Diaby News Ruins My Blog
I had my Fulham preview all mapped out in my mind. First I would complain that injuries once again pick the squad. Then I would point out how much more incisive we were with Diaby in midfield replacing Song. I would lament Song’s inevitable inclusion in midfield forcing Denilson to take the lead as our creative force, which is clearly not his strength. I would then suggest that it would again be difficult to create chances against a Fulham team that has struggled away from home and played several nil – nil games on the road. Then Diaby did something he’s never done before, he surprised everyone with his fitness. So forget everything you just read and let’s get to the “real” Fulham preview.
With Diaby fit, it will be interesting to see how Wenger sets up the team. Eboue was solid in midweek and Wenger may feel that Arshavin is best suited to come in off the bench until he’s fully fit and ready. I hope he decides otherwise. If he’s willing to start Arshavin in midfield with Diaby, Denilson and Nasri, I think we have a good chance of breaking down what will inevitably be a resolute Fulham defense. Bendtner and Van Persie will invariably start up front and for some reason I like Bendtner to score. Some players fall apart after they miss chances like he did in midweek. But Bendtner is a confident lad and I can see him playing with real fire to show the Emirates faithful that he has the goal scoring touch.
Odds alone suggest that it’s unlikely we will be treated to another nil – nil scoreline. I know it’s cliche but an early goal should open this game up and that plays right into our hands. If we can play with pace and energy early and find a way to get a goal, I can see this being a solid win for Arsenal. It will have to be a win because Villa are likely to take all three points from Stoke. That sniveling coward O’Neil was praised for emphasizing the league this week when he played an understrength side against CSKA and got promptly dumped out of Europe. But when Wenger plays the youngsters in the Carling Cup it’s “disrespectful” to the competition. The media really have got crap for brains sometimes. I hope Villa drop out of fourth place and are left to rue a Euopean campaign where they could’ve threatened had their manager had more of a spine.
We have West Brom this week so there’s no reason to be looking past Fulham. No massive match on the immediate horizon. And with Walcott, Adebayor, Eduardo, Fabregas and possibly Rosicky coming back into the side, many of the players on display this weekend will want to show the manager that they deserve their first team place. For the first time in a long time I feel good about the team sheet for a league game. It’s not ideal, but it’s far better with Song and Eboue on the bench. How about two goals for Van Persie, one for Bendtner, and one for Arshaving to open his account in front of the home crowd. Our clean sheet run can’t last forever, so Andy Johnson pegs one back. All in all, a convincing and reassuring 4-1 win. What do you think?
Fingers crossed that we play with the energy and the incisive attack that we showed against Roma. (And maybe a little better finishing…)
Come On You Gunners!