Arsenal visit St. James Park: Raise the curtains well
After the long wait, Premier League football is back for good and the next 10 months will be filled with excitement as well as intrigue, suspense and despair. Arsenal fans have gotten used to the ‘despair’ but every season comes with fresh hope. After winning the league in Old Trafford in 2001, Arsenal was in pole position to retain their title but losses to Blackburn and Leeds made the Premier League escape their grasp. Manchester United on the other hand won the league in the 2002/03 campaign but they were very shocked when Arsenal came back with a bang to achieve a status of immortality as well as invincibility to end the season as champions without losing a game. The Premier League is a very unpredictable league where teams don’t show football respect to each other, unlike the leagues in Spain and Scotland where it’s always a two-horse race from start to finish. Last season, Manchester United lost their air of invincibility in the hands of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City… Wolves. That tells you the whole story.
Wenger looks set to lose Fabregas as well as Nasri in quick succession but he has wasted no time in talking up his new recruits ahead of the season. He says that Ryo Miyaichi can make a huge impact this season so we’ll have to sit and see how Miyaichi will be an ace when we need a plan B. The burden might be too much to place on an 18-year old but he was voted as the 5th best signing in the EreDivisie last year despite playing for only 5 months and that is more than encouraging. Miyaichi has the likes of Arshavin, Walcott and Gervinho ahead of him but he’ll have to bide his time and do his best when he’s brought into the pitch because Wenger has extreme faith in him and we all know that Wenger is a football manager that can be blinded with his faith in a player until the player throws an egg on his face or shines as expected to put a smile on his face.
Fabregas was thrown into the pitch at the age of 16 and became one of the best midfielders in his generation. Bentley was thrown into the same pitch but his career has plummeted into oblivion. Bentley didn’t get as much games as Fabregas but I’m just making a slight point here. Vela hasn’t played 0.001% of the games Fabregas has played but he has showed glimpses of quality that has made Wenger cling unto him even if he’s clearly not in Arsenal’s plans. There are reports emanating that Real Sociedad are considering a loan move for the Aztec Warrior.
Wenger has also talked up his new recruit, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and recently said that the Chambered Ox has a bright future. I’m very certain that Chambered Ox will win the win for us in 2020 but like Miyaichi, he’ll also get his chance to show why he cost us £12m. The same amount of money that was needed to purchase Chris Samba. I know that he’s as fast as Usain Bolt and I’m hoping that he’ll use to great effect for Arsenal this season. The Carling Cup will be the breeding ground for the Chambered Ox because senior players like Arshavin, Walcott and probably Gervinho will be rest in such ties.
Ramsey has said that the team is capable to win things this season and I’m solidly behind him. Fabregas’ exit now means that Ramsey only has the threat of Tomas Rosicky to contend with or the new attacking midfielder that we are all expecting at Arsenal. This season, many teams have beefed themselves up with new signings so Arsenal has to step up if they want to challenge for the title as well as the other trophies that are up for grabs.
Moving over to team news, Wilshere is still out but Walcott is back in the squad. Vermaelen, Gibbs and the soon to be announced club captain, Robin van Persie are also fit and they’ll be thrown into the thick of things this evening at St. James Park. Szczesny had a great game despite conceding four goals in this fixture in February last season so he’ll be eager to visit the ground to prove to Wenger why he has to Arsenal’s No. 1 this season because Lukasz Fabianski is also waiting for his chance. With Eboue packing his bags to leave for Turkey, Sagna will be at the right back position while Gibbs will start his first game this season as Arsenal’s No. 1 left back. Vermaelen is a certain starter at the center of the defense but the preseason has shown everybody that Laurent Koscielny has the upper hand against Johan Djourou so I believe that he’ll be given the nod ahead of the Swiss brick wall.
In the midfield, Song will assume his holding role while Ramsey will provide support for the mohawked one. I preferred when I called him the African Blondie. 🙁
Rosicky will start in the attacking midfield role and I’m praying that he invokes the spirit of his Borussia Dortmund days this evening while defense splitting passes as well as surface to goal missiles from outside the box.
The attack will be led by the Flying Dutchman, Robin van Persie and there’ll be a lot of pace on the wings because Walcott will be thrown into the squad and Gervinho is odds on to be handed a Premier League debut.
My expected lineup should be
Enjoy the match wherever you are.
Arsenal was Arsenal when Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires left the club and Arsenal will still be Arsenal when Fabregas and Nasri, and a lot richer too. 🙂
Lest I forget, new squad numbers have been announced. Szczesny has taken the spirit of Hleb and Gallas, Chambered Ox got Denilson’s number but he might not be an escort-in-chief, Miyaichi preferred No. 31 to 42 (no difference) and Gervinho kept the Ivorian flag running by taking Farmer Eboue’s No. 27.