Arsenal vs Shaktar Preview: The Return Of Eduardo

Morning All!

It’s the one we’ve all been waiting for… it’s Arsenal vs Shaktar Donetsk… and the return of Eduardo. Not only the return of Eduardo, but the return of Cesc… and I’ve got a great feeling that it’s going to be an awesome day at the Emirates…

First, let’s hear from Arsene:

“Cesc is available. He is good and has prepared well.  He had a little setback but got over the hurdle and is ready to play at full fitness. “I do not know yet whether I start him or not but he is available. It will be [determined by] whether I take a gamble or not, because he has been out for a long time. I have to make up my mind tomorrow but physically he is ready, fit and wanting to play. Theo has a toe problem. But his ankle is all right and he is in the squad. It would be difficult for me to tell you who will start because I do not know yet. But Koscielny, Vermaelen and Van Persie are all out and not available.”

It’s great news to hear that Cesc is now available – there have been a lot of rumours that the absence of Cesc was due to other reasons and of course, the timely release of words in the press regarding his desire to go to Barcelona (again) but if the truth is as Arsene has said and the Spaniard had a setback, then fair enough – personally, I think it’s a bit of both. But our captain is back and considering his lack of football, I would have him on the bench for today’s game!

Interesting to hear about Walcott’s toe injury – I hope it’s nothing serious – by the sounds of it, it sounds relatively straightforward and hopefully he will be back in the squad soon. Arsene didn’t mention Almunia in his Monday conference, so I’m not entirely sure if he’ll be back, but if he’s not, the new all improved Fabianski will surely keep his spot in the first eleven.


Eboue – Squillaci – Djourou – Gibbs

Wilshere – Song

Nasri – Diaby – Rosicky


With a bench of Szcznesy Clichy, Denilson, Arshavin, Walcott, Vela and Bendtner

Yes, even though it’s a Champions League game, I think Arshavin will surely be dropped / rested. His performance against Birmingham was abysmal and in reality there is no way in hell that he should play the next game. We’ll have to wait and see, but it will be interesting to see how Arsene reacts to the recent form of Arshavin and the recent impressive form of Rosicky.

And very exciting news… the once king of the Emirates, Eduardo is back…

When Eduardo first joined, he was simply awesome. He was such a good player, and he really could finish with aplomb. He was brought in when Thierry Henry left and at first, no one thought he would be anywhere near an adequate replacement, but over time, the player showed that he could fill that void and some of his goals were absolutely sublime…

Arsene commented on Eduardo’s return and said:

“He just had the class of an Arsenal player. It is very difficult to quantify [how good he could have been for Arsenal]. I will be happy and sad to see Eduardo. I will be happy because he was always a fantastic boy with a fantastic mentality. I will also be sad because I worked very hard to get him here and he left with the feeling that he could not completely fulfil the promise he had in the first season. That was basically down to the fact he was injured for a long time and somebody else moved in front of him.”

I’m sure he’ll get a great reception… I’ll leave you for now… and leave you with this video of Eduardo’s greatest moments…

Come on you reds… here’s for an awesome game tonight…

  • vj

    think arshavin should play instead of nasri, we should rest nasri for the weekend, we need him then, same to with song, denilson should (and probably will) get a run

  • vj

    my team

    Eboue Djourou Squillaci Gibbs

    Denison Wilshere Diaby

    Rosicky Bendtner Arshavin

    Vela Fabregas and Walcott to get a run

  • Yemi

    Wilshire should play the shaktar game since he would not be featuring in the EPL. I think cesc should get a run of 15-20 minutes to prepare him for city.

    Arshavin should be rested and vela to come in his place. I also feel this is the time to give Szcznesy a big stage game because 1. We are quite comfy in the group 2. Its a home game 3. Flappyhandski should be rested for city

  • Arsefan101

    @ vj: I don’t think you should underestimate the likes of Shaktar – they are and they mean serious business! Their coach is very good and their results have been awesome. Eduardo doesn’t even get into their line up!

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see us play both Arshavin and Song!

  • Arsefan101

    @ Yemi:
    I think as a goalkeeper, you’ve got to play, play and play. Szczesny has been pencilled in to play in the Carling Cup, so that would make sense – we can’t underestimate Shaktar!

  • devday

    If Eduardo scores… “I don’t think I will celebrate. I respect the club. I had some great moments here and have respect for the supporters”

  • devday

    Arsenal Football Club can confirm that goalkeeper Vito Mannone has joined Championship side Hull City on loan until January 2011.

  • devday

    @ vj:
    In a way, we do need to use the squad, and putting in a Rosicky for Nasri, a Vela for Arshavin and Denilson for Song, can’t really do too much damage to our first team line up – those three would be possible, and in a way, I’d like to see Rosicky rewarded with a starting place as he has been excellent coming on a sub and as I said in the main post, I’d like to see Arshavin dropped as he has ben very poor. In addition, Denilson will play more now that Wilshere is suspended for 3 games, so it may be time to use the squad… but as Arsefan0101 said, we can’t under-estimate the opposition either!

  • Berth

    Dev have u noticed that Chamakh’s goals in the premiership has been against teams that starts with the letter B. Blackpool, Bolton and now Birmingham – How many more B teams do we have to play.

  • Sam

    Berth: I’m sure Chamakh can score against Ban City, Ban United, Biverpool or even Bottenham!

  • Berth

    That’s really funny Sam.

  • devday

    @ Berth:
    That’s so true… what a coincedence… don’t forget Braga!!!

