Olympiakos preview: last chance saloon for Arshavin and Chamakh – Angha and Meade to start?

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Tonight’s game against Olympiakos, in the boiling and hissing cauldron that is the Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens, is the perfect opportunity for both our up and coming talents and the players who find themselves at the periphery of the team, to show us what they (still) have got to offer to us.

When Arsenal are going through a tough time many fans vent their frustrations by having a go at all those players who appear to earn vast sums of money but seldom play for the first team. Some of those players are likely to get a (last?) chance tonight to show us what they could still mean for the team: Rosicky, Squillaci, Arshavin and Chamakh are all in the squad to face the Athenians tonight.

Arsene has also selected a number of players who have played plenty of first team games already this season, and I guess they will form the solid frame for today’s line up: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Jenkinson, Ramsey and Gervinho.

I am a bit disappointed that we are not going to see the likes of Gnabry, Eisfeld and Yennaris tonight as these are the youngsters who appear to be closest to more regular involvement in our first team squad at the moment. I read somewhere that they are not part of Arsenal’s official CL squad and therefore not eligible unfortunately.

Instead, Arsene has included into his squad the youngsters Angha (defender), Ansah (attacker), Akpom (attacker), Hajrovic (defender), Meade (left midfield/ left back), Monteiro (defender) and Shea (goalkeeper). I have seen a bit of Angha, Shea and Meade but the others are not very familiar to me.

Arsenal Squad for tonight’s game: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Gervinho, Chamakh, Angha, Ansah, Hajrovic, Meade, Monteiro, Shea, Akpom.

What is there to say about this game from a tactical perspective? We know the Greek Champions are the dominant team in Greece and although they have already qualified for the UEFA cup, they will be well up for this in front of their passionate home crowd. For every win there is also a hefty CL bonus, which provides another reason to take this game seriously.

I expect Olympiakos once again to pass the ball round a lot, be very well organised and play as a strong unit – allowing us little space and time to settle on the ball: nothing new there.

Who knows how Arsenal are going to line-up tonight, and whether we will be able to out-battle the Greeks? Going on previous experiences, we should not expect too much, but from the available squad we should be able to select a decent enough team to at least have a go.

Predicted line-up:

———————-Szczesny———————-

Jenkinson – Angha – Vermaelen – Meade

—————Ramsey———-Ox—————–

————————Rosicky———————-

Gervinho——–Chamakh———-Arshavin

I don’t care very much whether we win or even whether we finish first or second in our group; what I do care about is that the players go out there and put in their best performance, that they play with pride for the shirt, and some lovely football in the process.

Total Arsenal.

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59 Responses to Olympiakos preview: last chance saloon for Arshavin and Chamakh – Angha and Meade to start?

  1. WiganGooner says:

    Excellent pre-view, really enjoyed it 🙂

    Good job TA

    WG

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers WG – really enjoyed yours as well! 🙂

  3. William says:

    All teams know Arsenal like to pass all day.So all they have to do is wait when all nine gunners are upfield. When the gunners pass goes haywire it’s time for the counter strike and bingo the ball is in the gunners net. Then the gunners commit all out attack ,a 2nd goal will kill Arsenal off like Swansea did.
    Not convinced. It could happen again tonite unless Wenger has something under his sleev.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi William,

    More and more teams are passing the ball all day in the PL. We are currently not doing it well enough: players are too far apart, not enough smart running off the ball, players are scared of playing a slightly risky pass etc etc. In my view, we need more players in midfield, play a lot more compact; and keep the ball better, by passing it better to each other. From that platform, we can protect our defence better whilst also creating more attacking moves.

  5. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    TA.. Your wish do come true.. Wenger did rested some of our first players.. hehe..
    And you know what..?? Gnabry and Eisfeld also our first players.. hehe.. cheer up..

    Yes.. I like to watch all the youngsters play tonight.. include ahsa and akpom..

    Go Young Gunners..

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi heheHenry 🙂

    Most youngster will be on the bench I reckon, but hopefully we see a few start at least. Has the rainy season properly started now?

