Almunia’s out for a while so Fabianski takes over, who will he play?

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Well tomorrow the Ryder Cup begins and hopefully we’ll trash the USA, so it promises to be a hectic weekend, the singles on Sunday clash horribly with the chav game so I will have two TV’s on the go, and maybe I’ll watch the Grand Prix on my laptop.

We know that Fabianski is in goal, let’s hope he plays as well two games running, he’ll need too that’s for sure, they won’t be as easy as Partizan Belgrade were though.

Let take a look at our options and see who we should play as our first eleven.


Sagna Squillaci Koscielny Gibbs

Wilshere Cesc Nasri

Rosicky Chamakh Arshavin

I’m not picking Denilson, Clichy, Song or Diaby, we can’t out muscle the chavs, that much we should have learned by now, we can outplay them though, so that’s why I would field a team of proper footballers.

Gibbs gets the nod over Clichy on form, that my friends is how the team should be picked, on who’s performing, Song and Diaby haven’t been, Denilson has put in a couple of good shifts, but Wilshere, Nasri and Cesc are our best, most mobile and most deadly combination and they are our best chance of beating the chavs.

Up front we have less options but Rosicky is looking good and Arshavin is starting to click again, but please leave the penalties to the midfield!

Chamakh picks himself and he owes the chavs from last season, he doesn’t need motivating. If we lose this game we will start to separate from the pack, whilst it’s not must win, it is must not lose, but with this team I believe we can win.

Jack, Samir or Cesc can all play the DM role, all are tenacious tacklers and all three have vision, I would love to see them let loose on an ageing chavs side, love it.

Have a great day grovers, think about your favourite combo, no choice with the keeper though, still if the Arsenal team all back him, he must have something, so come on Lukas, show us some consistency.

346 Responses to “Almunia’s out for a while so Fabianski takes over, who will he play?”

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  1. Jaguar

    Would put Denilson in there instead of Arshavin and play Nasri a bit upfront.

    Rosicky has been useless for the past couple of games.

  2. DaleDaGooner

    uummm, a bit naive there in the midfield, while i dream of winning with this midfield, I doubt it will be effective against Essien, Mikel an whoever else of Ramires, etc……I know for a fact that Wenger will definitely play one of Denilson o Song in there for 5th defensive purpose.

  3. g0on3r

    i think song or denilson must play. as good as wilshere / nasri they are not natural defensive midfielder. denilson might get the nod as he played really well in partizan. i also hope fabregas fit to start and walcott fit enough to features from bench.

  4. melvyn

    I agree 100% with your team pick sadly AW wont. He will not have the balls not to play one ,or god forbid, two of song/diaby/denilson.

    Talking of god and watching manure last night reminds me of when we played manure in a league cup (actually called the rumblelows cup that year) game in 1990 at Highbury. I had spent the previous seven days doing some serious charity work in Minsk and was feeling good about myself and had a feeling god was going to reward me with a beating of manure. Before the game a presentation was mad on the pitch to two famous Arsenal supporters the Archbishop elect George Carey and the chief Rabbi elect Jonathan Sacks – at this point I just knew we would win. We lost 6-2 the biggest ever home defeat I have witnessed (in 45 years) and in the torygraph the following day the headline was proof god doesn’t exist ! The following day Jonatan Sacks wrote to the Torygraph saying on the contrary god does exist he just supports manchester united and boy was he right !!!

  5. Bennyboy

    I not too bothered who plays as long as we play with some tactics instead of just lining up as we always do. I say we’ve gotta start cagey and not concede in the 1st half then start playing football in the 2nd. Having said that we’ve gotta go for song (but just sitting not marauding) and nasri on the left instead of arshavin who never tracks back.

  6. tommystout

    i think song has to play at the expense of thomas. And he must be under struct instruction to sit. That would be my only change

  7. DB10

    I am not sure about the midfield mate, not because of lack of quality, but as U mentioned because of physical issues. I know the Chavs are far more muscular than us, but to leave it all for our short threesome is a recipe for disaster. Think back a few games against the chavs, and think of the goals they have scored against us, most of them are from dead balls. So I will go for a bit of a height in there and retain( reluctantly ) Song in there. But our collective defending needs to be sharp. But I have a sneaky feeling we will nick this one.