  • tom

    Well, i’m just going to throw this out there..
    Can anyone see Rooney slipping on an arsenal shirt? Apart from the extortionate price and general idiocy of the player.. it makes for an interesting discussion no?

  • tm17

    Wow it’s actually been confirmed Wayne rooney wants to leave!!

    I know kieran believes he doesn’t mind Rooney going but you have got to admit he is a top quality striker, nice to watch or not the league he will play in will benefit greatly by his arrival.

  • tm17

    Wow it’s actually been confirmed Wayne rooney wants to leave!!

    I know kieran believes he doesn’t mind Rooney going but you have got to admit he is a top quality striker, nice to watch or not the league he will play in will benefit greatly by his arrival.

  • Berth

    Guess what Dev, his previous club Bordeaux starts with the same letter. Hmm!!

  • Berth

    On Wayne’s case it will be sad to see him leave the premiership considering how talented he is. If he does leave and of cos if Fab leaves too (I dont pray for that), it means either they both are fed – up of there various clubs or the tax system is pushing them away. The tax system is such a huge factor people don’t consider much. First C Ronaldo left for Real, Ozil refused to join Manu and of cos Yaya joined Man-city only after accepting an outrageous salary of £220,000 of which near half will be going to the tax man. The situation is so sad and hopeless. And guess what folks; its not just football; top and quality professionals are leaving the country for greener pastures too.

  • edison

    anyone got a stream of tonights game??

    cant get down to it !

  • Tm17

    @Edison —- > try

  • Berth

    Good game folks.

  • vj

    as it turned out it was a good game, the gamble with cesc paid off, he is now fit along with theo. Don’t expect many changes for the weekend. Unless Sagna or vermaelen make speedy recoveries. Theo should slot in for rosicky, and diaby should slot in for wilshere. Its a real shame hes missing three games now but no worries. A red card early on in his career may deter him from future tackles. We played really well. No suprise that a return of fabregas yielded a solid performance and 5 goals. The team just seems so much calmer when he plays. If we can win at the weekend then that will be a huge boost to our confidence, we can narrow the gap with chelsea hopefully and maybe take second place. With man u shocking troubles and chelsea’s injury woes, this is the perfect time to launch a challenge and get some points before dreaded november

  • yemi

    It was a great game in which no shaktar player was able to score, yippiee we kept a clean sheet. Yeah you heard me right right. 6 different arsenal players scored. 5 goals and 1 home goal or own goal to eduardo.
    I really loved the reception he was given when he came on and the fact that he didn’t celebrate after the goal shows the mutual respect. He even had a hug, back pat, shake for almost every arsenal player…… Adebayor, did you watch that ? Learn and grow up !!!!

  • yemi

    Quickly, did anyone notice that hleb was almost anonymous in our last game ? how times change

  • yemi

    and did anyone see flamini in a milan shirt yesterday ? i didnt notice him either

  • kevin

    Thoughts on the game: Wilshere was very good once again, if he carries on like this I will not be so worried when Cesc leaves.

    Our defence as IHH says, head up rather than away. That needs to be worked on in training.

    We played quite deep first half, and credit must go to their number 22 the Armenian Mkhitaryan, who covered ground and made nice forward runs.

    One we pushed up in the second half it forced Shakhtar onto the back foot.

    Cesc looked very bit like a man who was having first game back after injury, his passing was sloppy and his timing off.

    Theo looked brighter than expected after injury, interesting to see him play central even only if as sub, shows we do have beginnings of a “Plan B” in the locker.


    The team will be fired up for man shity and I hope we can show all those commentators that we are in the title race and that we must be taken seriously.

    I’m sure people will say oh but Arsenal have an easy group,… but Shaktar are UEFA cup champion in 2009 so they are no push overs. Braga and partizan are weak, just as zilina for Chelsea, the turks for Man U and the spuds for Inter, but Shaktar have proven over the years that they are a strong team so this is a great result.

    As for Eduardo’s reception, I was telling my colleagues this morning, that is one of the reason Arsenal is so special, no other club could be so respectful of ex-players to give them standing ovation and cheer when they score! no wonder ex players loves the club that much! Henry, Pires, Viera, Eduardo, Toure all received great cheer when they came back! I do hope Cashley, Shittybayor and Flamoney will see that! I do hope we will see ade’s face sitting on the bench or in the stands when we score against Man city!

  • theusualsuspect

    A very pleasing win against a team, like Braga, who came to play, which was their undoing. As many others have mentioned, this was a more efficient performance as Diaby and Arshavin were not in the starting line-up, which must mean they will be on Sunday. Wilshre will not play, but who will then assume the defensive shield position with Song in our 4-2-3-1? At 18 years old,Jack has no doubt had to play there as Diaby cannot, or will not, assume that responsibility. With Song increasingly thinking his job is to score goals, no wonder our midfield indiscipline costs us in the League. After 150 games for us Diaby has to deliver consistently, as Nasri is now doing. But, one good game in five and a lazy and uncommitted attitude, has left me thinking he does not deserve an automatic position in the big games. We need 100% energy and focus, not crass comments on how he dreams of winning the Ballon D’or. But some players appear to be un-droppable, maybe they do “great tings in training” that would be it! Also, apart for Partizan, Rosicky has played pretty well either as sub or starting, but again, in the big games Wenger will not start him, preferring Arshavin. We could be bullied in midfield on Sunday and with the likes of Tevez, Silva and Johnson running at our defence, I’m fearful of the consequences. I’m sure Chelsea will have demolished the awful Wolves without breaking sweat,so they could be eight points ahead by the time we play. As Fabregas says, three points are a must, but who’s confident.. asking your head not your heart?