Lehmann gets his chance against City

Lehmann gets his chance against City

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has been ruled out of the club’s weekend Premiership clash away to Manchester City. Arsene Wenger revealed that the Spaniard twisted his thumb during training on Friday and will miss a week as a result. Almunia will be replaced by Jens Lehmann, who will be eager to impress following his declaration earlier in the week that he wants to continue fighting for his position at Arsenal.

Also joining Almunia and a host of other players on the injury table is midfielder Gilberto Silva. The Brazilian injured his back at training and, like Almunia, should only be out for a short stint. Both injuries have left the Arsenal squad looking incredibly thin. Indeed, when you account for all the players out injured right now as well as those away at the African Cup of Nations thinks look pretty awful. Just sixteen first-team players are available for the game against Manchester City with nine players unavailable. Observe.

Manuel Almunia is out with a thumb injuryAvailable First-Team Players: Jens Lehmann; Abou Diaby; Bacary Sagna; Cesc Fabregas; Philippe Senderos; Eduardo da Silva; William Gallas; Alexander Hleb; Mathieu Flamini; Lukasz Fabianski; Gael Clichy; Emmanuel Adebayor; Nicklas Bendtner; Armand Traore; Justin Hoyte; Theo Walcott.

Unavailable First-Team Players: Kolo Toure; Tomas Rosicky; Robin van Persie; Denilson; Alexandre Song; Gilberto Silva; Johan Djourou; Manuel Almunia; Emmanuel Eboue.

Thankfully most of the players who are available for the match are first-choice players anyway so there shouldn’t be too much of an impact for game against City. However if one or two more come up short then Arsenal are in some serious problems, especially if their names are Mathieu Flamini or Emmanuel Adebayor. Better not to think about it though.

Other little tidbits coming out of the media before today’s game are as follows:

  • Arsene Wenger has revealed he was very close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo before he joined Manchester United. I think a lot of people are going to be a bit disappointed to hear this but I’m not too bothered. Over the years my (almost) hatred for Ronaldo has reached such insane heights that I can’t imagine him as an Arsenal player and don’t really want to. A great player he is, but a great man he is not.
  • Wenger has also spoken out against David Beckham being dropped from the England squad for their friendly international against Switzerland. I’m not sure where I stand on this one. While I don’t think Beckham will make it into the English World Cup squad for 2010 (he’ll be 35 by then) I think it was a little harsh to deny him his 100th cap for his country. It’s clear Fabio Capello wants to be taken seriously in his first international so maybe Beckham will feature a little bit further down the line. We’ll see.
  • Gael Clichy has been called up to the French squad. It’s a great reward for a great player and Goodplaya has already said what needs to be said here.

That’s about it. I will be hoping that Arsenal come away with three points from the City of Manchester Stadium and I think they’re in a good position to do so despite the injuries. With Adebayor playing well up front and Hleb and Fabregas starting to work their way back into form I think goals are going to come a little easier for the boys, and with Gallas and Flamini in top form City are going to have to play particularly well to break Arsenal down at the back.

Have a good one, wherever in the world you may be watching it. I’m going for 2-0 to the Arsenal with Fabregas scoring his second goal in as many games.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal-Manchester City by leaving a comment.

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23 Responses to “Lehmann gets his chance against City”

  1. darragh
    February 2, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Ronaldo in Arsenal colours would have been interesting – he probably would have been playing the same time Pires and Bergkamp were retiring.

    I’m not too worried about the squad for Man City. Eduardo is in fairly good form as well.

  2. Passenal
    February 2, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    You sum up my feelings about Ronaldo blogger. I believe that everything happens for a reason – he might be good on the pitch, but his off-pitch activities do not fit with the Arsenal way and I prefer to focus on the players we have rather than envying other teams players.

  3. Taygoon
    February 2, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    Somehow I feel we are going to pull clear at the top today with Man U dropping points @ WHL. Ade concentrating in the middle proves to be a juicy arrangement. Hopefully this is in preparation for when we have RVP back who can play on the right of attack while Eduardo completes the 3-some attack on the left. With Hleb, Cesc, Flamini, Rosicky, Diaby and whoever else plays in midfield also posing a serious scoring threat we will be fielding a team with a minimum of 6 bonafide goal scorers in a game. That is frightening to even think about. No other team in the world can boast that. I can’t wait until Sagna and Clichy get in the act. I feel today is not going to be a normal Man city/Arsenal fixture. Eduardo hasn’t scored for a while which makes me believe he might bang some tonight(hopefully a hat trick) , while I don’t see why Ade wont score if his focus is @ central of the attack. I am concerned more about Chelsea grinding results and hope someone stood up to them. Man U are definitely going to drop points. When we have RVP back I hope AW will concentrate on Outscoring opponents rather than playing safe. That way we can win all our remaining games as I don’t see any defense being able to button all 6+ GS. For all “Micah-for-Arsenal” fans out there, it will be interesting to see how he will fare against a top quality attack. He might be exposed tonight.

