Only the uber-optimists will not feel a bit down at the moment. It has been a tough week for us Gooners with our FA-cup exit and an almost certain CL-exit in the space of just four days. Best not to talk about these games anymore and move on to tomorrow’s game against Villa.
We are desperate for a shot in the arms and a home game against Villa should provide us with a good platform for it. However, Lambert managed to get a result against us at home last year with Norwich City, and after Aston Villa’s win against West Ham in their last PL game, they will feel they at least have a chance against us; and if Blackburn can beat us, then they could do it too.
Five demands of our players tomorrow:
- Focus: I want to see our team fully concentrated and focussed from the start tomorrow. No more silly defensive mistakes. Somebody needs to be the clear leader at the back and the rest need to follow suit. We have good defenders and now it is time to raise the level of organisation and professionalism between them.
- Pressing from the start: when I watched us against Blackburn, I had that horrible feeling from the start that the team were not in the game somehow. We need a high tempo with lots of pressing of our opponents: not half-heartedly going through the motions, or having difficulties in ‘finding each other’.
- Taking our chances: we have not been scoring anywhere near enough goals recently; scoring only five goals in total in our last five games (all competitions) is not good enough. Yet, we produce plenty of opportunities and I would like to see the likes of Theo, Giroud, Podolksi and Cazorla being a lot more prolific tomorrow. If we do manage to score an early goal, which is well overdue, we need to push on by keeping up the tempo and gunning for more goals.
- A step improvement in our passing game: I often hear fellow Gooners complaining about us passing the ball too much. I, for one, would like Arsenal to improve their passing game, but definitely not reduce it. Too often the ball is played to a fellow player who is surrounded by one or more opposition players and nobody goes and helps. I would like us to’ gel’ a lot better and be a close unit, and play the familiar triangles again on Saturday; with a high tempo and with full intent to penetrate the opposition’s box constantly. We have missed the confidence, intent and invention to do this recently, and it needs to return again tomorrow.
- Passion. Enough said.
Predicted line-up against Aston Villa:
A win tomorrow will not take away all the disappointment of the recent cup exit(s), but it will restore a bit of faith and hope that we can still finish the season on a high.
Come On you Rip Roaring Gunners!
Written by: Total Arsenal.