Walcott start, Sanchez in hole, Hayden DM? Arsenal v Burnley Preview

The Burnley Preview

Will we see the Pod?

Will we see the Pod?

For once, I think this is all about us, and how well we play, which makes this preview a lot easier to write. Not that we can just dismiss Burnley out of hand. If we play badly we could easily lose. They may be a bit suspect at the back, but they are a ‘team’, and will play like one.

Apart from that, they are capable of scoring, given the opportunity. It is up to us not to give them that opportunity.

Not unusual this season, we go into the game with injury doubts over Jack Wilshere and Keiren Gibbs. The latter is clearly the one that will call for a bigger reshuffle, even if he is only on the bench. But with Kos already out, the back 4 probably picks itself.

The most likely scenario is: Bellerin, Chambers, Mertersacker, and Monreal.

In midfield, I think Arteta and Ramsey are the likely back pair, but after the first 10 minutes or so, I expect Ramsey to get forward in the B2B role regularly.

Whilst the attacking trio, without Wilshere, will be: Ox, Cazorla, and Alexis. Or will it?

Leaving Welbeck up front.

The Bench will be interesting if you follow this list of possibilities, because apart from Martinez, the remainder all have a prefix of ‘Could start’:

Flamini, Hayden, Rosicky, Podolski, Walcott, Campbell, and Gnabry.

Now this is where we get to play musical chairs with ‘could start’s’?

Supposing, if you take the base listed above, and AW wants to repeat the DM base of Arteta and Flamini….. Ramsey could then displace Cazorla or the Ox?

Hayden starting throws up all sorts of permutations. At CB he could indirectly displace Bellerin by having Chambers go back to RB? At DM he could partner Arteta, and have Ramsey repeat the above. Indeed, he could displace Arteta and partner Ramsey? That would probably mean he would have to fly solo some of the time, and that would be an interesting experiment?

Rosicky? Whilst possible to put him deep, I would think he would more likely displace the Ox; which makes the OX available for the ‘fresh legs’, and he seems to pick up the pace of the game quicker than Rosicky does these days?

Podolski has a good chance of giving Welbeck a back seat, although that might take a tweak in the formation to a 4-3-3? And as a surprise element it might work, but maybe a step too far? However, still replacing Welbeck in a reprise of the Sunderland game, partnering Alexis up front could be a better option?

Walcott.. is this really on? Well yes, because AW has been saying he is fit enough, just needs to get used to the knocks. Burnley are a solid enough side to give him a stress test; so a real runner, excuse the pun.

The big question who he might replace? Ox is the obvious one, unless he moves over to the other wing, and Alexis takes over the playmaker role from Cazorla?

Campbell? Only if Ox is jettisoned for Walcott, and Alexis moves inside as above, thus making space down the left, but he is equally capable of switching wings with Theo. So although an outside possibility, it still has some merit?

Finally Gnabry. Now, I think he would be a straight swap for Welbeck, but clearly the Ox/Walcott slot would be another possibility? If not this week, then some time soon I can see him lining up alongside either Alexis or Danny?

Now whilst that was a bit of fun, you could repeat the same exercise if Gibbs is declared fit.

Compared to the importance of the CL match coming up, where his pace will be vital, I don’t think his absence here will make much difference.

However, I would say if he plays, the twin pivot is more likely. Monreal will not get forward that much, and may not need to, given the above options on that wing?

Actually, it is a bit like a Chinese meal, you can take one option from one area and another option from another, if they are compatible, and mix and match.

Key questions:

Sanchez in the No 10(advanced), in place of Cazorla?

Walcott to start?

Hayden in the DM slot? Or CB?

Bellerin at RB, with Monreal at LB?

Who would be a manager, eh?

Whatever side is chosen, and we can all have our own ideas, I think we should just be too strong, provided we ‘keep it simple(stupid)’ or a KISS for jgc, pass and move, keep our width, and be more clinical with our shooting …

Is that too much to expect?

