Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Friendlies are over, thank god

Posted by James Dall on 17, November 2006

Main story today is some news on the fitness of our players. We have 3 players returning to the squad – these being Baptista, Freddie and Jens. Clearly this is a boost and gives us a bit more variation and depth. I am sue Lehman will come in however Baptista has not played in a while and same goes for Freddie who did expect to play mid week for Sweden but ate some dodgey cheese. Both of the latter players need some matches, I really look forward to seeing a fully fit Julio, he is so powerful and would certainly give us something a little bit different. My mind keeps casting back to Old Trafford where he powered his way through midfield and blasted just wide. Possibly he will come on in the second half.

One absentee will be Gilberto who has flown home for personal reasons, fair enough, we do not want someone playing who is not mentally right. It will be interesting to see which system we play – 4-5-1 possibly again and who plays in which positions, did Flamini do enough to earn a second successive start? will Van Persie start wide left?

Newcastle are an odd opposition who have certainly under performed. Roeder is under a lot of pressure, they certainly have talent but I do have an underlying confidence about tomorrows game. Although if they do do the usual away team style and sit back look for the counter, defensively they are pretty poor, so if we keep the ball stretch them and wait for the right opportunity we should be able to punish. Speaking of which Gallas talks about how vital it can be to get the first goal –

So it is up to us to find a way of playing and scoring against these teams – if we score the first goal against a team we will rarely lose. We know what we can do and we know we have the capability of being champions.

I admire his confidence and it appears right now that Senderos will have to be patient to get back into the team. Aliadere as spoken again about the possibility of moving.

Well that appears to be it. A preview of the match tomorrow and of course a summary of some of the stories. Enjoy your Friday.

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