Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Thoughts on Arsenal starting line-up against Liverpool

Posted by James Dall on 6, January 2007

A huge match today, a really tough test in-fact.

Not much time today as I have an assignment to finish. A quick round up of today’s stories –

Henry constructs a lovely little simile when describing his injury troubles.

It looks like Lupoli could well be heading to Italy, shame it seemed he had potential.

And although I did not believe it, Stokes could well be on his way out.

Ok so the injury news ahead of this evening’s game –

Baptista is back in the side tomorrow, he is in the 16. We have a lot of players available now but some are short of competition so I will not necessarily call them up. For example William Gallas was training for the first time today and Abou Diaby yesterday so they are still short. Lauren will not play either and Cesc Fabregas is suspended but Eboue is back and the only real injuries we have are Emmanuel Adebayor (thigh) and Freddie Ljungberg (hamstring).

So the team is from the following players – Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Clichy, Hleb, Gilberto, Flamini, Rosicky, Aliadiere, Henry, Almunia, Djourou, Hoyte, Denilson, van Persie, Baptista, Song

There was some rumour floating about, saying how Robin was suspended. Not true. The loss of Fabregas is the most gutting. He is vital for us.

My initial feeling on the starting line up is as follows –

Henry, van Persie

Rosicky, Gilberto, Flamini, Hleb

Clichy, Senderos, Toure, Eboue


Flamini will give us a bit more grit in the centre of midfield, obviously we will lack Fabregas’ sheer brilliance bit Flamini has proved his worth on many occassions this season. My only other thought might be that Baptista might drop in centrally but I feel that might be asking too much of him just yet. There are of course other combinations we could play, van Persie wide left of midfield – daft idea, or Denilson central. I really have to go as time is not on my side.

Please however leave your starting line-ups in the comments below…  I am keen to get a gist of your ideas.


32 Responses to “Thoughts on Arsenal starting line-up against Liverpool”

  1. GunnerPete said


    Hi Bruv

    IF, as you say, they sell Stokes, it will hit me hard & confirm that Wenger is definately racist towards any British players whether he likes it being said or not…… can he justify keeping bloody Aliadiere who is crap and has failed at all the clubs he has been loaned to and has also looked totally out of his depth when he ahs been played recently….then he sells Stokes who was good for ourreserves before he left for loan to Falkirk and then scores prolifically for them in the Premier league ….sure its not the greatest league in the world but how on earth can there be any justification keeping the one…and then selling the other???? This is not all what about as you said , Bentley, Pennant, Sidwell, Jerome Thomas, Taylor, Upson, Cole, and now Stokes etc etc, and thats just the ones I can think of off the top of my head…..wouldn’t be a bad side would it if we had those in the team now??? the list goes on and on!!! I firmly believe now that Walcott was only signed to stop Chelsea getting him……!! hey and just look at this…….Cole was swapped for a frenchman (Gallas) and of course we keep another french full back in Clichy, Stokes is being let go while we keep a useless frenchman (Aliadiere), Upson was let go and we kept a useless frenchman(Cygan)and also buy a french speaking Swiss player (Senderos), Sidwell let go and we keep Flamini (French), plus English full back Gilbert loaned out and probably going while we keep Eboue in the side (French speaking Ivory Coast), Coincidences??????

    I don’t know what you thought of the Charlton game but once again against a really poor side Henry comes in and is hailed as the saviour again, but hey we only scored the goals against as I say a very poor side who were down to 10 men….. that will not convince me we have improved at all……….notice Sheff utd lost 3-1 with their full side to Middsboro??

    I have now got to the stage where I am sincerely hoping for us to lose to Liverpool in the cups and for PSV to roll us over and then to finish 5th in the league ….I will hate it and agonize over every bad result but perhaps then the reality will hit home to all the Wenger lovers who cannot see what he is like and what he is doing!!!

    Sad isn’t it…………to think of all that potential we have let go or are letting go!!!

