Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Drop Eboue. Recall Wilshere and Rosicky. A win in Belgrade is required.

Morning Gooners.

The Arsenal squad travelled to Belgrade yesterday ahead of our game with Partizan tonight in the Champions League. It is an 18-man party without Manuel Almunia and Abou Diaby, both of whom are missing with injury.

It means Arsene Wenger has called up Wojciech Szczesny and Henri Lansbury to the traveling party.

Almunia is out with an elbow injury which he picked up conceding the penalty against West Brom. Despite being checked over by the medical staff at half time, the Spaniard decided to carry on in the second half.

Perhaps not the smartest of moves when sections of fans at the Grove are looking for evidence to bash the manager with for not buying a keeper in the summer and looking for any small slip up to throw at you.

So because of the injury, it means Lukasz Fabianski starts in goal. I know he has his detractors, but I am not one of them. For sure there are questions to be raised about his ability to perform at the highest level but now is not the time to go into them.

If Almunia doesn't make a speedy recovery, Fabianski will play at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. What we don't need is a keeper lacking total confidence when we play there. So I suggest we all get behind him.

As for Diaby, there is no clear answer how long his injury it will keep him out for. The Daily Mirror report he took a knock to his ankle. His place has been taken by Landbury who I was impressed with when he played in the Carling Cup last week.

It is highly unlikely he'll start this game, but it will be good experience to watch it from the bench.

I would imagine the manager will however use Jack Wilshere in place of Diaby in the starting 11.

Tomas Rosicky is expected to captain the side, so you would imagine he will take the place of Emmanuel Eboue on the right of our attack.

I don't think any of the other players places are up for debate.

I would imagine it will be the same back four which started the game against West Brom. There are still doubts over Kieran Gibbs' fitness, so I can't see him replacing Gael Clichy.

Laurent Koscielny will partner Sebastien Squillaci in defence. And Squillaci has been talking about how he's taken to life in north London.

He said:
"It's easy to adapt when you come into a team like this with such good players, playing with great confidence. 
"I just have to keep working to get better in my role on the pitch as part of Arsenal."
I think it's fair to say he's had a solid start to his Arsenal career. We'll need his experience of Champions League football tonight to help us out.

And up front I expect the front three to consist of Samir Nasri, Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin.

I wish all traveling Gooners a safe and successful trip to Serbia. Bring us back three points please.

Elsewhere, Ian Wright in his column in The Sun puts our goal keeping troubles firmly at the door of Arsene Wenger. However I think his rose tinted spectacles on when he looks back into the past.

And finally for today, I want to ask the question of the Daily Mirror and their football site Mirror Football in particular. Since when did mental health issues become funny? A headline on this story reads: 'Nutty Professeur' Wenger at an all time low.

Since when did referring to someone as a nutter or nutty become acceptable? Mental health issues, which millions of the population suffer with, aren't a laughing matter nor are they funny.

Please feel free to answer the question Mirror Football editor Dan Silver or Daily Mirror head honcho Steve Anglesea. I really like your site but I certainly feel you've let yourself down on this occasion.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

1 comment:

  1. I am perplexed by Rosicky's constant marginalisation by Wenger. So far this season I think he has looked one of our best players and needs to be playing. I do not buy the whole, "He was out for a long time" excuse any more. The guy is class and experienced and we surely need him playing!

    I personally hope Denilson plays ahead of Song tonight too!

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