Preview: Arsenal vs Sunderland
By Randy Osae
Be careful sharing, it may cripple you.
That is no superstition. It is what Arsene Wenger should emphasize on during his dressing room oration before confronting Ricky Sbragia’s men on Saturday.
The Gunners better wisen up on the redeemed habit of drawing – it is a familiar and very fatal adversary.
Crucial meetings with Everton, West Ham and Tottenham have all ended even-steven and seen six indispensable points bite the dust.
Other scenarios could have been more beneficial, if you do some math. The three points racked up in three games, is equivalent to a seemingly worrisome case of Arsenal losing two and winning just one of the last consecutive treble.
The Gunners could have also sacrificed the unbeaten run afoot by losing one of those three and winning the other two – and see their points tally an extra three better off.
Defeats were NOT instrumental to last season’s collapse when on the verge of title glory, it was these sort of stalemates.
As decent as they might come, draws are what have hindered Arsenal.
By the time Wenger’s crew suit in uniforms for Saturday’s match, Aston Villa and Chelsea would have already tussled at Villa Park. And the Gunners will certainly be incited by another gracious alms from rivals.
But they will have to rectify woes of capitalization.
When Arsenal last contested a Sunderland outfit, they were in Roy Keane’s mold and stretched Wenger’s men all the way to settle for a point through a rare Fabregas header at the death. The Black Cats have not lost their wild under Ricky Sbragia – sitting seven points ahead of the danger zone – with the season’s slate intact.
For the Wearsiders that’s the ultimate bargain for a campaign. Arsenal’s mission varies by miles, and that’s why sleeves will be rolled up again on Saturday.
And end to the wait for Andrey Arshavin is now imminent. From links to a resulting transfer, it should now be debut day tomorrow, but that’s just about the news from Arsenal’s camp. Emmanuel Eboue returns from suspension but Eduardo rejoins Abou Diaby, Mikael Silvestre, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky on the sidelines.