Liverpool Preview

After a disappointing end to the Transfer Window, we will have to put our anger and frustration at the lack of signings to one side and get behind the team at Anfield. On Sunday we travel to Liverpool in hope of our first win, as well as our first goal of the season. Liverpool have also had a poor Transfer Window, so Liverpool’s fans won’t be that happy either.

Last season we faced Liverpool at the Emirates in our second game of the season, where we were also looking for our first win and goal of the season. We suffered a 2-0 defeat after Frimpong received a late red card and we conceded two unfortunate goals. It was also Samir Nasri’s last game for the club, in which he played out of his skin. We were looking good for a draw up to the point of Frimpong’s sending off.

The second game against Liverpool that season was at Anfield and a Van Stapleton double, including a beauty of a last minute winner, secured us all 3 points on that day. There will be no more Song or Van Stapleton to help us this time around.

Liverpool have had a rough start to the season, being mulled 3-0 by West Brom on the opening day of the season and then throwing away the victory against Man City last Sunday, after some comical defensive errors. Liverpool just narrowly scrapped through their Europa League tie against Hearts in midweek after a scare, Suarez scoring a last minute goal to rescue them and put them  in the next round. All in all, Liverpool are not a team full of confidence and after conceding 5 goals from their opening 2 league games, they look a shadow defensively of what they were last season.

Past 5 League meetings at Anfield

03/03/12 – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

15/08/10 – Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

13/12/09 – Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal

21/04/09 – Liverpool 4-4 Arsenal

28/10/07 – Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 5 meetings at Anfield and our last League defeat at Anfield came in the 2006/2007 season where we went down 4-1 after a Peter Crouch hat trick. The last time Arsenal failed to score at Anfield was in 2006 where we suffered a 1-0 loss.

Injury News

Koscielny looks to be back in contention for a place and has been included in the squad for the trip to Anfield. Szczesny looks set to have a last minute fitness test before he is declared fit for the game.

Lewbob’s Team v Liverpool

GK – Szczesny

DEF – Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs

MID – Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla

FOR – Podolski, Giroud, Chamberlain

Szczesny in goal speaks for itself providing he is fit, if he is not fit Mannone in goal doesn’t concern me too much. In defence I’ve gone for Koscielny at Right back just to give us a bit more protection down that right hand side. Maybe a bit unfair on Jenkinson who has had an impressive start to the season but Koscielny is a much better player defensively. In Midfield I have gone for the continued inclusion of Diaby simply to give us a bit more physical presence in the centre of the park. I expect Sahin to start for Liverpool so it will be important to close him down and Diaby’s energy levels will be key to doing that. Continued inclusion of Giroud up front, I wouldn’t be surprised if Giroud got off the mark against Liverpool and with Podolski and Chamberlain on the wings, hopefully Giroud will get some decent service, as well as some decent counter attacking moves.

Lewbobs Prediction – Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal to score their first goal, but also to concede their first goal, it will be a scrappy game but Liverpool normally do well at home in the big games. Would probably take a point if given at the start of the game.

Bet of the Day – 1-1 Draw is 11/2 on skybet, Giroud to score in 90 mins is 12/5 also on skybet

Thanks for reading, let’s all hope for a victory on Sunday to help us get over our Deadline Day anger.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @ArseDNA

By @Lewbob91

Theo Walcott

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Theo Walcott is that rebound girlfriend you get with just to ease the heartache that comes with losing that special girl. Looks the part, talks the part, has some of the former loves main attributes, but for whatever reason, just doesn’t cut it. Of course I’m talking about Thierry Henry and I’m sure we all hoped Theo would turn into the mercurial 30 goal a season striker we could do with right now. But he didn’t. And probably never will.

In saying that, living up to TH14 is an impossible task and we’re forced to accept that this new girlfriend just isn’t as shiny and pretty as our glorious ex. And that’s fine. We accept it and live happily with our good but not great current love. 10 goals 10 assists for a winger, meh, that’s acceptable (but replaceable, let’s not forget that)

However the problems arise when this replacement gets too big for their boots and makes superstar demands. Undeservingly asking for privileges reserved for special bitches. You know, she thinks she deserves eating at Gaucho when really she’d be lucky to get half a chicken at Nandos. For whatever reason Theo Walcott believes he has been good enough, and that his consistency in patches should be rewarded with a top contract. Apparently the sticking point isn’t the money, but other factors. I’m not one to make assumptions but if I did make assumptions (which I don’t) I’d guess it could be something to do with bonuses or perhaps some kind of guarantee about playing through the middle. Either way it is strange that Arsene Wenger would allow a player to begin the season in the last year of his contract and risk losing him on a free, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some news, whether it’s a new contract or him leaving the club, later on.

During the 8-2 game last season, I remember seeing Theo Walcott giving Jenkinson a grilling, which I thought was weird and gave me the impression Theo truly believes the hype and thinks he’s a really good senior player for Arsenal FC. So it doesn’t surprise me that he’s making such demands. Plus he looks like a member of JLS so he’s probably a bit of a diva.