  4. Pádraig
    February 2, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    If we had Ronaldo now we would be dominating the league and Manchester United would probably be trailing behind us in second place. We probably could have got him for half what United paid for him as well. Oh, what might have been.

    I’m glad to see Clichy getting called up to the French squad. If anyone deserves it, it’s him. He has been absolutely outstanding for us this year, and I still think he can improve. If he could add a little more to his attacking game he could arguably be one of the best left backs in the world.

    We really are down to a bare bones squad for today’s game against Man City. I’m confident that we will take three points and go top of the league albeit for a short period of time.

    Hopefully United will drop points.

  5. amiaq_ferguson
    February 2, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    a draw would be fair.. Man City 1 Arsenal 1.. Sanderos to score.. an own goal.. hehehehe

  6. tom
    February 2, 2008 at 10:41 pm #

    kick off is a whisker away, i’m pumped!

  7. ramugunner
    February 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    amiag_ferguson,

    Arsenal is gonna win it. We are already 2-1 up.

    Draw will be fair for Manc. If Spurs could stop Ronaldo the n it’s a definite draw. But how will they stop him??????

  8. ramugunner
    February 2, 2008 at 11:49 pm #

    It was a bad mistake by Clichy seeing his current form. Lehmann could do nothing and he is not to be blamed. I am sad we scored only 2 goals. Hopefully we will score some more goals in the 2nd half.

  9. Jay
    February 3, 2008 at 12:06 am #

    2-1 HT, Adebayor (AGAIN) and Eduardo with a super strike! Arsenal want Tottenham to win and Man Utd want Man City to win, I have not known that to happen before!

  10. nighthawk
    February 3, 2008 at 1:56 am #

    3-1 woo! go gunners

    and 1-0 to tottenham at HT, so … go tottenham!

  11. nighthawk
    February 3, 2008 at 3:14 am #

    woohoo! back on top AND Adebayor is even with Ronaldo on EPL goals

    good day! =]

  12. Pádraig
    February 3, 2008 at 3:19 am #

    It’s been a great day for Arsenal. A good result against Man City and Chelsea and more importantly United draw!

    Two points clear the the top of the league where we belong.

  13. Jay
    February 3, 2008 at 4:22 am #

    We all said it was only a matter of time. Manu drop points, Ronaldo is kept quiet, Chelsea drawe too and Adebayor hits another brace, only a liverpool to drop points would make this day any better, even if they win, it has no affect on Arsenal. Back to the top, 2 points clear of Manu and 20 points clear of Liverpool atm. 🙂

  14. Taygoon
    February 3, 2008 at 4:31 am #

    “…I feel good. Iknew that I would,now, So good…” RIP James Brown. Damn, don’t you hate those bottles that happen to empty themselves?!?!

  15. darragh
    February 3, 2008 at 11:39 am #

    Good to be back on top. Perhaps United’s lucky draw against spurs is a sign of a rough patch for United.

    Chelsea are quietly sneaking up. I hope Arsenal can keep up the good results – remember we have to play United and Chelsea again.

  16. Arsenal Credit Card
    February 3, 2008 at 7:12 pm #

    No doubt that Adebayor is the key to Arsenal this season, but the emergance of Eduardo must not be overlooked.

    His beautiful goal is worthy of Arsenal best of the best goal collection. It’s crucial to get more than one striker who can score more than 20 goals a season.

    Unfortunate for Clichy celebrating his French called-up with a howler. But to be honest, he has been doing a great job since Ashley Cole leaving for Chelsea. So good that we’ve even forgot we lost Ashley Cole.

    Hope we can be at the top until end of the season. And it’s important not to lost points against weaker team like Birmingham.

  17. Josh 5111960
    February 3, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    With this matches remain for Arsenal,I think Arsenal will win the premiership this season.
    Arsenal v Blackburn
    Birmingham v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Aston Villa
    Wigan v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Middlesbrough
    Chelsea v Arsenal
    Bolton v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Liverpool
    Man Utd v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Reading
    Derby v Arsenal
    Arsenal v Everton
    Sunderland v Arsenal
    Arsenal proved yesterday that they are the best team in the premiership.

