Match Preview: Arsenal vs Fenerbahce…

Arsenal v Fenerbahce
UEFA Champions League, Emirates Stadium
Wednesday, November 05, 2008, 19:45

So tonight we will take on the mighty Fenerbahce. A game that is much more difficult than it seems. Yes, we did beat them 5-2 in Turkey, but that game could have ended up 5-5, so we have to be sharp to ensure we win this game.

With injuries to Adebayor, Walcott, Eboue and Gallas and long term injuries to Rosicky and Eduardo, our first XI against Fenerbahce will pick itself. Sagna has recovered, but is likely to start on the bench and readied for Saturday as he’s not 100% fit.

The squad will comprise of:

Almunia, Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Djourou, Clichy, Diaby, Fabregas, Nasri, Denilson, Ramsey, Song, van Persie, Vela, Bendtner, Wilshere, Gibbs, Randall.

Even though Almunia has been questionable in the last two games, it’s unlikely he’d be dropped. With Sagna unlikely to be risked, we’ll finally see Djourou, something all of us have wanted for quite a while now. Our line up should be, well, will most probably be:

Almunia
Goalkeeper
 
Toure
Right Back
Djourou
Centre Back
Silvestre
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
 
Nasri
Right Wing
Song
Midfielder
Cesc
Midfielder
Diaby
Left Wing
 
  Bendtner
Striker
 Van Persie
Support Striker

With Fabianski, Gibbs, Sagna, Ramsey, Denilson, Wilshere and Vela on the bench.

Albeit, I’d probably think about resting Clichy, Almunia and Cesc, and putting in Fabianski, Gibbs and Wilshere, allowing Diaby to play inside and Wilshere on the left. That’s what’s rotation is all about, not leaving out all your creative players…. (ahem, stop thinking about it!).

Arsene has reflected on the need to qualify today and said:

“I believe that once you qualify in the Champions League you can be completely focused and, if needed, rest some players in the Champions League. That is why for us, it is important to qualify as quickly as possible, especially as we didn’t win our last game. We had two bad experiences recently and that is why it is important to come back to winning ways and to qualify.  We have not been efficient recently with our results in the last two games and that is why it is important to come back and win.”

And Bendtner seems to somewhat agree:

“It has been going a little badly but we are ready to bounce back. Whether it is a Champions League game or a Premier League game it doesn’t really matter. If we win and Dynamo Kiev do as well then we have automatically qualified so that is a good fact for us to get belief from. It would be a boost to know you are qualified so you don’t have that on your mind. Then we can be really focused on the Premier League. At times we could have done better but we have already shown that when you have a little dip you can stand up strong in the next games. If we do win them we will come out even stronger.”

Good luck boys, let’s qualify tonight and then get ready for United.]]>

  • gary

    < ![CDATA[There is a lot of anger flowing around Gooners at the moment and I completely understand why. We are struggling at the minute and it is very hard to watch the club we all love perform like this whilst the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool go from strength to strength.

    There are a lot of Gooners out there with their own answers to the problems we are facing and whilst I respect every opinion my fellow Gooners have, one answer keeps popping up that I don't agree with. Sack Arsene Wenger.

    This is without doubt the most difficult period that Arsene Wenger has faced in his time as Arsenal boss. Big questions are being asked of him for the first time by Gooners and he has to deal with it, but first, he needs to be given the chance to deal with it.

    The situation we find ourselves in is down to Wenger and he deserves the chance to get us out of it. He has done too much for this club to be sacked, we are not Tottenham, a club who panic and sack every manager at the first hint of trouble brewing. We have to much class for that.

    We have remained without silverware for four years, yes I know how frustrating it is, it's even more frustrating when you know that Wenger could have strengthened the side to put us in a stronger position to challenge. But where would sacking him leave us? With more problems than we currently have that's for sure.

