Burnley And A Host Of Other Stuff

The clubs first visit to Turf Moor in decades this afternoon and a warm welcome awaits I am sure on this cold Sunday. Indeed, it seems Burnley striker Andy Gray got his dream come true with the weather after opining in yesterday’s Sun that it would be one of the factors that could decide the tie. The second part of that wish – that we apparently do not like the North West – is nowhere near true this season as the League and Carling Cup results have shown.

Unusually for Arsene, he has told us the team in advance. Well, not quite told us but has left so many hints as to who will not be playing that it is hard not to guess who will be involved. Whether Alex Song has already departed for Cameroon’s African Cup of Nations adventure, I am not sure. If he has not, I would expect him to start this afternoon. If he has, the choice will be Djourou or Senderos. Of the two, Senderos needs the match time having played in the Carling Cup and Champions League recently whilst Djourou has featured for Birmingham in the Premier League. To counter that, he needs to get used to the Arsenal ‘way’ again so an appearance at Turf Moor would help in that respect. However, I suspect that Arsene will go for Senderos if either of the Swiss Internationals are required. Up front, Bendtner will start but I suspect alongside Eduardo rather than Walcott although it might happen.

Arsene believes that the departure of players to the ACN is no excuse for failing to win the Premier League

I won’t use it as an excuse if we don’t win the title because I have known who we will lose since the start of the season

He believes that Chelsea will be hardest hit, which is undeniably true. They also have the financial backing to know that signing a replacement for each of the players and paying the full squad’s wages is not an issue either whereas it would be for Arsenal.

Back to this afternoon. My expected line-up is

Lehmann; Sagna, Toure, Song (Senderos), Traore; Eboue, Denilson, Diarra, Diaby; Bendtner, Eduardo

with a bench of

Fabianksi, Rosicky, Djourou, Walcott, Senderos (Gilberto)

The team ought to be able to beat Burnley but as Oldham, Coventry and Huddersfield showed yesterday, nothing can be taken for granted. Arsene compared the situation to one Roger Federer described,

I read an article about [tennis world number one] Roger Federer who said in an interview that when he goes to a big tournament he’s always very apprehensive about the first rounds. ‘In the quarter-final I dream to win it, but I am scared of the first round’. That is a good comparison with a cup tie. Once you are installed in it, the team has the target in front of them – in the early rounds you need to be really focussed

Elsewhere, Arsene has apparently secured the services of Matt Freeman when he turns sixteen in the summer. Currently in Gillingham’s first team squad, he is the youngest ever player to appear in the FA Cup at 15 years and 233 days. The Independent reports that the decision over whether or not to sign Nikolai Dimitrov will be taken this week, the left winger having been on trial at the club.

Cesc Fabregas has played the latest Madrid interest with a straight bat. Even by Spanish standards, it is unusual for the speculation to be in action this early and sets up the coming summer for more interest from both Real and Barcelona. They will be unswayed by his response,

Right now, I would die for Arsenal. Here I feel very relaxed and important, and for me that is fundamental. That is invaluable. I enjoy playing

and probably have been encouraged by

The whole world knows that it makes me happy that a team like Madrid wants you. It is an incredible compliment.

If they are not, the Spanish media will have been. Frankly there is little else that he can say. We will not hear, “I have no interest in joining Real / Barca” for two reasons. Firstly, it limits his options should they wear thin at Arsenal and secondly, joining the clubs probably does hold an interest for him in much the same way that any Englishman playing abroad would be flattered by one of the top four showing an interest in them. Not that any English player of such substance is likely to play abroad, of course. It is something that will just have to be tolerated and not working ourselves into a lather about.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

37 thoughts on “Burnley And A Host Of Other Stuff

  1. Has any one done well or better than they have done at Arsenal when they have left?

    I dont remember..someone shud just point that fact to our squad so that they are afriad of losing..i think sol is doing well..but we cant say he is doing better than what he did at Arsenal..

  2. No-one has done any better, in fact most have either serious injury once departed – which tells me that Arsene doubted the fitness of each player who has then been allowed to leave.

