Top of the morning wherever this post meets you!
The winter transfer window slammed shut last night and calls for strengthening the team in January fell on deaf ears. Not one player was added to the first team, not even the striker we all hoped Arsene would sign.
This however excludes the capture of German sensation Thomas Eisfeld. The 19 year old attacking midfielder joins from Dortmund B side and will be looking to make the huge step up.
In case you didn’t know, Ryo Miyiachi has joined Bolton until the end of the season. It’s good to have him staying in the EPL as it helps him to qualify as being homegrown.
We will also get to see him week in week out, so this has positivity written all over it. Let’s hope he can do a Wilshere and return guns blazing.
Talking Bolton, we play them later today in the EPL. Ryo won’t feature so you can rest your heads. They don’t have Cahill anymore so their defence is not as good.
It has to be noted however that they are in their best form this season, having won 2 of their last 3 in the league.
We have Sagna, Djourou, Arteta, and Henry back for this one. But I still would start Coquelin at RB and ease Sagna into the next home game.
Preferred XI: Sz13; Coq, Mert, Kos, TV5; Song, Arteta, Rosicky; RVP, Theo, Arshavin.
Rosicky deserves to start this one, he’s been nothing short of outstanding recently, so Ramsey makes way. I’ll also start Arshavin because of his experience and quality. Yes! You read that right, moreover I’ll be more confident if it was Oxo-Chamb replacing Andrei than vice versa.
I’m predicting 2-0 to the good guys!
Some good news comes in the form of Gibbs training again. We have had to shift TV5 to LB in the main time and it has not been entirely successful.
As such it will be great to have a mobile (and natural) LB who can support the winger. TV5 can then move back into his position at the heart of our defence.
Even though we dropped a lot of points January, one can see the reasoning behind Arsene’s refusal to sign a defender. We have most of our players returning; Diaby returned to London yesterday, Andre Santos last week and both are recovering well. Also Wilshere’s set back is not as serious as feared.
The victory over Aston Villa last weekend was a big boost and will help players’ belief; add that to recent injury news and we have a lot of reasons to stay positive. It’s not over…yet!
Before I go, I’d like to get your opinion on a very interesting issue. I was caught up in a debate on twitter this morning and it centered around our aspirations this season and the next.
So in short, if you had to choose between Arsenal winning the FA Cup this season (and finish 5th or 6th) OR Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League (and stay trophyless), which would you choose, and why?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments!
We play Bolton at The Emirates later today in a Carling Cup 5th Round encounter. This game comes off the back of a good weekend for us, a successful weekend in all ramifications.
L’pool drawing at home to Norwich was good news, getting all 3 points against Stoke was great, United getting thumped at home (even though it was by another of our rivals) was even sweeter, then Chelski losing at QPR put the cherry on the cake.
We seem to have built some momentum now, and having 1-6 [I just had to -;)] in 7 games, we are currently 4th on the form table, ahead of Man United, Chelsea and L’pool! Not bad considering we are “a club in crisis”.
Tonight’s game brings good news! The Verminator who has been training with the lads for some time now (his twitter account, @T_Vermalaen05 says so) is expected to make a return to the team. This is the biggest boost we’ve had since the start of the season. And with our defence improving steadily, Vermaelen’s return will only make us stronger.
He’ll most likely partner Mert4, with Kos getting pushed to RB. It will however be interesting to see how we line up when Sagna returns. Were I Arsene, I’d play Verm-Kos against fluid, “football-playing” teams, and play Verm-Mert4 against the physical sides. Makes a lot of sense to me, but what do I know?
The likes of Miquel, Benayoun, Fabianski, Oxo-Chamb, and Ju Yong Park will get a chance to lay claim to starting berths.
Park in particular will show how bad he is that Wenger has refused to give him even one minute of EPL action! Oxo will like to make his case for a slot on the right wing ahead of Theo, while Fabianski will be eager to show Wenger why he should start instead of Sz13.
It’s the Carling Cup, we are on a good run, the fans are happier, and the tickets are cheaper, so I expect an almost full house. Bolton is the opposition and as such I do not envisage an easy game. A win, and I mean any win that will take us into the quarter finals will do just fine!
