Coq, Ozil, Alexis, Rosa: Big Guns Are Returning Just in Time to Win Silverware? Predictions Time

Is Spring coming early? It definitely feels like it from a football perspective. Ozil is available again, Alexis should also finally be available again, although Wenger remains still vague on whether he will start or not against Chelsea. On top of this there is progress to be reported on Coquelin, Welbeck and Rosicky. Wenger is quoted on Arsenal.com as follows: “Coquelin is back in full training today and he is ahead of schedule. He has still a few steps to go through. Welbeck will be in full training next week so that is positive news. It is possible Rosicky will play in the under-21 game [on Friday]. He was a bit sick at the beginning of the week but we planned for him to play tomorrow night. We have a few players coming back because we go into a very important period now for us.”
Read more at http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160121/team-news-ozil-alexis-and-coquelin#f1qrEibWPlcv2usY.99

It feels to me that Arsene has treated the period that started just after the last CL game and finished with the hard, dark and challenging away games at Pool and the Dump up-north as one to come through with as many points as possible, whilst still keeping something in reserve for the most important period of the season: the final three months of the PL/CL/FA Cup competitions. Just read that last sentence again of the Wenger quote above which makes me think he planned the return of so many quality Gunners to a large extent! Ozil had a few mini-breaks, Alexis has not been rushed back and now we have Elneny as well. With Coquelin back in training and Rosicky finally not far off playing for us again as well, all of sudden things are really looking up on the player front.

Now, it really is quite amazing that despite our injuries in midfield we are still TOTL, and with all the above mentioned players returning to the squad we really have a very good base to push through and win the league. Add to that the strong progress Joel Campbell is making and Welbeck finally being in full training again, and we really should have the strength in depth to make it through those hard March and April months when trophy attempts are so often ended. And it is great we are still fighting on three fronts: PL, FA Cup and CL. However well we did in the previous mid-season period, nothing is won until the end of the season and we are now in very fine position to go for all that shiny silverware.

So now I have painted this glass half full picture for you, let’s be having your predictions:

  1. Will Arsenal win the league – if not, in what position will we finish?
  2. Will Arsenal finally beat Barcelona in the CL – how far in this competition will we go this time round?
  3. Will Arsenal win the FA Cup, if not, how far in this competition will we go?
  4. Will Mesut Ozil out-assist (produce more assists) than the PL top scorer scores goals this season?
  5. Do we still need to buy this January to win silverware or are we more than strong enough with the current squad?

By TotalArsenal.

 

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20 Responses to Coq, Ozil, Alexis, Rosa: Big Guns Are Returning Just in Time to Win Silverware? Predictions Time

  1. retsub1 says:

    Ok I will have a crack

    1 Yes, with the proviso that Le Coq stays fit ( or the new boy is good cover for him)

    2. Sadly not. Can see us making a game of it at the Emirates, but suspect it will not be enough to take to Spain

    3. If we maintain our push for the title, I can see us reaching the semi final, where we will come up against a team more hungry for the cup.

    4. Yes and a good bet for footballer of the year, particularly with the Leicester boys seemingly going off the boil

    5 will stick my neck out and say no. Always the danger that a big name will come in and disrupt the squad. Wait till the end of the season.

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Come on you lurkers, give us your predictions! 🙂

    Mine are:
    Will Arsenal win the league – if not, in what position will we finish? Yes.
    Will Arsenal finally beat Barcelona in the CL – how far in this competition will we go this time round? If the referee is fair and professional and the fitness gods are on our side, I reckon we can do it.
    Will Arsenal win the FA Cup, if not, how far in this competition will we go? Could win but I don’t expect it.
    Will Mesut Ozil out-assist (produce more assists) than the PL top scorer scores goals this season? Yes he bloody well could do it!
    Do we still need to buy this January to win silverware or are we more than strong enough with the current squad? I don’t think it will happen but another mid-winger ala Alexis would be welcome – only if top quality though, so very, very unlikely to happen.

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Retsub, good to have your comment and very balanced, yet positive, responses.

    Wouldn’t it be great to finally beat Barca fair and square?

  4. jw1 says:

    1. 1st in EPL.
    2. No. Usually an optimist– but this is the toughest draw– against a opponent in-form for over a year.
    3. Yes. The squad is tailored to win FA Cups.
    4. Looks quite possible.
    5. If Debuchy leaves, and Jenkinson does not return from loan– then yes a RB.

    jw1

  5. allezkev says:

    Nice upbeat post as usual Total.
    Here’s my 50p worth…

    I’ve had a feeling, all season, that this could be our year for the EPL, and I still think that that is the case.
    Hopefully with all our serious injuries are behind us, we can drive on for that long awaited 4th Wenger league title…

    You never know with the CL, but I fear that Barca will be too strong and that we’ll get stitched up in the Camp Nou anyway…

    The last club to win a hat trick of FACups in England was Blackburn 130 years ago.
    It’s not easy, but I feel that Arsenal could bring home the Double again and complete a hat trick of FACups…

    Yeah, Ozil is a genius. Nuff said!