    Happy days ………. wonder if anyone else is noticing this trend or are they blind to it?


  2. Unfortunately Gunnerpete most of what you brother says is nonsense. Arsene’s reasoning for either selling or loaning Stokes are fair. On top of that….

    Pennant – wrong atitude
    Sidwell – not a bad player, hardly world class
    Thomas – way off the standard
    Taylor – to be fair did not egt his chance
    Upson – inconsistent, now playing for a championship side
    Cole – Arsene did not want him to leave

    I look forward to other people’s opinion on this, also their possible starting line-ups…

  3. gunned down said

    anthony stokes is a republic of ireland national,this does not make him british.

  4. A valied point Gunned Down

  5. Scooch said

    Can only think that being in Australia and watching the games in the middle of the night has done something to that numpty’s head.

    A vast majority of British players are totally overrated. To accuse Wenger of racism due to not many British players in the team is laughable and totally ignorant.

    The main reason that there’s not many Brits is that the prices of a semi-decent player is boosted just due to them being British. Take Curtis Davis as an emample. there was a price of £10m being banded around when we were interested last season. He’s not an international and hasn’t played most of his career in the top league.

  6. Moomz said

    How can anybody possibly criticise wenger after all he has done. Ok, so he has made some shocking signings in the past (Cygan, Igor) and let some semi-decent players go etc. But, if it wasn’t for Wenger, would we have the best striker in the world in the team? Would we have potentially the best midfielder in the world playing for us (with an 8 year contract now as well!). It’s no coincidence that all the greatest players in the world have the utmost respect for AW and so many of them would love to play under him. I think the problem is that Wenger created a great team that went 49 games without losing. As fans we have been spoilt by watching beautiful football and having more success than ever before. Ok, so the results aren’t so good anymore, but the beautiful football is still there.

    The bottom line is that most of us would rather have a team of French speaking foreigners playing the beautiful game than a bunch of English wideboys who care more about the lifestyle than the football they play (west ham?).

    Long live Arsene Wenger!

  7. Paul said

    Stokes should not be sold, Aliadiere should be sold! I really cant understand why he keeps Aliadiere? Stokes was playing at a lower Scottish team and is top scorer in the SPL. Compare that to Aliadiere’s brief spell in the SPL. Playing him at Sheffield, I feel cost us the game. They played Baptista at left wing…why? Baptista should have played in the middle. If we are going to see anything form Baptista we should at least play him in the correct position…grrrr!

  8. Simon said

    Gunnerpete. Its called xenephobia and your comment is guilty of that. African players are improving and football was brought to them by the french. Its got nothing to do with the language or nationality that is replacing our homegrown players, it is the quality. Flamini is simply not as good as sidwell, cygan is not as good as upson, aliadiere is probably not as good as bentley or Stokes. However Pennant and cole were out of our reach. Clichy seems more humble than cole although cole showed no signs till he was 24. Pennant does not have the professionalism required to succeed in football and insults people like Eboue and Toure who have to work twice as hard without the facilities Pennant had just to get to their regional teams let alone Belgium and yet harder, England.

  9. AusGunner said

    The notion that a man who lives in England, works in a prominent role for an English club in the capital city of England and for English employers is racist towards English people is, quite frankly, fucking ridiculous.

  10. KJS said

    Some of the stuff in that rant about wenger and english players is just sad and so incorect e.g. Sidwell and Flamini were not at Arsenal at the sametime. Yeah I do like Sidwell and rate him above Flamini who I think can be a bit of an invisible man at times. But circumsatnces also dictate what happen to certain players, again take Sidwell – what did u want Wenger to do ? Drop Vieira ? Keep Sidwell in the reserves until he was 23 and we needed him ?? Get real. Same unfortunately with Upson, he was around with Campbell, Keown etc and yes he was better than Cygan but unlike Cygan wouldnt sit and be happy being 4th choice.

