Bendtner deserves to start against Blackburn

Bendtner deserves to start against Blackburn

Blackburn v ArsenalBlackburn v Arsenal Match Preview

Arsenal go to Ewood Park on Sunday night to play their second game of the Premier League season against Blackburn Rovers. After their last-gasp win over Fulham last weekend and a controlled 2-0 Champions League qualification victory away to Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic, Arsenal will want to keep their positive start to the season going against an underrated Blackburn side. Manager Arsene Wenger was asked earlier this week whether he thought his side could win the Premiership and whilst he agreed it was possible Wenger was keen to keep things in perspective.

“We have only played one game in the League. We will learn more in 20 games. We will have to play Chelsea and Liverpool as well at some stage. At the moment all we want to do is have a good run and get good momentum.”

The game against Blackburn will be followed by tough matches against Manchester City, Portsmouth and Tottenham before slightly easier games (on paper, at least) against Derby, West Ham and Sunderland. There will surely be some points dropped over that time but when you consider that Arsenal’s first nine fixtures are Liverpool-, Manchester United- and Chelsea-free, there is a real opportunity for the boys to have a good run and get some momentum going.

Nicklas Bendtner would cause havoc for the Blackburn defenceInjuries mean Bendtner should start

Arsenal’s biggest challenge on Sunday will be dealing with the loss of a couple of key players and the physical nature of a Blackburn side managed by former Manchester United player Mark Hughes. A knee injury to Tomas Rosicky should see Alexander Hleb pushed to the left side of midfield and Emmanuel Eboue’s ankle problem will mean Theo Walcott should get his first start of the season on the right. I have been of the strong opinion that Arsenal still desperately need to bring another winger for extra cover and this weekend’s mini injury crisis illustrates that point perfectly. Indeed, the fact that Hleb will surely be pushed wide despite his exhilarating start to the season playing centrally is incredibly frustrating and will mean either Eduardo da Silva or Nicklas Bendter will be asked to play as support for Robin van Persie.

With Eduardo still not 100% I would absolutely love to see Bendtner start against Blackburn. He looked great in pre-season and made a big difference to the team after coming on against Fulham, providing strength and aerial ability that Wenger’s side often lacked. Blackburn are known to play a very tough brand of football but there’s no question that the big Dane and his massive frame would be able to look after himself. I think if Wenger fails to put him in the starting team then Arsenal will struggle in attack against Blackburn.

Williams Gallas needs to step up against BlackburnDefence needs to stand firm

The key to Arsenal winning this match will be their defence. Despite all the injuries in midfield and attack I have to say it’s been a nice feeling to see the first-choice defence unchanged in three matches and I’m sure Jens Lehmann, Bacary Sagna, William Gallas, Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy will start again against Blackburn. This is the type of game that could be won by a good defensive performance and I will be expecting the likes of Gallas and Toure to step up and really help out the smaller pair of Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas in central midfield. Apart from Lehmann’s ridiculous bungle early on against Fulham the defence hasn’t conceded in two games and a third shut-out would see us win the match.

With the Manchester United coming up against their rejuvenated city rivals without Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney and Liverpool hosting Chelsea (check out a great preview of that match on Blue Champions) there is sure to be some points dropped by Arsenal’s major title rivals this weekend. If Arsenal can keep up the positive start then there will be all to play for in the coming weeks. I have some real doubts about this game and I think the decision of whether or not to start Bendtner could be crucial. With that in mind I’m tipping a 2-0 win if he starts and a 1-1 draw if he doesn’t. Either way, they’ll be a match report to follow tomorrow.

What do you think?

Voice your thoughts in the build-up to the Arsenal-Blackburn game by leaving a comment.

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46 Responses to “Bendtner deserves to start against Blackburn”

  1. maysam
    August 19, 2007 at 6:47 am #

    I am a chelsea fan and I hated Arsenal , well I don’t hate them anymore because they are not strong enough to compete with chelsea anymore. BUT this season they have a good team. This season Arsenal is dangerous.
    I predict : Arsenal 2-1 Balckburn .

  2. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 6:49 am #

    Good to hear your thoughts. What do you think about the Chelsea-Liverpool game tonight? Chelsea to win?

