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[Archived] Arsenal Preview


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After an international break that was probably much needed following the drubbing at the hands of West Ham, Rovers return to action this Saturday with a game against Arsenal at Ewood Park. Following our impressive away win against Everton on the opening day of the season we've let a good start slip with a poor performance against Hull and a rather unlucky 4-1 defeat at Upton Park (if there can be such a thing). We've had the relegation fodder and not got what we expected (bogey side one out of the way). We've had the trip to Upton Park where things never go our way (bogey side two out of the way). Now we get to play Arsenal, a team that usually thrash us.

Much like us, Arsenal probably failed to improve the squad as much as they and their fans would have wanted during the transfer window. Apart from the expensive signing of the talented Nasri (who might not be able to adapt to the physical nature of the English game), the focus of their summer was mostlt, like in our own case, on those who left. It is unclear how important losing Hleb and Flamini will be to this season for the Gunners, but they were certainly two very important if underrated players in their side and they leave a sizeable gap in the midfield behind them. If Wenger has shown anything over the years it is that he is able to adapt to virtually anything and replace any player, no matter how unreplaceable they may seem at the time (Henry, Viera, Overmars...the list goes on). Importantly for them, and also to us in our aim to keep Santa Cruz, they managed to hold on to Adebayor despite serious interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs. Arsenal come into this season very much the same as they went into the last one. Hoping that this year will be the season that their youngsters fully develop. That this year they can sustain their form throughout the colder months, for 38 games, and mount a serious challenge to United and Chelsea. In many ways (don't laugh), Arsenal are a similar club to Rovers. They are a side punching slightly above their weight in terms of finances (although I think that is often overplayed for them) and have to find slightly different ways to keep up with big-spending United, Liverpool and Chelsea much like we have to use some imagination to keep up with Everton, Portsmouth, City and Villa.

In recent seasons this fixture has held little joy for us. The FA Cup semi-final is probably the match that still defines the Hughes reign at Ewood for most outsiders. They've beaten us with 10 men at Ewood, come from behind to thrash us at the Emriates...basically they've beaten us in just about every way that you can imagine; including last season when their youngsters put an end to our best chance of winning a trophy. Henry usually scored, Van Persie always seems to. It just isn't a fixture that I think any Rovers fan can look forward to, but certainly one that I'm sure Arsenal fans always enjoy seeing come up on the calender.

Q: Like blackburn, it appears arsenal didn't improve their squad as much as might have been hoped for during the transfer window. are you happy with what you did?

A: I felt we should of added more depth in defence...but Nasri in midfield looks to be a quality signing for us and with players like Van Persie, Rosicky coming back from injury...I think it will still be a good season for us.

Q: Fair enough; however, if you don't have a good season, do you feel it might be time-up for Wenger?[/color]

A: No, given Chelsea and Man United's massive spending...Arsenal just need to adapt and Wenger can do it...we only finished 4 points off Man Utd last season after all. I think its a case of needing a trophy. League cup will do for me!

Q: This summer has seen hughes (Naughty word) move to city. now that they appear to have massive financial power (for the time being at least), are you worried that arsenal's top four spot could be challenged in the near future?

A: I think you have to be when they can sign anyone for any amount of money, however Spurs were meant to threaten over the past few seasons and same with Liverpool overtaking us so im confident we will always be up there

...always is a dangerous word

(chuckles)..scrap it then

Q: Any youngsters you expect to see playing a big part this season?

A: Walcott i expect a lot of this year. Aaron Ramsay pre season has looked good, but very hard to expect him to work wonders this season, but definetely one to look out for in the cup competitions

Q: Blackburn fans are used to their players wanting away, what was your view of the adebayor saga and did you want him to stay after what he had said?

A: If a player wants to leave, no point in keeping him as u question their commitment, however he was also happy to stay so if he shows a level of commitment i cant complain too much about the whole transfer saga surrounding him.

...keep the blinders on tight.

Q: Speaking of big mouthed players wanting away, are you looking forward to seeing bentley in the north london derby?

A: Am I allowed to say 'in an ambulance, yes'?

Q: So not worried that spurs have just signed the greatest english player of all time?

A: For the previous question....can I change it to....I expect him to get kicked about a bit, so should be fun to watch...and no im not worried, most big money signings flop at spurs or want to leave after a few seasons

Q: Now onto blackburn...what do you think of our new manager?

A: It was a gamble given his previous experience was Macclesfield and the MK Dons, some good signings though so I guess we shall see...

Q: So are you saying that he only got the job because he's black?

