Silencing Fratton Park key – Traore
Armand Traore is hoping Arsenal can silence the “amazing” Fratton
Park faithful on Wednesday as the Gunners look to triumph over
The French left-back spent last season on loan at the
south-coast outfit, who have since been through three managers and
as many owners.
Traore gained some much-needed first-team experience with
Pompey, including the chance to play in the UEFA Cup.
Now, though, the 20-year-old is fully focussed on making the
most of his chance with Arsene Wenger’s team following injuries to
Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs.
“It was a little bit of a mixed year for me. I played a few
games and gained some experience, which was good, but changing
managers and all the injuries was not so good,” Traore told Arsenal
“The fans at Fratton Park are unbelievable, one of the best
games was against AC Milan – it was so loud, they were cheering
“They always cheer whatever happens, and I think they are
Traore, who joined Arsenal from Monaco in 2005, added:
“Portsmouth have made a few headlines, but I think that is a bit
harsh because they play good football still and I hope they will go
back up the table.
“They have some confidence after beating Liverpool, but then
they lost to West Ham. Hopefully we can do something against them.”
The Gunners have dragged themselves back into the title race
with four wins from five Premier League games, and have a match in
hand on the sides around them.
Traore feels Arsenal – who are likely to be without injured
captain Cesc Fabregas for a couple of weeks – must just concentrate
on their own consistency.
“If we want to win the title, we just have to win all the
games,” he said. “The boss always has a strong belief in the team,
and when you have that it helps a lot.
“Whenever anyone questions Arsenal, he will always back his
Fabregas is set to have a scan on his injured hamstring today
after pulling up when scoring a crucial second goal in the 3-0 win
over Aston Villa on Sunday. If it is another strain, then the Spain
midfielder could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.
The 22-year-old, though, remains committed to the Gunners
cause. He told Spanish newspaper Marca: “There has been talk about
[Real Madrid and Barcelona] since the summer and the only thing I
am doing is thinking about my club, Arsenal, and seeing how I can
help my team-mates.
“I have a cool head, I am very happy at Arsenal and in
England and there is still a lot for me to do. That is all I can
say to you.
“I am not thinking about anything else. I am very content and
have a good deal still to do in the Premier League.” Fabregas
added: “The only thing that concerns me right now is this injury.
“I want to get over this little muscle problem I have at the
moment as soon as possible.”