  8. DB10

    How goes it bitches!

    I am not sure about the midfield mate, not because of lack of quality, but as U mentioned because of physical issues. I know the Chavs are far more muscular than us, but to leave it all for our short threesome is a recipe for disaster. Think back a few games against the chavs, and think of the goals they have scored against us, most of them are from dead balls. So I will go for a bit of a height in there and retain( reluctantly ) Song in there. But our collective defending needs to be sharp. But I have a sneaky feeling we will nick this one.

  9. Kushagra India

    Arshavin needs to start will keep their marauding full backs occupied by swithching flanks with Nasri
    Rosicky should play in the middle

  10. Iceman10

    As much as it pains me to say it we still need Song for games like this…jus the physical presence in midfield…so i would move Nasri into Rosicky’s spot and slide Song in there with Jack and tell him not to get into the final 3rd .Now if Cesc isn’t fit i would move Nasri into his spot and have Rosicky on the left.

  11. DaleDaGooner

    ———————–Fabianski(good lord!)———————
    Sagna——Squillaci—————–Koscielny——–Clichy( Lord help)
    ————————-Song Bilong (sigh)———————–

    Now this is what I think Wenger may go for:

    I’d go for:

    ————————Lukasz (no choice there)—————-







    With a rotation in\out of either Denilson for Song; Rosicky for Wilshere; Cesc for Denilson (lets face it, Cesc will not play all game); Rosicky for Arshavin; Arshavin for Vela; Eboue for Nasri; Denilson for Wilshere etc.

  12. Iceman10

    I don’t really fear Chelsea but i wish we had Theo for this one…he would have kept cashley honest…we are lucky Clichy isn’t defending Malouda.

  13. kc

    I think your right with your starting eleven. We need to put our best team on the pitch instead of trying to match up. Cesc, Jack, and Nasri can all track back and tackle well so who needs Song for this one. Fabianski in net at the bridge flat out scares me. He was due to play well eventually and did just that last game. Let’s just pray he found some confidence and can now find some consistency. Good post.

  14. LAzer

    Can’t see Wilshere, Nasri, Cesc in midfield. True Song has been out of form and had a couple of shit games. Diaby is out of form too. Denilson has been the form DM so far. I would go with Nasri on the right, Cesc and Jack in mid with Denilson.

    But you just know its going to be Song Cesc Jack..

  15. Bennyboy

    I hear what ur saying india but with chelsea’s wing backs at home they will be coming forward especially as the midfield will be pretty congested so gibbs/clichy will need help, sadly our little russian never defends. Also we need an impact sub to come on and change the game if needed arshavin can be that man!

  16. Wiseman

    Here is the team that will be put out if Cesc is fit:

    Nasri-Chamkakh- Arshavin

    If Cesc is still injured then Denilson will com in with Wilshire playing in the Cesc role.

    Song hasn’t been playing well going forward, but has been ok defensively, making “well-timed” fouls 🙂

  17. Gbenga

    I dont want to be bothered with the team list as long as whosoever wears that shirt on Sunday goes with the right attitude and a mentality of spilling blood to gain the desired 3 points.

  18. Geoff

    Morning all I agree kc, Song offer nothing that Wilshere or Nasri haven’t got, we tried to hold them last year and couldn’t.

  19. Bennyboy

    The key will be the one to one battles kozzer vs drogba, Chamakh vs terry, wilshere vs essien
    hmmm I’m not filling myself with confidence!

  20. DaleDaGooner

    Bennyboy, Arshavin does not do impact, Arshavin plays (in my deep Russian voice).. Gibbs will just have to play, if Arsene is fair minded and honest to himself, sadly this is not the case, Clichy will be the choice, Arsene will trust in experience of the player not form or skill. Just like i almost think Jacky boy will not start. But i may be wrong on that. I think if Cesc is fit, it will be Cesc, Denilson and Song, and Jcky coming on as sub for Cesc.