    Trust me, losing Wenger would be someone else's gain. How do you replace him and who with? The answer's are not so simple. Losing Wenger would mean an exodus of half this side. I understand that we want players to be tied to Arsenal and not Wenger but unfortunately that's the way it is. Players want to play for Arsene.

    At the moment the players are under performing and it IS down to a lack of experience. Players like Denilson have the potential to be good players but it's too much to ask him to perform every week. He needs help and guidance from senior players, he won't get that from the current squad, there is no one there to help him. That is where Wenger has gone wrong and needs to rectify it. He can't expect a bunch of youngsters to play well every game.

    Arsene Wenger has made mistakes over his Arsenal career but the most glaring mistakes he has made have come over the last couple of years. It's easy to see from our point of view what needs to be done. I only hope Le Boss can see too because he is in real danger of his legendary status being tainted at the moment.

    I don't want Arsene Wenger to be sacked and I don't think he will be either. But what I do want is for him to take a deep look at himself and admit that his way isn't working out to plan. I know he is a proud man but it doesn't make him weak to admit that he needs to makes some adjustments to his ways of management.

    He revolutionised the English Premiership but he is in danger of falling behind in the league that he helped to prosper. Arsenal football club have benefited hugely from Arsene Wenger but Arsene Wenger has also benefited from Arsenal in a big way.

    He deserves the chance to get Arsenal back to the top of the English game and redeem himself in the eyes of some Gooners who believe his star is losing it's sparkle. I understand your frustrations my fellow Gooners but this is one Gooner who thinks that letting Arsene Wenger go would be a bad move for Arsenal.]]>

  • raj

    < ![CDATA[a lot of people are on about bringing Vela on against Utd & as much as I'm up for it I think its important to realise that Utd are a completely different ball game.
    They are not Sheff Utd or any other team that he has faced, that's why I think wenger should play him tonight half time or a bit more, take cesc off as soon as we are 2-0 up or 3-0 and tell them whole dam team to defend.

    or imagine this, we absolutely smash the Turks this eve go on an beat Utd and continue the winning streak then that would mean keeping lankabaoyr out of the team.]]>

  • zaheer

    Sigh… thats a pretty dodgy backline.. oh well who knows it may be better than the starting one.. good to see RVP playing even though he killed my fantasy football team last weekend…

  • Fo

    I swear gary posted exactly the same post the other day!

  • devday

    Fo, the posts are quite different!

  • GoonerForever

    < ![CDATA[i swear i watched the liverpool match yesterday(*certainly not a fan of them*), i was so desperate for them to loose with atletico who were playing sooo well.. but then at 95 mins "stevie wonder" does a dive that should have been awarded for in de olympics and he gets a PENALTY!!!(wierd, but true!) u know sometimes i strongly believe that good football is not always fruitful the point i'm trying to highlight here is simple Arsenal must be forceful, must be physically rough, i've seen walcott just get up from fouls that were intentionally meant to be done in the last 2 games.. its sad but its true.. hope we win tonight against fener at home..

    and plus even more depressing news is tat no ade against man and plus no rvp and what do v do with a must win game in the premier league.. ? the answer is just hopefully Carlos vela and definitely NOT Bentdner.. lets just hope and pray we atleast draw with man u..]]>

  • Nirvan

    i dont agree the line up. toure shouldnt be in the def wing. he should be supporting silvestre in the back bone. djourou should take his place. he is fast too. the mid in alrite except considering that cesc should be taken out later. ath the 50th or later. and RVP should rest. let the vella get in. that guy got awsome finish and speed. putting bendtner and his passes as support they should be doing a fine job. song should be put in the 2nd half. considering that they should score, ramsey will do the job of supporting if it happens that cesc has to go. or in the 2nd half sub cesc for ramsey wilshere for song. and put diaby in the middle with ramsey, letting wilshere take the left wings.