  18. Jay
    February 4, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    a couple of fixtures will be hard fought but I can see Arsenal lifting the trophy(prem)in May. Aslong as Ade keeps scoring, Fabregas keeps assisting/scoring, Flamini keeps idolising Gattuso-style play. and we play the arsenal way. I now honestly cannot wait for the Champo League : AC Milan and F.A. Cup : Man Utd, 2 super ties to show the world how deadly arsenal are this season, specially as we were written off the title race at the start of the season.

  19. RassHenry
    February 4, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Dear Gunners, a very good to you. I’m very happy & delighted that we are top of the table. Match againts Man City, eventhough its convincing win at the end of the game but overall performance was very poor & its not the way the champion plays. Diaby was awfull with his misspasses, fucking poor first touch, keeping the ball too long as well as gave it to opponent too often. Febragas is really lousy. Very poor on decision making as well as his passes, nothing works for him for this pass few games & i think his ass is getting bigger as well his head. The most consistance players in Arsenal squad are Sagna & Clichy the rest are totally not. Determonation are lacked in the team now. Why ? First, not much competition for every position in the team & everyone thinks they are the best unlike Man U or Chelsea. Arsene Wenger should get some players with the money Arsenal got. What he trying to proof anyhow its not his fucking fathers money, what. Just use it to get some quality players, such as Karim Benzema, Lionell Messi, Ben Arfa & Micah Richards for god sake. Offload those injury prone players such as Rosicky & Van Persie (Swap with Messi)& under performing players such as Bentdner. Get Carlos Vela back a.s.a.p. Then, we will be a complete squad to win any competition, you get what i mean.

    My Arsenal Dream Team :

    1. Almunia
    2. Sagna
    3. Toure (c)
    4. Richards
    5. Clichy
    6. Ben Arfa
    7. Febregas
    8. Flamini
    9. Vela
    10. Messi
    11. Benzema

    Subs :

    1. Lehman
    2. Ebue
    3. Gallas
    4. Hleb
    5. Walcott
    6. Adebayour.

    Cheers.
    Arsenal Die Hard Fan
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  20. Spanish Fry
    February 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    I don’t agree with you RassHenry. We’re top of the league and you want to remove Adebayor from the starting team? It makes no sense. Fabregas is working his way back into form and Diaby played well despite a couple of stray passes.

    How can you say they are lacking in determination after all the good work they have shown to comeback after the 5-1 loss to Tottenham? I’m very confused by your comments.

  21. RassHenry
    February 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    Dear Spanish Fry, a very good day to you. In regards to your answer to my comment. Firstly, goal average is important for this season as well as the points. We are 3 goal difference below Man U eventhough with 2 points lead. We should trash any team when got a chance like Man U who like to play until the games end with full determination & treat every game as important game & trash them as well unlike Arsenal when leading 1 or 2 nil playing like leading 10 nil & this is too bad, don’t tell me you do not notice this. We still have 13 games to go with few more tough games as we cannot afford to slip up anymore. Look at the clear card chances Adebayour got & its not good at all againts the goals he scored, waste chances & this will cost us very soon. He has a very poor first touch eventhough playing with the ball day in & out in training as well as games. For me he is not a good striker to lead Arsenal at all.

    Cheers.

  22. Spanish Fry
    February 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    I don’t agree.

    Saying that we can trash teams who are lower in the league is a decent point, but it’s just not that easy. Everyone who turns out try to lift their game against Arsenal and the boys are not that far ahead of every other team that they can expect to win 4-0 every week. It’s far more difficult than that.

    With regards to your comments about Adebayor, things have changed. Adebayor’s weaknesses are being improved – he is taking more chances at the moment and is wasting very few. On top of this, he is creating so many chances through the way he plays and there are few strikers who are able to create chances for themselves the way he does.

    18 goals in the league and Arsenal on top of the table says Adebayor is good enough to lead the club to the title. Have patience in the boys and stick with them. Getting Messi/Benzema will not give you what you want.

    Thanks for your comments though, just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I don’t respect what you’re saying. Keep it coming.

  23. RassHenry
    February 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm #

    I don’t agree with you Mr. Spanish Fry !!

    Good day to you. What i want is that Arsenal strikers must make use of the chances created to score goals & not wasting it. If they can make use of the chances created, definately we can trash other teams believe me, thats all. In order to do that we need to have more composured, clinical, good first touch, pacey, consistence & eye for a goal striker with full of determination. There is no competition for the position. Definately, Ade not in that good strikers category at all. At the moment Ade is the best striker we’ve got but remember he is not good at all generally to lead Arsenal as well as injury prone Van Persie & Eduardo, eventhough he is good/better than Ade but not consistence enough. Ade is miles away from other good strikers such as Henry, Eto’o, Anelka, Drogba, Messi or Benzema.

    Cheers.

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