  21. DaleDaGooner

    Everyone is bothered by Clichy\Gibbs\Arshavin side…the 2 times KGB Fulham beat us, Malouda was raping Sagna on the right side and with Jerome Thomas exposing his ass last EPL game, i fear for the right as well as the left.

  22. LAzer

    Agreed about the required attitude and mentality Gbenga. We need to play loose and confident not cagey and fearful of a loss.

    Zip the ball around, try to play the game we love and play keep ball. We can’t afford to give the ball away or make loose passes, they will be very aggressive and in our faces from the get go. And defensively not a single player can sit back. 8 miles of effort required from all the midfield.

    Jackie boy on the path to becoming a legend with the winner…you heard it here first.

  23. High Power Mutant

    Geoff, I admire your belief in the footballing skills of our midfielders, but I believe that the team you’ve put together will have problems on set pieces… and with fabianski in goal, don’t you think a bit of height would be appropriate?

  24. Steve Biko


    Morning, I am sorry but I think you are seriously taking a piss. How can you say “Song offer nothing that Wilshere or Nasri haven’t got, we tried to hold them last year and couldn’t”.

    I agree Song has been out of form but that does not mean we should play those two creative players in such a sensitive position. Did you watch Chelsea vs Manshitty last week? Did you see De Jong and Yaya outmuscle Essien? Do you seriously expect Jack or Nasri to do the same? Come on Geoff this is real football and such tactics will cost us big time.

  25. Bennyboy

    Hmmm maybe arshavin is the man for the job but and I know u should play ur best 11 but I’d still like to see wenger with some plan b on the bench. Who we gonna bring on to change the game? Vela!

  26. Iceman10

    I remember Nasri offering to play DM before…maybe Wenger feels like he is wasted there? anyway he can’t play there this sunday coz he will surely start on the right…i wud love to see him be more direct because he has all the skills and is hard to disposes…Chamakh and Nasri for us and drogba for them…2-1 to The Arsenal

  27. Erichero

    That’s a solid team Geoff. I am really looking forward to having Theo back though.

    Honestly, is a draw a good result? What do you think?

  28. Gooneroo

    FabianskI has always been a good GK and I have no doubt that he will become a quality GK… but I just don’t think it’ll be at the Arsenal.

  29. DB10

    Geoff we held them just fine last year, but we conceded sloppy goals, and our game dropped after the goals. So I will go for FULL concentration at the back PLUS a top collective defending from the whole team. At times what annoys me about Arsenal is we leave the defending all for the “defenders” and our midfielders simply run with the opposition up to out goal. We dont have enough cynical players who commit those early fouls to stop the opposition, we dont seem to have the instinct to do so. I mentioned it in here before, of our current team members, who slides in for a tackle? I can only think of Rosicky, JW. The others, our defensive midfielders included simply run with the ball

  30. Arse&Nose©

    No coincidence that all of our GK’s suffer the same weaknesses with high balls.

    The problem is they go in and play against stoke and Blackburn without ever having practised against their tactis! We never do high-balls in training, so our GK’s only encounter it 4-5 times a season and panic when they have to deal with these tactics.

  31. DaleDaGooner

    Some bloke on, a proper Gooner, but man! is he an AKB or what:

    Typical post:

    Good luck Lukasz, I KNEW you will come good. Keep on ignoring those bedsit critics who know NOTHING about the technical aspects of your craft. Since the basics were there all along, it was always just a matter of time and confidence. No point in listening to people who cannot understand such things. Bring on the chavs on Sunday, nothing will pass through your hands. those COYS fifth columnist will rely on their­ ‘percentages’ count until the whole country is singing your praises, then they will switch their non stop griping to another arsenal player. Who needs fans like that? there is saturated demand for tickets to get in at the Emirates. Kick out all these useless moaners who can’t even show an ounce of respect for highly­ talented coaches and manager.

    From sanchez.santos, on Wed 29 Sep 7:43PM

  32. DaleDaGooner

    Arse&Nose, Wojciech does not suffer from “high balls” he excels at the high ball situation cause he is taller than all the other 3.

