What can Arsenal Expect in the New Year?

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m off to party – as we all are, I would imagine. The glorious city of Melbourne calls me to her shores, and regular blogging may not be possible for the coming week. Instead, let’s have a look at what the future may hold for Arsenal in 2008…

Eduardo copyright EurosportAfter the mix-and-match (but psychologically excellent) performance against Everton, several papers and as many bloggers have highlighted the ‘champions material’ this team demonstrated in that 4-1 victory. Overcoming a lately-difficult fixture is one thing, but to show the ruthless finishing we did adds real gloss of genuine substance to affairs.

With West Ham United on the horizon in January, followed with our first FA Cup fixture and more league bread and butter, January will be the month that filters out the wheat from the chaff in this year’s title race. January’s run in looks something like this:

01/01: West Ham Utd (Home)
01/06: Burnley (FA Cup: Away)
01/09: Tottenham Hotspur (Carling Cup: Home)
01/12: Birmingham City (Home)
01/19: Fulham (Away)
01/22: Tottenham Hotspur (Carling Cup: Away)
01/26: FA Cup 4th Round
01/29: Newcastle Utd (Home)

Out of the league fixtures, West Ham and Newcastle will be the difficult ones, in my mind, with Fulham one to manouvre around as well. All three conjured up results against us last season, and for that reason alone I cannot expect the least bit of complacency from this team, especially with the amount of home fixtures we will be enjoying.

-{…many sources have guessed at Wenger buying another striker to take (van Persie’s) place…}-

The cup matches need no analysis, apart from the fact that everyone will be fired up for the Spurs clashes. Last season we had the advantage of playing at White Hart Lane first up, which makes this year’s variant a little more tricky, having to play at home in the first leg. Added to that, the Burnley match will more than likely see a second string team sent out, with more of the ‘show me what you can do’s from Wenger.

With Robin van Persie’s injury seeing him out for three more weeks – infuriating news – many sources have guessed at Wenger buying another striker to take his place. Considering that in the youth, players like Barazite may be ready to take the place of ‘Fifth striker’ behind the heirachy of Adebayor, Eduardo, Bendtner and Walcott, I see no reason to rush into the transfer market for a panic-buy – especially with Carlos Vela waiting in the wings.

-{(Lehmann) has given excellent, legendary service to Arsenal over the years, and many will tell you of the real pity that he had to make such comments about Almunia…}-

A defender may be the order of the day, though. With Toure departing, we are left with Gallas, Senderos, Djourou and Song to cover for a period of up to six weeks. The fickleness of many Arsenal fans have seen them fairly impressed with the showings of Alex Song, but not enough to plead forgiveness for the abysmal booing they subjected the young Cameroonian to. Were Gallas to get injured, suddenly we would have some problems on our hands, but remember also that Sagna can cover as a centreback, as can Gilberto, should he stay with the side til season’s end.

As for departures, Lehmann looks set to go…somewhere, in January. As humourous as I found it when he whipped off his tracksuit ready to replace a sprawled-on-the-floor Almunia against Everton, I really felt for him when he made his way back to his seat. He has given excellent, legendary service to Arsenal over the years, and many will tell you of the real pity that he had to make such comments about Almunia as his successor continued to show real consistency.

That is all for today, alas. I’m off to catch a plane, and enjoy a week with friends. Blogging may not be daily until January 8, but I should be able to find some time to at least get some match reports up.

Have a safe New Year’s, and we will see each other again on a new 08 that I sincerely hope brings silverwear to Arsenal’s cabinet.

All the best…

Jammathon.

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18 Comments

Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, Carling Cup, English Premier League, FA Cup

18 responses to “What can Arsenal Expect in the New Year?

  1. skantius

    cheers! jammathon, have a good one

  2. Q

    Happy New Year in advance Jammathon 🙂

    To be honest January looks like a decent month in terms of fixtures, really should be our chance to make a case for ourself as championship material. I personally still believe 2nd place is a very good achievement for this season.

    Also, do you think Gilberto will be joining Lehmann in the departures area?

  3. Howard

    Secon place? We’ve gone that far and the only place good for us now is first. This the tie to lift the title.

  4. jammathon

    Happy New Years to all, when the terminator comes around your end.

    While second would be a good position to end up on with the pre-season expectations taken into account, Howard is 100% correct when you look at our present position. From this point on – if not earlier – we are gunning for the title, make no mistake. Anything less will be a dissapointment.

    Re: Gilberto. The news has been silent on him lately, but with Toure leaving, and midfield always a dangerzone for injuries, Gilberto – while probably leaving at season’s end if not January – is the definite pedigree of player to be in our squad should we want that title.

    If it were up to me, he’d stay beyond January.

  5. I expect nothing less than EPL victory now that we have concluded 2007 on top. I also expect to see Lehman, Gilberto and Diarra all switch head for first team football with other fake teams. Like Wenger did say sometime back, I expect Eduardo to shine a lot this year. And my prediction is that we will win the CL, EPL and Carling Cups. Cheers to all Arsenal Fans and Happy New Year. Daniel.

  6. kriz

    to daniel, id call this a small treble, why not aim higher and get the big treble 🙂

    i expect us to win a major title, the EPL to begin with, and the CL would be the bonus along with an extra FA cup 🙂

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  7. Hugo

    As you say Song’s Cameroonian- so he’s off to Africa too! Other than that, good stuff!

  8. daokta

    Good wishes for the new year to you too, Jammathon.
    An excellent blog by the way. Keep it up

  9. Iniobong

    Song’s not invited for the African Nations Cup. Cheers guys and heres to hoping we win the unprecendented quadruple!! Prior to May 99′ who would guess what the Fergie kids would achieve, who could guess Wenger who just months earlier was mocked after being quoted out of context, that we could go an entire season unbeaten and then how many games did we go in all. With luck from the injuries front, officiating and infront of goal we can do it. Happy new year guys.

  10. Q

    I really hate to sound like a killjoy, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

    Talk of trebles or quadruples is way beyond our reach for now. Our last trophy was 3 yrs ago, taking 1 trophy this season is a very good step for our young team.

    I obviously would prefer the PL, and I think our chances are best in the league since the cup competitions have the like of Liverpool and Chelsea who will put all their effort in the cups bcz they lost the league. Also, they are the perfect what you can call “cup teams”.

    The CL is won with experience. A couple of years more and we should be expecting us to win it, but not yet.

    So all in all, I would be ecstatic if we did win the league, anything beyond that is too much too hope for.

  11. downthepub

    The Premiership that’s what…because I backed them @ 8/1 that’s why.
    Cheers.

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  13. thevemo

    the winner is The Red, and TopScorer is EL Nino

  14. Makanaky uganda

    i think jan will be a big month for gunners given the relatively easy fixtures.the gunners need to know the real race begins now with teams like utd and chelsea still very much into it but i think we can do it,the treble.

  15. Darren

    Jammathon, what have you done to your website!

    Change it back dude, it was much nicer before.

  16. Jammathon, too much New Yr partying? Where r u?

  17. jammathon

    Normal blogging resumes January 8th.

    Still very much in the throws of a holiday here. Stick with me, peoples. 😉

  18. First of all thank you for a such wonderfull topic, well i have to say it is difficult for me to say if i agree with you or not. I will read it for a second time and let you know what i think