A small(ish) Hull Preview

Arsene has revealed some early squad news ahead of the game tomorrow and it looks like we'll have a few players out / rested whom we thought may have played. Aaron Ramsey being a strange player to be rested tomorrow as he's not featured in the first team much at all.

Arsene released this statement earlier today:

“Arshavin had eight stitches in his foot but he is still in the squad. We will make a decision tomorrow. He is desperate to be involved. He just wants to play. He couldn’t practice today but we’ll assess him tomorrow morning. Almunia is out – he would not have played anyway but he is a doubt for Saturday. Also Kieran Gibbs will play tomorrow night, Clichy is completely rested. Aaron Ramsey is not in the squad too. At the moment he is growing in stature and a bit tired so we will rest him. Apart from that everybody is in.”

So based on this, plus the fact that Eduardo has a groin strain, both Ade and Cesc are out, we can probably guess tomorrow’s line up with the available players:

Fabianski
Sagna – Djourou – Gallas – Gibbs
Walcott – Song – Diaby – Vela
Bendtner – Van Persie

With Mannone, Eboue,  Toure, Denilson, Nasri, Bischoff and Arshavin warming the bench.

Whether Eboue will start ahead of Walcott and whether Nasri could be involved are also options, but I’m sure we’ll find out more tomorrow.

An interesting something something from Arsene after the game on Saturday, whereby he talks about Bendtner and Eboue and how he thought Eboue would never score! Take a read:

“Of course Eboue’s an example for Bendtner. Bendtner will [turn it around] I am not worried about that, I was more worried about Eboue at one stage. Fans want performances and that is the only way we have to respond. I am pleased that Eboue starts to score because it looked to us that he could never score goals. It shows as well the importance of a psychological factor because he scored last week, again this week and could have scored another one. Before that he never looked like scoring so it’s more in their heads sometimes. If he had not scored his goal, and not scored last week, he would not have taken the penalty today and that tells you the importance of confidence. We have already tied up Eboue’s contract – that has been done for a long time.”

Now, when you’re compared to Eboue, you know you’re doing something wrong.

More tomorrow.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[I understnd this guy (Bedtner), and I also understand that most of us are overwelmed by Saturdays victory.

    But guys lets face the reality, Bedtner wont be a Torres or an Anelka in future, Infact for us to stand a chance next season, He (bedtner) has to go and so should Adebayor; Its hard to say this especially with the resounding victory, but ..................................................]]>

  • Debs

    Not everyone needs to be a Torres or an Anelka to be good enough for Arsenal. For all you know Bendtner could even well turn out to be better than those 2. I wouldn’t compare him with anyone else, I’ll just wait and see whether he can develop himself into someone that’s good enough for us. I think the signs are there. Anelka and Torres are not a/the standard, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[Deb not in this very life. Potentials don't hide. Cesc had the potential, Walcott had the ability, that's why you see them perform this good. We have been following Bedtner for a while and nothing to show for it. People will say his young, but honestly what we need now are quality strikers that can finish with both feet.

    Lets face a fact; Eduardo is our best finisher followed by possibly V. P. But in reality this 2 cant play as a top strikers, they are better off as support strikers.

    However, our two point man, Bedtner and Adebayor are okay but not quality finishers, they can shoot with both feet (right footed) but not as quality as Edu's finish.

    Deb for a serious challenge to be mounted, one of the two has to go to create room for Walcott or a natural striker that is two footed and scores 85% of chances created for him; if not done am afraid we will keep living at the edge of our seat.

    This past few weeks I understand Ebuoe has been scoring, He still is not an intelligent player and won't be better than that. May be he has the ability (Wenger knows better), but not for me.]]>

  • Debs

    Yeah, I understand your points and I agree, we do need top quality finishers and Bendtner isn’t one at the moment. If I was Wenger, I’d get a top finisher, but keep Bendtner. We moaned all season about not having enough strength in depth and getting rid of one player to get another will not be helping matters.

  • jeffvip

    I agreed we need Bendtner here for the aerial threats. Since It is Hull so I think Eboue should be more suitable to start compare to Walcott as he has more steel inside his body. BTW, who know Bendtner cant be a Torres in the future? Just like what happen to Flamini last season…

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Both Bendtner and Adebayor aren't good enough to be at Arsenal. Bendtner's still young, so he's got time to develop, and he is a good backup striker for us. We probably won't get someone his age as good as him for a kind price, to be a 4th choice striker. Adebayor, though, is 26ish and he's certainly not good enough for someone his age, to be at a top 4 club in England. He's not a great finisher and relies too much upon the team playing well, for him to score a goal. He doesn't know the offside rule and wastes more chances than our other 3 strikers combined. If you thought Bendtner was rubbish in front of goal, against Blackburn, you've forgotten Ade. Bendtner was just having a bad day compared to Ade. We definitely need to sell him. He keeps reminding us how Barcelona and AC Milan wanted him last year. Maybe we should send him off. There are other strikers on the market. We should try to get one of them. We have Bendtner for the aerial threat. We could go for someone tall but not necessarily. Although now that we have Arshavin, Walcott and Vela, we might not need another quality finisher. So maybe getting another tall guy is most likely. It has to be someone better than Ade, and believe you me, many exist who are far better than him. We know about Kenwyne Jones. Then there's the French stiker Bafetimbi Gomis. I'm sure there are others too. Wenger would know.
    David Villa and Benzema should be available in the transfer market as well, and it'll be interesting to see where they end up. I don't know if we really need them. Of course, they'd be pretty useful to have but we're not exactly the richest club yet. I heard Villa wasn't going outside of Spain. And Benzema might be heading to Barcelona, with Villa possibly moving to Real Madrid.
    Maybe Wenger still fancies Roque Santa Cruz. We know he's moving at the end of the season too.]]>

  • zohaib

    In other news, Edin Dzeko, who was apparently an Arsenal target, is set to stay at Wolfsburg.