  11. KJS said

    Oh and lets not forget Stokes hasnt gone anywhere yet and who said Aliadiere will still be here at the end of Jan. Additionally, as has been said already and as an Irishman I can say, like my fellow countryman Stokes – we’re are not British !!! I probably live further from England than some of those poor French blokes that were slagged off !!!

  12. Perry Groves said

    What a load of waffle … I honestly believe that Wenger didn’t want any of the young English players e.g. Sidwell, Upson, Bentley to leave and was realistic with them saying that if they stay they won’t be in the first team but would have to wait for their chance.

    Young English players believe it is their right to start for Arsenal and this isn’t the case – you have to work hard, have the quality and take your chance like Cole did.

    If you look at Hoyte who went out on loan and has come back to Arsenal, got on with it and has now played nearly 20 odd games this season.

    If Bentley had taken this attitude he probably would have got a run of games with all the injuries to Freddie and Pires last year.

    However when Bentley game back after 1 season with relegated Norwich he was demanding a first team spot which Wenger obviously couldn’t give him !

  13. fatesh said

    baptista needs to be given a start now and this a perfect game where he will be allowed to actually play. forget flamini, he has very little skill or pace and all he brings is hsi work ethic which is not enough. gilberto can sit while the beast go’s
    do u agree?

  14. Valentin said

    Everybody seems to think that Stokes is the second coming, but having seen play he is very far from the finished article.
    In my view, he is at least two years away from the Arsenal first team level. I do not rate him as much as Bentdner.
    Also his style of play is very different from Arsenal.
    I do not see the point of keeping him to play in the reserve or loaning him for the next two seasons with no guarantee that in two years time, he will have progressed to the required level.
    Bentdner, Vela have more chance to make the first team. With Walcott likely to be converted to central striker in two years time.
    Aliadiere is likely to be sold to PSG very soon.

  15. OhDennis said

    GunnerPete, i hate to say it but your brother is a complete idiot….

  16. jesu munda punjabi said

    i would pick flamini over sidwell in the current arsenal side because he has certain qualities that are rarely found in footballers nowadays..shame some people dont see it..and the reason wenger is still keeping aliadere to me is becausde he is waiting for a bidder so that he gains something for the club..and for stokes..he is not the current arsenal type..moreover he has a stack in front of him..adebayor and even tallboy bendtner is proving a success..stokes doesnt have the height advantage compared to tallboy..(ps:thats what i calls him)
    finally im no brit nor irish or aussie just a gunner ya people…

  17. run said

    I must say…I admire Arsene, and Arsenal’s, policy with respect to selling young players. He let’s them go if it is in their best interest. I think he genuienly wants what is best for his young players.

    Be honest…would any of the young English players he has let go be getting regular games for this team? I can only think of a handful of English players who would (Cashley, Gerrard, Rooney…maybe Terry). I don’t want to see stokes go, but at best he would be 5th choice at Arsenal, so I am happy to see him get a chance somewhere else.

    And in regard to aliaidere and lupoli; I expect they’ll be moved on soon too.

    Now to more important things…What a wonderful result today! Thank you Rosicky!

  18. Wonderful debate evreryone, on the whole wenger and his polocy on nationalities. Although that guys brother clearly did not know what he was on about it certainly made for interesting reading for everyone else. I do appreciate everyone posting, i love reading your comments! 3-1 ARSENAL!!!!!!! get in there, a response tomorrow with player ratings as well. Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  19. bhiza said

    where is gunnerpete now

  20. joe blogg said

    When was the last time we had a local lad in our side?

  21. OhDennis said

    it was ashley cole…

  22. Erythro said

    Looks like Arsenal still have that defensive frailty. Senderos and Toure are nowhere near wold-class. Against lower rung teams, they might survive. But against the red hot strike force of Bellamy and Kuyt with Gerrard and Alonso backing them up, i seriously have my doubts.

  23. Gooner said

    The reason that these players are not being retained is that they lack the essentials the Arsene Weneger believes is required to make the grade.

    Technique, Attitude, Athleticism, Pace … and Technique again !!

