Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Finally something worth talking about, including team news

Posted by James Dall on 13, March 2007

Afternoon all, after a beautifully sunny start to the day it has clouded over. Not entirely sure why that is relevant but I just thought I would mention it. As the title subtly suggests, I have some news to chat about AND some team news for tomorrow’s trip to the Midlands.

First of all Gallas had the following to say on our European exit –

Our exit was hard to stomach. I think about it a lot. What made it even harder to swallow was I told my team-mates to be extra careful at set-pieces. We conceded the goal as the result of a completely stupid and needless foul. The ball was in the corner and all we needed to do was to wait. It was down to youthfulness. We lacked finishing skills. We created far more chances than PSV yet failed to convert a single one. We had to rely on Alex helping us out by scoring an own goal.

I think maybe the exit has shocked him a bit, it cannot be easy seeing the club you left win a trophy and still be fighting on three fronts. He is blunt but honest about the problems we faced against PSV, Hleb did needlesly foul and we were not clinical. In the interview he also mentions how it will be dificult to be motivated for the rest of the season. Not sure about that comment, there is still a hell of a lot to play for, I shall be keeping a close eye on his next few performances.

Wenger spoke yesterday about how he has been a bit ‘lost’ recently. It is not often that at this stage of the season we really cannot win anything at all. Arsene is experienced and it is his job to pick the players up. I really do expect the team to be firing on all cylinders tomorrow. They have had a rest and have had some quality time on the training ground – hopefully working on set pieces (defending and attacking) and shooting. Speaking of the things we have been lacking recently they certainly fall in the 5 percent Arsene has talked about. Some sites have jumped the gun and seem to think Wenger was hinting at bringing in new players – I am not sure about that, I think he just means that certain aspects of our game need work.

Arsene on Henry’s return –

The real truth is he is out until we start training again, which is when we return in the beginning of July. We are now in March. April, May and June he will be out for and maybe practice again in mid June. He will certainly not do it before June.

That does not really surprise me. Almost five months rest for the big man. I really believe he will be back to his best next season. I am aware that some of you think we should sell him (see yesterday’s blog comments) but that would just be awful. It really would, the guy is a genius and he is committed to Arsenal, despite what some say. He will finish his career with us, he will be a true asset next season.

Fabregas on his finishing –

I am not sure if it is bad luck or if I am not good enough in front of goal. The keeper makes a great save or I just miss. I don’t know why it is. But it is something I have to really improve if I want to get to the top in football.

I love him, you can tell how much it means to him to be the best. Recently I actually think his shooting has been a huge improvement. He has just needed a bit of luck, many of his shots have been brilliantly saved or just wide/over. He will notch up a few before the season is up.

Now to the team news…

Players out – Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy are all suspended. Henry and Van Persie are long term injures. Tomas Rosicky is back in the squad but not ready and Hleb has a minor knee injury.

Players back – Flamini and Hoyte.

Well one thing stands out, we are short on wingers. This would be the team I would set out against Aston Villa –

Baptista, Aliadere

Ljungberg, Fabregas, Diaby, Walcott

Traore, Gallas, Djourou, Hoyte


Diaby in, I think he deserves to start and I think he would compliment Fabregas wonderfully. I hope Arsene goes with that back four, is Senderos available? I thought he was injured? He might push Hoyte left back and then Senderos central and Djourou on the right, for me that would be daft, it would mean two players not playing their natural position. I worry Flamini may start wide right – I really hope not. There is much more to pick over but I shall leave that to you guys.

How has your Tuesday been so far?


30 Responses to “Finally something worth talking about, including team news”

  1. Emkay said

    No Gilberto??

  2. jack said

    no gilberto? is that a mistake ro you think he should be dropped?

  3. No Gilberto your right. I just feel Diaby deserves a start and the combination of him and Fabregas excites me. Gilberto on the bench – not because he has played badly but merely beacuse I feel it is time for Diaby.

  4. Arafa said

    First of all Henry is NOT finished u guys who are saying this are stupid the guy was the best striker in the world for 4 years and when he have a bad season because of injuries we sell him this is just ridiculous…Henry is a great player and Arsenal is a great club, still we need some players in and surley some players out…Baptista must go really he is worthless and we need instead of him a good striker than can score 20 + per season maybe bendtner could do it but im not sure…if lehmann goes i would like to see akineff in the emirates he is a very good GK…If we do not get reyes for baptista we should bring one of the 2 ribery or robinho cause we need a midfilder that can score goals because currently fab and hleb and rosiscky do not..last but not least Senderoes should really go he is the worst defender ive seen in an arsenal shirt after cygan…One last thing ljungberg should also go i love freddie but he is old and cannot get past defenders and flamini is not that great also

  5. Richie said


    They all suck, let’s sell the whole team. Or not.

