Arsenal vs West Brom – Match Preview

Yesterday was another mammoth press conference from Arsene and he spoke about a huge range of topics… I’ll bring you the highlights shortly, but first take a look ahead to the today’s game. For us, we need to build on the start to the season we’ve had so far, which sees second in the table. We’ve had a tougher start than table toppers Chelsea and dropped points away to Liverpool and Sunderland, but today’s game is a home game against newly promoted West Brom.

The game has come too soon for the likes of Cesc or Thomas Vermaelen, both who will miss this game and mostly the midweek game. Abou Diaby is back in the squad after injury and Alex Song returns after a suspension. The rotation will continue and we’ll probably see Almunia, Squillaci, Chamakh and Arshavin restored to the starting line-up. One player who I thought would get rested for the midweek game was Jack Wilshere as he has been involved in virtually every game this season – but he’s just got better and better!

So the line-up tomorrow could well be:

Almunia

Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Nasri – Diaby – Arshavin

Chamakh

With a bench of Fabianski, Eboue, Djourou, Lansbury, Denilson, Rosicky and Vela

There are fitness doubts over Denilson and Rosicky and news is that Diaby will have a fitness test later today too. We have a few injuries to key players at the moment, so even though Nasri and Wilshere played 120 minutes midweek, they are both in line to start again this weekend. And if they do, then I can see Denilson and Rosicky replacing them mid-week against Partizan. Nasri did have a tight calf against Sp*rs, but news is that he’s shaken it off.

I’ll be down at the Emirates for tomorrow’s game and I’m really looking forward to it – for those of you on twitter, I’ll be tweeting away as usual, @worldofarsenal – and two regular writers, @kieran_delaney and @debsgooner are both on twitter too and often give their opinions of everything Arsenal too!

Arsene Wenger took a little time out and talked about the various subjects in the news – including the news yesterday that we made a record profit of £56m – yep, amazing news. And for those of you who aren’t in the know – read this. Amazing stuff when you consider what we’ve done in the last 5 years – compare that to the many false dawns of the likes of Liverpool etc and to think that every club that has built a new stadium has been relegated puts our feat into perspective.

Arsene spoke heavily on the policy that he’s been so forthright in pushing – the youth project – and how the fact that buying a player for big money means he has to play him and that means not playing a younger player. We’ve seen the likes of Gibbs, Wilshere, etc come through recently and you have to admit that if we did sign Ozil, would Wilshere have been thrown into the first team?

“I take this pressure with a distance,” he said. “For example you [the media] reproach me for not buying players but if I buy players Jack Wilshere doesn’t come out into the first team. You cannot have everything and I know that and I’m long enough in the job to have a development policy to educate the players. The most difficult thing is to play them and to stand up for it. Nobody else in the world [brings through as many young players]. I’ll give you one day the list of those at the top level who have made careers with me and you will see. You will be absolutely astonished. Take the list of the players who started here, for example Djourou, Senderos, Clichy, Gibbs, Fabregas and Song. Diaby is another who had basically never played before at the top level. Ashley Cole too. Of course people say always to buy but you cannot make careers and lives of people and on top of that buy everytime you have an injured player. We make a profit because we don’t spend – it’s as simple as that. What is unbelievable is that people reproach me for making a profit but no-one says a word about people who lose money. I manage in a safe way – but it looks like we are in a business where the quality is to lose money.”

And that last sentence sticks in my mind – we are in a business where the quality is to lose money – and you’ve seen that with the implosions of Leeds, Pompey, Southampton etc – spend big and pay for it later twice over. I for one, am absolutely delighted with the way the club is being run – the architecture of the business – the careful putting together of the finances – it’s like we’re in completely different world to most of the clubs in the Premiership – heck, most of the clubs in the world.

I don’t know how long it will take for us to pay off the stadium, to be completely debt free – but it will be sooner than originally anticipated and when we have – we’ll suddenly be a very very rich club – it’s going to be a very interesting future, and we should all be very glad to have such a good management structure in place!

Anyway, we’ve got a game to play – time to prepare myself for the match – come on you Reds!!!

  • arsefan101

    Yesterday was a delightful day – as a gooner, to see the club report such a massive debt reduction was pretty amazing – to think that those figures were from May – means that it’s now October and six months later I wonder where we are now?

    It’s interesting that despite these numbers, we were so reluctant to sort out the goalkeeping area this season – having said that – I think Almunia is a completely different player this season to the one he was last!

    Anyway, on to the game and I’m really excited about the WBA game – Arsene needs to ensure that the team is not complacent. I think you’re right with the team except I think Rosicky will start and Nasri will be on the bench – as a rest mechanism – Nasri will be very important in the CL game on Tuesday!

  • Vazy

    hear hear!

