Arsenal v Hull preview: stitched-up Arshavin could still start + Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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st-patsHello again and a very happy St Patrick’s Day to you all – particularly Mr Arseblogger – who flies the green and red flag for all of those Irish Arsenal supporters out there.

It’s Hull City tonight in the FA Cup and should things go well then there’s sure to happy, drunk Arsenal supporters roaming the streets of London and Dublin tonight. Heck, even if we don’t win tonight I’m sure there will be drunk supporters roaming the streets because when it comes down to it, that’s exactly what St Patrick’s Day is all about. I for one hope you enjoy it.

In the build-up to the clash with Hull, Arsene Wenger has praised the contributions of three of the big performers from the weekend game; Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner. The manager revealed his surprise at how hard our new Russian signing has worked since joining the club, calling him a ‘man of challenges’ as well as hailing Walcott’s improvement over the past year and insisting that he is not worried by Bendtner’s current form.

I don’t think anyone could deny that Arshavin looks to have everything it takes to be a star in England while Walcott, since returning, has looked even better was before dislocating his shoulder. And while Bendtner had a tough time of things in front of goal on Saturday there’s no denying the role he has been playing of late and his long-term potential as an Arsenal player is undeniable. In short, all three are looking good.

Ironically, there is a decent chance that none of the three will start against Hull. Arshavin is fighting to recover from the eight stitches he recevied in his foot at half-time in the win over Blackburn while Bendtner and Walcott are, in my opinion likely to be rested for Robin van Persie and Carlos Vela or Emmanuel Eboue.

Meanwhile Manuel Almunia, who would have been benched for Lukasz Fabianski anyway, is unavailable as a result of El Hadji Diouf’s shocker of a tackle while Gael Clichy will be rested for Kieran Gibbs. Tomas Rosicky is still out and has unfortunately had another two weeks added to his recovery, the poor bugger. Other changes we could expect to the starting team would be William Gallas and Abou Diaby coming in for Kolo Toure and perhaps Denilson, who both played full games against Roma and Blackburn in the last week and could definitely use a break. 

Regardless of who plays, however, we have a side that is more than capable of getting the win at home to Hull to ensure passage to a delicious semi-final clash with Chelsea. The game on Saturday showed what impact an early goal can have and another one against Hull would certainly set us on the way.

Anyway, that’s really all there is to say for today. Have a delightful St Patrick’s Day and “‘Ere’s Cheers!” to another strong performance and a semi-final match-up with Chelsea.

Come on Arsenal!!!

Have your say on Arsenal’s FA Cup game against Hull by leaving a comment.


54 thoughts on “Arsenal v Hull preview: stitched-up Arshavin could still start + Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  1. @Anonymous Gooner
    I was thinking that myself, Clichy seems to be getting a rest but not Sagna. Why doesn’t Arsene play Eboue at right back, we all know he can play there. Tonight I would play:
    Eboue, Toure/Gallas, Djouru, Gibbs
    Walcott, Song, Nasri, Arshavin
    RvP, Vela
    I am pretty sure that will not be the line up though. Maybe Vela and Arshavin round the other way.
    Lets just hope for a good result tonight we owe Hull one after all.

  2. On a complete side note I wonder when Arseblogger will manage to give us his two pennies worth. I do enjoy his comments but sometimes we have to wait, and I expect we will have to wait a bit longer today!!
    Happy St. Patricks Day to all you Irish Arsenal supporters.

  3. happy st patricks day from ireland to all the gooners out there in the wide wide world, have a pint of the black stuff on me. more bad news for rosicky i feel really sorry for the man he is a talented player who we have missed, but unfortunately i dont think we’ll see him play again makes you think theres no justice in the world when scumbags like diouf and davies are runnin round shit kickin every week.
    normally i dont get o leave a comment till i’ve finished work so well chuffed to get in here so early. i’d just like to congratulate not just sf but all the gooners who contribute to the comments this is one of the best blogs around. come on ya gooners my prediction is 3-1. sf are you on xbox live.