    Arsene could have another surprise up his sleeve for January 31st.
    You can never have enough good players.
    But if he doesn’t do anymore business, I think that our squad is strong enough to bring home the Double….

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    JW1, cheers and agreed re right back.

    I think Bayern is easily as good as Barca and we got a result against them at home (and the away game we will not talk about 😉 ). But yes it is a tough one for us, as tough as they get!

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    That is the biggest risk, Allezkev: a rubbish referee at the Catalunian bath tub.

  8. njk84sg says:

    TA,

    We can win the league provided everyone comes back and we outfox the refs.

    We can also win over Barca by staying compact, and as they employ a very high backline, we can have a chance to go over the top. However, they dive more than we drink water, so i guess we have to stay sharp and beat the referee too.

    For the FA cup, we have the depth required to last the marathon.

    Ozil will definitely out-assist everyone else, but more than the top scorers is a tall order for me.

    No, we will not buy anyone else this window.

    Cheers,
    JK

  9. Terry says:

    I’d say go for the FA Cup at all costs. No team in the modern era has won it three times in a row. Last team to do this was Blackburn Rovers in 1886 – the year we were formed.

  10. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, Nice, upbeat post reacting to the pre-Chavs injury news…Apologies for being away from the ‘puter all day yesterday…

    I agree that *If* we can get a pile of players fit and ready we *should* have the resources to compete on the three remaining fronts–even w/o any more activity in the TW… This match on Sunday is extremely crucial, IMO, for the feel good factor and could have a (big) effect on the end of the window “spin.” Chelsea are the prototypical “wounded beast” so we have to be ruthless and beat them in a comprehensive way if we want to appear “convincing.” If we can have a strong performance and result, the confidence will be high… If not, however…

    But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself and thinking about what I need to for write for the match preview…

    My take on the injury news is that it’s both promising and confusing. What’s going on with Alexis? I expected him on the bench 2 weeks ago vs Sunderland in the FA Cup. Now it sounds like only a bench place vs Chavs… Likewise, Elneny also looked like “the answer” to fill the DM hole at the opening of the window, but–like Alexis–we’ve yet to see him play. Long term is definitely how AW thinks but it’s a worry if both of those guys aren’t ready to contribute…

    Call me a conspiracy theorist–or at least a skeptic–but I also believe that AW is, at the very least, er, very canny, with the way he communicates regarding injuries AND that his communication often changes depending on results… In other words, HE LIES in order to both manage the expectations of the supporters and to protect the confidence of his players. At all times he really wants to protect the latter and give players spots where they will succeed. Or maybe he’s just (finally) learning that sending out unfit players is just a recipe for further injury… If we had lost any matches here in January might we have seen Alexis or Elneny? Hard to say, but I think we might have…

    Just as we can win any match (in style), disappointing results (and performances) can also happen. When they do, bouncing back is the important thing. IMO, coming back so well from the boxing day crushing at So’ton was the big thing which happened over this deep winter period. Supporters (pushed on by the media) overreact to every result and every bit of news. Sunday IS a big match, but whatever happens, we will need to keep moving forward and continue competing all on fronts. That said, if we can do a job vs Chavs, Spring indeed will be in the air…

    So, no predictions and totally OGAAT for me… Ozil is getting a little rest but will need to produce when he plays (which didn’t happen at Pool, according to most)… For me, that’s not all about assists but more about doing enough with his teammates to keep the spacing in our attack working to the point that we never (or very rarely) allow opponents to get comfortable defending against us. This is something we can actually do (at times) when they have the ball, i.e., when we’re playing on the counter… Similarly, at times, we must acknowledge, the hunger of players to do too much with the ball and/or rush into scoring positions can work at odds with this…Ozil must be our leader out there, even if it’s done simply by running into spaces and moving the ball there too…

    That leads me back to Theo… Cheers for the responses on that one (the previous post) and sorry I couldn’t respond to individual comments yesterday… Theo remains a bit of a mystery guy but I think we’ll see some better individual and team play if we can keep him further up the pitch and also moving intelligently off Mesut’s running. My final takeaway from the Stoke match (not to mention the final 10 mins at Liverpool…) is that Ozil is what we missed the most. At Stoke it expressed itself in Theo’s difficulties over on the left. Based on the injury news I’m betting that he starts over there again (vs Chavs) but it could be a very different sort of outing if Ozil is in (and Ox is out)…

    But yeah, if things fall our way, why not?… Let’s lift the league trophy, the FA Cup and the CL trophy… Or at least pick our spots and win one or two of them… Or just enjoy the football as it happens, or something…

    😀

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    17ht, you spoil sport, let’s be having your predictions! Put your neck out.. 🙂

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, my friend, but a great man taught me to take them one at a time, so that’s what I will do…

