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Arsenal (h) 19.08.2007 - Preview


tchocky

Man of the match  

175 members have voted

  1. 1. Who was your rovers MOTM?

    • Friedel
      0
    • Emerton
      2
    • Samba
      55
    • Nelsen
      6
    • Warnock
      16
    • Bentley
      9
    • Savage
      5
    • Dunn
      73
    • Pedersen
      1
    • Santa Cruz
      7
    • Derbyshire
      3
    • Ooijer
      0


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arsenal_h_2007.jpg

Past Meetings

2006/2007

English FA Cup Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Arsenal 28-02-2007

English FA Cup Arsenal 0-0 Blackburn Rovers 17-02-2007

English Premier Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal 13-01-2007

English Premier Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23-12-2006

2005/2006

English Premier Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Arsenal 25-02-2006

English Premier Arsenal 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 26-11-2005

2004/2005

English FA Cup Arsenal 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 16-04-2005

English Premier Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Arsenal 19-03-2005

English Premier Arsenal 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 25-08-2004

2003/2004

English Premier Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal 13-03-2004

English Premier Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn Rovers 14-12-2003

2002/2003

English Premier Blackburn Rovers 2-0 Arsenal 15-03-2003

English Premier Arsenal 1-2 Blackburn Rovers 26-10-2002

Shamelessly copypasted from soccerbase.com

The Opposition

Other than the cup win over 2 legs last year and a couple of league home wins in the past 5 seasons we have really struggled with these guys. And there's no shame in that really, with the attractive football this french team has been playing. However they now have a team of mainly youngsters backed up by a spine of a few seasoned professionals in Lehmann, Gallas/Toure, Gilberto and Adebayor. Although there are questionmarks about the experience in their attack the rest make it a decent backbone.

In this game we will have to frustrate their midfielders and cut off the supply to their strikers. Samba and Nelsen will have to be at their best against Van Persie & co. Some aggression and hassling against their inexperienced players can put them off their pace. If we can do that and put pressure on their (also young) fullbacks with our flanks there is every opportunity to get something from this game. We'll also have to be wary of Hleb and Rosicky, who are both highly capable players when on form. Personally I'll be happy with a point.

Bogey Men

For us it's without doubt one Robin Van Persie. The talented yet annoying dutch fairy scored twice in the forgettable 6-2 drubbing around christmas last year. The past 3 seasons he has scored no less than 6 goals against us, twice as many as one T.Henry.

Injury Situation

According to physioroom.com the guests have four players who are doubtful for the game at the time of writing; Diaby, Adebayor, Da Silva and Denilson. The Rovers have Emerton possibly still resting? Berner out for months with his metatarsal and Reid probably still not ready to return. Sergio Peter has a "leg" injury of some sort. Not that he would feature in any case. It also remains to be seen if Benni Mac will be rested for this game also.

Interview

The folks over at arsenal-mania.com were happy to answer a few of my questions. 44 people contributed before I had to call it quits!

1. ( Who will be ) Arsenals most important player this season?*

64% say Robin Van Persie

22% say Cesc Fabregas

The rest spread amongst Gallas, Toure, da Silva, Hleb, Adebayor and Rosicky

2. Most impressive Rovers player?*

45% of the fans who answered mentioned Gamst as our most impressive player. Nearly as many, 41% mentioned Benni. Bentley third on 18%, and Brad was mentioned by 13%. Finally, Derbs (7%), Tugay and Cruz were mentioned once or twice. This list reflects the fact that the people asked were Arsenalfans, in my opinion :D

3. How long will Wenger stick around?

No percentages here. The vast majority believe he will sign a new contract and see that out (somewhere between 3 and 7 years by their estimate. Quite a few believed he would stay at the club "forever", moving up to the boardroom at one point. . Only one thought this would be his last season. No doubt he's held in high regard just like our own manager is.

4. Most memorable match between the two sides?

66% said Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn Rovers 23-12-2006

14% said Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal 13-01-2007

9% said Blackburn Rovers 1-4 Arsenal 13-04-1998

4% mentioned other games. However this makes grim reading so lets move along quickly.

5. Most disliked Rovers player?

Don't know why I bothered with this one. :rolleyes: All but 3 people, 93% mentioned you know who. One mentioned Tugay as his "mentor"! 5 people didn't think much of Dave Bentley. A couple even mentioning how he was "too big for his boots", pretty contrary to the impression I have of him.

