Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Squad rotation it is then, goodness knows who will play

Posted by James Dall on 16, February 2007

Morning fellow Gunners. Today is Friday of course, which means I am a happy bunny. I hope you are too. There has been further reaction to the Bolton victory –

Almunia talks about how he was ready for penalties –

At the start of the second half of extra time I was thinking about penalties a little bit. I was remembering other seasons when I saved penalties in Cup matches and I was preparing my mind for another shoot-out.

I would not have fancied us to be honest, mainly due to the fact we had the two awful misses. I know Gilberto has taken pens for us in the past but for me, having him as number one when Thierry is not about, is strange. To be a penalty taker you need to be a composed natural finisher. Gilberto certainly is composed but I think we all know he is not exactly the most clinical of players. A strange one indeed. Anyway we won, that is the most important things. It shuts up all the journalists who keep writing about our failure to beat physical teams. Well we bossed Blackburn with ten men away and have beaten Bolton deservedly now, so keep quiet.

Freddie has talked about what a nightmare his injuries have been –

I’m really happy we’ve done well but, personally, when I watch a game I get very, very nervous,. When I play I don’t get nervous at all but to sit there when you can’t influence the game is almost like torture for me. It’s hard but that’s how it is. It was very nice to get the call-up [to play against Bolton]. I was very happy to come back playing again and to end up with a goal is great. The goal felt good because I like to go in behind the defence and I got a good ball from Jeremie Aliadiere. I went past the defender a little bit and put it in the net. It felt great.

I am certainly pleased he is back. We have been lacking wide players recently. With Hleb out, Rosicky and Theo have been having to play non stop really. The goal Freddie scored really was a treat. Speaking of treats, click here to see Freddie’s goal again.

Speaking of Aliadiere, Arsene had the following to say on him –

Aliadiere is a good player. He has made huge improvement this year. But he was always injured in the seasons before. This is the first year when he has been completely clear, and sometimes you need patience with young players.

He has proved a lot of people wrong including myself. Although for me I am still unconvinced his long term future is at Arsenal. The fact he was so close to leaving and probably would have done if Robin had not got injured shows to me that Arsene does not see him staying for too long. I think most of us agree that Bendtner will return to Arsenal in the summer and push for a place. Until then though, Aliadiere has my full backing. He has looked strong, fast and positive. I wish him the best of luck for the rest of the season. Who knows, if he continues to impress he may change Arsene’s mind.

Ok, last but not least Arsene talked about some team news yesterday –

I will rotate as much as I can. I rested a few players at Bolton and some of them will come in. Djourou will be out. He has a knee problem. But he will not be out for a longer period maybe only two or three days. Alex Hleb has a tight hamstring. I played him for longer than I wanted to last night. He may need a little rest but it should not be a problem for Tuesday’s game. I will decide about that on Friday.

That is a huge relied about Hleb. Clearly more will come out today in Arsene’s press conference but tomorrow’s starting line-up certainly will be very interesting. Might Freddie start? Senderos will come back in after serving his suspension. Walcott also? Rosicky has played a lot of games so maybe Theo wide right and Freddie on the left. Fabregas back in? And what about Thierry? I would imagine that Aliadiere will start. I shall write a blog this afternoon or tomorrow morning with my exact starting line-up.

So the squad is starting to re form again now. Touch wood. Hleb and Djourou only out for a couple of days thank go, then we have Eboue and Gallas surely close to a return, and then last but no least Robin.

As mentioned a blog later or tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled. Have a superb Friday.

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4 Responses to “Squad rotation it is then, goodness knows who will play”

  1. kayan said

    i reckon: almunia,hoyte,toure,senderos,clichy,ljunberg,flamini,cesc,theo,henry,aliadierre will most likely be the starting eleven tomorrow. but i dont see henry or cesc finishing consdering tuesdays game at psv. regardless of the team,i do think this will once again lead to a reply, the team is tired but full of fighters and im still unconvinced about the home form. i still fully expect us to go to ewood and romp them.

  2. Michael Hudson said

    I’m thinking;
    Lehmann,Hoyte,Toure,Gilberto,Clichy/Traore,Ljungberg,Cesc,Denilson,Theo,Henry,Baptista

    Subs; Traore/Clichy,Diaby,Aliadiere,Adebayor,Poom

    Arsenal to win 3-1 (Denilson getting his 1st goal for Arsenal “25yarda”)

  3. Shaz said

    I hope it will be:
    almunia
    hoyte, toure, senderos, traore
    theo, Cesc, Flamini, freddy
    Aliadiere Henry

    there is only 1 outfied player from that that started against Bolton which is toure so i think it will be a pretty fresh team. Put on gilberto at half time for toure. I think we will win easily….and blackburn have afair few injuries themselves with their 2 best players out in pederson and Mcarthy.

  4. Michael Hudson said

    Team news.
    Arsenal: Almunia, Toure, Clichy, Gallas, Senderos, Denilson, Rosicky, Fabregas, Ljungberg, Henry, Adebayor, Aliadiere, Hoyte, Walcott, Gilberto, Eboue, Diaby, Baptista, Poom.

    Did you notice that GALLAS & EBOUE have been included?

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