Ahead of the highly anticipated Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal have been given a huge boost on the injury front as winger Theo Walcott is on the brink of fitness. While the trip to Germany might be a bit too early for the Englishman, he seems to be more than likely to take to the pitch against reigning Premier League champions Manchester United on Saturday.
After a relatively disappointing two games sandwiched either side of a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, the Gunners once again return to Premier League action at the Emirates in which we will see the highly anticipated match up between 1st and 3rd places, separated by just 2 points.
Arsenal will welcome Liverpool to London this weekend, and will be hoping to obtain a five point lead in the league over the opposition by coming away with all 3 points. The Gunners currently sit on 22 points, whilst both Chelsea and Liverpool have 20 points in the league, with the Blues only on top because of goal difference.
It has been a great weekend for Arsenal, and if Arsene Wenger and his transfer team can pull off a couple of clever signings today, I think that Arsenal could be back in the business of winning trophies.
All the talk ahead of the game between the Gunners and Tottenham yesterday was the now ritual talk about power shifting in North London, especially because of the vastly different transfer business the two clubs have had. Now I know it was only a 1-0 win, but they had Lloris to thank for that. Their keeper was on top form and Arsenal were a bit unlucky not to score more.
Do you want the bad news or the good news, Arsenal fans? OK, the bad news is that Lukas Podolski has damaged his hamstring much more than the club originally believed. Arsene Wenger has announced that our German international forward will be out of action for about 8-10 weeks, and after his double against Fulham last weekend that is, like his shot, a hammer blow for the Gunners.
Wenger said, “We have paid a very heavy price for that win(Fenerbahce). We have to be patient now.”
Last night Fenerbahce visited the Emirates to play against Arsenal in the second leg of this year’s Champions League qualification stage and we again came away with a win, and managed a score of 2-0 on the night meaning we go through on a 5-0 aggregate.
It was a solid performance from Arsenal, with the midfield once again pulling all the right strings. Cazorla, Wilshere and Ramsey were all excellent, especially with Ramsey picking up another two goals for this season, a tally which will be a real boost to a growing confidence. Giroud had some good movement but failed to have a distinctive finish, whilst Walcott was largely missing throughout.
Arsenal have recovered from that terrible start to the season against Aston Villa, and three good wins have calmed the fans down and reinforced Arsene Wenger’s claim that there is good quality in the side. Even if you agree with him, it is clear to see that there is no adequate cover for these first team players, and they are dropping like flies.
Maybe we are just going through an unlucky period when it comes to injuries, but there is a theory that the reason Arsenal seem to have so many problems with players picking up knocks is because they are overplayed. Why are they overplayed? Because there are no adequate replacements.
Just a week after most Arsenal fans were fearing the worst, things are looking a whole lot better after two good wins against Fulham and Fenerbahce. The Gunners scored three goals in each, with both Giroud and Podolski looking sharp in front of goal and plenty of control and chances being created.
So, were we right to worry, or was Wenger’s insistence on the quality in the side right up there with the best in the Premier League? I think the we will be able to answer that question better after the north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday, but I think the team has shown real quality and spirit in the last two games and am feeling confident about roasting the spuds at the Emirates.
Today Arsenal feature in their third match of what has already been a very up and down season, with one win and one loss on the books! Having been impressive in midweek against Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualification round, they return next Tuesday for the home leg at the Emirates. But before that we have to take all three points from a difficult away trip to Fulham.
Fulham away in the league is never easy and Craven Cottage can be a fantastic place to go! In previous years they may have struggled with talent, but a rejuvenated squad that features summer additions of Darren Bent, Adel Taarabt and Maarten Stekelenburg, suddenly the game got much harder.
Arsenal were the eventual victors against J-league side, Urawa Red Diamonds, although it was anything but easy in the end. Arsenal started the game relatively well with Wenger picking a strong attack including the likes of Walcott, Gnabry, Chamberlain, Wilshere and Giroud. The defence also wasn’t half bad either with Miquel being the only non-first-teamer who started.
According to the media reports, Italian side AS Roma have put forward a £7m bid for the misfiring Arsenal forward Gervinho. The report also goes on to say that the London club has not accepted the offer as of yet and are holding out for more.
The Ivorian did not fly with the rest of the Arsenal squad for the Asian tour due to illness but it is widely believed that his exclusion is due to the fact that he is not a part of Wenger’s plans for the upcoming season. Gervinho has also been linked to Marseille, Lyon and his former club Lille, all French sides said to be very keen on his signature.