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Team News: Arsenal vs Sunderland

It`s back!

The day we`ve all been waiting for. Happy football day to fans of Arsenal and the Premier League all over the world. The start of a new season is the only day when everyone is on equal footing, when all clubs and fans harbour their own dreams, dreams that we hope will come true in 9 months time.

We`ve had another fairly turbulent summer, but the difference this year is that Arsene has added some generous amounts of quality to the team, meaning Gooners are genuinely hopeful this year.

Of course injuries are always a problem for us and we start the new season without Wilshere, Rosicky, The Ox, Koscielny, Frimpong and Sagna. Whilst the departure of van Persie and the probable departure of Song opens up other avenues for players to stake a claim.

The new season is a little under 30 minutes away so let`s see how our boys line up.

Arsenal team:




Vermaelen (C)
















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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 18 2012

Time: 2:39PM

Your Comments

Awwwwww yeah! It's back. Love it love it love it. COME ON YOU REDS!!!
Very optimistic today!
Am I right assuming Arteta will play DM with Diaby the box to box player?
No 10
Thats a pretty strong bench too
No 10
I thinks so 10. I hope Diaby has a great game. He deserves some good luck.
I can't stand our formation. 4-4-2 is the way to go.
Jenkinson has been bloody awful in the attacking third
And that's what happens when you sell your best player 2 days before the start of the season having given his replacements next to no time in pre season to bed in. Flat deflated crowd flat deflated team. Feckin awful.
Another frustrating attacking performance. Picking up where we left off last year. Arsene should think about tinkering with the formation.
I thought we did alright considering Sunderland's negative style, time wasting, the heat and it being the first day. Gervinho and Cazorla looked excellent. We were never troubled defensively and Chesney got a nice tan. It's not the end of the world.
We didn't have much choice with RVP really. I didn't think it was a bad performance, the usual story, created a lot of chances but didn't finish any of them. Gervinho and Diaby both had good games, Cazorla looked good also. Both Podolski and Giroud looked rusty, especially Giroud with that glaring miss. First game of the season, lot of new players to bed in and a few missing through injuries. Not a bad performance all things considered. Arshavin was rubbish when he came, making lazy passes, really needs to be shipped off. Hopefully get rid of Song and sort out his replacement soon also. Still fairly optimistic about our season, maybe I'm deluded tho!
Not great but by no means bad, never in danger of losing this game by a sucker punch or some dim witted player gifting Sunderland a goal. We don't look bad we look like a team at the beginning of a journey. Of course a win would be nice but I'm not getting the existential crisis vibe of last season, not in the slightest.
Professor Calculus
While I expected a better result, it is the first game of the season against a team playing for the draw and with a reputation for making it difficult for us. Not too bad; but stil a lot of work to be done.
Some timing too for announcing the departure of Alex Song. Now, all the press will regale us with is how Robin and Song may have made a difference. Liverpool were badly beaten. So were Villa. Not pointing fingers but it just tells you how hard this league can be on the first day. Any surprises if the sides playing on Monday have better games in the cool of the evening, having had a longer period to do more tactical work?
defensively more solid, offensively more blunt. not a conclusion though as it was just the first game. nevertheless, i think the structure of play when we were not in possession has changed and there was less opportunity for opponent to hit us with counter attack. this could be due to bould's coaching. i think podolski & giroud should learn to adapt their game to drop deeper when they were man marked (what rvp used to do). staying in the box all the time is very predictable and will not work against teams playing 2 layers of defence. moving away in on and off disorients the opponent's defence and makes space of others. bear in mind, over 2/3 of teams in pl park the bus against us. podolski & giroud should play the forward role instead of old fashioned striker because such role does not work in a 4-5-1 system
3 points would have been nice but we managed a clean sheet....the cobwebs blown off. Now let's get to business for the rest of the season. Our new players can only get better. I think now our attacking third is almost an unknown quantity, we could cause teams more problems then in past years, once the boys are acclimatised. I see the goals being spread out through the team.
