Legia Warsaw v Arsenal – Preview & Reaction To The Week

The first team was out in full force on Thursday for members day – but most of them will now be out in Poland preparing for this afternoon’s game. The friendly was set up when we bought Lukas Fabianski and is a good away test for the youngsters, a week and a bit before next Sunday’s premiership opener in Anfield against Liverpool. There will be some time to debate who will be starting at Anfield, but for the moment, we’ve got an exciting friendly ahead of us, so we’ll take a look at who could be playing later today.

Legia Warsaw v Arsenal

The game kicks off at 16:00 and is available on Arsenal TV Online – the usual suspects will most likely have the game on their streams – and normally there is some talk about how to watch the game in the comments section. There will some absentees, namely, the two world cup finalists, in Cesc and Van Persie – captain and vice captain – and there are a few injuries at the moment to some other players. The players (outside of those two aforementioned) who didn’t travel were Arshavin, Song and Diaby. Denilson did travel and so have the rest of the squad who’ve been involved.

For me, Fabianski will start the game, as it’s his turn to prove his worth and of course, because Leigia Warsaw are the club he has come from… My first half line up for today’s game is:


Sagna – Vermaelen – Koscielny – Clichy

Denilson – Nasri

Walcott – Rosicky – Vela


And the second half subs will see this line up:


Eboue – Koscielny – Nordtveit- Gibbs

Frimpong – Lansbury

Walcott – Wilshere- Vela

Emmanuel Thomas

The other Polish goalkeeper in our ranks getting the second half.

Arsene was in the press after Cesc announcement to talk about the game today and he said this:

“The team who plays tomorrow is not necessarily the team who will start in the Premier League. We have some players, like Arshavin, who have a small muscular problem and we miss Van Persie, Fabregas, Song and Diaby who have not travelled. Both of them will be short. Don’t forget that Fabregas came back yesterday but on Monday he travels to Mexico with Spain to play an international friendly on Wednesday afternoon. So they will come back Thursday afternoon or Friday without any training. I do not know who will be in the squad or not yet. Mentally it is a huge demand to go to the World Cup Final and three weeks later be completely ready again. But they are focused and I will see what is the need of the squad.”

With Cesc and Vela flying off to South America midweek, there is a big disruption to the start of the season. Of course we’re not the only team in this position, but it does leave us wondering who will be back and fit and ready to start the season. Bendtner is of course injured and news from the Q&A on Thursday was that he won’t be back until October. From having so many players and an abundance of strikers – suddenly

with Van Persie not fit yet and Bendtner injured, with Emmanuel Thomas too young – it looks like we’re down to one fit and ready striker in Maroune Chamakh and he’ll surely start against Liverpool next week…

Another reason why I put Fabianski and Szczesny in goal for the first and second halves is because of Arsene’s comments surrounding the goalkeeping situation. The manager saying…

“Still players fight for their place. Tomorrow Fabianski has another opportunity to show that he can play No 1. Wojciech is a goalkeeper of huge quality. At the moment we want to play for the title so I believe he needs some more experience to compete directly for the first goalkeeper position. But it depends a little bit. We have four goalkeepers, one of them will go out on loan, three have to stay so we do not know yet who will go out.”

Maybe I’m reading a little too much into this statement, but it sounds like Arsene isn’t planning on signing a new keeper – it looks like he is talking as if he is happy with the keeping situation. I didn’t see the interview myself, but apparently Arsene said this when sitting in between two keepers, so maybe it was the only decent thing to say!!

Before I go, I just want to touch on the recent words from Cesc – personally, I was disappointed in certain aspects as for me, if you read between the lines, then it really sounds like he wants to go and also sounds like we’re going to have this furore again next summer. Fun.

Arsene did put a friendly faced interpretation of the statement together and said this:

“He is our captain, he is our leader. You could see yesterday in the training session how much a lift it is for everybody who loves Arsenal. When I was at the World Cup I met so many people in South Africa and the first thing I heard was ‘don’t let Fabregas go’. That means it is a huge lift for everybody who loves the Club. The situation is as it is. I believe it is important in my job that I do not come out with private conversations I have with the players. That would be unfair.  But Cesc has come out today to clear the air. It was very important for us that Cesc did that clearly and that we can move on from now. We are one week away from the start of the season so just we want to be focused and settled now.”

The problem though, Monsieur Wenger, is that the statement wasn’t that clear. What was clear is that Cesc did actually want to go and that he honestly feels that the club have stood in his way. I won’t spoil the Legia Warsaw preview with too much negatively and there some positives to be taken out of the statement and the main thing is that Cesc is our captain and will be playing for us this season. Good news.

Til later :-)

  • Game

    FYI Mexico is located in NORTH AMERICA not South America

  • andrew

    why do people make comments about Cesc being held “against his will!” He is being paid more than i’ll see in my lifetime. He is free to quit professional football if he wants. his big contract with Arsenal is what is making him rich. Contracts are not something to get out of that easily. I guess I don’t care at all if he wants to leave or not.

