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Friday, 24 September 2010

West Brom preview, we're rich

Another weekend is upon us. And that means Arsenal v West Brom. Arsene Wenger gave his press conference yesterday due to the announcement of Arsenal's financial results today (more of which below) and the team news was interesting. Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Eboue both seem to have picked up knocks in the midweek humiliation of Tottenham. Normally this would be of little consequence, but when added to the other injuries, we are starting to get a little threadbare in the attacking midfield areas. There was better news on the Diaby front, and he may be in line for a return tomorrow. I would have hoped he could be kept back until the Champions League game next week, but the injury situation could see him pressed in to action a little earlier. Thomas Vermaelen remains injured - that two weeks is starting to get stretched again.
It's not inconceivable that the boss will field a weaker team tomorrow than played on Tuesday. There are some players who could do with a bit of a break, such as Wilshere and Koscielny, and I would not be overly surprised were they to get it tomorrow. On paper Arsenal should be able to get away with it against a side like West Brom, but Di Matteo has made some decent acquisitions. Going forward West Brom have Odemwingie, Brunt and Fortune, a front-line that combines pace and power. Odemwingie has made a really good start to his Premier League career and the defence will have to be on their mettle once again. You would always hope, however, that we will be just too good at the other end. Fingers crossed.
Predicting the team for tomorrow is, perhaps, more difficult than would normally be expected. I wouldn't be disappointed if the line-up tomorrow looked a little like this:
Almunia - Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy - Song, Denilson, Nasri - Arshavin, Chamakh, Vela. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Diaby, Wilshere, Lansbury, Emmanuel-Thomas, Eboue.

The Club have announced record turnover, and record profits in this years financial results. The bank debts have been reduced by over £160million thanks to the Highbury Square flats bearing fruit. I am not a financial analyst so there is not a lot of point in my attempting to make sense of it. All the experts are saying that the accounts are very healthy, with an operating profit in excess of last year. In truth I don't understand how it all works - particularly how you can show a profit at the same time as being £130million in hock to the banks. As I have no understanding I will not comment further - if you want to know the ins and outs go to www.arsenal.com for the full results. There is one comment, however, from Ivan Gazidis which was "we build...not buy." You don't say, Ivan!

That's it for today. More to follow at some point tomorrow evening after I get back from the game. Let's hope we're celebrating three points.

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