Unfamiliar Arsenal should make light work of Wigan

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It’s back to Arsenal news after yesterday’s post on the English national team, but in all honesty things don’t read too well for the weekend Premiership clash with Wigan.

Hleb will be out for three weeksThere were a couple of rumours circulating that Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini had been injured on international duty and they have unfortunately been confirmed by Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal manager is expecting to be without Hleb for three weeks with a hamstring strain whilst Flamini will be out for a week.

The pair are joined by Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas and Gilberto Silva on the unavailable list for a variety of reasons. And whilst Philippe Senderos has been made available news that Robin van Persie would play some part against Wigan proved immature as Wenger confirmed he will be out for a little while longer yet.

“Hleb came back with a hamstring injury. I think he’ll be out for 21 days. Flamini came back with a little thigh problem too. That will be one week maximum. Senderos is available but Cesc is suspended. Diaby has a back problem from the Slavia Prague game and he’ll be out for three weeks. Robin van Persie is not back and he will not be back for Sevilla either. Gilberto will return very, very late.”

The injuries and unavailabilities will test Arsenal’s depth more than they have be tested thus far this season, but will also give some opportunities for the fringe players to stake their claim for a permanent starting position. With four central midfielders out, Lassana Diarra and Denilson should take up the two central positions against Wigan and I’m sure both will be chomping at the bit to show Wenger what they can do. The same could be said of Eduardo da Silva, who should return from a fine international performance for Croatia midweek to partner Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday afternoon.

Thankfully, the back five are all still fit (the longer this happens, the longer Arsenal will stay unbeaten) so there really shouldn’t be any cause for concern about the boys getting the desired result against Wigan. I’m quite looking forward to seeing how a couple of the fringe players go, especially Diarra as I’m yet to see him play a full 90 minutes for Arsenal or France.

Gallas loves being captainGallas enjoying himself

It will also be interesting to see how the team responds to the mini-crisis as a lot of opposition supporters’ belief that Arsenal will not win the title is based around the assumption that they will crumble when they get hit with injuries to a number of key players. You can’t get more ‘key’ than Fabregas, van Persie and Hleb and if Wenger’s side can get a win without those three then it will go some way to showing the rest of the league the depth that this squad possesses. One player who could definitely be grouped with those three as a key player is William Gallas, and he spoke a little bit about how much he is enjoying his role as captain of Arsenal.

“Before, I used to keep to myself. But I like those new responsibilities. I really have fun with the talks I have with Arsene Wenger.”

I’ll bet he does. Although he was a controversial choice at the time, Gallas is proving to be quite a hit as Arsenal captain. He seems to be the right blend for a captain, playful and energetic enough to promote the message that the guys in the squad should enjoy playing football, but also serious enough to make the others stand up and listen when required. It’s interesting to think that Arsenal made £5 million from the trade of Ashley Cole to Chelsea given the contrasting impacts the pair have made at their respective clubs since. One has gone on to captain their club and the other has been nothing but a disappointment; long may it continue that way.

Just going back to Arsenal-Wigan, I’m actually predicting Wenger’s side to come through this one without too many problems. I’ll be very interested to see how Diarra and Eduardo perform should they start, but I do feel that Adebayor will be the key player in this one, just as he was against Reading a little over a week ago. Wigan are struggling at the moment and I really think that things are only going to get worse. Arsenal 2-0 Wigan.

What do you think?

Have your say on the Arsenal-Wigan match by leaving a comment.


15 thoughts on “Unfamiliar Arsenal should make light work of Wigan

  1. Totally agree,i like Diarra,he should do pretty well in Flamsters position,So lond as Rosicky is there beside Denilson we shuld be fine. Arsenal 3 nil winners.

  2. Like you, I’m quite eager to see both Diarra and Denilson in action. And given the international form that Eduardo, Bendtner, and Theo showed in the last week, I’d also love to see them in action whether starting or off the bench at 60 minutes. All that said, I think the key player on Saturday will be Rosicky. Without Hleb and Cesc in the lineup, Rosicky will become our main midfield wizard, mark my words. We really are lucky to have three such gifted playmakers in the squad, so that even if one or two are not available, the third can step up.

