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Blessed be the Arsenal, Bad Tackles, and Stoked for Stoke

May 7, 2011
Swiped from @KeithTheGooner

Happy St. Totteringham’s Day. Enjoy yourself.

I usually never watch Tottenham unless we are facing them, but I happened to tune in today since if Tottenham failed to  perform they would secure a spot below Arsenal in the table, therefore not being able to catch us in the league. A good day for sure.

I would like to say it took my mind off our Stoke challenge tomorrow, but events during the Scum game today brought back painful memories of a certain Aaron Ramsey and his unfortunate broken leg. Blackpool’s Charlie Adam proved himself to be something of a Neanderthal when he viciously tackled Gareth Bale, stomping on the latter’s ankle. It was a savage, savage attack that led to Bale being stretchered off the pitch. The cringe-worthy feeling one gets watching this tackle was almost as strong as when Ryan Shawcross cracked Ramsey’s leg in two over a year ago. This event has been in the minds of many gooners this past week, some wondering whether Ramsey is mentally fit to visit Stoke on his first return to Britannia Stadium since the injury.

Wenger feels it’s a barrier the young Welshman must cross in order to continue in his career and develop his abilities and mindset for the upcoming season:

At the end of the day you focus on football and you play. It is like if you have a car accident – you do you never drive again? Of course you drive again and the earlier the better.

I’m looking forward to seeing Ramsey play tomorrow and throw the past behind him as he looks to his future with Arsenal. These sorts of injuries can’t be easy to get over and in many ways the physical part of the recovery is the easiest. You never know, he may end up scoring a goal (it’s been known to happen). It looks like we’ll be missing Cesc tomorrow as he’s still dealing with a thigh problem that kept him out of the United game last Sunday. Wenger likes the idea of Ramsey shadowing Cesc in the captain role and believes they have a great partnership that will develop as the two get more time together on the pitch.

The big surprise in injury news is that it’s possible we may see Thomas Vermaelen back in the squad. He played a full 90 minutes with the reserves last week and seems to be feeling fit and well enough to play. This comes at a time when Djourou has injured his ankle, meaning the Belgian will likely be pair up with Koscielny if he gets the call, otherwise Squillaci and Koscielny are the likely pair we have in the centre of defense. Clichy seems as though he’ll likely miss the game as well with a hamstring problem, so too will Nasri, who was subbed out at half-time in the win against United. Quite a costly game that was last week when you think about it.

That’s about it besides a rumour that Fulham are interested in Nicklas Bendtner this summer. Maybe he’ll get more regular time there if he leaves and good on him if he does. He’s a good striker, but needs more time on the pitch which he won’t get with us because he’s not good enough to start for Arsenal.

Right. Stoke tomorrow and a big three points on the line for us.

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