    If he wants to leave and we make him stay, what would happen? Either he will be a professional and play well for Arsenal, or he will not. If he does not, he hurts himself and his value more than he hurts Arsenal Football Club.

    Cesc we love you but do not think you can hold our club ransom. Nor will the batting eye of Barcelona convince us to let you go out of some sort of duty to let you be “free.”

  • vj

    no keeper signing but we should get a CB signing

  • Danny M

    I do like your insightful commentary Dev, I agree with vj (although who knows who it could be, maybe Laurent/Nordtveit/Djourou/Song/Bartley will prove enough. Perhaps tghe inclusion of a willing veteran into that mix will be enough, we’ll have to wait and see I bet.

    As is, who’s interested in seeing chuks aneke (just turned 17) and the rest of the youth products? If nothing else having so many u-21s & players who’ve had 3+ years with us under the age of 21 has given the club a wonderful position given the new restrictions to the league. We can pick and choose to buy talent, or have many open positions to move around if a new manager wants to put his stamp on the team. All speculative, but I feel the club is positioning itself for long term financial viability at the cost of being the, ‘biggest dog’ of the moment. If that doesn’t epitomize the concept of forward thinking(, I don’t know what might. We want to not bend to the whims of a single billionaire, not yet at least, and still keep our traditions. I for one think it’s a club that’s damn proud of tradition.

    Anyways, cheers and keep up unbiased highlights of the lesser stars of the club. Tell us how Sanga really acts apart from the pitch!

  • Berth

    If we don’t get a GK and CB, this current team won’t get any where.

  • edison

    what a nightmare.

    Feels like we are getting too wrapped up in our youth and ‘reserve’ players. Yes frimpong, djourou, JET and Fabianski are all promising young players and have performed well in pre season. But I do not think they are suitable for regular first team play, yet.

    I feel we may be seeing an average season again. if anything the carling cup might be a likely prospect if our youth players are impressing Wenger that much.

    However we are sure to not make any progress if we dont re inforce the squad with an experienced reliable keeper, some one who the likes of rooney and droga will be fearful towards.

    Wenger keeping the keepers guessing who is going to get the number 1 shirt, not a good idea ? It didnt work for Capello!

  • Flamez

    Wenger isnt capello, he has the complete trust of the squad and has stated himself he names his squad usually 48hrs in advance, i dont believe we have a problem without a 100% number 1 as competion 4 places is good.

    Almunia is a good keeper, as he showed again against milan, but maybe he will get his consistancy up knowing he’s not a guarenteed number 1 anymore.

  • jeffvip

    2-0 down… AW, u still believe in Fabianski??

  • Vazy

    3-1.. just tuned in to their 3rd and our 1st.. what on earth is going on?

  • Vazy

    half time, havnt seen enough of the match to see whats what, but the scoreline suggests that obviously we are short at the back

  • Vazy

    though its better to go in 3-1 than 3-0…

  • Flamez

    if wenger dosnt wake up after that 45 mins of SH*T then he seriously has lost it. flappy has got 2 go, we need a gd cb 2 come in coz kos and tommy v aint gel-ing well enough to start a prem season playin like they have,

  • Flamez

    @ Vasy i watched the whole thing, we looked like a conference side at the back

  • bayo

    pls update on first half report

  • Berth

    am laughong my a** out. I hope the match will be a blessing in disguise.

  • goonerman

    i dont think we should all start predicting our season is over before it starts but this match clearly shows we are desperate for a decent cb and a gk i mean wenger cant watch this match even though its a freindly and ignore the obbvious frailties in our team! i really hope he gets his finger out of his arse this week and makes the fans happy.

  • edison

    we are playing terribly, getting closed down in midfield at every opportunity. Warsaw are playing very high up into our half and stopping us from passing. Wilshire is getting pushed around, you wouldnt even know Walcott was on the pitch.
    Nasri and Chamakh are playing well though.

    3 goals past us:


    Thats our back line for our next season!

  • Kodjo

    to be fair to fabianski the 1st goal was not his fault the mid fielders failed to close down the attacker hence the chance for a shot on goal…

    with regards to the second goal memories of last seasons wigan game comes to mind…fabianski cant deal with corners esp when the players are piled up infront of the near post…all the other premiership teams will be looking at this game and the likes of stoke will be smacking their lips…free goal pretty much.

    the 3rd goal also from a corner was even worse…sunday league defending….or pub team defending to say the least

    my assessment… fabianski may be talented but is not
    premier league material not bcos he is woeful …but bcos he just cant deal with the physical & aerial aspects of the game…Wenger pls send him out on loan!!!

    vermaelen/Kos partnership is not working…the latter is too light weight …..was bundled off the ball lots of times.

    Wenger needs to sign a tough centre back…we will not survive this season with the squad as is…..

    we are also short of power in the midfield…frimpong has done as well as he can but does not have the needed support.

