Evening fellow Gooners. It’s been a long time coming, but El Premiershipio is only days away… with Sp*rs and Citeh kicking off the campaign on Saturday at 12:45 and of course, The Arsenal taking on Liverpool at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. It’s been a big debate to whether or not certain players will be fit and whom Arsene will choose to start at Anfield.
The injury situation was updated today and the boss had this to say:
“Alex Song has a calf problem and will be short. Denilson will have a test on Friday or Saturday on an abdominal problem. Diaby has a calf problem but he is back in full training. He might be available and Andrey Arshavin is all right. But I still have to make a decision about whether I will include Van Persie and Fabregas in the squad.”
The worry for me is that Arsene says Diaby is back in training… yeeks. Only joking…
Johan Djourou is out with a hamstring injury and it’s not clear how long he is out for. There is a worry with his injury proneness and ultimately it highlights the lack of depth in the centre back department. We’re down to Vermaelen and Koscielny and we have no other centre backs available. We can only presume Nordtveit will be on the bench, but that is by no means any real cover. There is news that Bendtner is out until October and Ramsey looking to return in November, so we’ll start the season without those two players.
So, based on who we know is fit and available, then the following group of players will be the selection we choose from:
Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Szczensy
Eboue, Sagna, Nordtveit, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Clichy
Frimpong, Wilshere, Nasri, Denilson, Rosicky (maybe Cesc)
Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin (maybe Van Persie, maybe Vela)
And as a result, I think the line-up Arsene will choose is:
Sagna – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Clichy
Denilson – Nasri
Walcott – Rosicky – Arshavin
(Bench: Almunia, Eboue, Nordtveit, Frimpong, Wilshere, Cesc, Vela)
There is a serious rumour from “those in the know” that the Mark Schwarzer deal is happening tomorrow (Friday) and he could be in line for his debut against Liverpool. I’m personally not convinced of his quality, he may be less error prone than our current crop but he’s a bit of the same in my eyes. Some publications insist that a deal has been agreed both with us and the club – and us and the player – prompting speculation of an imminent deal.
If this were the case, it would be likely that Fabianski would be number 2 and Almunia would depart for pastures new, with Aston Villa potentially looking for a new keeper. There is also some noise on Mannone joining Middlesborough as Brad Jones joins Liverpool… the transfer merry go round looks to be kick starting… let’s hope it works out in our favour… to be honest, I wouldn’t mind another deal – one with a defender – to happen tomorrow too!
I’ll leave you with Tommy V’s rallying call to the team. It’s time to win a trophy…
“You have to look at all games which we lost, and each one had its own story. In football, it is really difficult to perform at a high level in every game – and that is what we have to do every year. We are one year older now, more experienced. For myself, as an individual, I have learned a lot last year and I hope I can improve. I feel the same pressure as I did last year, that is to be as good for the team as I can, to perform the best I can and to win some things. The difference now is that everything is not new to me anymore, but sometimes the second season is more difficult than the first.”
Come on you Gooners, let’s make a statement of intent at Anfield this weekend – more teams news and analysis throughout the weekend.
Adios for now……