Wilshere tipped to face Hammers in FA Cup encounter

Off we jolly well go to pie-and-mash land today for our own little bit of the magic of the FA Cup and it seems AW isn’t feeling at all charitable as we head for Upton Park or the Boleyn Ground depending on your preference.
The Sunday Mirror reports that AW ‘show no mercy to crisis-hit West Ham as he attempts to lead Arsenal into the FA Cup fourth round’. He said: “The fans trust me to put out a very competitive side and they know how much I love the FA Cup.”
The paper adds that AW is likely to freshen up his side with Jack Wilshere – wanted on loan by West Ham – plus Bayern Munich target Philippe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre and Carlos Vela.
In front of them will be a decimated West Ham side. Mark Noble, Scott Parker and Herita Ilunga are all big doubts because of hamstring problems, while striker Guillermo Franco is suspended. He added: “I know what the FA Cup means to me, to the club and to our fans. You want to give it your best shot and you want to win.”
Wenger knows progress can lead to selection issues when the Champions League resumes. He added: “The fifth round, if we are still involved, is just before we play Porto.But you have to go for it. This is a derby, so it is intense.”
Meanwhile, Abou Diaby admits he almost gave up football because he was fed up with constantly being injured. The 23-year-old Frenchman has just signed a new contract that will keep him at Arsenal until 2016.
But he became disillusioned after an horrific broken ankle against Sunderland in 2006 which kept him sidelined for eight months and suffered further setbacks on his road to recovery and has only established himself as a regular in Arsene Wenger’s side this season.
He told today’s News of the World: “I started to have enough of football and of injuring myself all the time. I wanted to drop everything. But I held on, worked hard and now I am getting the rewards.
“I knew my form would come when I had sorted out all my physical problems. Since I arrived four years ago I’ve picked up niggling injuries. Now I am free from injury. This season I am playing a lot and I have enormous confidence in myself.
“The 4-3-3 formation we play suits me perfectly. I am flourishing in this team. I want to keep on playing and improving. I want to succeed and make an impression so that I’m accepted by everyone. And like all players, I want to win titles. But when you are young and you arrive at a great club like Arsenal, it’s not easy.
“It was a totally different context. The demands were a lot higher and I needed to become much more professional, especially off the pitch. I realised straight away how big the gap was between the French First Division and the Premier League and between two clubs like Auxerre and Arsenal.”
Elsewhere, the Mail claims Arsenal will not be moving for Toulouse striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, despite their wish to sign cover for injured Robin van Persie.
The France forward is not deemed to be up to Arsenal’s high standards, so AW has the unusual problem of plenty of money but no players of sufficient quality to spend it on, says the tabloid.
Edin Dzeko is valued at £35million by German champions Wolfsburg and AC Milan officials met the Bosnian player’s representatives in Sarajevo last week. Marouane Chamakh, a free agent this summer, remains Wenger’s first choice but Bordeaux are reluctant to sell.
And then there is Craig Bellamy, of course. Despite AW saying he won’t be signing the Manchester City striker, the Mirror maintain he will. they report that Arsenal have emerged as shock contenders to sign Bellamy.
The 30-year-old is unsettled at Manchester City following the sacking of manager Mark Hughes and was last night reported to have handed in a transfer request.The Welsh star was left on the bench by new boss Roberto Mancini for yesterday’s 2-0 win over Stoke in favour for Robinho.
“Craig’s a warrior, just what Arsenal need,” a coach ‘who has worked closely with Bellamy’ told the paper.
Right, now where is my pearly king outfit and jellied eels…

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know