    I agree Sol and Bentley are doing well at their respective clubs, but neither clubs can be considered ‘big’ and I dont mean that with any spite.

    Cesc is Spanish and obviously one day he would possibly like to play on home soil, but lets not forget he is under contract until I think 2012, so at least when and only if the day comes that he wants to go home, he will still be in his prime (hopefully) and mega bucks will have to be paid for Arsenal to let him go..

    Good luck today boys – Diarra, if you are reading, let your boots do the talking today, that is the way to get a first team start regularly, not by shooting your mouth off

  3. On FiveLive they keep saying that today has the potential for more upsets. They mention Newcastle and Liverpool in the report.

    I think I preferred it when everyone doubted Arsenal. If this goes pear-shaped….

  4. How many ex Arsenal school boys are now playing for other clubs?
    I have a plan. I’ll write to Jabba requesting he re invest in the Orient (become Arsenals feeder club, he loves Arsenal right), to keep borderline players like Sidwell, Bentley & co to showcase their potential (picked when ripe). I wish young Bentley had the persistence to stay and fight for his place, the right side has his name all over it. Just love them Gunners.

  5. Gilberto has to get some playing time. That would be my objection to that team. So I would go with:

    Lehmann; Diarra, Toure, Song (Senderos), Sagna; Eboue, Denilson, Gilberto, Diaby; Bendtner, Eduardo.

    Or Gilberto as CB with Kolo.

  6. Nacho

    I don’t see the point in Gilberto starting to be honest. He has not got a long term future at the club and it is better to invest playing time in those players who can have that future. Diarra, I think, is blowing hot air and knows unless someone pays well over the odds, he is not going anywhere.


  7. Nacho
    I have to agree with yogi on this one .
    Im sure we will see a swiss player accompany
    toure .


    Sagna – Toure (c) – Senderos – Traore

    Eboue – Diarra – Denilson – Diaby

    Bendtner – Eduardo

    If these guys don’t fire i expect some subs at the 65th minute . Id like to see walcott get some time
    and if you remember the west ham game the other day watch theo at the 74th minute , he isn’t far away !! I haven’t seen too many arsenal players with that sort of skill on goal since RVP was injured ,finishing still needs some work but green isnt a bad goalie !. So i hope he gets some minutes .

    We will win ! 100% the question is by how much .
    i think 3+ goals .. cross fingers 🙂

  8. And gilberto is a dead rubber , sorry but the boys days are numbered,he was the unsung hero of PV4’s successful career and a rock in midfield , but sadly he just hasnt got the legs to keep up with this team anymore.

    Id like to see him leave only for his own sake .
    He needs to play every week , a remark that romario
    made a few months ago after his drug ban appeal.

    Also we have signed young talented 15-year-old Luke Freeman from Gillingham.
    he joins us in march after his 16th birthday..
    He’s English !!!


  9. “Arsenal: Lehmann, Sagna, Toure, Senderos, Traore, Eboue, Silva, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Eduardo

    Subs: Djourou, Fabianski, Justin Hoyte, Randall, Lansbury”

    Shockingly no Diarra. Maybe he’s sick or has something.

    My reasoning with Gilberto before this was that even if playing him was not a priority, Arsène would surely prefer to keep him at least until May, so he has to keep him happy during the transfer season at least, or at least a bit match sharp by playing him when he could.

    No Theo either, I thought he would make the bench if fit. But he had been struggling with his shoulder.

  10. no diarra!!! looks like he is off then, which is a shame coz i think he could be a good player for us. sometimes he looks class, he has quick exceleration and can take a man but then he can look ordinary. but i think in time he could be great. i would rather us find out then someone else..

    up the arse!!

  11. no walcott either!! now im getting a little worried about the situation re theo. He has great destiny you can see it. he WILL be englands no1 striker and i hope he is still with us. we cant let him go!! if he goes to another club you can see him doing more then what bentley has done with blackburn. i know bentdner is class but id rather piss him off then risk losing theo!!

  12. Took the words right outta my mouth duke !
    Diarra’s exclusion only means one thing to me !!!

    Duke i think Walcott has just got a niggling injury.

