Sunday, 7 November 2010

Theo should start against Newcastle

We welcome Newcastle to the Grove this afternoon in a game where we have to take all three points.

Arsene Wenger has plenty of options in terms of players, especially those coming back from injury. On Friday the manager said Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Alex Song and Andrey Arshavin would all be fit to play. 

However he will be without Abou Diaby, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs and Manuel Almunia. The two long term injured players Aaron Ramsey and Emmanuel Frimpong are out as well.

We played Newcastle in the Carling Cup 11 days ago and I'm sure we'll see a different side from them today. We'll obviously make changes as well from the team which started at St James Park.

Arsene Wenger has again warned his side against complacency. It is all to often that we get to games expecting to win and that appears to be a big problem for us.

He said:
"We will not repeat that against Newcastle. We know they are a good side and, on that front, the fact that they have beaten Sunderland 5-1 is a good warning for us.
"Against West Ham we knew before the game that it would be difficult. But what I liked very much is that we were very patient, intelligent and calm. I think I was most pleased with our patience. 
"We were not as sharp or fluent as we can be but we were intelligent and didn't make a defensive mistake like we did, for example, against Shakhtar."
I'm sure the manager will leave a few players out of the side who didn't perform in the Ukraine.

However one player more than anyone else should be in the starting line up having not made the starting 11 in a league game since he was injured at Ewood Park.

Theo Walcott on Wednesday night was superb. He's continued his early season form with two good performances against Newcastle and Shakhtar.

Now it is time for him to replace Andrey Arshavin who has yet to perform on a consistent level this season.

The England man has proved how deadly his pace has been, so I would hope that Arsene Wenger uses him from the start.

The only other issue the manager has to decide is whether he starts with Jack Wilshere or Denilson in midfield.

I would expect him to go with the young English man. It's a home game which we want to win, so playing a more offensive game is crucial to us taking three points.

My Arsenal team would be:


Sagna - Squillaci - Koscielny - Clichy

Song - Wilshere

Walcott - Fabregas - Nasri


One last thing. If you're going to the game today be loud, support your team. And support your manager.

Full team news when it's announced.  Come on you Reds!

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