Let’s make it Three out of Three NLD victories this season!
What it means in a nutshell:
A glorious Sunday morning carries the promise of a fine day of football. It is the NLD: a game outside of time and space – ninety plus minutes of pure here and now football. Yes, the despicable Chavs have just lost three very valuable points and had two players sent off (especially Ramires missing next week’s game is a real bonus); yes, Mansour City lost their best player for the next few games; and yes, Pool are likely to get beaten by the Mancs this afternoon. All interesting (potential) developments, but for us only one thing matters: do everything possible to win the game against the Spuddies today.
Much noise has been made about our injuries, but I reckon there is no such excuse for today’s game. Our back five will consist of: Szczesny, Mr Reliable, BFG, Kozzer and Nacho – maybe even Gibbs is fit again. At this stage of the season we are really lucky to have all our defenders available, and especially against the Spuds, who only scored on average a little bit more than one goal per home game this season (16 goals in 14 home games), this will be vital. The mean threat will be Adebarndoor but the BFG and Kozzer will be ready for him, whilst the former – our real captain – also likes to score against our North-London enemies and celebrate it in their faces.
Of course, it would be great to have the likes of Ozil, Rambo, Jack and Theo available for today’s derby game, but with Arteta, Santi, Ox and Rosicky available we have still good alternatives. It also looks like Kim Kallstrom might be available, and who knows, he might become an instant hero today… On top of that, Pod, Giroud and possibly Sanogogogo are available, and I really don’t see any reason to be worried about our ability to field a strong line-up today.
The Spuddies were outplayed by a very fit and impressive looking Benfica less than 72 hours ago. They played compact against them and never gave the ‘skinny chicken on a ball’ shirt wearers much time on the ball. That is exactly how we should play them: press them hard in midfield, keep it tight and give them no time to settle. I feel we need to take the initiative in this game rather than sit back and absorb their pressure initially, as this might give them time to settle into the game and play away some of their post-Benfica nerves and worries.
On the other hand, it might be better to sit back a bit and kill them off with counter attacking football/ quick switchovers, as Benfica – typical Portuguese football – were also able to do. I am not sure whether we have the right players available for this, though, and prefer us to take a 4-5-1 approach today.
So for me, the preferred line up is:
The five of Flamini (deepest), Ox, Arteta, Santi and Rosicky in midfield should allow us to dominate this crucial area and create plenty of opportunities. I am going with Sanogo upfront, as I felt Giroud looked knackered against Bayern throughout most of the game and things are clearly not right with him at the moment. He might be a bit of liability today, and I feel he might start on the bench.
The only doubt I have with this line-up is the lack of regular goal scorers. Ox has started to score and we know that Santi can be lethal, but Arteta, Rosicky and Sanogo cannot claim to have been prolific for the club. So maybe Pod will start instead of Sanogo or Rosicky, or he will be used as a super-sub – his best role in my opinion – later in the game.
I am really looking forward to this one: a great opportunity to make it three out of three against the Spuds this season and to create a nice, large gap between us and them, bringing the next St Totteringham’s celebration really close. 😉
So let’s focus on just this game, give our all and show them who the Kings of North London are.
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners – Up The Arse! 🙂