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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce

Emirates Stadium

5th November 08

19:45

On Sky

Arsenal vs Fenerbahce

OK, my first attempt here, so I had to look at Brice's previous match preview to follow the format. When I saw the first sentence in which he described the Arsenal team as 'devastated' going into the Stoke game, I don't know what adjective I can use now. But I'm an optimist, so let's say it's an Arsenal team that needs to bounce back from a series of disappointing results. A home game against Fenerbahce could be an opportunity for us to 'pick up the pieces and put them back together quickly' (Brice's words recycled) before the big league game against Man Utd. The Arsenal team, albeit depleted, should also fight for a win in order to virtually secure qualification to the Champions League knock-out stage.

Vital Quotes:

The manager was honest about the situation and challenge ahead. 'We have not been efficient with our results in the last two games. That is why it is important to come back and win.'

When the press and pundits alike questioned the mental strength and 'courage' of his team after failing to win ugly, Wenger was defiant as ever: 'The problem is not the bravery of my players ... the problem is we have not been efficient in some games. Let's re-establish what we have not done well recently - defended well as a team - and continue to play the game we can play in a positive way.'

'We have four home games on the trot now. So we want to qualify in the Champions League and come back in a strong way in the Premier League.' The boss is also correct in saying that but he's also cautious and wary of the trouble that Fener could cause, saying that 'We are ready and focused. But, at the same time, we respect Fenerbahce because we know that they are a very good footballing side.'

The manager of this very good footballing side has been under enormous pressure as the Turkish team are still in ninth place of the Turkish Super Lig. After letting their lead slip, Fener's encounter with Eskisehirspor ended a 2-2 draw last Saturday. Losing their captain Alex to injury at the same time, Luis Aragonés seemed cautious ahead of their visit to the Emirates, citing a very familiar player that he had coached at the international level as our major threat, 'Fŕbregas is an extraordinary player but principally what bothers me is my own team. We have our strengths and we have to show them. We made some mistakes in the first game but every game is different in the Champions League and we go out to win every game - tomorrow that will be our aim.'

It is pretty clear that both teams go into this game wanting to put on a better defensive show than the goalfest a fortnight ago.

Arsenal Team News:

Wenger will be forced to make changes all over the pitch today. We are without Emmanuel Adebayor (ankle, latest club news says he's ruled out for three weeks), Theo Walcott (shoulder) and Emmanuel Eboue (knee) in attack and captain William Gallas (hamstring) at the back, in addition of course to Eduardo (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky (hamstring).

If I were to make a guess, Wenger might be forced to play Robin van Persie simply because he will be suspended for the red card he earned against Stoke for the coming three league games (argh).

It would make sense for Wenger to use a couple of younger players like Djourou, Ramsey and Wilshere to rest the more established guys for the Man Utd game. So the line-up is anyone's guess really.

Possible starting XI: Almunia; Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Clichy; Denilson, Song, Fabregas, Nasri; van Persie, Bendtner

Player to watch: Robin van Persie



If Wenger plays him, he will have to put in one hell of a good game to kind of redeem himself after the Stoke game and show what he's truly made of.

For me, also interesting to watch is the 12th man at home. I know it's a very cliched thing to say, but it's high time that the home fans really get behind the team and sing their lungs out when their support is needed most.

Fenerbahce Team News:

Captain Alex has a thigh strain and will miss the game. Fortunately for Fener, they have the fit-again Deivid available and he will shoulder the playmaking responsibilities in the absence of Alex.

Player to watch: Daniel Guiza

We know he finished the last La Liga season as the top goalscorer. Although he took a bit of time to adapt to the Turkish league, the last CL encounter told us that he's still a goalscoring threat for Fener. His strike partner, Semih Sentürk, was also dangerous going forward as we witnessed. The fact that they have been limiting the appearances of Kazim Kazim, the London-born Turkey international (and Arsenal fan may I add), although the forward's good performances made him a favourite among Fener fans last season.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Roberto Rosetti The Italian is an experienced ref who also worked at EURO 2008. Can't tell you anything more than that really...

Match Prediction:

I have to say that I'm not good at predicting results. All I can say is that I want a home win, any kind of win at all!

Next Fixtures:

