will grow because there's no way to take the moral high ground.

Yes, we were well beaten on Wednesday. Yes, our reserves showed themselves not to be ready yet.

When Wenger suggests that if the game had been at home (just as for Sunderland) we would have won, he misses the point.

Any decent team has to play cup games away and the fact is we haven't won away in the Carling Cup for two years.

It may be down the bottom of the priorities but winning is a habit the CLUB needs to get into and that can be contagious.

Treating it with such disregard was a snub to fans craving some silverware and to prove we're good enough.

All Wednesday proved is that Wenger MUST buy a striker and a centre-back in January. If Gallas or Vermaelen get injured, we are in big trouble.

Even T*tt*nh*m have Dawson, King, Woodgate, Corluka and Bassong who can play at the back and while none of them may be consistently world class, at least they're better than Alex Song or Mikael Silvestre.

How can we allow ourselves to get into these positions year after year?

The other thing that bugs me, apart from Wenger missing all the glaring possibilities that come true, is that Andrey Arshavin has now turned into the petulant gobshite he was reputed to be.

Yep, he had a great first six months with us and yes, he can be world class.

But to be truly world class, you have to play well on a consistent basis; not cry about  a defeat and threaten to quit the game; not disappear for weeks on end without adding anything discernibly practical to the team; not tell the mamager what to do when you can't even do your own job.

Arshavin will play tomorrow. Fact. But I would drop him. Let him know who is boss and make sure he knows he has to earn his place.

Will Tomas Rosicky or Samir Nasri really be that much different than Arshavin against one of the most physical sides in the country?

Eduardo will start, no doubt, and needs to find his mojo fast.

Theo Anderton is injured again and Bacary Sagna is a doubt but should play. No loss if Eboue starts given Sagna's woeful inability to deal with C*$hley C*le on Sunday. Song is suspended.

Addict XI


Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Traore

     Ramsey Denilson Fabregas

      Nasri Eduardo Rosicky

What do you think? Who should play against Stoke tomorrow? Let us know in the comments section below.