Arsenal going for top spot again

Arsenal going for top spot again

With Manchester United overtaking Arsenal with a 4-0 thrashing of Wigan overnight, Arsene Wenger’s side will be hoping for a strong performance against Sunderland to reclaim top spot.

There has been no fresh news team selection since yesterday when Wenger revealed that Jens Lehmann, William Gallas, Alexandre Song and Tomas Rosicky are all free from injury but unavailable for Sunday’s game. Wenger has since spoken about the dilemma he now faces about who should start in the near future with his squad starting to near full-strength.

“At the end of the day you can only select 11 players to start a football game. It’s not because you don’t select a player that you don’t respect him. You feel sorry but you have as well to be realistic.”

If Wenger could field 12 players, I’m sure Gilberto would be next on the listIf you read the full article you’ll see Wenger make specific reference to how sorry he feels for Gilberto Silva and you get the impression that he is as surprised as everyone with Mathieu Flamini’s performances this season. The team is doing well at the moment and for things to continue or even improve, the players who are not being selected need to remain motivated and continually remind the players who are being selected that if their performances dip, they won’t hold onto their spots for too long. That means doing well on the training ground and doing well on the pitch, and I’m happy to say that it really seems like this is the case at the moment.

Much as Wenger talks about this being a problem I am sure it is a problem he is absolutely thrilled have at the moment. As long as the players who are up against it remain mature and patient it will only benefit the club. What the club does not need are players on the bench being critical of the guys on the field, and I’m disappointed to say that Jens Lehmann has been at it again with some more inappropriate comments about Manuel Almunia.

“He hasn’t won anything for us yet. His performances have not made me have any serious concerns.”

Quite frankly, I am getting sick of Lehmann and his big mouth. The guy is a fantastic goalkeeper at his best and an interesting and enjoyable character most of the time, but with this being the second time he has publicly criticised Almunia since being replaced by the Spaniard, he is showing how much of a bad loser he can be. And while I don’t think Lehmann should be giving up on regaining the number one jersey the overall impression he gives is that he believes he is entitled to a starting position when fit.

Wenger does face a big decision about who should start when the two are fit and like I said yesterday, I will be hoping he sticks with Almunia. Statistics don’t lie and whilst Almunia has had some hairy moments between the sticks the fact is that he has only let in two goals in eight appearances, one of which was an absolute fluke of a goal from Portsmouth’s Nwanko Kanu and the other a free kick by Tottenham’s Gareth Bale. He’s been in great form and if Wenger replaces him with Lehmann I would be very, very disappointed. Stranger things have happened though, I guess.

I’m expecting Adebayor to score against SunderlandSame team to continue? 

Moving on to the possible team for Sunday’s game and I can’t see Wenger changing things much from the game against Steaua Bucharest. As mentioned previously, Almunia will definitely be starting and he should be protected by the usual back four of Bacary Sagna, Kolo Toure, Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy. I’ve been a little bit critical of Senderos recently and I will stick by my previous statements, but one of the regular readers of this blog, Adam, pointed out yesterday that Arsenal have not conceded a goal while he has been on the pitch. Read into it as you will.

After Wenger’s recent comments about Gilberto, I’m expecting Mathieu Flamini to continue partnering Cesc Fabregas in the centre of the park. The two of them are doing so well at the moment and I’m expecting the two of them to run the show against Sunderland on Sunday. Out wide I’ll be expecting Alexander Hleb and Abou Diaby to start again and there’s no reason why Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie shouldn’t continue up front.

The pressure is definitely on again after Manchester United displaced Arsenal at top spot with their win over Wigan, but I am expecting the boys to do the job against a struggling Sunderland side. Roy Keane’s side have had a fairly decent start to the season and I am expecting them to give Arsenal a really tough time at the Emirates Stadium. However, I just feel that with Adebayor, Fabregas and van Persie in such good goalscoring form and Flamini playing so well that Wenger’s side have too many potential matchwinners for Sunderland to contend with. I’m going for a rough, tough, 2-0 win to put Arsenal back on top of the league and I’ll be putting a few dollars down on Adebayor to score first.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s game against Sunderland by leaving a comment.

