Another summer goes by, another season starts and it’s our very first game of the season tomorrow – Newcastle away. A ground and a game which haunted us last season after a very strange game up there saw us go 4-0 up only to draw the game 4-4. But it’s a brand new season and for the first time in a long time, a brand new squad, with old players departing and new players arriving.
The manager announced that Cesc & Nasri wouldn’t be involved tomorrow – by the time the game actually starts, they may not be at the club. The manager rightly focused on the game and commented:
“I believe the best thing for us, one day before the season starts, is not to focus on the possible transfers. What we want today is to focus on the players who play tomorrow and not the players who do not play.”
I’ll jump straight to the chase and look at who’s in and who’s out – we know Cesc & Nasri will miss tomorrow’s game, but we have a lot of good news on the injuries front – Van Persie is back and will captain the side tomorrow – Vermaelen and Gibbs are also back in contention and they are all joined by the trio of Walcott, Arshavin and Ramsey who have all passed fitness tests. Abou Diaby is a long term absentee (how many times have I heard that?) and Jack Wilshere won’t be ready in time for tomorrow…
So, this is the predicted line-up:
Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Song – Ramsey
Walcott – Rosicky – Arshavin
Van Persie (c)
With a bench of Fabianski, Traore, Koscielny,
Lansbury, Jenkinson, Oxlade , Gervinho & Chamakh
I’ve would have chosen Koscielny ahead of Djourou to partner Vermaelen as out of the two, as I think they’d work well together, but if I am correct, Koscielny didn’t feature against Benifica, so I’m not 100% sure about his fitness levels… I would definitely like to see Gervinho in the starting line up ahead of Rosicky, with Arshavin slotting in centrally, but I doubt Arsene will make such a move, he doesn’t normally introduce new players straight away…
[Update: Cesc completes transfer to Barcelona for £31m]
The saga is now complete, Cesc has moved – £31m in cash now, and then another £5m over the next 2 years based on appearances and trophies and Cesc is giving us £5m back as he’s broken his loyalty bonus, so overall transfer valued at £41m. Potential replacements are Mata, Ribery and Jadson, only time will tell.
[Update: Let's focus on tomorrow's game, not the departure of Cesc]
So Newcastle today confirmed the departure of their left back, Jose Enrique to Liverpool – that’s another high profile departure following Carroll and Nolan… so it’s actually going to be interesting to see who is going to start for Newcastle tomorrow…
The Newcastle line up could be:
Simpson – S. Taylor – Coloccini – R. Taylor
Barton – Tiote – Cabaye – Gutierrez
Ba – Ameobi
It’s still a decent team but one we can beat with the team above!
Looking forward to the first game of the season tomorrow. On way up to newcastle now! time for a bit of luther.
And so should we… time to start daydreaming – Newcastle not Cesc leaving…
Newcastle, I said, focus guys!!!