There is a belief in football that you should not change a winning team and that is what Arsenal have had for the last three games. Arsene Wenger had suggested that Olivier Giroud would return after his suspension and that Mikel Arteta would not be able to play due to his calf problem, but that seems to have been intended to keep the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and his players guessing right to the last minute.
Ever since Arsene Wenger took over as the manager of Arsenal Football Club back in 1996, the Frenchman has made the academy and youth development parts of the club very important. Ideally, Wenger would like to follow the Barcelona example of being able to field a whole team of players who have come through the Arsenal ranks.
Arsene Wenger seems to have made his decision to include Jack Wilshere in the Arsenal starting line up today. Unless he is doing another of his old Jedi mind tricks, of course, and Mikel Arteta and his unmovable appear on the St. James' pitch this afternoon. Assuming the Spaniard has failed to recover from his calf problem, it will be Jack who plays alongside Ramsey.
Jack Wilshere is heading for a small operation in the summer to remove a pin from his ankle, but is still expected to play some part in today's game against Newcastle due to the injury to Mikel Arteta.
He admits that this game is so crucial that there may be a few nerves amongst the Arsenal players, but says they just have to calm and professional to make sure of the three points, no matter what happens in the Tottenham game.
Arsenal head up north tomorrow needing a win to secure a top four finish, while Newcastle have nothing much to play for, although this and other results could see them finish anywhere from 10th to 17th. Alan Pardew will try to upset Arsene Wenger and Arsenal and give the home fans something to cheer about.
It has been very impressive the way Arsenal have handled the pressure on them this season. From a morale sapping defeat to the hated spuds, Arsenal were left seven points adrift and it seemed like this would be the year Tottenham finally finished above us.
Maybe we should thank AVB, because the spuds' croaky voiced manager's gloating claims of a downward spiral for Arsenal had the opposite effect and we are now back in the driving seat.
Arsene Wenger has been talking about who will replace the injured Mikel Arteta in Arsenal's crucial match against Newcastle tomorrow, and although he says that Jack Wilshere is the obvious replacement, he will leave it up to the player himself to decide if he can handle the pain.
Wenger said: "That is one of the things I have to evaluate before Sunday and talk to him as well,"
"He will have the final say in that because you cannot force a player, they have to be comfortable.
So we now face the final game of the season, and Arsene Wenger knows that Arsenal simply need to win at Newcastle to confirm our place in the Top Four for the 17th season in a row. But which team is Wenger going to pick?
There are certain to be changes from last week's nervous home win over Wigan, as the Spaniard Mikel Arteta is nigh on a certain casualty.
Arsene Wenger has a few decisions to make in his selection for the Arsenal team that travels north to St. James' Park on Sunday in the hope of beating Newcastle United and ensuring a top four finish, at least. The Prof will not want to change too much with the Gunners being on a fabulous run, especially with last night's goal-fest against Wigan.
Arsenal still have a top four finish and Champions League qualification in their own hands after a fantastic 4-1 win over Wigan Athletic last night. The Gunners could even snatch third place with Chelsea having just a single goal better goal difference.
We still have to win the final game away to Newcastle United on Sunday, however, and it looks like we will have to do it without Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal fans are used to seeing a long list of injuries for most of the Premiership season, but going into our final two games, we are down to just one person left on the treatment table, and no prizes for guessing who that is!
Last week, there was Kieran Gibbs, Lukasz Fabianski and Abou Diaby on the list, but Wenger revealed yesterday: "The news is quite good, we have everyone available.
It is normal for Arsenal fans to have two things to worry about at this part of the season. Firstly, there is the annual race to get into the Champions League places for next season, which has been tighter than ever this season and looks like it will be decided on the final day. Two wins against Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United will guarantee that we finish above Tottenham, but those wins will be far from easy.
Arsenal haven't had an easy time during the last few seasons, big players have left, captains have left two seasons in a row and every time a new season starts we find ourselves scratching our heads at why we have made another profit during the transfer window and how we can possibly move forward like this?
Are any Arsenal players good enough to interest another big club? by FD
All the transfer talk at the moment is about the potential players Arsenal are looking to bring in over the summer. It seems as though there's hardly a prospect we haven't been linked with. That's all well and good – it's refreshing to be considered as one of the poachers for a change, rather than having to play our usual game-keeping role.
It was not too long ago that a lot of Arsenal fans thought that the inclusion of Aaron Ramsey in the Gunners starting line up was a bizarre form of torture inflicted on us by Arsene Wenger for some reason. It was also a clear sign, for some, that Arsenal were not going to win the game and was further proof of the French manager's decline into senility.
Arsenal are apparently preparing an early summer bid for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy. The young midfielder has been in good form this season and continued to grow as a player as he has done since his arrival at Wigan.
He was the subject of bids from many top English clubs when he was younger but he chose to move to Wigan in the hope that he wouldn't be left in the reserves until his early 20′s.
Arsene Wenger takes his Arsenal team on the short journey to Loftus Road to face QPR today and one of his main messages to the players this week will have been to expect a tough game. The Frenchman knows that a team playing under pressure to stay up can suddenly play much better once they are down and they relax.
Like any Arsenal fan, I'll always have a special place in my heart for Cesc Fabregas. We watched him grow up and mature into a world-class player while he was with us. We knew about and understood his wish to eventually play for his boyhood heroes, Barca, and we were especially grateful for that extra season he stayed, when the pressure and temptation to leave were at their height.
After being injured for what seemed like an eternity, Jack made his comeback against QPR on 27th October, a game we won 1-0, producing a man of the match performance. He followed this up with a string of superb performances (aside from a red card against Manchester United) and capped it all off with signing a new long term deal and even being nominated for PFA young player of the year.