  4. @ henrykissinher – Thanks man, I totally agree. The community here is absolutely fabulous.

    @ Gunnersmith – Eduardo is out for another week or so. I’m sure we’ll hear from Wenger once he’s available.

    @ Dally – Arseblogger is drunk, and understandably so. Good for him.

  5. I really hope our balance is right because right now its down to it. Looking at the list of players around with the right balance Hull is doomed, too bad i won’t be able to see the game as its not televised but am hopeful of my eyes in you Spanish Fry. Happy Hunting Arsenal!

  6. Happy St. Paddy’s Day to you all.

    I was hoping we might see Vela and Walcott running up the wings with Eduardo in the middle tonight but I think you are right SF, give Walcott a rest as he is just back from injury. Eduardo stilllooks to be out anyway.

    With the team we have though and the confidence levels, I’m sure we can avoid complacency and get revenge on Hull for what they did to us last time. I’m still recovering from shock after Geovanni’s shot.

    Let’s hope for a professional display to book our place in the semi final at Wembley.

  7. @ SF – you should play online then we can have a tournament with everyone who writes on the blog.

    I for one hope Bendtner does not start, when he is good he scores, when he is bad, he is just terrible and I frankly do not want to take the risk. He was poor against Blackburn and thats that. I also call for a rest for Sagna, its unfortunate because Gibbs is talented and we have no real talented RB in our youth system excpet G.Hoyte who is on loan to Watford. Here is my line up:
    Subs: Mannone-Sagna-Toure-Ramsey-Walcott-Arshavin-Wilshere

  8. @ henrykissinher I’m on live and my gamertag is buterfingers01
    Happy st paddys sf and hope to see you at the f.a. cup or cl final in brissie.
    Would like to see fab
    eboue gallas jd gibbs
    walcott diaby song vela
    rvp bentdner

    With also ramsey and bischoff coming on when we are cruising 3-0 after the break….
    Also jay jay thats a good idea we do a tourney at fifa or gow2?

  9. @ Butterfingers – a tourno would be fun plus Ramsey isnt included in the squad. I dont want to see Niklas play and I think its too much for Walcott, maybe come on as a sub.

  10. Eboue-Gallas-Djourou-Gibbs

    Bendtner has taken to the role of lone striker better than Ade ever did. He presents a solid target, holds the ball up well, and can turn people when needed. Some better final touches and he’ll be everyone’s flavor of the week. With RVP underneath, Vela and Walcott terrorizing the flanks, I think Arsenal should put quite a few into the visitors’ goal. And if things aren’t looking great, there’s always:
    on the bench.

    In any case, have a drunk St. Paddy’s day and take care of your bartenders, cuz we’re taking care of you all day. Cheers to making our way to the semi-finals. Go Gunners!!

  11. hello everyone just a quick update st paddys day is gettin on rightly in the emerald isle lookin forward to the match tonight, my gamertag is drewstiener if anyone fancies a game of fifa09 or cod waw. i’d like to see bischoff get a bit of time on the pitch tonight from wat i’ve seen of him he looks quite handy. peace out mofo’s

  12. So far I’m not impressed by Diaby’s performance, not passing the ball in time and when finally making a pass, he gives the ball away. So far Song is doing really well in the middle of the park. VP is nowhere to be seen… hope the 2nd half is different

  13. Good morale building win! It was hard fought though.

    I don’t have to repeat Arshavin’s quality. Saw a picture of Arshavin with Bayor’. Very funny.

    Bendtner also contributed in the win. He can’t buy a goal at the moment. Errr..

    I heard a lot of seats were empty today. Couldn’t make it to the match because of work.

    ‘m waiting for my Wembley visit for Semifinal match with Chelski.

    Come on you gunners!