  3. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 8:23 am #

    well spanish it will be a difficult game, we did win there last season when gilberto got sent off, and well we played crap there with the fa cup game.
    we can beat them, they have better attacking players in roque santa cruz, he is looking like a good signing for them and marco riegters, so i guess they will play an attacking game too.
    am going for 3-0 arsenal, i got a feeling we going to be ruthless and aggressive and shock blackburn.
    if we can get an early goal, then that would be brillant.
    id like to see niklas bendtner start with eduardo, maybe van persie can play on the left in a 4-3-3 attacking and defending as a 4-5-1.
    but it maybe a similar game like sparta, just get aggressive and play out the half, they will be tired, they played on thursday and take them out in the second half.
    this team usually scores in the second half, look at the stats

  4. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 8:39 am #

    i honestly think we should go in with the holland formation you know.

    eduardo bendtner van persie

    flamini hleb fabregas

    clichy gallas toure sagna

    lehmann

  5. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 8:56 am #

    “well I don’t hate them anymore because they are not strong enough to compete with chelsea anymore. BUT this season they have a good team. This season Arsenal is dangerous.”

    Contradict yourself there a bit!?!! Must have just hopped on the bandwagon.. Arsenal fans dont hate Chelsea, we dont even think of them. They are not a club who through excellent business management over decades made themselves what they are. No, it was bought. And mark my words: What comes easily can go just as easily. Years of hard work and business savvy, combined with the best football the nation has ever seen is what it takes to make a club great. As I said, we dont hate Chelsea.. we dont think of you at all.

  6. NicktheGooner
    August 19, 2007 at 8:59 am #

    Injuries to Rosicky and Eboue and now we are short on wingers. I was not much convinced with Walcott’s performance on the right and i fear he won’t be much of a threat against physical sides. Can’t see why Arsene isnt buying a winger.
    If Eduardo is fit, i’d prefer that he starts. He is a good determined player from what i’ve seen in the pre-season. A 2-1 win for us.

  7. NicktheGooner
    August 19, 2007 at 9:01 am #

    Well said Sam..! “What comes easily can go just as easily”

  8. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 9:05 am #

    GS: thats a line-up I have always liked/wanted to see. I feel it would work best when Fabs/Diaby/Denilson are in the middle. Or Gil when gets his fitness back. in front of them woulbe be RVP/Ade(Bendtner)/Eduardo. Both Eduardo and RVP can both play with advanced width. Not suggesting they play as wingers, but they both nave the ability to spread the front line. could go from a 4-3-3 to a 4-5-1. Saying all that, my fav is still a 4-4-2 to 2 natural wingers.. not unlike the formation during our most successful league campaign.

  9. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 9:51 am #

    “Id like to see niklas bendtner start with eduardo, maybe van persie can play on the left in a 4-3-3”

    I really don’t agree with this GS. Moving van Persie wide would be criminal – he is our main striker now and should remain there at this point in time.

    “Contradict yourself there a bit!?!! Must have just hopped on the bandwagon..”

    I think what he means is that he used to dislike Arsenal a lot when they caused Chelsea problems but in the last few seasons Chelsea haven’t really had to worry about Arsenal. I think it’s good to see a ful-blooded Chelsea fan admit that Arsenal are dangerous – a lot of silly ones are writing us off again.

    I do sound a bit grumpy today, don’t I?! I’m very worried about this game. As I said, without Bendtner I think we’ll struggle a little bit. Anyone going to the game?

  10. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 10:00 am #

    spanish, van persie is a forward player, he aint a striker but he is so deadly when on the right hand side.
    wenger loves players that can play many positions, and our forward line well we can play 4-3-3.
    eduardo is capable of drifting out wide and coming in the box.
    am sure the boss has tried this in training

  11. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    I do agree with you – but I don’t think it would be a smart move at this stage of the season with the current players Arsenal have available. I wrote an article about it a while ago you can read here. I quoted: “There is a chance that with the return of van Persie from injury Wenger may turn this 4-5-1 into a more attacking 4-3-3 formation with Adebayor in the middle supported by Alexander Hleb on the left and van Persie on the right.”

  12. barry
    August 19, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    i love arsenal.