    Well nacho your right . Gilberto did start not in defense as you said ,but in the midfield .

    Im sure we will know what the diarra problem is by
    the weeks end .. but his exclusion means to me its goodbye to the red and white .
    Stupid boy …

    Oh … also rumors are surfacing about anelka !

    Humble silence 🙂

  13. 2-0 and for me that was patient and professional.

    The BBC seem to think they stretched us and deserved something but I just think we played in 1st gear for most of the game and I am sure we would only have moved into 2nd if we had to

    The pitch was never going to suit our passing style but there would always be a moment where the superior class would prove to be the winner and so it was.

    Felt a bit sorry for the lad on the sending off, I think a yellow would have been more apt.

    Player wise I thought Denilson and Gilberto played well, Senderos too had a solid game and given his need for confidence, this should do him good. Toure and Sagna played well, Traore had a bit of a nightmare 1st half but got better. Eduardo gets MOTM for me, his finish and then pass for the clincher were class. Eboue and Diaby dissapointed me though, I feel these games are where your fringe players should stick out to make a claim.

    I too worry about Diarra, I have not heard any mention of Injuries and he doesn’t need a rest so all I can think is that either he is on his way and negotiations are quite advanced so why cup tie him, or he is playing a key role on Wednesday, I fear the prior. It does concern me though that Flamini can talk to other clubs, come on Arsenal tie him down, cant see the attraction of playing in Italy in front of half empty stadiums myself.

  14. So what are these Anelka rumours then Ethan, I havent heard any apart from him moving to Chelski.

  15. Diarra is slightly injured and therefore is kept for Wednesday game.
    During the previous game Walcott did his shoulder. It looked it is pop out of its sockets and then put itself back, however the shoulder muscles are then strained. It is worrying as he has had an operation to correct its tendency to pop out.
    Today bench was very young with Fabiansky, Lansbury, Hoyte, Randall.
    Great victory in the FA Cup, but I worried as to who will play in the Carling Cup as centre-half. I think that Djourou is cup tied. Gallas does not play in that cup. Gilberto has already stated that he does not want to play there. Toure and Song will be at the ACN.
    That left only Senderos and one of the Hoyte brothers (Gavin and Justin) as recognised centre-half. That may be light to face Berbatov.

  16. “Eboue, Denilson, Gilberto, Diaby”.

    That was my first choice midfield for today, ethan, though I also considered Bert as CB as a possibility.

    Never saw Diarra not playing, but apparently (some said this here) he was slightly injured? That would explain it.

    Valentin: Gilberto never said he didn’t want to play CB. It was tabloid crap.

  17. Gilberto did say to Arsene Wenger that he would rather not play as a centre half. At the time, Arsene Wenger confirmed it in French Newspapers.
    What was paper shit was the fact that Gilberto had a slanging match with Wenger. It was a gentle discussion during which Gilberto put his point across.
    From that discussion between two adults came the idea of converting Song into a centre-half.
    Wenger had already made the decision that he did not want any first team regulars to join the Carling Cup team (such as Toure or Gallas). He noted the previous years that bringing more experienced players as the rounds go on had the opposite effect of inhibiting and disappointing the younger players who did not necessarily play but at least were involved by being on the bench.

  18. Didnt play particularly well but we won and are in the hat for the next round, the most important fact.
    Some players performances were a little worrying, Traore struggled together with Denilson who i thought was very poor albeit not on a very good surface.
    Eboue again demonstrated what a fantastic talent he could be if he could only improve that last pass/shot, until he can do so he is going to be very frustrating.
    On the plus side i thought big Phil improved as the game went on as did Nic. Kolo was by far our best player with Eduardo (will please Richard).
    All in all i agree with Patt, although Burnley played well i didnt feel they really threatened other than when they hit the bar and we were always comfortable with what they had to offer.
    I also agree that Lafferty a little unlucky to get a straight red, probably a yellow at most.
    On to the CCup and i hope Valentin is right about Diarra, we cant afford to lose players other than Jens as we need everybody for whats ahead.

  19. Djourou is not cup tied.

    That was a traditional 3rd round cup tie on a pitch that was ok but not what our lads have become accustomed to. It was a darn site better than the old 3rd round bogs that really were levellers.

