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2011.03.19 West Bromwich Albion B


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West Bromwich Albion - Arsenal

Lørdag 19. mars kl. 16:00 (GMT+1)


W.B.A. tok en sterk tomåls-seier borte mot Birmingham forrige runde og forventes ikke å gi Arsenal noen gratispoeng på sin egen hjemmebane der de står med 5 seiere, 5 uavgjorte og 4 tap. Arsenal tapte sitt forrige møte med W.B.A. 2-3 hjemme på Emirates Stadium, men med Arsenals gode borteform kan revansjen komme i dag. Jens Lehmann forventes å være på benken etter å ha returnert til Arsenal som backup for Manuel Almunia mens de tre øvrige toppkeeperne er skadet.




#2 Arsenal K: 28 MF: +30 P: 57

#16 W.B.A. K: 29 MF: -15 P: 32




Stuart Attwell



Les match preview fra Arsenal.com:


By Richard Clarke

Gone. Finished. Washed up. On their knees.


The labels applied to this Arsenal side in the past week are exactly those used the last time Arsène Wenger’s men went out of the FA Cup and Champions League in a matter of days.


Back then, Manchester United beat them at Villa Park on the Saturday then a heartbreaking goal from Wayne Bridge saw Chelsea knock them out of Europe at the Quarter-Final stage the following Tuesday.


When Arsenal trailed 2-1 to Liverpool at half time in the Premier League on the subsequent Friday their world seemed to have collapsed under the weight of their own potential.


However this was season 2003/04 remember, the unbeaten title triumph.


History tends to reflect success as an inevitable. But, in truth, this is never the case.


Robert Pires drew Arsenal level then, a minute later, Thierry Henry broke Liverpool hearts with an impossible solo goal. Wenger’s side won 4-2, secured the title at Tottenham and then would remain unbeaten but, at that point, the side that went on to be called the “Invincibles” seemed to have tossed away any chance of glory.


Right now, with his current side having gone out of the Carling Cup, Champions League and FA Cup within 13 days, Wenger knows the comparison between these two incarnations of his side is not only fair, it can act as an inspiration.


And, when he spoke at Friday’s press conference, the manager even drew a certain comfort from having been here before.


“I must say at half-time in the dressing room against Liverpool that day I felt that the team was really on their knees,” he recalled.


“They needed an ‘alert’ speech to get back and, on the day, Thierry Henry made a massive difference in the second half. Liverpool then accepted that we were superior but it was not an easy situation.


“The team at the moment needs a mental toughness too and to support each other.


“We are not in a disastrous situation. We are in a position where we have to be attracted by what we can achieve. We are not fighting against going down, we are fighting to win the title. So we do not want to feel sorry for ourselves; just go for it.”


Ironically enough, Wenger re-signed the “Invincibles” goalkeeper on Thursday and Jens Lehmann will be on the bench at West Brom on Saturday.


The German is 41 and had seemingly ended an illustrious career at Stuttgart last summer. He has arrived primarily as cover for Manuel Almunia but Lehmann brings baggage - namely determination, experience and a winning mentality. Arsenal need all three right now.


Elsewhere the injury list is still significant. Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Alex Song (knee) and Theo Walcott (ankle) are still out. Abou Diaby (groin) and Johan Djourou (shoulder) have been added since the defeat at Old Trafford. In addition, it has been confirmed that Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) is out for the season.


The only brighter news is that Nicklas Bendtner could be back after sickness.


West Brom are struggling to stay up but, at the same time, hard to beat under Roy Hodgson. The former Liverpool manager has only been in charge for three games but that has brought draws in the derby against Wolves and at Stoke plus a massive win at Birmingham a fortnight ago.


Those draws came courtesy of late equalisers by Carlos Vela. The on-loan Arsenal striker is not eligible this weekend.


But the other end of the pitch is the major concern at The Hawthorns right now; West Brom have not kept a clean sheet for 27 Premier League games. If they concede on Saturday they will break Burnley’s unenviable record. Arsenal, meanwhile, have taken 25 points away from home this season – the most in the Premier League.


“West Brom are still a footballing side,” said Wenger. “I saw them against Birmingham, they had a good performance but for both teams there will be a lot at stake. They will play with the idea that they can go down and we will play with the desire to get to the top.”


Those cup defeats have left Arsenal’s task crystal clear and their remaining ten games can be broken into three parts.


· A trio of relegation strugglers in the next month (West Brom A, Blackburn H, Blackpool A).


· Then top-seven sides for three weeks (Liverpool H, Spurs A, Bolton A, Man United H)


· Finally, the mid-table outfits (Stoke A, Villa H, Fulham A).


There is danger everywhere but surely winning the title pre-supposes nine points from those first three games and avoiding defeat against Manchester United.


West Brom are the only side to have outplayed Arsenal for 90 minutes at Emirates Stadium this season and won. That 3-2 defeat came in late September when Wenger’s side were struggling to mount a title challenge.


