Arsenal vs Birmingham Preview

The International break is over… it’s time to get back to the wonderful game that is the Premier League. Regular WOA reader would have noticed that there were no posts on Wednesday and Thursday this week. In fact, although being very true (technically), I do have two half written posts – not fit to publish, about 1) Nasri’s return and what it means to us and 2) The average attendances of the Emirates…

Here’s a few quotes from the unpublished articles…

“We do love Samir Nasri don’t we. He’s awesome. Last year, around January / February he was one of the first people I wanted to see on the team sheet. His two goals against Man United in his first competitive match against the Mancs won my heart over and his all together all round ability of skill, pace and trickery boded well. He did seem to get really fat around Christmas last year, but at pre-season, he seemed to have lost his puppy fat and looked sharp.”

But don’t fear, they will be completed and published next week… no doubt…

So onto the major talking point of today… the return of Eduardo to face Birmingham… but unfortunately, the Crozilian is out of action, still injured and maybe that’s a good thing, so it doesn’t become a major thing, which may disturb the approach and ethos of tomorrow’s game – three points on the board – that’s all we’re after.

In other injury news, Fabianski is back, but I suspect he will be on the bench as he’s not had much match practice and Almunia is rated 50:50, and I doubt he’d be rushed into a game, when Mannone has done well and is still the only keeper 100% fit with the appropriate match practice.

Both Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby have got little knocks on their ankles and both may miss the game too.

The line up could well be:

Mannone

Sagna – Gallas – Vermalen – Gibbs

Song – Ramsey

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin

Van Persie

With a bench of Fabianski, Senderos, Silvestre, Eboue, Walcott, Vela and Bendtner.

Arsene spoke ahead of tomorrow’s game:

“It is a difficult question to answer at the moment because we don’t have everybody back and we don’t have news from Bendtner and Arshavin. But Clichy got a little knock on his ankle and Diaby was kept out of the French squad last night because of an ankle problem as well. But we believe the problem to Diaby should be very minor. Eduardo is  not available, he is too far away. Almunia could be available for the game. It is 50:50.  Fabianski is available and will be in the squad for the weekend. As for Nasri, I believe he could be back in the group for the Liverpool game. If all goes well he could be in the team.”

Based on Arsene’s words, I’d expect both Clichy and Diaby to be back in the squad for Tuesday game against AZ Alkmaar.

So, if I asked anyone who the man of the moment is down at the Emirates, surely everyone would agree it’s Thomas Vermaelen. He’s our top scorer in the league and has contributed immensely to our defensive manner. I love this guy! And apparently so does everyone – he’s won the Player of the Month and it’s truly deserved – well done Thomas.

Cesc has been in the press and had this to say about the Belgium International:

“These days, to have a centre back that can play, you know, these balls on the ground, between the lines, and past players, for players like me in midfield it’s really good because it gives you so much time and so much space on the ball. It’s really good. He’s like one more midfielder.”

Cesc also went on to talk about how big the Premier league is and his desire to win it and win it soon. Get in there Cescito!

“I’ve realised with every year how big the Premier League is. Growing up it’s about Champions League and World Cups. But, once you come to play here, you realise how the fans live for the Premier League. The league is really competitive and I like it a lot. I think in England the Premier League is the biggest thing. All the top teams in Europe want to win their own league but the English is the hardest to win. I want to win it even more now than when I first arrived.”

So, there we have it, the Premier League is back… my interest in all things worthy re-ignited. Arsenal vs Birmingham tomorrow at 3pm.. let’s do it…

Come on you Gunners!

  • wills

    Really can’t wait for 3pm tomorrow to come about! It’s been far too long!

    Line up looks spot on and it’d be nice to see Ramsey start a League game, especially after his free kick for Wales.

    Hopefully Birmingham will realise they’re not going to win this one so won’t got for the old ’10 men behind the ball’ strategy. If they do come out and have a go, there is no doubt we will see some goals!

    Another screamer from Vermaelen?!

  • wills

    Just seen on SSN that both Clichy and Bendtner are out for tomorrows game. Bendtner picked up a groin injury in training and Clichy is still carrying a knock from the international break.

    Diaby on the other hand has apparently been passed fit.

  • Pete

    It’s nice to be back isn’t it. Thank goodness the internationals are finally over, have really missed the Gunners action these last two weeks.

    Regarding tomorrows game, Almunia and Diaby have been passed fit, according to SSN, so I’d expect them to be featuring, although I do think Aaron Ramsey has earned a start thanks to his form for Wales. It’s a good game for Almunia to come back and settle into as its a home game against not the most difficult opposition. Whatsmore, Birmingham will have a few players unavailable too, so its encouraging signs for us so far to up our tally of goals difference. Hopefully none of our players will have their legs broken this time round too!