Although to lose Robin, Alex and Theo in one summer would have to be considered a disaster. Or maybe Wenger is just using his initiative and preparing us for next summers inevitable transfer saga and Theo will listen to the littler boy inside of him and join Liverpool, not to happy about the direction Arsenal are going in.

Personally I think he’s a good asset to the club. He does frustrate and in my opinion ruin some of the fluidity we aim for in our play, but he is extremely fast, decent finisher and is a problem for any full back. But like with Song, I would consider him replaceable. Replaceable from within the club? No – I rate him higher than I do Gervinho and Arshavin and with AOC destined for the centre, losing him now would be a step in the wrong direction. This ‘short term’ deal could see us active in January. There’s no time to find an adequate replacement now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this situation is resolved in the next transfer window.

Arsenal’s Transfer Deadline Day Preview

With a matter of hours to go until the Transfer Window closes, Arsenal are far from being the finished article. We all hope that Transfer Deadline Day will bring joy and happiness to us all, with the signings of reputable players, however we all know we could be lumbered once more with the Skysports journalist saying at 10am there will be no deals done at the Emirates today.

With the departures of Song and Van Persie in recent weeks, it is rebuilding time again for Arsene Wenger. The departures of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud have been a foot in the right direction, however the 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards attitude is frustrating for Arsenal fans. Surely Wenger must recognise we need to strengthen in at least 3 positions.

Depending on what you read or who you speak to Arsenal are pretty much looking for somebody in every position, at the moment nobody is wrong or correct, because at the end of the day who knows what it is going through Arsene Wenger’s head, imagine being his wife?!

This article will take you through all the possible incomings before the transfer deadline on Friday evening, knowing Arsene Wenger he probably won’t sign anybody from this list and shock us with someone completely new.

Goalkeepers

Personally I am very happy with Szczesny, however I have spoken to a few Arsenal fans who aren’t convinced by the young Pole. I would consider a back-up keeper as Fabianski hardly fills me with confidence. Wenger seems to have a lot of faith in Mannone, hence the reason why he kept the Italian on this season, reports suggest Mannone has been very impressive in training and I thought he did very well against Stoke on Sunday. There has been hardly any speculation regarding new keepers being bought in, which suggests to me a new keeper is not on Wenger’s agenda. I can live with that.

Full Backs

I have never been convinced by Carl Jenkinson and I am dreading the upcoming games with Manchester City and Chelsea which Jenkinson filling Sagna’s boots at Right Back. It doesn’t surprise me that we have been linked with quite a few full backs, although Jenkinson has impressed me so far in the first two games of the season, I personally don’t think he is ready and would appreciate a Right Back. After Andre Santos’ misbehaviour in regards to his speeding fiasco, reports would suggest Wenger was not entirely happy and in turn started looking for a replacement Left Back.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – The Montpellier man would be my first choice signing at Full Back, I saw him a few times last season and he really impressed me and has earned call ups to the latest French National squad. Reports suggest ourselves and Chelsea will be battling it out for the strong Right Back and hopefully Olivier Giroud would be able to sway him our way.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 7/10

Cheikh M’Bengue – The Toulouse Left Back has had a host of names linked to his signature this summer. After an impressive few seasons in French football the Senegalese international has cemented his position as one of the most talented Left backs in the world. Can’t see this one happening however, not with Santos and Gibbs battling it out already.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 4/10

Centre Backs

With little chance of Djourou or Squillaci leaving this summer, I think it’s safe to say we will not be signing a new Centre Back. With Koscielny, Vermaelen and Mertesacker fighting it out for two available spots, there simply isn’t enough room in the squad for another Centre Back. If Djourou or Squillaci were to be sold before the deadline, maybe Wenger’s head could be turned, however at this point in time it is looking highly unlikely.

Wingers/Attacking Midfielders

With the Walcott situation being clarified yesterday, with a short term deal being agreed so that Walcott will not be sold this summer, an attacking acquisition seems unlikely. However with growing concerns over Arsenal’s attacking options, something I personally am not worried by yet, there may be movement in this area, with 3/4 names being linked with the club.

Ibrahim Affelay – Wenger has been a long term admirer of the nippy Dutchman but after moving to Barcelona in 2011, Affelay’s opportunities at the Nou Camp have been scarce and he has been told he can leave the club. Affelay has been linked with Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool, but reports suggest that Affelay could well be on his way to White Hart Lane.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 4/10

Jesus Navas – The extremely talented Spaniard has always caught the attention of Europe’s top clubs, however there has always been one problem. Home sickness. Navas had to attend therapy to deal with his home sickness; this has always been a problem for clubs trying to secure his signature, if only more Arsenal players could suddenly develop home sickness.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 1/10

Clint Dempsey – I was a big Clint Dempsey fan last season, however I’m unconvinced of his quality and would be a tad disappointed if Wenger pulled this signing off. The Dempsey to Arsenal story doesn’t seem to be wearing off, but hardly the world class quality signing Wenger was speaking of in his press conference. Dempsey is a good player, but I’m pretty sure he will be off to Liverpool and to be honest, after refusing to play for Fulham this season, I wouldn’t want a guy like him at the club.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 3/10

Isco – Could another Arsenal raid of Malaga be on the cards? I don’t know too much about Isco but from what I have heard he is a real talent. Spurs are another club being linked with him but if he were to leave Malaga, which I very much doubt now considering Malaga’s guaranteed Champions League place, I’d imagine it to be a club who are also in the Champions League. A hugely promising player maybe some Arteta and Cazorla sway will do the trick!

