Weekend Preview

Games are coming thick and fast at the moment and after a summer of emptiness, we’ve had two games in relatively quick succession and before we know it, we’ll be travelling to the Emirates for our first home game of the season, and it will be a very sweet return to the Emirates as I’ve seriously missed the venue. Having said that, the Emirates Cup was a good early visit – but now it means something.

We have Portsmouth this Saturday and I’ll be previewing the game in it’s entirety tomorrow, but early good news is that Eduardo will be back, as Arsene revealed he is was only withdrawn as a precaution.

“Eduardo had a tight groin in the warm-up and he felt he could not play. He had no power and we had to change [the team sheet] quickly. Eduardo I believe will be back in contention but Theo Walcott will not be back at all. Rosicky, Djourou, Nasri, Fabianski – they will all be out. There is a slight concern [over Walcott's back injury] but we believe it is a question of days and not of weeks. We will see [if he is fit to face Manchester United next Saturday]. It is always difficult to set a date. I thought he would be available for Celtic, I thought he would be available for Everton, but he wasn’t. That’s why we will be cautious.”

And that’s brilliant news – with many people under the impression that Eduardo may be out for longer. Walcott too looks to miss this weekend as well as the midweek game and is back at the right time, as Man United will be our biggest test of our credentials this season.

It’s pretty amazing that we’ve played two games and scored 8 goals, and none of Arshavin, Bendtner or Van Persie have scored, with goals coming from midfield and defence. When the front three do start firing, we’ll certainly get a few more goals in the locker this season and I really think that they could get off the ground this weekend against Portsmouth. In my opinion, Arshavin has looked off the mark so far this season and I think there is much more for him to come. He looks a little unfit, a little leggy, so a home game against a club struggling for goals could be a prime opportunity to dismount Sp*rs off the top of the league.

(P.S. Framed pictures of Sp*rs top of the league are available at the Sp*rs shop for £19.99 signed by Sol Campbell – and there is also a DVD coming out about it very soon).

There has been a good start to the season in terms of performance as well as in terms of togetherness too, and Almunia has been in the press talking about the spirit as well as the signing of Thomas Vermaelen.

“The things we had to improve were the communication, our positions on the pitch, how to work as a unit and as a team. There were many things to improve. All the team is defending well. The midfielders and strikers are defending all together and Thomas Vermaelen is a good signing for us. He’s a very good player, a good defender, great left foot, good in the air. He is complete. But we have to keep going. Thomas looks like he’s been at the club for more than a few months. He’s a very calm player. He’s a very tough player, a great defender. He is very relaxed and that makes the people around him relaxed as well. Not only William Gallas, but me Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna as well. We have confidence about this player.”

The signing of Thomas Vermaelen seems be a master stroke of genius from Arsene. He’s really added some steadiness to our team, some assurance – for those of you who watched the Celtic game, an amazing track back, brilliant recovery pace and his efforts saved a goal. Awesome stuff. If you’ve been watching Sky Sports news, you may have heard the interview with Gael Clichy who discusses the departure of Kolo Toure saying that players will leave, but Arsenal will always remain better after their departure. Also hinting that Vermaelen is a more than adequate replacement.

All I can say is that it’s an awesome start to the season – the two games – at Everton and the Champions League at Celtic – were very hard games and we did very well to win both and look so comfortable.

In a little bit more of an insight, Arsene did admit that the stadium has obviously affected our spending power and that is why we had to sell Toure and Adebayor, especially at a £42m combined package, whilst only bringing in one player – but if you do it right, like Arsene, then you can put an attractive team together, get into and stay in the top four, challenge for honours and service the debt…

Arsene on the debt:

“Arsenal will be more successful by building a new stadium, but it is not easy to build a new stadium and remain where you are. Look at all the clubs who have built new stadiums and where they are now: Derby County; Leicester City; Coventry City; Southampton. They all went down.”

Exciting times ahead, an action packed weekend of football ahead, more tomorrow…

  • Leeroy.N

    Hello DEV. Seems like an eternity since I last posted. HAHA! I’m looking forward to this weekend. I like the way we are play so early in the season, not typical, not flashy.. but efficient. It’s the kind of shake up we have needed. A little change in tactics, a little change in positioning. Players have seemd to have done their homework for games and players they will be facing. Vermaelen is an excellent buy for us and Wenger even said hes’s been watching him for a little while too. Our players seemed to have matured over this off and pre-season. Bring on this weekend!

    Win, Lose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!

  • jeffvip

    I like the Arsene on debt section. HAHA. AW also like to jerk others. LOL

  • Berth

    Dev thanks for your response to my initi quest.

  • Al

    Lets not carried away fellow gooners.
    One bad result to ports, manu or man c,
    and an injury or two
    and im sure will b slagging the team off
    and calling for signings again.
    Celtic took a lot outa us and will make us
    tierd for ports and again for manu.
    Lets judge the team after man c as at
    that point will have a clear view how far
    we really have come.
    Remember the celtic Games are games
    we really shouldnt b involved in, it jus puts us
    where man u chels and liver are in the group
    stage but a game down in the leauge and
    tierd legs for the all important man u game.
    I am confident things have changed but we only have three points.

  • Adeniyi

    Nice! Nice!! Nice!!!.. Brilliant Article.

  • Fabrez

    Good read as always. Well excited about 2moro!

  • Alli P

    Lovely article, but we still have a lot to do. Getting the strikers in goal scoring form is also vital. There need to show they can fight with the rest of the teams ambition for a trophy.
    Arshavin we are waiting.

