Arsenal vs Braga Preview

Morning fellow Gooners…

It’s been an interesting week and weekend, with a painful encounter at the Emirates against hard tackling Bolton. Another two brilliant articles… Firstly Deb’s match report was thoroughly enjoyable, with the following classic line…

Rosicky and Cesc were absolutely brilliant, pulling the strings, and it’s really great to see Rosicky getting a run in the team. Injury gods, keep away please, alright?!

An excellent piece describing the game down to a tee – the article itself was followed up by Kieran review of the game and the main talking points – making an excellent point about the progress and ability of a personal favourite… Carlos Vela:

You’ve probably read that the Arsenal move that led to our 4th goal comprised of 24 passes, a record in this seasons Premier League so far. What most people have missed was that the move was started by the eventual goalscorer Vela. It was Vela that won the ball in the centre of the park, tracking back to win it after a pass in his direction came up short. That’s what crowned the move for me, Vela getting stuck in and winning the ball, as much as the passes and the impeccable assist from Fabregas. Lovely to see the hunger of the young man – let’s face it, he’ll probably be up front on his own if Chamakh also gets an injury.

It was an incredible move, a summation of what we are all about as a club and an excellent finish from the young Mexican to top it all off. Cesc with the assist, but despite his man of the match performance, he has been lambasted for his body language and gestures throughout the game. Personally, I think he had a very good game – he was at the heart of everything good – and he will be the first to admit that he isn’t yet quite at the top of his game. I wonder whether people are quick to jump on his back because of the summer incidents – but ultimately, we shouldn’t and we should judge the player on merit – and his two assists and general performance should be applauded.

A shout out to Abou Diaby who didn’t last very long against Bolton after an very bad injury which went un-noticed and unreported – the video was up on YouTube, but it didn’t last long either, as I wanted to include it in the article, but it was taken down… “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by FA Premier League.”… We’ve had no official confirmation from the club to the extent of the injury – all that we know is that the French midfielder is out of the squad against Braga…

And talking about Braga, the game is tomorrow and it’s our first Champions League match of the season. Braga were on the losing end of a 3-2 thriller at Porto and they will be much stronger opposition than we all think. The game is at home and we will obviously be favourites. With a shortage of strikers, Chamakh was taken off with time to spare on Saturday and therefore, I’d expect him to start the game against Braga. I’d also expect to see Djourou back in the squad but maybe only as far as the bench. We’ll most likely see the return of the two full backs, Sagna and Clichy after Eboue and Gibbs most took their places in the weekend game.

With Samir Nasri back in the squad, the Frenchman may get a run out, and we may see Rosicky rested for the away game at Sunderland on the weekend – I kind of prefer Rosicky for those hard away games up north… So my possible line up will be:

Almunia

Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy

Denilson – Song

Nasri – Cesc – Arshavin

Chamakh

With a bench of Fabianski, Eboue, Gibbs, Djourou, Wilshere, Rosicky and Vela

Interesting to see Bolton appeal the red card for Gary Cahill – I can’t believe they appealed it – a two footed challenge from behind on the half way line! Diabolical…. and did you hear Mikael Silvestre on Sky Sports News… and I quote…

“There must have been a reason why myself, Sol Campbell and William Gallas all left the club at the same time, but now is not the time to speak about it.”

Indicating that there is something big going on behind the scenes… I will do some investigative work to try my best to get down to the bottom of it.

More later, but for now… have a great day!

  • Mahesh

    As for silvestre’s comments – I think something good has happened with arsenal after gallas and silvestre left. Webber came to know how useless silvestre was and so chucked him out. As for gallas- he was the troublemaker , so off he goes. And cambell knew he won’t be as lucky this season in comparison to the last one.
    Good thig that they r no more At arsenal

  • Sam

    I read this somewhere and really liked it:

    GOOD WEEK for Laurent Koscielny
    Because if you can take a headbutt to the face from breeze-block headed Kevin Davies and still get up to play on, you’re either hard as nails or a cyborg construct.

  • Nick

    The moment of the match for me was Song’s goal. I thought it was brilliant and the kinda touch that our strikers and Arshavin always seem to just miss and he chipped it perfectly. Cesc and Rosicky both had great games and you can see Cesc is getting back to where he was last season before his accident on Puyol and all the Barcelona garbage started.

    I think the Braga game should definitely give a chance for a rest for a few players and give starts for Vela and a few others to let them shine. Arshavin needs to get on the score sheet. Chamakh needs a couple more goals before I think he’ll really open up. Personally, I’m very impressed and pleasantly surprised with Chamakh’s vision, his first touch and passing.

