Arsenal play host to Hull City this weekend after the two sides last met at the FA Cup fnal back in May.
Hull City will be a figurine club for the modern-day Arsenal supporter for a long time.
The morning of May 17th, 53 days ago, brought great hopes and anticipation of the end of a drought which had lasted the best part of a whole decade. After surviving those 83 minutes which came before Koscielny’s equalizer, there was only going to be one winner in extra-time. The game has gone, but the memories will still leave on, in the lives of Gooners, and Gunners.
Like Jack Wilshere.
The 22-year old only featured in the extra-time of that game, but the effect of the victory has left a mark on him, switching back to a picture of himself carrying the trophy this summer after the brief interruption of him spotting the England shirt in the World Cup. It appears the effect from then has only been positive on the youngster, with steady improvements in his performances this season, both for club and country. He was the most impressive player in our last league game at Chelsea, and with his majestic output with England this week, he could be the lone to lead the team henceforth.
Beginning with Hull.
After 7 games, 2 wins and four draws have left us in the 8th position in the league and to say that we’ve had a steady campaign is to flatter ourselves. Peaks at Villa and troughs Stamford Bridge has seen us yet to really kick-in and make a statement in the league. We may not have won the championship last season after staying so long at the top but the last thing you want is to play catch up for too long in a season. With the International Break over, Wenger knows the run of games to come are the real opportunities to turn our season around. For that tom happen, we must do all to overcome Hull.
And that won’t be easy.
As we saw with the FA Cup final, Steve Bruce’s side are no pushovers. There is the argument that we got away with it in May, with a bit of luck on our side with our goals, starting with Alan McGregor’s poor attempt at keeping out Santi Cazorla’s free-kick. The absence of big lads like Nikica Jelavic gave the suggestion they were even short of full strength in that game. Well, we couldn’t afford to have Theo Walcott in that game so that must just be nonsense.
That said, Bruce has moved to make his side more formidable this term with astute acquisitions of the ilk of Mo’ Diame, Abel Hernandez and Hatem Ben Arfa. Diame in particular has not wasted any time in adjusting to the KC stadium, scoring three league goals since his deadline day move from West Ham. He has a particular history of scoring against Arsenal, right from his Wigan days. It must then be good news for Wenger that his captain Arteta would be returning to the squad, to help keep the team better organized. More of the headache, though would be in selecting replacements for injured Laurent Koscielny and suspended Calum Chambers. Don’t be surprised that Monreal pairs Mertesacker on Saturday, with Bellerin on the right.
The need to win against Hull cannot be overstated. Momentum will be key to be in good form for the tricky trip to Belgium in midweek and the Liberty Stadium next weekend.
A draw will just not suffice.
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