  • AJ

    I agree with you on Arshavin looking a little bit lathergic on the pitch, but I agree, after a good home game he will be back to his best and I still can’t believe none of the strikers have scored (except for Eduardo who got that tap in at the end of the everton game). As for Vermaelen, I think Wenger has found another gem of a player and that track back in the celtic game was superb, I have genuinely been impressed by him, maybe he will be like Sagna and have a fantastic first season? Either way, I’m not going to get carried away and say we’re going to win the league or the CL, but it’s been a good start and I was happy for us to “grind out” the Celtic result and that we seem to be shooting more from range and not trying to pass the ball into the net in these first two games. Either it’s a promising start, lets hope the team keep it up.

  • BLESSING MONYE

    we the fans in nigeria are seriously standing firm 2 see that arsenal (THE GUNNERS) will stand 4ever in the apex, more grease 2 the elbow of the gunners.

  • Yemi

    You know all these teams have a way of coming strong against arsenal, so i wont write portsmouth off but i sure as hell hope to see a good margin win and another clean sheet.

  • Yemi

    le boss has said “NO Hangeland !!!”

  • Leeroy.N

    I will be happy with a good winning result, atleast two goals clear. I would love a clean sheet too. But the Win is more important. Those 3 points are what counts.. no matter how we get them. Come on you Gunners!

    Win, Lose or Draw… Gooner Til I Die!!

  • kuka

    …Rumor has it that Fulham is in for Senderos. Despite Arsene refuting Hangeland’s interest, could there be some fire hidden in the smoke? Fresh rumors abound on Vieira too…

  • dave

    another player out injured after international duty vela out for a month ankle injury when is this injury curse ever going to leave us

  • Marc Callan

    Read the Viera rumour, not sure to make from it, regarding Hangeland, Arsene might just be saying that so to detract the newspapers from banging on about it…whoeveris going to the game, have a good day and hopefully we get a clean sheet…

  • zohaib

    Vela’s out for a month with an ankle injury …

  • Marc Callan

    So any guesses on the old team line up…mine are:
    Almunia.

    Sagna. Gallas. Vermalaen. Clichy

    Arshavin. Song. Denilson

    Fabregas. Van Persie.

    Edcuardo.

  • Marc Callan

    Very disappointed that Diaby is playing, would have stuck with Song unless he is carrying a knock

  • demzzz

    anyone has a live stream were i can watch this match!!??

  • khai

    GOAL FOR THE GUNNERS!! 1-0! diaby scored. amazing play by dudu! :)

  • khai

    2-0! Excellent counter! nice long pass from fab to eboue. a good square and diaby scores! looking to be a good game!

  • Leeroy.N

    I told you… I told you ALL!!! Diaby.. working hard.. coming back and showing us ALL what he is capable of!
    Come on you Gunners!

    Win, Lose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!

  • Leeroy.N

    MARC CALLAN – Diaby forgives you. LOL

  • khai

    seriously. this team is totally different now. everyone is working very hard. we’re more fluid! damn i’m watching this game at the edge of my seat. it could’ve 5-0 at this point! WE LOVE YOU GUNNERS!!

  • khai

    2-1! portsmouth scored from a header. damn that kaboul can really jump.

  • khai

    3-1. a free kick and a messy finishing by vermalen which got deflected off gallas’s body and face. haha.

  • Marc Callan

    Ok I stand corrected! I’m so surprised Edcuardo hasn’t scored, the amount of chances…team seems amazing…Fabregas off due to hamstring strain

  • Fabrez

    Gallas must have started his career as a striker…lol Good work Gunners! Hoping Cesc is off only as a precaution…

  • khai

    4-1! ramsey! now THIS IS ARSENAL!! nice pass by Van the Man! then again. our strikers have yet to convert. though i dun mind the goals coming from all over the team. : ))

  • Fabrez

    Wow…still no goals for our strikers… Ramsey makes it 4! Our midfield and Gallas have scored so many goals…it shows how amazing our movement has been. I expect Edu to get 1. 3 points in the bag!

  • sam

    I’m lovin’ it!
    The lack of goals from our strikers is a concern though.
    James is off… Target practice for RVP & NB.

  • kuka

    ….I am liking every moment of this….Great start to the season and confidence to the team too.

  • Leeroy.N

    HAHA @ MARC

    But I love the way we are playing. Wwith some much determination. Intelligence and Desire. Usually, after a a goal was pegged back, it would chip away at the teams confidence. But now it seems to fuel them to drive on, as well as scoring does. It’s not good to be happy with one goal. Score and score again, until they are dead and buried. I love this new mind-set.

    Win, Lose or Draw… Gooner Til I Die!!

  • VJ

    Great game guys hope fabregas and diaby are alright. was a bit dissopointed after 2-0 we just eased off a bit and allowed portsmouth that second goal. we really could have scored tn today but no matter job don. adebayor scored again which is a shame. we are really looking good now. still suprising out of 12 goals only one by a striker though they have got plenty of assists which gives a good reason. cant wait till wednesday.
    any comments?

  • Leeroy.N

    It’s good keeping clean sheets of course, but I think we done really well, kept our composure and went for the kill. I would trade all the clean sheets in a season, if we could win by that margin every game. HAHA!

    Win, Lose or Draw.. Gooner Til I Die!!

  • JDD

    another easy win 4 changes to the team and it was still a brilliant performance merida and ramsey looked good they seemed to fit in easily.were all but through to the group stages and bearing in mind we’ve got 2 trips to manchester for the next 2 i would like too see more changes to the side for the celtic game on wednesday.

    almunia
    gibbs djourou vermaelen eboue
    diaby song ramsey
    eduardo bedntner vela/merida

    still a strong line up.this would give gallas clichy sagna denilson fabregas van persie and arshavin a rest.

  • Marc Callan

    Skysports reporting Fabregas is out for 3 weeks