    I too am kind of relieved that not only Eduardo but Martin Taylor wont feature. All I want is a good win and 3 points for the Gunners. I think tomorrows a good oppertunity to make up some lost points, as teams like Liverpool, City and United have doubts to some of their key players, and ‘Arrys Sp*r are away to what will probably be a hostile Portsmouth, so hopefully we’ll see ourselves one or two places higher up the table by the end of the weekend.

    Also read that Sol Campbell has been training with the Gunners since he walked out of Notts County, so maybe thats been a help to our defencive players training alongside such an experienced footballer. Maybe Arsene should sign him on a free loan lol :P

    Anyway, its good to have the lads back. Hopefully they’ll pick up where they left off before the international interruption. Good luck lads.

  • Fo

    Yipee… the premiership is back. Bad news guys – Diaby is fit and will probably play :-(

    But good to see Gibbs get a run out…!

  • Pete

    Forgot to add my starting line up. I’d like to see

    Almunia

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs

    Cesc Song Rosicky

    Theo RvP Arshavin

    Have a sneaking suspicion that Diaby will start though.

  • Debs

    Don’t think either Ramsey or Rosicky’ll play, as they’ve both played twice during the break, and Wenger might think it’ll be too much asking them to play again this week, especially Rosicky…

  • Arsefan101

    Debs…

    If Diaby doesn’t make it and Ramsey doesn’t play – who will?
    Do you think Walcott will start instead of Rosicky?

  • Arsefan101

    Okay, so if Diaby starts and Almunia is fit to play… you think:

    Almunia

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Gibbs
    Song Diaby
    Theo Cesc Arshavin
    Van Persie

    ???

  • Debs

    Walcott’ll probably play instead of Rosicky. Ramsey’ll probably be on the bench. Maybe Eboue’ll play? I’m not too sure really…
    Excited about seeing Gibbs play, though!

  • Fabrez

    I read somewhere Gallas broke some teeth… Guess it wasn’t bad enuff to rule him out which is good! Well excited about seein him and Verm at the back. Quite amazing how Verm is our ‘extra’ midfielder…such a class player. He’s exactly the kind of guy we needed. Hope he continues to have a great season. Like any1 who supports Arsenal, I’d love to see us get a better balance between attacking and defending. I was thinking that it’s something we can get better at gradually but that’s assuming the players and coaches are really working at it in training and behind the scenes. In fairness, I kno it’s a relaitively new formation so I guess it’s natural that we’re taking a while to get used to it. I’m lookin fwd 2 seein Theo a lot…and seein Gibbs shud b nice too! Arsh and RvP…their names speak for themselves! Exciting times!

    As for our line-up… Hmm… I think it will be…

    Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Verm Gibbs
    Diaby Song
    Theo Cesc Arsh
    RvP

  • sam

    All our players are exceptionally talented and exciting to see, so I’ll be happy with any lineup that gets us 3 safe points.
    I’m flying out of China while the game is on, so please post updates of the game.Thanks!

  • Fabrez

    Hmm…on a random-ish note…it’s quite amazing how different players’ body can handle different things…i mean… I’m really suprised Rosicky hasn’t had more muscular setbacks due to the long time out…just 2 I believe… Edu has had quite a bit…maybe like 6 between last season & this season so far… And I get the impression that Edu was eased in more safely/slowly than Rosicky was! I’m just glad we have them back at all!

  • Fabrez

    Oh yeah…and Tomas was out for 19 months or so while Dudu was out for 12… weird!

    Excited about 3pm! K.O. is taking so long to arrive!

  • Pete

    TEAMS Arsenal v Birmingham

    Arsenal: Mannone, Eboue, Gallas, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Fabregas, Song Billong, Diaby, Walcott, van Persie, Rosicky.

    Subs: Almunia, Sagna, Ramsey, Silvestre, Wilshere, Arshavin, Traore.

    Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Roger Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Larsson, Ferguson, Bowyer, Carsley, McFadden, Jerome.

    Subs: Maik Taylor, O’Connor, Phillips, McSheffrey, Damien Johnson, Bent, O’Shea.

    Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

  • sam

    Chelsea lost! ManU will hopefully draw. We can then move to top of the table if we win our game & our game in hand.
    Go Gunners!

  • CON-MAN

    Any streams where i can watch this? very pleased chelsea lost

  • Fabrez

    For once Chelsea didn’t mount one of their infamous come-backs! Arsenal have started brightly…Cesc played in Rosicky…just missed! Rosicky had another chance but couldn’t capitalise. Liam Ridgewell of Birmingham makes a genuine attempt to be Steven Taylor #2 but fails to break Theo’s leg thank goodness. Theo comes back on the field has a crack and Hart makes a gr8 save. Rosicky had another chance…got a hold of it but just wide. Rosicky looking good…Arsenal looking great.

  • Pete

    1-0 RvP

  • Fabrez

    Through ball from Song…neat footwork from RvP…and… Goallllllllll!! 1-0 to the Arsenal

  • http://yahoo.com joel sequeira

    manu scored courtesy own goal!
    Go bolton ! make a come bck..
    Goooooooooo!!! GooooooonnnErrrrssss!!

