Olympiacos doesn't matter and Zaha no-go

By Avenell Dave

No one really cares what happens tonight, do they?

As long as we don't suffer with any injuries, the only thing that matters is that some of our fringe and out of form players can improve their fitness and their finesse and help ease the burden on the guaranteed starters.

Putting pressure on places has to be the best thing for a club because it means everyone is trying to improve and justify their position in the team.

As far as Saturday is concerned, the only player who really came away with any credit was Wojciech Szczesny and I wouldn't even play him given the run of games we have coming up.

It really doesn't matter if we come first or second given who we could end up facing (the likelihood is that whatever happens, we'll get drawn against Barca again).

I met someone well connected at Palace yesterday who told me Wilfried Zaha is not coming to Arsenal.

Now there's a shock. Looks likely that he's going to City with a deal that loans him back until the end of the season.

I can't see Arsenal playing the same sort of fee City will pay nor want to loan him back. The only hope we have is that we can guarantee him more first team football...Scott Sinclair is proof of what happens when you move to Middle Eastlands.

Is Arsene Wenger right to proclaim that things are ok and that the doom and gloom merchants are misplaced?

No of course not. We're not playing well - the defence is shaky, the midfield is poor and the attack not showing any level of the movement required.

Until some of the deadwood is replaced by quality understudies capable of stepping up, we have no chance of competing for the title and the time has come to cut our losses on players who are blocking squad places and costing us valuable salaries.

It will be interesting to see whether the likes of Arshavin or Chamakh, if he plays, perform this evening. On the one hand, they may not be bothered but on the other it's a shop window to a new club. 

We're all pretty despondent at the moment and it's hard to think that staying calm will see everything resolve itself when so many of the problems we are facing have come through a lack of planning and investment in the long term.

I still believe Wenger can turn it around and that with new commercial deals, he may have the resources to return us to the top level, and it's easy to forget that we're still early in the season, comparitively.

Saturday matters, tonight doesn't. Let's hope a few days off focuses those who are not showing the consistency required and that Swansea is the low point of our season, not the confirmation of long term decline.

Addict XI

Mannone

Jenkinson Squillaci Vermaelen Meade

Ramsey Coquelin Rosicky

Oxlade-Chamberlain Gervinho Arshavin