Could this be the perfect time to play Arsenal?‏

Gary Spalding wonders whether now might be the ideal time to face an Arsenal side ravaged with injuries…


The Gunners’ injury list is as long as Peter Crouch’s legs, and Sunderland look to have FINALLY turned a corner. Could this be the perfect time for us to travel to North London?


Let’s not get carried away, but there’s obvious improvements being made. We all of a sudden look like a team who are more than capable of beating the drop, whereas under Dick Advoaat, things were unfortunately all so different. Maybe Sam Allardyce is our long awaited messiah? Or maybe he’s just landed the squad with a barbecue sauce ban at dinner times? Who knows? Whatever he’s done/doing, seems to be working.


The wins against Crystal Palace and more recently, Stoke City will have undoubtedly had a massive impact on the confidence levels in the squad. All of a sudden the Academy of Light has a completely new feel about it on a Monday morning.


Everyone who plays football knows the feeling. Your first touch is better, your head is up quicker, your vision on the ball seems clearer, (unless you’re Yann M’vila), and certain things come off that perhaps might not have a few weeks prior. We hear it all the time in football. Winning breeds confidence. Let’s hope that this Sunderland team feel the effects.


A quick Google search revealed that Arsenal have 6/7 of their starting 11 out injured following a 1-1 draw with Norwich, and a casualty plagued season so far. The likes of Alexis, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, and Laurent Koscielny are all set to miss out, and when this calibre of player is missing from the spine of a team, it’s bound to hit hard.


Sunderland need to go down to The Emirates with the mindset that a win is within reach. The draw that secured safety for us last season under Dick Advocaat showed that getting a result against this team isn’t impossible.


We look to now have a set of attacking players who can win us a game. The pace of Duncan Watmore and Jermain Lens will cause any defence problems, and with the likes of Steven Fletcher and possibly Fabio Borini waiting for a chance, you’d suggest that as long as our defence does its job again, there’ll be chances for us to get goals against an under strength Arsenal 11.


It should be an intriguing contest on Saturday. No one really expects us to come back home with 3 points, but with the increasing levels of confidence growing in the camp, and Arsenal currently going througha rough time with injuries, this could be a good chance for us to cause an upset.