  7. henrychan says:

    Hehe.. TA..
    I don’t think Ox will play as a DM pair with Ramsey.. Why you put Coq behind..??
    Ox is better as an AM pair with Rosicky.. in 4-4-2 formation.. (Glad to have Rosicky back)
    And Gervinho and Akpom as CF.. Chamakh and Arshavin only play when everything going worst.. hehe..

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Good question heheheHenry 🙂

    I don’t think we play 4-4-2 tonight, and I reckon that Ramsey and Ox are ahead of Coqeulin at the moment. But you could be right re Coquelin making the starting line-up. Maybe Ox or Gervinho start on the bench (Ox could play in Gervinho’s position…

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    VCC – is the UMF League still correct, after last night’s game?

  10. VCC says:

    1-3 December 2012 . Weekly chart

    Herb 4 (clever boy)
    RA 3
    Total 2
    Oz 2
    Terry 1
    Henry 1
    GLiC 1
    Rocky 1
    VCC 0 (Doughnut)

    Overall
    Red Arse(smart arse) 9 Yellow Jersey
    Rocky 7
    Total 7
    Henry 6
    VCC (flash in the pan) 6
    Oz 6
    Herb 6
    Terry 5
    GLiC (wooden spoon) 4

    Sorry I’m a bit late today chaps. Domestic chores.

    As you can see Red Arse is setting the overall pace with a fine 9 points.

    No surprise the overall plonker and strong man is holding the rest up.

    I set of predictions in already from GLiC.

    Hope your all enjoying the fun ( except GLiC of course, but thats to be expected, AH Henry, he he he )

  11. VCC says:

    sorry Total. Had some domestic duties to take care of.

    Latest scores on the doors are now printed.

  12. VCC says:

    1 UMF League predictions for week end 8th-9th-10th December, 2012.

    One entry so far =

    GLiC……
    Wigan v QPR Away win
    Swansea v Norwich Away win
    Sunderland v Chavs Home win
    Arsenal v WBA Home win
    Fulham v Newcastle Away win.

    GLiC’s odds…….316-1

  13. Red Arse says:

    Enjoyed the Post, TA, 🙂

    I understand that AW had no option with leaving out Gnabry because he is injured, and Eisfeld is not qualified in the CL squad.

    The number of top clubs who are likely to finish second in their groups is quite high, so finishing top in our group may not be the best thing.

    That means I am very relaxed going into this game, which is just as well as I think we will get whopped!! 😆

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    You might be right, Red Riding Hood 🙂

    As Maureen said a couple weeks ago: ‘I won the CL twice and in both cases I finished second in the group’. Such a d*ck!

  15. Red Arse says:

    Just a refresher of the squad players for the Prem and the CL.

    Due to the competitions’ different regulations, a number of players eligible to play in the Premier League will not qualify for involvement in Europe.

    Those players are marked with an asterisk in the following list:

    Aaron Ramsey
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
    Andre Santos
    Andrey Arshavin
    Bacary Sagna
    Carl Jenkinson
    Chuks Aneke
    Conor Henderson
    Craig Eastmond*
    Damian Martinez*
    Daniel Boateng
    Elton Monteiro
    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Francis Coquelin
    Gervinho
    Hector Bellerin*
    Ignasi Miquel
    Isaac Hayden
    Jack Wilshere
    James Shea
    Jernade Meade
    Johan Djourou
    Jon Toral*
    Jordan Wynter
    Josh Rees
    Kieran Gibbs
    Kristoffer Olsson*
    Kyle Ebecilio
    Laurent Koscielny
    Lukas Podolski
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Marouane Chamakh
    Martin Angha
    Mikel Arteta
    Nico Yennaris
    Nigel Neita
    Olivier Giroud
    Per Mertesacker
    Philip Roberts
    Reice Charles-Cook
    Samir Bihmoutine
    Sanchez Watt
    Santi Cazorla
    Sead Hajrovic
    Sebastien Squillaci
    Serge Gnabry
    Theo Walcott
    Thomas Eisfeld*
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Tomas Rosicky
    Abou Diaby
    Vito Mannone
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Zak Ansah

  16. VCC says:

    Red Arse… As you will be relaxed watching tonights game you can sit in the sofa with a bottle of Red South African and crackers and Roquefort. Luvverly Jubberly.

