3 big questions to be answered before Arsenal play West Ham

3 big questions to be answered before Arsenal play West Ham

I’ve got very limited time today due to house party I’m organising for tomorrow. So, instead of the typical match preview that I might write up, I thought I’d cut it down to three big questions that I think deserve to be asked prior to the West Ham game. Here goes:

(1) Should Abou Diaby’s performance against Fenerbache see him brought into the starting team? And if Arsene Wenger plumps for 4-4-2, should it be at Denilson’s expense?

(2) William Gallas and Kolo Toure have both been passed fit to play by the manager. Should they both return or do Alex Song and Mikael Silvestre or even Johan Djourou deserve another shot?

(3) With Emmanuel Adebayor in a little bit of a form slump, should Nicklas Bendtner be brought in to partner Robin van Persie and freshen up the attack?

So there you have it. Personally I would be starting Diaby instead of Denilson, bringing Gallas back to partner Silvestre and giving Adebayor a rest. But that’s just my opinion.

Have a lovely weekend and in the meantime, let me know what you think. Cheers.

PS. Those looking for information on the AGM, check out Arseblog’s always thorough write-up here.

PPS. I’m super, super sorry but I won’t be naming the winner of the Arsenal shirt competition today. I just don’t have time to pull the winner out of the hat fairly so I will have to do that in Monday’s post. SORRY!

Have your say on the three big questions by leaving a comment.

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46 Responses to “3 big questions to be answered before Arsenal play West Ham”

  1. TA6
    October 24, 2008 at 6:34 pm #

    Good topic.
    1. Diaby deserves his chance. OK he may not be our new ‘Paddy’ but nor is Denilson, who is frankly not good enough for a team expecting to challenge for major honours. Abou gives us back some of that fear factor and will unnerve opposition with his unpredictability.
    2. With our ‘first choice’ CB’s struggling it seems a good oppertunity to try another pairing. I would love to see Djourou get a run. I thought he was MOTM in our opener against the baggies and has barely got a look in since.
    3. Adeego gets worse by the game. I wish we had got rid of this bad apple in the summer. Time to give Bendtner a go.

  2. ben azoa
    October 24, 2008 at 6:36 pm #

    What ever scad will crush W ham
    your article is like non suporter or a fun whos suport is not enough like the manager said.

  3. Ebuka Okeke
    October 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm #

    Diaby should start d match alongside with gallas and toure for a big win

  4. khoune
    October 24, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    Diaby is a good player, we saw his performent just in a game. I still am not sure in his defensive midfield perfoment at the games with the fast strikers ,because he is quite slow in actions.I think.

  5. Ebuka Okeke
    October 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    ade should try and score unless eduardo fitness will keep him on d bench

  6. TDP
    October 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    Those selections seem pretty good to me Spanish. Arsenal cannot afford to lose again though, so Ade has to be on the bench if RVP and Bendtner start.

    The only issue is whether or not Diaby will perform as well in a deeper role; against Fener he was in the hole and I might be tempted to play him in that role again with Ramsey replacing Denilson. The young Welshman showed some real defensive ability when he came on in Turkey and won the ball in midfield and showed a determination to stop attacks that Denilson hasn’t been showing. Big gamble however.

  7. Nirav
    October 24, 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    I would like to see Diaby play in a more defensive role and see how he does.

    Also, I really, really want Djourou to get a game… TO me, he is the answer to our central defense problems. Though I have a stinking feeling that at some point, Wenger is going to use Djourou as a DM

  8. Chudi Illoh
    October 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    Abou should be given a steady run of games to keep him in good shape.

    Adebayor should start from the bench and let’s start the pair of RVP and Bendtner.

    The Centre Backs appear to be Arnesal’s weakest link and the gaffer should do something about it urgently if we hope to touch any silver ware this term.

  9. webster
    October 24, 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    Yes diaby should be given a chance as he is both defensive and attackin.what arsenal currently needs is a defensive midfielder and if you look at the game with fenerbache clearly the defence was polorous as there where not supported by the midfielders.

  10. LuxinBrasil
    October 24, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Diaby must play….the Fenebache performance proves he is the player to free up Fab …it must be at the expense of Denilson…although i still rate him highly i have to concede that for an overall team performance he is not the player to be alongside Fab in the centre of the park.

    I fancy seeing a Djourou/Sivestre partnership at the back…i know Gallas and Toure are excellent players but i reckon these two could hit it off!

