Alex bids to be on song for West Ham cup clash

Alex Song wants to “finish the job” by guiding Arsenal into the fourth round of the FA Cup before heading off on international duty.
That’s the main Gunners tale in the papers this morning with the Daily Mail pointing out that we travel to West Ham on the back of a six-match unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League, which has seen them reduce the deficit on leaders Chelsea down to just four points – and with a game in hand.
Song, 22, has proven himself an important member of Arsenal’s new-look midfield this season, acting as a defensive foil for captain Cesc Fabregas, set to be out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring problem.
However, should the Indomitable Lions reach the African Nations Cup final on January 31, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger will have to do without the combative midfielder for some key clashes, including showdowns against Aston Villa and Manchester United.
Song – who scored in the 4-1 win at bottom club Portsmouth on Wednesday night – intends to sign off in style.
‘I want to go away to the African Nations Cup having finished the job here, leaving the team in a strong position,’ he said. ‘While I am away, I will still have my eyes on what is happening here, because this season is so important for every player in the Arsenal squad.
‘I am confident that when I go, we have the players who can do a very good job. The players are confident, and we all really want to do something this season,’ he said. ‘When we lost against Chelsea, the boss said we just have to concentrate to improve because we knew Chelsea could drop points.
The Mirror reports that Aaron Ramsey has shrugged off the rave reviews from his display against Portsmouth insisting: ‘My best is yet to come’.
The 20-year-old Welsh wonder stepped in seamlessly for the injured Cesc Fabregas at Fratton Park and capped an outstanding performance with a fantastic goal.
He said: “I would not be here if I did not think I could fill the roles, so it could be a big month for me. There have been injuries, and I had to do the job against Portsmouth, and I think I did that.
“The goal was the best one I have scored so far for Arsenal, but it was not about me, it is about the team.
“I want to establish myself as a player in the starting XI and hopefully with opportunities like at Portsmouth, I can show that I am more than capable of playing in the Arsenal team. That is my target.
“Since coming to Arsenal I think I’ve improved as a player, obviously training with world class players every day, getting opportunities like this to play in the starting XI.
“I think I have improved but I think I can still improve on some aspects of my game. Hopefully I can use this opportunity now to really show what I can do. Most important is that we play well as a team to get the right results in the games to keep the pressure on and progress in the cup.”
Ramsey is set to keep his place as Arsenal travel to West Ham on Sunday in the FA Cup then face Bolton and Everton in the League. AW hailed his versatility in the wake of the crushing 4-1 in at Portsmouth.
He said: “Aaron is a player who can play right-back, left wing, central midfielder. He is an all-rounder.
“Cesc is a playmaker. But what they have in common, when they are on the pitch, is personality to say: ‘I’m not scared to play. I’m here to play the game.'”
Meanwhile the Sun reminds us that Abou Diaby has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Auxerre in January 2006, has impressed alongside Cesc in central midfield this season.
And Diaby is delighted to have committed his future to the club. He said: “This shows my long-term commitment to Arsenal and I am very happy here, which is why I am so pleased to extend my contract.
“It’s a great thing for me and hopefully there will be some good years ahead for me here.”
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger added: “Abou is a great player with huge presence on the football pitch and he has the potential to be an extremely influential part of Arsenal for many years to come.”  Also, Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury has signed a new long-term contract, the club have announced.

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