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Cesc on the Sidelines for West Brom clash

Today will see how Arsenal can cope without their main man

Written by Shaun Wares

Today sees Arsenal in their first league game without midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas. He has been the Gunner’s puppet master this season, pulling all the strings in an excellent start to the season. The Gunners have definitely been firing on all cylinders, but without Cesc as the driving force behind the team, will they be found wanting in the middle of the pitch?

If Manchester City can overcome Chelsea today, it could be a key result for Arsenal, and they could not have asked for a better opportunity to tighten the screw and increase the pressure on the Blues.

They are up against the archetypal yo-yo club, West Brom, who have struggled to maintain their Premier League status over the last few seasons. Their close-season acquisitions have been poor as always, and their bargain basment collection of players will find it tough to keep the Gunners at bay.

Today’s game will be an excellent chance for the Gunners to get used to life without Fabregas, a prospect already staring them in the face. This season will probably be his last at the Emirates, and he will be sorely missed. He brings composure and control to what can often be a fierce, physical midefield battle week-in, week-out in the Premier League. He is the perfect complement to Arsenal’s dangerous front men, and often provides the key ball in most goalscoring moves for the Gunners. Arshavin and Chamakh will be expected to continue their excellent early season scoring form, but will not have the service to which they have become accustomed to.

I predict an Arsenal victory today, but then again, who wouldn’t? Even the most ardent West Brom supporter would admit that they are up against a massive challenge today, but may well see their best opportunity to record a result in the absence of the jewell in the Arsenal crown. Wenger will be mindful of upcoming Champions League fixtures and the match against Chelsea next month, but today provides him with a great opportunity to see how his charges fare without Fabregas steering the ship.



  1. Pascal

    September 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Always more fun to read the article after the game !

    • shaun_wares

      September 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Unless you didn’t know, there is an editing process involved in the publication of an article. I write the articles and submit them on the match day. I admit it was a poor Arsenal performance, but if you have read any of my previous articles, I did indicate that apart from Chelsea, the rest of the big five do have a tendency to slip up in smaller games. Hence today’s result, and the Liverpool game during the week. Football is an unpredictable game, but you would still have been inclined to go for an Arsenal victory.

  2. Arsenal play the best football blah blah blah

    September 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    “I predict an Arsenal victory today, but then again, who wouldn’t?”

    You might want to think twice about saying something so stupid & arrogant next time!

    Your lucky Nasri scored 2 late goals to make it look like a closer game than ut actually was, only slightly diluted a hugely embarassing result at HOME against relegation contenders

    Like ive always said, its easy taking candy from a baby but when u lot come up against the men u get slapped up everytime…without fail! And trust me on this, nothing is different this year

    Chelsea away next week, 1 point out of 9 i think

    • shaun_wares

      September 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      As Chelsea demonstrated today, they are not invincible, but I would agree with you that Arsenal provide no competition for them with things the way they are. Yes, my prediction was wrong, but any sane football fan would have predicted an Arsenal victory. And this would disprove my theory that Arsenal would be able to cope without Fabregas in midfield. Arsenal play attrative football, but it isn’t football that gets results when it comes to the crunch, and that is why I would predict another season without silverware. Football is a results business, and for the most part, Arsenal get results. However, in big game situations, and in the final stages of the season, Arsenal definitely lack a certain something.
      In conclusion, the articles on this site are designed to stir up debate, and I have succeeded in doing so. Without a strong opinion, I would not have set the stage for such a spectacular failure on the part of the Gunners, and you would not have commented!

    • shaun_wares

      September 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      Your poor spelling and grammar do nothing to make your comments credible. Thank you and good night

  3. edited by common_sensei

    September 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Mr wares,

    You are fired, what a waste of time it was working with somebody lacking any idea about football, for all of the five minutes I was honestly in awe…

  4. edited by common_sensei

    September 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    You’re as funny as f**k though I will admit, I laughed at your responses throughout – and I have supported the Arsenal since 1980 before I moved from Holloway Road.

    I can tell whichever team you support hasn’t had a very good time playing Arsenal recently, and you probably do realise that Arsenal are the better team … but sadly you are in denial about it.

    • shaun_wares

      September 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

      As a writer, I remain completely neutral, but I am from a family comprised entirely of Arsenal supporters. I write balanced articles about all of the big five clubs, but I do have a preference for the attractive style of football they play. They have got great players who play excellent football. If you would like to listen to someone wax lyrical about Arsenal, read articles from a fansite. I appreciate that you support Arsenal, but even you must see that their short-comings in big game situations mean that they’re still not credible title contenders. They are a solid, entertaining unit, but a true fan would see both the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen team.
      Perhaps you would prefer to watch some old ‘ArseneWengers Magic Hat’ VHS Cassettes to remind yourself of the times when the Gunners could maintain their form over an entire season, and beat Liverpool, United, Chelsea, and regularly embarrass Tottenham. I’ll lend you a copy if you like.

  5. naija+soccer

    September 25, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Today was not the first league game without fabregas. he didnt play against liverpool .

    • shaun_wares

      September 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

      And they didn’t win that one either!

  6. Mick

    September 26, 2010 at 5:31 am

    ‘Their close-season acquisitions have been poor as always’.
    But good enough to beat Arsenal, eh?

    • shaun_wares

      September 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Perhaps if Arsenal had acquired a more consistently performing goalkeeper in the close season, they might not have suffered such an embarrassing defeat. Any team in the league is capable of beating another, if every result was a foregone conclusion, nobody would watch, or place bets on football matches.

  7. rohit

    October 3, 2010 at 6:13 am

    fabregas should play

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