Arsenal v Blackpool Preview: Excited about Djourou’s return, expecting more from Arshavin

On paper, Blackpool at home is the easiest fixture that Arsenal will play this season.

But after the Tangerines’ surprising 4-0 win away to Wigan on the opening day they will be feeling a sense of “euphoria”, as Arsene Wenger has put it, and may play with a dangerous lack of doubt at The Emirates.

In saying that, there should be no excuses here for Arsenal: they should win their first game of the season today.

I believe the team will be fairly predictable.

Under-pressure Manuel Almunia will start in goals behind a back-four of Bacary Sagna, Johan Djourou, Thomas Vermaelen and Gael Clichy.

Alex Song will return to improve a likely midfield trio completed by Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere while Marouane Chamakh will again lead the line with support from Andrey Arshavin and either Emmanuel Eboue or Theo Walcott.

Personally I am excited by the return of Djourou, a player I see as the second-best central defender in our team and the long-term partner for Vermaelen, and hope he can put in a calm and assured performance in his first start in 15 months.

Samir Nasri’s knee injury should give Wilshere a chance to improve on a difficult league debut at Anfield while Song’s return to the team will provide security and allow Diaby to push forward into the areas where he is most effective.

One player I am expecting more from in this game is Arshavin.

The Russian was absolutely non-existent against Liverpool but is the sort of player that can kill smaller teams and make games like this a lot more comfortable than they often are.

I’ll be watching this one with a host of Gunners at The Oscar Wilde in Berlin and hoping for a first win of the season.

Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the game, and COME ON ARSENAL!

Have your say on Arsenal v Blackpool by leaving a comment.



  1. I guess GMT is United Kingdem Time, so the match is at 3:00 pm, it started then to say, it’s a training session right now isn’t it?

  2. Don’t get too excited about Djourou returning, he didn’t.

    Half time Arsenal three Blackpool nil.

    Arshavin laid one on for Walcott, then scored from the spot before Theo got his second.

    I’m watching on but it keeps freezing.

    Fun in the sun at The Emirates!!!

    C’mon The Gunners!!

  3. GunnerBoss,

    Given is in Munich receiving treatment to the shoulder injury he got last season.

    We need a fully fit ‘keeper, not one with a dodgy shoulder!!

  4. We were expected to beat blackpool so am not surprise, but with walcott i am shocked well done lad, well done arsenal intresting last 10 days to go……..

  5. Arsenal walked out winners. And had some moments of brilliance. While they had it in the bag at 3-0, they were less forceful in possesion. Sagna gave the ball away easy at time. I understand that it became a training exercise. But some of the choices made would have easily been punished against greater sides. A good result but we should be realistic to some negative signs.

  6. A win is a win. Arsenal did exactly what it was supposed to, and it did so without Fab, Van Persie, Nasri, and Song playing out of position. While Theo had an outstanding match, I was very impressed with Rosicky. Yes, it was Blackpool, but I feel less worried about Nasri sitting out for a month thanks to the past few Rosicky performances.

  7. What a match.Song was rock solid .Walcott ,Rosicky ,Wilshere and Chamakh combination is superb.Rosicky is finding back his form but still, i don’t see any of his holding skills and quick turns.walcott showed what he is capable turning more into a henry style of play.He looked more dangerous on the pitch than anyone else.

  8. It an okay win, but really could do with other 3 goals,so it will be a fresh memory for the boys to remember, I will not be surprise to see the top 3 going pass the 8 goal barrier score line against blackpool. Walcott got a hat-trick it’s just a shame that he miss out on so many more,positive was that chamakh is off and running.Still want given at the emirates, so what if he still sufffering with that injury good players get pass that especially a goalie like given I will feel more than safe with him between poles than fulham schzawer

  9. so galas leaves arsenal and turn down a 1 year contract to sign a 1 year contract at spurs nobody else in europe wants galas cause he make more effort to score that to defend. I think rednapp is a mad man but I want spurs to no GOOD LUCK WITH GALAS…

  10. yes, it was only blackpool, but to these old eyes, Song looked excellent at centerback, not “out of place”

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