By 1970’s Gooner
There are three things that are worrying me for tonight.
The first is to do with what will not take place at the Emirates. And that is the fact that Diarra has not been included in the squad which implies that something is anon.
Usually when a player has been in the news about impending transfers and is subsequently omitted from a game that he is supposed to participate in, as you would expect for Diarra tonight, then I fear the worst.
I rate Diarra very much. He is only 22, a full France international, a really strong and tenacious central midfielder who can also play equally well at right back with fantastic potential.
Financially speaking his value will no doubt multiply in a few years. If Wenger will allow him to move on he should indeed factor in this aspect and demand a price more near his potential value.
The next thing that worries me concerns what might happen on the pitch tonight. And that is a weakness in our central defenders.
They are both young players without a wise head around to guide them. Usually Wenger would pair one young defender with a more experienced hand next to them. He can't do it this time as he needs to rest and protect Gallas.
Also one of them, Senderos, looked rusty to me last time out against Burnley. And they will have to face one of the most potent strike forces in the Premiership: Berbatov and Keane.
The other weakness that worries me also originates in our defence.
Traore also looked out of sorts at Turf Moor last Sunday; so much that Wenger had to substitute him midway through he second half with Justin Hoyte.
Only this time Traore will have to face a more agile and penetrative winger in Aaron Lennon. If he puts in a performance like last Sunday’s then we are in trouble.
On the other hand Spurs will be out to get revenge for their last defeat at the Emirates which they would consider as unlucky having missed a penalty and the chance to go ahead at a crucial time during that game.
They are also under new management and they will be fired up even more.
I think the whole game will hinge not so much on how Spurs perform tonight but on how well Arsenal’s defence cope with what Spurs throw at them.
Prediction: It will be a game of two defences. Which will let in the least goals? Home win 3-2
Arsenal squad to face Tottenham:
2 Abou DIABY
3 Bacary SAGNA
6 Philippe SENDEROS
11 Robin VAN PERSIE
20 Johan DJOUROU
21 Lukasz FABIANSKI (GK)
26 Nicklas BENDTNER
30 Armand TRAORE
31 Justin HOYTE
32 Theo WALCOTT
36 Mark RANDALL
40 Vito MANNONE (GK)
41 Gavin HOYTE
Sam Allardyce and Newcastle have parted company!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
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I agree, tonight will be a tight game. I feel the difference could be the form of Eduardo. There will be goals and a potentially great game tonight. Its been 20 games since the Spuds last beat us. The tide will turn one day, but not tonight. I'm gutted about Diarra not playing, I hope it is'nt because he's going. If anything just loan him out and let him have a full pre-season and start afresh.
Im pretty sick of Diarra to be honest. If Flamini decided to leave in the summer we could all wish him luck because he had given great service to us and had time to grow on us. Diarra came straight from Chelsea reserves (well, not first team at any rate) and 5 months in demands a starting place in a team topping the league. The timing also sickened me...a day before we play Chelsea he decides to gripe publicly...Good news is that we hold all the aces. We dont have to sell and can demand a high price for him.
Im lookin for Diaby to start steppin up a bit more. He was coming on earlier this season but since coming back from injury hes been off the mark for me. He can be quite influential tonight.
Diarra is a loss tonight; he is far more energetic than Gilberto and could have added some pace to our defence.
That said, his behaviour is unacceptable and I can completely understand the decision to drop him.
If I were Wenger I would refuse to sell him in January, but also not play him until he expresses a desire to play for Arsenal. The situation can be reassessed in the summer. He has until then to wise up.
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