Arsenal v Everton
A new beginning at the home of football?
Every game is a big one nowadays and tomorrow’s one against Sam and Feo’s Toffees will be an even bigger one. We had a hectic but very successful final week of the TW, during which, regrettably, we also suffered a painful loss away to Swansea. This loss allowed the gap with Pool (and now also with Chelsea) to slip to eight points again, which has left the Gunners in a precarious positions to say the least.
It is all about balance between defence and attack and Arsene keeps struggling to get it right. Yes some of the individual performances were below par and there is nothing Wenger can do about these, but in terms of formation and game plan something is missing. Many want a beast of a DM to protect the back four, but Wenger doesn’t see it that way. All-rounders in midfield is his solution, but he keeps changing players as to get the balance right. Key is that the two deepest midfielders form a horizontal mobile wall to both protect the defence and push up to keep the opponent hemmed into their own half when we are attacking.
Unfortunately, we have seen the more attack-minded central midfielder join the attack almost constantly, thus leaving his mate often isolated when there is a turnover. We look so vulnerable in midfield so often in games, and this has to change asap. I feel we are totally dependent on Jack to make our midfield work. He is the natural leader who has the discipline to stay central, sit deep when needed and choose the right moment to join the attack. He also has that rare ability to go past a player or two and thus create crucial movement and unpredictability up-front. His added ability to pick a brilliant deep pass is also very important. Elneny or Xhaka are the obvious options to sit deep with him. The former is the more disciplined and has my preference right now.
Up-front it looks like Aubameyang may not start as he will have a late fitness test, which to me sounds like he will be on the bench (Welbeck is still injured). Wenger may want to keep him fresh for the pivotal Spuddies game, as to scare the cr*p out of them. 🙂 So I am going for Lacazette up-front with Ozil behind him in the hole. I then would love to see Mkhitaryan and Rambo ‘on the wings’, interchanging with Ozil as much as possible. Both Henrikh and Aaron should also give the midfield extra protection when required and they will work well on the flanks with their full backs.
So this is my preferred line-up for the Toffees match:
Whether Wenger will do the same remains to be seen. He will have to get it right as we cannot afford more points being dropped.
I reckon it is time to do the 7/4 split for the rest of the season once again: seven players focus mainly on defending and keeping it tight – basically focus hard on a clean sheet; and four players who are mainly focussed on creating and taking chances. Of course it is not as black and white as this, but I guess you know what I mean.
Anyway, cannot wait to see the boys play tomorrow.
Come On You Rip Roaring Gunners!