For the record, my team would be this:

Arsenal v Burnley

With Campbell and Walcott eager to impress out wide, Alexis pulling the strings up front, and Poldi not coming back to defend. DM pairing putting up an effective barrier, and either of them pushing forward to make the extra man. Speed out of defence: from Bellerin to Walcott or Hayden to Campbell; and Alexis down the middle and Poldi to get a brace, Walcott to set up an Alexis hat-trick, and Campbell to open his account …. SIX NIL I hear you cry…

They could, you know?

Keep the faith.

Written by: Gerry.

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61 Responses to Walcott start, Sanchez in hole, Hayden DM? Arsenal v Burnley Preview

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Great preview, Gerry, and a fresh looking line up. Would not mind to see those eleven start tomorrow in a sun covered (hopefully) home of football! 🙂

    I would expect the following eleven to start:

    Same back five as yours (preferred one)

    Arteta – Rambo

    Ox – Alexis – Carzorla

    The Well

    I would love to see Campbell start and Theo to get 30 minutes… but will it happen?

  2. Retsub says:

    Gerry I like your formation and it does give a well earned rest to a number of players. I don’t know enough about Hayden to express an opinion, but do believe Rambo Badly needs game time to get some form back.

    Don’t think he will start Theo, although it will be great to have him back

    Be great if Poldi got a go as well, he might be ideal to smash a few home.

    COYG

  3. steve says:

    Great post Gerry, a lot of exciting options becoming available now 🙂

    I’m well on the Sanchez CAM bandwagon lads especially with Wilshere out and Cazorla not impressing much lately, it just makes sense.

    My choice:

    ————-Same back five————–
    ———–Hayden——Ramsey———-
    Walcott——–Sanchez——–The OX
    ——————Welbeck——————

    Attacking sub options:
    Gnabry for Walcott
    Rosicky for Sanchez
    Campbell for OX
    Podolski for Welbeck (i think Akpom already played tonight in the U21)

    Gerry;
    “so a real runner, excuse the pun.”

    Coincidentally i just entered a local paper’s pun contest. I sent in ten different puns hoping at least one of the puns would win but, unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha Steve, we know you are joking as you would always put 11 in! 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Rets, Rambo needs a game. 🙂

  6. Hayden is out injury (foot) saw him in the stand and spoke to him at the U21 Game ON FRIDAY against middlesborough

  7. “The big question who he might replace? Ox is the obvious one, unless he moves over to the other wing, and Alexis takes over the playmaker role from Cazorla?”

    Alexis has said he prefers the left hand side as it allows him to cut inside, leaving the right hand side available for Theo to play 70 mins (or so) before coming off for a more match fit Ox who has been used as a impact sub multiple times so far this season. Theo offers the player willing to run in behind and as such a constant threat.

    This would be leaving Cazorla in the hole, the role he has said he prefers and to be honest, I would prefer Cazorla in the hole behind Welbeck over Alexis, Cazorlas ambidexerous feet make him a great threat and Cazorla has become more determined to fight for the ball than beginning of last season, helping us defend higher up and hopefully cause Burnly to cause errors which players can jump on.

    Having Alexis makes sence when you watch how Welbeck plays, the positions Welbeck drops into and how he also fights for the ball back would allow for Alexis to penitrate, Welbeck using the left hand channel more often then the right allows for Alexis to run in towards the center which he does a lot and we have been rewarded with his goals because of it.

    My personal front 4 would be;

    Theo – Cazorla – Alexis
    Welbeck

  8. Lynnville says:

    My team to start
    Szczesny
    Bellerin Mertesacker Chambers Monreal

    Arteta Ramsey

    Cazorla

    Oxlade Chamberlain Alexis

    Welbeck

    Substitutions- Walcott for The OX
    – Rosicky for Ramsey

  9. Gerry says:

    Good morning all. I began writing the post with what I thought would be Arsene’s most likely starters. But once you add all the available subs together it suddenly opens up a whole range of possibilities. Not to mention the potential strength in depth we have in the squad. There is just the possibility of one more name being added …

    Brendon Ormonde-Ottewil aka B54

    This came as a surprise to me, but it appears he did not play in the under 21’s, with no mention of an injury? I have said before, if ever there was a like-for-like player in the academy ranks, then B54 for Gibbs could not be closer … Although Zelalem aka Mesut-mini for Ozil, and Crowley for Wilshere, err except Crowley scores goals 😀

    Obviously a big step up for the lad, but no surprise to see him on the bench now.