  11. JAY
    October 24, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    If Diaby is fit (Remember just had a 3 month lay off) he should play. Gallas and Djourou at tghe centre of defense and i would play Adebayor and Vela up front as he could be the man to get in behind the Hammers’ shaky defense.

  12. TT
    October 24, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    erm…what about van Persie’s terrible form. Why does Ade get all of the stick form the supporters. He is our second best striker behind Eduardo.

  13. Musta
    October 24, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    1.Diaby’s performance in the last two apperances was amazing and i think that he will will be in the starting line up against west ham in the expense of denilson.
    2.Our weakest link is our CBs.I personally think that our all CBs are struguling from gallas+toure to Silves.+song,i just think johan is a really good but still i cann’t see him yet a regular player in our starting line ups.
    3.Ade. he is a good player and i think he should be kept playing alongside RVP.

  14. Jammathon
    October 24, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    Yo, Spanish Fry. Long time no comment. Is there anything in the pipeline with the supporters’ club for the NLDerby on Wednesday evening?

  15. Lompri
    October 24, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    i don’t think diaby is the right man for that role for now, he is slow and gets tired easily. he is only fit in when denilson is in, jst
    like in the past match. i think denilson is doing well, we gotta b patience wit him like flamini. he could b better.

  16. Panda Bear
    October 25, 2008 at 1:19 am #

    Diaby should play.

    Gallas should partner Silvestre.

    Adebayor shouldn’t be rested.

  17. Dennis Gooner
    October 25, 2008 at 1:34 am #

    Here’s a song to cheer us all up before the game.

    To the tune of American Pie

    A long, long time ago,
    I can still remember,
    How the Carling Cup win made them smile,
    And they knew this could be their chance,
    To finally make that big advance,
    And maybe, break the top 4 for a while.

    But transfer windows made them shiver,
    As Robbie Keane went off to Liver…..
    Pool, and Berbs to Man U,
    You can’t believe it can you?
    Tears of laughter we all cried,
    As on Bent they have to rely,
    And Frasier Campbell really tried,
    The Day That Tottenham Died !

    So my my kiss UEFA goodbye,
    When Comoli sold the Goalie,
    Well it made Levy cry,
    When you play for Spurs you kiss Capello goodbye,
    Soon your gonna be a Magpie,
    I bet you wish you were a Magpie.

    Did your players eat the poisoned food,
    To let Arsenal in and spoil your mood,
    If the fansite tells you so,
    Do you believe in Chas n Dave,
    Can their music save you from an early grave,
    And can Dawson teach me how to run real slow,
    Well, I knew you were set for a let down,
    When the Spaniard signed the Blackburn clown,
    You sacked poor Martin Jol,
    And now everyone just laughs out loud,
    I have long been laughing at your lack of luck,
    Your delusion means I couldn’t give a f***,
    That to the table bottom you are stuck,
    The day the Tottenham died,
    I started singing……..

    So my my kiss UEFA goodbye,
    When Comoli sold the goalie,
    Well it made Levy cry,
    When you play for Spurs you kiss Capello goodbye,
    Soon your gonna be a Magpie,
    I bet you wish you were a Magpie.

  18. Jay
    October 25, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    I’ve always admired Diaby and would really love to see him start tomorrow.

    When he played in Fenerbahce, I thought he would have more of a holding mid-fielders role. Till he kept attacking & even scored. Then I remembered the Diaby of ‘old’ who was scoring and setting up goals in rapid succession. Sure he’s not a goal-machine by any standard, but I don’t think we can slot him for defensive duties. Yeah he might win back a few balls, but I say leave him as an attacking mid-fielder! Even in that position he’s way better than Denilson!

    It’s doubtful Wenger will go for a 4-5-1 at West Ham. I, for one, wouldn’t be upset to see Denilson replaced by Diaby & Bendtner coming on instead of either Adebayor or Persie, though that seems highly unlikely.

    I think Song should move out of the back four for a while longer. Keep the line as Eboue-Toure/Gallas-Silvestre-Clichy

    Drop either Toure/Gallas for this game and let the other play. I’m not one of those baying for Gallas’ blood, but he hasn’t exactly been captain material…

    Oh well… one could never begin to get into Le Boss’ head. Wonder what he’s gonna do… Guess we’ll just have to wait n’ watch!

  19. C-Bass
    October 25, 2008 at 3:35 am #

    Thanks Dennis Gooner I needed that.

