Friday, August 15, 2008

Arsenal-West Brom Preview, New Signing?

Well here it is, the start of another season, finally. It seems like it's been ages since the last one, but probably just because everyone's been bitching and moaning all summer about how Wenger can't manage a team. Even with the Euros this summer seemed ridiculously long. But tomorrow that's all over because the Premiership starts, and we've got West Brom up first. Newly promoted West Brom I might home...where we've only ever lost once...should be three points right? Well you would think so but it's not a given by any means. You could tell from the match against FC Twente that we weren't at top Arsenal form but that will come with games and the same team being able to go out there.

The injury list for the game sees Senderos, Fabregas, and Diaby missing the match tomorrow as well as the long-term injuries Rosicky, Eduardo, and Bischoff. Alex Song is at the Olympics so he won't be making it either. Arsene Wenger says Kolo Toure is not 100% but he will be rushed back for this match. Let's just hope it doesn't lead to a long term injury. Samir Nasri could also make his Arsenal debut so that would be fun to see.

So the lineup will pretty much set itself:


Yeah I know that's the exact same lineup as we had against Twente except for Toure but I think that's what he'll go with. If Nasri is even a little bit injured I don't think Arsene would start him. It could be Djourou in place of Toure depending on how bad he is feeling tomorrow but if he was hurting badly Arsene wouldn't play him.

West Brom are an interesting prospect. They have a good manager in Tony Mowbray but a squad which just isn't that good. Better than Derby last year? Probably yes, but not a team that should beat Arsenal at home.

I think this is a game that Denilson and Ramsey should be able to handle in midfield. If this was against Man U, Chelsea, or even a team like Villa, I might be a bit worried about them starting the season in midfield, but this is a good test for them. They didn't exactly run the game against Twente so they'll have to step up their play, but they are two that have the ability to run a midfield game with their balanced play. They both can do a lot of things for the team and I think the strikers we do have will help them a lot.

It'll be interesting to see the Kolo-Gallas partnership again. I don't think anyone, including myself, was convinced of that pair in the center of defense last year, so we'll have to see if it has gotten any better. The main problem for them last year was long balls yet again so we'll need to improve on those if we want to go anywhere in the competitions.

Theo Walcott needs much improvement over the game on Wednesday, but I won't really fault him for that because it was the first match of the season. I do worry though that he'll always be a "super-sub" player and not a starter because he definitely seems to have more of an impact coming off the bench.

Match Prediction for me is going to be 2-0 to Arsenal. I think Adebayor will score both of them and I think Almunia will have a fairly easy game. Let's hope so.

So people have been really worried about our midfield or lack-there-of and there is some good news for you straight out of the mouth of Arsene Wenger. We will have a new signing before the return leg of FC Twente. Obviously we're all expecting it to be a midfielder but how funny would it be if it wasn't even a midfielder but it was a striker or something? People would REALLY lose it then. But seriously, it'll be a midfielder.

That's about all I've got. Nastia Liukin won the women's all-around at the olympics last night, and Shawn Johnson got the silver. It was awesome. And yeah, I really did say women's gymnastics was awesome. And Michael Phelps is up to a ridiculous six gold medals. And those Chinese gymnasts were certainly not 16...

But anyways, enjoy the match tomorrow, and let's start the season with three points!


Dan said...

Hopefully we'll be top by three points this time tomorrow. I think the boys in midfield should be fine in the new season's curtain-raiser as it's at the Emirates. I am half-expecting Le Boss to throw a curve ball and play either Djourou or Touré in the middle of the park with Dennis Nilson.

As for the new-signing, it is a relief that Mr Wenger has confirmed that we will have a new and experienced player before the return leg of FC Twente in the Champs League qualifier.

It has been confirmed by Rafa Benítez that Arsenal have spoken to Liverpool about Xabi Alonso. Alonso would be an awesome capture and I think we could push for a trophy with him and Cescy in the centre midfield.

I still feel we need a new centre-half and a match-winning goalie, but for now I'll settle with just a central midfielder. I'd be hysterical if it was as you joked that the signing wasn't a central midfielder, in fact I think I'll cry lol!


Mike said...

Very excited for the new season. It has been waaaaay too long since I last woke up at 7:30AM and put on my Arsenal shirt!

ArseNole said... early. Wish it started at lunchtime for us like it does in the UK

Connolly's agent said...

You're right; women's gymnastics IS awesome. It's amazing how little girls from every party of humanity all alike when their hair's pulled into a painfully tight hairdo, and they're dressed in brightly-coloured leotards. Gets me teary in a one-world kind of way.

Go arsenal, EVEN Adebayor. After all that's said and done, we all want the boys to do well.

And Arsenole, really puzzled about that linking. About half the other blogs on my list haven't changed either. Maybe the same problem?

GlancingHeader said...

Liverpool's Alonso is cup-tied in Champs League now. He won't be coming to the Arse. Of the rumored ones, only Man City's Michael Johnson remains. I don't think Wenger will sign anyone this year.

The supporters wouldn't be this worried if our injury list were shorter than it is now.

Mike said... says we've signed Mikael Silvestre. I'm never a fan of the Mancs but we need back 4 help so all contributions are welcome!