From The Opposition Corner…… Arsenal

Today, we face Arsenal in a mouthwatering lunch-time clash, with both teams still unbeaten in the league this season.

With the likes of Cazorla, Arteta, Podolski, and Ramsey in the team, they have the flair and fight to match Chelsea, although it is an area Chelsea will hope that the likes of Mata and Hazard can exploit, especially the latter, who has took the league by storm so far.

Arsenal kept it tight last year as the teams shared a scoreless draw, whilst the game at the Bridge was a 5-3 thriller, which unfortunately we came on the wrong end of. Although one shining light from that, is summer departure Robin Van Persie score a hat-trick in that game, but both Gervinho and Podolski seemed to have step into the role well so far.

We caught up with two avid Arsenal fans ahead of the game, and got their thoughts on both teams seasons so far.

So guys, Podolski with 3 goals already this season, are you really going to miss Van Persie, or was it the right time to sell him?

Greg Smart: Whilst Podolski is an experienced, top quality article, I think it’s important that the goals are coming from all over the field again. Gervinho has found the net again, and I don’t think Van Persie will be missed if this sort of form continues in the squad. RvP did manage to pull something from nothing – so we’ll see if anyone can fill his shoes then.
Perfect time to sell him, £24 million for a 29/30 year old who has a terrible history of injures was a great deal. Just a shame he left for a rival.

Adam Mazrani: Difficult question. It was clearly the right time to sell him, he’s 29, just had the season of his life after 8 years injured more or less, only had a year left on his contract and importantly, wanted to leave. Not only that, but Utd were offering 24 mil for him. Silly money. Will we miss him? Absolutely. Podolski has scored three but needs service. There’s no one in this team that can score out of nothing the way RVP can. Case in point the Man City game. RVP plays and Arsenal get the win there.Will RVP be missed this year?


Many people seem to write Arsenal out of the title race before the season begins nowadays, do you think that could work in your favour this season?

Greg Smart: It happens at the start of every year, then Arsenal do well and everyone starts talking up the title credentials, just so they can slam us in February/March when the injuries start rolling in. Hopefully we’ll stay under the radar for longer this year, or have enough depth in the squad to cope with the injuries when they inevitably arrive! If so, we might have a realistic chance! Arteta and Cazorla will need to play at least 90% of games for us to have any chance of winning the thing.

Adam Mazrani: I don’t think it matters whether Arsenal are talked about or not. Maybe if it was the old young team then maybe having the pressure off is better. But this is a new Arsenal team, more experienced and I don’t think it makes a difference what people say to them, just how they play.


What are your realistic aims for Arsenal this year, in the Champs League and the Premiership?

Greg Smart: Based on the previous answer, injuries permitting, I think this Arsenal side could do very well. Arsenal don’t have the spending power of City and Chelsea though so if they’re out in front come January, you can bet your life on those two spending big to change that. A top 4 finish again will be minimum for Arsenal and hopefully semi’s at least in the CL, unless they get Barca sooner of course…!

Adam Mazrani: The realistic aim for Arsenal this season is to win the Premier League. and that is being realistic. Why shouldn’t they? As for the Champions League, there seems to be an acceptance that maybe only Quarter Finals is what we can hope for, but as Chelsea showed last year, you never know.


McEachran: Greg’s surprise choice of player.If you could take one player from the Chelsea team to improve Arsenal’s, who would it be, and why?

Greg Smart: There are some obvious choices, Hazard, Cahill, Mata – but with Arsenal’s policy of not really buying a finished article, I’d be looking at Ryan Bertrand, Josh McEachran and Romelu Lukaku. I’d probably go for McEachran in that bunch to join up with Wilshere and be a future partnership.

Adam Mazrani: Eden Hazard. Do I have to say anymore? Wenger has admitted as much himself recently.

What score are you going for on Saturday, and who will get on the scoresheet?

Greg Smart: History is with Arsenal (70-54-52) and smashed them at the Bridge last year, then drew at home. Chelsea have improved their squad though and Arsenal have lost RvP…..
Interesting one to try and call! I think 2-1 Arsenal based on the fact that Chelsea played a lot of their first team vs Wolves and Arsenal rested everyone barring Giroud and Walcott.

2-1 Arsenal : Podolski, Cahill and Vermaelen.

Adam Mazrani: I’m going for a 3-1 Arsenal win. We’ve looked good and dangerous recently and we’ve got a good record over Chelsea of late. I’m going to go with Cazorla, Walcott (always scores against Chelsea) and Diaby, with maybe Torres for Chelsea.


Here is hoping neither of those predictions come true, but if you are a fan of Arsenal, you can follow both of our Arsenal fans on Twitter, @AdamMazrani and @GregJSmart

The game will be live from 12:45 GMT today, and I have a feeling it is one you won’t want to miss…….


By Brad Smith


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