Archive for December 30th, 2009

Portsmouth Preview + special Best Of The Decade arsecast

1 comment December 30th, 2009

Hello all.  Let me begin this morning by directing you somewhere else.  For a podcast-shaped treat, head over to to hear me, Goodplaya, the man from East Lower and the venerable arseblogger himself discussing the Arsenal XI of the decade, as well as our favourite games, goals and moments.  Remarkable to think that the decade predates any of our blogs.  I wonder if we’ll still be here in ten years.

In the more immediate future, we have a game tonight against Pompey.  As far as team news goes, it’s all a bit vague I’m afraid.  Nicklas Bendtner will be out for another three weeks, but there’s not yet a prognosis for Cesc‘s hamstring problem or Denilson’s bad back.  Both players will miss out tonight, so it’s fortunate firstly that Alex Song doesn’t join up with Cameroon until the 4th of Jan, but also that Abou Diaby is in such good form.  The third member of the midfield trio will be one of Samir Nasri, Aaron Ramsey, or the returning Tomas Rosicky.

The goalkeeper and defence that faced Villa will all be ready to go again against Portsmouth.  I meant to mention that in the wake of his penalty save against Hull, Manuel Almunia looked a much more confident and thus capable goalkeeper against Villa, producing one particularly excellent claw away to deny Gabriel Agbonlahor.  At left-back, Armand Traore is seizing his prolonged first-team opportunity (neither Clichy nor Gibbs are expected to return for a few weeks) with some increasingly consistent performances.  He is better than either of his rivals in the air, and his ball out to Theo Walcott on Sunday was an absolute peach.  It’s a huge opportunity for Traore and he’ll want to do especially well against the club where he spent so much time on loan.

Upfront Theo Walcott will be pushing for a start back on the South Coast, whilst Arsene will be hoping that Andrey Arshavin can take up the goalscoring mantle again in Cesc’s absence.

Portsmouth have improved under Avram Grant but they are still rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.  As a ‘title contender’ we ought to go there and take three points.  We certainly have the talent to do it, but we’ll need the mental strength to assert ourselves too.

Finally, the transfer window looms ever closer.  Personally speaking, I can’t wait until The Queen cuts the big red ribbon and officially opens it.  I get more excited about transfer rumours than most – but I can’t be the only one pleased to see that we won’t be signing Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy.  Sign Bellamy and you run the risk of opening the portal to hell that the likes of Joey Barton, El Hadji-Diouf and Noel Edmonds are liable to spill through.

Big game tonight.  Come On You Gunners.

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