Writer: Brice Coffer
Date:Saturday September 19 2009
Tomorrow against Wigan at the Grove, Arsenal start a run of eight league matches, which, on paper, we should be winning at least seven of them. Unfortunately, what's on paper and what we see on the pitch have usually been quite polar in recent seasons. Forget about the results in Manchester, the title won't be won in these matches. It'll be won against the likes of Wigan, West Ham, and Sunderland. United only won once last season in eight games against the top five. Four matches into the season and we have one point more than their title winning pace last season.
World-class utility player, Emmanuel Eboue, left the home match against Wigan last season in a very acrimonious manner. Almost ten months later, Wenger had this to say on, arguably, Ashburton Grove's most embarrassing incident.
I think he has learned from that [incident] and changed," Wenger told the club official website.
"It is very difficult to describe how he was in the dressing room but, of course, he was highly disappointed. He is a sensitive boy so we tried to help him a little bit. Eboue is a guy who wants to do well. He is humble and decent to people. And when you have that in life you always have a chance to improve your behaviour. If you only think you are right you cannot improve.'
"He analysed well what happened and changed. But he has always been a good guy, loved in the dressing room. Overall we knew he was a quality football player and now he has just become focused on that."
Robin 'Scarface' van Persie returns to the Arsenal team after missing the trip to Liege. Robin produced a marvelous performance at City, despite being isolated up front with dysfunctional and purposeless teammates flanking him on either side. Bendtner and Diaby had games to forget, and better, more creative players would have thrived off van Persie's stellar display. Just look what happened when Eduardo came on.
Other than the Dutchman, nobody else returns from our humongous injury list. Arshavin, Walcott, Almunia, Denilson, Nasri, Djourou, Vela, and Fabianski are still taking up space in our treatment room. Denilson and Andrey will be dearly missed.
Predicted Starting XI: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Bendtner, Eduardo, van Persie
Oh Gael.....why did you stick out a foot when that Parnaby bloke went by you up in Birmingham a couple of seasons ago? It's all been downhill from there, and Diaby and Arshavin haven't helped the poor lad out either. The 4-3-3 is killing Clichy, and this is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. The same effect hasn't been felt on the right side because Sagna has always been more defensively sound.
Two seasons ago, I would confidently say we had the best left back in the country. If anyone finds that guy please return him to London Colney immediately.
From what I've read, Roberto Martinez has only one injury to cope with, Olivier Kapo, who is out with knee ligament damage.
I don't know what to expect from Wigan. Martinez said they are coming down to London to play a style of football Arsene would be proud of, but plenty of managers say that and don't mean it. They produced a stunning opening day result against Villa, but since have lost to Wolves, Blackpool, Everton, and United, before winning against West Ham last weekend. So who knows what this Wigan team will produce tomorrow.
With an early candidate for goal of the season, Hugo started his first full season for the Latics with a bang against Aston Villa. And after also scoring in their win against West Ham last week, the Colombian international is full of confidence.
Mike Jones (Who?) will be the head official for tomorrows match.
An Arsenal win is all I will say, because that is all I care about. I don't care how. A boring 1-0 win will suit me fine.
22/9 (Tue) - West Brom (h) - Carling Cup
26/9 (Sat) - Fulham (a) - Premier League
29/9 (Tue) - Olympiacos (h) - Champions League
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Date:Saturday September 19 2009
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