Arsenal vs Stoke Preview + Huge Round Up…

Round Up

Morning all, and it’s been a crazy week for all connected to the Arsenal – we beat a Barcelona side which is dubbed “the best in the world” and then drew to a lower league side, Leyton Orient, having dominated pretty much the whole game! I’d have taken the Orient draw in order to win the Barcelona game, so it’s not the worst result in the world – the pessimists will say it’s another game – the optimists will say that we’re still in four competitions, and quite a lot in them…. so we should be happy…

But in the next 3 weeks or so, we have an astonishing six games in 17 days, and it’s completely our fault – we could and should have avoided that by actually beating a very under average side, and we’ve got to consider what the consequence of that inability to win will be? Of course, obviously, we have another game to play…  but surely if we’re playing more games, we’ll be utilising more players – more players that can’t always be outside of our first choice picking – Song and Sagna both played against Leyton Orient as did Arshavin, who can definitely be considered an important player.

Our 6 games in 17 days are:

  • 23 Wed Feb – Stoke City at Home
  • 27 Sun Feb – Birmingham City in the CC final
  • 02 Wed March – Leyton Orient at Home
  • 05 Sat March – Sunderland at Home
  • 08 Tue March – FC Barcelona Away
  • 12 Sat March – Manchester United Away

Can you believe it? That is a seriously tough run in…

Now, for season ticket holders, they lose a credit in a way, as the Leyton Orient game will now be considered as part of their season ticket – to be honest, watching our second team misplace 20 passes and scrape through to the next round of the cup is not as good as seeing our first team take on the likes of Barcelona.

Arsenal vs Stoke

So back to the Premiership, and Stoke travel down to the Emirates tomorrow in what is a MUST WIN game… and if we win, we will go one point behind United, albeit, with a game in hand. It’s essential that we capitalise in the hope that United don’t win their next game. Personally, regardless of the fact that we have the Carling Cup final on Sunday, Wednesday’s game – in my eyes – is bigger. Well, firstly, simply because it’s the next game. But more importantly for me is the Premiership – within one point of United – who have a tough run in, and we could be a few points ahead of them by the time we play our next round of the Champions League (optimistic?)…

The team news is that Djourou is back and so is Van Persie, both who had slight knocks / strains earlier in the week – with Diaby still injured and suspended, the team picks itself:

Szcznesy

Sagna – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Walcott – Cesc – Nasri

Van Persie

With a bench of Almunia, Eboue, Gibbs, Squillaci, Denilson, Arshavin and Bendtner…

That’s just the 9 changes from the Leyton Orient game… Arsene will be having a press conference in the morning, so we will see if he chooses the same team as me…!

So, onwards and upwards I say… and finally, the Daily Mail are trying to scare Arsenal fans by taking a different stance on Nasri, saying he won’t sign for us unless we win a title, which is the opposite of what he said… he said – “I want to win trophies with Arsenal”…. whilst rumours are rife that we’ve signed a couple of Barcelona youngsters (again)… more news on that tomorrow…

Update: We have signed Jon Miquel Toral, a Barcelona “C” attacking player – apparently he spoke to Cesc before deciding to join the club!!

Anyway fellow Gooners, have a good day and surely, I’ll speak to you during the day in the comments!!

  • vj

    i don’t know devday, normally i completely agree with ur lineups and analysis, but i have a felling wenger may play denilson instead of song, on wednesday, song played 70 mins against barca and the full 90 against leyton, so i wouldn’t be suprised if denilson got the nod, and eboue may deputise again for sagna. Part from that, hopefully robin will start and we will hopefully (touch wood) get 3 points. I also agree with u on the the arsenal B team. Too many times this season, Huddersfield, Leeds, champions league and elsewhere where our second team has been used and failed to win. This has onlu given us about 5 or so more must win games this season than we should have had. People like Squillaci (who is teriible) Bendtner, Rosicky, Denilson, and surprisingly chamakh of late have just been god awful. I don’t what happened to chamakh, he says he’s burned out yet he plays only the odd match and sub appearance! He needs to shape up and realize what the premier league is about. Bendtner I think is just biding his time till the summer to leave, Rosicky is passed it and has been for some time now. Denilson is just not a DM and the quicker Wenger learns that the better denilson will become. We need the likes o Ramsey, JET, Frimpong, to come back and exert some enery into our second team. My second 11 would be:

    Fabianski

    Eboue Koscielny Squillaci (shit) Gibbs

    Frimpong, Diaby, Ramsey

    Bendtner, Chamakh, Arshavin

    now thats not bad at all, considering only 4 players are missing from that team, we should really be winning a lot more easy matches

  • Berth

    VJ stop blabbing like a kid.

