Aston Villa (0) – (0) Arsenal
Villa Park, Birmingham
I was going to post this afternoon that the Villa game was going to be a draw, but decided not to in fear of ridicule if that didn’t end up happening.
But after the Stoke game I knew we’d have problems.
In seasons gone by, throwing an FA Cup game has ruined our late January and February. A couple of seasons ago we were flying high in the league and then got battered 4-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford. Then we lost momentum with a string of draws (sound familiar?) and we lost our grip on the title race.
And with games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool we face a big test.
Not least because the worst possible news has finally happened – Thomas Vermaelen has been seriously injured.
Arsene said after the game:
“Thomas Vermaelen we don’t know [the extent of the injury].
“There will be an x-ray. He is on crutches and it is a fibula injury. We have to check tomorrow morning if it is just a nerve or a broken bone.”
And our backup, after sending Senderos on loan is Sol Campbell. Things could turn out disastrous as he will have to face an in-form Wayne Rooney, Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba and Dirk Kuyt. Okay, he might be able to cope with the last one.
No doubt about it, losing Vermaelen is huge. It’s massive and I realise there’s 4 days left of January but I cannot see Arsene signing a top quality centre back to replace him, nevermind someone in Vermaelen’s league.
Up front, we look toothless.
The only real goal threat is Cesc Fabregas, and while he had a good game tonight the attacking support was no existent. Eduardo is struggling, Rosicky is still finding his form and Arshavin is playing as if he’s disillusioned at the club. He has small spells of inspirational moments but for the majority of games recently he has been ineffective.
Will too many draws ruin our season again?
The positive news going into the killer run in is that they are not must win games. If we can beat United and Chelsea and take points of them then fantastic, but the most important thing is that we don’t lose and have an insurmountable gap after the Liverpool game.
Manchester United will be on a massive high after smashing Hull 4-0 and getting past Manchester City in the intense Carling Cup Semi Final.
But as we’ve seen in the past, we tend to do well when everyone is writing us off so here’s hoping…