Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nearly a Wet Sham,onto West Ham...

Olympiakos have been overcome, and now all eyes on West Ham and a real test of Arsenal's character as they come up against old foe Sam Allardyce and West Ham. Hammers have played some decent football this summer but you can't help think that Big Sam will revert to his "Beat Arsenal 101" Textbook for the game on Saturday.

Set Pieces, Throw-Ins and "Restarts" will be the order of the day and watching Vermaelen and Koscielny vs the Greeks will have Andy Carroll and Sam licking their lips. I think Per will start if he's able to overcome the flu which meant he was taken ill on Saturday morning. Going to have a quick run-through of who I would start if I was picking the team today (Basically if no-one gets laid out before Sat)

GK: Vito Mannone - Vito has kinda reached the "Johan Djourou" level of people realising his limitations as his exposure to the first team grows, had Szczesny came back in after the Man City game, we'd all be wistfully talking about his stint in goal, but he is our most senior goalkeeper.

RB: Carl Jenkinson - Can't believe this kid's progression this season, I always used to have "The fear" whenever I saw the ball go towards him last season but now looks a more assured player and someone who really looks up for the slog, in fact both fullbacks have been key for Arsenal this season.

CB: Per Mertesacker - I've written stuff and said countless times that Per is an important player for Arsenal, not always for the things you see on the ball but for the things that you don't see, the talking, the positional wisdom and also the fact that Vermaelen never goes rampaging forward with Per, now whether that is because Vermaelen trusts Koscielny more or Per shouts at him not to go is another matter.

CB: Thomas Vermaelen - Because he's captain. Needs to atone for his shocker on Wed.

LB: Kieran Gibbs - Probably Arsenal's player of the season and rightly rewarded with a call-up to the senior England squad, links well with Gervinho and Podolski whilst remaining strong defensively.

CDM: Mikel Arteta - First name on the team-sheet. If you're looking for an undroppable player who should be captain, then Mikel is probably your man, looked a bit off-pace Wed due to the ankle knock and lack of prep time.

CDM: Aaron Ramsey - Diaby's injured and I'm scared about seeing Coquelin's naive play against a robust West Ham midfield that could see him up against Diame or Diarra, plus Coquelin seemed to take an calf knock.

AM: Santi Cazorla - Picks himself. Wizard. Always looking dangerous.

AM: Theo Walcott - Soz Theo but it's the wing again for you, but Oxlade-Chamberlain has been poor for a couple of games and Theo's cameo's have me excited.

AM: Lukas Podolski - According to the Twittervine, up to 6 Arsenal players were suffering from flu-like symptoms coming up to Wednesday and I'll bet Lukas was one, scored a good goal but looked a bit lethargic. Still dangerous

CF: Olivier Giroud - DROPPING GERVINHO? DALTON ARE YOU MAD? Well Probably but hear me out - this game is going to be won in the trenches and it's going to need West Ham's defence to be occupied, although his goalscoring record doesn't look smart, Giroud's hold up play and intelligence will be absolute key for a game such as this.

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