|Arsenal 0 v 2 Manchester City|
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 16:00
Liverpool Preview: Burnt bridges cost Wenger
Saturday, 20th Aug 2011 08:45
Arsenal fans gave Samir Nasri an impolite send off at St. James' Park last week and the Man City bound playmaker responded in kind this week. Little did either party know that injuries, suspensions and Wenger's total failure in the transfer market would combine to leave the Frenchman as the only viable candidate to fill a Wilshere shaped hole.
Nasri has reportedly all but signed a £200k a week contract with Gael Clichy's new club and now he will be expected to perform for one of their top four rivals in a key game. Perhaps even more worryingly the fans will have to support or at least ignore a player who is leaving the club purely because of money. It's a bizarre situation and one that clearly indicates what a comically poor transfer window it has been for Arsenal. We keep signing young inexperienced attackers, the latest arrival being Costa Rican Joel Campbell and tomorrow, unsurprisingly, attack will be the one department where we have enough options.
Theo Walcott should be fit enough to join Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin but they may struggle to get enough service from an inexperienced midfield. Here Frimpong is in line to make his full debut and he will be joined by Ramsey and Nasri or possibly the out of favour Lansbury. Without Nasri that midfield wouldn't have even been selected for a Carling Cup game last season, let alone one of the biggest games of the season. In defence the faith that Wenger has shown in the injury plagued Kieran Gibbs has already been brought into question and we do not have a recognised left back. Carl Jenkinson will fill in as he did against Udinese or Vermaelen will shift across if Djourou is fit enough to start in central defence. Ideally Wenger would like to keep the promising Vermaelen/Koscielny partnership together but the right footed Jenkinson looked awkward at left back against Udinese and if Djourou is fit, Vermalen at left back will be the manager's preferred option.
All of these issues have presented themselves within the first week of the new season so new signings are even more imperative now than they have been all summer. We already have the habit of losing energy and momentum in the closing stages of the season and with a considerably weakened squad this problem will only get worse. Hopefully once Nasri has left it won't be as hard for Wenger to find players who 'are better than what we have already'.
In contrast we face a side who have spent enormous amounts of money improving their side. Liverpool have definitely overpaid on some of these players and last week suggested that they may take a while to gel but a combination of Charlie Adam's set pieces and Andy Carroll's aerial ability could be enough to see off a depleted Arsenal side today. We will just have to hope that we carry some of the luck that we made use of on Tuesday night through the rest of August until Arsene can make the signings that we desperately need.
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Photo: Action Images
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