    No one stood out as particularly good or bad, so I don’t see why Denilson is getting critism. I think we were in 1st gear but sometimes you can get stuck in that.

    Gilberto showed what a good pro he still is, holding it together steadily. He can still be very useful to us.

    We defended well as a team & our strikers made the difference in the end.

    Credit to Burnley, they played energetic & fair football. The only bad tackle was the sending off & that didn’t look malicious. A bit harsh to send him off but then Denilson got a red for not a lot more.

    I would imagine Diarra was held back for the Spuds. We need to keep him.

  20. Flint
    Gilberto showed what a good pro he still is, holding it together steadily. He can still be very useful to us.

    Yeah he looked AVERAGE nothing special against burnley ,He will show his weaknesses if he lines up with cesc or any of the 1st team regulars..
    He hasn’t got the legs anymore…
    Its pretty easy to say someone looks solid against a team in another division mid way down the table ! ( 32 places away from us)

    read the mirror , yes i know not very reliable
    But the big factor is chevski are now bidding for berba , and the fact they stated anelka will be playing for them by the 3rd round weekend .
    Something didnt go to plan for them . US ?

    Also arsene made a statement that it would be a pleasure to have anelka back in the team ..

    I know there’s nothing written in blood but arsene
    knows how good he is and spending 10 mil on him
    wouldnt be a bad investment , as i think we all realize that we need someone with a REAL eye for goal upfront.
    As arsene said many times he wants to kill the games off , and the reason we haven’t done that – is lack of fire power up front.

    I will say again for the record i don’t like the man
    and would rather see martins or berbatov up front 4 us. But anelka is a proven goal scorer .and would fill the gap for 2 years whilst bentner ,theo and ade comes of age . Good cover and a 99% sure thing as far as goal producing in the EPL is concerned.
    I think he’s in wenger’s price range also

    ..JUST ..

  21. Anelka won’t sign for us. It looks quite obvious. Unless we get our 4 strikers injured or something like that, it won’t happen. But if you want to dream about it then go ahead.

  22. Martins is junk and Berbatov is a big sulk and not a team player.Most strikers love to see only themselves on a big screen so be happy there are strikers who are team players here, which is what Arsene is looking for I’m certain.
    One off matches like today are anybody’s guess because you don’t get to see Burnley play too often and get their style down, and you know any team will be up for these games.So after yesterdays results this will do nicely.

  23. By the way Veteran
    Yes I’m happy Eds played ok but he missed a good chance which is a bit of a shock.However, he does not score everytime he plays and can miss the odd sitter so I hope people don’t just expect him to score every time he has the chance.
    Maybe 65% of the time he does.However, one thing that is worrying me is actually the lack of chances he’s getting to score.2 odd chances a match mean he has to put one away.I really thought he’d be getting better opportunities, maybe a handful at least per match.I’m used to him getting braces and the odd hattrick so maybe I’ll have to hope for one goal per game at best this season from 2-3 shots.
    Didn’t we create alot more last season??

  24. Nacho

    RVP has been more injured this season than playing for us . Ade is also out , so if you think we dont need any strikers as back up you need to keep dreaming also .
    Its obvious to me we need another striker . It will come in some form .. be it a arsene unknown or a seasoned player , but it must happen .

  25. Also arsene said this yesterday

    He said: “The danger, if you buy because you are desperate, is that you overpay and you have no time, no insurance – unless the player has already played in the league – to know whether he will immediately strengthen the squad.
    “If, however, you buy because it’s someone you are after and there is specific
    weakness inside the club in his position, and it’s an opportunity to take the player, then it is a good moment.

    unless the player has already played in the league

  26. Richard dudu has scored enough recently .
    All the signs point to , he’s turned the corner !..
    He is 1 goal off being the clubs highest scorer
    with the lack of chances he’s had and often being played out of position on a wing . He has done a remarkable job .

    What do you expect ? dudu to score 4 goals a game ?

    so far he’s scored 6 goals from 4 outings .
    So far the best purple patch of the season
    i wouldnt knock him !

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