Lack of leadership on the pitch by MW We throw names in the hat all season and summer long as to who Arsenal should buy, and i think we are overlooking the blindingly obvious reason we are incapable of winning anything. The truth is that we do not have any real leaders out there on the pitch and we havent since the 2005 season.
Arsenal look set to let go one of the many ‘deadwood' players we have at the club this summer in Brazilian midfielder Denilson. Denilson is currently on loan in his homeland Brazil with Sao Paulo and they have today spoken about their willingness to sign the player to a permanent deal.
Arsenal welcome(sort of) Manchester United, who have won the English Premier League, to the Emirates today for a match that is decidedly crucial for the Gunners and perhaps a little less so for the Red Devils. Of course, along with the visit comes former Gunner and the man of the moment with a hat-trick in his very last game, Robin van Persie, who scored in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
This weekend's game is certainly our toughest fixture in the run in to the end of the season and it comes against already crowned Premier League champions Manchester United. Arsenal will welcome back former captain Robin Van Persie, and although it's important not to focus on RVP for this game, no doubt that will be the main talking point.
The BackPageBantercrew are on tour, but that has notstopped us grabbing some Belgium beer, forking out a euro for the use of a painfully slow computer, andseeing what we could muster for Sunday's big game at the Emirates. Van Persie'sbid to leave Arsenal in search of silverware has gone alogethertoo well for him (the money-grabbing, Fergie-huggingtit that he is!
Arsenal's young superstar Jack Wilshere has had ongoing problems with his ankle ever since he had an operation a couple of seasons ago, and although Arsene Wenger recently reinstated Jack back to the first team, there have been numerous rumours that the England midfielder may have to have yet another operation this summer.
It may seem strange that Arsenal are being linked with a player who failed to impress at West Brom, but the Spanish midfielder Borja Valero has been a key figure in the success of the Serie A club Fiorentina this season. The 28-year old joined the Italian club from Villareal in the summer and has been a fixture in the Fiorentina side, scoring twice and setting up 10 goals in their race to qualify for the Champions League.
You would not normally hold out much hope on the FA overturning a decision, but Arsenal have decided to appeal against the red card shown to Olivier Giroud against Fulham on Saturday. We will find out the result tomorrow, but there are reasons to hope that the decision will be overturned or, failing that, his ban will be for just one game rather than the three that is standard for violent conduct.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about Jack Wilshere and the ankle problems facing the young Arsenal star. The manager gave him a rest on Saturday against Fulham, bringing him on for the last 20 minutes as the Gunners held on for a vital win. Wenger admits to having to be cautious with his midfield star, but expects him to be able to feature against Manchester United on Sunday, a game that we need to get something out of as the battle for Europe heats up.
In light of what Roy Hodgsen said about the lack of English footballers playing in the Premier League, Arsene Wenger spoke about the English talent he had in the Arsenal ranks. Wenger told Arsenal.com about the English divisions that implicate upcoming talent as well as the understanding that all the players want to play in the best league, suggesting that if all the highest quality of players are of different nationalities to English then its inevitable that there will be a decline in English players at the best clubs.
Aaron Ramsey is a player that the fans have mixed opinions on. For the majority of the season he's been knocked down by the fans but in recent weeks his strong performances have earned him a little more praise. In yesterday's game he wasn't the same player that we had seen put in some magnificent performances in recent weeks but he still manages to have control over the game and in fact his role in this team may be a little more important than we imagined.
This is an absolutely must win game against a Fulham side we have failed to beat in the last four meetings. There is no reason that the Gunners should not break that unwanted record today and claim an important three points in the race for a top four finish in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger has decided to rest Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, with Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky coming in to the starting line up.
The England manager Roy Hodgson has been speaking about the English International side being at a disadvantage because there are so many top-class foreigners playing in the Premiership reducing the pool of players that Hodgson has got to choose from.
Wenger understands his problem and thinks that the England team are a victim of the success of the Premier League.
Wojciech Szczesny can probably not believe his luck, while you have to feel sorry for his main rival for the number one shirt at Arsenal. Lukasz Fabianski has cracked a rib, which has put a stop to his run of games in which he was finally shaking off his unfortunate nickname of flappy-handski. After being on the sidelines for so long, Fabianski stepped up brilliantly after Szczesny was dropped for the Bayern Munich match.
With Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott back from injury, Arsenal have almost a full complement of players to choose from for the hugely important five Premier league games left in this season. Only Abou Diaby is unavailable, so every single position in the starting line up is up for grabs. There is fierce competition for a place in the starting line up and this will really help the Gunners to finish the season strongly and grab a Champions League spot for next season.
There is little doubt that Arsenal should have won the game against Everton at the Emirates last night, but it seems to me that a lot of fans are taking it too hard. Yes, it was a great chance for the Gunners to fire themselves into a commanding position in the Premier League, but we are still in with a very good chance.
Per Mertesacker thinks that the Arsenal players should be kicking themselves today. The German international feels that the Gunners should be celebrating an important victory over Everton, but instead can only rue that the opportunity to firmly grab pole position in the race for the Champions League slipped away.
There are few things more likely to cause an argument between a group of Arsenal fans than the subject of Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh international midfielder could build a roof with all the slating he has had over the past two seasons, but he has been voted as the Man of the Match on the official Arsenal website in the last two games and may finally be back to the player he was before his terrible leg break injury.
Both Arsenal and Everton went into this game in good form and both fighting for a top four finish. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker and Wojciech Sczcesny all came into the starting line up, while Arsene Wenger sprang a surprise by starting Jack Wilshere again.
Arsenal started a bit nervously, and Everton nearly got an early goal through Pienaar, but he put it over the bar.