  • Pete

    2-0 Arsenal Diaby :D

  • Fabrez

    Lovely to see Song playing consecutive games and Robin not looking injury-prone. Great stuff! Diaby…2-0!

  • http://yahoo.com joel sequeira

    Arsenal score 2!!!!! second by diabyyy!!! wwwwwwwoooooooWWW!!1

  • Fabrez

    Assist: Rosicky

  • Pete
  • Pete

    atdhe.net/9904/watch-arsenal-vs-birmingham-city

  • sam

    Thank you Gunners!
    As it stands, we’re 3rd.
    No.1, here we come.

  • Marc Callan

    Pete

    ur a legend

  • Pete

    :D You’re welcome mate!

  • Pete

    Arshavin on for Walcott whose stuggling to shrug off a knock

  • Pete

    2-1 Birmingham

  • Fabrez

    Vito came for the ball and lost it…Bowyer takes advantage of the keeper’s dropping of the ball…smacks it home! 2-1

  • Fabrez

    Arshavin has a chance to make it 3! But good save from Hart! Top shot from the little Russian…hard along the ground at the base of the near post. Arsenal need to show character! C’mon u reds!

  • Fabrez

    HT: Arsenal 2 B’ham 1

  • Fabrez

    B’ham have some confidence about them…their fwd Jerome is a thorn in the side. Arsenal need to get that crucial 3rd goal…

  • Fabrez

    Arsenal starting to look better…

  • Fabrez

    Yet another RvP freekick hits the woodwork… Nice try Robin…

  • Pete

    Sagna on for Rosicky

  • Fabrez

    Arsenal pushing but that 3rd goal just eluding us… Birm’ham by no means out of it yet…10 mins or so to go. The next goal is ever so important…still 2-1 to the Arsenal.

  • Pete

    3-1 Arshavin!!!

  • Fabrez

    Birmingham being very positive…more or less end to end stuff. We’re set for a tense finish…

  • Fabrez

    3 POINTS TO THE GUNNERS!

  • Fabrez

    Arshhhhhhhhh!!! What a goal…defenders backed off…Arsh just curled it past the far post. Nice!

  • Pete

    4 mins added time. Wilshere on for Eboue

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    diaby is having a good game?

  • Fabrez

    Ummm…not bad Josiah…given the ball away a few times which was a bit frustrating but scored and had a great chance just now but Hart saved it. He’s been ok all in all.

  • Pete

    Full time 3-1!!! WOOHOO!!!

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    Thanks for the stream by the way :)

  • Pete

    Blimey, what a game. We had to grind out that win and conceded another silly goal, but we’re 4th in the league with a game in hand. Well done lads.

  • Pete

    Not worries mate :D

  • http://worldofarsenal.co.uk Josiah

    Good, im glad diaby managed to get a goal, i will have to watch match of the day tonight as i only started watching the stream at half time.

    Another 3 points to the gunners :)

    Get in

  • Fabrez

    Yeah Pete…that was a grind and a half if u ask me! Good charater and mettle shown tho. Mannone had a howler with the goal but what a save to keep it at 2-1 then Arsh showed us why Arsene paid £15m for him. Good good stuff!

  • Fabrez

    Yeah Josiah…another 3 points feels great! We’re making the Emirates our fortress…I’m lovin it!

  • Pete

    Definately mate, am well impressed, especially as its the first game after the internationals, always a potential banana skin. Loved the fact that we broke them down when they pretty much defended in their own half for big spells. And as you said, that 1 goal was the only one of the few mistakes Mannone did all game. Eboue and Diaby didn’t do too badly, and Song’s passing was pretty good, especially his assist for the first goal. Hope Theo’s ok, he was doing very well before he came off.

    Well done to the Arsenal, “by far the greatest team the world has ever seen” :D

  • Pete

    Btw, did anyone else hear about the balloon that scored against Liverpool? lol :D :D :D

  • http://yahoo.com joel sequeira

    Yeh lol , the ballon that bent darrens shot into liverpools goal ! One more thing jose M shoould keep his foul breath out of the premiership … he dare compare him self to the professor!! Great win today we were cohisive! Goo Gooooners!

  • VJ

    great stuff guys, wondering if mannone really has replaced almunia or wenger was just resting him, we shall find out on tuesday on champions league. Another good griding out result, plenty of chances for us, what worries me is that it is these kinds of perfformances which make diaby seem a real class act but i dont hink he can keep it up. hopefully walcott wont be too badly injured a great game from song, lots of hard cruching tackles that shut birmingham up, a quiet game for our centre halves unusually but a good weekend for us so far, Chelsea continue to fail, man u still riding their luck, liverpool quite opposite. A city loss tomorrow should take pressure of us a bit.

  • Berth

    liked VPS Control bf his goal – absolutly el magnifico

  • zohaib