  33. Dan

    I think the team will be….
    Sagna, Squill, Kos, Gibbs (hopefully)
    Fabregas Wilshere
    Nasri Chamahk Arshavin

    Thats a winning team 🙂

  34. Erichero

    A&N, interesting to see the commentators ranting about Man Utd’s difficulty in dealing with crosses. The same was said of Chelsea and Liverpool last season. It doesn’t excuse us of course, but we’re not alone among the top teams, otherwise Bolton, Blackburn and Stoke wouldn’t bother with the tactic. Schwarzer also got nailed by a Delap throw recently.

    Regardless, if we want to be champions, we have to work towards ironing out all the kinks.

  35. Bennyboy

    But then again I can’t see where the creativity is gonna come from in the chelsea midfield? if we can get them on the passing carousel we’ve got a chance so maybe geoff’s team is right. Play to our strengths, beat them where we can beat them with quick, creative play, and get mikel sent off for a reckless challenge!

  36. Erichero

    I was quite amused last night to see Martin Tyler’s partner having an almighty go at United. Not sure who it was, but boy he hates them.

  37. Jaguar

    Who said Schwarzer was a decent goal keeper?Schwarzer is no better than Almunia?When the retard Wenger mentioned his name,Schwarzer became a great goal keeper all of a sudden.

    Chelsea,Liverpool,Manures have a higher average height in the CD than us.So the goals conceded by them would be conceded by any other team.On the other hand,we concede silly goals,which Manures and Chavs wont concede.

  38. Arse&Nose©

    I don’t count chesney as a 1st team keeper, he has never started an important game.

    All of the 3 keepers who have played 1st team football (almunia, fab, manone) have shown weakness in dealing with crosses.

    I think it is directly linked to the fact that Arsenal are rubbish at crossing and never practice it.

  39. Iceman10

    How do you know the keepers don’t practice high balls in training? ur assuming because they suck at it…part of goalie training is working on crosses we jus have below average goalies in our top 2 spots…and is Szezcesy taller than Manuel?

  40. Brian

    I completely agree with Geoff’s team. Boy wouldn’t that be some creative team! Am not afraid of the chavs. They are beatable and if we are confident and believe in ourselves even if we are trailing, we can go back home with some points.

  41. Arse&Nose©

    go to london colney, with a fake press pass. lol a mate of mine got in like that a few times!

    Otherwise you can find out when they have open training sessions.

  42. DaleDaGooner

    Arse&Nose, yes Chesney may not be 1st team, but coincidence that Almunia, Fabianski and Mannone are shorter than Chesney? and they deal horribly with high balls and Chesney at Brentford was collecting high balls for fun?? It has nothing to do with crossing, I’m sure Rosicky, Nasri are excellent crossers.

  43. Brian


    Unfortunately for us, Song is a must play for wenger in this tie. If he drives forward and does what he has been doing of late, he will be the dofference between a win and a loss (ok him plus fabianski).

  44. DaleDaGooner

    TIE..LOL taking the funny to A&N…

    Iceman10, Szczesny is taller than Almunia, who is taller than Fabianski, who is taller than Mannone.

  45. DaleDaGooner

    The better goalies in the league are taller than our 2 first choice

    Van Der Saar, Cech, Reina are taller…maybe not so much in Reina, …even so, Pepe has been shit too, and Schwazer’s mental strength has gone since Hughes blocked his move Jaguar…he is flapping for them on purpose….lol

  46. Moray

    I hope for the best, but fear the worst.

    I worry that Chelski KNOW they have the beating of us. Especially if Fab doesn’t play. (Fab not Flap).

    It’s been a few years since I was confident a team we put out was going to get a result against one of Chelski or Man Utd. Especially with the goalkeeping frailties entertainled by the manager.

    Oh well, I will be in Vietnam for the weekend. Anyone know what the coverage is like there for the Prem games? In Hong Kong I have EVERY game televised. It’s nuts!

  47. DaleDaGooner

    A&N, No . don’t be silly, you stated we had a problem with high balls..what has that got to do with tall people being better goal keepers?

