On Saturday we face newly promoted Swansea and it’s our first competitive game since the 8-2 defeat to Man United – hopefully that’s the last time I’m going to have to mention that this season, well, until we play them again – and the team need to bounce back. We’ve got 1 point from our first 9 available this season, we sit in 17th position, have seen a lot of players go out the door… BUT… have seen quite a few come through too…
Our five new recruits, Mertersacker, Santos, Arteta, Benayoun and Park may all be included in the squad for Saturday’s game – with suspensions to Gervinho and Song and injuries to Wilshere & Vermaelen. So without further ado, here’s my predicted line up for the weekend’s game:
Sagna – Mertersacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Frimpong – Arteta
Walcott – Ramsey – Arshavin
With a bench of Fabianski,
Jenkinson, Coquelin, Djourou, Benayoun, Oxlade, Park, Chamakh
In yesterday’s blog, we took a look at where Arteta would play and based on his role at Everton and the players available, I think he will be deployed in the Jack Wilshere role – a role which is a little deeper than many think he will play in – as it’s his first game, he may rotate a little with Ramsey, who can play a little deeper too. Gervinho looks like he will be our first choice for the left of midfield and perhaps even the likes of Park and Benayoun will provide more adequate cover than Arshavin, but for the moment, I think he’ll get the nod. Walcott was rested for England’s second game mid-week, but rumours are that he is fine to play on Saturday.
At the back, we’ve got another two newbies in Mertersacker and Santos – although Santos could be a very good signing – most of our attention is falling on our new centre back. International centre back. With 76 caps. We all thought he’d feature alongside Vermaelen for an ideal back two – but for the moment, whilst our vice-captain is out of action – he will surely be deployed next to Koscielny. Mertersacker has been saying all the right things and more recently, gave his account about Tony Adams…
“We didn’t get many pictures of him on the television but Adams was a legend here. He is a special one for me. When I was looking at English football I always looked to Arsenal and he was one of the great defenders when I was ten or 12 years old. I knew he was the centre-half for Arsenal. I like the players [like Adams] very much – I have enjoyed seeing them over the years. I hope I can improve my performances here and get better and better – I want to be useful for the team.”
Sounds like our new centre back is a bit of a footballer – and I mean that in the sense as a real footballer, someone who loves the game, someone who prefers to read, watch and play than club, drink or party…
Our number one goalkeeper was in scintillating form for Poland when they played and beat Germany mid-week, I know quite a few people who were simply amazed at his performance, a performance which won him man of the match. If you’ve not seen it yet, take a look at these highlights:
The key thing for the weekend is to break down the Swansea defence – their 5-1 defeat by Man City means that they’ll be looking to shut up shop and play us on the counter attack. We have Arteta joining the ranks and the very attacking left side of our team with Santos & Arshavin, so let’s hope we have enough to break down their defence….
Come on you reds!!!
Arsene has given us some further team info this morning, this is what he said:
We have Diaby and Wilshere (both ankle) out. Vermaelen has had his surgery, which went well. So there are three players out there. The other one who may not be available is Rosicky, who came back with a kick on his knee. We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning. Kieran is back. Theo has been working hard and is fit. All the others players came back from international duty in good shape. Everyone else is available. Emmanuel Frimpong is back too. Santos is a bit short because he has not had competition since the Copa America. He is practicing well though. We also have Gervinho and Song suspended but it is their last game out from the Newcastle match. Jenkinson is suspended as well after two yellow cards at Manchester United. Squillaci (calf) is not back yet.
And that should clarify everything… (I’ve updated the team news above too!)