Flamini and Monreal to start at Sunderland as Ozil makes his Arsenal debut

The Transfer Window has slammed shut. It
went to the wire again this year for us. Having signed only Mathieu Flamini and
Yaya Sanogo on a free, the press and many of us were on Arsene Wenger’s back to
spend money and strengthen the squad.

He spent big money on Mesut Özil, bringing
in one of the worlds most talented players for us, whilst smashing the transfer
record we held. Flamini could be just as key to this season as Özil, in a
contrasting way as possible.

It was superb to see him come on in the
North London Derby and start barking orders at our players and chasing every
single ball down.  Sure, I’d have liked
to have seen some more come through the door with several departures over the
summer, but let’s just reiterate what has been achieved in this window; several
players on astronomical wages have been sold freeing up millions in wages,
signed the most creative midfielder statistically on the planet and smashed our
transfer fee. Is there a reason to moan? I’m finding it hard to think of one.

On to Saturday and Sunderland away. Paolo
Di Canio will be desperate to get three points to loosen his collar. We will be
confident, having beaten Spurs 1-0 and coming through a tricky tie at
Fenerbahce. Baring the absolute mare we had against Villa, the opening of this
season has been encouraging.

I see no point in moaning about our squad
size as we can do nothing about that now, all the remains is for us to get
fully behind the team and support them. With Sunderland not having a win in five
games while Arsenal have 4, the Stadium of Light has been somewhat tricky for
us to visit over the last couple of years.

In the FA Cup we were beaten 2-0, and have dropped
points in four visits to the ground in the last five years. I particularly
remember playing Sunderland last year and being kicked off the park, so our
players will require a lot of physical aggression to ensure we walk away with
not only the three points, but no injuries too.

I’d like to see Flamini start with Aaron Ramsey
in midfield this week, to give Jack Wilshere a rest. I also would like to see
the tenacity of Flamini in midfield, allowing Ramsey to attack as well as
defend. I’d also like Nacho Monreal to get a game at left-back if Özil starts
as he doesn’t go forward as much as Gibbs, thus allowing Özil to not have to
worry about defending too much on his debut. That being said, I don’t want to
see an Andrey Arshavin from him! We should have more than enough to defeat
Sunderland on Saturday and I fully back us to beat them having won our last six
away games.

Stats –

Sunderland have won just eight points from
their last 17 Premier League games against the Gunners.

Olivier Giroud has scored in three
successive league appearances, but has not scored any of his 14 Barclays
Premier League goals outside of London.

Jose Reyes (in 2004/05) scored in each of
Arsenal’s opening five Premier League matches.

Arsenal have scored in eight successive
games in the competition; the longest-such current run in the Premier League.

Mesut Ozil has registered 72 goal assists
in the last five seasons – more than any other player across Europe’s top five

Statistics –

I use SkyBet for most of my online betting
so my odds will come from them.

Skybet has told me that Oli Giroud FGS and
Arsenal 3-0 Scorecast is ‘impossible’, but I like that choice.

Arsenal 3-0 – 12/1

Arsenal to be winning at HT and FT – 6/4

Ozil to score and Arsenal to win – 3/1

News –

Thomas Vermaelen could return to squad after
being put back in full training. Rosicky, Sanogo, Podolski, Arteta, Chamberlain
all out. Özil could start.

Just a quick note from me; over the next
few months I will be writing my dissertation and will probably be doing so on
Football Fandom. If I ask a general question through Gunners Town or my own
Twitter, please do get in touch if you feel you have an answer.

Thanks, and as always Up The Arsenal.

Ryan Barker

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