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Arsenal vs. Wigan

Ashburton Grove



Arsenal v. Wigan

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.

Quick Vital Quotes:

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."

Arsenal Team News:

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

Player to watch: Gael Clichy

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.

Wigan Team News:

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.

Player to watch: Hugo Rodallega

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.

Match Facts & Stats

Mike Jones (Who?) will be the head official for tomorrows match.

Match Prediction:

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.

Next Fixtures:

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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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 19 2009

Time: 12:13AM

Your Comments

Wigan have been playing a 4-5-1 this season, albeit a pretty fluid one with Koumas and N'Zogbia supporting Rodallega. Our defending is clearly our weakest link so Wigan probably feel justified in a counter attacking approach. If Diaby is to play he's going to have to keep a good eye on Wigan's pacy wingers. I'll take a 1-0, but I'mpredicting we come from behind to win 2-1. RvP and Diaby with the goals.
Little Dutch
Let's also look at Hendry Thomas who according to Martinez is a tough but clean tackler nicknamed 'the doctor' because of the precision of his tackles:
A clean sheet is all I ask for, really.
A win one way or the other, don't really care, just want the three points.
I like it when all Arsenal fans "want is a win.....3 points". It usually portends a great game and result for us, as against when we all predict a big win; so, I will say an Arsenal win with, at least, a 3 goal margin. Wigan play a quick passing game, but against the masters of such a style, they will only flatter to deceive early on and then the goals will start pouring in. Come on, THE arsenal!!
Sorry prits, I can't see us keeping on clean sheet at the moment, but hopefully a Good WIN, will go along way in calm down our fears. Come on ARSENAL!!!
Nor can I tbh, hackneyval. I'm confident we will score against Wigan, thats not been a problem this season, but there will be little to take away for the rest of the season, unless we start to keep some clean sheets.
clean sheet please please
Gooner SA
Hope you guys get back to winning ways. I would really hate Man City or Spuds forcing you out of top four. You have been actually very unlucky this season so you need this. BEST OF LUCK
of course eboue starts against Wigan, should have been able to predict that after what happened last time we played ;-)
The Verminator
Just when I was feeling that the performance was coming back, great to score a 1st half goal. VERMO!!! 3rd goal in what 6, 7 games? :D
Not really worried because we are doing most things right. Just need another goal to relax the nerves and then shut them out of the game. A question - now that Senderos is mentally ready once again to play for Arsenal - how come Silvestre gets picked ahead of him?
Guess it's a fitness issue Sajit. Senderos played in the reserves just a few days ago. He said he'd try hard to get back into the team, etc etc. At least when Djourou's out for such a long time, he and Silvestre should fight it out. The boss mentioned that Phlippe will play in the CC game next.
what a finish from Vermaelen!!! i'm fairly certain that makes him the clubs leading scorer on the season...
I believe we've already got our MotM! :)
i wonder who will actually get credit for that last one...
Redemption for Eboue. :)
anyone else concerned about Cesc's injury?
Me! What a cross from Nicky, even a limping Cesc could literally run the ball into the net. Hope he's ok. Verm's fantastic. But the goal that I was truly happy about was from Edu. :)
i'm not sure he'll end up getting credit lou!! it actually came off of eboue, the replays showed
I think its Eboue's goal
Eboue scored it in fairness. It would have been saved had Eboue not carefully positioned his right leg to angle it into the corner ;-)
What a great win. We enter a sucession of games that should be pretty low key and that's the best way to start it. If we keep our heads down (and out of the news) for the next few weeks then we'll be in good stead.
don't like the way Cesc was unable to smile after his goal and at the final whistle as he was in pain... I have a feeling we'll be getting an 'out for a couple of weeks' announcement from Wenger tomorrow...
Oops was it? I'm equally happy for Booboo though. But Edu's shot came off the post in the first place. I'm worried too TP, but at least Cesc won't play against WBA in CC in midweek anyway. I'd really love to see the kids now!!
Great win guys. Why dont you dont run Matchday Moments threads around here. Anyway 4-0 is a big win and great way to announce your comeback in premier league. Keep winning and dont lose that top four place to Man *****y. Best of Luck!