    I am almost ready to dub Arshavin our best player… Absolute class and he has the mentality to keep attacking no matter what. He is the reason we will win this cup this year. Wish we had him in the CL. We are going to be SCARY good next year now that we have learned to scrap and win tough games…

  15. Phew, that was pretty close. The Arsenal way is never the easy way ist it? Im going to be with a smile on my face tonight. Wembley, here we come! 🙂

  16. @ MoMONEY – Arshavin looks marvellous. Absolutely marvellous. The fact that he stayed on to play a part in the goal with sweat absolutely dripping off his face shows what a wonderful competitor he is. He’s made a world of difference to our attack.

  17. Also he played with 8 stiches in his foot and bloody hell he has been an incredible buy kinda reminds me of overmars and soooooooooooo glad he totts didn’t hijack him. Just like to see him link up with fab and if they get it on there will be no stopping us. Song played really well but diaby looked a bit lost but overall we are going to wembly just hoping drogba gets a calf strain just before that match as I bloody hate facing him. Also barmby you still can’t beat the arsenal you spud!!!!!!

  18. I see Cesc as a Pirlo type now- Links the D with the attack and controls the pace of the game. This is the next step in his progression- He makes the killer passes but sometimes it is better to keep possession a little longer then insert the dagger. Zidane style He will learn it…

    @Ronaldo- What incident? Did I miss something?

  19. Obviously spitting is a no-no, especially for the captain- but The Hull manager is completely out of line in some of the other things he said. Wenger got his goalkeeper a yellow? Or was it the blatant time wasting? Taking a shot at the entire club? I know a lot of people won’t like what I am saying but if Wenger was British instead of French I think he would be the most praised person in the EPL. England is becoming incredible xenophobic IMO. How can there be so much hate for the team that plays the best consensus style in the league (not as of late though…). There would be absolutely no Arsenal hate if Wenger was British.

    And I seem to remember a ton of calls not going our way- a few fouls in dangerous areas as well as the RVP “hand-ball”. The ref was horrible, Cesc shouldn’t spit (if he did), but the Hull manager is a disgrace as well…

  20. Good result. Showed a lot of resillience to come back and win it, the Arsenal of 3 months ago may have lost this game. Arshavin once again, just sublime, we all knew he was going to be good, but nobody really expected him to make such a massive impact this early, just fantastic.

    That Phil Brown, what a joke. He is far too emotional to be a Premier League manager, hope Hull get relegated to be honest with you. He directly called Arsene Wenger an “Absolute Disgrace.” What a ridiculous thing to say, he was wound up after his team lost I guess, but you’d expect a manager of a PL team to have a bit more class than that. What good could come of him making these accusations? nothing. just classless, you’d never hear a Arsene or Rafa or SAF saying such counter productive things.

    I would assume that Phil Brown isn’t lying about the spitting thing, my take on it is that Fabregas in the heat of the moment spat on the ground in defiance against Hull, whether or not it was venomous, not sure, it wasn’t aimed or intended to hit the guy. He won’t get suspended for it, he seems like a thoroughly nice guy in all interviews i’ve seen so this seems quite out of character.

  21. What a storm in a tea-cup

    bloody saw losers

    Cesc isnt like that…wouldnt do that….and wouldnt day he didnt do it if he did

    Brown et al lost…..get used to it! and get over it!

    Gallas~goal looked fine to me….i know many people (and newspaper articles disagree) but looking at the replay despite the ball coming off of an arsenal head Myhill was last to touch the ball therefore Gallas can be wherever he wants…its up to the lino to deam him interfering with play and in an offside position when the ball touched the afore mentioned Arsenal head…In the laws of the game i say -Fair Goal –

    The tigers can bugger off with their attitude, accusations and weakness…….theyll be back in the championship before you know it!

    And it makes 8 out of 10 FA cup semis for Arsenal…and the CL is still on as well!!

    Come on boys!

  22. @ Luxinbrasil – I have to disagree with your assessment of the Gallas goal mate. In my opinion the goalkeeper’s touch has nothing to do with it once Djourou gets his head on it. Imagine a midfielder playing a through ball to an offside striker and the defender slides in and nicks it, but the ball still runs through. It would be offside and unfortunately that’s the same as this.

