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  • Арсенал посреща Фулъм в третият кръг от Висшата Лига. Това е и второто Лондонско дерби от началото на сезона, след трудната победа над Кристал Палас в понеделник. „Артилиеристите“ са в изключително добра серияа над опонента си от западен Лондон като имат 12 победи, 5 равни и нито една загуба на Емриатс. И все пак, добре знаем, че това едва ли означава много към момента и особено поради факта, че лесни двубой в лигата няма. Ето и по-важните новини преди срещата.
    Къде: Емиратс, Лондон.
    Кога: Събота, 17:00 българско време
    Телевизия: Диема Спорт 2.
    Отсъстващи: Мо Елнени, Юриън Тимбър
    Под въпрос: Габриел Жезус
    Наказани: Такехиро Тимиясу
    Думите на Артета преди мача: „Добрата новина преди мача, е че Габриел Жезус е готов. Всички сме много щастливи. Изглежда остър и опасен като тренира цяла седмица на пълни обороти. Дали ще попадне в групата и в титулярните 11 ще бъде решено в последният момент. Няма нови контузии освен Тимбър и Томиясу.
    Със сигурност ще има раздвижване в последната седмица на трансферният прозорец. Важно е да окомплектоваме състава си, както е и важно за играчите и техните семейства да знаят къде ще играят през сезона. Не мога да коментирам нищо индивидуално, защото все още няма конкретни сделки, но ще има раздвижване. Странното е, че сезона вече тече, а трансферният пазар е още отворен. Това, все пак не е нещо ново и сме свикнали, но все пак е странно.
    Габриел Магаляеш е важна част от отбора и към момента няма да ходи никъде. Факт е, че имаме още един конкурент на пазара, в лицето на Саудитска Арабия и какво предлагат те, но също така е и факт, че всеки взима решения за себе си и за клуба в който ще играе. В крайна сметка, всички сме свободни да избираме, нали?

    Бих искал да апелирам за двата жълти и последвалият червен картон на Такехиро, но знаем, че не е по правилник, така че няма особен смисъл да коментирам нито това правило, нито пък и коментара на Майк Дийн относно ВАР. Мога само да обещая, че се опитвам да свикна с новите правила за поведение около тъч линията. Вече съм нов човек, ще седя, ще мълча, няма да се радвам и така нататък.“, завърши шеговите испанецът.

    Стискаме палци за страхотен съботен уикенд. Надяваме се, също така, да е по-спокоен от началото на седмицата. Време е да покажем на какво сме способни и как се играе истински футбол с марката Арсенал!

    Arsenal 2007-08
    Anyone want to buy our players?
    One stark thing that strikes you about 2007-08 is the ability that Arsene Wenger had at getting the best out of players, and keeping us competitive while losing our finest players. Paying for the Emirates and competing against the huge money available at Chelsea, Man Utd and City put him at a big disadvantage. They could buy, we were selling.  This year we lost the little known players Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, and Jose Antonio Reyes. Also among the biggest earners so saving on salary as well. Still we looked like we could win the league for a good while and had a pretty good run in the Champions league.

    Lassana Diarra - Arsene always knows
    We sold those three for 25 million (the world was different then  ) and our most significant purchases were Eduardo and Bacary Sagna for 13,5 million. Wenger totally justified his reputation as a canny operator by buying Lassana Diarra from Chelsea for 4m in August 2007 and selling him for 5.5m to Portsmouth in January 2008 after only 13 games, some as sub. Including that in the calculations means that we spent 16m and got in 33.5m. No wonder the owners and the banks loved Arsene. But did the fans? Did we really care about our finances?
    Fans didn’t care about money
    I suspect most didn’t really. Our squad was now visibly weaker than the Invincibles of a short few years before. Only Gilberto and Toure were left as regular players. Almunia replacing Lehmann was probably the biggest drop in class but Bergkamp, Henry, Pires and Ljungberg were replaced by Adebayor, Eduardo, Van Persie, Bendtner and Walcott. Still good players but the most striking of them was Eduardo. We loved him and he would surely have gone on to have a great partnership with Adebayor but he was cut down with a broken leg in February against Birmingham and never got his game back on track. Sometimes bones just don’t heal right or the psychological strain stops you from performing at your best.

