Ooh I love devouring the Spuds. I like them chipped, I like them boiled with gravy, I like them in a salad with some garlic mayo on top, I like them flattened into hash brownies, or even better, mashed with butter and a hint of mustard. And the Spuddies are tastiest when gulped down at our very own home of football. 🙂
Today’s NLD comes early (again): the teams still have to find their stride, and Pochettino is still finding his feet at the club. You just cannot take count anymore of how many managers have come and gone, and for that, predict what we can expect from the miscreants this time round.
We need a win to build further on our away win at Villa and to get the momentum going for two more big games this week: Galatasaray and the Chavs. I would say let’s treat this as an OGAAT and not worry about what is to follow. But I feel this a big moment for Arsenal this season: the time for experimenting is over as the next three games will shape our season to a large extent. We need a win against the Turks and we need a result against the Chavs.
So now it is time to put out a formation and team that will have the best chance to get us there, give or take a couple of tweaks over the next eight days. Wenger’s plan for this season will be confirmed today/this week, I am pretty sure.
We can talk about it forever, but the only thing that matters is what happens on the pitch come 17.30. I have not seen enough of the Spuds this season to form an opinion about the strength of their team. After a late goal by Dier they clinched all the points from the Hammers on the opening day, and then they brushed aside QPR at home; but after that they just got one point from playing Liverpool and West Brom at home and Sunderland away, giving away a lead twice at the Stadium of Light.
So they are lacking form and the first doubts whether Pochettino is the right man for them, which I reckon he is, will have started to surface, no doubt. Clearly, they need to bounce back and will not need motivating for today’s NLD. We have not had the best of spells ourselves in recent weeks and could really do with a win.
I expect Arsene to set out with 4-1-4-1 but with one of the central midfielders to sit back a lot, especially during the start of the game. The only real risk we have is playing too much attacking football, leaving our back-four – especially the BFG – exposed in the process. The Spuds will love to play counter football against us and they have the weapons to hurt us. Some might call for 4-2-1-3 with two of Ramsey, Wilshere, Arteta and Flamini (or even Chambers), and I reckon they will get their wish effectively.
Many believe it will be either Ramsey or Jack next to Ozil in midfield, but I am convinced Wenger will incorporate all three. I reckon Ozil will be moved to the left, with licence to roam where he thinks he can add value (with Gibbs playing a more conservative role – and Sanchez and Ozil are likely to swap sides as well).
The defence picks itself and Szczesny is likely to be back. Danny on top and that is about it for me.
So predicted line-up:
I would be tempted to replace the captain with Flamini, but it is a good game for him to prove he has still got it. We need all eleven Gunners to be up for this and fire from all cylinders.
Will they be? Will I ever ask a more stupid question?
Let’s mash them Spuds! COYG!!
Written by: TotalArsenal.