    Regardless, we deserved to win the game and if Hull want to have a cry then let them. They barely played any football after scoring and their second half was as woeful a display of defensive football as we’ve seen all season.

    A fair result despite a less than fair goal deciding it.

  23. @SF

    Yep maybe im trying to right a wrong…..but ive seen it happen many times before in a derogative sense for Arsenal….
    If the lino saw the fist of Myhill and was happy that nullified the forward position of Will im more than happy
    I must admit i had only just returned from teaching a bunch of 17 yr old Brazilian girls english when i saw the incident so maybe my mind was swayed by my good mood!

  24. from the BBC article,

    Brown added: “I was there and I witnessed it, he spat at my assistant manager down the tunnel, that’s their club captain. Hopefully he’s proud of himself. He spat at his feet.”

    You dont spit at someone’s feet when you want to make a point of disgust to them. You spit at their face or upper torso. The feet are the farthest from your mouth and they constantly move more than any other body organ followed by hands. I guess the guy spat to the ground and the guy was walking into it. Sort of a deflected spit, just like their goal.

  25. I wonder what Fabregas and the Hull Ass Man could have possibly been talking about, let alone arguing about. Mind you, it wouldn’t be the first time Cesc has had a spat (intended) with another manager! Take that Mark Hughes.

    The slander against Arsenal by Phil Brown is nonsense though. Statements like ‘that’s what they’re all about’ are about as disrespectful as you can get. I don’t know how any manager can think his team deserves a place in the Semi-final (and god forbid, winning it) if they only turn up to park the bus in front of goal. I would estimate we had about 20 shots for their 5 or so. League points weren’t on the line for them, our crowd was depleted, they had everything to play for and they still blew it.

    And if Arsene Wenger suddenly has the power to book people from the touchline then the end of season run-in should be very enjoyable indeed. I used to like Phil Brown. Oh well.

  26. @SF; LuxinBrasil was righ

    The offside rule is interpreted based on your position(for an offending player) when the ball was played to you BY YOUR teammate, and weather you were intefering with the play or not. Gallas was not interfering with the play and the last touch came from Myhill, which renders eveeryone instantly onside. Even the commentators were only concerned with wheather the last touch came from an arsenal player or a hull player, in which case Gallas WILL NOT be offside

  27. My take on the goal-

    I would agree with you SF but the difference here is that Gallas is already behind the goalkeeper. Being past him already before the ball was played I think if the goalie touches it back to him its fair game… There cant be a man between him and the goalie if the goalie is already in front of him right?

  28. Ok….ive reviewed the goal numerous times now and i stand by my original opinion…..When Djourou headed the ball Gallas was in an offside position….however he was not interferring in play….he jumped….but did not touch any other player…yes this maybe clutching at straws and most linos would still give him offside due to his advantagous position but as play went on and Myhill had the last touch all forward playing Arsenal players are onside and it is a fair goal!!!

  29. Just to clarify some things, I am posting a link to FIFA’s Rules of The Game. Offside rule is number 11 on page 102 of the pdf, or page 99 of the actual document. Have fun reading…..

  30. @ MoMONEY / Luxinbrasil – I have to disagree and maintain my original stance; the goal was offside. All that matters is that Djourou got a touch and that being the case, Galls is not onside. The goalkeeper’s punch has nothing to do with anything, given that Djourou made contact. To say that Gallas was not interfering with play is incorrect because he capitalised on the intervention made by Djourou.

  31. Yea oh well- we got the goal we deserved. Im sure it would have come later anyways… Sucks for hull though I am not too sympathetic…

    BTW Cesc looks like a madman in that BBC pic. If I saw him walking in the streets I would not mess with him haha

    Here’s a question- What do we do with Rosicky when he is back in a couple weeks? We have too many great players and too little spots. Nasri has to play. So does Arshavin. So does Cesc. Denlison/ Diaby will be DMFs. Is Walcott the odd man out? I would absolutely love 4-5-1 with Arshavin-Nasri-Rosicky behind the striker. Though Im not sure that is ideal for RVP. These are good questions to have though and we will sure have the depth next year. If only we could offload Ade for someone (David Villa). We would surely be back to the most entertaining side this side of Barcelona…

  32. @ MoMONEY – The Rosicky problem is a welcome one. Too many players for two little spots? Brilliant! The solution – play the in-form players and rotate them with the next-in-line ones. That way we’ll constantly have a strong team and the players not involved will keep them on their toes.

