Match Preview: Fulham vs Arsenal

Morning everyone…

Apologies for the random and sporadic articles this week include a “No post today” post… but all systems are back in action… the crazy week has nearly ended and we take on Fulham tomorrow in our first London derby of the season… Of course, being two London teams will make the game a little spicy and Fulham are a team who have beaten us at Craven Cottage in recent times. A good win over Fulham will show that we’ve improved from last season and are ready to push on. With 6 points dropped already this season, we can’t afford to drop any more points and this game is certainly a test.

The work Roy Hodgson has done down at the Cottage is quite admirable – taking a much fancied for relegation side and making them a top half and in Europe side…! Arsene was full of praise for the Fulham manager:

“There’s no surprise at all. Because I believe that he’s a man of intelligence and of big experience. Yes, of course he’s among the top English managers. You look at his CV. I believe as well this is a job where you consider the lengths at a top level of a manager to consider ‘is he top level or not’. I believe he has [spent] a long time at the top level. That’s the most difficult thing.”

And his presence, tactical nous and way he’ll put his team out against us will make it a harder than average game. The good news is that it looks like we’ll have a few players back and the ones that didn’t play against West Brom will be rested… Arshavin is back in the squad against Fulham and Rosicky is also available… throw in Van Persie, Bendtner and Eduardo and Vela in and around the squad, we’ve finally got some sort of options… Vela may not be in the squad as the manager runs the rule over him in the reserves whilst he gains some match practice, but he will definitely feature soon…

“We have had Arshavin out [since the international break] and we had a problem with Van Persie during the week,” said Wenger. “But Arshavin should be back and Van Persie should be all right too. We have a test tomorrow with him. Almunia is still short, still a week away. Normally Mannone [would deputise] but we are 48 hours away from the game.”

Which leaves us – potentially – with this team:

Mannone

Sagna – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Song – Cesc

Arshavin – Rosicky – Eduardo

Van Persie

How good does that team look? It frankly looks awesome… whether or not Arsene will play the selected team is debatable, normally he’d opt for Bendtner, Eboue and Diaby somehow in the formation, but you have the technically better players Arshavin, Rosicky and Eduardo, it doesn’t make sense to play the former three players…! With Walcott also available, we’ll have a strong team and strong bench without a doubt this Saturday…

Okay, there’s a little bit of a preview you for you, let’s get behind the team this weekend and bring back the 3 points!

In other news, you may have heard that Sol Campbell has quit Notts County… to be honest, I thought it would happen and think we all did. Getting back into the team for the World Cup is cited as his main reason… and if you think about it, Sp*rs have just lost 4 central defenders… anyone ready to put a bet of him going back to the evil side of London???

Til tomorrow…

  • jien

    There are always critism that our squad is too small and do not have enough depth. but come to think of it, when everybody is fit, we actually have quite a big squad… Rvp, bendtner, eduardo, arshavin, rosicsky, walcott and vela competing for the front 3 positons… even eboue can be stationed up there..while in midfield, we have fab, denilson, song, nasri, ramsey and wilshere..and there are plenty of youngsters in the carling cup squad waiting for their chances to come. i am actually a little worried how wenger can keep them happy all season. Chamakh in january? no thanks..it will be too crowded in the dressing room…

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    Sol Campbell can’t go anywhere until January now, by which time Spurs will have most of their defenders back.

  • Debs

    Harry has said anyways, that he wouldn’t buy him. He was tempted to, before Sol chose Notts, but he decided against it because there’s just too much bad blood between him and the supporters.

  • Arsefan101

    Redknapp said he couldn’t and wouldn’t sign Sol… so he can’t play until Jan now? Unless he moves to the Championship for a club like Newcastle right?

    Re: our squad……. Wohoo, it looks like we have Walcott, Rosicky, Arshavin, Van Persie and Eduardo all available for this weekend…!!

  • devday

    Yes, it’s confirmed from Arsene and Theo that he may take part this weekend…

    “I’ve trained all week, hopefully I will play some part at the weekend and then we will go from there,” he highlighted.

    “I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m looking at the weekend and if I put in a good performance I might get a start on Tuesday, but it’s a good Arsenal team to get in at the moment so I’ve got to train well and see where it takes me.”