    COYG

  17. VCC says:

    Wow Red Arse, I hope you cut and pasted that.

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Redders 🙂

    VCC UMF widget adjusted – thanks for input.

    Come on you young and promising and fringe players Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!!

  19. Red Arse says:

    People say Moaniho is a great manager, Tazzer, which I grudgingly admit may be true, provided he is employed by a top club, and they throw hundreds of millions of pounds sterling at him for transfers!

    But then so could I with all the backroom staff he brings with him to do the donkey work.

    I could not possibly agree with those fans who say they cannot stand him for his alleged bullying, thuggish behaviour towards referees, (one of whom had to retire as a result of death threats which it seems may have come from Chelsea fans after, it seems, Moany accused him of costing the Chavs a game, and his alleged attempts, it would appear, to gouge the eyes of a junior Barcelona coach, not to mention his alleged besmirching of Arsene Wenger’s reputation by apparently inferring AW was obsessed with watching Moany.

    Would I want someone like that to manage the Gunners? NO
    Would I want someone like that to be back in the Prem League? NO
    Would I want someone like that back in the UK? NO

  20. Red Arse says:

    VCC,

    Yes I pinched it from the AFC site. (Don’t tell them!) 😆

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Redders, I am with you all the way. Although, I have no doubt he is a very good manager; he also is a d*ck of a human being. Would I want him in our galaxy? F*ck NO! 😈

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Out for a bit now – catch you later.

  23. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi All,
    nothing on tonight’s game, so no pressure, which is nice.
    It appears Redders, Mourinho has the same effect on you that RvP has on Total.
    He didn’t spend fortunes making Porto European champions, and I believe he’d still be at Chelsea had Abramovich not forced Shevchenko on him.
    I’d love him to manage Arsenal because he’s a winner, but being one of the top three coaches/manager’s in the world, he’s well out of our league. He wants to win a CL with an English club, so that definitely rules us out. He we either take over from SAF at MU or replace Mancini at MC.
    The decisions made by the BoD in 1976 and 1986 were shocking, and for that reason alone they owe Arsenal fans a manager of Mourinho’s calibre, but our safety-first business model with the handbrake firmly on would never entertain thoughts such as speculating to accumulate.
    We are nice, polite losers, Mourinho is an unscrupulous winner with an attitude, similar to SAF, as perfectly described by Redders above. We know who we are, and that is the problem.

  24. Red Arse says:

    I am writing a male version of “50 Shades of Thingy”, and I am going to let you see a few snippets of my sexy sexy work to date. Standby ………………..

    — Ever since my woman read THAT book, I’ve had to buy all kinds of ropes, chains and shackles.
    She still manages to get into the shed, though.

    — “Put on this rubber suit and mask,” I instructed, calmly.
    “Mmmm, kinky!” she purred.
    “Yes,” I said, “You can’t be too careful with all that asbestos in the shed roof.”

    — “I’m a very naughty girl,” she said, biting her lip. “I need to be punished.”
    So I invited my mum to stay for the weekend.

    What do you think, so far?

  25. Red Arse says:

    Hi Herb, 🙂

    I see you are full of beans this afternoon!

    Winning is everything in the mind of many and it is a cultural thing in the US, but I am sorry, it is the way you win that is important.