    I will say this… I like our draw thus far in the FACup… Quite a bit less in the CL and I worry (a lot) with the way the networks seem to want to schedule things making things tough for the English clubs in Europe… We’ve got the bodies to compete on multiple fronts, but the pressure for results–heavily driven by narratives about the manager’s failures over the past decade–mean that there’s a deep conservatism to stick with what’s known and working… Those (very bad) experiences rotating for the CL group matches in the Autumn have left some scars, I fear…

    Does that help?…

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    We all do OGAAT, but that does not mean we look at the top of our shoes all the time. Dare to look ahead and predict… it is liberating! And if you get it horribly wrong we can have a laugh at you for a whole season haahaha. Let’s be having you! 😉

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry my friend, but if I had to predict, it would be in a very cautionary manner, ‘low expectations being the key to happiness’ being at the heart of my personal philosophy… Besides, life has taught me that ANYTHING can happen and what’s here today can be gone tomorrow… In general, I think, appreciating the present is becoming a lost art… Yes, you have to plan for the future and work towards your goals but there is something exquisite if one can just ‘be in the moment,’ I believe…

    Speaking of moments… I don’t have too many this morning and I really should be writing that preview because ITS.SUCH.A.BIG.GAME… Like I tried to say above, the spin–expectations–will be massive coming out of it… If we can win in convincing fashion we can conquer the world, if we squeak through then it’s less of a sign. Anything less than full points, of course, and it’s back to square one, Wenger out (Pep/Moo/Anybody in…) and all that…

    Of course, it’s just three points and we’ll still be in all comps…

    In the end, our success will rely on a few things, i.e., here are my predictions or at least my hopes for the rest of the season…

    1) Continued solidity at the back, even with some rotation in the Cup competitions… This includes finding some elements at the rear of our midfield which allow us to defend and counterattack and break down parked buses, as needed. Coqzorla had such a great balance (the brilliance of Santi, IMO…) between defending and moving forward, but I think it can be done with other characters and combinations too… Gotta get all options fit and firing–and focused on team rather than individual heroics–in this area…

    2) Reintegrating Alexis into the squad without sacrificing the contributions of guys like Giroud, Ramsey, JC and Theo (including him just frightening opponents with his pace).. Being out for so long, Alexis should be able to see that he doesn’t have to carry the team so much as be in there to facilitate moving it up a level in quality. Yes, he should enjoy the goals and assists (which will come…) but it’s also fine if he just drags a few defenders away from the play if others can do the job. He’s that good. Keep healthy and contribute in whatever way you can Mi’ijo (son) and this team could do some special, special things, IMO

    3) The Arsenalization (Arsenalisation?…) or Fortification of the Emirates. The club helped the team pull out the stops for the Monday Nighter vs ManCity and we won it–even with the skeleton group… We absolutely crushed ManU with a great, blitz-like performance and we successfully did the rope-a-dope vs Bayern. Liverpool and Totts didn’t go as well (but we didn’t lose, at least) and I won’t speak about the opener or the match against the Greeks in the CL… Sunday is a big one but the home match vs Barca is even bigger and, in truth, they’re all big when you have a demanding (and skittish) home support as we do… If we can turn the new stadium into a real fortress and gain full points in the league from our home games (Chavs, So’ton, Leicester, Swansea, West Brom, Watford, CP, Norwich and Villa with a few of them being real romps)… well, that would be a very,very good thing…

    So there you go… Play them as they come but with some objectives (beyond ‘just’ the silverware)…I say…

    Apologies again if that’s not good enough… 😦

    😀

  15. ArsenalNorth says:

    1. League Champions? My head says don’t get too excited just yet but my heart says this is the year.
    2. Don’t think we’re ready to beat barca over 2 legs, maybe once if we play really well.
    3. Think we may slip in the FA cup this year with more focus on the league.
    4. I think Ozil will definitely create enough chances to assist more than the top scorer but converting those to goals is another matter.
    5. Don’t expect more signings but think we have a good squad if only more of them were fit or at least not out for such lengthy periods.

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Who’s the spoil sport now, TA…. I was hoping for some Friday Filosophizing, but I got zilch… 😀 (Hopefully you’re doing better things on your Friday evening…) Nothing but rain here (hopefully turning to snow overnight they say)… 😦 Ideal weather for a bit of shoe-gazing, I say…

    On the other hand, I was able to write the match preview… Publish it if you like or I’ll look it over and get it out in the morning as the other matches get played…

  17. Jnyc says:

    1 … We’d better win the league..answer..yes

    2 barca.. maybe, but doubtful.

    3 dont care much about the fa cup unless it’s paired with a league title. It’s time to progress.

    4 Ozil..,yes

    5 no more buying til summer

  18. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Arsenal North and Johnnie, nice to see confidence being high at the moment! 🙂

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    17, am busy with dog and family stuff today, so please post the MP when you want. 🙂

  20. 17highburyterrace says:

    New Post

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