So the international break has come to an end (finally) and we can now go back to normal. The loss at Old Trafford already seems like a lifetime ago as we look to bounce back against Soton.
It will not be as easy as we would think. In fact tomorrow, the lads need to have their heads screwed on straight if we are to get three points from them. Soton have without a doubt been the surprise package of the season and I think it is quite clear why. Pocchetino has employed a high pressing game that evidently few can live with. Arsenal, sorry to say, are a team that struggle against high pressing teams. Mulumbu with West Brom did it against us and so did BVB. The only difference with BVB is that they are a big team so we went into the game expecting a challenge. Our undoing would be to underestimate the saints.
One key concern I have is the way we try to pass the ball out of our danger area so complacently. We got punished by BVB when Ramsey got caught on the ball and have survived many more scares due to Koscielny’s astonishing recovery skills. Soton thrive off such mistakes so we MUST be cautious of that. In this game, concentration will be key.
There are however a few positives for us. The biggest obviously being Walcott’s availability. He couldn’t have come back at a better time. Giroud is beginning to look weary, not only because he has played every game, but also because of his incredible work rate. With Walcott in the side we have extra attacking outlet taking the pressure off. Giroud. Also with Ozil and Santi’s mobility, he can roam to his preffered central position and cause damage. I expect us to score more goals than we have been.
Also, a few of our key players were rested an have recharged their batteries. Ozil, Ramsey, Sagna, Jack and Giroud that is. This was a much needed rest and I’m hoping we can take things up a notch from now going forward.
To sum it up, I expect a difficult game with the winner decided by a slim margin. We are capable of taking the points but we will have to be as tactically smart as we were in Germany.
Written by: Marcus