  • Berth

    Arsenal fans are becoming far too over anxious and obsessive. We all have to be weary of being too obsessed with winning trophies. You play some players once in 4 0r 5 games and you expect them to magically play well.

  • Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    There are so truths in both @Berth and @VJ’s comments.

    @Dev

    I believe Sagna will play on Sunday and not tomorrow. Song is also less than likely to feature for the very reasons which VJ has articulated. My line-up will look like this:

    Szczesny; Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy; Denilson, Wilshere, Fabregas; Nasri, RvP, Walcott

  • BergkampBurger

    @ Thierry Bergkamp-Wright:
    We will play our strongest team tomorrow without a doubt.
    Premiership is the most important trophy!

  • devday

    Some good points there VJ – I am really not sure why Chamakh has suddenly lost his form and fitness – considering his efforts earlier this season… Bendtner & Chamakh as backup to RvP is not adequate enough at the moment – we need to look at more striking options in the summer.

  • vj

    agreed devday, a striker and a cb since we lost the promising nordveit

  • Berth

    Dev Striking options!!

  • devday

    @ vj:
    But we have the ever so promising Miguel!!

  • vj

    true devday, and if he can step up for the reserves this season and play well in the emirates cup in the summer and other friendlies, then he could be the answer. As for striking options, the fact is that in our 4-3-3 formation, after RVP there is no one really good enough, we have one quality striker, and two very make shift ones who are yet to prove anything. If we can’t beat Leyton Orient (and even if that was a one off, u look at 2-0 loss to braga, 1-0 loss to ipswich, 2-1 loss to shaktar, that 2-2 draw to wigan, 1-1 against leeds, thats a lot of matches we really should have won comfortably, even with our second team. Its not that they’re not good enough, they just don’t work hard enough, whether in training or on the pitch.

  • devday

    @ vj:
    You’ve hit the nail on the spot with that last comment.
    At the end of the day – if the likes of Bendtner and Chamakh can’t perform against the lower leagues, then how will they ever step up to the main team and perform in and out.

    There is an obvious coincidence that our good form in the CL and Premier League has come with Van Persie’s fitness this season.

    I know Bendtner and Chamakh have played in weaker team and get less service, but you’ve got to consider that they can do better. Chamakh looks completely lost at the moment.

    However, having said that – Bendtner did do well against Ipswich at home and Chamakh did lead the line well in our first team when RvP was injured earlier this season!!!

  • devday

    PS, talking about RvP being injured – he has picked up a hamstring injury and will miss tomorrow’s game – as will Koscielny through a back injury!

  • vj

    so while we’ve talking about the future I’m sure arsenal fans are suddenly worried, robin who has scored 12 goals in 10 games this season, and Koscielny are best defender against the best team in the world…. So in come Squillaci, a defender who doesn’t have the pace and strength for the premier league, and possibly Bendtner or Chamakh (likely to be Bendtner), one striker who claimed to become the best striker and still has to prove his starting place, and chamakh a striker claiming to be out of sorts and who feels he is burned out.

  • vj

    Call back for vela or the birth of Ryo Miyaichi anyone…..

  • Berth

    I can belief Dev and VJ can be so mean. You guys are so narrow minded. All of a sudden Chamack and B25 are now not good enough? I would prefer you guys don’t talk about our players that way. Unless you two wants to be to Arsenal players what Ghadafi is to the Libyan citizens.

  • vj

    @ Berth:
    Whoa Berth i think we’re getting off topic here, mine and devday’s concern only is that do we have good enough strikers AT THE MOMENT in B52 and Chamakh, to cope with all 4, albeit 3 after this weekend, competitions? As I said and as Arsene said, we need to be better against lower teams. Decday and I are not making this analysis on just the Orient game, but on a combination of poor performances. Remember how Nasri got injured on a Wenger gamble.. We can’t afford to lose 1st team players if reserves aren’t pulling their weight. If B52 and Chamakh play well tommorow night then I’m sure all will be forgiven. Us Arsenal fans are just worried about the number of matches our 1st team has to play because of replays

  • yemi

    @ vj:
    @ vj:
    @ devday:
    I don’t thinl B52 AND Chamack are off color or off form, i think the problem is playing them together. Play either of the two and replace the other with a midfielder who can deliver service, they will be OK. Both guys have similar style of play, sluggish (like berba but less technical), like to drop deep, score a lot with the head. Therefore they need someone to deliver accurate passes/crosses. You will agree that this is not found in the second string team. Maybe if ramsey could come in, it might be better.