Away win at Villa done deal!

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Ok we lost to Seville, we did have a second string team out though, I didn’t say second string players as there were more than a few first teamers, but the team was second string.

We’ll be missing Cesc, Robin, Clichy and possibly Hleb, I say possibly as Wenger said there is an outside chance he’ll be fit, which is fantastic news given he was a 3 weeker three days ago.

I expect him to come of the bench, I expect Ade up top with Eduardo and Theo and Bendtner on the bench.

We’ll need our back four ready for the high lob to Carew, so we’ll need Traore in the right frame of mind, so it also wouldn’t surprise me to see Diarra or Hoyte drafted in the left back slot.

Midfield I expect Gilberto, Denilson or Diarra to partner Flamini with Rosicky out left.

Almunia

Sagna Kolo Gallas Traore

Eboue Diarra Flamini Rosicky

Ade Eduardo

That would be my preferred team but Gilberto in there for height would not be a major surprise.

What’s important is we don’t lose, that’s what can happen after a midweek Euro loss and if that does happen a mini collapse is on the cards.

Villa have won four on the spin but two of those were against Birmingham and Middlesbrough, the Blackburn win though was impressive, but Agbonlahor is out and he is their dangerman, so all is not gloom and doom.

They’ll be more frightened of us than we are of them and we have a good record against the Villa.

Every time we’ve needed a performance this season, we’ve risen to the challenge, so I expect us to nick it.

ManU stuffed them, so it’s a benchmark, if we don’t win ManU will believe they can go on and win the title, if we do win, they may trip up again soon.

I think we’ll be like wounded bears and Gallas for one will be having none of it.

Prediction 2-1 Arsenal.

We have a tough December, 9 games, but one of those will be the rub-a-dubs against Blackburn, one is the champions league game and again the second string will play that one, the other six are all against teams that will have the same amount of games to play, so in theory we will play depleted squads as well.

I fancy our depleted squads against theirs don’t you?

And finally, as a bit of Friday fun we have teamed up with the guys from the Clockenders and they have sent us a guest blog! Feel free to check it out and post your thoughts!

Have a grovetastic weekend!


Transfer talk: Rumours and the reality

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Seen as transfer gossip has been the theme of the comments section this week, I thought I’d do a run down of potential buys this coming transfer window.

Michah Richards:

The dream buy, a rarity in the footballing world – English and talented. Micah is only 19, he is fast, powerful and has an eye for goal. He plays Right back and Centre back. He has the versatility that Wenger likes in his players and he is an avid gooner. He would come at a premium though and would Man City part with him considering the financial clout they have? Would Micah accept being behind Kolo and Gallas?

Wish list Chance: 30%

Nicholas Anelka:

Our old favourite Nic Anelka. We know all about this man, good and bad. He has electric pace, silky skills and a thunderous shot. Many Arsenal fans see him as the perfect signing to bolster our attack this winter. We all know the potential problems with Anelka. His attitude stinks a lot of the time. But as Arsenal fans, we are quite forgiving. I would take him back, but would Le Boss? Do we have enough striking options? Would Anelka hinder youngsters like Nikki B and Theo? Is he too old?

Wish List Chance: 20%

Tresor Mputu:

Top scorer in the African Champions league. He is bulky, fast and a good finisher. According to reports, he is a better prospect than Sammy Eto’o. Wenger has confirmed that he has been on trial with us and he also confirmed that he was impressed. I would think that Wenger is cautious of making another Yaya blunder… sign him up Wenger!

Wish List Chance: 80%


Luca Toni:

The big Italian is unsettled at Bayern Munich; he is home sick. So the obvious choice for his next club would be Arsenal or Spurs apparently. The guy is class. He is powerful, good in the air and has a World Cup winners medal behind him. Bayern paid £17 million for him in the summer and I doubt his valuation would depreciate that heavily. I think his age and his cost would be a huge factor in his chances of joining us but ManU signed Larrson for a season. Stranger things have happened.

Wish list Chance: 40%

Jussi Jääskeläinen:

Many of you want us to sign a top class goalkeeper in the transfer window. With Bolton looking decidedly shite this season, and his contract expiring in June, could Arsenal be ready to pounce with a bargain bid in January? He is a solid keeper who is 32. He also has the advantage of looking 9 years old… good for the 4 year contract when he hits 31 (Don’t show Wenger you licence!)! The only stumbling block with this one is that Almunia is playing well and Fabianski is the new Cech. He has never had Champions League experience, which can only hinder his transfer.

