WOA 2010/2011 Season Preview

It’s that time of year when it’s no longer time to look back and indeed time to look forward… look forward to a great season ahead and what’s in store.

Our season starts this Saturday against Barnet before our Austrian tour kicks off next week. We’ve got the Emirates Cup in 2 weeks and a friendly against Liege Warsaw the weekend after the Cup and of course – that’s a week before we play Liverpool at Anfield in the Premiership. Of course, Liverpool is a tough start for any team – in any season. As much as any person says that Arsenal are “under performing” or “under achieving” (considering our investment and responsibilities, I think we’re doing very well)… Liverpool are a club in big trouble.

I mean BIG trouble… Debts are increasing daily, interest, loans, more loans, more interest – a genuine inability to finance themselves. A squad in decline, with a mish mash of a few very good players, a few decent others and a bunch of random players filling in gaps. Benetiz was sacked at the end of last season and they finished a lowly 7th. That kind of puts into perspective how we’ve done comparably – yes, we have spent less,  much less than Liverpool.

However, Liverpool vs Arsenal is just that, Liverpool vs Arsenal – and if anything, the perils going on at the club will act and their resolve to do well. Believe me it will be a tough opening. The rest of August has two other games – Blackpool at home and then Blackburn away. If we beat Liverpool, we could end August with a series of wins. And yes, for the first time in a while, we don’t have a Champions League qualifier, as when we finished third, we automatically qualified for the competition, which means that we really only have 3 games in August. And the transfer windows closes at the end of August, so we’ll see how well we’ve started with a chance to strengthen…

Our first big four battle (well after Liverpool) will be Chelsea away, which is in October… as in Man City away… We entertain Sp*rs at home in November – who will all but be knocked out of the Champions League by then… we play Man United at Old Trafford and then Chelsea at the Emirates in December in quick succession with Stoke sandwiched in between. As usual it’s the winter months that have some hard tests – but if you want to win the league, then you’ve got to play everyone twice, don’t you?

We entertain Man City at home in early January, and then have a series of cup games until we take on Sp*rs away, with a few tricky away ties, aka West Ham and Newcastle also in February – we have a pretty straightforward March, maybe because there are International friendlies… but April could be a nightmare, with a potential semi final in the FA cup, then Liverpool at home and then a Champions League game and another home game, this time to Man United – all in the space of two weeks. Oh, with one of our favourite grounds Bolton, away, in there too…

My advice? Let’s wrap it up by March.

In the last couple of days, I’ve been pondering the formations we’ll play and with so many attackers and midfielders at the club, will Chamakh play up top, on the right, on the left? Let’s take a look at who’s on the books:

Goalkeepers

Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny

Defenders

Eboue, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Nordtveit, Clichy, Gibbs, Traore

Midfielders

Fabregas, Song, Nasri, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere, Ramsey, Eastmond, Walcott, Rosicky, Arshavin

Strikers

Van Persie, Niklas Bendtner, Maroune Chamakh, Eduardo, Carlos Vela

Now, there is a fairly big squad of players, there is some serious strengthen in depth. But there are some considerations to be made about the quality of the first team. There are no doubts that we have a lot of decent players. A lot of players,who, on their day, can be very very good players, but let’s take a look at the squad and look at what our first XI would be and what positions could better it. There are some areas to me that look like we could do with better – and the goalkeeping position stands out – but if rumours are to be known, then we’re looking to strengthen in that area. The centre backs look light, and I say that only because I don’t really know how Nordtveit will do, neither do I know much about Koscielny nor do I know the fitness of Djourou. There is always a question mark over who will partner Cesc and Song in the middle of the park in our 4-3-3, but it does like we have enough options, and unless one or two go, I doubt Arsene will bring in anyone else.

We have 6 weeks until the transfer window closes, approximately 4 weeks until we travel to Anfield for the opening day of the season and just 2 days until our first friendly…

Just before I sign off, a word directed in the favour of Thierry Henry – who has finally left Barcelona after being treated abysmally – what else would you expect? And joined MLS side “New York Red Bulls”… I hope he does well and rumours are that he may be joined by Freddie Ljungberg too… someone should tell the MLS side that Silvestre, Gallas and Sol Campbell are available on a free…

But in all seriousness, Good Luck Thierry… we’ll all become secret New York fans too now…

  • Kodjo

    @ Dev

    i’ve seen djourou left knee in a wrap during training…i wonder if he has realy gotten over his injury…or its just a precautionary measure…either way he could get crocked any time …leaving the centre back position threadbare…

    i am aprehensive that we are starting the season without an experienced premiership tested centre back…..

    i’m surprised that wenger hasnt made a move in this area… is Kos the answer??? Verminator is still learning his trade in this position….why pair him with another inexperienced centre back…i think wenger is taking a massive gamble if he goes into the season with the current batch of centre backs

    you wonder whats the point in strengthening the forward lines whilst leaving the backline still gaping????

    only wenger has the answer but to me its obvious…maybe he is lining up jagielka or cahill who knows????

