Arsenal V Sunderland: Will Porto Become Another Birmingham?

After seeing our players lose some of their fighting spirit in the final half hour in Portugal, there is only one question in my mind right now. Are we in for another implosion like the one we saw after that horrific game at Birmingham?

I don’t go around spreading doom and gloom stories and this is not an attempt at that either. I am just genuinely worried. Right now we are in a good position in the league and have a run of games coming up where we can really gain momentum. I can keep the faith but I am beginning to wonder if all the players can as well.

There is no point dwelling on the topic as it’s a problem for Arsene to diagnose and treat. Let’s shift the thoughts to the game at hand. Am I the only one who feels this is a good game for us to be playing at this point?

Sunderland are competing with us for sure, but it’s in the injuries department and not on the field. In fact, we can expect a considerably weakened midfield from the visitors. On the other hand they are getting some of their defenders back from injury and that will give them some belief of repeating the clean sheet from the reverse fixture.

When they got massacred at Stamford Bridge the Black Cats had Cana playing at center back and they still tried taking the game to Chelsea. Now that their first choice defense is coming back I expect Steve Bruce will come to the Emirates with the intention of parking the bus. I don’t think they have the midfield that can press us high up and their main hope will be that our generosity in defense continues.

If Bruce does take the brave option of attacking us I am sure we will be in for a goal fest. I haven’t seen enough Sunderland games to know for sure whether he will or will not come with a positive mindset. The safe option given their team sheet looks to be a highly defensive one. In case they do sit back, Bendtner’s presence in the penalty box will be extremely important to us.

Our team news is not very good. It’ll definitely be good to have Song and Almunia back but I am a little concerned with the mysterious injury that Diaby has picked up. After getting a run of games the lanky Frenchman was looking like imposing his mark on the league but a Medial Knee Ligament injury sounds serious. I’m hoping it’s a false alarm and will vanish just as mysteriously!

There are two other question marks for this game. Can Sol Campbell and Tomas Rosicky play two games in three days? If there is any doubt at all about their fitness I’d prefer that they are rested. The replacements in Silvestre, Walcott or Eboue might not be the most popular but should be strong enough to do a job at home against a struggling unit.

I would also like to see Nasri get another chance in a central midfield role. With Song back and the likelihood that Sunderland will mostly rely on fast breaks and long balls, we should be able to give Nasri a chance. It’s his preferred position and I feel Fabregas will get more freedom to push forward. Anyway, I’ve said this often enough and it seems to me that Arsene must have a very good reason for sticking with Denilson so I won’t get my hopes high.

I think this would also be a good game to have Eboue in the final third. He brings a direct thrust and can take players on. When a team packs the defense it is important to have such a player in attacking areas. By reverse logic this isn’t the best game to give Walcott a start. He thrives on open spaces and a parked bus isn’t exactly his playground.

In case Rosicky isn’t fit, I’d love to see Vela get a game. Maybe it’s just me, but I do think the young Mexican and the big Dane play well together and seem to have a better understanding with each other than with the rest.

I would like to see the following starting line up,

Almunia/Fabianski; Sagna, Campbell/Silvestre, Vermaelen, Clichy; Song, Cesc, Nasri; Eboue, Bendtner, Rosicky/Vela.

It’s about time we started scoring for fun once again. I think we’ll match our average home result, 3-1 to the Arsenal.

9 Responses to Arsenal V Sunderland: Will Porto Become Another Birmingham?

  1. bobbygee says:

    I think we will come out and kick some major butt. Yes Diaby will out but I know Wenger kicked Fabianski in the butt for his stupid play. 3-1 sounds about right. Both Chelsea and Man U have struggled on the road. This will give us the opporunity to pick some valuable ground.

  2. BOOZY says:

    OFFCOURSE YOU ARE SPREADING DOOM, but in an intelligent way. but it is allowed, given the way we have performed in the last 2 months. WHAT arsenal desperately needs now is a STRIKER. To put pressure off cesc and co. Hence BENDTNER should step up or forever hold his peace.

  3. jhessart says:

    A goal (or two) from Cesc would give a positive impact to the team and a mood booster for him. He seems a little frustated lately. Let’s cross our fingers and our hope high!

  4. Aniruddh says:

    We’ll manage just fine, I feel wenger has got a job to do as he needs to keep faith in players who have let us down i.e fabianski,campbell and company.dropping fabianski now might give out all the wrong signals as players might get insecure. I think its just about time for fabregas to show his worth because he never seems to step up in big games and we can manage without him in the smaller ones.
    the real weak link in so many of our big losses has been Vermaelen, i know he’s been tremendous but in the crunch games he is found lacking, probably he hasn’t gelled well enough with the others or there are some problems in communication

  5. slimshady says:

    Aniruddh – Hahaha thats a new one! So Vermaelen, the legend, is the cause of our woes?? Hahaha. Wow.

  6. mario indian gooner says:

    thats wad im talkin about why the fuck r players like deinlson played ahead of eboue…..i believe eboue does make sum mistakes but over the few games i have seen him play hes looked focused determined to prove a point and hes has defended realli realli well… doesnt matter where he plays hes bound to influence play…..when he came on against porto he instantly made an impact and he put in that dangerous cross where we could have scored if onli the cross was better… even against pool he made vital possessions and took players on……..he truly brings life into the game with his speed and is one of the senior blokes in the team now………and as for clichy i realli donno wtf has happend to him…he seems to have totalli lost it after his injury…..although fabianski was at fault for letting in the goal clichy was intially at fault for losing the porto winger and allowing him to cross and it happnd numerous times in the game…..i think he needs to be given a break for sumtime took bring himself bak into a genuine fitness level

  7. Gomes says:

    FORCA PORTO!!!!!

  8. Gomes says:


  9. Munala says:

    An implosion is da last thing we nid right now.

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