A: (uncomfortable laugh).......im sure blackburn picked him because they saw a good manager. I don't know what to say to that...

Q: (moving on) Predictions for the game?

A: We looked very good against Newcastle, Blackburn were very unlucky vs West Ham but i think a relatively easy win 2-0 Van Persie to score first I think.

Q: So you're happy to see robinson in goal instead of friedel then?

A: I thought friedel was quality, but robinson is a great buy...he was bad at spurs because he always had the media focusing on his failings....at bburn seems to be away from the media so plays better....quality signing

...and thats me being honest!

Q: Predictions for arsenal this season?

A: 3rd again, but bit further off from chelski and united..but above liverpool

Q: Predictions for blackburn?

A: ermm....8th possibly 7th....just getting Europe I think

Thanks Sam

thats ok!

My personal prediction is a 2-0 win for Arsenal. I just can't see us winning. They've already lost to Fulham so the slip-up would appear to be out of the way. All I can say is fingers crossed and let's hope for the best.

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Difficult time for us this game. I can't see us winning it, a draw would be a major achievement. And so many people are sharpening their knives already a heavy loss could be terminal to morale. Even a narrow loss will have people looking to get on Ince's back.

For me three things have to happen.

1. Treacy to start

2. Carlos to make an appearence.

3. Cruz to be fit!

We will play 451 I think.

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Very tough game - would be very happy with a draw or better.

Any early team news? Suppose one good thing is that we will of had Andrews and Carlos in training this week with some of the other lads - maybe closer to 1st team action now and abit more used to some of our lads.

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Well if we don't get at least a draw, it will be the first Premier League table since Christmas 2006 without Rovers in the top half.

Ince and his team come up against top 4 opposition for the first time, let's find out what they and the team are made of. Hughes virtually always got a strong performance in these games.

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Very tough game, a fixture I look at every season and usually hope at best to get a draw.

It will be interesting to see how the game pans out. Ince from what I’ve seen so far likes to try and play attacking, free flowing football but i think you have to be playing really well to beat Arsenal with this style. Arsenal are arguably the best counter attacking side in the league, you can play reasonably well and dominate most of the play but you could end up 3-0 down after 45 mins after some devastating counter attacks.

What has usually worked in recent years against them is to press and hurry them, don’t give them time on the ball and make sure you don’t commit too many men forward.

It will be interesting to hear Wenger’s rhetoric after some of the stupid stuff he has said about us in the past now we have a new manager. If we get a point or the win I am expecting the usual over physical Blackburn Rovers diatribe he comes out with even though we have a new manager.

I’m predicting a loss, 2-0 but I would be ecstatic with a draw.

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Going to go for a sneaky 1-0 win to Rovers(Andrews with the goal, after a scramble on the line, he kicks the ball against Almunia,comes back hits him on the head, and goes in off both the left and right upright!), or a 0-0 no wait, we dont do clean sheets. Hahaha so 1-1 draw.

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Rovers 0 - 3 Arsenal

Go a goal behind. Play well for long periods until we are eventually reduced to 10 men. Two more late goals make it look like a hammering.

All hell breaking loose on here by Sunday morning.

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Can't see anything but a defeat followed by the usual self-satisfied smirks from the Southern branch of the family........................ :angry:

Just hope it's not another 6-2; or even 4-something. Van Persie, the thorn in our side, will be on parade so no hope.

Wouldn't it be lovely, though, just lovely, if.......................................................

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wouldnt it be lovely mum if............ the sun could shine forever in the UK? hahaha ;) aah im very optimistic about the game against Arsenal, will be tough, but we always seem to do well against the big 4

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we will not be tired this time.

They wouldn't even use the excuse even if they where against these.

Anyway, there was not any internationals before the Spam game.

Funnily enough, you never hear anybody moaning about playing x2 international games in a week :rock:

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I am concerned about this game for Rovers.

Will the current defensive frailties be exposed against a RVP and Adebayor link up ?

Will RSC make the line up ?

Which Arsenal team will turn up at a windy/rainy Ewood ?

with over 4000 Arsenal fans due it should be a good atmosphere with a crowd of around 25000 or so.

For me, its the first 20 minutes that are important. Hoping for a win but settling for a draw.

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Will RSC make the line up ?

Some good points there 1864roverite, in particular about Roque. I know a lot of players play with tweaks and strains but unless he is 100% fit i would not risk playing him.

I'd rather get him 100% fit for the game against Fulham, which should be a far more winnable game on paper (no offense ffan) and one we should aim to win.

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