After a week of navel gazing, dreaming of new signings and analysing the Liverpool defeat to death, it is time to look forward to the next game. In the end there are 111 points to play for, yet some make you believe it is already doom and gloom with Arsenal. There is no doubt in my mind that we will learn from last Sunday’s game and that the team will also sooner or later accept that they were simply blitzed in a short period of time. This sometimes happens in the game and overanalysing the, in the end, narrow defeat does nobody any good.
Upwards and onwards, and time to get the big guns out and make a statement.
The Foxes have two players it appears we have been interested in, and they both decided to stay with their club. An admirable decision in many ways as loyalty is such a rare thing nowadays, but it is now up to our boys to show them once and for all what they have missed out on.
I am all for giving players a rest, but after seeing the BFG get badly injured after a whole summer of no football, we have to conclude that avoiding injury is no hard science. We often rest players for a long time and then they still get injured almost as soon as they appear on the pitch.
What we do not want to do is send out a team that has confidence issues, and we need to give a strong performance on Saturday evening as well – and ideally come away with three points – so it is time to bring out the big Euros’ Guns and fire from all cylinders at the Foxes.
This would be my team for Saturday:
It is time to re-establish the Nacho-Koz partnership on our left hand side, as it was there where we were penetrated at will and which cost us very badly. Of course, I am worried that Koz might get injured but, as per above, there is no guarantee that he will not get injured straightaway if we rest him one or two more weeks.
On the right hand sight, I would keep Holding as he seems more assured and stronger in the air than Chambers. I also feel that the former Southampton man is struggling to make it at Arsenal and the next game is not one to grand him for gaining more confidence and form. I would also be happy to start Debuchy next to Koz, and this may well happen.
In front of the defence I would opt for the wall of Elneny and Xhaka, with the latter playing deepest and Elneny giving us extra protection whilst supporting our attackers as much as possible. Wenger may well opt to play Coquelin again, but I would love to see Granit start and spread his diagonal balls with the finest Swiss precision.
Up front it is time for Sanchez – Ozil – Theo and to put Giroud back as our holding CF. From a fitness point of view this might not be our strongest eleven to start with, but it would give the whole team a psychological lift from the start. And that is what we need more than anything else. After 45 or 60 minutes we can take off Ozil and Giroud and replace them with either Akpom, Campbell or Santi (moving Theo central); and if Koz gets tired we can bring on Gibbs and move Monreal into the left CB position.
That is what I would do, but I am not sure Arsene will go down the same path. However, I don’t think I will be far off.
What would your first eleven be for Saturday’s crunch game against the Foxes?