  • Berth

    sh*t team

  • Vazy

    Watt starting for Leeds on bbc1 for those of you in england

  • Vazy

    3-2! from a set piece

  • Vazy

    (the arsenal game that is)

  • Kodjo

    eboue equalizes

  • Kodjo

    walcott has a big problem

    gibbs puts us in the lead

  • Vazy

    4-3, we came out a different team it seems

  • Kodjo

    eboue has been far effective in the 25 mins that he has been on the field…

    yes walcott needs to do something about his game…otherwise he will end up suffering the fate of the likes of francis jeffers…i hope he proves me wrong!!!

    walcotts enthusiasm is excellent but he clearly needs more than that….

  • Kodjo

    sagna subbed …has had a horrible game…at fault for the 4th goal

  • Vazy

    5-4 to arsenal

  • Vazy

    JET with the goal i think… half missed it.. the website im using is crap

  • jeffvip

    szechny did a double save and obviously he looks far more commanding and confidence to his polish compatriots

  • Vazy

    well it seems i missed a goal somewhere… 5-6 to arsenal.. they just pulled another back

  • Vazy

    we seem to be very susceptible to the counter.. they almost equalised

  • Vazy

    szechny did look better between the posts.. though still let in another 2 goals..

  • edison

    some really poor defending today.

    Kosielny and Vermaelen didnt gel as well as they have done in previous friendlies.If we dont sign a new centre back – what about putting Alex Song in the back four? What does anyone think to that?

  • Berth

    Basketball – Welcome to Arsenal 2010 – 2011 season. Featuring Frimpong as DMF and the inexperienced defence pairing of T.M and Koscielny. I won’t die watching Arsenal. I think is time to be passive with this sh** team.

  • arseneKnows

    A terrifying result..

    I’ve got a tiny bit of poo in my pants…

  • jeffvip

    I glad we concede so many goals, at least AW know something is wrong with our defence

  • Kodjo

    @ Berth

    This game is a blessing in disguise….our flaws and limitations were horribly exposed

    Wenger now knows where his team is at defensively…cos the back 4 had problems and the ease with which legia cut through the defensive end of the midfield was shocking…frimpong was on his own pretty much…wilshere did as much as he could but clearly was overpowered on the defensive side..

    Kos is not physically ready….i wont critisize him bcos he has just played his 3rd or 4th game

    Vermaelen hasnt learnt from his mistakes last season…he is lured into the tackle by the attacker…moving into the midfield area to recieve the ball…once vermaelen is unable to win the ball he leaves gaps behind him ala Ibrahimovic’s goal against us last season….Kos has to cover that hole…but that leaves his side exposed for the attacking midfielder to exploit

    as for sagna the least said about him the better…one of the most consistent performers last season but seeing him player woefully againsty milan and another shcoker today as well, leaves me worried ..but i will leave it at that

    only nasri, eboue, gibbs & chamakh came out this game with credit. vela, jet were okay. randall nervously gave the ball away at critical times….

  • Berth

    @ Kodjo: I been dey tell u nah. Now your eye don open bah.

  • Vazy

    was there any interview after the game?

  • Kodjo

    @ Berth

    ee no be say my eye no open..ogah! …i just gave certain players the benefit of the doubt…

    clearly lessons from the mistakes made last season hasnt been rectified..or certain players just had an off day…i hope!

    i will not any more comments untill later.

  • Berth

    Not just about last season. This problem has been on since flamini left. To be honest with you, not even song can solve the problem. The team needs a vibrant player who can cover the pitch and be aggressive with tackles. We don’t have tacklers in the team. Personally our solution was meant to be denilson but that hasn’t happened. Am afraid to say this but we are in for a long season dude.

  • vj

    If we don’t sign a new CB and Gk by next week then we wont beat liverpool

  • Berth

    @ VJ: and we wont win anything.

  • vj

    its not even like there are loads of rumours going around that we’re even close to signing anyone, if the game last night showed anything it was that our defense lacks any sort of organisation and good communication

  • Vazy

    i laughed at sky sports this morning.. “its rumoured that Wright-Phillips will make the move to liverpool instead of arsenal” no way we needed him anyway.. and after his abysmal world cup performance…

  • Bonathan

    Finishing in the top four is gonna be tough this year. real tough. And that’s even if we sign two players. Without a really good CB coming in, i think we’d need a bit of luck to be honest. We done well last season to stay out the battle for 4th, but without new signings, the title race is not gonna happen this time round.
    With the right signings however, and i’m only talking one or two. We can realistically challenge for the title, providing the new guys can adapt well and quickly to the premier league, which is a big if i guess.
    Things have gone awfully quiet on the transfer front and i can’t help but think tim is slipping away once again. I really can’t see us getting a CB and a keeper now. I think it’s just gonna be a CB. If he doesn’t even manage that then we may be in trouble.
    I said it at the start of last season and i’l say it again. If ever there was a time to splash a little, and i’m not talking breaking the bank here, it’s now. The difference between winning the title and coming 5th may only be down to the signing of 2 players. We never did it last year and payed for it in the title run in. This year could be more severe. finishing outside the top 4 would cost us a fortune.
    We haven’t actually spent anything again this summer as senderos and eduardo paid for Kos. And the wage bill has been well and truly trimmed with the loss of senderos, merida, gallas, campbell, silvestre and eduardo. There has to be money there.