Friday 18 September 2009

Wigan Preview

Tomorrow afternoon's game at the Emirates against Wigan should, on paper, be a stroll in the park if Arsenal turn up mentally and physically prepared. However, its been a funny start to the season so far and things are rarely as predictable as we would like them to be.

Over recent years, Arsenal have had a habit of drawing games at home that we should really win 95% of the time. You can never expect a perfect record at home, but those draws mean a lot of dropped points over the course of the season.

Almunia and RVP are tipped to be available again for the match against Wigan and I would expect them both to start. Since Arshavin is injured, then the tasty prospect arises that Wenger might play Eduardo, Bennnndtner and RVP from the off. However, I would be surprised if Wenger does that and the mystery that is Abou Diaby is almost certain to play in that advanced role.

I would also like to see a better performance from Cesc and Clichy tomorrow than was provided to the moule-frite brigade on Wednesday. Both had poor games, by their standards, but but are extraordinarily talented footballers and we need them to get back on track.

Clichy could certainly do with more protection from the midfield, where Abou Diaby often leaves him very exposed, but Gael's over eagerness to nick the ball from the toes of his opposite man sometimes means he dives in to tackle, misses, and gives their winger a clear run in. Its an odd one because Gael has the pace to stick with anyone so doesn't need to dive in. Instead, it seems his ambition to have a stormer means that mistakes can result. Unfortunately for the team though, we look defensively weak down the left side at the moment.

Talking of world class players, there is a clip from Ajax on Youtube where the one and only Dennis Bergkamp scores a magnificent goal in some kick-a-round game. Watching the clip brings a shiver down the spine just to remember how good a player Dennis was. Indeed, he still is.

We will always miss a player of the quality that Bergkamp possessed, but there are a couple of players in the current team who have the potential to go to that level. After the trials of the last two games in Manchester, and the choas of Wednesday in Belgium, it would be nice to think that Cesc Fabregas will use a nice afternoon against Wigan to remind the world just how good he is.

Come on you Gunners.


Anonymous said...

DB10. Legend.

Anonymous said...

Its a toss up between the goal at leicester and the goal in the world cup v argentina.

Or the one at newcastle.

Or the one...


Rhinogooner said...

I'm feeling a bit nervy about this match. Wigan are no mugs this season under Martinez and could match up well against us.

I think we need to keep it tight for the first 20 and then start looking for some holes or set pieces to exploit.

Rosicky should start ahead of Diaby for me. I know Diaby is taller and physically stronger, but he doesn't display those attributes in a positive fashion often enough. Therefore, I do not feel he provides any better defensive cover for Clichy than Rosicky does. In fact, Rosicky puts himself about like a bee in a jam jar at times. So let's see the Little Mozart starting today please Mr. Wenger.

Rhinogooner said...

HT and we're 1-0 up. Wigan can consider themselves fortunate that it isn't more than that.

One or two moments of defensive uncertainty from us that could have cost us but fortunately didn't. Otherwise, we've pretty much controlled it.

Wigan do not seem to understand the fundamental requirement when playing Arsenal is to first close down our players quickly and not allow space. They're are standing off of us and resorting to an abundance of petty fouling in order to slow us down.

The referee hasn't been brandishing cards left, right and center for their fouls though. And I applaud that. While other refs might have carded 3 or 4 of their players by now, I feel that most of their fouls have not been deliberate attempts to get about us and stop our movement. Just poor timing and evidence of how much better we are than them.

It's surprising that we're aren't up by 2 or 3 by now. We've gone close several times and should have finished a few more of our chances. If Eboue was just a bit better in the final third, we'd win at a canter. That said, he has impressed in the build up several times and caused loads of trouble for Wigan.

I'd like to see Bendtner get 30 minutes in this match as I think he could do some damage. Perhaps Wilshere could cause some panic too.

Clichy looks better today, though he hasn't really been tested.

Mannone, however, looks a liability and could end up costing us in this match.

Last mention is for Vermaelen, our goal scorer from a corner. Strong in the air and powered his header right over Kirkland's head for the goal. He is quickly becoming my favourite player and might perhaps get his name on the back of my kit (the next time we come out with an acceptable Arsenal kit worth purchasing!)

Come on you rip-roaring Reds!

Rhinogooner said...

FT and the final score shows that my pre-match apprehension was unfounded.

4-0 the final. 2 peaches for Vermaelen. And a clean sheet makes it sweeter.

Not much to say. Wigan competed very little and the score could have been 7 or 8 to nil really. No complaints from me today though. I'm just hoping we can dispatch of better competition in a similar fashion going forward.

The rest of my day will be much more satisfying due to the victory as opposed to last weekend when the result soured me for several days.

Next up, a visit from WBA in the Carling Cup and a chance to enjoy our current crop youngsters.

Uncle Mike said...

Nice performance today. Vermaelen has been quite a find for Wenger. Everybody was better today. Of course, Wigan are not a Champions League side, are they?

West Brom is next? I see by my Internets that the Baggies waltzed into Middlesbrough and shredded them, 5-0. Of course, Boro are not The Arsenal, are they?

Dogfight going on between West Ham and Liverpool, although Torres just made it 3-2 'Pool in the 74th. Could it be that the team that falls out of the top four could be the Scouseheads?