  • Fabrez

    Tough match ahead but with the squad we have to choose frm, we shud win maybe 2-1. Shud b an entertaining game! Look fwd to seeing us knick that 3 pts…even if we need 2 win ugly. C’mon u reds!!!

  • devday

    @Fabrez – good point – even with the technical ability of the Arshavin’s and Rosicky’s… any win would do, at this stage with two losses, it’s all about the 3 points… yes we lost to two “big teams” away from home, and yes Chelsea still have to play them, but we’re quite far behind considering it’s so early on in the season!

  • Fo

    When do Chelsea play a big team… we have to hope that they lose and we have to ensure we beat the other big teams at home in order to re-gain the points we’ve lost.

    Very exciting to have so many names back in the squad… tomorrow should be an awesome game!

  • Debs

    Interesting question on five live sports- who’s the most passionate player at the club? Man U have Rooney (and s long list of others), Liverpool have Gerrard…

    It’s quite a hard one for Arsenal, actually. But I’ll go with Van Persie. He’s one of those players who absolutely love Arsenal and always try their hardest.

    Can anyone think of anyone else?

  • Debs

    Perry Groves reckons Clichy…

  • Debs

    How could I forget a certain Mr Gallas! And Vermaelen looks like he’ll become one of those…

  • Fabrez

    Gallas is very passionate…no matter where he plays he’ll be like that…even if he were playing for Notts County! lol But Theo is very passionate too I feel…but second to Gallas bcuz he just takes the cake!

  • Fabrez

    A good way to gauge passion is in a goal celebration especially…n Gallas definitely shows it!

  • Debs

    Lol at Notts County! But yeah, Gallas IS pretty passionate. VP definitely is. One of his goal-celebrations that really stick in the back of the memory, was when he scored against Charlton in 2006 and celebrated wildly with the Arsenal fans.
    But I kind of think we need more passionate players at the club, sometimes. Because when things are not going to plan, you need those players that’ll stick their hand up and try and turn the situation around, because it’s quite easy for people’s heads to drop. Theo’s passionate, as well, but I think only if we had a few more players that’ve been at the club for almost like forever, and really want to play for the club, and don’t mind if they don’t get into the starting XI all of the time. Players like Giggs, Scholes, Gary Neville and Carragher. We don’t really have that many players ‘mature’ enough to take responsibility for the team on the pitch. Toure was one of such players. Maybe in another few years, we’ll have more of such players, when the current squad become much more older.
    But I kind of miss characters like Lehmann at the club though…

  • Fabrez

    Yeah…Lehmann… and Viera…those kinds of solid, uplifting, no nonsense and super-passionate players! Hmm…Viera doesn’t even get much playing time at Inter…again! I’m sure he was in pre-season n now I haven’t heard much or seen him play…been on the bench in the last 2 league games. He would be a nice face to have with Song at the African Cup… Just a thought…

  • Fabrez

    *Vieira

  • Fabrez

    I guess if Diaby & Denilson are fit, Wenger probably won’t go 4 him…but Vieira may be desparate to leave in Jan with the World Cup around the corner if he continues to stay on the bench! Guess we’ll see how things play out…I hope for no injuries tho…the less the injuries the quicker the players can mature & improve I guess…

  • Debs

    I know! Vieira at Arsenal in January, with Song at the ACN, even if just until the end of the season. How awesome would that be, eh? Maybe we should hope he doesn’t get playing time at Inter, making him keen to seek somewhere else, albiet if only on loan. He didn’t play the last game, even though he was on the bench. That’s more like it, Inter! Lol. And since it’s Diaby, he’s probably going to be injured by then! Lol. He’ll definitely be keen to play at the WC, and he knows he’ll be dropped if he’s not playing. And Wenger, being French, will definitely love to have Vieira play for France at the WC, and would probably try to help. Maybe Wenger already has a deal with Vieira along those lines? Don’t worry, I know I’m just day-dreaming! Lol. But it’ll be a good one, wouldn’t it?

  • JDD

    we got liverpool in the carling cup 4th round at the emirates october 27th or 28th. i hope wenger sticks with the youngsters because i think they could beat liverpool.