Newcastle United vs Arsenal: Preview and Starting Eleven with Injury Update

August 13, 2011

Finally, we are set to see some football after a summer full of speculations. We are up against Newcastle United away from home. If anything, this is going to be a tough opener for us. The last time we didn’t come back in good shape from there and went on a roller coaster ride backwards. I don’t want to talk about that but I do pray that this time it isn’t the case. 

Although, I don’t think we will see the same theatrics this time, it will be an exciting encounter. Newcastle is known to attack which also leaves them vulnerable at the back. They will definitely try to hold and see how we shape up first. They will use the aerial ball and utilize the flanks, and if I am not wrong, mostly the left. Their midfield will try to frustrate us with petty fouls.

We only have to keep focus and do our job. We have the same problem at the back but if we can maintain good communication and the midfield stays close to defence, we may yet come out with the maximum and start our season on a high. Every one has to do their job properly, it’s this simple. Gervinho and Walcott’s pace might do wonders for us today if they are fed regularly with the ball.

The last time we dominated them both at home and away. Somehow we never won any of the games. Whatever we do today, we don’t have to lose concentration, even if we are 100 goals up.

As far as the starting eleven is concerned, we are sure to miss Wilshere as he has still not recovered from his injury. Ryo Miyaichi also won’t be involved as he is Japan.

With no Fabregas and Nasri, the options are pretty simple. The injury update given by Wenger on friday was very encouraging. We will have Van Persie, Gibbs, Walcott and Vermaelen back in the squad. The only missing person except Wilshere is Diaby, who frankly is always out, so it doesn’t make a difference.

Arsene Wenger’s injury update:

“Basically we have Wilshere injured, hopefully in the short-term. Diaby is not back before the end of August or the beginning of September. Everybody else should be available. Van Persie and Gibbs should be available. They have a test today [Friday]. Walcott will be back in the squad and so will Vermaelen.”

With all this in mind, I am pretty sure to see Van Persie partnered with Gervinho and Walcott up front.

The middle will be taken up by Song, Rosicky and Ramsey.

The defense will be mastered by Vermaelen alongside Koscielny. Sagna will surely start and on the left I will go with Traore as he can do a better job in defense than Gibbs (at the moment). And last but not the least, Szczesny will be in goal.

Probable starting eleven: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Traore, Song, Rosicky, Ramsey, Gervinho, Van Persie, Walcott

So, this is the first game and we need all our attention diverted to this. Transfer speculations will continue till the end of August but talking about them won’t help us much. These first 15 days are going to define our season. Wenger was right in saying in his press conference that he has to concentrate on players who can make a difference right now than to talk about players who won’t be involved.

“I believe the best thing for us, one day before the season starts, is not to focus on the possible transfers. What we want today is to focus on the players who play tomorrow and not the players who do not play.”

Let’s we hope we have everyone geared up and ready. Have a good day and enjoy the game. Hopefully we will start off with a bang.


Wenger: I will sign a defender?,Joel Campbell deal agreed, no Mata, No Jadson | Tevez for Nasri!?

August 13, 2011

The new Premier League season is set to kick off today, and we are up against Newcastle. However, a lot has been revealed in terms of arrivals and who to expect at Arsenal before the window closes.

With Fabregas and Nasri on the verge of exit, though Arsenal has still not officially confirmed it, there is news that we have agreed terms to sign the young Costa Rican, Joel Campbell. It was revealed yesterday by the official Arsenal site.

The 19-year-old is a left footed striker, who was involved in the recently concluded Copa America and also in the under 20 world cup. He has made 6 full appearances for his country scoring twice in the process. He has 10 goals in 12 game at the under 20 level. He has appeared 8 times for his club, Deportivo Saprissa, in his country’s Premier division.

Arsene Wenger was delighted and said that he is looking to forward to working with Campbell. He said:

“Joel Campbell has already shown that he is a player with great ability, and has also performed well on the international stage at a young age. We look forward to the formalities of the transfer being completed and working with Joel when he joins us at Arsenal.”

Now, I am caught between two thoughts here. One is that, any signing is better than nothing and he might turn out to be quite good. He is welcome to the club and may he have a great future with us.  On the other hand, isn’t it getting frustrating that we have bought another young player to develop. We have so many of such players that I am not sure who will make it to the next level. We had JET, who was supposed to be the next great striker, but we let him go. We now go on and bring another 19-year-old, who has played only 8 games for his club. We will spend time with him, develop him and then we won’t be even sure that he will commit to the club. I have this very bad feeling these days that only young players want to join Arsenal because they know they will get the chance to develop here and then leave on their terms. That’s how I feel. Anyways, let’s hope that he will adjust to our league quickly and score lots of goals. Fingers crossed! By the way, does he need to get a work Permit?

The Sun is reporting that Nasri’s move to Man City has been blocked by Arsenal for the reason that we want Tevez in exchange. Now, I don’t know where The Sun came up with this idea but I really like it. However, there are concrete reasons that we won’t see it happen. It is simple, Tevez is estimated to be around 50 million, his wages are extremely high, he wants to leave England and not just Man City and we already have bought a striker, Joel Campbell. So why will Wenger spend another 25 million, that is if we sell Nasri for 25, for another striker who doesn’t want to stay in England? May be, he will surprise us all. I won’t have my fingers crossed for this one.

Arsene Wenger also revealed that we are not moving in for Mata. He said:

“We will not do (a deal for) Juan Mata. I don’t have to give a reason”

There you have it, short and bitter. After months of speculation, we won’t be going after him, great! I would have really liked to see him in an Arsenal shirt. He does join our list of failed summer transfers though.

Arsene also put an end to rumors regarding Jadson. The Brazilian midfielder is valued at 10 million by his club, Shakhtar Donetsk. The rumors started after Fabregas’ move to Barcelona was reported to be completed. Arsene, however, said that we are not talking to his club:

“We are nowhere near on Jadson. We are not talking to Shakhtar about him”

I wasn’t really fussed about this signing so basically I don’t care if he isn’t coming.

The ambiguous statement, on the other hand, is that Wenger has revealed that a defender will be signed before the transfer window closes. There is a catch however, the player must be better than what we already have! Now, this was one the thing I didn’t want to hear. This is what he said when asked about signing a defender:

“We have specialised people who work everywhere. Every club looks for centre-backs in the whole world. People with unlimited resources look for a centre-back. We are not in a supermarket where you go to a shelf and you ask ‘where are the centre-backs or the strikers?’

We are today in an international market where all over the world people look for the same players. Massive clubs have scouts all over the world and if they don’t find anyone, in the end they come to us. You don’t need to be a genius to understand that.

We will have a new centre-back by the end of the transfer window because Thomas Vermaelen only played five games last year. To buy just for the sake of buying – you won’t find me there. If I’m convinced the player has the quality, I will always do it if he’s better than the players we have.”

He should have stopped at “we will buy a new defender by the of the transfer window”. And seriously how can he not find any one better than what we have, amazing! I want to ask Wenger that does this mean Joel Campbell was signed becasue he is better than the players we have? Wenger’s rule of buying players must be same the same for every position or is it just for defence?

I just hope that Wenger does find whatever he looks for in a defender and pray that it is not a Squillaci and then signs him. Enough with this BS of having quality and not finding the right player.

That is all for now. Will be coming up with Newcastle preview later…