Liverpool result makes me feel better and the Song transfer timing is strange. Obviously, this wasn't the worst result for Arsenal. Besides a couple of chances in the first 20mins, Sunderland never looked like scoring. I just worry about our attack. Even with RvP, I thought we were lethargic last season. Not the flowing Arsenal of years past.
I think our attack will be stronger this year once the new players settle, Gervinho already looks massively improved from last season. Just need our strikers to sharpen their finishing. We were pretty unlucky not to get 3 pints today. Really hope we get Sahin. Our defence looked pretty solid but didn't really have to do much. AW did think the defence were a bit slow with their passing. Probably would have been better if we had Koscielny and Sagna playing not that their replacements did badly.
Song deal to barca confirmed then
signed for 19 mil euro (15 mil gbp) with a release clause of 80 mil euro? i dont think his value will quadruple within five years. so we have break even in the transfer market this season i.e. in: podolski (11 mil) + giroud (12 mil) + cazorla (16 mil) = about 39 mil; out: vela (4 mil) + rvp (22 mil) + song (15 mil) = 41 mil
Apparantly we only got 15 million for the dutch judas, that rises to 20+ if we've assisted them in winning the league.
Which consequently means we haven't broken even in the window or made a profit, so if we can't arrange Sahin on loan don't realistically expect further outlay for any replacement.
"United will pay 22.5m, with a further 1.5m one-off bonus to follow if they win a Premier League or Champions League title in the next four years."
Sorry yeah 15 up front, 22.5 in total, 1.5 when they win next major trophy within the 4 years. So depending on when they cough up the extra 7.5 it still leaves us making almost a 10 mill deficit in this window, so still don't expect any further outlay if a loan can't get sorted. Great goal from Ba there, Henryesque.
Watching the Tots at Tyneside, are you then, Niko:-) Great goal indeed; that boy is ripe for the big league.
Wenger will need to coach Gervinho to give the one-time pass when forwards run into good position. He has to release the ball a lot quicker and he will soon be a clear firm fans' favorite.
yeah naija...bollix the midget just spaffed it in.
get in ben arf arf arfa!
I agree Naija Gervinho look really selfish today, it really *****ed me off actually. He needs to start releasing the ball much earlier. He is good at going passed people but he is no Ronaldo.
No 10
We just looked like we hadn't played much together...which we haven't. Bring back the Austrian pre-season!
No 10
citeh have bought Austria No 10.
But at least we didn't lose!!
No 10
Nice Niko
No 10
I agree with whoever said bring back the Austrian training camp. Sure, a 'brand awareness' tour is unfortunately important in today's skewed world of football, but I think the players would have been sharper and had more awareness of each other if they'd had more than one pre-season game together. Cazorla looked great, as did Gervinho, but if everybody had trained together rather than half the squad in Asia and the other half at Colney until they met up in Germany, it's entirely possible Poldolski would have been familiar with Gervinho's runs and put himself in a position to accept a pass - as it was, Gervinho looked up and didn't really have options - is that selfish or smart? Anyway, things look promising, the talent is there they just have to learn to play together.
Didn't see the match so will need to catch highlights on MOTD (even though that means having to listen to Hansen, Lawrenson and Shearer talk utter tripe and endure their anti arsenal brigade) but I hear it was a pretty unremarkable display though Santi had a good debut. Would have been nice if Giroud buried that chance and even a 1-0 win would have been a good start. But hey at least we didn't lose. Lol at Spuds and Liverpool. Hopefully Sahin was watching the Liverpool game.
Ned Stark
Ned you'll be happy to hear that MOTD will have Harry Redknapp & Mick McCarthy tonight
No 10
Mick (AKA Merlin) I can tolerate because he comes out with the odd witty quip every now and again. 'Ol twitchy scrote face' on the other hand, I cannot stand. Thank ***** for the mute button.
Ned Stark
I think there were positive signs from the performance. We didn't gel really well, and the passing movement was not crisp, but there were some good moves which will turn into goals as the season progresses. Gervinho was the only real constant threat during the game.
@GaryLineker cannot confirm or deny that they have brought a Land Rover into the studio for 'Arry to give his thought from.
No 10
RVP last week, Song this week ..... who else will the selling club get rid off before the transfer window .........not much quaity left in reality.
I've just realised how nice it was to not have freekicks given away in dangerous areas, especially towards the end of the match. I've always been a big fan of Song's but I will not miss that aspect of his game.
