Archive for November, 2007

Sevilla 3 – 1 Arsenal: Losing Cesc and Arsene is more costly than defeat

Add comment November 30th, 2007

So, I’m back.  We lost in Seville, and there wasn’t a vast amount to say about the game itself.  By leaving out Gallas and Adebayor, Arsene (purposefully or otherwise) sent out a message that this game was not all important.   Despite a strong start and early lead gained by a neat Eduardo finish, we collapsed under their forceful counter-attacks, with Philippe Senderos at the heart of a less than convincing defensive display.

However, with safe passage into the next round of the Champions League already confirmed, the defeat was not the most damaging aspect of Tuesday night.  More worrying was an injury to Cesc Fabregas, who was substituted early in the second half.  However, despite early concerns, the injury is not as bad as initially feared, and the Spanish sensation has an outside chance of being fit for Saturday’s game at Villa Park.

Another absence to make Arsenal fans nervous could be Arsene Wenger, after UEFA banned him from the dugout and dressing-room for one game and threatened to extend the suspension after an investigation.  All rather dull, but it could have a fairly detrimental effect is it’s extended to several matches.  Somehow I can’t see Arsene copying Jose Mourinho’s tricky of sneaking into the dressing room in a laundry basket.

Villa is going to be a tricky game.  Fighters like Flamini will need to be at the top of their game, especially if Cesc is out.  It’s an exciting test – full preview tomorrow.

I’m not dead

Add comment November 29th, 2007

Sorry for the lack of activity. All will be explained. All you need know is that it involves Period Dance.

Carry on…

Team to face Sevilla announced…

1 comment November 27th, 2007

I got one wrong – Tomas Rosicky is on the bench, and Cesc Fabregas starts.  So it’s:






The inclusion of Cesc makes it a strong enough line-up to give Sevilla a good game.  It looks like a 4-5-1, but Eduardo could also push upfront with Denilson playing from the left as he did in the 6-3 win at Anfield last year.

Come on you Reds.

Possible team to face Sevilla

2 comments November 27th, 2007

Manuel Almunia
The only other goalkeeper in the squad is Jens Lehmann, and considering the politics surrounding his Arsenal future, it’d be a huge surprise if Almunia was left out in his native country.

Justin Hoyte (pictured right)
Although Bacary Sagna is in the squad, he could do with a rest as much as Hoyte could benefit from another opportunity at right-back. The young Englishman needs to start performing in these top level fixtures if he’s serious about being a long-term Arsenal player.

Kolo Toure
The Ivorian has travelled and is likely to captain the side in the absence of William Gallas.

Philippe Senderos
Back from injury, the Swiss defender will stake his claim to replace Toure when the African joins up with Ivory Coast squad in mid-January.

Armand Traore
It’s quite amazing to consider that despite being held in such high regard at the club, Traore has made only one first team appearance this season. That’s partially due to the remarkably consistency of Gael Clichy, who misses out with a thigh strain. Traore will relish the chance to impress at Champions League level, and his thrusting runs down the left could make him one to watch tonight.

Emmanuel Eboue
I was tempted to suggest that we’d field Theo Walcott, but the injury he picked up against Wigan makes him unlikely to start the game. In his absence, Eboue will add some experience if not maturity to the right-hand side.

The big Brazilian would have played on Saturday had it not been for a spot of untimely jet-lag. As it is, he’ll get a chance to either force his way back into the first team or impress any prospective buyers, depending on your degree of cynicism. Me? I think he’s off.

Whilst a partnership of Gilberto and Diarra might be deemed too defensive, the inclusion of Denilson will add a creative edge to the midfield.

Tomas Rosicky
The Czech maestro seems likely to start largely because there is no other obvious alternative to fill the left-sided berth.

Assuming he’s not deployed on the wing, Eduardo will get the chance to play upfront against a side who tried to sign him around twelve months ago. The Crozilian scored in the first game between the sides, and another goal tonight would certainly hurry along his settling process.

Nicklas Bendtner (with arm)Nicklas Bendtner (pictured right)
After making a critical impact as a substitute on Saturday, Arsene has already confirmed that Bendtner will be given another chance from the start in Spain. With Robin van Persie unlikely to start on Saturday, a good performance from the Dane could see him in the starting eleven at Villa Park.


Despite Sevilla’s poor form, this will be a real test for some of these youngsters. It’s possible Arsene could pick a more experienced line-up, with the likes of Diarra, Sagna, Fabregas, Flamini and Lehmann all in the squad. But I think he’ll go with youth in attempt to further educate some of his teenage tyros. Considering the expansive football both sides love to play, it could be very exciting indeed.

Arsenal 2 – 0 Wigan: Gallas proves his mettle

Add comment November 26th, 2007

When William Gallas was made captain of Arsenal Football Club, I was as surprised and disappointed as anyone.  However, several months into his reign as skipper, opinions are being forcibly reversed.  After his critical equaliser against Manchester United, yesterday he stormed up the field to head home an equally crucial late goal to break the hearts of Wigan Athletic and open up a three point lead over the champions.

In a game in which we had missed the creative talents of Aleksandr Hleb and Cesc Fabregas, we struggled to find the back of the net.  Emmanuel Adebayor had a side-footed effort palmed away in the first half, but aside from that clear-cut opportunities were in short supply.

And yet we always looked like winning it.  Our propensity for scoring late goals and the continued intensity of pressure we applied to the Wigan goal gave our triumph a cruel inevitability.  The plucky underdog of Wigan was eventually steam-rollered, and if you’ve ever seen a dog fight a steam-roller, you’ll understand the nature of such a conflict.

It was the introduction of Nicklas Bendtner that helped the turn the game.  With 83 minutes gone, the in-form Dane spread the ball into the overlapping Bacary Sagna, whose inch-perfect cross was powered into the back of the net by the marauding Gallas.

Two minutes later the game was safe; Bendtner this time sliding in Tomas Rosicky to burst in on goal and net his fourth of the season.

With old-boy Nicolas Anelka doing us an unlikely favour in helping Bolton beat Manchester United, we’re now three points clear at the top with a game in hand.  Considering we don’t play in the league at home until 16th December, we may well need the breathing space.

Tomorrow night we face Sevilla, and after having already qualified from the group, Arsene has left Gallas, Gael Clichy, and Adebayor at home.  Cesc Fabregas, however, is available again and could be involved from the bench.

It should be fascinating to see how the likes of Bendtner, Walcott, and Denilson manage against a top class Sevilla side.

Previous Posts

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


November 2007
« Oct   Dec »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker