TOR’S OBSESSION WITH BALANCE LIBERATES XHAKA AS AUBA IS UNLEASHED FROM THE RIGHT.
BK wishes Danny a speedy recovery.
Unai has a passion for psychology, ask Romain Molina the author of the new book “Unai Emery – El Maestro”. To Emery, football is all about emotions and structure, about the heart and the head, the expression and the discipline. That is what he loves to see from his team on the field and from the fans in the stands.
We have gone 15 games without a loss. The confidence of the team must be bubbling over. We, the fans, can guess as much. We’ve heard Xhaka say they are in the mix, Holding say they fear no one, Leno that they can match the best and Ozil that the team can only get better. We see it in the spring in Laca’s gait and in that audacious Iwobinho’s nutmeg of Milner. Confidence is good but Emery also knows that confidence is only as good as it is well grounded on, first of all, respect for the opposition amongst other things.
I have a lot of respect for Wolves. Make no mistake it’s not going to be an easy contest when we face up to them at the Emirate. This is the team that took 2 pts off a City team that was on full throttle on the day. The only other team that has been able to do that to City is Liverpool but it could be argued that Pep planned for a goalless draw that day and so had his normally marauding fullbacks sitting back the length of the game. Wolves also took 2 pts on the road off Manchester United. Last weekend all the experts agreed that the Spuds were very lucky to have gone home with the 3 pts against the Wanderers. Wolves xG was 2.41 goals with the Spuds’ at 1.63.
Wolves are gritty. They don’t park the bus. They don’t play with any complex. They contest for the ball everywhere on the pitch. Luckily for us they don’t have any Auba or Laca in their attacking ranks but we should know better than take our eyes off Raul Jimenez their striker who’s had a hand in 56% of their goals. Luckily also Emery’s very competitive nature has rubbed off sizably on our team. So far we are the hardest working in the PL this season. We’ve won more points than any other team from a losing position, not ideal but it tells a big story. The fans love the fact of our new found combativeness. When Liverpool went 1 goal up last weekend the fans upped the decibel level in support of our team propelling them into overdrive. The Emirate looks it would be a fortress, a part and parcel of the Emery revolution.
Emery’s 1st eleven has almost fully emerged. He has tested out so many things including Xhaka at left back, Ramsey at #10, Ozil wide right, Auba leading the line, Maitland-Niles right winger, Iwobi left back and so on. Against Liverpool he started the Fab 4 together for the first time. Are there any more feasible combos that he might still want to check out? I think so and again why not. El maestro has been learning and winning.
Only Holding, Iwobi and Sokratis from amongst those who started on Thursday do I expect to be in contention for a starting berth against Wolves. This fixture looks like it’s come a tad too soon for back-to-training Monreal and Lichsteiner is doubtful with a muscular problem.
Against Wolverhampton Wanderers we may see this line up:-
Bench:- Cech, Mailand-Niles, Sokratis, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Nketiah.
Hop in Gooners, it’s Emery on the wheels!!!