With Arsenal preparing to face West Ham this afternoon, I thought I’d bring you a quote from one of the players that will be on the pitch this afternooon. Any Ideas?
Well, I can tell you that it is the right-back Pablo Zabaleta, talking about West Ham’s new coach Manuel Pellegrini and the swathe of new players he brought in this summer, including Jack Wilshere, Lucas Perez and Lukasz Fabianski. It would appear that the Hammers are in an even bigger ‘period of transition’ than Arsenal with ten new players arriving in all. It also hasn’t helped that Pelligrini has been tinkering with the first XI and will do so again today. He said: “Maybe against Arsenal I can make some changes because I think the players played bad. There are a lot of reasons why, in this minute, we are trying to find the best starting XI to win the game.”
So what about Arsenal’s old boys. Jack Wilshere will be playing against Arsenal for the first time ever, and will be keen to prove we were wrong to let him go. Lucas Perez came on as a sub in last week’s game and may also get his chance to prove a point to Emery. Lukasz Fabianski left us a few years ago and caused us lots of problems when he was at Swansea, registering four wins against us. He is also looking forward to a return to the Emirates with his new club. “I don’t think any game in the Premier League is easier because someone had a bad result or is in a bad run of results,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what happened in the previous two games. This game is a different challenge and you can’t underestimate any opponent.
“Saturday’s game will be a completely different game, a new challenge and both teams will want to show what happened in their first two games is not the look of their club and will look to show their fans they are better than what has happened so far.”
“Being there for seven years, it was quite a bit part of my football life. Coming from the Polish league right into a massive club like Arsenal in the Premier League, one of the most competitive leagues in the world, was a big step for me.
“I’m will always be thankful for the opportunity Arsenal gave to me, but it’s now been four years since I left them, so there have been many changes over there and there are not many people left who I played with or even worked under.
“I’ve got some good memories and I made so many friendships over there, but time moves on and people move on and I’m now at a different stage of my life. I’ve always had a good reception there, so I hope that’s not going to change.”
“It’s a massive change for them,” he observed. “Before what happened this summer, when you thought of Arsenal, you thought of Arsene Wenger.
“To see him going after such a long time is something strange, but that’s the way football works. The time came and people decided to make a change.
“He was very loyal to the club and one of the most successful managers in Arsenal’s history, but they decided to go with a different approach there as well.
“They now have a completely new project and are trying to do something else. It’s interesting to see such a change at such a big club, but that’s football life.”
So the stage is set. Both teams will be keen to make their new styles and tactics work. We will just wait patiently for the confirmed teams and let the fun begin!