No 10
What is the problem with Walcott? His one strength is speed yet he did not once attempt to beat anyone with his pace - leaving us with just an annoying useless player on one wing. Honestly the players did not look up for their first game of the season. At no point did they think let's make a statement and put Sunderland away. It was like a training run.
I don't think Walcott had a bad game. Playing against a team set up to defend is never going to let us see Walcott at his best but he did use his pace to get passed people and to good effect. Had Poldi known his play better he would've moved earlier and probably scored.
No 10
We have a lot more creativity in the team then we did last season, gervinho looks like the player we meant to sign, jack coming back, diaby fit. The only thing missing was 3 points. I'm not going to be too hard on the boys, the more they play together the more familiar they will become with each others game. Cazorla looks pure class, can't wait to see him when he is settled into the team....and linking up with wilshere, now that is mouthwatering. Poldi and giroud will have a hatful of chances to put away with those two behind pulling the strings.
About the game On the whole I think we looked good. Santi is world class and you can see that. The defense looked solid especially Per and TV5. Not too critical of Carl - he's still raw. And Arteta was my MOTM. What a fantastic performance. Here's my issue with Diaby. He is too slow in build up play to cause any real threat. And he is too dumb to properly get into positions when the opposition counterattacks. Well, this is nothing new. But thats Diaby for you. Hes neither a proper attacking player nor a proper DM. Gervinho and Theo were trying hard.. But our problems have been more or less the same except for last season I guess. we build our attacks far too slowly. Thats fine, if like Barca, we had 3 worldclass players upfront who can telepathically read each others movements - but we dont. Personally, I feel Lukasz cannot play upfront alone. He would be far better served with a striking partner. And not too fussed about the Giroud miss. I liked his movement. On the whole, Im happy. Its just starting. Sunderland parked the bus and Im pretty sure if we had a couple more dribblers we could have broken the banks of defenders. At the moment the only player who can run at defenders look like Cazorla and Gerv.. Throwing the Ox into the mix could help. Shava simply has to get more involved this season. Without RvP, he is a senior pro and needs to take more responsibilty. Roll on next weekend.
Good points all, I also think Tommy Rosicky would have been good for games like this as he seems to speeden up the games when he plays.
I've only watched the 2min Hightlight on Arsenal Player. How different we all would have felt if Giroud had scored! But a point, is better than Spuds, or Liverpool managed, nor did we get beat 5 nil like QPR or Norwich. Come on The Arsenal!!
I think you're being a bit harsh on Diaby Sajit, he has just returned from a long term injury and didn't look all that bad. He didn't release the ball quickly enough at times as he has a tendency to do but I think we might see the best of him this season if he stays free of injuries. Still hope we get Sahin or M'Vila as we need at least one more top quality midfielder.
I wouldn't be too harsh on Theo for the same reason - just come back from injury and looked rusty. He didn't have the confidence to run past his full back. Sunderland parking the bus didn't help his cause.
It's always hard for Theo when a team plays deep and he can't use his pace to get behind them. Snatched at a few chances but kept hold of the ball quite well I thought.
Theo and Kieran Richardson usually have something of a duel whenever the teams meet, which would have made things a bit more harder for the former yesterday. Theo, when faced with such situations must vary his play and positioning to leave his marker stranded. I do hope he wasn't weighed down by his contract extension talks (we need to sort that before the window closes, I think or he walks on a free); not that he didn't do well but, as one of our senior players, a little more would have to be demanded/expected of him.
I wonder how much Walcott has been affected both by his contract talks and by Van Persie's departure because they appear to have been pretty close mates for a long time. With no Sagna, Song, Ramsey/Rosicky and Van Persie, he's playing with pretty much new players all around him on his side of the pitch. The timing of van Persie's departure wasn't great really, and his absence from the Club seemed to have an affect yesterday. Just going to have to see how long it takes for the team to gel.
Oh come on, Theo had similar performances last season when RvP was in the team. Don't think his contract situation had anything to do with it.

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