Monday, 2 January 2012

Fulham Vs Arsenal Preview: Arsenal Team News, Henry to be unveiled, Podolski Rumours Mount and Adam Maher on the Arsenal Radar.

Afternoon all,

Today we find ourselves back into the realms of the crazy world of the transfer windows where stupidity knows no bounds. To be fair it is the second day the transfer window is open but there is already news to report on and rumours to get false hope over. Before we dive into the depths of madness though let’s start with a little preview of the first match of 2012.

So we have only had 3 days since our last game with very little time for rest. Despite that there may be some temptation to play the strongest team available given the long break before the team will next have to play. I would imagine that the next fixture against Leeds provides an opportunity to give a prolonged break to a lot of the first XI. That is the temptation for tonight but it would be unrealistic to expect our strongest team just due to the sheer numbers of fixtures we have had in recent history.

Aside from the usual suspects of Jenkinson, Gibbs, Sagna, Santos, Wilshire and Diaby, we now add the Verminator to the casualty list further depleting an already threadbare defence. It seems then that the main selection dilemma will be in the defensive department of left back and the choice is really between the impressive Coquelin or the solid Miquel. Either one of which does in actuality weaken us but with the apparent return of Gibbs and Sagna approaching Wenger’s reluctance to foray into the Market is perhaps understandable.

So for today the team I expect to line up will be the following.


Djourou                       Mertesacker                             Koscienly                    Coqeulin

                                                Song                            Arteta


Walcott                                                                                                           Gervinho

                                                            Robin Van Persie

Of course this is assuming that RVP is not in the much fabled red zone which he may well be but I would imagine with a near two week rest there should be less risk in playing him in this tough fixture. I would also imagine Benayoun or Rosicky to come in place of Ramsey in the centre of midfield.

I expect us to continue the pressure up the top of the table and win this match but do certainly expect a tough and potentially very frustrating game where we may be banging our heads against two banks of five in the opposition half. I certainly hope we have enough in the tank to get another Premier League win today to start the year in the right fashion and would expect it as well.

Now we move onto the transfer window which is unusually active already at such an early stage. It looks like the imminent signing of Thierry Henry will be completed later today or tomorrow so will be unveiled at some stage soon I guess. I thought it was quite funny and un-Arsenal like, that they published a picture of him in our colours before the transfer was confirmed. It looks like it is all but done so that is at least some good news in terms of attacking reinforcements. I know there are some out there sceptical and I myself have some doubts but cannot argue with the notion that I would much prefer Wenger bringing on Henry instead of Chamakh when we are in search of a goal.

Also in other news, we have Frimpong leaving on loan for the rest of the season to Wolves which can only be seen as a positive from his development’s point of view. I have heard that Mick McCarthy is a big fan and expects him to play an important role at Wolves which will be great.

In other but constant transfer news there are varying rumours regarding the potential signing of Podolski and whilst I would certainly welcome it am fairly sceptical surrounding the news. I have been hearing conflicting reports from he has all but signed and could be announced next week to Wenger has sanctioned a £10m deal to a £16m deal has been agreed. I guess that this will continue for much of the next week but until we start to see some corroboration between sources it is unlikely that a deal is likely.

Apparently we are also going toe to toe for AZ Alkamar starlet Adam Maher according to the Times. This seems like a player we would go for but again is just hearsay at the moment.

Finally in a bit of light relief the biggest twat the game has ever seen is running his mouth again but this time against the Arsenal fans. He tweeted after we spanked them that there was no noise and that there was no atmosphere or so I am led to believe. He is clearly a twat so who cares. I hope his sending off today is a sign of things to come. Have a lovely year Joey Twatmouth.

Come on you Gunners!

Until tomorrow!


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