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Team News: Arsenal vs Marseille

As most Gooners, and probably the players too, are still on a massive high following the weekend`s demolition of Chelsea, now is a perfect time to try and make it 9 wins from our last ten games.

Tonight we play hosts to Marseille, and a win would all but gurantee qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Indeed a win tonight and a draw in the other match would see us through.

After his weekend`s hat-trick heroics, van Persie drops to the bench and Park gets his second Arsenal start and his first game in Europes premier knockout competition.

Koscielny also gets a well deserved rest and Vermalen comes back into the fray.

Arsenal
13 Szczesny
04 Mertesacker
05 Vermaelen
11 Santos
25 Jenkinson
08 Arteta
14 Walcott
16 Ramsey
17 Song
09 Park Chu-Young
27 Gervinho

Substitutes
21 Fabianski
06 Koscielny
20 Djourou
07 Rosicky
23 Arshavin
30 Benayoun
10 Van Persie


Marseille
30 Mandanda
03 N'Koulou
15 Morel
21 Diawara
24 Fanni
04 Diarra
07 Cheyrou
28 Valbuena
11 Remy
20 Ayew
23 Ayew

Substitutes
01 Bracigliano
02 Azpilicueta
13 Traore
08 Gonzalez
12 Kabore
18 Amalfitano
10 Gignac




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 1 2011

Time: 7:28PM

Your Comments

My mistake ... a simple win will see us through.
Rocky7
Jeez man, they're whoopin' us early on.
Rocky7
Marseille was very strong, defensively and seemed to want the win more, towards the end of the 2nd half. Wenger was right to predict a tougher game as Marseille did look capable. Very eventful scoreless draw.
Naijagunner
Sorry dudes, mega day ahead, unlikely I'll get a chance to do a match report. So, some conclusions. I was really quite worried by that. One of the team's biggest flaws last season was being able to pick up the intensity for the big games, but then being unable to maintain that professionalism and rigour in following games. On last night's evidence, that's a problem we haven't fixed. I hate to say it, but that is pretty small time. Watch the F.A. Cup in January, that League 1 or League 2 side that makes a giant killing in the 3rd Round. Look up their next result(s). Ultimately, smaller teams het all giddy and self congratulatory after a big win and can't reproduce for a couple of games. Big teams go out, grind out a 1 or 2 nil, ***** off home and forget all about it. I don't think it bodes well for the long term that we don't have that sort of in built programming to be able to do that.
Little Dutch
My other concern too is that we've been a bit short sighted in letting this game slip. We've got a really tough draw in the Carling Cup whereby we're going to need to use more first teamers than we might have wanted. The Olympiacos game will almost certainly have something on it now- even if it's because we need a point to top the group. That means we won't be able to put out a completely scratch side. Had we been able to, I think we might well have been able to afford playing a virtual first choice line up v Citeh. Now the squad management is that little bit trickier for the manager and we've probably hurt our chances of Carling Cup progression.
Little Dutch
I saw it differently; we did create chances to win the game in the first half so no "smaller teams get giddy" syndrome there. This is the CL and it is a lot different to navigate games in Europe (see Appoel v Porto). From the manager's demeanour afterwards, you could tell he wanted the win but obviously, the exertions of Saturday had its effects on the players, physically.

I feel the draw was a fair result given the way Marseille defended well and restricted us in the 2nd half; it is noteworthy that they had very few chances while we had a fair few. I agree this will put pressure on the manager's ability to rotate the squad; we should be in good company on that one though, as I don't see many clubs qualifying at this stage. On the CC fixture, City should have the same problem we have, no?
Naijagunner
I'm sure AW's as worried about RVP picking up an injury as the rest of us are...! And if you've got 3+ strikers at a club, you've got to give them all a game at some point, haven't you? there were many people asking why Park isn't being played, so there's a game for him - in a relatively low-pressure game, against his old side(?).

That said, I though Park was absolutely awful... very surprised. I'm sure there's more to come from him, and he worked quite hard, but had the touch of a rapist.
damiano_tommassi
I totally understood the decision to rest RvP, made perfect sense because we have wiggle room in the CL we don't have in the league. But I can't explain it, I just didn't see fatigue, I saw a lack of urgency. Arteta has more minutes under his belt and is older than most, yet he was one of the few I thought played with that same intensity. Park is just going through an adaption period, it's one of those two way things. If we want him to adapt, we have to play him and last night was as good a chance as any to do so. I just think that if the team would've got even as high as second gear, they'd have won last night.
Little Dutch
When AW didn't start playing him in more games, I made the point that he needed to be brought in slowly; one bad game and most fans will begin an inquest on both the manager and player and this could have longer term effects on the player's 2 year career with us.
Naijagunner
 

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