It will worry Arsenal fans that the catalyst for their revival since then – the defence - has lost a pair of major components, probably for the season, in their past two games – Szczesny against Barcelona and Djourou against Manchester United.


The Old Trafford side have conceded the most goals in the top four – a rare occurrence – and they are hampered by key injuries themselves. But, all season, they have had a canny knack of meandering their way to victory.


For Arsenal, a change of luck – pure and simple – would help. Not that Wenger is prepared to accept ill-fortune has been a factor. This has been the toughest two weeks of the season but the manager is still accentuating the positive.


'No. I don't believe [the Gods are against us],” he responded. “I believe you can have bad results in football. It can happen. What you don't understand is, if you look at what we did this season, it deserves a lot of credit.


“Now we have to put it right until the end of the season and continue to do as we did at the start of the campaign. Would anybody have predicted that we would be where we are, in front of Chelsea and Man City and fighting for the title? Nobody.


“We went out against Barcelona - it's just one goal, playing with ten men and we had a chance in the last minute to qualify. I don't think we have to be ashamed of what we did. We should be proud of what we did until now.


“So let people talk and let us do the job.”


And, despite everything, that job is still in their hands.

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Kan bli et jevnere oppgjør enn vi liker dette. Ett av lagene som slo oss på Emirates denne sesongen, men tror nok de spiller litt annerledes nå med Hodgson som manager enn den gang.

De kjempe mot nedrykk og dermed går for seieren så vi må bare vise at vi er et bedre lag og tar kommandoen i kampen.


Regner med vi kommer til å ha ballen mest som vanlig og "styre" kampen. Men vi må opprett holde tempo og gi WBA problemer ellers vil de bare ligge lavt, rydde unna ballen og vente på kontringer. Spent på selvtilliten til gutta etter 3 tunge uker og samtidig har vi en haug med spillere som er skadet. Får litt nerver med tanke på kombinasjonen Almunia-Squillaci-Kos baki der som ikke har vært bra tidligere, men får håpe de klarer å heve seg.


Jeg tipper svært sjelden rett, men tror vi vinner knepent 2-1.

Mål av Wilshere og RVP.

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Dette er en kamp vi må vinne! Håper vi ser Wilshere eller Ramsey i Fabregas sin rolle.

Hadde også vert artig å sett Lehmann, men Almunia kommer nok til å stå så lenge han kan.

Tipper på en 3-0 seier.


Come on Gunners !

Tipper du 3-0, eller håper du det?

Jeg kan ikke se noen argumenter for at Arsenal skal slå West Brom 3-0 borte...

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håper virkelig at det blir seier i dag. og gjerne i alle gjenværende kamper.


håper også på en "liten" skade på almunia, slik at lehmann kommer inn, og får stå resterende kamper. da har han en gyllen mulighet til å bli seriemester med arsenal igjen ;)

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Denne kampen må vinnes eller så er vi ute av spurten før den har begynt.


Vi har greid å reise oss etter noen skuffelser allerede denne sesongen.


Fingers crossed


Laget blir som jeg håpte på ut ifra de som er tilgjengelig:



Sagna - Squillaci - Koscielny - Clichy

Denilon - Wilshere

Nasri - Ramsey - Arshavin

van Persie

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Denne kampen må vinnes eller så er vi ute av spurten før den har begynt.


Vi har greid å reise oss etter noen skuffelser allerede denne sesongen.


Fingers crossed

Tenkte det samme selv. Tar vi ikke 3 poeng her er vi ute av gullkampen. Da har nok Man Utd vunnet dette.

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Er Cesc skada enda? må si på en måte syns ha blir skada heletiden, for meg så virker det som en piglette spiller som er så mye skada heletiden. Slik som i for også var han mye skade må å han skal være en captien er helt utrolig når Wenger har bare liga gulle i gjen å spille for, jævla iriterenanes når hanstadig sor små skader og han er så viktig for lage ... lattelige spør du meg at en spiller som han blir så mye skade mye mere en andre spillere på Arsenal vis vi går bort i fra ben som knekker.

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Sagna? Det var vel strengt tatt Wilshere som mista markering..


Var vel Sagna som unødvendig missa markeringen som ga corner.

Vi får håpe guttene tar tak i dette. Tap idag så

er gullet tapt.

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Er bare Wenger som ikke ser vi ikke har gått nok lag til å ta PL alle andre ser det...


Er glad den fyren tar hatten sin å går snart


Nå må vi ikke la følelsene ta helt overhånd her da. Det er fremdeles 80 min igjen av kampen. Ja, vi har hatt e dårlig start på kampen, men å begynne å sparke Wenger og dømme laget til ikke å kvalifisere seg til Europa på bakgrunn av det, blir vel mildt sagt litt dramaqueen-aktig vel?

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Så ut som Ramsey for meg, men Sagna imponerte ikke med sin inngripen eller manglende sådann i som ledet til corner.


Godt mulig det var Ramsey. Men ja, Sagna har ikke akkurat hatt den beste starten..

Dette ser ikke lyst ut! Satser på at Sturridge fortsetter sin strålende form på OT :-|

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