Arsenal vs Marseille, A Win & We’re Through!

After the thrilling encounter at the bridge against Chelsea, our attentions must turn to Marseille. A fortunate win against the French side away means we top the group with 7 points. A win against Marseille today at the Emirates will see us rise to 10 points, which will qualify us for the next round. We’d have to then pick up another 2 points from the remaining two games to ensure we’re first… but first thing is first, let’s try our best to get the three points tonight…

Against Marseille, we were lucky to come away with three points due to the pressure the home team put on us, but then again you make your own luck… and we capitalised on our chances through Aaron Ramsey – whose eye for goal could be a very good blessing in disguise – he’s confident he can score double figures – which I would love him to do – especially if Gervinho, Walcott and Arteta can also do the same! Arsene singled out the progress of Aaron Ramsey yesterday and proclaimed that there is much more to come:

“He is on the way up. We speak about Robin van Persie but Aaron was out for one year when he was just getting into the team. That is tremendous. It is completely normal that he improves now because he is young. And there is still a lot of improvement for him. Secondly he is back to his full physical potential which is huge. We see that when we analyse the games. The worry we had is that he might be touched by being out for such a long time when it comes to the challenges. I have been impressed by the way he dealt with the whole situation.”

Over to the team news and despite the importance of the game, I think Arsene will still rest & rotate a little bit. We know Chamakh is out of the squad with a knee injury and I’d expect Park to come in and replace him; well, I expect Park to start and Van Persie to be rested, but we will see what happens. It may be an opportunity for Vermaelen to come back into the team, so my line up is as follows:

Szcznesy

Jenkinson – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Santos

Rosicky – Song

Walcott – Ramsey – Arshavin

Park

With a bench of Fabianski, Djourou, Mertersacker, Arteta, Frimpong, Gervinho, Van Persie

The reason I’ve included Rosicky in the starting line up is down to the sheer number of games that Arteta has played in a row recently and this is an ideal time to rest him ahead of the home game against WBA. I may be wrong with Gervinho and Van Persie, they may get a start as they’ve both had a rest now – but it’s a perfect time to start Park, at home, in Champions League group of which we are top of. We may have to play a stronger team than I’ve put out simply down to the fact that Marseille are a very good team and if we do win tonight, it will take us to 10 points.

In other news, Stan Kroenke visited the training ground yesterday. He met the players, spent time with the manager and staff and then had a long interview with Arsenal.com, take a read if you have time, but in short, he was very complementary of Arsene Wenger and what he has brought to the club:

“Arsène has been here 15 years and you look at what the Club had as assets and revenues back then. It’s fantastic the growth that has occurred within the Club. It has been done very responsibly and they have the record for participating in the Champions League for the most consecutive years. For long-term stability and an approach to excellence, I think that’s unsurpassed really.

We’ve got a long way to turn the season around, but we’re making progress and last weekend’s win was a very important win for us. We will see where we are in the next couple of weeks, but we have two home games now – first tonight against Marseille and then on the weekend against WBA. Two wins out of those two games and both CL qualification and Premier League ascendency will be ours!

All that is left to say… is… come on you Gooners!!!

  • arsefan101

    I don’t think Arsene will change the side – they did very well against Chelsea and you don’t want to disrupt that

  • yemi

    Hope to see a great match and a win tonight

  • devday

    Come on you reds!

  • devday

    Today’s line up – Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Gervinho, Park

  • devday

    Today’s bench – Fabianski, Koscielny, Djourou, Rosicky, Benayoun, Arshavin, Van Persie

  • salom

    Well that was absolute wank. What a waste of an evening.

    No pace, no attacking ability without RVP, outmuscled in midfield. Song is still the most inconsistent player I’ve seen in an Arsenal shirt, Santos can’t defend and weighs more than Arshavin, Park is a Korean version of Chamakh, Gervinho inconsistent, Arteta is average at best.

    It’s very worrying – the squad is paper thin and incredibly lightweight. We have experience on the bench in Rosicky and Arshavin but neither are good enough and even when they are brought on, they’re played in the wrong position.
    _________________

  • niech

    P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.

    A win would have taken Arsenal through to the knock-out phase tonight. So instead of starting the strongest possible side available, Wenger, the fucking idiot, decided yet again to start pissing about and started the match with clowns like Carl Jenkinson, Park and co.

    Dear God it’s matches like this that truly show you the lack of quality in this Arsenal side. No Van Persie and it’s just mediocre, bland, boring and slow. I keep asking this question, and I will never tire of asking it but what is the point of Arteta? He creates nothing when this side is badly lacking creativity post-Fabregas. He mostly passes the ball sidways and backwards 2 yards, he’s like a Spanish Denilson to me. Explains why he was at Everton so long without any big club taking him on.

    Some people thought the Chelski win showed our class. I think more than anything, it showed how tactically naive and retarded Chelski and Villas-Boas were. Any team with a modicum of tactical acumen and organization can stop Arsenal.

    Arsenal could have qualified tonight with the strongest 11 on the pitch, and then a win vs Dortmund and the group is won. But oh no, not the great Lord Wenger. He’ll somehow end up 2nd in the group and then his disciples will tell us after we get butt-raped by Barca in the last 16 once again

    ‘Oh what could Arsene do, we were unlucky to draw Barca’.

    He could stop being such an arrogant c*** by thinking he has the players and the squad to rotate. Note to Wenger: when you have Jenkinson, Park and Chamakh as your squad options, it means you’ve mismanaged the squad so badly that you must play your best 11 EVERY game.

  • salom

    We let class players go without replacing them. Good players were available in the summer – the likes of Mata and Jose Enrique who would have signed for us, and yet he went for Arteta and Santos. Everyone knows we’re fucked if RVP gets injured, so he signs Park… I mean what kind of signing is that? And then they say the money is there? It defies rational thought.

    There’s no reason this team should have fallen from the heights of 2004 and yet year by year the team has been dismantled. We’ve brought in one or two good players but generally it’s been getting weaker season after season and there’s no excuse for it.

    Tonight’s game simply highlights how weak the squad is IMO.