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"It was the winter holiday and I was back in Togo having a kickabout with friends when my phone rang.One of the boys answered it and said, 'Manu, it's Arsene for you'. 'Arsene who?' I said. 'Arsene Wenger', he said. 'Get out of it', I said, and grabbed the phone off him. But then I heard the voice. 'Allo'. F*****g hell. It is Arsene Wenger!"
-Emmanuel Adebayor

Dont expect a title this season...

First off, its great to be back. I was planning to start the new season with my review of the Villa game, but a combination of the bad result and this bad new layout stopped me from doing so. By the way, if you're good at making layouts/templates and can make one for me for free, contact me at

Now on to my thoughts on this season. I would like to start out with what i would think would be a good job this season, finals of the FA Cup, 2nd in the league, Quarters of the Champions League and I dont give a damn about the League Cup.... why are my expectations so low? 2 reasons, Robert Pires and Highbury.

For all the babbling we Arsenal fans gave last season about how we lost the title because Vieira was gone, it really did not make sense to me how an 'Invinsible' team can finish only 2 points ahead of Sp*rs without one player. Yes, Vieira was a great leader and sets up tons of goals but he was/is still admired for his defensive abilities and we went a whole season unbeaten not because we won 1-0 tons of times but because no matter how many goals our opponents scored, we scored more... My point is, Robert Pires has been scoring 10+ goals each season for the past few seasons and i think he scored something like 16 goals in 1 season which was a Premiership record for a midfielder until Frank Lampard broke it(or he may have equaled it, i cant remember). He scored more goals than most strikers in the Premiership. My question is where are we gonna get those goals from now? Before anyone says Tomas Rosicky, let me tell you that he does not score that many goals despite the display at the World Cup, he only scored something like 5 goals for Dortmund last season. Thierry Henry can score 30 goals a season but what about those matches where defenders shut him out of the game, like how Chelsea and Man Utd did last season? Even Villa showed it last week, Eboue had more scoring chances than Henry! This is gonna be the first season in a long time that Arsenal are gonna struggle to score, no Pires to score from midfield and no Bergie to set up Henry.

Now, Highbury. What wrong with Emirates stadium? Nothing, its the best stadium in UK and maybe even Europe but its not 'home', and it wont be until the players get used to the wide pitch. Everyone is talking about how the wide pitch with make Henry's runs much easier and painful for defenders, but what about our own defenders? How are they gonna cope with the wide pitch. What's gonna happen when Eboue runs up the pitch, this pitch means more space for Kolo to cover and more space for the likes of Defoe, Rooney and Sheva to make room for a shot. Also dont forget that almost every time a club moves to a new stadium, it has problems. Remember the season when Man City moved to the City of Manchester stadium, and when the Siants moved to the Saint Marys stadium. Look where are they now, struggling in division 1, still rambling about how Walcott should have stayed there. Now im not saying that Arsenal are gonna get relegated, im just saying that we wont have a very good home record this season. We will have to do well away, and if our away record is anything like last seasons record, then forget qualification of the Champions League, we will be fighting with Bolton and Sheffield United(i think they will do well this season) for the last UEFA Cup spot.

Well, that was a long first post for the season. Im not talking about Cole, im hoping that people will come here just so that they dont have to read about it. Not talking about Gallas either eventhough Wenger admitted offering 5m pounds for him. Instead im gonna predict the 2nd leg of our CL qualification, 2-1 to Arsenal. Henry probably wont play, Walcott will probably play, Lehmann is injured(i think) and Wenger already said that Cole wont play, which means Reyes wont play either...eventhough he is not leaving for Real Madrid.

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posted by highbury1913 @ 4:53 pm | |

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