A good win to get back the confidence. Thinking about it now, it may not have been a bad touch to "strengthen" Citeh with a couple of our lads (what with the good money). If our key opponents drop points against them while we pick up the wins against weaker teams, it could just be key to the championship title this season. Manure and 'Pool will usually drop points against lower placed sides, which leaves only Chelski to worry about. Okay; I am just musing cos it is unlikely the Boss thought of it that way.
A good win, I'll say. Just like (Remember) I called it before the game.
Nice goal margin.
I guess the players ignored our pleas for a boring 1-0! Great result especially the clean sheet
So if everyone was fit, which team and formation would we pick? I'm thinking if we could find a way to play Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin, Eduardo and RVP, we'd be feckin awesome and not many teams could cope with that.
Whew, clean sheet (although we seemed to try a bit not to have one towards the end). Offensively, it was an excellent performance, and the scoreline was a good indicator. Vermalen is excellent - his 2nd finish was cool and composed. Eboue had a good game as well, redemption for him.
GV, we would play the same formation, but expect one of Denilson/Song to drop out for Nasri/Rosicky.
You gotta feel sorry for RVP, he's having the worst luck infront of goals this season. Clean sheet was very good. Vermealen just continues to get better. He also lifts Gallas's game. Cesc looked worrying towards the end. All around good performance.
So much for my "we won't keep a clean sheet" What do I know?! I'm impressed by Vermealen's Wonderful 2nd goal! Arsene has done it again! I'm abit worried that Cesc could well be out for a few weeks, as he looked in pain when the camera was on him.
Funnily enough, I think we'll find it easier to replace Cesc, if he's injured, than Song. With respect to who will play in the midfield three, I think Nasri has more chance than Tommy (who will more likely compete for an advanced role) if both fit, despite what Tommy said in the programme yesterday.
navydave Read this guys,that's the true legend.
Good enough win, but worrying that RVP isn't as clinical as he should be. Did anyone see the Eboue interview? The man is a complete embarassment to our club. Does he ever learn anything? What with trying to punch the ball into the net and celebrating in front of the Wigan supporters I really think he has nothing going on between his ears. Lots of energy but absolutely no idea how to shoot properly.
Wyn Mills
Surprising that it's only Eboues handball that's cheating whereas Songs in the CL game against Liege hasn't barely been acknowledged amongst gooners.
Eboue is a dumbass tho. He's the only real "diver" in our team. I am constantly unimpressed by Diaby and i hope as soon as we have players back fit he is dropped as he does not deserve a first team place. Neither does Bedtner. Both of them consistantly try and do more then they are capable off, it's like they're having a competition who can ***** up the most. Real frustrated at both of them atm.
I don't think that really was intended for the Wigan fans. There were only about 15 of them there.
Little Dutch
I like the option of Eboue. Sometimes he can be a little more direct than other players which is needed. Diaby is hit and miss, playing amazingly in one game and the rubbish for 3 games. Someone i know(from playing football) is friends with Jack Wilshere, has been out with him etc. Jack told him that in training Bendtner is untouchabole and that no one can get the ball of him. I think he has a lot to offer and will improve greatly. One for the future me thinks
I've never been too impressed with Bendtner, but thought he played well against Liege. I hope he can keep on improving and turn into a great player. I've not given up on Diaby, still a lot I like about him even if he is inconsistent and has a lot of flaws. Eboue is an important squad player as he is quite versatile even if he is capable of moments of stupidity.
Diaby - inconsistent and has a lot of flaws. I don't think the "lot to like about him" (which is really fail to see) is anywhere near enough to make up for his shortcomings. He's been given a chance to prove himself for the first team through injuries and has fallen well short of the cut as far as i am concerned. He is a useful sub at best, but we already have Eboue for the every posistion useful sub roll. As far as Bedtner being untouchable... I'd really have to see it to beleive it. Training situations are totally different to game situations.
Yeah i would of never thought it either. But as you said, training situations are totally different than real games. When i went to the first training session at the emirates i remember Cygan pinging about 70 yard perfecy passes, brininging balls down on his chest and looking like a rock in defense during a mini game. I suppose in training their is no pressure.
Exacltly, i can make Cesc look like he's nothing in training ;) ...well, probably not.

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