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[We wont be signing anymore strikers, we have:

    RVP
    Edu
    Ade
    Arshavin
    Walcott
    Bendtner
    Vela

    Who can all play up front and at least 3 of them are world class.

    Adebayor is off form at the moment, but he was one of the top strikers in the league last year. I'm sure he'll get back to that level and the competition for places should force him to step it up a level.]]>

  • zohaib

    I think any such statements are premature at the moment. We’ll see what happens once the season ends. It depends on how we do in each competition. I read an article where Toure refused to commit his future to Arsenal. He said he’ll decide in the summer.

  • zohaib

    And obviously I said Ade needs to be sold and them we could get a replacement. I didn’t say we just buy another striker on top of the 6 we already have. Obviously when one goes, we can accomodate another, just like we are doing now.

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Having players like Ade and Bendtner is probably more about team balance, making sure we don't have too many players who are very similar to each other. They may not be the best goal scorers as they're the big target men, but they spearhead the attack and bring the 10 players on the team into the game. Plus they cause a lot of problems for the oppositions defence, so these guys aren't completely useless. Bendnters finishing might be off, but he links up well with the other players around him. Remember, he played as the lone striker when we beat Man United this season. But I hear what you're saying. Ideally, we'd have a big, strong, target man who is also a top quality finisher. A Torres, Drogba, Carew, or Thierry Henry type. But I still think there's a lot more to come from most of the players we have, including Ade and Bendtner.

    As for tonights game, I'm excited, and a little nervous. We definately have the ability to beat Hull, but they'll fancy their chances, so i dont think it'll be easy. I'm hoping Arshavin is ok to play tonight because he's simply been fantastic to watch in his handful of games.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[I still insist one really has to go. Ade or Bedtner, one should just leave. They miss too many chances. And of cause when they miss this chances, what do you guys think will be playing on V.p's head or Arshavin and Co. Am sure this does frustrates the players.

    Am so worried about this issue because of next season, people will want more; the league will be more competitive more aggressive and more precise. Most teams will try to establish perfection in all departments, and for us having 2 not convincing strikers like Bedtner and Ade could be suicidal.

    Its good to see this coming before it escalates to a problem.]]>

  • Yemi

    < ![CDATA[I don't think wenger has dissapointed me yet. Ade was not scoring because he was not getting the necessary supply, if he plays with arshaving or cesc or even song (on the last 2 games form), i beleive he will perform. Bendtner is still young, lets support him so says the boss as quoted below

    "Just imagine if he had taken two of his chances [on Saturday], everyone would have said what a great game he had.

    "He was not far away from taking two chances so let’s support him, be positive and encourage him."]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I think AW needs to buy defenders before he considers the attacking options unless Ade wants to leave this summer.

    We need another RB and CB, just cover players so not major money that needs to be spent and then if Ade leaves then we will buy a target man that has a clinical finish.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Good point Gooner Get Ya !

    I think we need to strengthen up the defence before we do anything with the attack. We could even sell Ade and get some second string defenders with the money. We wouldn't necessarily need to buy another striker since we have Vela and Walcott as backup to Eduardo, VanPersie, Bendtner and Arshavin.]]>

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

    < ![CDATA[NO!

    No more second string anythings!

    Arsenal need a first class centre back. Toure doesn't get on well with Gallas - and if Arsene had to choose I'm almost certain Gallas would get the kick (though mainly due to his age).

    We don't want to be suplementing our squad with second string defenders. We've got a first class youth team to draw talent from lets get in an established centre back and win us some medals.]]>

  • Pete

    Totally agree about defence. As good as Sagna is, he looks pretty tired, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m sure he’s played the most minutes of fooball in the last month or so. Besides Eboue, we dont seem to have another recognised RB. Toure and Gallas’ recent injuries occured very closely together too, so CB cover is needed too. If push comes to shove, then replacing a player is far more suitable than just getting rid them. That forces remaining player to take on extra workload. If we do sell anyone, we’ve got to make sure we buy a capable replacement to come in.

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Come on Arsenal!
    I'm well up for a trip to Wembley.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Calm down. I obviously meant backup when I said second string. We need strength in depth at the back if we want to avoid facing a crisis if we're hit with injuries yet again.

    And it would be Gallas for me too. And Silvestre too. To leave or be kicked in the summer, hopefully.

    I don't know, if Gallas and Silvestre were to leave in the summer, whether any of our 'first class youth' players will be ready to step up to that level. We'll be left with Toure and Djourou in the center with possibly Senderos still being a Gunner. I'd want him replaced as well. We'll need at least 2 CB's if that were to happen. We have enough cover at LB. We have almost enough cover at RB as well. But at CB we'll only be left with Toure and Djourou. So 2 more there please. One could possibly be Nordveit from the youth. So maybe we'd be okay if we bought 1. But all this, assuming Gallas, Silvestre and Senderos will all leave, which I highly doubt will happen, though how I wish it would, only if we did get better defenders in their place. Because I'm pretty sure they exist. Don't know if they're on the market.]]>

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

    Exactly – so we don’t even need backup – we need 1st teamers if either Gallas/Toure go.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Not quite. Assuming whoever we do get will be another 20 year old youngster, as usual. If it's a 30 year old it's another problem. Toure and Djourou being the first teamers, anybody else will be backup.

    Unless you're telling me that we're getting Skrtel from Liverpool or Vidic from Utd, it'll probably be another average defender who'll take time to develop. Hence, backup.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Do you know any decent CB's on the market who're between 23 and 28 who will be available in the summer ?

    Exactly.]]>