    As for the blog…

    1)With abs like that it has to be Diaby. Nevermind his performance against Fenerbache.

    2)I’d imagine it’s back to Gallas and Toure for better or worse.

    3)Ade is a workhorse but everyone has to rest at one point or another. If not this week then the next. Time for big Nik to show what he can do with a start.

  20. Jamesgillesp
    October 25, 2008 at 4:00 am #

    Hey Spanish,

    I reckon Diaby deserves a chance – he is stronger and better on the ball than Denilson – but its not Wenger’s style just to drop players like that.

    Silvestre should play on Sunday – but I don’t know who will partner him.

    Adebayor shouldn’t be dropped – he scored midweek – and although he hasn’t been great I think he will come good.

    Have a good house party! Watch out for angry neighbours – I’ve had some problems this week with that…

  21. TayGoon
    October 25, 2008 at 4:10 am #

    If Diaby starts it will be in the hole in a 4-5-1. I guess AW will put player in who can allow him to change back and forth from 4-4-2 and a 4-5-1. This means Diaby might start on the bench and RVP starts. Denilson will keep his place. I would love to see Sylvester and Kolo in CD. Sylvester is a bit reserved going forward and Kolo is faster than Gallas so if he goes forward he can recover quickly. If we have Sylvestre and Djourou, there would be less load for the Denilson because all 2 are cautious going forward and with Djourou being a DM, he will share the load with Denilson, but I doubt if it will free Denilson as much to push forward.

    Adebayor is not scoring but he is doing a very good job. He is actually defending from the top (keeping everybody occupied). RVP has missed a few, but for a player of his calliber, someone is not going to be as lucky in the near future, and sticking him on the bench won’t help.

    PS: It didn’t take even 2 days to hear “Ramsey for Denilson” after I made the comment the other day. I ‘ll be interested to see how many days it takes to have “Coquelin for Denilson”

  22. Jay
    October 25, 2008 at 4:20 am #

    Diaby to start. Djourou to partner Gallas/Toure, however started the WBA game, cnt remember :S. Vela should play upfront with RvP. Niklas subbed on.

  23. TayGoon
    October 25, 2008 at 4:22 am #

    @ Lompri – Diaby can do a very good job @ DM, he has been AW first choice to start the season on that role for 2 seasons now. He was even ahead of Flamini as a replacement for Gilberto. I guess you are judging him on his performance in different roles. You don’t want your AM, Support Striker, or a winger to defend all the time even if he has to attack, do you?. When he plays as an attacker he will have to play the role, take on people and live dangerously. I believe if asked to play as DM, he will adjust for the role and cut out some of the dribling, and focus on defending.

    Here is the problem for him. He has allowed Denilson too much time to grow into the position and it will be up to Denilson to lose it to him.

  24. Demetrio
    October 25, 2008 at 5:36 am #

    After seeing the picture of Gallas leaving a night club in the early hours of the morning with a cigarette in his mouth, its clear Arsenal are not high up on his list of priorities. Gallas should sit and Djourou should be given a chance. Not only should Gallas sit because of the picture that was released but also because he is rubbish and has been for some time now. Diaby i think should be given the chance. Maybe he just had a good game at Fener, maybe Fener’s horrible defence was part of it, or maybe Diaby is starting to mature as a player and has more knowledge of when to pass and when he can use his tricks to take on his man. West Ham is always a tough game against the big 4 and if Wenger doesnt field the right squad, we could drop points again.

    As for Ade, RVP isnt in the best of form either. If Nick deserves a shot then i think the same goes for Vela. Dont sit Ade when his parnter up front is in just as bad form. If thats the case sit them both since they are both rubibish and give Nick and Vela the run out. I think the squad should stay the same as it was in Turkey, but maybe bring in Toure to partner Silvestre or Djourou.

  25. Jay
    October 25, 2008 at 5:42 am #

    @ Demetrio – Nick and Vela play great together and they need some more game time. Start them both. The link up well, score goals and are a great strike partnership. Sub On Ade or Rvp later on.

  26. Jamesgillesp
    October 25, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    Maybe Gallas should be dropped for a few games..