6. Most disliked/weakest Arsenal player?

They don't dislike their own players over there. And a few don't think they have a weak player in the squad either... However most of them mentioned Song as not good enough. A few mentioned names that we would be quick to point out: Senderos, Almunia, Eboue.

7. Where will your team finish this season?

Not one person that answered thinks they will finish outside the top 4. Of course not, they are one of the "big 4"... Clearly they fancy their chances as about 50% believe they can win the title this season.

8. Where will Rovers finish?

Their predictions very similar to those that we gave ourselves in our dedicated league table thread, the general feeling being that we will finish between 6th and midtable. Finding the average position is no easy task what with the majority answering a range of place, but I'd wager it would be about 8th.

9. Are you happy with the amount of British players in your squad?

Predictable answers here. Only 14% percent wanted more brits in the squad. The rest were either indifferent or, for the most part happy. Quality over nationality, quite sensibly although I'm not sure how comparable the two are. I should mention that many contributors weren't British themselves.

10.Score prediction?

2-1 to Arsenal say 36%

3-1 to Arsenal say 25%

There's a few 3-0's, a 5-3, a 5-2, a 4-2 (Arse win) prediction, 1 person will have a repeat 6-2 result.. we'll see about that. In summary, only two people predicted a draw (1-1). One of them even safeguarding it with 2-1 to them... The other 95% confident of an away win. Ah how it would be sweet to take the 3 points in this game!

* Many people mentioned more than one player, as such I best clarify that 100% is the total number of people asked, not the total number of players mentioned within the answers.

I had a lot of replies in a short space of time, and had to draw the line at one point to summarize. The thread can be read right here. That's if you want to read all their replies for yourself. Let me just mention that if you ever plan to do the same thing in a preview, be warned it's a lot of work summarizing the responses. More than I anticipated, anyway :P

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Well done tchocky- great preview. I can vouch for the time it takes when you go on other clubs' threads and ask for responses.

On any logical basis, we are not going to win this one but then again, we have an appreciably stronger and fresher squad than in the two FA Cup games last season.

I have just got this stupid feeling we are going to win. No score prediction but I will go for a classic encounter which folks will remember for a long time.

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Well done tchocky- great preview. I can vouch for the time it takes when you go on other clubs' threads and ask for responses.

On any logical basis, we are not going to win this one but then again, we have an appreciably stronger and fresher squad than in the two FA Cup games last season.

I have just got this stupid feeling we are going to win. No score prediction but I will go for a classic encounter which folks will remember for a long time.

Not if it's Portsmouth. I didn't get one reply when I asked for volunteers to answer a questionnaire.....

Nice preview, tchocky. Good stuff.

And stuff is what I'd like us to do to Arsenal. Otherwise, I'd settle for 1-0 Rovers. Santa.

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First game of the season for me. I feel really optimistic about this one. After watching us get beat 6-2, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 in the space of three seasons though, I'm not sure why. Without Da Silva and Adebayor, they've been forced into playing Hleb behind Van Persie, which isn't ideal. But with Gilberton back and a very strong defence forming, it will no doubt be a tough game.

I'm going to go for a 2-1 Arsenal victory which, actually, is a very optimistic prediction for me to make when we play Arsenal!

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I'm honestly thinking that if we have a shot against Arsenal this year it's this game. We've played more preseason than they have, I think we're gelled better, and I think that their youth and different tactics this year will combine for a 2-1 Rovers win.

Later in the year if they come together more, it'll be much harder, but for right now I think we have a darn good shot.

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Hopefully this game will be an indication of how we're going to do this season, and push L'Arse all the way. If the ref is strong enough (wishful think perhaps, but you never know) then I think we can get at least a draw out of this.

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1. ( Who will be ) Rovers most important player this season?*

Cruz

2. Most impressive Rovers player?*

McCarthy/Bentley/Nelsen

3. How long will Hughes stick around?

Outside the big four, possibly only Spurs and Newcastle, outsdie the big 4 rule out the rest. Georgies and Spuds will stick with there managers. No way Scousers. Chelsea unlikey. Fergie is staying another 3 seasons, so Hughes ot the Gooners (unlikely) or another 2 seasons at Ewood.

4. Most memorable match between the two sides?

1-0 Last season, FA Cup

5. Most disliked Arsenal player?

Lehman!

6. Most disliked/weakest Rovers player?

Hard - squad is much of muchness these days unlike Souey. Probably at a push Roberts.

7. Where will Rovers finish this season?

10th

8. Where will Arsenal finish?

2nd

9. Are you happy with the amount of British players in your squad?

Yes.

