Arsenal-West Brom Preview + Important message for all Australian readers

The time has finally come. The pre-season is over. The dodgy Champions League qualifiers against teams coached by Steve McClaren are (almost) over. The Premiership season is about to begin. Today at 12.45pm UK time (9.45pm Australian time) Arsenal take on newly promoted West-Bromwich Albion to open the Premier League season.

The game is being played at Emirates Stadium and like the midweek match against FC Twente, Arsenal will unfortunately still be missing a host of first-team regulars. Indeed, although Samir Nasri and Kolo Toure will return to the squad – the former likely to start, the latter far less likely – Arsenal will still be without Cesc Fabregas, Philippe Senderos, Abou Diaby, Alex Song as well as long-term absentees Tomas Rosicky, Eduardo and Amaury Bischoff.

The injuries mean that the side that started against Twente midweek will likely back up against West Brom. That means Manuel Almunia in goals behind a back four of Bacary Sagna, Johan Djourou, William Gallas and Gael Clichy, a midfield consisting of Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Eboue out wide and Denilson and Aaron Ramsey in the middle and the excellent strike-force of Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie.

It’s a side more than good enough to beat newly-promoted West Brom and in a league as tight as it has been in the last few seasons it is a game that absolutely needs to be won for Arsenal. A good start to the season last time was around was exactly the reason why Arsenal came so close to winning the league and – as Arsene Wenger points out – another good start will be imperative if the club are to fight for the title this time around:

“This season I feel it will be more down to starting well and being more relaxed when it comes to the crunch point. Last year we were leading the Premier League due to a good start.”

There’s not much more to add other than to say that the manager is absolutely right; three points and a good start to the season is an absolute must for the boys today. Will they achieve it? Who knows. But you can be guaranteed they’ll give it a damn good shot. It will be another good chance for fringe players like Johan Djourou, Aaron Ramsey, Denilson, Emmanuel Eboue and Theo Walcott to stake their claim for a starting spot and that alone should some energetic performances.

On a personal level it would be an understatement to say I’m bloody excited about the game tonight. Although the game against Twente was the first competitive game of the season there is something just a little bit more special about the first game of the Premiership campaign.

I’ll be watching the game tonight (Australian time) with a bunch of Brisbane Gooners at the Pig ‘n’ Whistle Riverside and if there’s any other Arsenal supporters in Brisbane I’d encourage them to get down around 9.30pm to cheer the boys on. If you feeling like saying ‘hello’ the just look for the skinny, long-haired fellow with the white ‘Adebayor-25′ shirt on. He’s me.

Although I won’t be there, I know the official Arsenal Australia Supporters’ Club are hosting events at The Celtic Club in Melbourne and the Cheers Bar and Star City Casino in Sydney. As for other Australian readers you can see out where game viewings are being held around country by checking out this link.

For everyone else around the world, enjoy the game wherever you watch it. Cheers and go the Gunners!

Have your say on Arsenal v West Brom by leaving a comment.



  1. Oi, Spanish Fry! I’m definitely coming to the P&W tonight.

    Look for a tall, lanky blogger in desperate need of a haircut. I’ll be wearing the highbury-farewell shirt.

    Awwww yes!

  2. Hey SF, if I was at home, I’d be in the Pig for sure…instead, I’ll be watching it from my place in Sherpherds Bush – 2 nil to the Gunners.

  3. A so so game. Some of the chances in front of goal were poor, Eboue gets in great positions but for god’s sake someone teach him how to shoot on target!

  4. Hey Spanish! Good work with the blog…I watched the match and I must say that Arsenal is one very deep squad. The ability to have such a deep – young bench is going to come in play as we get toward the heart of the schedule. GO ARSENAL!!!

  5. What see Arsene in Eboue that Im not?
    cuz for me he is just a waste of space on the pitch, is like Arsenal starts with an expulsion since the first second and plays just with 10 players the entire game.

    I think Arsene have to tell him that he is just the replacement of Sagna and he have to be on the bench the entire season waiting for his chance in that position, he cant play him in all the positions he is just a right back and thats all. If not sell it.

    And again the diva of Gallas making his show against Djouru, glad to see that Almunia stands up to defend Djouru. Stupid diva.

  6. we started great but slowed down after the goal, and what a great goal it was, a great team goal. Nasri looked great, good finish, nice touches and not afraid to shoot, also which surprising is how strong he was, he never got knocked of the ball which showed how much he has worked on his strength. I thought eboue had a very good game in the defensive role, cleaning up and showing some nice turns and passes. his shooting was woeful though, he had two or three great opportunities but someone needs to teach him how to shoot.Sagna and clichy were outstanding as usually, no reason to doubt their position and ability. Adebayor didn’t have one of his greatest games but he will get us a lot of goals this season.

    The cameroons got knocked out of the olympics so thats gud news for us with song coming back, who i would give him a run in centre mid, he is a great player.

    I heard that carlos vela will be leaving for mexico, is that true? and if so, for how long?

  7. Does eboue play for free? Is that why arsne plays him all the time even though his performances are woefull at best he could be a boro player. ade showed why he’s worth over 100k a year by being offside again and failing to score when he’s 1 on 1 again. he spent 2 seasons with henry so why does he think he can play like him? Johan had a solid game at the back but against the likes of drogba or tevez he will struggle but the lads got a lot of promise just hope we don’t end up selling him like hoyte. Almunia was class again and I wish he started in the cl final as we might of won it then. Plus points were very good in the likes of nasri scoring and finding the space to have a couple of shots and his work rate was really good. As usual clichy ran himself off the park and had some good croses in. All in all can’t wait for our new signing and that might cheer me up but at least we won and I’m hoping to be in brissy in 3 weeks so might see some of you at the pig. wish I was there last night early kick off would of been a great start before hitting the valley.

  8. Thats how to get the fans on your side, score the winning goal on the first day of the prem and yur debut, nice going Nasri and good goal to. cannot wait for Cesc to come back. Johan was impressive today aswell. Eboue played a good game to, the reason why he is a poor winger at the moment though is because he cannot hit the target. Adebayor had a quiet game by his standards. Whats going on with Vela?

  9. That was a great game. I really enjoyed it. I thought Eboue, Adebayor and Djourou were good and Nasri was the best player on the pitch. Good stuff.

  10. Can someone at the ARSENAL coaching staff teach EBOUE how to shoot he would be such a better player and score some goals if he did he could have netted 2 last night.

  11. oh boy hows this for stirring up the $h1t arsne says…
    “Is a trophy to finish 12 and win the Carling Cup? Not for me. You see the quality of a team after 38 games. In the Carling Cup or the FA Cup, you play five games in the final and could be drawn against second division teams, but you have no quality and are not there at the end of the championship”
    Eat that spuds and it proves sacking the manager and spending 60 mill plus on players doesn’t mean you can overtake us ever.

  12. I thought Adebayor and Nasri were great. Just lacking some sharpness which is normal at this early stage. Don’t know why some others did not factor that into the performance. Good start for the Gunners.

  13. Nasriwas definately the best. second best goes to Ebuoe who played very nicely in the mid giving the defence a much needed lift. one other thing to observe from ebuoe is that he can get himself in a good position to shoot and like Nasri (and unlike adebayor) is not afraid to shoot. he needs to time the outer left side of the goal though so that his shots come anything close to the target. i think ebuoe may end up being a much needed utility player who can slot in anywhere whenever the need arises.
    Nasri was great and his position in the team should be guaranteed. Bendtner and Adebayor should never start together and RVP will make us happy if he can remain fit game after game

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.