8/11 (Sat) - Man Utd (H) - Premier League

1/11 (Tue) - Wigan (H) - Carling Cup

5/11 (Sat) - Aston Villa (H) - Premier League




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The Journalist

Writer: GoonerLou Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 5 2008

Time: 4:12PM

Your Comments

God NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! POlease not Denilson or Diaby amnywhere near the wings, there will be blood if I see that poxy line up again! No left winger??? Play Vela, hell play RVP there but not bloody Diaby. No right winger? Play Nasri, play ramsey but not Denilson!
LondonGooner
Forgot to mention, a very fine first effort GoonerLou, top stuff!
LondonGooner
Nice one Lou - I have to say I'm feeling nervous about this one. I normally expect us to bounce back strongly but for the first time I have this feeling that we could screw this up, such is the paucity of confidence around the club.
Gooner_Vin
No matte rhow bad we are Gooner_Vin, Fenerbache can esily make us look like world beaters they are really that bad! I would take a stab that our full strength carling cup team could beat them at The Grove!
LondonGooner
LG - hope you're right cos a 3 or 4 nil is what we need for our confidence going into the Man U game. I have really high hopes for Vela and his time can't come soon enough. Arsene should play Carlos and Robin tonight upfront - two left footers, that would be awesome!
Gooner_Vin
should be a good game, if ye win, ye have gone through so gives ye a chance to rest players for other 2 games
123spurs
i think it will be a draw against man u. arsenal will be up for it no doubt, every game is diff
123spurs
Thanks guys, hope it's ok as a quick effort. I'm just here as a stand-in, Gunnerkid will be back for the next game preview. You can see that I chickened out on the scoreline prediction...! And LG, I know, I'm also with you on Diaby playing out wide. But like I said, the lineup's anyone's guess, and I'd personally like to see Carlos too. But I think we'll need him and Bendtner up front for ManU. Arghh Ade's out for 3 weeks when Robin got himself suspended for 3 games, arrrghhh! Sorry, time for some positivity. Here's to a home win!!! (And no worries, if I failed with the match prediction, I'll take responsibility and resign from match preview writing lol)
GoonerLou
Good job, Lou! Also, 123, thanks for the positive comments, just wish you hadn't come out with the silly stuff on the previous thread. Also, on this thread, I could actually read your post with no trouble. ANY POSITIVE RESULT FOR US TONIGHT IS ALL I ASK!
jaelle
123 - As of right now I would take a point! Excellent job Lou .... thanks for filling in at the last minute!! Watch your back Brice!! lol
Rocky7
Whoa, Fabianski starting? The Sky lineup chart just appeared and I seem to recall him and Kolo at the back and RvP and Bendtner up front. Did you guys get the rest of the lineup? (Sorry it's late here, yawn..)
GoonerLou
Nice one Arsene, it's about time he reminded Almunia that posing and saving for the cameras will not win you a starting spot.
Rocky7
Djourou and Ramsey are starting too according to Sky/ESPN!
GoonerLou
Wow, amazed that Fab's starting! Fantastic to see Djourou and Ramsey out there too!
jaelle
I think all eyes are on Djourou. I feel a spot in the starting XI is his for the taking.
TPowell
jaelle sorry but we have to agree to disagree with wengers comment.
123spurs
Thank you very much Lou. School has been crazy this past week, and I usually write the previews the afternoon before the game but yesterday the craziness that surrounded Election08 threw my entire routine off. So thanks again!
gunnerkid107
:P I couldn't have got the lineup more wrong: Fabianski; Clichy, Djourou, Kolo, Silvestre; Nasri, Denilson, Cesc, Ramsey; RvP and Bendther. Subs: Mannone, Diaby, Sagna, Song, Vela, Wilshere and Gibbs.
GoonerLou
No worries at all Gkid. :) We need you back for the next tough one! lol
GoonerLou
123, my disagreement with you is that (like the lazy media) you saw his comments as an "excuse" for the loss to Stoke when nothing could be further from the truth. Did you read my first comment on the thread? I saw the full press conference, you didn't. AW was addressing what he called "newspapers" calling his players cowards--he was passionately defending his players against the charge of cowardice and said that the player who plays football knowing that he's being targeted for deliberate fouls is the brave one -- while the player who comes from behind with a reckless or deliberately dangerous tackle (and little intent to get the ball) is the coward. The media paint the latter as "brave"--that's what he was talking about. It had nothing to do with an "excuse" for losing to Stoke -- which he already said Arsenal did not deserve and Stoke did. Criticize him for calling Stoke cowards or for saying they deliberately tried to injure our players, ok, but not for coming up with an "excuse" for the loss to Stoke.
jaelle
"which he already said Arsenal did not deserve and Stoke did" -- I meant to say he alreay said Arsenal deserved to lose and Stoke deserved their win.
jaelle
Er, Kolo at RB...?
GoonerLou
I would have liked to have seen Vela start out wide tonight. Hope he gets on later at least!!
Rocky7
Lou, is that right? Kolo as RB?
jaelle
Fabianski starts. hope that this is the start of something great!
fcdematthew
Yeah Jaelle, the backline is Clichy, Silvestre, Djourou, Kolo. Bit worrying I have to say.. But we're looking lively and passing quite well so far.
GoonerLou
Lou, just started watching it online. Fener have packed their defense tonight.
jaelle
OBAMA
anonymous
Djourou has been fecking excellent! Wenger gave him a new 6 year deal and must have big plans for him!
gunnerkid107
Not a bad half of football .... no matter what the commentators tell you. A couple o good chances, Rambo and van Pizzle are playing brilliantly. Djourou has been excellent and a shoe in for the United game. I'm happy overall (Though Nicky B's passing leaves a lot to be desired), and think we'll go on to win!!