    Back to the post. Once you move away from the back 5, and whether or not Gibbs will play, the rest had so many possibilities?

    So starting with the DM. If he is fit, it is a great game for Hayden to start. The reason I say that is because Burnley have two forwards who are capable, but not that quick, in Boyd and Jutkiewicz
    Meat and drink for Hayden? I will be happy to see Ramsey start alongside him, but I just favoured Arteta as the more suitable. I am also intrigued by Ramsey not starting the last game having done the 90 minutes previously. Late subbing usually is an indication of a niggle? Not reported though. If that is the case, he may well come on earlier, or start this time.

    If we remember, AW does not do more than 3 unforced changes in league games. The back 4 change is (likely) a forced one, and does not count. So my preference for Hayden in, Flamini out is the first one.
    The second is Walcott in for Wilshere, who started last time, or Ox who finished.
    Campbell, indirectly for Cazorla, with Alexis confirming the central role, is my third change.
    Podolkski for Welbeck, well that’s a bye for me, as he finished the last game, so technically he is just continuing?

    My reasoning is Walcott is better to start with a proper warm up. Whether he comes out for the second half I think will depend how close we are to securing all three points. I think AW would like to wrap this up in the first half, and Walcott’s pace will be key to that.
    Campbell starting is the biggest gamble. But the glimpses of what he has shown, particularly keeping hold of the ball Sanogo-esque in tight spaces will be invaluable if we are to break out quickly, and he does have direct pace. Ability to switch wings is another plus. And, with Monreal staying back, it should reduce his backtracking to just a supporting role.
    Podolski playing as an off-set striker, with Alexis drawing defenders to him, opens up possibilities for Poldi to fill his boots. It will be his best opportunity to date.

    The big weakness is that these three will unlikely to last the 90. Bang goes all the sub options?
    Not a problem if we are 3 up at half time, but at 0-0, then you are relying on the players left out to step up. But more importantly, hoping the back six do not pick up any injuries.
    I suppose Campbell could be seen as the safety net, and see it out? We may then get a chance to see B54 come on to help him out, if there is a back line reshuffle.

    That is my reasoning, but many other options have strong claims too. I went for pace, balance, and supreme goal threat from every angle.

    Indulge yourselves … 😀

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning Gerry 🙂

    I have just approved some new comments. Catch you later.

  11. Gerry says:

    Fitzroy Wilson – Thanks for the update. I checked on the PFL and Hayden is listed but no mention of an injury. Presumably because it hasn’t been officially reported, only got mentioned at questioned time a couple of weeks ago.

    I am guessing you have seen him in action this season? Does he live up to the billing I have been giving him, and would he have a good bet for this game?

    One more question. Was B.54 – Ormonde-Ottewill left out for injury last night, or a precaution for Gibbs cover?

    Many more questions on the academy lads, But I leave it there, and thanks again.

  12. Gerry says:

    Lynnville – Another new name on our comments page Welcome

    I think. I think you are pretty near to what AW may select.

    Personally I thought both Santi and Danny looked mentally tired last time, where as Pod looked sharp, and for the reasons I gave above, I would start with Theo.

    But every option has some gains and a few minus’s.

    Thanks for the comment.

  13. Gerry says:

    Robert Parker – Welcome to you too.

    I agree with your thoughts on Theo. If he is going to get a good work out then he needs to start. How long he stays on will depend on how well he is taking tackles, and any reaction at half time. But as I hope the post suggests, we do have replacements. Ox is certainly a candidate, and good as an impact player.

    I think it is highly likely that Cazorla will start if only to put those shooting options behind him.
    I have gone for pace down both wings and hope the space in the middle will enable Alexis to move around the defences.

    I repeat what I said to Lynnville above, I thought both Danny and Santi looked in need of a break to sharpen them up .. and there is nothing like a trip to the bench to get the fires burning again?

    A lot will depend on whether AW wants to keep Podolski until the summer. If he does not get a start today, I cannot see him here in February?

    Thanks for the comments

  14. Gerry says:

    Right I’m off until midday. catch up then.

    My amended team is Ramsey in for Hayden.

    Don’t forget your UMF entries if you have not already done them.thanks

  15. Gerry says:

    UMF ALERT – Xavier and Alex still missing from those who entered last week.

    GET IN QUICK!

  16. Gerry says:

    Well done you two.
    Xavier – Repeating message on UMF page

    The Joker doubles your points. Be quick if you want to use one. I’ll be back after some horse racing chat to check. okay

  17. Shrillex says:

    Great one Gerry! Love your line up, but not too sure that Hayden will start.

    My lineup

    -Same back 5-
    Rambo-Flamini
    Ox-Alexis-Santi
    Welbeck

    I personally would like Campbell to start this game, ahead of either Ox or Santi. Walcott should get about 20 mins. Your selection of Poldi as striker is interesting and could happen, though it’s highly unlikely.

    Also, you’re in charge of UMF for now, right Gerry? Can you cancel my name from the UMF if it hasn’t been removed already. Can’t be bothered with it especially with Fantasy Football and marathon practice going on.

  18. Gerry says:

    Hi Shrillex – Yes, sadly there was an update – see above – from Fitzroy Wilson who was at the Under 21’s game. He had a chat with Hayden who was in the stands. It turns out he has an injured foot, so not playing. He did it in training, but there has not been much said about it?

    So I updated my line up with Ramsey for Hayden.

    TA’s team sheet does not quite do how I would line up Podolski with Alexis, as I would have him just off-set. Basically looking for the one-twos. Wide men to provide the cut backs, and keep it clutter free in the middle.

    I will pass on your request to drop out of the UMF. You have to get your priorities right I know.
    Cheers.

  19. I think I need to change my avatar to get the big and the small guy (who will surely feature today) back up there…

    Sorry to have missed Geoff’s post and I’m in agreement about people trying too hard…As such, I really don’t see all the proposed changes Gerry and the other U-21 fans want. Burnley may be bottom of the table but they still present a true challenge. Already we’ve lost points against teams they’ll be fighting in the relegation zone and we cannot afford any more. With time passing we start to see the results of the past week in a better light but we need to recall just how much they flattered us and how, without the late goals and defensive errors from our opponents, they could have been much, much worse… Like JGC wrote (before another incoherent display at Sunderland…very prescient, Professor…) guys are trying too hard and not letting the ball do the work. I read this (mostly) as playing like individuals rather than a team…

    Minimal changes, working a player or two into the collective and finding that cohesion is what this match is all about. Plus getting the three points, of course, If they could be secured by the hour mark, subs could be used to further the secondary objectives…

    Frankly, and I don’t want to sound too harsh in saying this, but in writing a match-preview, it seems more informative to listen to the manager’s comments rather than try and interpret who might get a chance from looking at training photos or who didn’t play in the reserve match… There’s nothing wrong, per se, in talking about which youth prospects look like they might make the grade or get a chance due to our (almost criminally) depleted first team. Still, the main group has three matches this week, all of which must be won. Given how very poorly the last three have gone, it’s no small task. The more established first-team guys who are fit enough to play, the better, I say…

    Latest comments from AW suggest Gibbs may be OK but that Theo is not ready for a start and that Wilshere misses due to a banged up knee. As such I’ll go with the exact line-up I proposed last weekend: Szcz, Chambers, BFG, Nacho, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Ox, Santi, Alexis, Wellbeck. Of course, I only got 10 of those correct, Flamini starting ahead of Rambo… If Gibbs cannot start, the finishing back line (Bellerin in, Chambers moved central, Nacho out left) would be the obvious change. Will Hayden get a bench spot or is he (truly) injured. For me, this is not a burning issue, but that’s just me…