  48. DaleDaGooner

    People are confusing goal keeping reflexes with height. I’d take a 6 foot agile goal keeper before i took a 5’11 one. Just so i am covered when the high balls come. no homo.

  49. DaleDaGooner

    Please count all the better goal keepers in the world and list their heights….Don’t get me wrong athleticism is first order of business for a goalie, then experience, then height counts for a lot!

  50. gazzap

    I dont think Cesc will make it, just a gut feeling I have. The midfield will be Song, Wilshere and Nasri. Ros, Chamakh and Arsh up top I think.

    Cant see Eboue getting a game after WBA. I would definitely go with Gibbs but I would say wenger rested Clichy midweek for this match so dont hold your breath.

    I still worry about the centre backs. good for 89 mins then make a disasterous mistake – though I think Koz is better than Senderos.

  51. DaleDaGooner

    Point in case is…Szczesny was very good while on loan when it came to high balls, and the one match he played last season in CC, he dealt with the high ball very well and showed excellent reflex to save a goal bound ball, he didn’t push it round the post or flapped, he saved it clean and clear, I don’t know what he exhibits in training to make Wenger feel he cannot handle the first team, but so far, he looks better than the other 3 and Mannone looked better than Fabianski when he played.

  52. Arse&Nose©

    I’d go for the taller of-course!

    But my point is that Arsenal GK’s don’t get enough practice with crosses and high-balls. Your point implies that its more to do with height..which in my opinion is hyperbole.

  53. choy

    Morning all..

    I don’t think we need to play a half fit Cesc on sunday.

    Let him recover well. If he plays on sunday I am sure he goes off to the international games as well!

  54. Van-Arend

    Our first 11 in a 4-2-2-2 formation for penetration through the Center Zone. Letting Fabregas to play on Sunday is too risky for the long term.


    Sagna Squillaci Koscielny Gibbs

    Song Denilson

    Nasri Wilshere

    Chamakh Arshavin

  55. Arse&Nose©

    Dale, you can’t do that any-more they have up’d security at colney. Now your best bet is to become Arsenal member and apply to attend open training days.

  56. Denis

    That’ll clearly be
    Sagna Squil Kos Clichy
    Nasri Arshavin
    Jack ll play if cesc ins’t fit !
    Gibbs may replace clichy but i dont think so!
    No doubt about the starters vs the chavs !

  57. Chris G

    That midfield will get raped against essien, mikel and ramires. But i do see where your comming from. in my oppinion with Cesc back Song will resume his deep midfield roll and leave the rest to the other creative lot. I also have a good feeling Diaby will play. and if he does i believe he will have a good game. So the only thing i would change from your team is Song for Rosicky, Diaby/Denilson for Jack with jack comming on round the 60th min.

    Also remember the left won’t be as productive for chelsea as their right with Malouda and Cashley, so Nasri and Sanga at the left would be good with Koscielny and Squil switching sides. The whole Arshavin not defending thing is a myth imo.

  58. DeiseGooner

    Mornin Grovers. On the goalkeeping and high balls. Surely one of our coaches should pull Rosicky,Chamakh and the keepers aside and say hey guys heres a novel idea – Tom you can hit a mean cross when you are arsed so stand out here on the wing – Makh you run on in there to the box, you seem to be able to meet a cross under pressure from the keeper – oi you 4 – yes you Al, Chez, Vito and Fabz – get on your line there. Tom is gonna swing a few crosses onto the penalty spot, Makh here is gonna run meet them – you rush out there and stop him as best you can – punch or catch but dont clatter Makh too much.

  59. Chris G

    If Diaby has one of his good days he would rape Chelsea’s midfield. Ramires is not too bad. My midfield would be Song/Diaby/Cesc.

  60. arsenal4

    Interesting midfield choice – JW,Fab & Nasri – all are beast creativity wise … not sure though who would run and tackle when Drogba or Essien going forward … Fab definitely doesn’t have that pace, Nasri don;t even bother defending .. so Wilshere should be in the deeper role … but i do looking forward with this combination – should be very interesting if it happens – i don’t think such combination was on field ever

  61. Jaguar

    Choy,I accept Chamakh came good.But that retarded piece of shit Dudaby,wont ever come good.That mug is a disgrace to the Arsenal jersey.

