Sunday, 9 August 2015

New season: Arsenal vs West Ham Preview & Team News

Afternoon all,

A new season is upon us. Whilst the appetite is whetted slightly after yesterday, the real excitement starts today.

There is something special about the first game of the season that is difficult to quantify. A sense of hope, for all fans, no matter the club that they choose to align themselves with. The butterflies in that begin to take flight beneath the belly are shared by all fans, young and old.

Today though, I feel a sense of hope and nervousness perhaps unsurpassed in terms of intensity. I genuinely believe we are on the brink of something special. Although I am ever the optimist, I sense this feeling if far more prevalent in fans then it has been in recent years.

We have a squad which, barring one area (anyone hazard a guess?!), is full of options, all being of the highest caliber. We have some of the most exciting and pacey players in the league and like many others feel this is the year that the supremely talented Oxlade-Chamberlain is really going to push on. It seems Wenger shares this belief:

We have to develop our collective game. I think we have to depend less on one guy who comes in and then scores all the goals, and continue to develop our players and the collective aspect.
I don’t see why a guy like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should not aim to score 10 or more goals. Alexis can score goals and Ozil has to fix himself a target of at least 10. Five for a guy who plays behind a striker, you want more goals from him. We can share that a bit.

So whilst rumblings of a potential Benzema deal continue to permeate all forms of social media, the Boss expects that we have enough within the squad to challenge as it is.

I believe we need a fast start, one which this group of players is capable of. We cannot take anything for granted and I expect Coquelin to be vital as will most of the team. The addition of Cech adds both quality but huge experience and mental strength as well. The young players have an additional years experience and improvement.

We should be optimistic.

Team news:

Sanchez remains a doubt given his recent return from holidays following Chile's Copa America victory. But even this isn't certain. Sanchez is a unique beast, one that defies the laws of physics and as such may make the bench as he returned in phenomenal condition. Wilshere has had another unfortunate injury and will be sidelined for a number of weeks.The team to start will be:

Full team: Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud
Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Gabriel, Chambers, Arteta, Walcott, Alexis

Come on Arsenal!


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