Although Arsene Wenger was very complimentary about Arsenal’s opponents in the last but one Premier League of the season, praising the North-East club for their recent great escapes from relegation, the Frenchman is also planning to put a massive red and white spanner in their works tomorrow evening.
Wenger spoke about the Black Cats almost as if they were already safe, as reported on the Arsenal website, but they are not. Even with no points from the game against the Gunners, they will go into the weekend three points ahead of Hull so the chances for them are good, but they travel to Chelsea with Jose Mourinho smarting from that humbling at West Brom last night.
That would still mean Hull beating Man United but that result would not be too much of a shock. Sunderland have a worse goal difference as well and if Wenger gets his way that will be a lot worse after they play Arsenal. He spoke about the Swansea loss and called on his players to make sure it did not happen again. From the look of the pictures from our training session today, the team are just as keen and will surely give Sunderland the run around.
Wenger said, “For me the Swansea game was an accident. Having analysed it, it’s one of the games we deserved to win the most of all the games. We lost two in two or three years now, so you can say that’s an accident.
“Sunderland need a point to be safe so I expect them to be well organised defensively, sound at the back, and to try to use all the counter-attacks they can, all the set-pieces they have, to score goals. We have to put a high rhythm into this game and play with a high level of energy to win the game.
“Sunderland, for a few years now, have struggled until five, six games before the end. First Paolo di Canio saved them, then Gus Poyet saved them, and now Advocaat saved them, so always they just find the final resources to get out of relegation.
“Advocaat has used his vast experience to give them confidence again, and to get them to play. I think as well, players certainly questioned themselves and respond always with a few games to go.”
With FA cup places to play for as well, I reckon an early Arsenal goal could open the floodgates and leave Dick Advocaat and his players reeling ahead of the final round of games.