    Blofeld tried to beat James Bond by cheating, but winning by cheating is never acceptable! Except when Glic plays cards, then he goes for the throat, but only when he is playing against his grandchild, or VCC! 😀

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    “– “I’m a very naughty girl,” she said, biting her lip. “I need to be punished.”
    So I invited my mum to stay for the weekend.” what would Freud have to say about that?! 😛

    You are in good form Redders.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    The first principle of supporting your club: love thyself

  28. VCC says:

    Thats on par with a GLiCster box office hit Red Arse, thats how good that was. lmfao

  29. Herb'sArmy says:

    Hi Redders,
    Bond is a fictional character who has all the quintessential stereotypes of the model British gentleman, and along with ‘Doctor Who’ is the nearest we get to the American equivalent of a super-hero.
    If Mourinho does go to Manchester and we still have Mr Wenger, we know the script already. Mourinho will publicly rubbish his overall record and get under his skin all over again. Must we go through a repeat of all that nonsense?

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Olympiakos Team
    Carroll, Maniatis, Machado, Conteras, Manolas, Torossidis, Fejsa, Diakité, Greco, Abdoun, Djebbour

    Subs: Megyeri, Ibagaza, Fetfatzidis, Fuster, Siovas, Pantelić, Mitroglou.

    Arsenal Team
    Szczesny, Meade, Vermaelen, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Rosicky, Chamberlain, Ramsey, Coquelin, Gervinho, Chamakh.

    Subs: Shea, Angha, Hajrovic, Monteiro, Arshavin, Ansah, Akpom

  31. glic says:

    Evening Cream Biscuits 😆

    I`ve had a rubbish day driving , but I`m looking forward to a rare treat tonight, a game I can watch live, so F**k the sofa !.
    As you may be well aware, it`s my anniversary today, 36 years, I bet the ” Yorkshire Ripper ” does less time !.
    The missus was probably expecting a night out !, tough, I haven`t forgiven her for 36 years for making me miss ” SuperMac`s ” hat trick in a 5-3 win over Newcastle !.
    Redders, you might be looking forward to me insulting VCC, but I like to leave that X- Rated stuff for the video`s, of which I only do when we win a league game, so you might be waiting a while ! . hahaha

    You may know or not, but one of my brothers lives in Thailand, he`s about 60 years old and has just married a Thai girl, she`s about a third of his age and they have a son. I did ask him how dodgy was it trying to tell the differance between the real girls and the lady boys, he said , the lady boys had prominnent Adams Apples !, a simple effective piece of advise !.
    Contrast this to VCC`s experience, his tell tale signs were too late, he was confronted in the face by a “Hard On” sticking out of a pair of Y-Fronts and had no option but to carry on ” Tea Bagging” as one of the lady boys associates had wheel clamped his wheel chair !.

  32. VCC says:

    What do you lot think?

    Have we any chance?

    15 minutes to KO

    COYRRG

  33. VCC says:

    LMFAO…..you rotter.

    Come on you Gunners.

    Hope you had a nice day on your 36th and fingers crossed you will have a fantstic night celebrating the mighty Arsenal win together with a nice cuddle with you better half.

    Have a good one GLiC. XXX

  34. glic says:

    Apologies in advance, if I offend any Bubbles tonight, you know I dont mean it as I have bubble relatives ,a Greek first name and Stretch is one of my bestest buddies !. hahaha

  35. glic says:

    We should beat this lot for f**k sake, a load of out of work plate smashers who all work in a Greek Argos store…….Olympi Argos !. hahaha

  36. glic says:

    Yes VCC, I willl have a cuddle with my better half………my mirror is by my side ! hahaha

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Sure we have a chance – but not a very big one 🙂

    CoYG!

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    Olympi Argos hahaha 😛

  39. VCC says:

    Qualiteeeeeeeeee. Olympi. Argos……..

  40. glic says:

    How comes Stretch has`nt come on with their team sheet ?, you know the one ……Stavros Flatley, Demis Rousos, Kojak, Marina Sirtis ( from Star Trek the next penetration ) Anthony Quinn, Zorba, Achilles , Theo from Dragons Den, Dave Starsky , the East Enders Laundrette owner , Plato , etc !.

  41. Herb'sArmy says:

    Happy anniversary Glic 🙂

  42. glic says:

    Lots of furry faces in the Olympi Argos team …….I didn`t realise we were playing their ladeez team !.