Chance of joining Arsenal – 4/10

Centre Midfielder

I for one have been calling for Arsenal to sign a proper defensive midfielder for yonks. We haven’t really had a good defensive midfielder since Gilberto Silva. We all thought Alex Song would develop into that roll, but he never quite did it for me. Arteta was bought in last season and played a more defensive roll but I feel he has more to give going forward. It is widely understood that Wenger is looking for a quality Central Midfielder and we could literally be here for days listing the players we have been linked with. So I am just going to stick to the ones I feel are plausible.

Cheikh Tiote – Tiote had a wonderful start to his career in English football, helping Newcastle to being one of the best teams in the Premier League last season. Tiote developed a reputation of being tough tackling and a real physical presence in midfield and was instrumental to Newcastle’s success last season. Whilst I don’t doubt his effectiveness in the centre of midfield, there is just something about him I’m not convinced by. That being said, I can see this one happening.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 6/10]

Yann M’Vila – Nobody seems to quite know what is going on with this young Frenchman. One minute he is definitely on his way to Arsenal, next minute Spurs are close to securing his signature and then the next minute he is staying put at Rennes. One thing is for certain whoever signs this lad will have a terrific player on their hands. Arsenal have been following M’Vila for some time and had bids rejected last summer, the only reason I see Wenger not signing him would be the price. Wonderfully disciplined, great footballer, very efficient, he is someone Arsenal desperately need.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 6/10

Yohan Cabaye – Cabaye certainly fits the bill for an Arsenal player, wonderfully talented on the ball, likes to play football and was fantastic in the Premier League for Newcastle. I feel Newcastle will lose one of Tiote or Cabaye, with huge amount of interest in the pair all around Europe. If Arsenal does miss out on my favoured choice of M’Vila I would love Arsenal to sign Cabaye.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 7/10

Etienne Capoue – Capoue has always been linked to Arsenal as the guy Wenger will go for if the M’Vila transfer hits the buffers. Capoue is a similar player to Tiote, big, strong and a real midfield presence and would do well in the Premier League. Capoue has impressed in Ligue One for Toulouse and had attracted attention from a number of big European clubs.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 5/10

Lucas Biglia – Arsenal have been tracking the Argentinian for a while now after he has been impressing for Anderlecht in recent seasons. Having only seen Biglia a handful of times it would be unfair of me to critically analyse his game. Technically he looks very capable and could be a decent purchase, suits Wenger’s transfer policy to a T.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 4/10

Cesc Fabregas – Could Fabregas really be re-joining Arsenal just a year after leaving us? Well according to Marca newspaper this could be the case. Apparently Fabregas has fallen out of favour with the new Barca coach Tito Villanova and Fabregas’ lack of game time already this season would collaborate with that assumption. We are all upset about the way Fabregas left the club last season but I for one understand his decision and could never knock him, sheer class and all round likeable guy. I can see him re-joining Arsenal one day, just not this summer.

Chance of joining Arsenal – 2/10

Strikers

With Wenger finding it difficult to shift Chamakh, Bendtner, Park as well as Arshavin a Striker probably wouldn’t be at the top of Wenger’s shopping list. Whilst I have the utmost confidence in Olivier Giroud, I do feel it would be dangerous going into this season with just Podolski, Giroud and Chamakh as recognised strikers. Not too many names being linked with the club in the Striking department, and in all fairness there is probably only one player I would be going for.

Fernando Llorente – As unlikely as it may seem, I feel Wenger does have an interest in Llorente and would make a move for the Basque man given the price was right. Llorente is full of goals and is a widely sought after across Europe. Juventus look to be leading the race for him after missing out on Van Persie.

Chances of joining Arsenal – 2/10

Matias Suarez –Arsenal have been following another Argentinian from Anderlecht for a long time in Matias Suarez. Not an out and out goal scorer but clearly has caught Wenger’s eye with his performances last year in Anderlecht’s title winning season. 20 goals in 45 games with 19 assists is a fantastic record, despite it being in the Belgian League.

Chances of joining Arsenal – 3/10

If I was the Arsenal Manager…

I would sign a versatile full back in Yanga-Mbiwa, he would add great depth to our defence and would come at a reasonable price. I would also push as hard as I can to sign Yann M’Vila, I can’t help but feel like this deal is slipping away from us and we will regret not signing him. Whether the price tag is £20m I would make M’Vila happen he could turn our midfield into one of the best in Europe. My third target would be to try and put a cheeky bid in for Llorente. I feel we are short up front and Llorente would be a fantastic signing.

However since I am not Arsene Wenger and I am writing this article sitting on my bed in my house in Stratford with Football Manager running in the background, I would be surprised if even two of my targets would be signed before Friday. I can see two players joining, but the third which I feel we desperately need would be too much to ask.

Thanks for reading. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @ArseDNA

By @Lewbob91