Forty-Nine


Debut Post // Liverpool Preview
20/08/2011, 09:30
Filed under: August 2011

Payback For The Extra 12 Minutes....

Today marks yet another crucial match in our season, despite it only being the 3rd match we’ve played! Having already had a huge match against Udinese (which I think we did well t o win, bearing in mind suspensions from those chimps at UEFA and injuries), the match against Liverpool is the first chance to test out our new summer signings against a good team (because let’s face it, Newcastle are hardly going to set the world on fire. Apart from Joey Barton, he might literally set the world on fire).

Injuries, suspensions and greed have robbed our first team of several key players so I approach this match with the usual Arsenal optimism of ‘we can beat anyone on our day’ with the fear of having to play Squillaci. Song and Gervinho are suspended, Wilshere is doing a Vermaelen and will be out for 8 days, spread out over 4 months and Rosicky has Rosickitis. Diaby is out, as are Gibbs and Traore. This means that Jenkinson and Frimpong are in line for their full Premiership debuts against a team with Suarez, Kuyt and Carroll which again doesn’t inspire me with confidence. Arshavin is normally worth a goal against Liverpool though, and it is important to note that we are undefeated against them in 11 games at home so not all is doom and gloom. What’s that you say? Squillaci? Oh…ok, maybe it is all doom and gloom.

All in all, tomorrow’s match, although early in the season, is a hugely important one if we are serious about sending out a serious message that we are serious about challenging for honours. Liverpool have spent money like there is no tomorrow and the mood around their camp is undoubtedly a lot more positive than that around our own. Players like Henderson and Downing, although hugely overrated in my book and certainly not worth £20m, can still cause Jenkinson huge problems in defence, so he will have to prove that he is capable of stepping up. Don’t forget that he was playing Conference football at Christmas, so it is a massive step up for him. To be fair to him, I thought he did well against Udinese on Tuesday night so let’s hope he keeps it up.

Our squad is already looking extremely thin, so as I’ve said, I believe Wenger’s signings will feature heavily in the squad, if not the first team. Jenkinson will almost certainly play and I believe that one of Ryo/Oxlade-Chamberlain will start. Both will be on the bench anyway, so it will be interesting to see how they do. In better news, Gerrard is out for Liverpool and Johnson is a doubt, meaning Walcott should be able to have some fun down the right. I’d still rather be in Liverpool’s position than ours, but at such times, grasping at straws is the best we can do!

In other news, Wenger has said that Nasri might well play against Liverpool despite being half way to sunny Manchester – after all, ‘He is paid this month by Arsenal Football Club so why should he not play?’ as Le Boss put it. Personally I think he is a gifted player who, regardless of how many dollar signs his eyes are filled with, will be a loss to our squad when (if?) he goes, but at the end of the day, money talks so if he does play, I expect him to be given a rough ride by the fans tomorrow (rightly or wrongly). Joel Campbell’s signing was finalised yesterday too, and I really hope he is more exciting to watch than to listen to, because his interview on ArsenalPlayer was dire. I’ve had more stimulating experiences on aeroplanes. Asleep.

That’s it for this week, good luck to the boys – let’s hope we can send out a real message that Arsenal mean business this year. After all, it’s about the only business we seem to be able to do.

Follow me on Twitter @pav_afc

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