Arsenal vs Portsmouth Preview

I hope you've all been enjoying the Christmas festivities. It's certainly been busy down at the Grove. Our draw to Villa yesterday has seen us fall further behind our "title rivals". Tomorrow sees Portsmouth, managed by ex-captain Tony Adams. It's a tough time for us with so many players out, but with the transfer window opening on Thursday, I suspect that Arsene will have to dip in to strengthen the squad.

Squad news is that Alex Song is doubtful and Johan Djourou is likely to miss out too. The starting line up should be:

Almunia
Goalkeeper
 
Sagna
Right Back
Gallas
Centre Back
Toure
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
 
Eboue
Right Wing
Denilson
Midfielder
Diaby
Midfielder
Nasri
Left Wing
 
  Adebayor
Striker
 Van Persie
Support Striker

With the bench entertaining the likes of Fabianski, Gibbs, Hoyte, Wilshere, Ramsey, Vela and Bendtner.

Arsene has spoken on the team’s chances and said this:

“I believe we know we can play great games and have a great spirit,” he said. “We have what in England you call ‘guts’.

“We were very, very disappointed [at Villa] because we were so close and got caught back. But we have to show that we are strong and can recover quickly.

“There is one way for us to behave. We just have to keep going until the end of the season and see where we are.

“I know if I say now we can be champions you will say that I am crazy but I believe that we can be.”

Interesting words from Arsene and many people think that he is a little crazy with such a statement. But it’s clear we have the quality, but we do have a soft centre which haunts us every game. I really expect Arsene to dip into the transfer market come the end of next week. It’s a dangerous position we find ourselves in, we’re only 12 points above the relegation zone.

I’ll hope be back tomorrow with a proper round up of the game and a few other thoughts, but as the Christmas festivities continue, I’m being summoned elsewhere.

Come on you gooners, til tomorrow.]]>

  • AJ

    It’s all talk and frankly I don’t think it cuts it anymore, we should of won last season and due to his desire not to spend on maybe one or two more players we lost out, frankly until we win something I don’t want to here about can and could and possibly, I just want to hear when we are lifting the trophy.

  • zohaib

    by the looks of matters, we’re not winning the premiership in the 21st century.

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

    Leaving in ten minutes! Still optimistic of a top four place this season and I’m glad in a way that Knight scored on Boxing Day – if we’d have won, Arsene would probably have locked up his chequebook!!

  • Debs

    Lol! It’s probably still locked up! I hope he can remember the combination for the safe where he’s been hiding it!

  • Fabrez!

    He better remember the combination or else the fans will b all over him! Grrr lol

  • AJ

    Lol, that cheque book is proberbly out of date and I doubt he knows how to get a new one!

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I have to say, I was bored to death by the performance of Arsenal. I don't think I've said that many times before.

    What's the excuse guys ? No Cesc ? Let's clone him 10 times then ?

    Some major changes, if these kinds of performances are to continue, to have any real chance of ever competing for any silverware, other than the Carling Cup.

    I say we get rid of Gallas and Silvestre and get two of Distin and either Micah Richards or Brede Hangeland or Mathew Upson or someone of that calibre.
    Get rid of Eboue and Bendtner and save the 3rd striker position for Walcott. That way he could play as a striker when everybody else is either injured or for any other reason absent. And he could continue to play as a winger if it helps his development. And in place of Eboue we get a proper winger for the right side preferably, since that's the wing that is weakest, and we have the least amount of proper cover for. And then we'd need one more solid DM. That's a complete squad for us. Even thinking about it, just makes me feel a kind of satisfaction.]]>

  • zohaib

    * – 4th striker position for Walcott, after Eduardo, VanPersie and Adebayor

  • Fabrez!

    For the 1st time in a while i’ll b happy to look at MOTD… to especially see Chelsea drop points pretty much the same way we did @ Villa…2-2 in the dying moments of the game. Anyway, by the sounds of it, we won ugly 2day @ the Emirates but 3 points nevertheless! :D

  • Debs

    Yeah Fabrez, I wouldn’t mind us winning ugly at this point in time, instead of drawing games we should have buried ages ago! :( But yeah, impressive ugly winning, lol. Grinding out a win in a game that kept looking as if it had nil nil written all over it… I’d take the 3 points, thank you very much! Also, credit to Fulham, you know. The way they’ve been playing, it doesn’t sound that shocking that they beat us earlier this season- well-played to them…

  • Debs

    Oh, and a clean sheet to boot!

  • Fabrez!

    Yeah…Fulham have been playing well and getting better so credit 2 them. I must say i like the way the team celebrated the goal with Gallas…and huddled around him. Good team spirit after the captaincy situation. And says a thing or 2 bout how much he’s committed…still scorin those important goals!

  • Fabrez!

    Yeah…Fulham have been playing well and getting better so credit 2 them. I must say i like the way the team celebrated the goal with Gallas…and huddled around him. Good team spirit after the captaincy situation. And says a thing or 2 bout how much he’s committed…still scorin those important goals!

  • Debs

    Yeah, he’s done that loads of times for us this season and last, even when everyone’s turned against him. I think the players really respect him, hence the celebration. He’s definitely committed, and it would be a big loss for us if he leaves- I do hope he stays, I really do- it wouldn’t be funny if we end up saying what we sometimes say about Flamini and Hleb- if only we kept them. Mr Wenger did say no one is leaving, so if anyone does end up leaving, it’ll probably be because they wanted to. But anyways, that’s next month’s worry (it’s not that far of now, is it? lol) so let’s just enjoy today’s gritty win and hopefully Hull will do us a favour 2moro…

  • Maxi (Pissed off)

    < ![CDATA[I would not have thought about saying anything in this forum till January 31. However, Zohaib's brilliant analysis has really been impressive. Your the man Zohaib, keep entertaining us with your ruthless, precise and sophisticated analysis.

    Am really behind you with what ever you say. Even if you call Wenger a bloody fool I will accept without doubt.]]>

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

    < ![CDATA[I can't see us buying Matthew Upson, even though I'd love him to come back to Arsenal. I just can't see Wenger admitting he was wrong.

    I enjoyed the match actually - took me back to about 13 years ago, pre Wenger. It was nice to sing 1-0 to the Arsenal at the end and see Adams reaction. Good times, like old days.

    I've been reading on some other boards some guys slating the team for losing, slating the team for drawing and now slating the team for not winning. I wonder if we won 5-0 every match would those same guys moan that we were too predictable?!]]>

  • zohaib

    Thanks for the kind words Maxi !