Aaron Ramsey envious of Wilshere

As the game between Wales and England approaches, two Arsenal teammates and huge prospects for the future will find themselves in an unfamiliar situation of playing against each other. But while they are both in a bit of spotlight ahead of this game, their recent club fates have been strikingly different as we all know. Had Ramsey not been sidelined last year following "that" tackle by Shawcross it might have been him, and not Wilshere, who would be a regular in the Arsenal first team. Ramsey admitted that he does feel just a bit jealous about the quick progress Jack Wilshere has made in his Arsenal career.

Speaking ahead of the meeting at the Millennium Stadium, Ramsey said:
"I thought before my injury I was just starting to kick on. Absolutely (I feel some envy). I started 6 or 7 games on the bounce and I felt like I was going to stake a claim in the first team for Arsenal but these things happen. I've just got to bounce back now. I'm confident in my ability. I'm capable of playing week in week out for Arsenal so, hopefully, I can do that now."
While he may not have had his best game against West Brom on the weekend and drew some criticism from the Arsenal faithful , it was wonderful to see him back in the shirt. Let's hope he starts making up for lost time in these crucial, season-defining matches coming up.

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Looking forward Arsenal

So the inevitable occurred on Tuesday. We lost. We lost to a better team. A team, that if I am honest, deserves the quarterfinal spot much more than us. Let's be clear on that. Yet somehow, I don't feel too bad about it. Despite the pressure Arsenal was under, despite our lack of attempts on goal, it is undeniable that had there not been a terrible referee error, we had a real chance to win the tie. A chance to repeat the second half resurgence from the first leg and upset the Spanish giants.

Even at 3-1 down and being outplayed with 10 men on the pitch, we still could have qualified had Bendtner converted his chance at the end. The team defended bravely with Koscielny and Djourou excelling throughout. Even though we didn't really create much offensively, the team showed resilience and defensive discipline that has been lacking for a long time. Now it is time to put in behind us and look ahead.

It is important that this does not derail our season as we are still a real chance in the league and have the small matter of an FA Cup clash with Manchester United coming up. Knocking them out, inflicting a third straight defeat on our rivals and getting another step closer to silverware would be just the tonic that we need to get over Barcelona.

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Robin and Cesc in squad for the Camp Nou!

Huge game ahead of us tonight when Arsenal once again face the team many have called the greatest ever. It will be a very difficult game, a stressful game and (hopefully) a glorious one.

The team news is that Fabregas should be ready for the game with Robin van Persie surprisingly in the squad. Song, Vermaelen and Walcott are still out. Diaby will be chosen ahead of Denilson and Bendtner might get another crack to show everyone he is as good as he thinks he is. I feel that Arshavin or Nasri along with Cesc could make the crucial difference in the game and provide much needed support for our isolated man up front. The other good news is that Jack Wilshere has recovered from the knock on the weekend and should start. Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola praised young Jack ahead of the game:

"Wilshere is a top player. He is an excellent player, not just Arsenal, but also for the national team. We have many players like him in our second team. It is very good news for football to have players like him..."

Alright, a bit arrogant but I think it's warranted given their success recently. Tonight, it is imperative that we stand up to Barcelona. We must play our game because parking the bus Inter style would only end in disaster when you consider our defensive capabilities. We are still underdogs heading into this match but we are better than we were last year and there is more belief within the team that we are a real chance. Come on Arsenal!

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