Saturday, 29 November 2008

Almunia : Arsenal Will Be Back !

Manuel Almunia believes that the Arsenal 'nightmare' of recent weeks is at last coming to an end. Defeats to unfancied opposition and dressing-room rows have rocked the club, but the Spaniard thinks that the bad times are coming to an end at the Emirates Stadium.

Cesc Fabregas has been appointed Arsenal skipper and seems to have brought a refreshing maturity and calm to a tricky situation.

The Gunners also beat Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday night at the Emirates to claim their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League, and Almunia thinks that he and his team-mates have found some much-needed monetum to take into tomorrow's derby against West London rivals Chelsea.

"The last two weeks have been a nightmare for us," said Almunia.

"We needed to win, but we could not get the right performance and we did not know what to do.

"The win over Kiev is a step forward for the confidence of the team and against Chelsea I hope we can face them in the right way.

"Stamford Bridge is a very hard place to play, a very hard place to win - but Liverpool won there this season so why can't Arsenal do it?

"Against Manchester United we showed that with great spirit, with great fight, with concentration, with everything a footballer has to have, that we can beat anybody - but every single player has to think in every single game what to do and where we are because we are one of the top clubs in the world.

"We do not need to think in titles - we need first to come back as a great team and we will see after what we can get."

And Almunia thinks that the choice of his fellow countryman Fabregas as captain can only be a good thing as Arsenal try and bridge the gap that has grown between them and the league leaders in recent weeks.

"Against Kiev, Cesc did the same as normal, maybe, though I saw in his face more responsibility, more taken on his shoulders - but he is mature enough to cope with this responsibility," the keeper added.

Almunia Getting Over Arsenal 'Nightmare'

"Cesc has the spirit, the ability, all which is needed to be a great captain for Arsenal.

"All he needs is to be a bit lucky and for the team to follow him in a good way.

"We will try to follow him as we tried to follow William Gallas in the past. Now is the moment of Cesc and he is going to take the chances, he is going to respond."

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