10.Score prediction?

0-2 Arsenal (hope not!)

BONUS - Would you sell MGP to Arsenal for £8million.

yes

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Not sure, as we don't hold one of the best records vs. Arsenal. BUT if we manager to not get any red cards or penalties against us, I'll say a draw would be possible; 1-1? Ah, wait, they have Van Persie. Blackburn 1 - Arsenal 3.

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Based on the fact (assuning the lineup I see is right) that we're putting out full strength side at MyPa, I'm guessing we'll see the Axe over the weekend.

To me that emans we can't score more than 1, but I'm guessing he'll cause them enough grief that they can't scream 6 past us. Besides, I think teh squad knows that a -4 in the GD column this early hurts a lot after the scoreboard watching for UEFA places last end of season. I'd say optimistically 1-1 draw, but likely 2-1 to L'Arse.

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Based on the fact (assuning the lineup I see is right) that we're putting out full strength side at MyPa, I'm guessing we'll see the Axe over the weekend.

To me that emans we can't score more than 1, but I'm guessing he'll cause them enough grief that they can't scream 6 past us. Besides, I think teh squad knows that a -4 in the GD column this early hurts a lot after the scoreboard watching for UEFA places last end of season. I'd say optimistically 1-1 draw, but likely 2-1 to L'Arse.

I can see a result much like the Arse-Fulham one from last weekend. Like Fulham we'll lead or outplay for the majority of the match, then give up a penalty (with our luck through a dodgy call) and then end up losing 2-1 or 1-0.

I hope I am wrong but I just don't see Lady Luck coming 'round to Ewood for this fixture...

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By the sounds of it, we will have to improve hugely from tonights performance if we are to get anything out of this game. This is our first home game of the season against a team without Henry and there are question marks about how they will cope without him. It's better to play them now, beofre they find any form and there are still issues with the team. If we get stuck into them and don't give them a chance to settle then we can win this one.

Rovers 2 (Santa Cruz, Bentley)

Arsenal 1 (Van Persie)

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One of the few games I'll get to see this season due to work, and if ever arsenal are in transition and they're for the taking this is the season. Mind you we'll have to play a lot better than we did tonight.

Think Emerton must be worth a recall as his pace will be invaluable against a rather speedy arsenal side (plus Ooijer doesn't look comfortable at right back). Not sure which midfield combo to go for - any combination looks rather vulnerable to the arsenal counter attack. Maybe best to play it safe with the axe in the centre as he'll sit in front of the back 4 offering which imo is better protection considering arsenal's style of play. Up front got to be Benni (if fit) and Roque - a top class partnership that could keep any defence busy.

It's all about work rate and effort. The team slogged their guts out in the FA cup game vs arsenal and duely got the win. If we can keep up that work rate for 90 mins, we'll get the win. More likely we'll keep it up for 70 mins and get a draw. 1-1 Pedersen for us.

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I'll add my voice to the chorus of Rovers 2-1 L'Arsé.

I won't predict goalscorers for us cause I'm rubbish at it! I think Emerton probably didn't play tonight to keep him fresh for Arsenal.

Fabregas looked at sea against Fulham and to a lesser extent Sparta. I'd like to see either of Tugay or Moko in DM and Savage or Dunn and CM/AM - I think playing either of the "or"'s together leaves the defense too exposed indeed and would cost us against Arsenal.

Looking forward to another Robin van Persie wondergoal against us, though!

As a side note, a ManUre supporter I'm friendly with said that the chant for RvP at The Theatre of Bloated Egos (or whatever it's called) is "Van Persie... If a woman says no just rape her..." Is that true?

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Great preview Tchocky. Very good work on that one.

0-0

5. Most disliked Rovers player?

5 people didn't think much of Dave Bentley. A couple even mentioning how he was "too big for his boots", pretty contrary to the impression I have of him.

With regards to the DB situation.

Those 5 people would have been correct to say that he was "too big for his boots" a few years ago. However since Hughes has been working on him, he's certainly brought him back down to earth. Whilst at Arsenal quite a few people including Wenger said that he had the wrong attitude in football, so that's one of the reasons why they released him. Since speaking to BD on numerous occasions he is a likable lad, who only wants to futrther his career and will always give 110%.

Now given the case Tchocky I would now say that it's pretty contrary to your impression that you hold of him, firstly because he's had a manager who has shown a lot of faith in him; secondly, a manager who has settled him down and made him do his talking on the pitch and thirdly, the player has matured.

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