PREVIEW: WELBECK IN A NEW ROLE AGAINST BRIGHTON.
The Europa Cup is now our priority. Definitely. With 10 games to go in the EPL we are 10pts behind the 4th place team who have +29 goal difference to our +12. It’s silly to keep dreaming.
However there is still a lot at stake in every match we play. We are the proud Gooners. We dare not slip below the 6th position. Dare not allow the gaps between us and the top five teams become even more embarrassing. We dare not allow the toxic atmosphere heighten to a level that could do permanent damage to the club. For the ever-increasing number who want Wenger to go, the air is already noxious enough to give them what they want which maybe might be heathy for us going
forward. We must remain mindful of not throwing out the baby with the bath water.
What am trying to say in a nut shell is that we are not sending out a 2nd string against Brighton and Hove Albion so as to rest our first eleven for the Europa match against in-form AC Milan on Thursday.
As a matter of fact I suspect that when we have long gaps between matches the team mentally disengage causing them to sleepwalk through games. Obviously, our team takes time to wake up. That should explain why we are perennial slow starters. We frequently concede early in matches and at resumptions in 2nd half. Even short rests send us to sleep. Maybe the way forward for our regulars is to reduce time spent on the training pitches but increase their real game time. I remember Messi saying that he prefers matches for staying fit over trainings.
Where is the balance? Let us use Ramsey who is prone to muscular injury as an example. He played on Thursday and if the decision is to rest him against Brighton he would have a week for disorienting himself with Hollywood back heels and samba twists in the guise of training. Come next Thursday he starts the match still in that joga bonito tempo. On the other hand if he is not to be rested and therefore put through only light limbering exercises with emphasis on classroom drills to keep his match psyche revving, he steps into the field on Sunday mentally ready. What do l know anyway …. but then what else is there to talk about.
Brighton is a well-organized team. When they lose the ball they quickly put men behind it. They have conceded least of all teams except for the top 5 and Burnley. As they do retreat quickly we must have to transition even more quickly otherwise we would be stuck.
That should be the theme for of our tactics of the day. We defend diligently but attack with freedom and speed. All the sideways and backwards passing to keep possession have only given us 3 wins away from home this season in the EPL. It’s time for a different approach.
This sterile possession is not the only thing I want us to chunk out of the window. Talks on formations too. If you are not yet fed up with them, I am. Non has bailed us out.. To the last man, friends and foes alike, everybody agrees that we haven’t got any fight in us. Unfortunately it cannot conjured into existence with a sermon. So what do we do?
All the fighters, players with energy that we have must be the first names on the sheet and the rest added to complement them. Wouldn’t that send a clear message to the boys? I have a list. As you’d expect, it is a short list. Elneny, Ramsey, Welbeck, Mustafi, (Nacho is not available). To these four we append seven other names to make up the team and then see what formation jumps out.
—- Mustafi BFG Holding—–
Bellerin Elneny Ramsey Welbeck
SUBS ; Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Niles, Xhaka Iwobi, Nketiah.
Welbeck at left wing back? Against Brighton we will be mostly on the front foot. So the wingbacks would be busier attacking. Furthermore, Welbeck is fast, works hard, closes opponents down quickly and has the latterly unimpressive Kolasinac or the inexperienced Maitland-Nile as his competitors there. He looks the best option to me, but again, what do I know.
Our defence, particularly Mustafi, needs a cool head around and that’s why BFG.
Somebody should go tell the boys that we’ve still got a lot of celebration in us. We’d love to let it out. COYG!!!
By Pony Eye.