Chelsea Countdown…

Morning Folks,

I’ll keep it brief today as my fellow WOA writer, JAT, will be filling in for me with a super-duper Chelsea Preview and Arsene press conference reaction tomorrow…

We’re approximately 48 hours (well, it depends when you read this) away from the Chelsea game and to be frankly honest, this game is a very big game for us. At the moment, after just six games, we’re 4 points off the top – of course, it could have been just one if not for the WBA “blip”. If we fail to get a result at Stamford Bridge, we’d be 7 points off the top after 7 games and it would be a big mountain to climb so early in the season – of course the title isn’t over after 7 games, but I wouldn’t like us to go that far behind Chelsea so early on.

So, basically, we need a result. A draw isn’t the end of the world, and of course would be a good result. But a win would be priceless. Arsene confirmed that both Almunia and Cesc are doubtful for the game and with an elbow injury keeping out Almunia, it’s unlikely that he’d return by Sunday.

Arsene said this yesterday:

“I don’t know [about Cesc]” said Wenger. “It looks a 50:50 but a 50:50 balancing on the negative
side. I will find out on Saturday morning. [Almunia] is even more difficult. He has not been in a regular training session. So I will see. Vermaelen – no. Abou Diaby has an 80 per cent chance to be involved. I am not sure if he will be completely 100 per cent but it is 100 per cent he will be in the squad. Nicklas Bendtner (groin) should be available after the international break and Aaron Ramsey (leg) is progressing very well.”

Apparently Cesc has been training so that’s really good news. We know that a fit Cesc is a mainstay of the squad, but should be risk an unfit Cesc, a 60% Cesc in such a big game or any game – with the potential to be re-injured much higher. It happened at Aston Villa and again at Barcelona last season.

The bad news, of course, is that Diaby could feature, which for many fans is worrying considering his outing against WBA, which in my eyes, was a massive contribute to us losing the game…

Arsene has a press conference later, so no doubt I’ll be tweeting away for the rest of the day…

As mentioned earlier, today’s blog is a very quick one… and that’s it for today – JAT will be back tomorrow to give you a bumper blog!

  • yemi

    diaby could be an asset in the chelsea game(if its not his off day) . However, the only thing consistent about diaby is his inconsistency, is he worth the risk

  • Arsefan101

    Exactly Yemi – he played really badly against WBA – slowed down the attack. I hope he doesn’t play – I’ve lost faith in him!

  • devday

    It’s the final countdown…. [breaks into song]….

    We all know how I feel about Diaby!

  • tom G

    me too dev! but no cesc..
    what I’d like to see:
    Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny/Djourou, Clichy
    Song, Nasri, Wilshere
    Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin
    come on you reds..

  • devday


    Cesc is out
    Almunia is out
    Gibbs is out

    Diaby is in…


  • devday

    @ tom G:
    tom G wrote:

    Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny/Djourou, Clichy
    Song, Nasri, Wilshere
    Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin

    I think that’s a decent line up – for an away game, I think it’s too attacking, especially with Song playing such an advanced role nowadays (why, I do not know!)… so think we’d need to play Denilson instead of maybe Rosicky? And push Wilshere up…

    The news on the grapevine is that Denilson – Song – Diaby will be the middle three with Nasri – Chamakh – Arshavin up front. Personally, without Wilshere, and with Diaby, we won’t have the creative edge…!

  • devday

    Almunia, Nortveit, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Frimpong, Ramsey, Cesc, Walcott, Bendtner, Van Persie – 10 players injured!

    That’s nearly a whole team!

  • tom G

    you may be right Dev, but Nasri, Song (we-don’t-need-more-attacking-midfielders-thank-you) and Wilshere can all put the boot in and stand up for themselves – I was thinking of Nasri’s brief turn in the DM position start of last season. Denilson and Diaby in the middle fill me with an eery sense of dread.. I’d be happier with your Denilson for Rosicky swap though.

  • Berth

    Dev u guys should stop all this injury sh**t its getting me wound up. We have injuries and so what.

  • Bonathan

    It must be said i’d be a lot mor confidant with vermaelen back there. Anyway, this’d be my team for tomorrow:

    Sagna Squillaci Djourou Clichy

    Wilshire Song Denilson
    Nasri Arsharvin

    I just think we could do with denilson and wilshire in there to keep hold of the ball. Denilson does get back to help the defence, although he doesn’t excel at it, and he pops the ball off well.

    I’v gone for djorou over Kos at the heart of the defence. although djourou hasn’t had loads of games he has got a couple under his belt in the last couple of week and i think he’ll deal with the physical aspect of this particular game better than Kos. i think it might be a bit early for Kos.

    Rosicky has done well so far this season but i’d just use him from the bench for this one. I’d feel confidant of creating chances and scoring with denilson, arsharvin, nasri, wilshere and chamakh on the scene.

    if the defence can put a good shift in and fabiaski can remain howler free, i think we’d have a great chance with that team.