  13. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    yeh, but i think the most important thing in pre-seaosn was adapting to formations.
    we had to have plan a, b, c and z as well.

  14. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 10:54 am #

    Too true. So, what would be your formation for the game then? At this point in time I’d go for:

    Lehmann

    Sagna Gallas Toure Clichy

    Walcott Flamini Fabregas Hleb

    van Persie Bendtner

  15. Gooner Haggis lover
    August 19, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    I really hope we win the game this afternoon, but I have my doubts. We won at Ewood last year with ten men, but that was down mainly to the brilliance of TH14. If we can keep them quiet early doors, and stamp out the early defensive slips that have dogged us recently, then I think we have an excellent chance to score on the counter-attack.
    I’ll be disappointed if Hleb gets pushed wide, because he really has been a revelation in that central role, but I suppose he could be more effective on the left than he was on the right. He played on the left for Stuggart, right? And I heard he was on blisteringly form in that position for them. Let’s just hope the Swen-sation can continue against Man Ure. Keep up the good work Spanish; you’re really doing a cracking job with the site.

  16. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 11:52 am #

    i think if we get a goal within 30 mins that would be brillant, work on it too.
    but if its 0-0, then we can attack in the 2nd half, like the sparta game.
    but an early goal from us, will worry them loads.
    we worry about santa cruz, but what about there defence of nelson and samba, tall phyiscal players and will be tough to get past.

  17. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 12:17 pm #

    It’s strange – I’m not overly worried about Santa Cruz. I hope it doesn’t come back to bite me, but every time I’ve seen him play (for either Bayern Munich or Paraguay) he hasn’t impressed me. I know he scored against Middlesbrough but I don’t think he’ll be quite the threat that a lot of people might expect.

  18. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 2:19 pm #

    Quick update – Eduardo has started up front, Hleb is on the right. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

  19. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 3:41 pm #

    lehmann the twat, thats enough man, get rid of this german please.

  20. Spanish Fry
    August 19, 2007 at 4:05 pm #

    1-1 it finishes. Arsenal dominated the first half, Blackburn the second but an error from Jens Lehmann let Blackburn into it after van Persie’s first half goal. Disappointing, but not a bad result.

  21. Joshua Asante
    August 19, 2007 at 6:05 pm #

    Once again Lehmann has made another mistake and its cost us two fantastically earned points.
    Remember Seaman,when he started getting on and making costly mistakes,the down Lehmann is costing us vital away points,time for change.
    Someone help me find a Video of all Lehmann mistakes over the years with Arsenal it’s just terrible.

  22. Klon
    August 19, 2007 at 6:23 pm #

    I am going to have to disagree with you SF,I would class that as a bad result. We had the quality on the pitch but we were unable to run the mid-field.

    The good news is we refused to be bullied but we could still not run the game from the middle of the park we allowed BB back into the game so they could attack with wave after wave and finally they got lucky.

  23. gunnershabz
    August 19, 2007 at 6:24 pm #

    i dont know, lehmann needs a kick up the back side, just dropp the twat for 4 games, get almunia in.
    i did see an improvement from last season though, we just need our players fit.
    our squad is really getting tested, and these injuries are comming thick and fast already, we have to buy at least 2 players in my opinion, not up front but a winger and maybe a defender

  24. Klon
    August 19, 2007 at 6:33 pm #

    Lehman should have caught that everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. However need to sort out our CM pairing, Flamini actually puts himself about but I feel that he does not dominate the centre and we also failed to keep hold of the ball in the second half.
    Definately an improvement on last season, I thought our defence was OK though.

  25. Jay
    August 19, 2007 at 7:07 pm #

    LEHMANN cost us 2 points. Sell him and bring in soemone else. I really like Jose Santiago Canizarez of Valencia, he is a class keeper and would help us gain points not drop them.

  26. Joshua Asante
    August 19, 2007 at 7:32 pm #

    Arsenal have to buy at least 2 players,a winger and may be a defender.”From here”
    1.Curtis Davis
    2.Luka Modric
    3.Diarra
    4.Micah Richards
    5.Nicolas Anelka
    6.Gouffran
    7.Jan Huntelaar
    8.Pedersen
    9.Ricardo Quaresma
    10.Guti

  27. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    I feel bad for the 10 outfield players who battled a “violent” BB side. They put themselves about to be undone by another clanger from Mad Jens.

