Arsenal v W.B.A.
Barclays Premier League, Emirates Stadium
Saturday, August 16, 2008, 12:45
So after Wednesday stuttering start but eventual result, we’ve been boosted by the return of Kolo Toure and Samir Nasri to the squad. It’s not certain whether Kolo will start the game, but I’d say it’s a choice between playing Kolo at centre back and Djourou in midfield or playing Djourou at centre back and then keeping Ramsey in central midfield.
“Kolo could be back in the squad. He is not completely 100 per cent at the moment. He is still recovering a bit from pre-season problems. But hopefully Nasri can be back in the squad.”
Nasri, although capable of playing in the middle, I doubt would play alongside Denilson in the middle of the park – it seems too attacking.
There was some good news surrounding young Cesc as he’s due back in training in about a week and could play against Twente in the second leg. Diaby, however, won’t be back until October.
“A reasonable target for Fabregas is the second leg of the Champions League game. Diaby will take four to six weeks as we have said and we don’t know about Senderos yet.”
So where does that leave us in terms of squad and potential line up for tomorrow? Let’s take a look:
With the new rule allowing 7 subs to be named, we can name Fabianksi, Toure, Gibbs, Wilshere, Eboue, Vela and Bendtner on the bench. If Toure isn’t named, we’d expect to see Randall named.
That’s my opinionated line up, of course, Arsene may have other ideas. From the comments above, it sounds like Nasri has every chance of playing, with Kolo likely to remain on the bench.
Finally, a quite look at Emmanuel Adebayor’s comments recently – without players like Cesc and Diaby, Rosicky and Nasri, we’re potentially with diminished creativity in the team. Ade has called for us to learn to win “dirty”, I suppose like we did against Twente – although we did get the ball down and play a bit; I’d say we were more nervy than bad.
“A lot of people talk about the good football we play at Arsenal but we are all in this game to win trophies and we haven’t done that. It’s difficult because when I signed for Arsenal from Monaco I knew I had the chance to win a lot of things. But I’ve been here for almost three years and I still haven’t won anything. So now we have to realise that while it’s good to play nice football, there are times when you need to be dirty to win a game. We have learned a lot recently. One of the lessons is that sometimes you have to be tough when you are on the pitch – that is part of football. We don’t have to be beautiful all the time.
My beloved Arsenal: play as best as you can at the same time win the game…