Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

We have two options for today’s game

Posted by James Dall on 31, March 2007

Good morning, kick off in about two hours then. I am pretty excited and of course a little bit nervous – it is a big game.

So before I talk about my starting line-up I shall briefly touch upon the other news stories.

Wenger talks about how he sympathises with McClaren. I have to admit that with the games against Andorra and Israel have parallels with what we face pretty much every week – a team that sits back looking to maybe nick a goal at the other end. The pressure is on the big team but that is a given. We have to learn how to deal with that though. At least we play faster football than England – their tempo is poor.

Arsene has denied the charge of improper conduct, a date for his hearing will be scheduled soon. I doubt he will have much luck, the F.A. are a pain in the arse. Good luck to him though.

After the speculation of a takeover, Arsene has said –

It doesn’t worry me at all. Apart from speculation you don’t know how much truth is in there.

Fair enough, as mentioned yesterday with so many rumours around it is hard to identify what is truth and fact. Only time will tell I guess.

Just a little bit on Liverpool before I move onto our system – Gerrard will be playing wide right today. Clichy certainly will have his hands full but I feel he is up to the challenge. If you recall at the Emirates, Gerrard played right and he was nowhere near as effective as he could have been. I presume they will go with Sissoko and Alonso in the centre.

Speaking about the team news –

Gilberto is out and so is Aliadiere for a kick on his foot. I am pleased to have Eboue and Clichy back. It means I am capable to play with this back four. It means there is a lot of experience and a lot of creativity on the flanks. It is good to see them together again.

From those comments it is obvious that he sees Eboue, Toure, Gallas, Clichy as his first choice back four. I think we would all agree that this is our best combination. If we can stay injury free, hopefully that back four can develop some understanding over the next few games. The debate for me is whether we will play 4-5-1 or 4-4-2, either Adebayor will play up top on his own or will be partnered with Baptista. It is unfortunate that Gilberto is out as I feel he would have complimented a 5 man midfield well. The two options, in my opinion, are –

Baptista, Aliadiere

Rosicky, Diaby, Fabregas, Hleb

Clichy, Gallas, Toure, Eboue




Rosicky, Ljungberg/Denilson, Diaby, Fabregas, Hleb

Clichy, Gallas, Toure, Eboue


Diaby is a must for me, he can help combat Sissoko’s presence and power. Plus I really feel against Everton he was solid. As mentioned it is a real shame Gilberto is unfit, he could have sat nicely in front of the defence leaving the rest of the 5 man midfield bomb forward. There are many discussion points, for example whether to go with Denilson of Freddie. Freddie played central in Europe last season and gave us a lot of energy. I also think he is more likely to surge into the box – vital with only one up front, whereas I cannot see Denilson that as often.

I eagerly anticpate your thoughts and ideas on what system/players we should play. Come on the Gunners!!!


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