Hello and a fun-filled and fabulous Friday to you.
Tomorrow sees another important game against Fulham at The Emirates. A quick glance at the table sees the away side in eighth place at the moment but a closer look at their results show that Fulham are yet to win away in the Premier League this season. In fact, in their last nine away games they’ve scored just one goal and if that’s not an indication of how winnable this game is for Arsenal then I don’t know what is.
There is often a drop in intensity after European contests but there will be no excuses in Saturday. Abou Diaby, the best player on the pitch against Roma, will unfortunately miss out through a calf injury but aside from that we have no other new injury concerns. It was such a shame to see Diaby get injured again, particularly considering the quality of his performance mid-week, but his previous history means it is hardly a surprise. Hopefully he will be available again soon.
In terms of team selection and tactics I think the manager will revert back to 4-4-2 and restore Alex Song to the starting side. Now much as I like Song as a player (and I know I’m the minority there) I would really like to see Arsene Wenger take the game to Fulham and put Samir Nasri in the middle to partner Denilson. That would allow Andrey Arshavin back in to the side on the right and see Carlos Vela – who subbed on against both Sunderland and Roma and will be fresher than Emmanuel Eboue – start on the left.
If Wenger does continue with Song as I’m expecting, then I just hope he has learned enough from the Sunderland game to change up the Song/Denilson partnership as soon as we get on top. I don’t mind the pair starting the game to ensure we win the midfield fight and get the bulk of possession – but if there is no early goal then I think Wenger needs to make some prompt changes in the middle.
Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner are both likely to start up front while the same defensive five that started against Roma are sure to continue. I mentioned yesterday that Manuel Almunia has not conceded in five games now and I think it shows the improvements that have been made to the defensive side of our game.
Tomorrow’s game will be mostly about getting control of possession, moving forward quickly and decisively and perhaps most importantly, taking our chances when we get them. In the past two matches we realistically could have scored six goals but a combination of poor finishing and laboured build-up play has cost us. Give Fulham’s horrible goalscoring record away from home I really feel that if we get one goal we’ll win it, and I’m confident that we’ll break the run of 0-0s and get the result we badly need.
In the other big news story of today Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou has indicated his desire to play under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal one day. Speaking after his side’s Champions League win over Juventus, where he set up the only goal, Kalou praised the Arsenal manager and hinted at a potential move at the end of the season. In his own words:
‘Wenger said he thought of signing me? That’s an honour for me, an honour. He is a very great coach and I know that every single player in the world dreams of playing for him. I have a lot of respect for him, he is one of the best coaches in the world so why not? I am still under contract with Chelsea but of course I have plenty of friends who play for Arsenal in Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Emmanuel Adebayor. They are achieving huge things at Arsenal and watching them play is just beautiful.”
The last sentence suggests he hasn’t watched much of Arsenal this season but the rest of it is quite promising. Personally I like Kalou as a player but the only way I could see him come into the squad is if Rosicky gets crocked again or someone leaves. As such I just can’t see it happening despite Wenger’s clear admiration for the Ivorian.
Just a quick one before I go. For those that are interested to hear what I’ve got to say about the past week in general or the Fulham game coming up, I’ll be featured chatting with Arseblogger on his very popular Arseblog Arsecast today. If you want to check how my Aussie accent clashes with his Irish one then be sure to check out the podcast by checking out Arseblog. And thanks again to Arseblogger for inviting me to participate.
And that’s it for today. Have a good one and here’s cheers to three points and a good win over Fulham!
Have your say on Arsenal v Fulham or the Arsecast by leaving a comment.