If had to put my allowance on the line though, I’d go for a 2-1 win…to the Arsenal of course!
As usual, let us know what you think concerning tonight’s game.
Have fun wherever this post meets you!
Well we’re up against another club from the Lancashire area but unlike with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal will be home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon in a Premier League encounter.
Ahead of the match, manager Arsène Wenger insisted that the club is doing all it can to improve on the defense, which has conceded fourteen goals already in five league matches. “We work on it every day and practice… there is a lot to improve in our defensive consistencies” said Wenger, making reference to a solid defensive display at Dortmund followed by an abject opposite at Blackburn days later.
And according to stats from Opta, Bolton’s three goals against Arsenal last season were headed goals hence the need for the first team defense, marshalled by Koscielny and Mertesacker, to recover from that horrid display at Ewood Park when the Trotters visit the Emirates along with long time target Gary Cahill – whom Bolton manager Owen Coyle seems resigned to losing come January after stating there’ll be a number of clubs bidding for him then.
Yossi Benayoun will miss the match no thanks to a “strain” but should be in contention for the midweek Champions League match against Greek side Olympiakos. Otherwise we should have the usual faces lining up against the likes of Jussi Jaskkelainen, Tuncay, Kevin Davies, Martin Petrov, Chris Eagles and David Ngog.
Possible line-up: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Santos, Arteta, Song, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott, van Persie (c).
If you ask me I’d prefer having Frimpong and Song supporting Arteta in midfield seeing as Ramsey is not assured on the ball while Arshavin remains… one cocky Russian on the ball.
In matters off the pitch, club chairman Peter Hill-Wood has denied the club was at any point close to bringing Joey Barton to the Emirates contrary to the QPR captain’s revelation couple days ago that he came close to signing for Arsenal… whatever guys, let’s just get ourselves sorted in the league already!
And it was rather heart wrenching to learn that midfielder Jack Wilshere’s injury may take longer to heal after the club and the player (in tweets last night) revealed he would have surgery on his ankle on Monday after his bone there failed to respond well to being in a caste in the last month.
This development will see Wilshere sitting out on the sidelines until Christmas at least, a bit as Vermaelen was initially meant to last season. Hopefully in Jack’s case, he’ll be fully fit from January like van Persie was… complete with the sort of form the Dutchman came back with.
So, what do you make of our opposition this weekend and what do you think the outcome will be? Shout out to FolabiPojo for being spot on with his prediction of the League Cup win over Shrewsbury Town. Same result against Bolton perhaps?
Fabregas has come out to say he’s not going anywhere. Well he didn’t exactly use those words but you get the point. He had this to say this morning.
- ” I won’t step forward and say I want to join Barca, after 8 years at Arsenal, I won’t harm the club. That’s not my way. I’m very happy now, I’m an Arsenal player and that’s it, Wenger knows what I want, he’s the boss and he decides.
There you have it, Sagna can shut it now after declaring that Cesc wants to leave and greedy Nasri can also learn a thing or two about Club loyalty especially to the one you’re currently in. Growing unrest continues amongst Arsenal fans but have no worries, Arsene is going to spend, we are in talks with Powerful Ivorian Gervinho who looks likely to sign in the next few days. Following that should be Cahill or Samba, most sites have Samba as their guy but I heard Blackburn don’t want to let him leave. We’re also tempting Bolton with a few fringe players for Cahill, I say we toss in as many as possible because I understand why AW won’t want to spend 17M on someone in the last year of his contract.
Gazidis has assured fans there will be movement in and out of the squad even though he did not reveal his targets but I hope Benzeama is on their radar as Madrid are close to signing Brazilian sensation Neymar which would leave room for him or Higuain to leave depending on who the clubs finds more important. I see four or five players coming in and four or five leaving.
As someone told me the other day, its too early to panick, the window hasn’t opened yet and there’s still time AND money to spend (we reportedly offered Phil Jones a bigger pay packet but he had no intention of leaving the North West region). So let’s get behind the club and stick together. Its shaping up to be a wonderful summer.
From wherever you’re reading, have a wonderful day. Your thoughts?