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Blackburn Rovers take on Arsenal at Highbury on August 25th.

Last season Arsenal were a force to be reckoned with and showed an improvement on even their high standards whereas Rovers underachieved after an excellent season in 2002-2003 when we did the double over the Gunners.

Arsenal have started the season well, beating title challengers Man United in the community shield and thrashing Everton 4-1 at Goodison for their opening league game.

This week I have enlisted the help of a work colleague Rose who I interviewed and her two friends Lorraine and Sarah to provide us with a preview to this match.

A lot has been said of Arsenal's achievements last season and to remain unbeaten in the league is a remarkable feat. How do you see Arsenal improving on their amazing record of last season?

I think we can remain unbeaten for a second season. We need to replace draws with wins. If we play the way we did against Everton I can’t see any reason why we can’t

I think Arsenal will have another fantastic season it will be hard for them to top last season’s unbeaten run as every team is out to spoil the party but I feel the champions league will be heading to Highbury this season along with the league once again.

The record was a great ...NO ... Fantastic feat but we gotta do something that we always seem to stumble on and that is the Champions League.

What do you think of your new signings?

Reyes was the best of the bunch last year. Of this year’s signings Van Persie looked good in pre-season and Mathieu Flamini also. We have a new goalie from Celta Vigo called Almurvia. I think he’s going to give Lehmann a run for his money. Lehmann made a few mistakes last year and so could have competition for his place.

I think Wenger has brought well again this season. He knows he does not have to spend big to produce fantastic players

Reyes at the end of last season is a bloody good buy. Van Persie and Flamini - I have not seen enoughof yet to comment on. Our best buy is Fabricas. We got him as a 16 yr old from Barcelona just over a year ago, but he seems to be bigger than he's age predicts. He has such a footballing mind. We'll see a lot more of that kid I think!!

Who do you expect will make the most impact?

Reyes. He has so much talent. He’s definitely my favourite. He played in the Amsterdam tournament and he was named player of the tournament.

Van Persie looks like a fantastic buy. He has great skill and we know he will get stuck in and produce the goods when needed

Reyes and Fabricas for sure...... both had a great start to the season.

Are Arsenal ever going to win the champions league?

I think we will win it. We stumbled against Chelsea last season because we were playing too many games at the time. This time we have a bigger and better team and I’m confident we can do it.

The Champions league will be heading to Highbury this season

I bloody hope so - we deserve it!!!

How long do you think you can hang onto Wenger?

Once we move to Ashburton Grove. The new ground is bigger and better. It will bring in more fans and that means more money and that’s what Wenger is aiming for.

Wenger won’t be going anywhere for a long time, with the team getting better and the new stadium in progress he will want to be part of that

For the foreseeable future I cant see any reason for him to go and I really believe he wants to see the outcome of the new stadium as it was his "Baby"

Patrick Viera - has the whole saga disrupted the team?

I think it has a bit. The papers did go a bit over the top although it did help keep us in the limelight. It seemed the tabloids were saying anything to disrupt the club. They were saying that if we lose Viera that we would go downhill afterwards but the team doesn’t stand or fall based on one player. I think we’ve proved that in the past few games. He’s been out injured but the team has still been playing just as well.

I don’t think it has. Viera has a huge presence at Arsenal but I think his team mates knew he would not leave

No way - No player is bigger than the Arsenal

Should he have gone?

No. He is such a rock in mid-field. As long as he plays with a good attitude then it will have been worth it but if he plays with a poor attitude then we will feel aggrieved.

No, I think Arsenal have a great chance of the Champions league this season and more success in the near future

Maybe - he would have realised where is bread was buttered for sure!

Is he staying at Arsenal for the long-term or was his recent declaration of commitment to the club just a stay of execution?

You know what the papers are like. It was the same with Lundberg. He was supposed to be linked with one of the big Italian clubs but he came out on the club website saying he knew nothing of any transfer deal. That’s where it went wrong with Viera and the papers made it worse. Every season for the past three or four years he’s been linked with someone and probably the same will happen next year but you never know how much of it is really true?

He is here to stay he wants to win things with arsenal and this team have a great chance of becoming the best in Europe.

Just a stay of execution I think - we will see how well he plays when he comes back from injury - if he's committed to the cause

What do you think was the real reason behind him staying?

He loves the club! He wasn’t going to get the same deal at Real Madrid. There would be fewer chances to play than there would be here.

I think it was a combination of things his love for Arsenal and his team are strong but also the two teams could not agree on a price.

He realised that he was not going to be one of the "Galacticos" like Beckham and Zidane!! He would just be a "squad" player with squad wages.

Who do you fear as title challengers more? Man United or Chelsea?

Chelsea. Looking at Man United they haven’t got a big enough squad. I know they’ve had some injuries but they haven’t got as many players to provide cover. Chelsea have more options. I know it will take time for them to gel so it will depend on how quickly they can do that. Last year it was a big problem and they were too fragmented and there wasn’t enough consistency, but this year I can see them working together better. Chelsea have the stronger side. If they get it right they could be biting at our heels.

United have always been a threat to us over the years and will be looking to do better than last season. Chelsea need a good season to gel together not this season.

Gotta be Chelsea I think


Yes. Pundits are saying that we won’t but just looking at Saturday’s performance I was very impressed and also at the way they played in the Community Shield. Looking at the team and the strength we’ve got it’s going to be hard for anyone to beat us. We’ve gelled together already. Wenger hasn’t had to buy that many players

I have money on Arsenal to win the treble!

Yes definitely

Oh YES - Our first back to back titles in modern times.

Thankyou to Rose, Lorraine and Sarah for your contribution

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Everything is going Arsenal's way at the moment. Assuming they stay unbeaten at the week-end, the Rovers game will be the one to break the record unbeaten run of Clough's Nottingham Forest.

Not making a prediction, but Rovers are as likely as anyone to break rsenal's record.

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biggets defeat for years sad.gif

we have no one who can cope with henry and reyes

we have no one who can cope with the movement of pires and bergkamp

we have noone who can compete with viera (if he plays)

we have not a clue about getting past the formidable back line of their defence

then again

stranger things have happened unsure.gif

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0 - 0

I cant see Arsenal creating much and we're away from home so I recon it will be a no score draw.

Are you having a laugh mate? Arsenal could create plenty of chances against Milan let alone Rovers!!! Whose going to stop Pires, Vieira, Ljunberg, Reyes,Henry and co? Short, Matteo, Gresko, Neil and Amo?!

I think we'll put up a bit of a fight, but we'll lose 4-1.

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Dont they normally answer questions on Rovers to (who will be Rovers biggest threat against Arsenal)  huh.gif

Our biggest threat will probably be Jens Lehmann. If he goes all butterfingery like he has before we may just nick a goal.

I'll go 3-0 Arsenal and that's not being negative just realistic. That's why it is so vital that we get something from the Southampton match.

Edited by FourLaneBlue
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Right -going to predict before the Southampton game because I don't think what we do there will make any difference.

Don't think we will be prominent enough in attack to be able to stick it up the Arse but we always seem to be able to get close to scoring so provided we can shoot on target I think we might score. Providing we keep our cover at the back and keep it tight when Arsenal get aroused we might be able to keep it down to a respectable score

3 -1 Arsenal

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