  27. John
    October 25, 2008 at 6:58 am #

    I trust Wenger to choose between the two formations for each match. He can be seemingly stubborn, however, and I wish he would be more willing to change the formation/line-up before the 75 minute mark if things just aren’t right.
    I prefer Eboue as far from the opponents goal as possible. His quality of play gets better the farther back he plays. The sight of the goal drives him bat-shit crazy. For now, while Sagna is out, the back four should be Eboue, Djourou, Silvestre, Clichy. Djourou being the only center with the kind of presence that can really partner with Silvestre’s experience. Gallas has lost my trust at the moment. In the middle, Walcott, Cesc, Diaby, Nasri. I’m still not sure who I would pair with Cesc in the middle but I have the crazy idea of throwing Song in the middle with Diaby and Cesc when we go to 5 in the middle. If I’m missing an obvious flaw in my logic please tell me. In my head it works fairly well. Song playing just ahead of djourou and silvestre, allowing both Cesc and Diaby to be more forward thinking.
    I really don’t think there is a wrong answer up top. The trick is for Wenger to know whose form is on that day and whose skill set is most likely to break down each defensive unit faced. Ade, Bendtner, RVP. Between those 3 we should always have a more than adequate 1-2 man front line.

  28. andrew
    October 25, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    First Question Galas off pitch behaviour.smoking ban

  29. Spanish Fry
    October 25, 2008 at 7:29 am #

    @ John – “The sight of goal drives him bat-shit crazy”.

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read on here in a long, long time. You’re welcome back anytime!

  30. Demetrio
    October 25, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    @ John – I agree with that back line 100% – Eboue, Djourou, Silvestre, Clichy. I Also wouldn’t be mad is it was Toure and Djourou or Silvestre, just because Toure brings speed to the backline that no one can run past him, and he can run down anyone who does break the offside trap. As for midfield, i think Wenger unless he is comfortable taking a point, needs to stop playing 1 up front. With Eduardo i wouldnt mind since he can take his chances well and score, but with Ade and RVP neither have impressed me enough that i think they can work up top by themselves and be effective. So in that case either Song or Diaby will have to sit. If Diaby plays the way he did against Fener then i think he should be given the chance. He was all over the place (sorta like Falmini last season) plus he adds the ability to score goals.
    Against west ham i would like to see

    Eboue Djourou Silvestre/Toure Clichy

    Walcott Diaby Fabregas Nasri

    Nick Vela

    If they did go with a one man attack put Song behind Diaby and Fab as John said and Ade up front since he has the size and strength over Nick and RVP. Although i do like Nicks work rate over Ade’s who looks dead out there at times

  31. Spanish Fry
    October 25, 2008 at 9:26 am #

    @ Demetrio – I think dropping RVP and Ade is pretty crazy. You can’t just go into a must-win game like this with that much of an experimental strikeforce. Rest RVP or Ade if you will but not both at once, it makes no sense. Especially considering RVP was rested against Fenerbache midweek.

  32. knighton
    October 25, 2008 at 3:49 pm #

    nick and vela starting upfront??? are some pips crazy in here? that’s like starting wilshere, ramsey and barazite in th midfield against man u!! only one of ade or rvp should be rested and my pick is ade coz he has started in virtually all games this season. bentdner n rvp should start but ade will have to come in for nick later as u will realise tht we get so blunt without ade upfront.. i knw nick has a better eye for th goal than ade but he just does not scare defenders at all and whenever he starts we get less threatening.

    i want to see diaby start and djorou and syl/toure in defence

  33. Speedy Pete
    October 25, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    I think one thing that has to be in people’s mind when selecting a mid-field is that every team is keying in on Fabregas and Fabregas has made adjustment in his own game by dribbling more in front of goal –I think whoever plays along side Fabregas is not going to have a pure DM role. Since RvP has been rested he will start, then bring on Bendtner and Denilson who link up better. If Wesh Ham is going to play 10 guys behind the ball and the game is close at the break, then bring on Diaby for Denilson and let him have a go at goal.

    Back four: Eboue, Toure, Djourou and Clichy.

  34. guyfrmars
    October 26, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    1. Diaby’s on form but our back 4 is still shaky and it’s well worth playing DM, Song or even Denilson. Would like to see Wenger try out Diaby, Cesc partnership against weaker teams.

    2. Gallas Toure partnership seems shaky. Would like to see Johan or even Silvestre partner either Gallas or Toure. Silvestre’s performance was a bit suspect but al he need is more games.

    3. Adebayor. The great conundrum. Why Wenger is still playing him when it’s obvious he’s not interested to be there. Bench him i say. By protecting him and starting him every game, it gives out wrong signals that mediocracy is tolerated. I cast my vote for Bendtner.

