For us, defeat has become a distant memory. 18 games unbeaten, there is no way we’d allow the Spuds to be the spoilers. Instead we are going to put them where they belong which is below us and get ourselves back into the top-4. Our man at the helm of affairs has become infected with the premier league bug and he has shifted into overdrive.
How is Emery going to set up his NLD team? It’s no easy guess for anybody not even for him. Like Bournemouth, the Spuds are a high intensity team. Would it then be the same formation, the same team? Can Ozil be benched again? And what about Lacazette who is expected back?
Kolasinac? What is he? So many questions swirling through the head of poor Emery. At least he knows Kolasinac is not a full back. Even as a wingback, Kola is a bit too one directional as he doesn’t seem to recognize the critical need for tracking back. Yet who, including Emery, isn’t excited about his wing play. He has all the energy in the world driving forward and his ball deliveries into the penalty areas are our best. What’s more, his combination with Iwobi is very exciting and Emery took good notice. He said so.
If Kola plays, Emery is likely to employ a 3-man central defense. If Kola and Iwobi are picked to start, something big somewhere must give way. Or does Emery play Kola as a winger and play a full back behind him? There are questions galore. The only thing am certain about is that Emery would submit his team sheet in time.
With Kola and/or Iwobi dominating all talk on the left side of the field, and with Laca expected back, what to do with Auba becomes an issue. And what again does Emery do about the Spuds’ dynamic midfield or is this a game he has to go Wenger-like and focus on his strength? After all we would he playing with 12 men.
They say Billy the Kid was the best gunslinger of the Wild West era. They say he was the only one, amongst the lot who wore their guns low, that made peace with the fact that his next gun duel could be his last. The result was that he was able to look death straight in the eyes without flinching leaving him at his efficient best each time. I see a lot of him in Emery. Look at how Emery has stood up to the interviews in Englidh without ever batting an eye. Against the Spuds, he has gritted his teeth, steeled his eyes and rolled the dice of winner take all. Emery wants the three points and nothing else is in his books. He is one hell of a tough hombre.
I listened to Alan Shearer after the Bounemouth’s last weekend’s match. He was full of praise for Auba’s center forward positioning. It leaves the defenders in a quandary more so as they know what he can do. His presence alone, without any “activity” is already a lot of activity. Anybody who says he doesn’t do enough is unable to see the subtler aspects of football and wouldn’t recognize a beast of prey crouched, waiting to spring. Meanwhile he has set a new Arsenal record of 20 goals in the 1st 30 games. This man, Auba, should never be faraway from the goalmouth.
But there is Laca to contend with whose style incidentally compliments Auba’s. As strikers, one likes dropping deep, playing with his back to the goal, the other likes playing off the shoulders of defenders. One pulls back and doesn’t attack the 6yd box, the other is a master of the final touch.
Emery has a thousand and one things to resolve. I dare to predict that against the Spuds, we might see something like this:-
Bench:- Cech, Koscielny, Lichsteiner, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi.
This is the North London Derby and I predict the MOTM would go to the 12th man!