Give it a rest Arsene!

Posted by Chris Rann

I do love a bit of irony, so it certainly didn't escape me that Arsene Wenger was moaning that Arsenal don't get as much rest between games as other clubs. It has obviously escaped him that going into tomorrow's match with the Saints, his precious stars will have had a full day's more rest than their opponents.

Given that Arsenal have won an impressive seven games on the bounce you might, like I, wonder what Arsene has got to moan about? It almost sounds like making preparatory excuses before an inevitable decline. Perhaps he is feeling the pressure? After all, he has already hit out at Chelsea for selling Juan Mata to a "rival" in Manchester United. Maybe, just maybe, Monsieur Wenger has got so used to not winning the title, that even he can't conceivably see himself doing it again?

Does this bode well for the Saints, though, as they prepare to face the exhausted Gunners? No, not really. This will be undoubtedly a difficult game for them, and matching last season's point would be a remarkable achievement.

It's not implausible that the Saints could get more of course, positive results against both Manchester and Liverpool will give them hope, and even the defeat at the Emirates was no walkover for Arsenal -- a bonkers Artur Boruc moment and a contentious penalty (the only occasion a ref has punished shirt pulling as far as I am aware this season, cheers Mr. Clattenburg!) the difference.

Arsenal have lost just three times on the road all season and have had a solitary draw at West Brom showing just why they are topping the table, but they aren't infallible.

As is always the case this season, Mauricio Pochettino won't rest on his laurels and Saints will play to win, which in my opinion is exactly the right approach to a game like this. The Saints showed against Manchester City that having no fear and going at the top teams is the best form of defence, and that when they are on their game, they are a match for everybody.

One thing the Saints must know, though, is that if they are as wasteful in front of goal as they have been of late, they will undoubtedly be punished. Missing chances against Yeovil and Sunderland is one thing, against Arsenal it will be suicide.

To that end it will be interesting to see how the Saints line up. With Rickie Lambert perhaps out with a knock, Dani Osvaldo disgraced and both Guly and youngster Sam Gallagher finding the net in the cup, we could see a different looking attacking unit.

I quite fancy Gallagher to be given a massive chance to show what he can do on the big stage. After a brilliantly taken goal against Yeovil, the 18-year-old has perhaps earned the chance to shine.

Keep the faith.


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