  3. Everybody said Arsenal don’t have depth. I disagree. Denilson & Diarra would start in most Premier League teams. Midfield depth is our strengh. The 2nd player at every position in the Arsenal team is quality and can seemlessly step in. Problem is keeping them all and keeping them happy.


    Eduardo will get us at least a goal and Adebayor will be the man of the match

    Prediction Arsenal 3 Wigan 0

    GO GO THE GUNNERS!!!!!!!

  5. “We really are lucky to have three such gifted playmakers in the squad, so that even if one or two are not available, the third can step up.”

    Totally agree. That is what has happened time and time again this season – when someone has an off game there’s always another player who steps up. There’s a lot of hype surrounding Diarra and at this stage I’ve refrained from getting caught up in it, simply because I’m yet to see him play. I hope he does well.

  6. As we approach January the injuries and suspensions will come thick and fast and this is the time to dig deep. Some people questioned why Wenger has got so many midfielders this is the reason why. Arsenal don’t play long ball all the work comes through the midfield. I’m glad we have Diarra and Denilson they are a copy of Fabregas and Flamini. Rosicky will do the creative stuff. It should be a comfortable win.

  7. I think even wivout RVP, Cesc, Flamini and Hleb we can still get a comfortable win over Wigan. 4-0 I say. I want a 4-3-3. Almunia – Sagna – Toure- gallas – clichy – denilson-diarra-rosicky – Dudu – Walcott – Bedntner – simply because all 3 were amazing on international duty. Ade shud be benched.

  8. jay, no way on earth will Ade be benched..the pair of walcott and Bendtner upfront might fool you coz if you remember the last CL game, they were pathetic when they played together..another instance is when they came in when we played Reading where the game dipped down and we even conceded a goal..
    It’s even worse coz we don’t have our regular mid-field and Van Persie is still out and so we need experience to cover up where the likes of Diaby and Denilson will lack in the mid field.
    Tommorows prediction in my opinion is another Adebayor hat trick!
    Wassup SF?

  9. I think Ade will be benched. Wigan are struggling. We are in positive moods and both players (walcott and bendtner) have just hit great form.

  10. You can’t bench Adebayor. He was our best player against Reading and he is the pivot that we base our entire attack around. It would be madness to drop him for two unproven strikers.

  11. unproven? They both really impressed on international duty. All im saying is give them a chabce to see what they can do. Ade can come on later. But we might as well try it agaisnt a struggling team wiv very low confidence. See how they play together.

  12. Arsenal 2 d Wigan Atheletic 0 (Gallas 83, Rosicky 85).
    This game was Arsenal all forward with nearly all of the posession but the goals did not start flowing until late on. More than half of the Gunner’s goals this season have now been scored in the last quarter of the game (15/29), showing the composure and resilience of Arsenal even when teams like Wigan Atheletic are doing so very well at grinding out a draw. Unfortunately this was marred by an injury sustained by Theo Walcott requiring him to be stretchered from the field in the 80th minute.
    Hope you’re all having a good Saturday!

  13. Well done Arsenal. 2-0. Took time to get the goals but when we got 1 goal, we got another. Walcott got injured, which is bad!!!!! But positively we are 3 points clear – on both points and goal difference because Bolton beat United!!!!! Arsenal for the league!

  14. Captain Billy has done it again he is really a true fighter.This game was really a big test. Wigan had no intention other than defending for 90 mins.Hopefully this result will send a message to all the teams who come to the Emirates and defend.It worked last season but not anymore. Gallas and Sagna were fantastic they look like they’ve been at Arsenal for years specially Sagna considering this is his first season he is fearless. I’m a bit disappointed with Denilson not enough creativity and Adebayor once again left his shooting boots at home and also we showed our defensive weakness in the air at times as Bent was allowed a clear header.Bendtner done well setting up the second goal. it is a good result considering all the injuries.More to come.

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