Wish List Chance: 60%

Luca Modric:

Dubbed the best midfielder in the world by, err? His agent! I don’t really understand the hype around him to be honest. He is small, not overly fast and hideously ugly. Not that being ugly makes you a bad player, but imagine the nightmares young Bayern Munich fans are have over the posters of Franck Ribery? I don’t want young Gooner’s having the same issues. I think the price being touted is £15 million. I doubt Arsenal will stretch to that.

Wish List Chance: 20%

Caceres:

A young defender who is contracted to Villareal and out on load at Recreativo. I have read that he is a good defender on a few websites but then I read he was being kept out of the team by Big Phil’s footballing mentor… PASCAL CYGAN. I must stop writing now. This transfer is a no go. The player has also ruled out a move.

Wish List Chance: 1%

Veloso:

The Emanuel Petit look-a-like holding midfielder from Sporting. He is a classy player, who ran PV04 off the park a few weeks ago. He also has the advantage of being able to play right across the back. He would be a great asset to Arsenal, but at the end of the day we already have 6 million centre midfielders and the last thing we want to do is another player position conversion. Wenger’s latest attempt hasn’t gone to well. Senderos – Goalkeeper to Centre back… it was never going work was it?

Wish list Chance: 30%

So that is my run down of potential buys this January transfer! Lets have some of your thoughts in the comments!

In other news Adebayor has been telling jokes again. He comically said,

“But who knows? If Real Madrid comes with an offer of £100m, Arsenal might be tempted to sell me. If Wenger tells me to go, I cannot fight to stay.”

Oh Ade, you kill me! You really do!

Cesc could be out for up to three games, which would be a huge blow to us. I hope the injury is less serious. No news from the official site yet, but some interesting quotes here.

The Jew, the Christian and the Muslim. Sounds like a children’s book doesn’t it? It’s not though. They are the religions of the three Arsenal fans who are planning on suing Arsenal for breach of contract. They are suing over the racist chanting of the term ‘Yiddo’. It offends all three of them, and Arsenal don’t do enough to stop it happening (really?). I don’t really want to give my opinion on the matter as I am not religious, but if there is anyone out there who is religious and has an opinion on the chanting it would be interesting to hear what you think in the comments section.

See you in the comments sections! Happy Groving!


Send in the clowns

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Oh we did, Senderos, Gilberto and Eboue (the bad one)

When Eboue is on song he’s fantastic, but suddenly a switch goes and he becomes mentally ill, I thought Wenger had that sorted, obviously not.

We lost our first game since West Ham, but against West ham we had 29 shots and they had one, it was the biggest miscarriage of justice ever seen at a football match, but last night was shocking.

Were do I begin? A fantastic start, Eboue (the good one) through to Bendtner he crosses and in goes sniffer to put us one up, this could be the night.

Great movement follows then Senderos gets the ball, oh dear, he make’s his customary howler early, Gilberto compounds it and we’re level.

The rest is history and should be quickly forgotten.

Wenger has got to stop using his Carling cup team in the champions league. It doesn’t matter who we get next and it doesn’t matter if we play at the Grove last, we did that with PSV and lost, and lost to the easiest team in the competition, so as long as we avoid English teams we’ll be fine, we have to play the big boys at some point.

What isn’t good is losing, I know we have injuries but there are areas that need to be addressed before it’s too late.

Senderos should go I’m afraid, I like his spirit, I like him, but he’s just not good enough for this team, you can’t put it down to lack of matches because he make the same mistakes time after time, Gilberto’s heart is not in it any more and Eboue is fast becoming a liability.

Denilson will be good but he’s not there yet, Eduardo is not a winger and nor is Theo, if Wenger want wingers, he should go and buy them, he did with Pires and Overmars but since then he tries to convert full backs or center midfielders.

Toure can’t seem to play with Senderos and that’s a worry come the African cup of Nations, I think Djourou will be good enough, but I don’t think he get the nod ahead of Senderos.

Kolo did not have his best game last night he should have stopped the second goal going in, but I think that’s a confidence thing and he sees Senderos next to him and get nervous, well that’s the way I see it anyway.

We had the possession last night but how many shots? 2 on target? Not good enough, I hope he’s learned something from this or we could struggle against
Villa.

I pray that Cesc is not injured and that Hleb gets back soon, we’re missing him, maybe we should buy Modric after all.

Let’s also hope that Robin, the boy wonder, returns on Saturday, there was nothing on show that made me think we could score at will last night.

This is not a Wenger rant I’m just saying we should address the problems that could cost us trophies this season, before it’s too late.

I know I’m depressed, but I hate losing, hate it, hate it.

Anyway it was Seville and it was away and we did have a second string team out so it will only get better, it’s not like we lost to Bolton is it?

I liked our kit and Bendtner played well, we’re top of the league, still in all the competitions, and the sun will still come up in the morning.

Cheer up Grovers, I just did!