Archive for August 30th, 2008


Arsenal v. Newcastle


Something is going on with Adebayor — well maybe.  According to the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper, the boss is being somewhat tight lipped about it but loosened up enough to say that Adebayor was benched for the first half of the Twente match not because of normal rotations but because of some other reason.

Something about this story stinks of “The Sun Made This Up To Rile Arsenal Fans.”  I watched the Twente game (with a nice draft Pilsner Urquell at Doyle’s no less) and at half time Adebayor came out and had a kick around with the sprinklers.  He looked far from sad, he looked, well, he looked like a little kid.  Someone who loves playing football.  Which is how all sports stars should be.  I thought it was a great sign.

Sure, there are a few Arsenal fans who boo him (the most obvious person in any crowd is the asshole) because of what happened this summer but really those people need to get over it and get over themselves.  Which is basically the only actual quote I see attributed to Wenger not printed in the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper

In Adebayor’s case, he made maybe a little PR mistake. But, for what is really important – the way he practiced, the way he worked, the way he behaved on a daily basis – it is credit to him. And I think we have to be intelligent enough, the fans as well, to support him. Yes, some of them [have reacted]. But I think the majority are behind him.

I like that Wenger insults the booing fans intelligence.  But really, why on earth would you pay £100 to watch a match and boo your own player?  There are plenty of people on the other team to boo!  Like today, boo Nicky Butt.  Boo Joey Barton in absentia.  Boo Kevin Keegod for having horrible 70’s hair in this photo.

There’s so much more important things to boo, folks.  At worst, Ade was a tool this summer, at best he was screwed by the English press: get over it.

Especially today, Arsenal have a stern test ahead of them today and they need all the home support that you can muster.  I’m not suggesting that they should go Fenerbahce on Newcastle, just that it would be nice to hear some full-throated cheers. Because this Newcastle team is not the emotional and physical shambles that they were last year.

Already Newcastle have been to Old Trafford and held a despoiled Manchester United to a draw and today, I fully expect Michael Owen, Nicky Butt, and Obafemi Martins to come on and give Arsenal a good game.  With Butt in the midfield, stepping on ankles, Owen’s pace up front, and the random flashes of brilliance by the mercurial Martins I can easily see Newcastle going home with points.   Especially if you combine their positives with our negatives.

One of the glaring negatives right now is injuries.  Well, actually I see it as good/bad news: there haven’t been any changes since last week which means that Diaby, Silvestre, and the others are still out, but it also means that no one picked up a new injury!

Silvestre has a hard date set for his return (September 13, away to Blackburn) but worryingly Abou Diaby does not, reportedly “another couple of weeks.”  While Silvestre’s injury is termed a “thigh complaint” Diaby’s is called a full-blown “thigh injury.”  He and Rosicky are actually expected to return around the same time-ish: knock on wood.

All this really means for us is that Arsene will use the same 18 as we saw against Twente except that there will be some rotation.  Baring late injury/illness I expect the following:


Sagna    Toure    Gallas    Clichy

Cesc    Denilson    Nasri

Walcott   Adebayor    van Persie

Yes, I think Wenger is playing three up front.  Every time I’ve seen Walcott on he’s essentially playing a forward role so that’s where I’m putting him.  I suppose I could have done a half space and put him between the strikers and the midfielders but I’m lazy and that’s what you get.

Newcastle will have to look at Arsenal’s recent results and our injuries and be thinking that they could catch us unawares. Thus, the boys will have to be on their toes and put in the same whole-hearted effort that they did on Wednesday.  Let’s see it.

Up the Arse!

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