  • devday

    @ Sam: You’ve got to love it!

  • devday

    @ Mahesh:
    It is interesting to hear Silvestre say that there were things that happened behind the scenes – basically it may be sour grapes – and it was clear that Arsene lost faith in Silvestre + Campbell, whereas Gallas was a problem in the team.

    Do you think Cesc / Nasri etc had an influence on the trio leaving?

  • devday

    @ Sam:
    Koscielny – despite his small frame will definitely become a rock in our defence – his showing so far have been impressive and considering he has been targeted several times – probably because of his smaller build – it is good to see him fighting the cause.

    Squillaci looked solid too :-)

  • devday

    @ Nick:
    Indeed – Song’s goal was awesome, wasn’t it? Brilliant individual goal – tenacity, invention and a great finish to top it all off.

    I’m not sure if we should really rest players for the Braga game – Braga will be a much harder test than Bolton!!!

  • devday

    PS – Good news for us is that Lee Catermole (who has Sunderland’s highest foul count and already 2 reds this season) is out suspended for our game next Sat!

  • francis

    Paul Robinson, Martin Taylor, Ryan Shawcross and now Dan Smith – the list of criminals walking the streets of England after committing violent and pre-meditated assault seems to grow by the day. In any just society they would all be in prison for their attacks on footballers, with their managers at least on remand pending deeper inquiries.

    And yet it is not so. The Dan Smith attack on Diaby in the Arsenal / Bolton game was atrocious beyond measure but the ref did nothing of significance, the lino did nothing and the manager made nothing of it.

    Owen Coyle, currently running this most disreputable of clubs approached the cameras after the game with a look of dumb despair of a man who knows he has no case and yet desperately needs to make one up.

    His side had just lost 18-5 in terms of shots, had scored a goal dependent wholly on a cock-up in the Arsenal defence, and who had tried to kick their way to a draw. The club had even sold so few tickets for the game that for what I think must be the first time ever the audience sank to below 60,000 for a league match.

    For a manager of a lower caste northern club Coyle has every desirable character except one. I don’t mean brains, because not only is that of no merit when managing a team such as Bolton, but rather I speak of the ability to handle situations without breaking into fantasy. In the presence of the indefensible, for example, he puts on what he must believe is a stern grimace and lets his eyes protrude somewhat. But in attempting to look grim he looks instead rather like a character from a 1950s boys comic in which caricatures of leaders of the Conservative Party are drawn as cowboys and goatherds.

    Such men as the Coyle, Allerdyce, Pullis et al are engaged in the task of encouraging the mutilation of limbs of some of the brightest talent, and yet they lack the Presence of, say, Jack the Ripper or the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the ability to put the head down and get out of town of Dr Crippin.

    It is the lack of presence that distinguishes these violence junkies from the great managers such as Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho, both of whom have Presence in abundance. Which is not to say I lake the negative approach Mourinho adopts, but rather that he is a great personality. These characters like Coyle are like men utterly out of their depth in the world of popular entertainment – men who, when the spotlight falls upon them, scratch their chins or pick at their sleeves, shrug the shoulders quite a bit and mumble incoherent half sentences in their native tongue generally with the overall flavour of blaming someone else.

    My point is that Wenger and Mourinho take responsibility and do it their way – utterly different ways as it turns out, but in each case their way. People like Allerdyce, Coyle, Pullis and indeed I would add McCarthy who is building an Allerdyce style approach at Wolverhampton, are not entertainers, and really don’t care too much about the notion. They take no responsibility, just like the players they send out, and if the crowds don’t turn up because the football they offer is awful, that’s hardly their fault. If men like Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey are put out of the game for long periods then that’s not their fault. They shrug their shoulders and scratch their chins.

    Will any action be taken against Dan Smith for his attempt at serious injury? Will he be put up against the wall and told in no uncertain terms that he will never be allowed on a football pitch again? I doubt it. When we consider that the reward that Shawcross got for his inexcusable assault on Ramsey was a call up for the England squad, it seems unlikely. When we consider the way Taylor was back in the Birmingham reserve team three games after he attempted to end Eduardo’s career, I doubt it again. Quite possibly he has already been made Lord of the Manor in Boltonshire.