  62. Jaguar

    Choy,when was the last time that retard Dudaby played well away against a half decent team.

    I dont blame him.Its all the fault of that nepotistic hypocritical parasite Wenger.

  63. Arse&Nose©

    ======From ANR======

    From Louise : Set Piece

    Wasn’t it a pleasant surprise to see a well-taken corner – Nasri into Squillaci for the 3rd goal. Why, even when we had David Beckham training at Colney a year or two ago, are we so poor at sending in a decent ball?

    Myles replies : They don’t practice that enough. It’s not spontaneous enough for a choreographer who loves the aesthetics of his very athletic football team. Enjoy Nasri while he can still kick a good dead ball. This is the biggest season of Nasri’s career. He has to deliver regularly. Will Arsenal score from another well-taken corner in the remaining three months of 2010? Don’t hold your breath.

  64. kneelbeforewenger

    I dont read ANR anymore.

    Its pointless to me, i already know what he’s gonna say.

    only thing worth reading are his stories about his past with bands.

  65. incesc

    anr is great, love myles, hes not even an arsenal fan you have to remember.

    Chris G

    diaby is shit, when has he ever taken a game by the scruff of its neck and won it for us?

    sometimes he makes less mistakes than usual but for a guy of his attributes he is one massive fucking dissapointment and should be sold

    in my opinion of course


  66. Gbenga

    Jaguar, did you watch Carling Cup final in 2007? if not, try to watch that match and see if Diaby on his good day can rape Chelsea midfield.

  67. Jaguar

    Gbenga,it was a good performance by Diaby.But his mindset has changed since then.Now that wanker knows that he would be selected every single match,if he contributes fuckall

  68. Arsenal Tom

    Jag… with jack thats not true now… he was dropped completely from the partizan squad. and when ramsey’s back he’ll have even more competition

  69. yawn

    this guy geoff must be a woman cos he keeps changing his mind about the state of the arsenal. after wba we’re rubbish. after partizan he’s licking his lips in anticipation. if you cant look past one poor result……………..everyone has a bad day ?

  70. gambon

    What a twat that bloke talking about Fabianski is, one good game in his first 3 years with the club and suddenly hes a god.

    We can definately win on Sunday, but the defence has to sort itself out, every sason after a few games we realise that we just cant defend.

    Im not sure we will win though.

    You know the old saying….’Chozzer might fly’.

  71. Mayank

    Yawn I don’t think anyone was licking their lips after the WBA game.
    The players grossly underperformed and the fans slightly over-reacted.

  72. gambon


    I dont think pointing out Diaby having a good game 3.5 years ago is a great idea.

    Maybe we should put Ray Parlour in the team? He had a blinder against Chelsea 8 years ago in Cardiff.

  73. Mayank

    Gambon, Fabianksi needs every bit of confidence he needs, even if it is from fans who think one good game makes him a great ‘Keeper.

  74. Mayank

    Also is Diaby too old for the game? Totally wrong comparison.
    All anyone ever says of him is that on his day he can boss any MF, which is true. Just that he doesn’t have too many of those days.

  75. gambon

    Mayank….praise leads to complacency which leads to slopiness like we saw at the weekend.

    Also I cant actually believe people think after 3 years of making a mistake a game hes suddenly gonna go 5 years without making any. Its the most irrational logic ive ever seen.

  76. DeiseGooner

    That GPS thingy Wenger installed is nowt to do with player training – its a collector of Gooner Vibes that gets fed directly into the players nervous system via that pack they wear on their backs. What do you think all the Eboue Hugs are about? Hes checking the implant is still in place on the players back. So when Eboue dances its the positive vibes overloading from other players to him – hes the battery for positive vibes they draw on when running low. So we have to think positive to fill up Fabianskis receptacle so he can play well – Eboue can do it alone guys!!

  77. Geoff

    Yawn, you obviously go a lot then, against WBA we were shit, he made 6 changes and against Partizan we were great, what part of that don’t you understand?