    Wilshere out is the big trouble here. With Ozil injured he is the obvious heir to the role of
    “main-man,” “conductor,” “link-up guy” or whatever you want to call our primary MF creative sort. Regardless of who gets this role, and, IMO there really shouldn’t be any one main fellow as it leads to the “trying to hard” issue…we need a better balance between guys taking simple touches and trying more difficult passes and runs. Do the basics well and take the opportunities to move the ball beyond defensive lines when they come. If all this fails, hopefully Alexis can force some additional mistakes. If others got into this same mode (pressing from the front) everything would be a whole lot easier, I think…

    So, that’s MY match preview (and hopefully nobody who reads it gets miffed)…Have a great day in Islington, Total. Let’s get these points and take a step forward with the performance. Tougher ones lurk…

  20. Testing, testing…regarding the BFG=Santi avatar… Anybody watching Toon-Scouse early match? Obertan pulls something in his thigh and now chooses an 18 year old instead of Cabella as his sub… Inneresting,,,,

  21. JM says:

    Starting Team:
    Szczesny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis, Cazorla, Welbeck

    Bench:
    Martinez, Bellerin, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, Podolski, Sanogo

  22. Well, my earlier post went over like the proverbial heavy metal dirigible…

    AND I still missed one out of the starting 11, as AW has gone with the exact group who started at Sunderland…

    Yaya is back for the bench watchers…Otherwise, awfully predictable…

    Still nil-nil at the Sports Direct or whatever they call St. James Park these days… Balotelli took a BIG kick from a Dutch Toon defender but didn’t lose his mind…not much in the way of real chances either way, however…

  23. Retsub says:

    Bar codes 1 scousers nil don’t you just love it

  24. Perez puts Newcastle ahead after not very good defending, esp from the Spanish LB (Moreno)…

    As bad as Arsenal have been looking, I don’t think we’re as bad as that…And they have to travel to Madrid in midweek…

    Cabella should’ve made it two…Mingo makes a last ditch foot save… Rickie Lambert to save the day?

  25. Good week for Newcastle, first mashing Spuds, Holders Abu-Dhaby City in the credit card cup and now the Red Sox of Merseyside… The (new?) manager has got them playing or just a funny, funny game?…

    Anyhow, fun as that was, now Arsenal have to do their thing…

  26. steve says:

    WTF is this shit!!
    no acestream or sopcast links at all!!!!! wtf!!
    just shitty 175 kbps flash links!! 👿
    this is an Arsenal game FFS where are the bloody links!!!

  27. Down to the pub then, F11ngers?…

    DW made a good chance earlier but a Burnley guy was luckily placed to block (with his arm)… We started well but Burnley are getting a wee bit back into it…

    Ox does well to get in behind but his cross does nothing. Both teams claiming excess use of the hands…

  28. Oooooh Santi…Curls one around the post… Danny W, not quite as close…

    Only goal in the 3 o’clocks has been Wanyama early at Hull from distance, keeper stranded…

  29. Flambeau, truly playing the B-2-B…almost puts one past Szcz… But Alexis almost scores ANOTHER unassisted goal, stealing the ball off a defender… Santi again unlucky on the rebound…This time on target but defender placed to block… We rather need to break this deadlock and better sooner than later…

    Alexis just misses the top corner…

  30. proudgooner says:

    I have got 1 of the best links I have ever had, it’s crystal clear only problem is it’s running 5 mins behind of anyone want it let me know.

  31. steve says:

    what the hell is Cazorla doing on the left wing?
    Get OX over there so he can cut in and shoot, he might score unlike Cazorla 🙂
    Sanchez – what a player!
    So far Sanchez playing like a legend, OX actually pulling stuff off this week and Cazorla having quite a few shots at goal so not too bad tbh. More from the second half please with OX moved to the left and Walcott subbed onto the right 🙂

  32. steve says:

    proudgooner YES PLEASE MATE!!!