  • Sam

    67′ – ManC leading Chelski by a goal, the Russian army look very ordinary.
    Good chance for us to pull near to the leaders before we meet them next week.
    Let’s hope the game finishes like this.

  • AmriGooner

    Today’s team will be:

    Almunia
    Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy

    Song, Diaby, Nasri

    Eboue, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    Subs: Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Wilshere, Djourou, Fabianski, Emmanuel-Thomas
    I think it’s strong enough to get a good win.
    I hope we manage an early comfortable lead so Chamakh take a rest while JET gets a chance.

  • AmriGooner

    Great news, Chelsea’s just been beaten by ManCity.
    Now we can narrow the gap to only one point.
    And next week we will be ahead by two.

  • Sam

    Chelski lose! We are still unbeaten. We need a big win today to catch up on goal diff too.
    C’mon Gunners!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    almunia saves a penalty :)

  • CON-MAN

    having an absolute mare

    2-0 down

  • mesol

    We may lose again today..2 goal down..thanks mr wenger for the great minds..don’t buy player for backup..see..when key player injured…we lose to the average team..

  • mesol

    Fed up..with the stubborn old man…now 3 goals down…sorry we not gonna win today..

  • Al

    Almunia

  • Sam

    1-3 so far. What a surprise, things go wrong & Mesol takes his head out of his hole!
    We can still do this. C’mon Gunners!

  • mesol

    I know after this many people will blame the keeper (almunia) but believe me its is not all his fault..today our team is like rubbish (sorry to say)..no feeling to win a game..its all team fault..especially the manager..i think this is making many of our player a morale down..player like fabregas..he will feel our team is still weak just like previous2 season..this will be his last season with us..sad

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    i thought the penalty save was gonna be the turning point, not happy

  • mesol

    I will stand with my decision… I dont like that stubborn oldman..a want a new manager…a new challenge..

  • mesol

    please guys..get a new manager..how many times we give the stubborn oldman a chance?

  • Sam

    Too little too late. Bad day at the office for all team. Chelsea, Arsenal, Sp#rs all lose. It would have been nice to catch up with Chelski, but it’s as it stands for now. Lost opportunity, let’s hope for better days.

  • Berth

    Complacency is all I can say.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    WTF!!! What happened?? Same as last season the big teams above lose and we throw away the chance to catch up!!! Come on Arsenal where is the hunger?

  • Al

    Feel sorry for almunia. He really shouldnt b playing aint fair on him. He came out like a mad man and gave a pen away, did save it but not the point. Got done on his near post for the second, ball just went straight throw him and the 3rd he came out and left the goal empty. It was bad defending by the team as well but n arsenal goali should b doin better. Wot sort of confidence will he have for the chelsea game. Can we go on like this hoping he will improve or play flappy whos even worse or play the rookies. Theres a no win situation here. We cant afford to b droppin points like this if we r serious about winning the leauge. But keep the faith still early

  • mesol

    @Sam..Yes, I hate the stubborn oldman, so what..I will be out if arsenal lose..so what do you expect from me?to hail him if arsenal win?..it would be a hypocrite

  • tyoung

    i watched this on a flickering internet connection but I thought Diaby was shocking. He and Song should never play together. AW might not have wanted to plat JW but Denilson would surely have compilmented Song better. In defence need TVback ASAP. Up front lacking creativity without CF RvP and TW. AA not quite the player his first season suggested.

  • Berth

    Now I know why the media loots the team so much. You bet on them and you are bound to loose so much.

  • Sam

    Bad day/night for many teams around. Chelsea, Arsenal, L’pool, Sp#rs (OK, not so big), Bayern (they’re getting used to it) and now Real Madrid dropped vital points.

  • Jeffo

    We’ve lost and Mesol the prophet of doom is back baby!!!!!

    Good to here from you old chap their i was thinking we lived in a football utopia but here you are back to remind me that when things go wrong we can all bitch and blame.

    GROW UP!

  • Sam

    ManU droped points too, so our loss had minimal damage.

  • Pete

    Have to say well done to West Brom, they deserved the win. They defended in numbers and took their chances to score. Fair result.

    Disappointed of course for the Gunners, besides Nasri we didn’t look the part yesterday. Looked like they were still hung over from the midweek win against Spurs, even though the likes of Song, Diaby, Sagna, Clichy and Almunia were rested. Hope its a one off! Luckily quite a few of the teams around us dropped points this weekend too, but lets not make a habit of this kind of performance.

    Onto Tuesdays game!

  • Berth

    My fault with the team is Song’s continuous inept performances – he pushes forward leaving the DMF position vulnerable. His being over confident to the point of dying his hair. I think we could be in deep sh**t if he can’t keep his discipline and find his form.

    I will reserve my comments for Alumnia before Kieren overeacts.

  • Kieran

    @ Berth:
    Worry about yourself fella, not me.