By Bulldog Drummond
The only news of late is that Jack Wilshere missed training this morning, although there is a suggestion he might still play. And it is said that Rob Holding is going on loan to Burnley so he won’t be in the squad but we are told Giroud is.
Meanwhile the issue we’ve touched on quite a few times about our goalkeeper Martinez seems to have come to the fore with suggestions that he will leave Spain and go to Leeds, after having only been given four games this season.
So let’s see what we have left… here is one approach that looks roughly viable.
Wilshere Xhaka Ramsey
Monreal Mustafi Koscielny Bellerin
It does have the great benefit of getting Ramsey and Wilshere on the pitch together with any of the three players in that line being able to scamper forward or hurry back as the case may demand, but primarily leaving Xhaka playing in front of a back four.
That would leave a beach made up of the likes of
Ospina, Mertesacker, Chambers, Mavropanos, Debuchy, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Iwobi, Giroud. Take seven from that group of ten.
I would certainly imagine that Mkhitaryan will start but he will probably be taken off on the hour or shortly after, as he has not played much this season. Iwobi could then come on.
However there is another way of seeing all this, by playing Ozil in the middle
Mkhitaryan Ozil Iwobi
Monreal Mustafi Koscielny Bellerin
Of course that doesn’t mean that it has to be Xhaka that drops out, but one of those three would have to give way if we played that way. Ozil pulling the strings and the other two providing the balls either to Ozil or to Lacazette. Looks good to me.
The situation with Giroud is complicated by the possibility of the loan or permanent move to Chelsea or Germany. If he is about to go, probably he won’t actually be on the bench today. On the other hand if he is not going, he could come on, in the second half, and do his usual stuff. However the Express have just published a story saying that Giroud has agreed a transfer. Mind you they have the word “agree” in inverted commas which is normally the sign that even the guy who wrote the piece doesn’t believe it. The Star also says that he is off to Chelsea.
Meanwhile Paul Merson has surprised us all by being positive about Arsenal. He said,
“Swansea will play in exactly the same way as they did against Liverpool. They’ll defend in numbers but for me, Arsenal have got a bit more guile than Liverpool.”
Anyway, it seems that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has come into the country ready to join Arsenal so it would be a bit of a surprise if he didn’t actually transfer. I’d still like to hope the whole Giroud thing is a decoy – and that he’s not going either on a loan or permanent deal.
Thankfully the whole nonsense of the transfer window finishes tomorrow and we can get back to the football.
- Arsenal: The 7 biggest transfer stories of the hour, and recent games with Swansea
- Arsenal v Swansea: home & away form, lowest goals, wacky rumours, injuries, everything.
- Swansea v Arsenal – Tuesday 30 Jan 2018 – on a good day the ref is dodgy. On a bad day…
- Swansea v Arsenal: Just how good does a new manager have to be?
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: the team news, Jesus’ problem, and winning records
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: injury update, and the record between the clubs
- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the dirtiest team of all?
- The great injury conundrum: how can Arsenal cope, and how are other clubs suffering?