    All of Wengers best players have the sort of technique that instantly marks them out as a bit special – you recognise it instantly in a touch and you know deep down that it’s what seperates us (the pub players) from this Arsenal side.

    Wenger values technique above nearly all else, and sadly most English (and Irish) players these days spend more time on the4 physical side of the game rather than honing their skills and ball control.

    By the time they’re 18 it’s too late – they’ll never have the touch of Cesc, Hleb, Rosicky, Henry, Van Persie.

    And they’ll never make the grade at Arsenal – although they may go one to be solid professionals at other clubs.

    When players leave Arsenal their career inevitably start heading downwards because Wenger is right.

    Just remember … Wenger Knows Football.

  24. N.C. said

    So what bit of 3-1 to Arsenal didn’t you get?

  25. HighburyJD said

    we already have henry, RVP, adebayor and walcott
    I can’t imagine aliaidiere will stay much longer but as well as him we have bendtner, stokes and lupoli out on loan. Surely no1 suggests we get rid of any of the first 4..? So realistically only one of our loaned out strikers can be kept. Wenger obv rates bendtner and/or lupoli ahead of stokes is that so crazy?

  26. bren said

    To all those who have written off aliadiere already.

    Have any of you actually watched him play in the reserves, where he is fully adjusted to the conditions? I have seen many reserve games and first team players feature on the odd occassion. With the exception of van persie, no other first team player stands out as much against reserve opposition. Aliadiere consistently demonstrates he is too good for the reserves. He is a talent and when he gets into the swing of first team football you will see what he is capable of.

    I leave you with this quote from the head coach of the head coach at the famous St Clairofortaine academy in France: “The three best strikers ever to come out of here in the past 10 years have been Nicholas Anelka, Thierry Henry and Jeremie Aliadiere;

    Mark my words.

  27. Paul said

    Bren: So he plays well in reserves, maybe that’s because thats his standard. He can turn well. Full stop. Not good enough. He could do well in the coco cola, or maybe the Spl.

  28. GunnerPete said

    Yes Im still here, and want to answer a few of the stupid remarks above. First A,News…whilst I do not agree with my brothers point of view, as a Gunner of 57 years ( and not five minutes) I think he is entitled to it. I also will confirm to the morons who just enter a debate with insults, that before he emigrated 8 years ago he notched up over 35 years of manic AFC following, and travelled to over 380 away games, and too many were before Arsene had arrived.This is a real supporter who knows his team and followed knowing we would be losing most games. I wonder how many of the geniouses above have or would do that…?

    As for Stokes what I do agree with is that he should be given at least a couple of games in the Carling Cup etc. Sometimes a player who is great in the stiffs is crap elsewhere. This can only be proved with the experience of playing against class.

    As for Alliadierre…point proved, he sadly before his terrible injury, he was as good as ive seen. Now he is impatient and realises he has not broken through. He should be sold.

    Yes Arsene (our God) has made some poor buys but also some bloody brilliant buys, but best of all he is (in my opinion) the greatest manager I have ever seen, because of his achievements without the budget that is available to Manure, Chelski, Newcastle, Liverpool & even Spuds.

    Again it is my opinion, but had AW had Fergies budget I really think AFC would have won the double five times not two, and the European Cup twice. But that is just a what if !

    As for all the other insults to my Brother I can only say that this is the whole difference in supporters today and the past….No guts, No knowledge & No respect.

  29. KJS said


    Please don’t take this personally, as I sympathise with you you where people just through insults about. Personally, I didn’t do this, I purely pointed out examples where your brothers comments seemed a little misguided and inaccurate, which they definitely are. As such your comment about “no knowledge” is a little bit galling. But keep up the support.

  30. Shakhawat said

    Nice formation,go and kick Liverpool’s BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Ornob said

    Good Formation,Win the 3rd position in league.Kick’em out!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Amit said

    ARSENAL are the best They Are the coolest so win a good position in the league and Make the world learn about the gunners.

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