  28. Demetrio
    August 19, 2007 at 8:32 pm #

    i agree with everyone else, Lehmann needs to go, tho its not all his fault, if they woulda actually played in the 2nd instead of tryin to foul players back, Lehmann wouldnt have been put in that situation. Arsenal dominated the 1st after about 20 mins, then in the second were too worried about the little shit going on around the pitch. They didnt play Arsenal style football which gave BB most of the ball and is why they scored. Arsenal were playing WAY too many long balls, and Pedersen should have been sent off for stepin on Fabragas’s head. It looked like Arsenal were too worried about proving to everyone else that they were tough and could play rough football and got away from playing the beatuiful style of passin football.

  29. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 9:05 pm #

    “It looked like Arsenal were too worried about proving to everyone else that they were tough and could play rough football and got away from playing the beatuiful style of passin football.”

    Cake and eat it too? BB will not allow a team to play football against them. They will do everything to stop that happening. I think we displayed a good blend of styles, only to be undone by our keeper. Before, we might have lost that game. We have been criticised for not having a plan b. Then, when we do a fine job of plan b, we are criticised for not playing our normal game. Ugh. We will prefect the combination of tough physical play with silky stylish attack. It will just take more time. What is PAINFULLY apparent is how much we need a true winger, or two.

  30. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 10:30 pm #

    Having watched the replay… Denilson/Fab/Flamini where all ball watching while Dunn ran thru for his shot. All 3 central midfielders where within 8yds of each other when Dunn played the ball. He made our 3 midfielders useless with one pass. Then ran by them. Denilson didnt stay with Dunn. Jens didnt help matters, but if we had defended as a team, we would have won that game. Dunn had no right to even get the shot off.

  31. Klon
    August 19, 2007 at 10:31 pm #

    Sam nix: They over ran us in the second half when they started playing football. What is PAINFULLY apparent to me is how much we miss Gilberto Silva. There is no one in the team capable of dominating a mid-field.
    All our pre-seasons showed that even lesser teams could come at us through the middle. Much as I dis-like Robbie Savage I think he would do well in our team.

  32. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 10:47 pm #

    Klon: I hate Savage too. He kicked his leg out at Toure and cried for a penalty. Then he mugs someone and gets oin their face that they are diving. If a thug is what you are after, I would prefer Barton! Gilberto is agreeably missed, but marking and following your man is fundamental to football. Something all of our midfielders need to do better. We have spoken at great lnegth on this site about how we need to defend better as a team. We need to do it with or wothout Gil. Also, Ghil doesnt dominate midfields.. he isnt a Vieria/Keane/Essien type of player. he compliments others wonderfully due to his amazing vision, positional awareness etc… Any team will always miss a player like him…

  33. Demetrio
    August 19, 2007 at 11:01 pm #

    I agree with you sam nix, and is what i was saying. Jens didnt help, but we cant put all the blame on him, our defence shouldnt have let Dunn get that shot off in the first place, in saying that, i still think Jens needs to sit, he is horrible right now, i dunno if its a lack of concentration or what. Im not a big fan of Almunia, but he wouldnt have made those 2 mistakes Jens has made. And if it wasnt for those 2 mistakes Arsenal would have not allowed any goals and would have 6 pts.

  34. sam nix
    August 19, 2007 at 11:29 pm #

    I’m all for Almunia having a go. Jens’ head isnt in it right now…

  35. Kwadwo
    August 20, 2007 at 5:54 am #

    Sure Nick proved his skill in the dying minutes when he came in. Give him the chance Arsene. GET RID OF THAT OLD GUY Jens Lehmann. How many times is he going to hold his head in shame and shake off in regret.

    We are fed up with his mistakes. Try Fabianski and let Jens retire to the sidelines.

