Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Team news ahead of gritty encounter

Posted by James Dall on 24, November 2006

Firstly a round up of who is available and who is not. It appears, although I am yet to read anything on the Official site, that Thierry is out tomorrow with a neck injury. He will though apparently be back for the Fulham clash. Clearly this is a blow especially as Van Persie is suspended. So no Van Persie or Henry, Rosicky is still out but is making a steady recovery and of course Gallas ia unavailable but is making better progress than first thought. Then as we all know Lauren, who is back in training, and Diaby, are both out until the New Year.

Interesting news indeed – the back five picks itself really – Lehman, Eboue, Toure, Senderos and Clichy. Not bad at all, especially as Senderos aerial ability will undoubtedly be used to its maximum. I hope Clichy and Eboue provide some better final balls on Saturday evening than they did mid week, it is all well and good them getting forward but if you are going to slice your cross every-time I would prefer you to stay back. The question is 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, as mentioned in a previous blog I am pretty sure it will be 4-5-1 as it is away and as it is Bolton. There is talk of Theo being given a start, quite possibly but noway will he be up front on his own, I expect IF he does it will be on either of the wings of the 5 man midfield. Gilberto will surely come back, which I am pleased with as long as he really gets stuck in. I specifically remember last year moaning to fellow gunners about the limp like displays of some of our senior players especially Gilberto. Flamini may not have the technical side Gilberto gives us but he sure does love a tackle. Fabrehas will obviously be in there, as I expect Hleb who has been brilliant recently. I really cannot fault his work ethic and the way he makes the ball stick to his feet. Maybe Baptista could slot in centrally, no one would be pushing him off the ball and it would definitely give us a huge physical presence. I guess Adebayor will be up front on his own like against United. He will work his socks off and hopefully put himself about.

I still wish to see us keep to our game of pass and move, I just want us to show them we are no pushovers. When United destroyed them a couple of weeks ago they pressed them every time Bolton got the ball. They barely gave them an inch, and it worked. To see us turn them over tomorrow we could all sit back on Sunday knowing we have 3 points and enjoy the Chelsea United match. Either a draw or Chelsea (sorry) win, would probably suit us best.

Adding fuel to the fire there is almost an arrogance about Alladyce, as he claims he signalled the way of how to roll us over. Very annoying indeed –

Most Premiership clubs have followed what we have done since our success against them and they have been successful too. We’ve got a good record against Arsenal and we know the type of football we’ve got to play against them.

Moron – I would love it if we came through tomorrow. I do have an underlying but cautious confidence. Our team over this season appears to be winning when the pressure is on.

Finally Freddie talks about the trip to Bolton here, and Fabregas talks about it here. Just a quick note, if you do read this blog every now and then and enjoy it please tell an Arsenal pal about it or if your in a really crazy mood leave a comment telling me your thoughts.

Thank goodness it is Friday.



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