Arsenal vs Liverpool – Press Conference

Afternoon all, on a mild Friday afternoon.

It’s been a momentous and long week for all those connected to and involved with the Arsenal. Of course, the week started with a victory over Blackpool, then plunged into takeover madness with the increase in stake by Kroenke, which ultimately is now known to be to do with the sad death of director Danny Fiszman.

Arsene spoke on Fiszman’s courage in life and especially with his illness and said this:

“It is a very sad week because we closely followed his battle and I want to pay tribute to his absolutely extraordinary courage. The way he fought the illness was absolutely amazing and sometimes I wondered where he found the strength and desire to fight it. For the Club it is very sad news because he was a very influential man behind big decisions.  He was always a big influence and you had to be impressed by his huge intelligence and his capacity to analyse every single problem. For the Club it’s a big loss.”

Arsene was closer to him than me or you and if we feel a loss, sadness or confusion, it would be harder for a man such as Wenger to have such an ally, friend, business partner (as such) and overwhelming character no longer with him.

Team News

Arsene spoke yesterday and confirmed today in his press conference that Song and Djourou are both back, whilst Szcznesy should be available too.

“We have no [new injuries] but we have a big doubt on Sagna. Djourou and Wojciech are question marks. Will they be fit? That all has still to be decided. We have two more days to find out. It could be a possibility that they could be available.  It’s difficult to say [what their chances are]. We have a test today [Thursday], we have a big test to see how they survive the training session. That will be very important. Denilson and Song have a chance to be available as well.”

He followed that up today by saying the Song and Djouour are both available and it looks more likely than not that Szcznesy will be in goal – with Lehmann on the bench in lieu of the injured Almunia. If this is the case, then we should be able to field a relatively strong lineup, perhaps along these lines:

Szcznesy

Eboue – Djourou – Koscielny – Clichy

Wilshere – Song

Walcott – Cesc – Nasri

Van Persie

With a bench of Lehmann, Squillaci, Gibbs, Diaby, Arshavin, Chamakh and Bendtner

Pretty strong hey? In fact, with the absence of Sagna and Vermaelen noted, it is our strongest side, is it not?

And what should that mean? Well, it should be a WIN WIN WIN… yes, Liverpool have had their moments – Man City and Man United victories were impressive – in fact, they do seem to perform against the big clubs – so we should expect a performance from them… but at the same time, we are at home against a team that won’t defend, with virtually our strongest squad. It shall be a big testimony of our title credentials – as to say, if we can’t beat this team at home, then we’re not worthy champions…

Liverpool will want to win this game, as they’re 5 points off the pace for 5th – which would see them qualify for Europe – so I wouldn’t consider them “lying down” for us an option whatsoever, despite their hatred for Man United!

And finally, I’ll leave you with the news that we’ve named the two bridges outside the Stadium by two of the most instrumental people, Ken Friar and the late Danny Fiszman. The North bridge will be renamed after Friar and the South bridge after Fiszman, with PHW talking about them:

“These two men have had a huge impact on Arsenal Football Club. This is a small way of recognising their efforts and ensuring their passion and commitment to this great football club will be remembered through time.”

And the website also mentioned:

The renaming of the bridges at Emirates Stadium is another development in the Club’s drive to celebrate its rich history. This has included illustrating key players  and events on walls and displays designed to turn Emirates Stadium into a visible stronghold of all things Arsenal.

Kudos to the club for acting on this and renaming the bridges.

Til tomorrow my friends, til tomorrow…

  • alfie

    Nice post up mate – lets di it for danny this Sunday

  • fo

    Definitely! Let’s win on Sunday to get firmly into the title race and let’s do it for Danny. Legend.

    On team news, will Song go straight back in – or will Nasri start in the middle?

  • Arsefan101

    Agree with Line up – the question is whether Almunia has played his last game for Arsenal??? Will anyone want to buy him? If I was playing pro-evo and was a spanish 2nd division team, I would try and get him for a £1m. let’s see what happens in summer.

    Szcznezzer’s back, Lehmann #2 – Djourou’s back – I’m feeling confident

  • vj

    Vermaelen back in training! We need a win to bring the difference down to 4 points, and with Vermaelen and sagna returning next week we might officialy have the 1st XI for the first time this season!. God I hope we win, Im expecting a big performance from theo, against his childhood team, Liverpool have weak full backs and Theo and Nasri need to give cesc more support this time. A solid defensive performance is also needed. Come on Arsenal!

  • Berth

    After much thought I have come to conclude that whereas the united team thrive under pressure ours don’t. We crack easily so there is nothing to be excited about. we had our chance and I can assure you guys that it is long gone.

  • D-Man

    @ Berth:

    You’ve hit the nail on the spot – we could have done better against Barce away and better against Man U away – but we always crack under pressure.

    We need winners – but making winners is very hard – as we’re trying to make a whole team of people who haven’t won anything into winners – it’s not easy!

  • arseneknows

    @ Berth:
    Assure me?
    You most certainly can not my friend!
    What a ridiculous thing to say…

    NEVER EVER EVER give up people not until it’s over, even if the
    Odds are against you! In this case it will be tough – NOT impossible,
    But, definitely impossible without belief!

    You got to believe Berth – crazier things have happened and what if we do it!
    Where does that leave you??

    Come on man!!

    BELIEVE!!

  • vj

    I agree with arseneknows we far from out of this, if we beat liverpool and united then we’re just one point off, and man u then have to play chelsea 3 days after us. I know how many ifs there are but if the team start winning then the pressure on man u will pile up and there’s only so much one team can handle

  • edison

    believing is what being a football fan is all about.

    come on you gooners

  • JTGunner

    I agree with the team but i think diaby should start ahead of Song. Normally i would never say such a thing but:
    1) Diaby has looked good in the DM role recently
    2) He should be confident after scoring against blackpool
    3) We will really need his height when liverpool kick up to carroll!

    Diaby is not a better DM than Song but he is fully fit (unlike song), hes in form and i had another really good point but i complete forgot what it was?!

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!!!

  • vj

    @ JTGunner:
    Might i suggest we swap wilshere for Diaby, this allows him to continue to advance which he would do anyway, and defend against caroll. Jack is technically unbelievable but might get outmuscled by lucas, caroll and co.

  • JayJayGooner

    @ JTGunner:
    The problem with Diaby is that he can do a moment of madness at any time – go nuts, back pass randomly, spend too much time on the ball or get sent off.

    Song is much better and will stop Liverpool playing…

  • arsh

    what the f was that

  • arsh

    dont think we will even finish 2nd at this rate

  • arsh

    At the end of the day you have to laugh at how inept this team is!

    Never ever have I seen a team in the history of football so incapable of holding a lead. FFS don’t fall for the Ref blaming like Wenger will mostly do! We Couldn’t hold our one goal lead for more than 2min

  • Berth

    So unlucky

  • Vazy

    what a f**king dive from lucas… though my mate (whos a leeds fan) called the dive 2 seconds before it happened, so unlucky from us, though it should have been 0-0 we diddnt shoot to score we passed to score with 7 of them in the box most of the time… saying that… THIS was the team that rinsed Man City 3-1… we mostly d**ked them

  • Vazy

    i had to laugh at the arsenal fan infront of me… he was shouting “WILSHIRE IS SH*T!” “GET WALCOTT OFF FOR BENDTNER!” … what the hell.. wilshire was (overall) our best mid today and walcott though diddnt have his crossing + shooting boots on caused them so much trouble