  • ny

    We should accept that Spurs has a better team

    ———-Gomes
    Kaboul–King-Dawson-Bale
    Lennon-Modric-Palacios-Kranjcar
    —Defoe–Pavlyuchenko

    Even the bench can match our first teamers as they have
    Crouch, Giovani dos Santos ,Jonathan Woodgate,Sebastien Bassong,Tom Huddlestone,Jenas and Kean.

    Huddlestone would have been a regular if he was in Arsenal.

  • Sam

    @ ny – Sp#rs will never be better than Arsenal. Please go wash your mouth, or your finger tips in this case!

  • RVP

    @ny

    seriuosly are you crazy

    gomes/almunia-gomes wins(new goaly coming soon though)
    kaboul/sagna-sagna wins
    dawson/vermaelen-vermaelen wins
    king/koscielny-king wins(havent seen koscielny yet)
    bale/clichy-clichy wins(bale is a poor lb hes better lm)
    lennon/arshavin-arshavin wins
    fabregas/modric-fabregas wins
    palacios/song-song wins
    kranjcar/nasri-nasri wins
    defoe/van persie-van persie wins
    pavlychenko/chamakh-chamakh wins(pavlychenko doesnt look great when he plays in the prem and chamakh has shown he can score goals in the cl)

    and on the bench we have walcott,eduardo,rosicky,vela,diaby,denilson,wilshere and many other great talents and huddlestone would not be a regualr at arsenal are you mad he may have good passing ability but he is unfit and has no real pace

    i make that 9-2 to arsenal

    spurs are nowhere near us

  • devday

    @ ny:
    I’m still in shock at this comment…

  • CON-MAN

    yh hopefully we’ll have a good season
    i’ve also seen the pic of djourou’s knee in a wrap, i think its just a precaution

    as for henry, good to see hes left barca, i think we should all be secret red bull fans lol, hopefully i can go out to NY next summer and see him play

  • Kuka

    I can’t believe ny just said that.

  • Kodjo

    guys ny was just kidding???????right ????

  • ny

    Sorry guys…..I never want that to happen.But see .. they have a set team and I dont want to see them finish in the top ten.
    A well set team team can do so much things.Now if Cesc leaves we again need to reorganise and it may cost us a lot.

  • Kodjo

    FACTS ARE SCARED BUT COMMENTS AND OPINIONS ARE FREE…

    Guys give ny a break …as much as it doesnt sit well with all and sundry??? he is entitled to his opinions and please cut out the insults…there’s really no need for that.

    the decency by folks on this website is one of the reasons why i joined and stayed on …..

  • vj

    let me get this straight messi xavi iniesta busquets pique puyol pedro and guardiola have all made countless annoucements about cesc going to barca not to mention the 7 barca president candidates and still cesc hasnt left. Does this say something of his character. If I was cesc and I was at Barcelona knowing how much i love arsenal i would have left as soon as possible yet cesc is still here. He really is a great man

  • GLONDON

    It’s amazing that some fans come up here to slate Fab for the disgraceful and disrespectful acts of Pique and Puyol(the barce cartel in the spainish team will be their undoing in the near future if they don’t handle it),what do you lots expect (Ugo and co.)that he begin a fight with them.You guys are even suggesting he drop the band for what?what has Cesc do wrong to lose the band because some idiot forced a barca shirt on him. First of all lets not be fooled into selling Cesc and them making it look like they do not need him and he is not going to get a place on the team that is a lie and a disguise to buy Cesc cheap the barce board is hiding behind Xavi and Iniesta to buy Cesc on the cheap and to make it look like they do not really need him when in essence they know he is a jewel and make no mistake they will build the new team around him as the focal point.Now they just want to complete the last piece of their mastermind jigsaw by putting the player at war with the fans and most of you who I thought should know better are falling for it.Cesc is a wonderful young man way younger than I am but I must tell you he has handled this transfer situation very well bearing in mind he is not a Ronaldo going to Spain he is a boy going back home even me as much as I want him to stay another part of me want him to return back home and live his dream though not quite now.For a young man who found love away from home and was not carried away by it and his own success we should give him plenty to cherish as his fan.We need him for at least two more seasons he has been loyal lets not use Puyol’s and co one minute of fame to ruin the services of captain.I saw him play with a broken leg for us that was more than anything to me,that was his statement so do not wait for adulterated tabloid news to know that he is committed.

  • vj

    sol campbell no longer on arsenal players list

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    in other news heskey has reitred from england football club, cant believe it.

  • RVP

    @vj

    http://www.arsenal.com/first-team/players/sol-campbell

    @josiah

    its not england football CLUB lol

  • RVP

    @ vj

    he is still on the website?

    @josiah

    its not england football CLUB lol

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    haha, you knew what i meant