Please beat Norwich, Jack back in squad – AFC

Saturday is here at last, my god it’s been a long wait. International football has had its turn, overstayed its welcome but now we can get back into the routine. Despite pulling out its trump card and honouring us with a Wednesday game due to rain, roofs and all sorts we all wanted it over and out the way. Next up for the gunners is Norwich at Carrow road, a game on paper we should win but a game based on last seasons’ battles will be hard fought and the boys will have to be on it from the off.

I have a personal interest in beating Norwich after my experience in the game at emirates last season. That game happened to be the closest I have ever sat to away fans and it really got the blood pumping though the ups and downs. The banter was full on and I found it hard to take when their fans were goading us. Although we didn’t lose the game the draw at the time put our champions league fate in the hands of other teams and the Norwich fans weren’t holding back with their rendition of the ‘Thursday nights channel five’ song. Luckily for us Spurs and Newcastle tried their best to outdo us in the crap results competition.

Like a kid that wants to get one up on their rival I will not be happy unless we achieve 6 points from the canaries this season. Today’s game will be the start for me and the return game at emirates will be the icing on the cake. I want to give it back to their fans; I owe it to them to rub it in their faces.

Now with the personal rant over, the standout topic of the team news that has been resonating since yesterday afternoon is the news that Jack Wilshere has been included in the match day squad for today’s game. Arsene did his best to play down any talk of jack playing before our carling Capital One cup fixture at the end of the month however Jack’s agent had a different idea. Through Twitter his agent Simon Bayliff let the cat out of the bag that the midfielder has indeed been included in the squad travelling to Norfolk.

That surely didn’t go down well with the folk at arsenal, teams news should really be revealed by the people in charge i.e. wenger. Jack’s agent will be sure to hear from the arsenal men about his future tweets regarding his client. Being in the match day squad is no guarantee Jack will even be on the bench for the game today. Wenger could have been telling the truth about his plans for jack and his involvement in the squad could be merely part of the process of integrating him back into the old routine. There’s no guarantee his inclusion is blocking any current fit players, there are sure to be a few spaces due to injuries to some key personnel. I would not expect jack to be involved today even if he is named as sub (unless we are cruising 4-0 ahead with 10 minutes to go). I see no need to rush him back any sooner than needed though I wouldn’t be surprised if the player himself is screaming for the chance to pull on the jersey again for a top flight game.

From the rest of the squad there is no surprise that Theo Walcott will not be involved, Kieran Gibbs looks to miss out after the injury that ruled him out of the England squad hasn’t cleared up yet. The goalkeeping situation hasn’t changed so Mannone will be between the sticks and at the back Koscienly is a doubt but not ruled out, a late fitness check will probably decide on his involvement today.

In today’s team I’m hoping Andre Santos can seize this opportunity, he has been very much a peripheral figure so far this season due to the form of Gibbs so I’m hoping he can take note of Carl Jenkinson on the other flank and give Wenger some future headache problems. Olivier Giroud will be going into the game with full confidence after his goal at west ham before the break and his midweek goal against Spain. If he starts the Norwich defence will have a game on their hands. They got Grant Holt but we’ve got Giroud, No comparison really.

With all the talk focused on Jack Wilshere it is not known if Bacary Sagna is included in the squad also. Both players completed 90 minutes in midweek and I would place both at the same stage in their recovery. I suppose the one sticking point is would Wenger risk Sagna’s first game to be against the very team his leg was broken against? probably not but the Frenchman is not far away from 1st team duties.

Enjoy your day people. Wish the gunners luck on operation Norwich 6 points.

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