  6. Arafa said

    Arsenal squad next season should be:
    GK:Akineff, almunia
    CB:gallas, Toure, djourou, woody or alex
    LB:Clichy, Trore
    RB:Eboue(will be better defensivley),hoyte
    CM:Fabregas,Denilson,Gilberto,Diaby, (Merida)
    RM:Hleb, Walcote
    LM:Rosicky, (Robinho or Ribery or Reyes)
    ST:HENRYYY, Vsn persie, adebayor, 20+ striker

    -1 of(Robinho, Ribery, reyes)
    -20+ striker there lots of them like fernando torres, villa, bendtner maybe anyone who can actually score
    -Woody or alex or anyone who is a decent CB


  7. arsene said

    so so agree…

    out senderos, flamshit, freddie, best, also out hoyte, lehman,


    eto or torres or a goalscorer at the highest level
    ribery or babel or a winger at the highest level
    buffon or a proper goalie
    woodgate, alec or proper BIG centre half who can head the fucking ball…

    do all that and we are the best squad in the world

  8. Alex said

    You cant sign me, I’m a chelsea player! The truth is that there isnt enough room at Stamford Bridge what with Jose’s ego & Roman’s Wallet. So I have to wait at the PSV feeder club until this summer’s inevitable clear out.
    I think you’d be crazy to sell Henry just because of his injury plagued season. It amazes me how fickle fans can be sometimes.
    Robinho or Babel would be good additions to replace fading freddie. I would like to see an out and out winger and maybe Reyes will return or perhaps Walcott will do the job (but I think he will play down the middle in time).
    Rosicky will come good next season He’s class but again has been unlucky with injuries and not had a chance to settle in properly. Talking of bad luck, Gallas. If Toure & Billy had played together all season then Arsenal would have been rock solid.
    Arsenal have got a great squad, its just a case of getting them all fit. Arsenal musnt do a chelsea and just buy all the obvious names. Remember there are players like Muamba, Bendtner, Vela & Merida who we havent seen play for Arsenal yet.

  9. California Stave said

    Basically I agree with most of these suggestions, although it appears Woodgate really wants to stay at Boro.

    My only disagreement is the Beast. I think a second year in England would see him at his best, as an attacking midfielder.

    As Arsene has pointed out, Beast is one of the few guys we’ve got who gets into the box at the right times, makes proper runs and puts himself in position to score. The problem has been his touch in setting himself to finish, and THAT is exactly the type of thing AW teaches very well.

    Beast is also a surprisingly good passer when he does have control of the ball. Lot to offer, this guy, if we’re just patient. Remember TH14 missed sitters left and right when he was adjusting to English football.

    I totally agree on Akinfeev, though he’s awfully young to be a No. 1 at this level.

    And I’m desperate to get Robinho, who has been caught in the shuffle at Madrid but offers all the winger/striker skills that AW admires plus pace in buckets. You might think I’m crazy but Robinho could easily be a 15+ goal scorer in our system. He’s a more advanced version of Theo, if you want to look at it that way.

    Unlike everyone else, I don’t necessarily think we should splash out on one of the huge-name strikers. Man U, Liverpool’s new money and naturally Chelsea will drive prices through the roof.

    That opinion could change if we DON’T get Robinho, but if we do…

    Remember we’ve still got TH14, who is without peer and will come back fired up to prove his greatness.

    Assuming we’ve added a scoring winger like Robinho, we could afford to give Bendtner his shot. There isn’t a scout in the world who doesn’t believe he’s going to world class — and quickly.

    As for the back four, I suspect we’ll have to make do with the current group. Except for height (yes, I know…), Kolo and Gallas should be awesome together.

    Plenty of fullbacks with talent.

    As for defending crosses and free kicks, I don’t think it’s height (though Bendtner could be taught to help) but lack of practice. Alex could have been cut off before he got near that killer for PSV but everybody just stood around.

    We’re VERY close to having it all, but even AW knows now that we have to learn how to defend corners and score off a few.

    If everyone’s fit, we’ll be right in the mix for the Prem and everything else.

    And notice that the only “name” player I’ve added from outside is Robinho.

