Ok, you can get your fill of Robbing van Pursestrings elsewhere.  There’s not much more to say about that move anymore other than, um, not good luck to van Persie but I hope he has fair to middling luck, except when he plays us when I hope his finishing deserts him entirely.  I won’t go as far as the dumbasses who wished death threats to his wife, Bouchra, but I would probably burn his jersey in effigy if I owned one like that lot in the link did.

Joining van Quisling going out the door is Kyle Bartley, who completed a £1 million move to Swansea City yesterday.  A bit of an odd move to sell somebody who was just promoted to the first team but at best, Bartley would’ve been fifth choice behind Koscielny, Vermaelen, Mertesaecker & Djourou.  At worst, bartley would’ve been sixth choice behind Ignasi Miquel & it looks like Wenger will prefer Miquel to that fifth spot as the young Spaniard has a little more versatility as he can also play at left back.  So, £1 million for a guy who has never played a league game for Arsenal isn’t bad & it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Wenger promoted him with a mind of  just selling him & being able to squeeze an extra couple hundred thousand out of somebody by going, “oh, see, he’s a first teamer, that’ll be a little extra money, merci.”  Or maybe I’m just nuts.

Hopefully the money from both the Rv₱, henceforth known as “[CAPTAIN REDACTED]”, & Bartley sales, along with the hopefully eventual sales of Niklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh & Ju-Young Park, will be used to strengthen the squad.  I’d reckon another striker, as Kévin Mirallas looks set to join Everton instead of us, & a right back to cover Bacary Sagna are needed for sure, as I believe Carl Jenkinson needs more time to develop before he could provide proper cover for Sagna.  Honestly, Jenkinson could do with a loan spell in the likes of the Championship or League One to work on his game.  Although as I sit here I wonder if Wenger has plans to move Francis Coquelin to right back full time like he did with Lauren years ago (who successfully moved from midfield to right back), to cover Sagna & supplement Jenkinson.  I guess time will only tell.

So on to the players that are actually at the club & will likely play against Sunderland!

A picture from the future where Martin O’Neill whines about our
first penalty awarded at home since I don’t know when

We know Martin O’Neill’s teams tend to be very well organized defensively & with our opening match being at home, I’m betting Arsène Wenger will opt for a fairly attacking lineup.  That’s going out on a limb, I know, LOL.

O’Neill will probably deploy Lee Cattermole, the player with the most fouls in the EPL the last few years & a bit of a plonker, as a defensive midfielder that sets out to, shall we say, “disrupt” Arsenal attacks & generally be a nuisance in a Joey Barton kind of way.  At least a Barton kind of way without the galactic level cuntness.  The Northern Irishman does have former Gunner, Sebastian Larrson, at his disposal in midfield who can deliver quite the dangerous dead ball.  So making sure we don’t give away needless fouls in dangerous positions will be advised.

With both Jack Wilshere & Tomáš Rosičký set to miss the first month plus of the new season, that likely means Spaniard Santi Cazorla steps straight into the lineup.  It’ll be interesting to see how the diminutive passer will link up with his Spanish compatriot in midfield.

With [CAPTAIN REDACTED] moving on to Mancunster Unitard, German striker Lukas Podolski steps straight into the lineup.  But will he play directly in [CAPTAIN REDACTED]’s central striker role?  Or will he play wide left as he does for Germany, whilst Olivier Giroud plays in the middle (& steals all your women to boot; the Frenchman is quite handsome, I’m not ashamed to admit).  I also hazard a guess that Wenger deploys André Santos at left back to start to try & get some width & attacking impetus going forward to try & break down O’Neill’s charges.

The real question mark is who Wenger starts at right back.  Does he risk youngster Carl Jenkinson, being the match is at home, or does he play Djourou there (as he did last year with mixed success, at best) or does he run out Francis Coquelin who somewhat impressed there last season before injuries ended his season?  Or does he play Laurent Koscielny there & go with a tall defensive line?

I think it bodes for a lineup that looks something like this:

ARSENAL
Szczesny

Koscielny / Djourou – Mertesaecker /Koscielny- Vermaelen (c) – André Santos

Diaby

Arteta – Cazorla

Walcott – Podolski / Giroud – Gervinho / Podolski

Injury news
Arsenal:  Frimpong (knee), Koscielny (calf), Oxlade-Chamberlain (ankle), Rosičký (tendon), Sagna (leg), Wilshere (ankle)

Sunderland:  Bardsley (ankle), Brown (knee), Vaughan (groin)

Prediction
The disarray that plagued last summer hasn’t happened despite the departure of [CAPTAIN REDACTED].  We lost a world-class striker but arguably became stronger by bringing in three attacking players before he left.  There will still be questions defensively & it will have to be seen how Steve Bould’s influence affects the defensive structure.  However, I think Arsenal gets the job done & gets the 2012/13 season off to a positive start.     Arsenal 3, Sunderland 1     Goals by Podolski, Arteta & Gervinho, yes, I said Gervinho!

COME ON, YOU GUNNERS!

Goodbye Robin, thanks for everything.

Hello, Santi, Lukas and Olivier, welcome to the new season.

Let’s go and win something.

Remember, Gunners, we are bigger than any one player.  The club survived Bergkamp retiring.  Vieira leaving.  We survived THE MAN, Thierry Henry, leaving.  We survived Adebayor, Cesc & Nasri leaving.  We are Arsenal.  We will once again survive another season of predicted disaster from the idiots & schmucks that are just jealous of who we are.  We will challenge for the title & will finish no worse than third this year.  If not, I will buy a ManUre [CAPTAIN REDACTED] jersey & wear it for every Arsenal v ManU game until we do win the title.  WE. WILL. SURVIVE.

To [CAPTAIN REDACTED]… SUCK IT!

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