  33. steve says:

    😆 😆 😆 very funny you b*stard 😆
    You got my hopes up there!

  34. proudgooner says:

    did it not work for you steve?

  35. proudgooner says:

    im not joking it is a great link

  36. steve says:

    its a 175 kbps flash link same as the one i’m watching atm i checked.
    sorry mate i am looking for the 4000 kbps + acestream links (almost hd)
    Sorry didn’t mean to be rude, i thought you were having a joke 🙂

  37. steve says:

    Its going on a 50 inch tv screen btw

  38. proudgooner says:

    no your alright i thought it did not work at all. lol

  39. steve says:

    whenever i see our DM’s start to come in to play i turn on the benny hill music 🙂
    Its like the bloody Keystone cops back there

  40. There it is…

    5’7″ and rises over the rest on a balloon cross from CC21…

  41. And that’s a 2nd…CC21 well placed for his first Arsenal goal…

    More gloss please…

  42. alcide says:

    Back in Geneva, but kids chores today 😦 How are we playing?

  43. Nice saves on rockets from the Pod and Theo…And the post saves a 2nd blast from Lulu…

    Not as good with the header, however…

  44. We look a lot better with a 2 goal lead…The close ones don’t make you fret with the result already secured… Their keeper is making some nice saves…even if the latest from Rambo was a bit of a Hollywood… And now Chambers is trying back-heels at the top of the box…

    All good fun now, but a bit of a struggle up to the point where the goals came, however… 🙂

    Alexis adds a 3rd!!

  45. Admir says:

    After King Henry I, we have King Alexis I. Long live The King!

  46. Fookin-A… Mert and Szcz do just enough to keep the clean sheet…

    Alcide, TA’s at the match and should be able to write about what he saw…On the telly we looked unfortunate not to get a lead earlier, but then plenty nervy as it went on… We’re a bit of a one-man team (at the moment–Alexis, of course…) but Theo looked very sharp on his arrival and that should help…Santi was the most unlikely, but Welbeck was too…Ox shows so much potential but final balls are rushed… Those three could all use a goal or an assist… Pod too, and his cameo suggests super-sub…

    Oooohhhh…Lukaku can’t quite toe-in a late winner vs 10 man Swansea…finishes nil-nil up there…

  47. unlucky, not unlikely, I meant… on Welbs and Santi… In the end, Burnley look like a foot of the table club headed back down…And yet they gave us a decent match. Flamini and Nacho both are small and play hunched over to appear even smaller. Arteta, of course, doesn’t appear much bigger…

    Another assist and a goal for Chambers will only help that guy continue his whirlwind start…

  48. steve says:

    Sounds like a spot on match review so far 17HT 🙂
    apart from the OX comment, i thought his balls in were very dangerous today.

  49. alcide says:

    Thanks 17ht! Great recap 🙂

  50. steve says:

    Hang on a minute…
    I just read the post match interview on the Arsenal website and Arsene was quoted as saying;
    on playing 4-4-2…
    “We played 4-4-2 and we played like that against Sunderland. It works because he [Alexis] works very hard so we can afford to do it. We have to balance the midfield and defence.”

    So if we were playing 4-4-2 with Sanchez as the no.10, second striker or whatever you want to call it – the guy behind the main striker lol. Then in the second half we had Walcott on the wing and Ramsey in midfield, i’ve got to ask myself has Wenger been reading my post? 😆 😆
    Cazorla messes things up a bit and Jack was injured so no inclusion but damn that’s a line up that’s looking close to what was in my eyes a fluff piece of optimism.
    Ha Ha Ha will wonders never cease

    Great result btw, can’t wait to download an HD version of the match to watch again and fully appreciate it.

    COYG!

  51. jnyc says:

    I wonder if ollie will clog things up for alexis when he comes back. I hope they find a good way to work together, i will keep faith that olivier can do it. but i prefer welbeck in general. I’d give him the most starts and the bigger games.

