Wenger: The time has come to show our strength

The most prolific attacking team in the land go head-to-head with the tightest defence today as Chelsea visit the Emirates in a crucial Premier League clash.
Arsenal have netted 36 goals in 12 games, where the blues have conceded just eight and head into north London having kept a clean sheet in their last four games.
Odds might favour a draw then, but the boys have been talking tough this week and there is no doubting at home, the Gunners will be looking to attack and take all three points.
Arsene said yesterday:
“I think there is a period for any team to come out and show its strengths. I think for our team this moment has come.
“We are not any more a team that has to be considered to be young. We have the strengths and we want to show on Sunday that we want to beat them.”
Collecting the three points is ideal, yet there is something lingering that suggests coming away with a draw wouldn’t be such a bad result, probably given the state of the squad and the void left by Robin van Persie.
I worry about either Eduardo or Vela being marked out of this game and my confidence will be swayed even more if Gallas fails to play due to his swollen eye.
Silvestre doesn’t inspire confidence and if indeed the line-up consists of Eboue – filling in at left-back for the injured Gibbs – and Silvestre, then it’s going to take something special to keep out Drogba and Anelka.
Losing and slipping behind Chelsea at the top by 11 points (with a game in hand) would be shattering and our position would begin to reek of everything wrong about last season, where key injured players look irreplaceable.
But, “this is our time,” added Wenger at yesterday’s press conference.  “Because we have top quality,” he replied to one question. “As simple as that.
“There is a moment where you grow, grow, grow and then you show you are ready. This is our moment.”
The audience then joined Wenger in a sing-song as the Frenchman belted out his own version of Martine McCutcheon’s Perfect Moment.
In this fixture last season though, things didn’t go so perfect. Arsenal started with gusto and for the first twenty minutes pulled Chelsea apart, however, failed convert chances into goals.
On the break Chelsea then caught us out and handed over a perilous 4-1 drubbing which left the fans as red as the seats they sat on.
To place a veil over that result, today Arsenal must flaunt the same attacking carnival football, but bury any openings with Martin McCutcheon in mind.
Wenger has spoken about resolve and bouncing back from disappointing results this season. In some ways, that draw at Upton Park was amended with a pleasing thumping of our north London rivals the following week.
Having lost to Sunderland last Saturday, I hope to see them same spirit emerge at the Emirates and peg back Carlo Ancelotti’s team, who are beginning to talk of invincibility.
The last time Arsenal met with the Italian don was in Milan, in the Champions League, March 2008. I watched the highlights last night and had to rewind Fabregas’ 30-yard belter time and again, the one which led Arsenal into the quarter finals that year.
A little more of that would send the Emirates into ruptures today. A draw though wouldn’t do out title hopes to much damage.
 

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