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Fan Focus: Daily Cannon Talk SAFC v Arsenal

Ahead of this weekend's match Rory Fallow caught up with Lewis Ambrose, a writer and editor for Daily Cannon.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

What do you make of your season overall this year? Are you frustrated that Arsenal haven't put up a stronger title challenge in such a wide open season or more content at their consistency, especially when you look at the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea?

It's been a huge disappointment, especially when you consider we were top of the league at the turn of the year. I guess to you, some fans may look entitled but the majority of us understood the stadium move would take time to deal with as a club. We were always given the ballpark figure of 2013, 2014 as a time we could compete again and our transfer business has shown that was true.

Unfortunately, our results on the pitch haven't mirrored that and this season feels like a missed open goal with the traditional title challengers all struggling.

There doesn't seem to be a week goes by that columnists aren't writing pieces about how it's time for Arsene Wenger to move on/stay another year. What's your thoughts, has the time come for him to step aside?

The situation is a really difficult one. If he leaves, who do we get? Can the board be trusted to make an intelligent appointment?

If we can get the right appointment then yes, it's time. You see the way Pochettino has Spurs playing and the things Klopp is implementing at Liverpool and the contrast couldn't be more stark - Arsenal aren't an exciting or modern football team anymore. That's the one thing, no matter what, Arsène always had going for him.

Another one that the press fill a lot of column inches with is Wenger's lack of activity transfer windows. Petr Cech has been great this season, but should there have been more players of his calibre coming through the door and is that one of the main reasons behind your title challenge falling away?

I think it's a little difficult to criticise considering we've signed Čech, Alexis, and Özil in the last three summers. The squad is big enough but, ultimately, last summer's error was heading into the season with Francis Coquelin as first choice in midfield and Mathieu Flamini, seemingly, as his back up. Someone had to be signed for that position.

Danny Welbeck has looked good since he came back from injury, as he looks to secure his place on the plane for Euro 2016. What's he been like generally since his move from Manchester United? He's remembered fairly fondly on Wearside after a brief loan spell back in 2010/11.

Welbeck divided opinion a bit last season but he was unfortunate. His only spell up front came when Özil was out and then he found himself pushed out wide before his own injury. This season he's been a breath of fresh air since returning and it feels like he's winning even more fans over. If he stays fit I'd be happy to ignore the clamour for a striker and give him the chance to make that role his own.

The main Arsenal players that worry me ahead of the game are Ozil, Welbeck and Sanchez. Is that fair or is there anyone else Sunderland fans should concentrate their fears on?

That seems fair to me. Alexis has finally found some form after switching to the right wing and Özil is always the man to make us tick, regardless of whether or not the others actually manage to finish the chances he provides.

Anyone in the Sunderland side that you're particularly worried about facing?

Sorry to be boring but I guess it has to be Defoe. Incredibly he's only ever scored twice against us but, cliché as it sounds, he just knows where the goal is. Jan Kirchhoff was a very impressive signing and has looked good to me since his horror debut.

DAFABET PRICE BOOST - Jermain Defoe to score the first goal NOW 8/1 (was 13/2)

Any past memories of visits to the Stadium of Light/Roker Park?

Some good and bad! Bergkamp's goal in 1997, Henry scoring the winner while on loan in 2012, Özil's debut. On the other hand there have been some horrible games and moments: Diaby's broken leg and a couple of late Darren Bent goals saw us draw (2009) and lose (2010) games.

How do you see yourselves lining up for the game?

Čech; Bellerín, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Elneny; Alexis, Özil, Iwobi; Welbeck.

Finally, a prediction please?

Sunderland need the points and Arsenal have really struggled to break sides down this season. 1-1.

Thanks to Lewis for his time. You can check out Daily Cannon on their website or follow them on Twitter.

**Dafabet T&C’s apply.  Please gamble responsibly 18+**

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