  33. Diaby is not a Defensive Midfielder. end of story. Its staggering just how many people i’ve talked to think hes a DM. hes not, he has never played this role in his life. He plays 1) Behind the Striker (his greatest role imo) 2) attacking half of a 2 man central midfield 3) Wide Midfielder. Look at his play style, hes all flair, legs and attacking instinct. Just because hes big and black and french like Viera doesn’t mean hes a carbon copy.

  34. Yea I never thought he was a DMF but the last few games he has looked better defending then attacking… Plus there is no way he can compete with the attacking mids we have…

  35. I think Brown is a twat and his team too!The goalkeeper started time-wasting almost immediately the match started, he should have been booked way early in the match.The Ref obviously didn`t help matters with his handling of the game,check out his handball call on V.Persie, for landsakes he(Ref)was only about 5 metres in front of V.Persie!
    Anyway i`m (obviously) happy we won, i kinda worry about Diaby though, he can be inconsistent,tends to hold on to the ball too long sometimes and he definitely has to work on his passing! That said,i think him and the rest of the team got the job done,which is what we all want!

  36. Isn’t it also ironic and more than unfair that all off hull’s time wasting led there to be 5 minutes of stoppage time? Phil Brown is not to be blamed though for being a d***. Too much time spent with sam allardyce can have that effect 🙂

    We won a tough game and whatever maybe hull’s grouse with the referee (and we could have them too cos he was quite amazingly bad) we won this match cos of he effort we put in and the quality of our play. THATS what our club is about!!
    The body language of the hull assistant(dunno his name dont care) was very insulting throughout.But im sure cesc did not spit at him or anybody.
    I hoped hull would stay up but now i would like them to go down.

  37. oh and the goal was offside. It doesnt matter though. We deserve all the luck we get after last season.

  38. With regard the comparrison between Diaby and Veirra. I have been downloading the 10 greatest goals on the website. Nearly all of the goals, seem to originate from Vierra picking up the ball from a defensive position, breaking forward to release a player, check out the latest Wiltord top 10 (if you subscribe) and you will see my point. I have never seen Diaby do this, he is a different type of player.
    Could only listen to the game last night but have seen the goals, lets put it this way if Gallas had scored that goal against Arsenal we would all be crying foul play today, he was definetly offside when Djouru touched the ball, he must have been interfering with play as seconds later, admitantely after the keeper had touched the ball, he scores.
    Anyway, a great result last night, it is always difficult when you can only listen to a game, every attack sounds like a goal is going to be scored, whereas when you can watch the game you can make your own mind up. Brialliant goal for the equaliser, Bendtner certainly made a difference when he came on, and Arshavin showed yet again how good a player he is and not gready either.

  39. Again onside – offside bullcrap it’s always going to happen unless video tech comes into play and I don’t see why we can’t trial it on the cc for example as all teams (apart from the spuds because it’s the only thing they can ever win) would welcome it, as an offside goal can mean the difference between going down to div 1. Imagine if that happened on the last day of the season and it stopped us winning the title or hull going down we would have to base 38 games in the league on 1 linesman and in this day when a club can go bankrupt (leeds) is just stupid. As when I came over to oz I was amazed at the nrl with the video ref and I think it should be used in the prem but only at the refs call. A lot of the time a ref runs over to the linesman to have a chat and by the time he’s back it could of been up on the screen.
    Anyhows we won and can’t wait to play chelscum and let sharva rip up cashley.
    Also we had silvinio teach cashley such teached clichy and now he’s teaching gibbs and it pains me why we didn’t keep the likes of silva to teach song, diaby and denilson and let him retire as a player/coach.

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