Rocky7
Rocky, agree, good game, Djourou and Ramsey have been excellent, desperately hoping to Nicky paired with Vela. Just very frustrating to see the boys waste all these golden chances, too many great chances missed.
jaelle
I think there was only one chance "wasted". Rob should have started his shot just a bit further wide, but a good save nonetheless. The one that got deflected was just unlucky. RvP did everything right, you just gotta hold your hands up and say good defending. One thing I will say is that despite having very little to do, I love Fabianski. His enthusiasm to get a move going is infectious. He's already planning where he is going to distribute the ball before he has it, where as Almunia likes to hold on to it until someone has taken a picture.
Rocky7
I agree. RvP, Ramsey and Djourou are looking great! Let's just be careful not to give away any foul - can someone please remind RvP to keep playing FOOTball and stop using his hands in games. I can see him (or Ramsey or Nasri) getting a goal, that's how hard he's tried so far.
GoonerLou
Interesting subs eh? RvP-Vela hmmm yummy! :D
GoonerLou
How much better do we look after those substitutions!!!! Carlos Vela has to be second choice striker ahead of Bendtner now if you ask me, he just seems so much more dangerous, and better on the ball.
Rocky7
COME ON YOU B*STARDS!!!
Rocky7
We are destroying this lot in terms of possession and opportunities - just need to get it in the damn onion bag.
Gunnerman
Senturk's cunning! >_<
GoonerLou
Mikel's nose is not even remotely in the right place. Dirty f***ing b*stard!
Rocky7
Silvestre's nose is half way across his face and still didnt take as long to get treatment as the w****r who need a leg treating that never got touched. C***.
Rocky7
Sigh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gooner_Vin
A good game for a goalless draw, at least our passing game is coming back. Is it just me or did Cesc have quite a few stray passes? We got 0 offside, ahem, quite obvious that one. And as promised, I'll retire from my short match preview writing career lol
GoonerLou
I thought it was a poor performance in the 2nd half, clearly none of the creativity, and a poor poor attacking game. When you can see Fener packing their box with players, no one took a shot from outside. Intricate passing and build up play will not work. One can atleast hope for a deflection in that case. I'm quite disappointed with the performance. Fener clearly set out for a draw. Vela's touch was poor. The passing decisions were a bit suspect.
prits
Cesc's passing was off, but still not a bad performance from the team overall. Was frustrating watching it at times, but I feel more positive about the team. Senturk deserved some sort of payback, broke Silvestre's nose and shoved RvP in the box. Anyway anything is possible on saturday, hopefully we can get 3 points.
jubair
So frustrating. Can't think of another word to describe it
gunnerkid107
Bendtner was poor, I'm not quite sure what he bring to the team really. Vela needs games under his belt. Djourou looked good I though and Clichy was his normal self. Saturday against Man Utd is going to be really interesting. I think we'll beat them 2-1. :)
Gooner_Vin
i seriously think we should start with Toure at RM vs United & Djourou shud start alongside Gallas in the centre who i hope will be fit. play Diaby behind Bendtner. Having Walcott & Vela on the bench will give us good options for the second half. Diaby can really play well behind the striker, as he looks lost out on the left. his physical presence will give Rio & Vidic a lot to do and i know Bendtner was a bit frustrating tonight, but with him being the main man in attack, he will play a lot better than what he did tonite..
luckys_10
Saw Cesc's post-match interview and he mentioned about needing the fans to get behind them and stick with the team. Some of us have already realised that already and it's time for all Arsenal fans to unite and, using that old cliche, be the 12th man.
Gooner_Vin
The crowd was a bit disappointing as well, coz I could clearly hear the boos and jeers from the Fener fans, esp in the 1st half. Dont know whether that was actually the case or whether it had something to do with the placement of mikes in the stadium.
prits
Disappointing 0-0 draw with Fenerbahce. you weren't quite at it tonight and Fenerbahce battled hard for their point. Ade was missed in this game.
ArabianKnight
Arsenal fans were so quie.. wth
korodon
We played quite well tonight and after the first half or 70 minutes of the whole game we could of come any closer to winning the game other than what we did. Fenerbache are a poor team at best, at worst they are terrible and considering the quality of their play they threatened us next to nothing. The only thing that cost us tonight is lack of finishing, nothing more nothing less!
LondonGooner
Vela looked good but he had a terrible partner in van Persie. They are designed not to work. Bendtner would have at least tried to pass it through to him unlike van persie who was doing very well alongside Bendtner.
Tom14
I was there last night and it is very hard to find any positives... Oh, yes I've got one we didn't let in a goal!
hackneyval
Just thought of other positive I had a brilliant view of some of the Fireworks which were going off around London :-)
hackneyval
as the w****r who need a leg treating that never got touched. C***. Rocky7 Yeah, what was that all bout? I hoep there is some sort of retrebution from UEFA over this!!! That is shocking cheating at the best of times and down right wrong. How could you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning knowing you had done that? If I was a footballer and I did that, my mates would give me the hiding of a lifetime for looking like such a prat!
LondonGooner
 

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