    Shawcross, Taylor, Smith and Robinson should be out of the game, but then so should those managers who encourage them and their like. The tragedy is, they are still there, and still encouraged by their paymasters on Sky and at the BBC and ITV, forever saying, “that’s the way to beat Arsenal, they don’t like the physical…”

    We won the game 4 goals to 1, we had 18 attempts on target, and we buzzed. Three of the back four are our reserves, while Nasri, Bendtner, Van Persie and Theo are also out. That is seven of the first team missing, and we strolled through it 4-1 and our club is in profit and beholden to no petro billionaire or sheikh.

    Dan Smith is a disgrace, as is his manager, but that it seems is now the price of playing in the EPL.

  • devday

    Arsene on injuries: “Diaby is out with an ankle problem following the tackle from Robinson and I do not know for how long.”

  • arseneKnows

    Diaby out for just 2 weeks – phew!

    That said – having watched the tackle in slow motion, I have to say that it looks like a disgraceful attempt to hit the player – it’s really hard to see it in another way to be honest – Robinson’s foot
    connects with Diaby’s leg before Diaby has moved the ball from it’s position. Robinson apparently has no intention of connecting with the ball, his eyes fixed on his intended target!!! this makes me feel truly sick.

  • Nick

    I don’t think Diaby would’ve gone after him after he got up had something not struck Abou as intentional and I know that he said something to Abou that set him off. It was a disgraceful challenge and as usual, if an Arsenal player had done it the cards would’ve come out very quickly. That ref completely lost that game. I wouldn’t belive in Diaby being out only 2 weeks though. Our injuries are always longer than projected.

    Any news on Rambos progress?

  • devday

    The Arsenal reserve team today:

    Arsenal Reserves: Szczesny; Hoyte, Djourou, Miquel, Evina; Aneke, Eastmond, Randall; Deacon, Afobe, Emmanuel-Thomas.

    Which means Djourou is not in the CL squad.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    i tell you what we should consider ourselves lucky, zamora broken leg, modric maybe broken leg, valencia broken leg, other teams are certainly picking up injuries.

  • vj

    suprised you don’t feel wilshere won’t play, i reckon wilshere should start braga and play nasri as well, then swap wilshere for rosicky on the weekend. Denilson might play against sunder;and for some defensive cover though, were at home so no worry. replace arshavin and chamakh with vela and eboue once we have a healthy lead. Current injuries for sunderland game
    Mid: Ramsey, Diaby
    Att: Van Persie, Walcott, Bendtner

    just for interest sake devday, who do you feel should play with vermaelen onthe weekend Koscielny whi has received much praise and criticsm pr squillaci

  • The ‘Orse

    The reason Campbell, Silvestre and Gallas all left the club is because they’re all old and all useless to us. The only 1 out of the 3 that I still have respect for is Sol, God knows why we got Silvestre and Gallas has shown his true colours time and time again. It is no secret that he had caused trouble in the dressing room and disrupted the overall harmony of the squad. I just hope Fabregas can enjoy his last season (most likely) with us and leave after winning us a trophy with a big smile on his face and look back on his years at Arsenal with pride.

  • ny

    Djouru is not ready for First team.He was awful against Man City in the reserve match.

  • devday

    @ vj:
    I didn’t originally thin Wilshere would start tonights game because I thought he wasn’t that effective for us. However, reflecting back on the players available, I think he will start with Denilson on the bench.

    In regards to our centre backs, I think Vermaelen and Koscielny look like the 2 first choices now. Squillaci and Djourou are both fighting for 3rd CB choice.

  • Flamez

    @dev:
    Not sure i agree on the CB thing, i think djourou will be 4th choice with Squillaci and Koscielny fighting over the 2nd/3rd choice slot, i like Kos, but i think Squillaci is more ready Now, where as i dont think we’ll see anywhere near the best of Kos till after x-mas at least

  • fan

    I would like to see Arshavin rested for this game

  • Sam

    55′ – 4-0 to Arsenal.
    Captain Fantastic at his best.
    The glass is mostly full!

  • Sam

    6-0.
    Another MOTM performance by our beloved Captain, who got 2 goals too. He is as motivated and hungry as ever, if not more.
    I’m so proud to be a Gooner.

  • Pete

    6-0 win. That was beautiful :)

  • tom G

    I have a tear in my eye.. Cesc, Wilshere, Koscielny, Nasri, Chamakh, Vela.. thanks Arsene.. and all you gooners.. I feel proud and lucky to be one of you.

    We know the season is long. It’s only September, and I’m thinking of the game I’m taking my two boys to on Boxing Day.. against Chelski. Let’s see how we’re doing then. But it feels good now doesn’t it??

    Whatever, lifelong gooner, proud and lucky.

    :-)