  35. RBP-The Next RVP
    October 26, 2008 at 4:06 am #

    i prefer Diaby to Denilson in the midfield, as he he is a more phycial player, as for defence i’d like to see Djourou and the whoever AW prefers to put as the other partner…and as for forward, well RVP most definitely, and in my opinion maybe give vela, instead of bednter, a shot??

  36. LuxinBrasil
    October 26, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    Ramos and half the frontline at the Spuds have been sacked!!!….according to the bbc Harry Redknapp has agreed to take over,

    pleased that the clubs goign through turmoil…..want them to lose more…and this should help….but i dont want harry to go there!

  37. dmoney
    October 26, 2008 at 10:49 am #

    Even when Adebayor is on a slump he is better up front than Bendtnor, his one touch is deadly and when he is unable to get goals he is offering countless amounts of assists. For Arsenal to become the a more letal attacking force eboue need to go forward when he gets the opertunity and Vanpersie need to start putting away his chances.
    When it comes to the backline i would really love to see how Sivestre’s calm and collectiveness works with Gallas’ work ethics.

  38. TayGoon
    October 26, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    Wheather we like it or not, our best two strikers are RVP and Adebayor. When Eduardo comes back, he will replace Adebayor in MY pecking order. In terms of quality, Adebayor fights with Vela for 4th spot behind Bendtner. The one thing that Adebayor have is speed and workrate above everyone else. I believe he is even faster than Theo (off the ball). That, with his workrate makes him more preferable to Bendtner.

    The bottom line is, Adebayor offers a lot to the team even when he is not scoring, on the physical aspect, and RVP is probably the best striker in the EPL in the technical aspect. Those 2 will start for us as much as possible until Eduardo is able to do his magic once again. Somehow I fear that we are losing the chance to utilize Bendtner who in my book is better than Ade.

  39. TayGoon
    October 26, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    @dmoney – Gallas work ethics is mainly individualistic showmanship. if you want true workmanship @ the back you should look at Toure

  40. jay
    October 27, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    A smart sub by AW to bring Ade on the pitch won the game. Ade made the OG and then got another. I was beginning to get worried. Shocked to see Liverpool win at Chelsea after there display against Wigan and Chelsea’s performace v Boro.

  41. dmoney
    October 27, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    I really hope all of you who were talking about Bendtner being better than Ade are hiding right now. in fact dont come back bloging until the next two games. you guys were probebly bloging from a pub some where because thatis pure nonsense. Do me a favour if you drink dont blog.

  42. dmoney
    October 27, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    @TyGoon- No doubt that Toure is a monster in our backline, i wouldnt sacrifice him for Gallas at all but i wouldnt want to see Toure in at Gallas’ expense either. Gallas migh be guilty of a little showmanship sometimes but he can tackle. i am very comfortable with the two original fullbacks clechy and Sanga but i like Tore, Gallas and i like the calmness of Silvestre so who do we exclude.

  43. jay
    October 27, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Those people thinking Bendtner is better than Ade are talking nonsense. Niklas is talented but not as talented as Ade. Ade changed the game for us, and made both goals, the own goal and his goal however I have not seen a pass quite like the pass Bendtner gave Ade for the second. Fabregas is king of the passes but Niklas provided a magical pass! Spuds finally one, meaning they have just picked up form just as they are due to face us. BLOODY TYPICAL!

  44. TayGoon
    October 27, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    Bendtner made a great pass to Adebayor but the best moment for me was when Bendtner, after providing Ade with a delightfull ball, and Ade falling on his but after missing the chance, there came big Nick to pick big Ade up. Oh! so much love between those two it made me cry(oops! is anyone reading this?)

  45. Demetrio
    October 27, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    @ Jay. Dont look too much into the Spuds winning. Like win Zola took over for West Ham, the game before they were impressive. Guys always play better when a new manager comes in because they want to impress to keep their places or fight for first team football with their new manager. They will come back down from their high as did West Ham. Hopefully we can put them back in their place.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Arsenal FC Blog | Wenger’s West Ham redemption + Arsenal shirt winner announced - October 27, 2008

    […] I posed three questions prior to the match against West Ham which I thought would shape the nature of Arsenal’s result at Upton Park. The first centred around Denilson being taken out of the side and replaced by either Abou Diaby or Alex Song. He was, with Song coming into the side to partner Cesc Fabregas in a 4-4-2 formation and putting in a bloody good performance to boot. […]

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