Wojciech Szczesny is a doubt for Sunday’s game with West Brom. The Polish stopper has been nursing an injury which Arseblog News understands is a knee problem although today’s Guardian mentions an issue with his back.
The issue has been ongoing for the last month and may explain, while not excusing, his under-par performance against Norwich. Should he fail to make it, Lukas Fabianski could play his final game for Arsenal, as he will seek to leave the club having fallen behind his compatriot in the pecking order this season.
Arsene Wenger is targeting the three points necessary to secure third place and says that his team must remember they have defensive, as well as offensive, duties to perform.
“At Stoke we had a good game and offensively against Norwich we had a good game. Defensively, though, we had not the expected level. Maybe we were focused too much on winning the game and forgot that to win the game you need to defend as well”.
And after such a disastrous start to the season, the manager feels finishing third would be something to be proud of.
“It will be a great achievement if we manage to do it. I believe it would be reward for a group which has exceptional strength,” he said.
“They have come through some difficult times, always recovered and always battled. Therefore I will be extremely delighted when we do it. Let’s make sure we finish third and win our game – that is the only answer we can give. To do that of course you need a full, committed performance from everybody.
“On that front I am quite sure we will get that from our players and then we will have a very good chance to do it.”
Obviously third and the points we’ve dropped this season aren’t anyone’s idea of an ideal campaign but under the circumstances it’s about the best we could have hoped for when we lay 17th early on.
The last time it was this tight on the last day of the season was the final game at Highbury when Sp*rs were struck down by an attack of the green apple splatters, but the Arsenal manager still isn’t sure what happened.
“Frankly I didn’t know what happened,’’ he said. “I didn’t cook that day. If I had cooked more of them would have been ill!”