Rosicky to conduct our play, Ox to start, and Sagna, Pod and Santi rested?
Today’s fourth-round FA cup game is a potential banana skin the size of Brighton Pier. Arsenal have just enjoyed a good, five-goal win against the Hammers. Often in the past, we followed such praiseworthy, high scoring games up with a lacklustre and over-confident performance in the next match. Let’s hope our boys are focussed and driven from the start this time round!
The Seagulls have absolutely nothing to lose, and their brand new AMEX stadium was built with the sheer hope of one day hosting games like these. The scalp of Newcastle has only just dried out, and the Brighton fans will be hoping to add, an even larger one this afternoon.
The fresh, new Brighton stadium is home to an equally exciting style of football, orchestrated by their up and coming manager: Gus Poyet. I reckon it will be a good game to watch, and no doubt The Seagulls will aim to chase us down from the start, and leave us as little time and space as possible to get into our passing game.
I don’t need to tell you we need to at least match their levels of energy, healthy aggression and chasing down opponents today, if we want to come through this encounter victoriously.
I have not watched the Seagulls much recently, so cannot give you an in-depth analysis of their style of football, and strengths and weaknesses.
Brighton and Hove Albion, to use the full name for once, are currently in seventh position in the Championship, and just four points away from a potential ticket to the Premier League next season. In their last game they played 4-1-3-2, and it will be interesting to see what they will do against us today.
I am looking forward to see what Lopez and Vincente are like up-front, and how their midfield will fair against ours. And I am hoping Kuszczak, the former MU goalkeeper who only managed to get 26 appearances in five years for the Mancs, will not have one of those days in which he successfully proofs he should still be performing in the PL every week; something that often seems to happen against us in these sort of games!
Predicted Line-up against The Seagulls:
I reckon their will be some rotation but not much and our bench is likely to be strong as well today. The FA Cup is a great competition and it would be fantastic for this team to win it. Losing today is not an option as the subsequent supporters/media negativity – given our recent painful cup-exit against Bradford - will be pretty much unbearable.
However, a few players need a rest and at best should start on the bench. Especially Sagna and Cazorla could do with a rest. The same goes for Wilshere, but we need some defensive midfield cover next to Ramsey, and Jack seems to be the best partner for him. Diaby appears to be available again, so maybe he will start instead of Wilshere, but my gut-feeling tells me the lanky Frenchman will start on the bench today.
This is a good game for Ox to play in, and I am pretty sure he’ll start on our right wing. Wenger will also like Giroud and Theo to further improve their partnership up-front, and I reckon the latter will start on the left wing this time, instead of the Pod. Don’t be surprised if Arsenal’s line-up looks more like 4-4-2 against Brighton today.
Apparently, Rosicky is available again, and surely, he will get a start today instead of Cazorla. The Spaniard really needs a rest and The Czech is desperate for a start; let’s hope we’ll see at least this rotation materialise against Brighton.
Our boys need to forget about everything and entirely focus on today’s game and give their all. If we do that, we’ll get through, if not we might get punished by The Seagulls. It is as simple as that!
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!!
Written by: Total Arsenal.