Arsenal at City – We haven’t forgotten history so it won’t repeat!
The saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. That’s good news in my view as we head north to play City and their millions of million pound minions.
So, last year was a disaster and other prior years not so much better with a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 loss *at home* the year before. But, we are a much different team now then those years. Some would argue worse because of the players, some would argue worse because of the injuries, some would argue worse based on objective metrics of Doom (that’s you CM), and so on.
Few would argue better… That’s my job today.
History won’t repeat because we are better than last year. We will be tighter in defence, and we have the (deliberately provocative) “Next Henry” (NH from here on) in attack. More specifically, we also have the opportunity, and the need, to make a statement. A draw would be good, a win better.
History won’t repeat for other reasons also. Make no doubt about it, even if we are the same or similar to last year, City are not. Aguero coming back, Yaya disappeared into the AFCON dimension that makes top African players somewhat unattractive in the TW when you consider losing them every few years at a critical point in a season. So, they are missing some, at least, of their strike talisman, and a big chunk of engine room. Plenty left in the tank but opportunity presents to create a new history.
So, in a rare show of agreeing with Steve and disagreeing with TA, I think that, to quote some ancient heavy metal, “If we’re gonna die!” we should “Die with our boots on!” That means we should focus more on attack than normal in the line-up, even if we come out playing a touch more back and on the counter.
For that, the lineup for me is only lightly changed:
Bellerin – BFG/Koz – Gibb
Ox/TR – Santi – Ozil – TR/Theo
The key is my middle diamond of Coq at the back, driven by Santi and Ozil everywhere, with Ozil a more false 9 and Alexis up front. I am opting for speed and aggression both ways on the wings with Gibbs, if fit, and Bellerin, fronted by Theo, if fit, or TR and the Ox. Both TR and the Ox in particular can drive a game and also come back heavily on defence. I don’t think this is a game for Monreal on the wing with an attack minded person in front, as he doesn’t have the speed to recover like Gibbs.
It’s a 4-1-4-1, but could almost, using Ozil how I want, be a 4-1-3-1-1 where the 4-1-3 looks a lot like last week.
The big question mark is around Coquelin! Here, I disagree with TA. Coq has shown his mettle the last few games in positioning maturity. I think Flamini has the experience but not the speed for this game. However, he’s my very early sub if this looks bad. This is Coquelin’s big day: does he stay, or do we invest in 2 DMs this summer? Today is it, make or break. He’s earned the right to make the decision for Arsene. My call, my opinion, my heresy, call it what you will…
And if he gets that third yellow, the next games he is suspended for we might not need as much DM spirit as the teams we will be playing are not City, and we will be coming off the high of changing history in this one!
Finally, speaking of TWs, there is an alternative line-up based on the ever ongoing discussion on the site around needing lots of new people, and getting rid of those we don’t like. So, the following is based on reading NewsNow and is therefore, based on real journalism and reporting, and thus, obviously true.
Here we go, based on the linkages, we could play this out there, because AW will close all these deals and swoop before all our enemies and rivals. By Sunday… 🙂
It’s a bit more defensively focused than above also, so it is guaranteed to earn us a draw:
BFG – keeping some continuity
Bielik – young but has earned his start based on all the newsprint hyperbole!
Reus – down the center where he really belongs
Yes, I know that is 10 players, not 11, but with this line-up we can’t lose. They all play down the centre, or should, and that is where we are weak. Thus, I didn’t go for Winston Reid as he plays wider and won’t be of any help.
We will destroy City with our highly flexible 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 formation!!!! Look out, it’s available for a mere 193M pounds if I did my sums off various articles right!!
I am sure there is not so subtle editorial point in there somewhere on my part. 😛
More to the original point, it seems long ago that we were invincible, and TAs recent call for regular bloggers to profile themselves asked your favourite moments, which in turn reminded me of the tension as that year drew to a close. I think many of us have almost forgotten that feeling and year… Good news again then, as we might be doomed to repeat it someday soon!! 🙂
Perhaps starting at City!
Some questions for the game:
- On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the most stupid, how stupid am I for either of my line-ups?
- Can aggressive wings with speed and Ozil’s passing get us through City? Will we need more defence than I have up there?
- Flamini or Coquelin? Has Le Coq earned his “shot”?
- I am 6’3” and our team is short, should AW hire me for this game?