    Eduardo - a true tragedy
    Most fans agree that Eduardo was the player from that era that we most wanted to succeed. He had the ability to become a world great. Injuries were to plague Rosicky, Diaby, Van Persie and Walcott as well from that time. Those five, if operating at full throttle, would surely have got us the league that season and kept us at the top for seasons after that.
    We were going backwards
    And so we were behind I feel in the quality of players we had as compared to our peers and still got 83 points and 3rd behind Man Utd 87 points and Chelsea 84. When you consider that Henry, Ljungberg and Reyes never quite captured the heights after they were let go, it seems like Wenger, as usual, knew. Good luck with injuries could still have seen us capturing big trophies in the post Highbury era. Yes, even though an emerging City decided that the best way to challenge was to grab our best players. The mighty Barcelona also liked the look of our players. We were now a selling club like Brighton at the moment and Southampton not long ago. The third best team ever in England with one of the biggest stadiums and fan base were grooming players for what? Lesser upstarts like City. It was a hard time to be an Arsenal fan.

    Bacary Sagna - Arsene's best buy that season
    We were looking on with despair. We knew that teams don’t win by selling. But despite all that, it was testament to Wenger that he kept getting us so close. Probably close to a miracle.
    What then transpired on the pitch? A lowlight was the old chant of one nil to the Arsenal nearly disappeared with only 5 across all competitions and 58 matches. But we did have some nice wins coupled with some bad defeats, the most painful of all for me was being beaten by Liverpool in the quarterfinal of the Champions league. We played better than them for most of the 2 matches, got caught out by dodgy refereeing and got beaten 5-3 on aggregate. And the wait went on for my dream.
    The Spuds teach us a lesson
    Another bad defeat was Man Utd in the FA cup on the 16th February of 4-0. But the kicker of all was the Spuds in the League cup semi-final. An annoying Bulgarian and an even more annoying Irishman  (I will let you supply the names of this partnership)kicked us in the arse. 5-1 to the Spuds and we ended up fighting amongst ourselves with William Gallas throwing a strop with Niklas Bendtner. The indignity of it all. Yes, Wenger played some kids but we were hopeless that day. I am sure you all watched on in disbelief.

    I am sure you have all blanked this horror from your mind
    We had good wins in the league against Everton 4-1 and Derby twice 5-0 and 6-2. We could still play a bit. A lot of draws though at 15 in all competitions and nine 1-1’s meaning we could have had a new chant – 1-1 to the Arsenal.

    This pair should have shown the fight against the Spuds, not themselves
    We did have a super 7-0 against Slavia Prague in the Champions league qualifying and we didn’t have a bad campaign although we came second to Sevilla in the group stage. We beat the champions A.C Milan in the last 16 in an unlikely fashion as I am sure you all remember. 0-0 at home meant we had to go away to the San Siro and beat them, something no English team had ever done. But we are the Arsenal, we destroyed them 2-0 in one of our best displays of the season. But then of course, that hard to take defeat against the Scousers of Liverpool. I could have smashed Steven Gerrard’s face in that night I was so disappointed.
    Long undefeated run
    We had a 28 match undefeated spell and we were top of the league for a long period but Eduardo’s injury coincided with us falling down the table. Wenger was somehow keeping the hope alive of the big trophies but there was a big but in all our minds, I reckon.

    We destroyed Derby twice
    But perhaps coincidentally, it was also the year that the Kroenke’s first appeared. They are different types of owners to most. They like to stay in the background and they have a great belief in hiring experts across many different areas. I believe they saw what Wenger could do that season and wanted to keep him or hire another such manager who could get the best out of his players. Unai Emery had such a reputation but it didn’t quite happen for him. Arteta has inherited that from Wenger, you must always get the best out of your players and I think the Kroenke’s saw that about him in the interviews.
    Overall, though, the feeling was worrying. We were selling our best. We had potentially great players injured. All around us new teams were appearing and the established ones were strengthening. Wenger would have needed to be a true magician to win the league or Champions league with our teams. We still had hope but not much else. 2007-08 was, I feel, the watershed moment when we truly became second best.

    Арсенал се наложи с 1:0 при гостуването си на Кристал Палас, но трябваше да вложи почти всичките си сили за да заслужи трите точки в края. Единственото попадение в срещата бе дело на Мартин Йодегор от дузпа в 53’a минута. Проблемите за „Артилиеристите“ всъщност дойдоха в 67‘ата минута, когато за втори жълт картон бе изгонен Такехиро Томиясу. Макар и отстраняването на японеца да бе може би заслужено, остава въпросителната защо за подобно нарушение и при наличието на изкаран жълт картон, не бе изгонен Джордан Аю. В крайна сметка, след стабилни действия в защита Арсенал постигна своето и се поздрави с победата. Ето и по-важното от Лондонското дерби вчера.
    Стартов състав:

    Евентуални Контузии: Няма
    Пресконференция на Микел Артета: „Изключително съм щастлив от победата и особно от начина, по който я постигнахме. Играхме доста добре при 11 на 11, създадохме няколко изключително чисти положения, но не успяхме да ги отбележим. Разбира се, не очаквахме да останем с 10 човека, а на това място да играеш 30 минути с човек по-малко е много много трудно. И въпреки това, доволен съм как бранехме преднината си. Смените се включиха чудесно, а Деклан беше страхотен в дефанзивен план.
    Близко сме до формата, която искам да виждам и начина на игра, който искам да виждам на терена. Проблем е, че не може да отбелязваме, а трябва да започнем да го правим, защото иначе ще страдаме в някои мачове.
    Няма да коментирам червеният картон, мисля че е очевидно какво се случи. Проблема не е в самият червен картон, а в еднаквостта на решенията от съдийте за и потив отборите на терена. Няма какво повече да добавя.

    Габриел остана резерва и в двата мача единствено и само поради тактически причини. Мисля, че се включи чудесно и в двата мача и помогна много за победите. Всичко е до тактика и каква ще бъде изпълнявана спрямо противника.
    Бях толкова изненадан от факта, че Мартин би дузпата, колкото и вие. В крайна сметка, това са лидерски решения и щом момчетата са преценили така, значи така е било правилно към момента.“, завърши испанецът.

    Честита победа на всички. Не дойде лесно, спор няма, но може би трябва да свикнем, че лесно няма да бъде. Важното е да се борим до последно, пък да видим къде ще му дойде края. Спорна седмица на всички.

    След важната, макар и леко неубедителна победа през първият кръг на Висшата Лига, Арсенал излиза на Селхърст Парк за дебютното си Лондонско дерби през този сезон срещу Кристал Палас. Очаквано, новините преди мача и самата пресконференция на Микел Артета бяха предимно свързани със злощастната контузия на Тимбър и за евентуалните последици, които ще понесе отбора в следствието й. Ето и по-важните неща преди мача.

    Къде: Селхърс Парк, Лондон.
    Кога: Понеделник, 22:00 българско време
    Телевизия: Диема Спорт 2.
    Отсъстващи: Мо Елнени, Габриел Жезус, Юриън Тимбър
    Под въпрос: Олександър Зинченко
    Думите на Артета преди мача: „Всички сме много разочаровани от контузията на Тимбър. Ужасен късмет и стечение на обстоятелствата да получиш такава контузия в дебюта си, в който очевидно се справяш отлично. След направените прегледи се установи, че той ще трябва да претърпи операция, която ще го извади от игра за известен период от време. Всички от клуба го подкрепяме и сега е важно да направим така, че възстановяването да мине възможно най-успешно за да се върне на нивото, на което е. За съжаление такива неща се случват и ние като отбор трябва да се справим с препиятствието най-добре. Червена лампа, обаче, е факта че това не е единственият играч с подобна травма. Имаме Де Бройне, Куртоа, Мингс, Милитао и сега Тимбър. Не зная кой трябва да повдигне темата, но ако видите програмата на играчите за следващите 36 месеца и за предишните 9 ще е по-добре да не я гледате. Това са много изиграни минути, а все пак говорим за човешки същества, не за роботи.

    Освен Тимбър, нямаме нови контузени. Жесус се възстановява добре и ще му трябват още няколко седмици за да се завърне в пълна форма. Зинченко тренира на пълни обороти, но ще преценим в последният момент дали да бъде включен в групата или не.
    Все пак, искам да кажа и честито ново попълнение. Радостен съм, че успяхме да подпишем с Давид Рая, който ще допринесе за дълбочината на състава. Не веднъж съм казвал, че искам по 2 играчи на пост и не виждам с какво различно има във вратарският пост.“, завърши испанецът.

    Пожелаваме успех на момчетата и на пук на лошите новини да вземат трите точки, а защо пък не и убедително. Продължаваме да бъдем фактор и се надяваме така да си остане до май месец.

    Palace (a) Fulham (h) Man Utd (h) Everton (a) Spurs (h) Bournemouth (a) Man City (h) Chelsea (a) Sheffield Utd (h)
    Is nighttime coming?
    And so it all starts again. We have got off to a good start by dominating Notts Forest, but as usual, it seems, there are 2 dark clouds on the horizon. We allowed Forest back into the game and Jurrien Timber is out for the season. As Arteta seemed to have him in mind as first choice, it appears to be a big loss.
    One match is never enough to get an idea of our season and we may yet buy someone else or someone critical may get a bad injury. It is really quite blind at this stage and the only sure thing I can say at this moment is that if we win all our matches we will win the league in a canter.

