Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Monday March 5 2012
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has resisted any notion that he may rest any of his star players for tomorrow night`s lost cause against A.C. Milan. With the Italians protecting a four goal lead, the game is all but up for Arsenal. But the manager was in bullish mood today, refuting any suggestions he may rest players for the run in. After a couple of good results against close rivals and with third place in the crosshairs, there was a suggestion he may prioritise.
'It is not an argument for us," bristled the Frenchman. "We want to have a real go tomorrow, we want to make it possible.
"I would not be very credible to tell you we want to score five goals and then leave Robin van Persie out.
"We will not accept going out of the Champions League because we want to stay in. We will give it our best shot tomorrow."
I`ve seen some debate around this today and have to say I side with the manager on this one. For a number of reasons. Firstly, I think it`d transmit a poor message to his players if he tacitly admitted he didn`t believe in their ability to turn the tie around. Miniscule though the chances may be, there could be long term ramifications for the rest of our season if he sends that message. Arsenal have specialised in comebacks in recent weeks- albeit not to this magnitude.
But momentum has been built up and it`s important to keep it. Realistically, as a fan I want to see a good performance and for us to win the game tomorrow night, even though I don`t think we can win the tie. A healthy win and good performance sees us bow out with a bit more pride and helps keep that momentum. In any case, we need to go for it. If we are not two goals clear on the night at least, with half an hour remaining we can always reign ourselves in with some pragmatic changes. There's six days until the Newcastle game after tomorrow night and then a further nine days till our next game after that. We're not looking at the most crammed schedule. LD.
Date:Monday March 5 2012
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