Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hleb is passed fit but who will replace Rosicky?

By 1970’s Gooner

According to reports Hleb has been passed fit for the third away game of the season against West Ham United. The squad to make the short trip to Upton Park does not include the other wide midfield player, Rosicky, who has been impressive this season but is out with a hamstring.

This means that his participation in the Champions League game away to Steaoua in Bucharest is very doubtful as these kind of injuries usually take a minimum of two weeks to heal.

The squad for tomorrow’s game is as follows:

Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Flamini, Diaby, Eduardo, Adebayor, Fabianski, Van Persie, Gilberto, Eboue, Diarra, Denilson, Hleb, Hoyte, Bendtner.

It does not include goalkeeper Jens Lehmann (elbow), captain William Gallas (groin) and Alex Song (calf)

The other wide midfield position is likely to be contested by three players. Diaby who has been preferred in that position recently, Walcott who played in the Carling Cup and the recently returned to fitness Eboue.

Walcott has not convinced yet that he is ready to be a regular in the team. He needs to improve his concentration and final ball.

But it’s still a difficult decision to make for Wenger who will have to decide between Diaby who has been in terrific form recently scoring a spectacular goal against Derby; or Eboue who played very well against Newcastle in the Carling Cup last Tuesday and is the more “natural” winger of the two.

In my opinion the tactical arguments dictate that the more natural winger, Eboue, should be chosen as he is much more penetrative on the wing and able to go past his defender. In this way he can create scoring opportunities for the forwards with his cut backs and his crosses.

Diaby on the other hand is a central midfielder not a winger. This is obvious for everyone to see. He also does not posses acceleration and speed at the levels that would allow him to stretch defenders.

Wenger however may take into account the defensive capabilities of Diaby which may be more important in a tough away game. So he may decide for Diaby who is on form anyway.

The Hammers have won their last three matches against Arsenal and were the last team to beat us back in April.

Curbishly is likely to bring pace back into the attack with Bellamy now fit to partner Ashton.

In the midfield he may opt for Parker who played in the midweek game against Plymouth along with Bowyer, Noble and Etherington. Although there is not enough creativity there he may consider that this is the best way to combat Fabregas and co.

Arsenal ex boy Upson will feature in defence. Other ex Arsenal players Boa Morte and Ljumberg may be on the bench.

This is going to be a tough game for Arsenal as West Ham will play with strength and tenacity bolstered with the Knowledge that they have done it before against the Gunners by playing in this way.

One of the major factors in their impressive performances has been the leadership and energy that Nigel Reo Cocker usd to bring into the team. Now ploughing his trade at Aston Villa. Performances that had Wenger considering putting bids for the player in the past.

With all due respect, Bowyer is a very poor substitute for Reo Cocker and I do not see the West ham midfield succeeding where Fulham, Blackburn, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Derby failed.

The only area that West Ham may have some joy is in the pace of Etherington and Bellamy. The first however is up against an equally pacy Clichy and with Diaby doubling up on him I do not see serious problems arising.

Bellamy however up against the relatively slower and error prone Senderos may cause us problems. I hope that Toure is able to cover for him as he did for Gilberto against Spurs.

I do not foresee real problems for the Arsenal defenders against Ashton as he is not that quick and tends to rely more on his strength and aerial ability. An area that both Toure and Senderos can cope very well.

Prediction: Arsenal have too much for the Hammers. Away win 0-2

Betting suggestion:

Arsenal have been awarded more penalties in the Premier League this season than any other club (four), but only converted three of them. Now that Hleb is likely to play I can see his intricate play and dribbling ability winning a penalty. Have a bet on Arsenal to win and convert a penalty 5/1 with Bet365.

Keep well.

Tottenham’s win against Cyprus minnows may be all down to a cheeky ball boy! (watch it on video)

Last night’s performance means that Arsenal will win trophies this year


Anonymous said...

I think Diaby will play there as he has been on good form lately and is full of confidence. It wont matter too much to have a natural wide player as Clichy will bomb on down the left and provide width as with Sagna. If West Ham play like they did year against us, we'll 'Hammer' them as we're more decisive this year and last year we mullered them but just couldnt find the net! 0-2 Arsenal. Wrighty7

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous comment. We have width anyway in our full backs . Its mind boggling to think what the team can achieve when Eboue gets match fit again and the forwards convert more of the chances we create.

Anonymous said...

Diaby played well vs Derby but wasn't good against Spurs. I think the reason being that Derby don't have any quility in defending against a talented player like him where as Spurs are (like West Ham) that bit better and thus I think the fact that he is naturally a central midfielder becomes clear when he plays half way decent opposition. I'd give Eboue a chance on the right and play Hleb on the left. By the way, Eduardo is injured for this game, so Bendtner can expect a place on the bench.

All I really hope is that we score first and in the first half. When we do that we set ourselves up perfectly and I can't stand all this waiting until the 82nd minute to score, like vs Fulham. Drives me crazy!

dave said...

Eboue is a much better than Diaby. this is indeed obvious as the previous unknown has rightly pointed out. Wenger should play the players in positions that they can perform best

balan said...

Maybe Flamini should be rested and Diaby play in central midfield where he belongs.

Boris Godunov said...

I'd never bet on winning a penalty, seems to me it's a long shot considering statistics. Since Arsenal's away form has yet to be really tested this season and West Ham on a roll, it's kind of hard to predict a scoreline. 2-0 to Arsenal, as suggested obove, seems to have ground, but I will go with 3-0 to Gunners as I did last time around. It's time to get the revenge, and last season's two losses to Hammers should add to motivation and ruthlessness the kids have to show.

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