    Will Pochettino be gone by Christmas?
    What will be enough to win the league? At a guess I would say maybe 87 points or less. I feel this year is going to be a bit more competitive than last as surely Chelsea, Liverpool and the Spuds will be aiming to do better. That will probably mean the top sides taking more from each other. City are likely to be the benchmark as always and 86 points is their worst winning total of the past 6 years.
    What is the real target?
    So, can we get 86 or more? If  we beat Palace on Monday we will have 6 points. We will then need to average 20 points every nine games to get to 86. Which translate to can we get 20 points out of the above matches after Palace. And yes, I am well aware of what Palace has done to us in the past. And that City may well get beyond 86.

    Will Ten Hag be gone by Christmas?
    Anyway, for my purposes today, if we don’t beat them we will then need to get an extra 3 points over the average for each nine games.
    So Palace away and Roy Hodgson teams have a tendency to be hard to beat. But I do feel that we have a bit more about us this year and as I have said before we have to beat the lower teams to win the league. I am going to go for a hard fought 2-1 win and 3 points.  6 points.
    We have to beat the lower teams
    If we then beat the lower teams we have 12 points (plus the above 3) meaning we need 8 from Man Utd, Spurs, Man City and Chelsea. 2 wins and 2 draws would give us that or 3 wins gives us nine leaving us one extra as insurance going into the next nine. It is a stark reality that to get the type of points totals routinely garnered by City that you cannot afford to drop many points. It will be a tough difficult season if we are well behind 26 points after these opening 11 matches.

    We don't need Sean Dyche to give us a surprise
    Fulham at home and we have to beat them, simple as that! They finished well last season and started with an away win. They seem tough, organised but we have to be better than them. I am going to go for another 2-1 and 9 points.
    Man Utd then at home where last year it was 3-2 and could have gone the other way. They seem to raise their game against us and will probably do so again. They seem to get the rub of the green a lot and could do so again. This could be a draw and our first clean sheet 0-0. 10 points.
    Everton the bogey again?
    Everton away and we know what Sean Dyche will do. He will play for a draw and hope for better. We find it difficult to break down park the bus teams and Everton have been tricky for us in recent seasons. I fear another sterile 0-0 and 11 points giving us an uphill climb to get to 26. Arteta out is starting to gain momentum among the bandwagon supporters.

    We have to beat them
    The Spuds at home and they do us a favour by going all Spursy and we beat them 2-0 for 3 clean sheets in a row. Arteta emphasises this to the players that we need to score goals as the defence is doing alright. But 14 points.
    Bournemouth away and there is no place for us to hide. We have to win. But we really should and they give us our first high score game as we beat them 4-1. Arteta in is the new shout as we hit 17 points.
    Guardiola stabs us in the front
    We now have City at home and I really hope we get something from this one. I feel we cannot afford to give them a double again. I am seriously afraid that Guardiola will out strategise us once more and go home laughing to Manchester with 3 points in the bag and a 2-0 win. And still 17 points and we cannot get to the magical 26 points.

    We don't want Guardiola smiling
    Chelsea away next and it is really difficult to say, at this point, what Pochettino will have done with Chelsea. We have to hope it is not too much or we could be in trouble. A likely result is a draw and normally considered a good point but not now when we need the points. 2-2 and we have made life hard for ourselves. 18 points.
    Sheffield United, on the evidence of their first match, look vulnerable. To give ourselves any chance we must win and we do. Another nice score of 2-0 and we are on 21 points, which is five off our target and means we have to have better runs over the next 3 times nine games.
    Doing good will not be good enough
    Let’s put it into perspective, I have given us one defeat and 3 draws from 11 matches and we will probably have made it hard for us to win the league despite that not being too bad of a run. And I have given us wins over all the weaker teams except a point against Everton.
    It emphasises what I have been saying, we must beat the weaker teams all the time and we must, finally, get the better of City. That would give us 24 points and not too far off our target. But in fairness, that target may still not be enough and if City reach the heights they are capable of (100 points) or even above that 86, we will not do it.  Arteta has to deal in only one currency and that is wins. We need a level of consistency that is frightening.

    Arteta's lucky stadium
    Despite all that I am saying, I am optimistic. I feel it will be tighter this season and the top teams will all drop points to allow us to sneak in. In that scenario, we might just do it. And the good thing is that we are in the Champions League. The final will be played at Wembley. Guess who has a great record at Wembley? If Mikel wins that I will be so happy I won’t care where we finish in the league. The Champions league has always been my dream, it would be nice to finally achieve it.

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