Premiership Preview: ArsenalAugust 9, 2007 at 10:15 am | Posted in Football, Jackie Manuel | 2 Comments
L-R: Dudu,Bendntner, RVP, Cesc, Senderos
Can the new kids keep Arsenal in the big four?
Interesting Wikipedia Fact: Arsenal fans often refer to themselves as “Gooners”, the name being derived from the team’s nickname, “The Gunners”. The club’s location, adjoining both wealthy areas such as Canonbury and Barnsbury, mixed areas such as Islington, Holloway and Highbury, and largely working class areas such as Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington has meant that Arsenal’s supporters have come from across the usual class divides. In addition, Arsenal have the highest proportion (7.7%) of non-white attending supporters of any club in English football, according to a 2002 report.
Jackie’s Club Knowledge- Expansive. Arsenal = class.
Fantasy: If you believe RVP can stay healthy, he’s clearly worth the long term investment. A couple of other Gunners might be moving up-field a bit. In the pre-season Eboue played some right-mid and Hleb played right behind the striker. If both of these are carried over than Eboue becomes a must have and Hleb becomes a bit intriguing. Dudu is woth watching as are Rosicky and Fabregas. I’d avoid the Arsenal back line and especially Jens until they can prove they have the ability to avoid the headed equalizer from the opponent’s one shot on goal. Last season even the match-ups that looked good often were not.
Best and Worst Possible Finish: 2nd and 7th- Could Arsenal fall out of the top four? It could happen yes, if many of the things that went wrong last season go wrong again this season than Arsenal could be caught. The chances of that happening seem reasonably slim though. Arsenal would have come top in a miniature table of big four and their goal differential was better than Liverpool’s. Now, as many Sp*rs message boards will tell you, Arsenal are not the same club now because Thierry Henry is gone. Arsenal were a one man team and now the one man is gone. No denying it is a big loss but one important factor to keep in mind is that last season’s placement was mostly achieved without Thierry Henry too. I’m still sad we won’t have the Frenchman’s sublime goals, but I’m not in agreement with those that say the loss of our captain will see the club in crisis. So no crisis in my opinion, but also no title. The side still have a large learning curve and while United and Chelsea are full of proven performers, Arsenal are still working things out. Can H(ecchhh)leb and Rosicky score the occasional goal. Is RVP’s toe stable enough for a full season? Can the Crozillian score half as many goals in England?Will Arsenal ever learn to defend set pieces? A few too many questions to legitimately challenge the last two champions.