  52. Nobody really commenting here which seems a shame (and I had to run off with a drop-by visit) :shock:… Just to be clear, Steve, Ox crosses are very (very) good but it’s interesting that Chambers has been the guy to actually make assists with the (low percentage) play… (Given the size of our would-be finishers)… Sometimes, just taking that tiny glance up to evaluate if there’s a teammate as a target makes all the difference even if a good cross will (on very rare occasions) result in an own goal or some sort of misplay and scrambled goal… I try not to play favorites but I might be tempted to continue on with Santi over Ox (if I must decide… as Jack returns to action…) just because he appears (to me) less personally rattled by his own goal/assist drought…

    Anyhow, I hope TA had a great day in N. London and I’m looking forward to his report (as well as other impressions of the match)…

  53. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi guys 🙂

    Got back a few hours ago, and am knackered now. Started to write the MR and will work on it again tomorrow. Had a good day and game – hope you enjoyed the game too.

    Catch you all tomorrow.

  54. steve says:

    If we’re playing favorites 17HT then OX over Cazorla all day long mate 🙂

  55. steve says:

    I’m looking forward to the report TA!! 🙂

  56. Gerry says:

    17HT @13.03 – I am sorry my preview was not to your liking. But there you go.

    Me ‘miffed’? Well ever so slightly yes. If I were to take ‘your’ advice, I would write a memo to self to say, and it would go like this – Prepare preview so it is ready for 1.0pm on the day of the match, so all the latest information can be gathered and included.

    So, apart from my eclectic style of writing, which means the posts that I write tend to develop or enlarge an idea as I go along. The other thing is time. Knowing that TA was travelling back that day, I offered to do the preview in the in my early morning post, unless there were any other offers. None were forthcoming. I had a busy morning as it happened, so by the time I started writing it was after 3 o’cock in the afternoon. I got the basic framework done by 5, and sent it to Totes just before 7.0pm. I was hoping t watch the Under 21’s, instead I watched a great game between Shalke and Augsburg. The latter being my Bundesliga team. Which, if we were looking for a left back, they have a fantastic one.
    Be that as it may, the post was needed by 10pm, which is why it went out early.

    However, as I explained in my first comment, I set out more as an exercise to show just how much strength in depth we had, and how the various changes could make a difference. Now I know you don’t like playing these ‘what if’ games, and you are free to say so. Where I get a little miffed is because you lose you ‘self edit button’ and go on to proscribe how a preview should be written. But if you read it a little more closely, you would see that Gibbs apart, I only had one difference from the other 10 players. That being Ramsey. Who I included as a replacement for Hayden, as the very first commenter on my piece said he was at the Under 21’s, spoke to Hayden in the stands, and found out he has a foot injury – so much for reading AW’s notes, as all he said two weeks ago was he was injured in training. It is because he knew this, he did not consider him for the matches in between, and never reported it – So not a ‘wenjury’ because he does not think Hayden is up to the A-team level, but more about avoiding questions as to how it happened?

    The point is, having laid out Wenger’s team, the post went off at a tangent exploring exciting possibilities by using other players. My own personal choice I tagged on at the end was just that, a personal choice. In view of Hayden’s absence, I switched to Ramsey, although I did express doubts as to why he was not involved in the previous games. Again, under-reporting by AW? The more positive news on Gibbs came out later in the day. At the time of writing, it was not because of ‘training pictures’ which you make an unnecessary point, it was the story of his complete absence from the training field that my ‘most likely’ scenario would be in AW’s line up ended up the same as yours …and almost everybody else’s.

    Amusingly, it was only after Ramsey came on did we score, and my other two starters coming on, Wlacott and Podolski, did we take over completely 😀 If only Campbell had started my dream team would have been complete 😀

    Only heard the match ‘live’, so I will watch it later today.

    Sorry HT, my self edit button went awol after the first line 😳

  57. James Bond says:

    looking forward to the MR @ Skipper

    will save most of my thoughts for later but yes, yesterday was a must win game at home .

    good 3 points in the bag .

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers guys 🙂

    Finally new post! 🙂

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