  36. knightman
    August 20, 2007 at 6:28 am #

    the blame is fully on lehnmann..he seemed too relaxed from the start of the game. remember the pedersen free kick?he was got totally unawares.i think he needs to change his ‘i know it all- the holywood style’ attitude (which by the way makes him loose concentration) and get serious or alternatively, let’s see what Almunia can do. at least he still got something to prove and he’ll give us all his best.

    that injury to Gallas gave us the heaviest blow and Senderos, no matter how hard we try to see him improved, is still panicky and too nervous to be totally depended on..how about we get Richards? just a thought

  37. gunnershabz
    August 20, 2007 at 6:39 am #

    we wont get richards, this guy is 19 and he is having strikers in his pocket.
    we keep on saying excuses oh he is young, he will learn. but micah ricards is different class.
    man city will never sell him unless he wants to leave for a bigger club and he does support arsenal.
    anyways lehmann has to stop being casual, he moans and everyone knows he is the weak spot in the team, especially for set pieces, i will admit it, sometimes he scares me.
    it was a good performance in defence, sagna played brillantly, he has been our best defender, i aint worried about him.
    theo walcott could of made it 2-0 in the first half then the game would of been buried, he had a chance to roll the ball across, but he just chipped it heavly and van persie could not get near it.
    that was the best chance

  38. Mimi wenu
    August 20, 2007 at 6:42 am #

    I was only able to catch the second half and I just have a feeling we might continue struggling against mid-table and lower teams again unless something happens. Why is it so difficult for the Manager to see that a winger is a MUST if Arsenal are to pose a strong challenge for the title?

    Speaking about the BB game, I think bringing on Bendtner instead of Denilson at that point in time might have eased the pressure and probably given us the win. I just feel the lad is being given too few minutes to make a meaningful impact.

    I am an ardent Arsenal fan but in all fairness BB deserved the point. You could see the goal coming as the pressure mounted. We should not allow mid table teams to make us look so ordinary. And given that I wasn’t too impressed with the Fulham game also. It could have easily gone the other way. I am abit worried at this rate.

    CONSISTENCY is what will count at the end of the day and we just dont seem to have gotten there yet.

  39. gunnershabz
    August 20, 2007 at 6:49 am #

    we really need a left sided winger at least, i dont know who is available but we need someone. i got a feeling luka modric will be there.
    real madrid lost again last night to sevilla 4-3 or something.
    good to see real madrid losing, maybe the new manager will be sacked next year

  40. gunnershabz
    August 20, 2007 at 6:54 am #

    oh yeah another thing is its internationals week and well just fingers crossed no more injuries.
    our squad is really thin at the moment, and can we just start with gilberto against man city

  41. ArsenalKenya
    August 20, 2007 at 8:27 am #

    Lehmann should be retired to the bench and Fabianski or Almunia take over. He is the only player who will let us down this season. Luka Modric or Ricardo Quaresma should be bought.

    Wenger should buy a winger before the transfer window closes next week.

  42. Samuel
    August 20, 2007 at 8:53 am #

    Spunking 15m on Micah Richards would make me love Wenger forever.
    Jens to be benched.

    Now to the important stuff:

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    I used my wildcard already. Santa Cruz better come good at a cheap price.

  43. Joshua Asante
    August 20, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    Arsene Wenger said yesterday that he won’t blame Lehmann for his error.That means he’s going to stay in goal.How many more points will Lehmann cost us before he’s dropped.We have only conceded 2 goals in the EPL this season.Both Lehmann mistakes.
    We are yet to even see Fabianski in action with Arsenal,I think we should definately try him out at some point sooner rather than later.Rather than mid-season where we may regret it if Lehmann makes even more infuriating fumbles.
    If Fabianski aint ready,bring in Almunia,at least you know where you stand with him.

  44. Spanish Fry
    August 20, 2007 at 1:09 pm #

    Sorry about the delay lads, but have now popped up quite a detailed review of yesterday’s game. Just check the home page. Enjoy!

  45. Gbolahan Olaifa
    August 20, 2007 at 7:23 pm #

    I thimk Wenger refusal to buy a qiality and experienced players will caused him heart-ache this seasson. No fans will pity him as he has spoiled our chance of sucessful seasson with his stinginess. Lehmann should please step down for serious keeper before he finish Arsenal chance of success both in EPL and Champion League.

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    […] match ended 1-1, a fair result in my books – and the exact prediction I made yesterday (Hurrah!). It was very much a game of two halves and Blackburn definitely deserved the equaliser […]

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