Blackburn v. Arsenal: The new cycle begins now!
Arsenal will be given another chance to move up the log table but they’ll face a different task on their hands when they visit Ewood Park today.
Blackburn is sitting pretty at the foot of the table with one draw from four games but they can be a thorn in the flesh when they want to be. Arsène Wenger has praised his defense following their valiant performance against Dortmund and has admitted that his team faces a different task when they play Blackburn today.
Wenger has also labeled this game as a must-win encounter:
“We must win. We live in an environment that questions us when we don’t win. We do not criticise that and have to live with that. We have to show performances, consistency and attitude quality, that makes us respected. It is as simple as that. That is why it is as important that we do not talk too much and play as well as we can.”
With Manchester United and Chelsea locking horns tomorrow, points will surely be dropped so Arsenal has to take the advantage to move up the table with 3 points today.
Wenger also said that he would love his side to get a good run of results:
“That is what we want to achieve and hopefully it will go as planned.”
“We know that we will be tested in every single game in the Premier League and Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup will be difficult. Let’s just show that we can win the next one, the next one is Blackburn.”
“They are a good side. They got a point last week at Fulham and were a bit unlucky against Everton. So let’s prepare ourselves for a difficult opponent.”
“You lose your confidence quickly and you gain it back slowly. You only gain it back with hard work and that is what we want to show at Blackburn.”
Shortly after visiting Ewood Park, Arsenal would play Shrewsbury in the Carling Spoon before hosting Bolton and Olympiakos. With no disrespect to these clubs involved, these matches are winnable and a good run will do wonders for the players, the fans and everyone involved with Arsenal.
Arsène Wenger has also stated that a new cycle has begun in Arsenal:
“For me [standing still is not an option] and in the modern society a cycle takes zero days. But I will judge myself by giving the best of my intelligence, experience and commitment to the Club and after I let other people judge what I do.”
“At the end of the day and at the end of the season you know yourself whether you took the maximum out of the team and the team’s potential or not. I want our fans just to be happy and you make your fans happy if you win things and if you win games. That I think is that.”
He also talked up Koscielny’s ability and Gervinho had a thing or two to say about him:
“It’s Arsene’s job to choose his players and I believe in his vision. Whatever player Arsene picks to play for Arsenal, I respect that and so should the fans.”
“I’d still have signed for Arsenal if [Nasri and Cesc] had been sold before I arrived — there are still great players at this club.”
Gervais Yao Kouassi is a player that admire a lot for his sultry skills and style of play. It’s also good to know that his three-match is a forgotten tale and he’ll surely be deployed to the flanks to support van Persie.
Moving over to the match preview, Arsenal has won just three of their last 13 Premier League away matches and these victories came up against the teams that currently plying their trade in the npower Championship: Blackpool, Birmingham and West Ham.
Arsenal’s form at the latter end of last season was really woeful but a new season comes with new optimism and this season will be no different because only four games have been played so far.
The demons of injury have settled in North London and have taken the likes of Jack Wilshere, Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky, Sebastien Squillaci and Aaron Ramsey captive.
David Dunn and Vincenzo Grella will miss out of today’s encounter while Steve Kean will be sweating over the fitness of Ryan Nelsen, Chris Samba and Morten-Gamst Pedersen.
Blackburn’s home form against the Gunners is quite dismal with Arsenal winning 21 out of 53 games played. Van Persie still remains the scourge of Blackburn with 10 goals registered to his name against them.
I expect Wojciech Szczesny to continue his bit as Arsenal’s number one custodian while Bac the Man will continue to do his thing on the right despite Carl Jenkinson’s return from suspension.
Andre Santos might be in line for a debut but with the physical threat Blackburn will pose, Wenger might opt for Kieran Gibbs. New signing Per Mertesacker was bought for a match of this calibre and he’ll pair up with the inspired Laurent Koscielny.
Alex Song has enjoyed his three-match Premier League holiday so he’ll be sent back into action to pair up with newbie Mikel Arteta. Yossi Benayoun will play in the attacking midfield role and more will be expected from him.
Theo Walcott and Gervinho will provide wit and pace on the flanks and the attacking line will led by Blackburn’s personal terrorist, Robin van Persie.
Sagna – Mertesacker – Koscielny – Gibbs
Song – Benayoun – Arteta
Walcott – RVP – Gervinho
A win will take Arsenal to 7 points, Man Utd has 12 while Chelsea has 10.
Enjoy the game wherever you are.
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