By Tony Attwood
As a lot of people have noted Arsenal have won every game when Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have started together, so there’s a worry with the news that Lacazette will miss out against Man U.
On the other hand most of the destruction of Huddersfield was done without Lacazette – it was Giroud who caused the second half problems. So maybe not such a total blow.
Anyway everyone is having a look at what we will do now that disaster has struck, Arsenal get more injuries than everyone else, and Tottenham are actually above us in the league, and we can’t see it because we insist on holding the league table upside down.
And yes, in a sign of the panic besetting the bloggettas we are getting articles such as
“After a strong start, Sead Kolasinac’s passing hasn’t been great over the last three weeks. Why?” Plus a superb piece by the Daily Cannon which tells us that Cech will be in goal. Amazing.
Of course we haven’t kicked off yet but already we know that “Arsene Wenger [is] falling into naive trap with Jose Mourinho”. This from Pain in the Arsenal. Their opening lines are interesting…
“Arsene Wenger denied the expectation that Jose Mourinho will come to ‘park the bus’ against Arsenal on Saturday. But given the Portuguese’s history, that seems unlikely. Wenger is in danger of falling into a trap of naivety once again. He must be careful not to overlook his opponent’s wily and canny nature.”
So here we have the absolute conviction that Jose M. has “tactical nous” but that Mr Wenger is simplistic and naive. Notice the “once again”, once again.
Funny how he keeps winning those FA Cups and becomes the most winning manager in the history of the old competition with all that simplistic thinking. It must have been all those easy teams we beat last season like Manchester City and Chelsea. And I can’t imagine how he managed an Unbeaten Season. Pure luck I suppose.
Anyway the old doddering bloggetta writer reveals he was deeply “concerned to read Wenger’s pre-match comments ahead of Manchester United’s trip to the Emirates on Saturday. Wenger was asked whether Mourinho, who is famed for ‘parking the bus’ against the big teams, would approach the Arsenal game with the same defensive focus. Wenger said that he did expect it”
Now this sort of reporting requires a person who actually believes what is said in press conferences. And it takes an ability to believe that Mr W will tell the truth and reveal exactly what his tactics are while Mr M will lie through his teeth.
Does Mr W always tell us what is coming up in his press conferences? Well actually guys, no. The silly little chappies who work on TV call it “mind games” but that is only because they can’t say “psychological”. It comes out “Pussy Chol Ogi Ogi Ogi Cal Cal Cal”
What we don’t know is what Mr W (have you noticed that this is a new version of WM – that old Chapman thing?) will be doing with his forward line. He could replace Lacazette with Danny Welbeck. This would keep the team’s shape, and Danny has scored three goals in four bashes against Manchester U.
The obvious alternative to this would be Giroud who as I mentioned did the business after Lacazette went off against Huddersfield. However he hasn’t started a league game so far, although he has started Europa games.
Giroud may not be fast but he can lay the ball on to Alexis and Ozil, and with Ozil in stunning form that could confuse any defence who won’t know quite who to mark: Giroud because he scores, or either of the other because they… well, trick and flick and score. Anyway Giroud is physical, and that could draw the attention of the occasional Man U centre back while letting one of the artists move in.
There’s also Alex Iwobi. Industrious, harassing, endlessly tracking back and he has already played against Man City and Chelsea. He can play the wing and Alexis the centre forward.
Of course lots of people are talking up Jack… could this be the time to give him a big start on the left, with Alexis in the middle and Ozil on the right, with Ramsey doing more pushing and probing before quickly dropping back in case of a counter?
One problem is, is Jack actually ready, and wouldn’t it be kinder to introduce him to a lesser team? And another is that Jack can over excite himself in very big matches… and in this game beyond everything we need him to stay very calm.
But he can work well in small amounts of space and then start the attack. And with the terrible news that Santi Cazorla is having yet another operation, we need that person.
Back with the notion of Ramsey playing further forward however, one way really to allow that would be to bring in Elneny or Coquelin and move Ramsey forward with Ozil and Alexis as a front two playing just ahead of Ramsey. He can score after all. I seem to remember something in that Cup Final thing against Chelsea…
So that would leave us with Xhaka and Coquelin or Elneny chopping down any Manchester forward silly enough to start an attack. Quite an interesting prospect. I shall ponder further, although of course such ponderings won’t make a blind bit of difference. But it keeps me happy.
Meanwhile if you have an interest in Bob Dylan’s music and have ever searched for a Dylan song you may well have come across Untold Dylan since we are often at or near the top of such searches.. I’m sometimes asked if that is us too, and yes it is.
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