  • Nirvan

    < ![CDATA[i dont agree the line up. toure shouldnt be in the def wing. he should be supporting silvestre in the back bone. djourou should take his place. he is fast too. the mid in alrite except considering that cesc should be taken out later. ath the 50th or later. and RVP should rest. let the vella get in. that guy got awsome finish and speed. putting bendtner and his passes as support they should be doing a fine job. song should be put in the 2nd half. considering that they should score, ramsey will do the job of supporting if it happens that cesc has to go. or in the 2nd half sub cesc for ramsey wilshere for song. and put diaby in the middle with ramsey, letting wilshere take the left wings.

    sory about the grammar and punctuation its not obvious writing soo much with a phone browser, i try my best. xD]]>

  • devday

    Definite dive!!!

  • ArseFan101

    < ![CDATA[I hope we play Diaby and Song in the middle. It will be good for both to get a run out in central mid. I hope we play Vela or Wilshere on the left as they both need games too. With United on Sat, both players may be needed!

    Come on Arsenal!]]>

  • willsscott

    just watched the game, I think one word can sum the whole night up, and indeed our season so far….Frustrating.

  • http://deleted Dan

    < ![CDATA[Well at least we didn't lose i guess. Champions league results have been quite good so far. It was a frustrating game though... again.

    AW's comment about the lack of support was proved when at the 90th minute i noticed a crap load of empty seats. Contrast this with the game at Anfield yesterday, the fans were well behind Liverpool until the last kick, and they got their goal!]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[What ar de fans going to watch, another disappointment from the team?

    And what de hell is Fabregas doing, is Wenger not aware of his childish attitude? He looses a ball and strolls,he gives wrong passes and careless. Men its shocking, am sure this cant happen in Fergies team.

    Wenger shd pick de pieces explore the leakage and move on. He shd not leave on rued chances but think ahead. Instill discipline and mental strenght to this team. Talk to fab his making me sick, he acts like his a big player yet he hasnt arrived( very slow) . Till Saturday.]]>

  • Nirvan

    BS. they rely on cexc too much. they wont take hime out at all. we could have easily won that. fenerbahce played as i expected. massive!!! GG anyway.

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Just got back home a minute ago and I was really disappointed. The only person who played really well (and always does by the way) was Clichy! He was chasing after all the balls and playing like his life depended on it, whereas I don't know what was happening with the rest. Ramsey was alright but he was quiet. I guess a few other people played alright but I didnt notice it. I sorta understand that ok, we've got loads of injuries and all, but we gave the ball away too cheaply at times. I guess one consolation is that we didnt concede any goals, and I actually think both teams went into the match focused on their defence (after the last match!) and we were worried more about not conceding than not scoring. Also, no English team won their CL games so at least we were not the odd ones unlike last weekend.
    But hopefully, the fact that we did not concede (not that there was much threat anyways) might make the team feel a little bit confident in the back four for the man u game. But a win against Man U is a big ask, but who says we can't do it? Yes we can! (to borrow from the Obama campaign!). But yeah, I'm hopeful for sunday. Fingers crossed!]]>

  • Debs

    Oh yeah, I also noticed that at some points during the match, the stadium was quiet! That was really weird and I totally understand Wenger’s gripe that we need to show more support. It’s not really good enough feeling supportive, we meed to SHOW it so the team knows, considering how young they are, they need our support. So yeah, whoever’s down at the Emirates for the man u game, please cheer as much as you can ;)

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Arsenal weren't terrible by any stretch, but they weren't good either. They were poor. For once our defence looked solid, except for Silvestre looking constantly a yard behind. Fabianski looked frightened everytime the ball came his way, and upfront we were devoid of ideas. Bendtner had a stinker. RVP looked like he wanted to collect another red at times.

    Ramsey was brilliant, and Denilson also had a fantastic game. He snuffed out a lot of Fernebaches play and easily outshone Cesc in midfield.

    Vela may as well have stayed at home though, it was a dissapointing show from him. As ever Diaby came on and looked the real deal. More Diaby please!

