By Bulldog Drummond
So as we now know, the end of last season was all a myth and Arsenal did not win the FA Cup (see FA insist that Chelsea are the current holders of the cup). So we move onto today’s little outing to try and overcome not just Forest, and the raging media, but also the FA news deniers.
But it is, we now understand, all to no purpose because if Arsenal win the cup again it won’t count. And anyway football doesn’t matter any more as the whole thing has been reduced to a sort of celebrity shouting match (see for example “Chelsea
Mind you the Telegraph has “Premier League clubs should not disrespect the FA Cup – if winning an honour is not a priority what is the point?” written by the old coin thrower J. Carragher, but then also doesn’t have the time to present us with a preview of the Arsenal game either. One might well ask about newspaper web sites, “what’s the point?”
Still, it hasn’t quite sunk as low as Talk Sprout with its “There’s a bad smell at Arsenal” piece today, although if you want something more tasty you could try “Arsenal fan favourite opens kebab shop” on the unstoppable Daily Canon. It’s a load of balls. And forget that bit about “tasty”. I withdraw that.
Shkodran Mustafi is not playing so the other place could go to Calum Chambers or Rob Holding.
Sead Kolasinac won’t play so the hugely talented Ainsley Maitland-Niles who seems incredibly calm and assured and not prone to being overloaded by games or the situation, presumably gets another game. Also presumably (which is a fancy way of saying I don’t know) Bellerin is going to have a breather so Reiss Nelson could come back in as an attacking wing back, which ought to suit his desire to play in every position simultaneously.
If it is right that Xhaka is unavailable, or that the boss simply does not want to play him then we could see Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in midfield. We were enormously impressed with Elneny’s performance in the last league cup game with his ability to play attacking and defending midfield at the same time. On that performance alone he deserves another run out.
Up front seems fairly obvious, in that Ozil, Alexis and Lacazette are not likely to play and Giroud is still out so that leaves Welbeck, Iwobi and Theo to start – although every time I say any line up is obvious then something completely different happens.
But for what it is worth that would make a team looking roughly like this
Iwobi Welbeck Theo
Maitland Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Nelson
Holding Mert Debuchy
What happens for the beach I don’t then know apart from the fact that Matt Macey must be there as the sub keeper. Do you put in more youngsters (yes, presumably a few) but also one or two more senior players to help stabalise things if something starts to go amiss or we get a major injury early on (these championship sides can on occasion include one or two hearty roughs in their line up).
Chambers would certainly be there, but beyond that, I don’t know who might be made to sit in the cold just in case.
But, but, but, but, but… we have the League cup semi-final against Chelsea this week, and that in theory is also a match for the Arsenal II team. So will anyone be held over for that, and if so, who will come in?
There are other players who could be given a try. Krystian Bielik and Julio Pleguezuelo might be ready for a game, as could be Josh Dasilva. Then there is Joseph Willock who looked terrifically talented when I saw him last, and of course Eddie Nketiah who surely must be on the beach.
Plus we have two players who are listed as first teamers but really not being seen. Jeff Reine Adelaide and Chuba Akpom. Both are still shown on Arsenal’s site as in the first team squad, but simply not breaking through. I know Le Jeff has been injured, but I thought he was making his way back. Mind you Jeff is still only 19 so he’s got plenty of time.
I think the beach could be an indicator of who is still in the manager’s mind. As for my mind, it is, as you can see, more muddled than ever.
And from the History Society
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