So the last few cup games have given us a good opportunity to assess the whole squad, and only one conclusion can be pulled: Emery has a full and comprehensive toolkit at his disposal.
A few pertinent questions to my fine fellow Bloggers (and new readers today) on BK:
In defence we have double cover in all areas now that Holding, Bellerin and Tierney are available. You have got to ask yourself, who will be playing in the first team in the games that really matter? Luiz is our leader but we know he is prone to a mistake or two in a game. Big Sok and Kola don’t seem the men to cover for this as there has been little cohesion between the three of them this season. But imagine Luiz with Holding, Bellerin/Chambers and Tierney and we could be entering a more stable arrangement at the back.
Question to you: who would you play against Manchester United assuming all are fit to start?
In midfield we have the emergence of both Willock and Guendouzi and Torreira has had a number of very strong performances. Xhaka divides opinion and everybody on BK knows what I think of our midfield conductor: combine him with the right players and play him deep and he (and Arsenal) will shine; get this wrong and he (and Arsenal) will suffer. Emery knows he cannot do without him (highest number of passes in the team with high accuracy levels) but he doesn’t offer him the right levels of support in midfield. As many have said on BK, Xhaka and Guendouzi are not to be combined, at least not in the ‘DM-pivot’. For me it is a no-brainer that Xhaka-Torreira in front of the back four is our best option. In the hole I would mostly play the king of the key pass, Ozil, but Guendouzi, Ceballos and Willock have also something to offer: a big engine and more support to defensive midfielders. There are options now, and some argue that either Chambers or Luiz should be played in midfield rather than at the back….
My question to you: what is your favourite combo of midfielders?
Whilst Pepe has yet to reach the high levels of expectations we have for him, the nicest surprise of the season is the emergence of a left winger from our own ranks: both Nelson and especially Saka have had strong performances for us and are making it hard to be left out. And then there was the braze-scoring performance by Martinelli on Tuesday.
My question to you: who of these three would you play against MU, given that Laca will still be out?
Finally, many have been remarking on the Happinez they get from Martinez…
My question to you: should he replace Leno?
So let’s be having you! 🙂