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Udinese, a draining summer and no Hazard?

by on August 24, 2011

Here we go then, it all comes down to this evening’s shindig over in Italy. Win and we’re through, lose and we’re relegated to the likes of Leverpooooooooooooooooooooooool and Spuds. I have to say, I do find it a bit strange that a team that has qualified in fourteen consecutive seasons still has to play the likes of Udinese to qualify when there are clearly worse teams already in the group stages. Having said that, we can’t really complain because that doesn’t really get you anywhere.

That’s enough of me talking bollocks though, let’s talk about what’s actually going on. First things first then, obviously tonight’s match. We’ve heard all the squad news and it all still seems a bit confuzzling. I’d line up something like:

————————Szczesny———————

–Sagna—–Djourou——Vermaelen—-Traore–

—————Frimpong—Song——————–

–Arshavin———–Rosicky—————–Gervinho

————————-RVP————————-

Having said that, there are still concerns over the fitness of Djourou, Rosicky and to an extent Traore so I’ll let you decide. I’ve sat Ramsey out just because he’ll have to play a big part this weekend and neither Frimpong nor Song will be eligible. As was somewhat muttered yesterday, Arsene Wenger will be able to sit on the bench during the match as UEFA have agreed to postpone his touch-line ban, how gracious of them. In terms of pre-match pressers and what-not, you can find Wenger’s pre-match interview with the official site right here. You can also watch the pre-match press conference with the boss and Bacary Sagna here.

Obviously, the most important thing ahead of the match is not conceding. Provided we don’t concede then we’ll go through. The boss has clearly cottoned onto that, stating that a solid defensive performance will be important. Either that or playing eleven strikers so that we guarantee to score more than them. As I mentioned beforehand, Bacary Sagna was also at the presser and he had something to say as well. He issued what some have called a ‘rallying call‘ to the team. He said that Arsenal are still ‘alive and confident’. Good to hear. Wenger also said in his presser that he was planning on strengthening his midfield. Hardly surprising given the lack of depth at the moment, particularly after the departures of Fabregas and Nasri. Having said that, he points out that internal options are available, like Emmanuel Frimpong, as well as external options, i.e. bringing someone in.

Speaking of defensive reinforcements, there’s been talk that Eden Hazard wants to stay at Lille. However, we’ve been linked instead with Marvin Martin. I know, great name. An interesting topic, Emmanuel Frimpong looks determined and set to try and push on. Does his emergence mean we no longer need a defensive midfielder? In case you didn’t already know, $amir Na$ri moved to City. I like the way the boss said he had psychological problems. I would speak about it, but I really can’t be assed. Besides which, Goodplaya does it far more eloquently than I ever could.

In other news, Sam from 15yearoldgooner has been talking about why Arsene Wenger should be given more time at the club. Definitely worth a read in my opinion. While you’re at it, give this a listen on BBC Sport. Arsene Wenger on how draining this summer has been, with regards to the continually ongoing sagas surrounding Fabregas and Nasri.

One other thing then, the Reserves won 3-1 yesterday afternoon at Wigan, with Ryo Miyaichi featuring. The young Japanese forward didn’t have much impact on the game as Wigan looked to nullify his threat early on, but did manage to get on the score-sheet after goals from Sanchez Watt and Chuks Aneke. Neil Banfield spoke after the match about the performance of the team in general and Ryo Miyaichi specifically.

That’s all for today then, tweet me up @SavageGooner if you don’t already. You know you want to. Be sure to let me know what your predictions for tonight are as well as who you think will score? Will we qualify?

Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Comes Through Harmony

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3 Comments
  1. Savage. I have wriiten a peice on Marvin Martin which should be published later on Gunnersphere.com. Havwe a look or folow me at daveseager66 and I will tweet you later.
    Dave

  2. ifeanyi klinsmann permalink

    did ryo score?

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