Blackburn v Arsenal preview: Our strong spine should stand up well

These are comments made by Arsene Wenger on the eve of today’s clash with Blackburn at Ewood Park:

“For us it will be important that we are strong in the air because they favour that style. They have Paul Robinson who kicks the ball very long and they have long throws too. It’s important in England if you want to win the title that you deal with all this.”

Blackburn away is a fixture that more likely sits on the difficult end of the nuts and bolts of the English Premier League, so a win today could be viewed as both necessary to our title challenge and a particularly good result.

For the first time in a long time the injury and team news going into this game is positive: Laurent Koscielny is back from suspension, Denilson is fit enough to start and there are no new injuries to worry about.

The return of Koscielny should see a little reshuffle in the team: the Frenchman will slip in alongside Thomas Vermaelen at the back, pushing Alex Song into the defensive midfield position.

As a result, one of Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky will make way, while Cesc Fabregas should continue his gradual integration to the season on the bench.

Further forward the options are excellent: Theo Walcott should be rewarded for his blistering performance against Blackpool with another start while Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin are likely to complete the front three.

For me the key to this game will be our boys ability to absorb the physical battle and create the space for the creative players to pierce Blackburn’s defence.

It has been quite some time since we’ve been able to play a spine as physically-imposing as Almunia, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song, Diaby and Chamakh and I believe they will stand up well to the task at hand.

I’m really looking forward to this game. It will be a good test for this team and a good indication of where they are at this stage of the season.

As such, three points would be a great result.

Thoughts?

Have your say on Arsenal’s trip to Blackburn by leaving a comment.

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26 Responses to “Blackburn v Arsenal preview: Our strong spine should stand up well”

  1. Jammathon
    August 28, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Almunia? Physically imposing?

  2. John
    August 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    I heard a rumour that Almunia has purchased a complete line-backers kit from the NFL specially for this game.

  3. Gibbs
    August 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I expect nothing less than 3 points. We should be immune to bullying tactics now. We know what to expect from fat sam’s team and im sure we made the necessary preparations in training.

  4. Andrew Weber
    August 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    @ Jammathon / John – Almunia’s part of the spine. If I hadn’t included him, you’d be asking why not. Grouped together I think it’s a physically-imposing unit.

  5. Gibbs
    August 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    My only concern is Almunia. I hope he commands his area, comes for high balls and doesnt flap at them.

  6. Andrew Weber
    August 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m certainly looking forward to watching Koscielny play again. He was super fun to watch in that first game and should be delightful again here.

    I’m off to the pub!

  7. Gibbs
    August 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Yup. It will be interesting to see how he handles this one.

    Enjoy

  8. gunnit!
    August 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    i recon wilshere will have a great game today. he would want to put on a great performance for being droped to under 21s to prove that hes more than capable of being in he england squad…

  9. jimmy
    August 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    i believe arsenal have what it takes to get the three point from blackburn rover .

  10. Paamay
    August 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    I think walcot should come in the 2nd half when the Blackburn defenders are tied and then he can create space with his speed and the girls will flow.

  11. carole
    August 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    3 points. nothing less. Arsenal are lately a force to reckon with.

  12. juius
    August 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    i dont expect anything less than half a ddozen as usual to f
    prove to those who and written us off

  13. MTY
    August 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    Great win under difficult circumstances!! My man of the match has to be Sagna….great defending & played a big part in the 2nd goal.
    However, the ease which our defense is opened up at times is a big worry!! Perhaps Squillaci will bring some awareness & experience to the back 4.

  14. John
    August 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    That was a very satisfying win and will do much to shut the mouth of Blackburn’s champion pie eater Fat Sam.

    This team appears to have learnt how to deal with sides, like Blackburn, that rely almost totally on the physical approach.

    I’m afraid both of our fullbacks went missing for the goal, Sagna was nowhere to be seen and Clichy left Diouf in acres of space.

    Good to see Theo Walcott on the score sheet again, he is brimming with confidence his decision making is spot on.

    Chamakh certainly doesn’t look out of place in The Premiership and with RvP injured, yet again, we are surely going to need him.

  15. Andrew Weber
    August 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Well, I enjoyed that. Looking forward to writing the match report.

  16. billi
    August 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    I switched on after half an hour, it was 1:1, and I thought there were many missed passes, too short, too inaccurate, it doesn’t look much confident, after the second goal it was a totally different view for me, suddenly the passes reached their targets, it was really hitting this change for me, then Walcott really makes a good impression, ‘electrifying’, at the end , the last quarter or so, it was again a little bit shaky or not so dominant , maybe a little bit complacent, can’t express it really, I think three points which weren’t easy or sure, at the whole a good impression for me 😎

  17. Silas Eke
    August 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Congratulations, Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal Family. We waltzed over Blackburn but it still shows we need to sharpen our shooters. We could have made it more than 4 times at the back of their net. Well done, a win is a win. Are we still working hard on the Goal Stopper?

  18. kel
    August 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    Hard win but good non the less congrats to theo for a next goal continue to be consistent lad……………..

  19. Silas Eke
    August 28, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    Congratulations Arsene Wenger and all Arsenal family. We waltzed over Blackburn but we need to sharpen our shooter. We could have made it more than 4 behind their net. However, a win is a win. Are we still working hard on the goal stopper? Well done Arsenal.

  20. Hey Nonny Mouse
    August 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    @Kel – ha ha! bad luck. You must be gutted. 8)

  21. elbizarron
    August 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Took me a while to figure out that was Song in the middle. What did he do to his hair?

  22. kel
    August 29, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    @ Hey Nonny Mouse

    Of course I’m gutted, gutted because you think i which arsenal will lose, on the contrary i want the team to do well that’s why am critical bob………..

  23. Sing for Song
    August 29, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    Enjoyable game for the most part. Thought Sagna was my best and Andrey saved a patchy performance by scoring.

    Song will have to play shirtless to cover for the old mop, on his beautiful head!

    Thinking of renaming myself ….. Sad for Song 🙁

    p.s Surely, J’ammin Egg has some influence on the team grooming??

  24. Darragh
    August 29, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    I thought Koscielny as a bit sloppy, particularly with letting Diouf get around him so easily. Hard to pick a best, but I thought Sagna was great.

  25. Lil Weezy
    August 29, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    Fabregas’ mind is wandering elsewhere.. somewhere in Spain.. maybe Barca..jk
    It’s not match fitness he’s lacking, he is simply an unhappy individual in an Arsenal Shirt and it shows..

  26. John
    August 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Darragh,

    Where was Sagna when Koscielny lost out to Diouf?

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