Arsenal vs. Newcastle
Football is back!!! Arsenal is back!!! Everyone thinks our defense is screwed!!! To be honest with Vermaelen and Kos out there I don’t think we have a bad defense at all, we are susceptible every once in a while but what team isn’t? Tomorrow is our first game, and it’s away to Newcastle! We’ll be without Cesc and Nasri probably forever, but we have good news that Joel Campbell from Deportiva Saprissa has signed with Arsenal and will join up as soon as all the papers are out of the way! Campbell will join up right with the first team as long as everything goes through. It will also pave the way for Vela to make his loan exit to Spain or France.
I expect the lineup to look like this:
Sagna, Kos, Verm, Gibbs
Gervinho Rosicky Arshavin
Robin Van Persie
Possibility of Djourou instead of Kos who was injured for the last week, and also the possibility of Walcott back in the starting lineup hopefully seeing Arshavin drop to the bench. Ryo Miyaichi will not be in the lineup as he’s finishing up his work permit papers before he can line up for Arsenal which should be next weekend.
What will be interesting to see is if Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes the bench or not. He has been training with the first team all week and may have convinced AW to bring him into the line of fire right off the bat. We will see on the bench the likes of Frimpong, Chamakh, Traore, Jenkinson, and possibly Afobe so if AW wants to bring in another attacking player for the bench AOC may get his chance.
This could be a hard game to watch as both clubs are having a difficult preseason but Newcastle have made some signings that Arsenal need to be prepared for. Yohan Cabaye is an exceptional talent brought over from Lille for a very small fee this summer and didn’t really well in their Championship midfield. They also have Tiote, Barton, Jonas, and new signing Marveux so they are no team to underestimate.
It is weird that many seem to be happy with getting a draw tomorrow because they are so worried about the defense. Honestly, we’re not THAT bad of a defense and with Vermaelen back we should have no problem containing Newcastle. A lot will fall onto the legs of Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey tomorrow though who need to control the midfield against two very tough central midfielders in Barton and Tiote.
From what I hear, it has been raining quite a bit up in Newcastle and could be quite a scrappy game to start off our campaign but I will be very frustrated with anything but 3 points! I think the fans will as well as many are saying I would be happy with a draw, but nobody wants to take that.
Arsenal must hit the ground running quickly! First for confidence so that we can continue some good play against Udinese, Liverpool, and Manchester United. Second to show people that we still mean business and that it’s not going to be easy to force us out of the top 4. It’s laughable that pundits still think Liverpool are better, but I think many Arsenal fans are doubting right now as well and we will have to wait until September 1st to do any real worrying!
If you want to follow along with my tweets during the game you can @GunnerTactics.