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18 Responses to “Arsenal going for top spot again”

  1. GunnerShabz
    October 7, 2007 at 6:30 pm #

    yeh, i think we just need all our players back and it will be interesting to see who starts, but i think the boss is suprised by flamini form and will they do call him gattuso at the training ground and at the moment he is playing like him and potential to be that good

  2. jos asante
    October 7, 2007 at 7:08 pm #

    I honestly believe that we can win every single match at the Emirates this season.The team’s matured,and we are no longer conceding goals,but we are scoring them with apparent ease.Manchester United are back at the top of the premier league but not for long.I can’t see sunderland getting a good result against us,should be 4 – 0 to us what does anybody else think ?
    Adebayor to score 3 with Van persie gettin an extra goal for us late on.
    ARSENAL
    Almunia
    Sagna-Toure-Clichy-Senderos
    Hleb-Flamini-Fabregas-Diaby
    Adebayor-Van Persie.
    Subs:
    Fabianski,Walcott,Denilson,Diarra,Gilberto-Eboue and Bendtner.

  3. Jay
    October 7, 2007 at 7:38 pm #

    i hope win so we go bk on top, we we belong.

  4. casicky
    October 7, 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    we need to a win and we need to show our effectiveness and efficiency when we go about it,we need to keep our technic and togetherness on a high so that when we meet the top teams then we have thatin our lockers and know we can get something from them

  5. ColonelMarquand
    October 7, 2007 at 11:07 pm #

    Jens comments are becoming as erratic as his goal keeping displays.

  6. ColonelMarquand
    October 7, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    Arsenal to win 4-0? Ade to get 3? Some people are to over confidant, that was a tough match and Ade done nothing all game apart from miss another absolute sitter in the 90 something minute. And I wish Wenger would stop playing Diaby on the left, I was relieved when he was taken off. That game should have been won in the 1st half but we became too complacent and too sloppy. Hopefully this was a wake up call to some of the players AND fans.

  7. jos asante
    October 7, 2007 at 11:53 pm #

    Walcott was absolutely awesome when he came on,without him today I doubt we would have won that game.Walcott was absolutely top class.He deserved a goal of his own.Walcott and Van persie were the man of the match to me,they both contributed greatly to the win.

  8. Anonymous
    October 8, 2007 at 12:16 am #

    well done boyz, keep it rolling. we need a win against bolton next
    ade a bit floppy ere, not scoring goals

  9. Jay
    October 8, 2007 at 12:40 am #

    Walcott was amazing, came on, assisted the winner and hit the post, unlucky! What a shot from Toure off the bar. Good start to the game but then it went sour, start Walcott next game Wenger. RVP back to great form!!!

  10. jos asante
    October 8, 2007 at 1:03 am #

    Sunderland played better than all the games Man Utd have been played this season,The way Sunderland played today,they would have won if they played against Man Utd,Chelsea,or Liverpool.So to me,Its a good results for Arsenal.
    Well done guys!!!!!!!

  11. Adam
    October 8, 2007 at 1:54 am #

    I’m glad to see Senderos on the scoresheet today. As both a Switzerland and Arsenal supporter, he’s definitely one of my favorite players, and I love to see him doing well. He could have had a second as well!

    I think Wenger’s post-match comments are spot on. The team learned a valuable lesson today after Sunderland equalized, and we were lucky to learn the lesson and still get the win. This should prevent any future slips ups like we say today.

  12. Jay
    October 8, 2007 at 4:38 am #

    we played well but sumhow found ourselves in the position tht we did so many tyms last season but this season we have a thing about scoring late goals, no different today.

  13. darragh
    October 8, 2007 at 8:11 am #

    Walcott made the difference in that match. As soon as he came on, we started to dominate. Really should have been 4-2. That goal wasn’t offside!

  14. Adam
    October 8, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    Just watched some highlights, and it totally confirms what darragh is saying. Diaby’s (second) goal should have stood.

  15. MexicanGunner
    October 8, 2007 at 12:36 pm #

    today I see the better Theo Walcott that I ever seen.

  16. Spanish Fry
    October 9, 2007 at 10:37 am #

    Too right MexicanGunner, Walcott was amazing. And yes, Diaby’s goal should definitely have stood. I thought the boys did so well to get out of a tight situation and pull through for the three points.

  17. Bennn
    February 12, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    arsenal are amazing.

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  1. Arsenal vs Sunderland: 10 straight win at Square Tan dot Com - October 8, 2007

    […] Gunners, a good start for a very young team which was written off in the early part of the season. Arsenal leads the standing ahead of Manchester United by 2 points with a game in hand. Kudos to the young guns. Can they last […]

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