  43. glic says:

    Thanks Herb
    Goallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

  44. glic says:

    Just as I was about to call Moon Head all the names under the Sun !. hahahaha

  45. glic says:

    Moon Head needs to have more awareness of other players around him !. I think Theo would have loved some of the open space out there tonight !.

  46. glic says:

    Some of them Olympi Argos boys are going down quicker than George Michael in a Hampstead public loo !.

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Gervupiter did well with the assist, Glic, but yes his touch and decision making let him down a few times. Rosicky has been brilliant the first half – wow! Vermaelen is also having a great game. One or two others are impressing too. Let’s hope we keep this up in 2nd half.

  48. VCC says:

    How tiny is that boy Meade, I think he is shorter than Santi.

  49. glic says:

    Sorry VCC, but Sick note is class, if he can stay fit ( yes I know, big if ! ) , he has the vibrancy which our midfield needs. I can only see positives if he gets to play with Santi and Jack !.

  50. glic says:

    Gervupiter ! hahaha
    Chamakh is class though, isn`t he ! hahaha

  51. VCC says:

    Agree GLiC, I was harsh on him, but he cannot last a season. Quality when fit, simples.

  52. VCC says:

    Ramsey thinks we are playing in red tonight.

  53. glic says:

    Really dont think it matters whether it is 1st or 2nd in qualifying, only time will tell !.
    Performance wise, I thought some were ok and some should be got rid off. Too much ball watching for my liking. Not a full team , but some players who are expected to challenge for the 1st team are not quality that we`re used to having in the past !. I just hope that the future that I`m preaching is going to work out.
    At the moment we are at a low ebb, this is not because of tonight, but what has been ( apart from 5-2 spud result ) building up for a while. Like others have said , there is something that is not quite right, no confidence and plenty of nothing else !. Wenger has more than a mountain to climb and seems to me like something that has no quick cure.
    I dont want us panic buying in the January TW and maybe scrape through to 4th and then repeat it all over again next year, I`d rather us not qualify and then bring in real quality in the summer !.

  54. VCC says:

    So how many of my list who played tonight would you start on Monday? Or even make the bench.

    Rosicky
    Ramsey
    Squillaci
    Arshavin
    Gervinho
    Chamakh

    Rosicky was good for 45 mins. I hope he is fit for Saturday.

  55. glic says:

    Start on Monday ?

    If you mean Saturday, only Rosicky……maybe the headless ( that must be an oxymoron ) chicken on the bench. Why doesn`t he have that stupid hair cut off, he might have more of a clue where the other players are !.

  56. VCC says:

    Glad you are paying attention Mr.GLiC. .. Yes Saturday.

    I would love to know exactly what that line of six players are on a week/year? Perhaps RedArse can find out.

  57. VCC says:

    Looks like that second half sent everyone to sleep.

    Been on other sites and some bloggers are actually saying Chamakh played well. I must have been watching a different game.

  58. Herb'sArmy says:

    Arsenal Football club are at a major crossroads, maybe the most critical in their 126 year existence. Much more of this and supporters will turn away in their droves. We have the same wage-bill as Bayern Munich and yet there is a huge chasm in quality between the two clubs.
    Arsenal need an identity. As a club, we are spineless, as witnessed with the sales of RvP and Alex Song. The only legacy we have from the club that came from Highbury are the old Etonians still drawing dividends from our move to The Emirates. What was the move to The Emirates about? Competing with MU, Barcelona, Real Madrid? Isn’t that what we were promised?
    Even if FFP is implemented, our quality is so woefull it will take well in excess £100m to put right if Arsenal are to fulfill the BoD’s promises and compete with the world’s best.
    When Arsene Wenger won the Premier League title at WHL in 2002, he said he wanted to make Arsenal one of the biggest clubs in the world. That was 10 years ago and the quality at the club now is significantly poorer than it was then.
    Are we a cash-cow for Stan Kroenke to draw dividends from, or do we seriously want to compete for major trophies?
    And when the club define their identity and direction, perhaps they’ll be good enough to let the supporters know.

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post – NEW POST 🙂

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