Emirates Stadium, London
August 21, 2010, 7:25 PM IST
From that eve at Anfield to present day, back at our home, The Emirates, Arsene Wenger has done absolutely nothing in the Transfer Window. It was opened for some time but due to really bad weather and incessant rain of ‘rejected bids’, it was closed back again, shut on our face and ‘Thanks for all the fish’ written all over it.
To make matters even worse, we have lost Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Frimpong to a knee surgery and a cruciate ligament injury respectively. While, the latter was not a part of our immediate first-team plans, the Frenchman who was easily our best player of pre-season, would be a BIG miss. Thomas Rosicky put up a very decent performance last weekend and would almost certainly start the game along with Marouane Chamakh and Andrei Arshavin, despite the latter’s poor game. Robin Van Persie, who spent a few minutes on the pitch the other day, will get a decent outing as well. He is a very important player for us and we would want him to have a fantastic season that would probably ‘define’ our season. Quite amusingly, the same thing was said at the start of the 2007-08’ season. Johann Djourou, shockingly, is fit to play alongside Thomas Vermaelen at the Center of our defence. The Full Backs will resume their normal duties but if Clichy doesn’t cut on his mistakes, he might not find his name on the Team sheet in a few weeks.
Above all, we’ll have our leader and most importantly, our fulcrum, back. Cesc Fabregas, who didn’t travel to Anfield due to sickness, will start his season against Blackpool unless Xavi and Puyol plan to abduct him tonight from North London.
Blackpool, who started the season with a thrashing at the DW stadium, will be at an all-time high on confidence and desire. Frontman Marlon Harewood provides a very decent offensive threat at the tip of the Seasiders’ attack-line. Charlie Adam is the lynchpin of the team and would involve himself in most of their attacking moves.
Blackpool, traditionally employ the 4-3-3 formation with the attacking wingers playing low most of the time, making it a very compact midfield. As far as new signings go, Israeli International Dekel Keinan, a Center back by profession, has been added to the scheme of things. Ian Holloway’s team may not be top-notch to beat Arsenal at their den, but they are quite capable of scoring a few goals and winning more than a few hearts with their brand of attacking football.
Arsenal Possible Starting Line-up: Almunia, Sagna, Djorou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Eboue, Arshavin, Chamakh.
Blackpool Possible Line-Up: Gilks, Baptiste, Evart, Cathcart, Crainey, Taylor-Fletcher, Adam, Vaughan, Grandin, Omerod, Harewood.
TheHardTackle’s Player to Watch out for: Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
The classy Belgium Center Back starts his second season with Arsenal and expects to anchor the defensive side of things for the team. With all the ‘senior’ Center Backs gone, he is our defensive spearhead. Arsenal title hopes largely depend on Vermaelen’s performance this season, expecially at home, where ideally ‘clean sheets’ are expected.