Arseblog: Tuesday 6th April 2004

april 6th

The good news to start this morning with is that both Freddie Ljungberg and José Antonio Reyes trained yesterday morning, and while a decision won’t be made as to their inclusion in the side until later today, it’s encouraging to say the least, especially as Reyes was supposed to be out for three weeks.

The boss has laughed off suggestions by the media that Arsenal are now about to crack and are on the slide. Remember, this is the same Arsenal side they were all creaming their pants about a couple of weeks ago. Ignore the press, get behind the team. As the boss says “We have not lost in our last six Champions League games and are unbeaten in 30 in The Premiership.”

The FA Cup game was the first game we’ve lost since October (if you don’t count the Carling Cup). Quite a record for a team on the slide.

Patrick Vieira says “We know how strong we are as a team and we still have our two biggest targets to aim for. This is one of the biggest games that I have played in since I joined the club.”

At stake tonight is a Champions League semi-final against either Real Madrid or Monaco. It’s a chance to put the disappointment of previous European campaigns behind us and show that we can challenge for the big prize. And I’m glad to read on other Arsenal sites people asking for the fans to make noise tonight. If you’re going to Highbury this evening please purchase a packet of Strepsils, gargle with honey and lemon, practice your scales and then sing, shout or scream your head off.

If the players can hear you getting right behind them it’ll give them a lift, maybe it’ll inspire that extra 5% of performance that’s needed to beat Chelsea tonight. Hopefully we won’t need it, I’d prefer if it wasn’t a close match, but who knows? So, I’ll say it one last time – make some noise, even if it’s not normal for you. Don’t be shy. Get your neighbour singing. Encourage them. Sing the songs. Support.

“Arsene Wenger’s red army…. Arsene Wenger’s red army…..  Arsene Wenger’s red army…..  Arsene Wenger’s red army…..”

More later.

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