    This all assumes Thierry really is healthy.

    Cross your fingers on that one because it’s more important than all this other chatter put together.

  10. […] Finally something worth talking about, including team news Afternoon all, after a beautifully sunny start to the day it has clouded over. Not entirely sure why that is relevant […] […]

  11. AusGunner said

    Looking at that line-up I’m thinking I’d maybe swap Aliadiere and Theo. Aliadiere seems capable on the wings and I’d like to see more of Theo up front. Failing that, Gilberto should start and maybe Diaby would get a go on the wing instead.

  12. moulmein said

    Look why bother…you’re out of everything this year!…..I can hear the chants from the ‘Lane’ now…

  13. henneimang said

    I am sorry about Arsenal out of Champions league,even thought i am not the fans of Arsenal I work at Emirates Stadium.I think they will do well next season with new young team.

  14. Ozi Gooner said


    Hoyte – Gilberto – Djourou – Gallas

    Hleb – Cesc – Denilson/Diaby – Freddie

    Baptista – Aliadiere

    … more likely me thinks

  15. […] Original post by Arsenal News […]

  16. Anonymous said

    As Wenger has rightly pointed out the team has progressed this year. It is fair to say with what we have seen already this year the team will be awesome next session. All we need is two quick Wingers, a Keeper and a very good Striker. Our present Wingers bar Walcott are too slow thus allowing defences to re-group on us all the time. This perharps explain why we have score as many goals as previous years when we had Pires. I would like to see Robinho or Ribery at Arsenal next session. Villa will also fit very nicely into our team. Look up you Goners, the future is bright!!!

  17. I would love to see Reyes coming back even thou it would be hard on the team spirit, but I feel he got a bad treatment from Henry and he gave us the spark and pace we needed on the left side.

  18. Victor tan said


    Eboue Gallas Toure Clinchy

    Fabregas Gilberto

    Robinho Reyes


    Sub: Bendtner,Van persie, baptista,vela,merida,muamba,gilbert(cardiff)


  19. jane said

    we must keep the beast –

    OUT – lehman, aliadiere, senderous, reyes,

    IN – Strong keeper, strong centre half –

    we have enough comming through the ranks and we dont want to keep selling them off – i cant wait to see muamba in the first team – also bendtner has proved he can score at the brum so he should get his chance too

    all looks rosey to me – good luck tonight boys….

  20. Neal said

    In: Ribery, Torres, Buffon/Gordon
    Out: Lehmann, Ljungberg

  21. brinso_the-gooner said

    i would prefer the following 4-3-3 formation though
    hoyty djourouster phil gallas
    diaby gilberto denilson
    beast jeremy

  22. Jersey said

    Can’t see AW not starting with his skipper. Gilberto is too important to the team and in a young team, his experience is too crucial.
    The Beast and Aliadiere have to step up to the plate.

  23. arsene said

    gilberto is a piece of shite

  24. Swineshead said

    First time I’ve posted here but regular reader…

    Why play Aliadere? He’s useless…he’s got to go over summer.

  25. afc4lyf said

    wat is wrong wif u ppl.. get ur tongue out of henry’s ass… yes he was a world class player and will always be a ledgend but we shuda sold im last summer!.. 90% of season tikit holders will tell u da same thing!!!

    in— buffon, woody, ribery/robinho, eto’o/torres

    out— lehmann, senderos, flamini, henry,

    straight swap the beast for reyes….

  26. […] Finally something worth talking about, including team news […]

  27. amiripz said

    If they only listened to Gallas about the set-pieces.

  28. Des said

    I’m a great Arsenal supporter, but must admit that I have not once been impressed by Adebayore. I can’t recall a single goal that he has scored (mainly because those that he has scored have been 1-on-1 against the keeper or an open goalmouth). I can however recall his stupid little hip wiggle thing, which he seems to have practiced more than punting balls into the back of the net!
    None of the play that the midfielders are creating is being converted into goals because there’s no one upfront with enough ball control.
    Putting Rosicky upfront would be better than any proposal I’ve read in these comments.

  29. Mat said

    I agree that Rosicky would be better suited in the middle but not upfront, perhaps behind a striker. I must disagree about Adebayour, hes a tremendous worker, a real physical presence upfront and holds the ball up well. However, he does need to work on his finishing. I’m not sure what Des expects from Ade but scoring the winning goal against Man U at Old Trafford is pretty memorable to me. Do not ignore that a players contribution is not always about goals. A few more would be nice though.

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