    I was so angry after this match - essentially we dominated and went home with a point.]]>

  • zaheer

    < ![CDATA["RVP looked like he wanted to collect another red at times."

    Hahahaha soo true...

    I wouldnt say a win against united is impossible... I copied/pasted this from the arsenal website...

    When asked who might return for the crucial weekend clash with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, Wenger replied: “Gallas and especially Walcott.”

    It just means that we'd only really be missing Ade, RVP and Eboue...]]>

  • vinashin

    < ![CDATA[Last month we had a flurry of activity on here with various quotes by Cesc allegedly showing he would return to Spain sooner than later.

    I firmly believed Cesc would stay with us for another 3-5 seasons.
    From what I saw tonight I am changing my mind.

    He has been poor this season:

    His workrate has dropped.
    His pass accuracy has dropped.
    His goals have dried up.
    His body language on the pitch is negative.

    Reasons Why?

    ON THE PITCH:

    He has no proper partner to be a central defensive midfielder.

    This means Cesc has to help out the below par players next to him.
    He therefore plays deep like he did two seasons ago, and is not pushed forward like last season, where he is more effective as an attacking player.

    OFF THE PITCH:

    His good mates Senderos, Flamini and Hleb have gone.

    I think he is thoroughly fed up, and is seriously considering going home this summer.]]>

  • gary

    < ![CDATA[I'm no expert in the science of body language but you wouldn't need to be an expert looking at Cesc Fabregas last night. He looked totally frustrated and forlorn.

    I've never seen Cesc look so down. His shoulders were slumped and he didn't really seem up for it. I know that players have bad days and bad games but his performances haven't been up to the standard of last season. And last night was his worst.

    Maybe its just the fact he misses his mates Hleb, Senderos and Flamini. They were all very close off the field so perhaps Cesc needs to get over the fact they are not there anymore.

    The teams plight certainly isn't helping matters. Arsenal are lacking form and confidence and when that happens teams tend to look to their best player for inspiration. Fabregas is Arsenal's best player but at the age of 21 that is too much pressure for him too handle. Hence the reason he isn't captain.

    There is no doubt that Fabregas is among the best midfielders in the world but even the best needs a solid partner to help. Last season he had Flamini as his side-kick and I'd argue that their partnership would have developed to be as good as the Vieira-Petit combination.

    This season Denilson is his partner and I think that together they have struggled. Denilson is a good player but I don't think that he is up to playing every week consistently yet. I think Denilson is a good stand by for Cesc at the moment and will be a great player in the future but Cesc needs more than he offers. Saying that I thought Denilson had a decent game last night.

    I'm not saying that Cesc Fabregas wants to leave Arsenal, far from it, but I do feel he is becoming increasingly frustrated at the direction of the club at the moment. We had such a promising team last season and went desperately close to winning honours. He then wins the Euro's with Spain only for Arsenal to be struggling this season. No wonder he is frustrated.]]>

  • Debs

    and that translates to us not having that many strike options.

  • harry

    < ![CDATA[Debs, I dont think that's the problem. our strikers cant score to save their lives & I'm getting so peed of of at them passing to the corner side then back to central mdlfd - JUST SHOOT for Gods sake.

    I just pray we dont concede first against Utd as they grow in confidence very easily and we get battered in confidence so it will be a sorry sight-
    let the divine intervention come and save us- Cos that's the only thing left for us now.]]>

  • sammy

    < ![CDATA[Wnger is merely commenting on the tiredness of our players to divert attention away from them.
    He is a master of the media and is drawing attention to himself to avoid his players becoming overly scrutinised and losing their confidence - even more so than know.
    Give Wenger and the team a break.

    And to the anonymous guy who thinks we will fall into mid table obscurity, go support another team.
    We are 4th and havent played at all well this year. Once we start playing well we will take apart team and maybe this year we will peak at the right time.
    Get behind the team on Saturday, I'm sick of hearing the booing of players when people like me would give an arm and a leg to be an Arsenal member.]]>