By Tony Attwood
I am not sure if it is a deliberate ploy and I don’t recall seeing it before, but under the headline “Three ways Arsenal could line up v Ostersunds FK after Alexandre Lacazette injury blow” we have this wonderful illustration of an Arsenal lineup… But I should add those of a delicate disposition might find this lineup rather worrying…
Are you ready?
You can’t sue me if this upsets you…
If you are of a delicate nature look away now…
Really this is going to be your last warning…
Are you sure you want this?
Here we go…
This comes from the Metro…
Indeed, these are confusing times for the players as we have been told time and time again that they can’t understand what Mr Wenger is up to.
But that is not the half of it because now it seems that Arsenal are trying the new ploy of arriving before they depart. Of course as we are looking at previews of an Arsenal game there is bound to be some amusement, but we don’t normally hear on 3.47pm on Wednesday the Daily Mail telling us “Arsenal flew out for their Europa League clash with Ostersunds on Thursday.” It really is actually Wednesday today guys.
But the Mail also carries a nice picture of the guys on the plane – quite interesting to see the luxury. I must check with Korean Airlines that I am getting the same treatment in a couple of weeks when I take my annual sojourn to Australia.
But back with Arsenal under the pictures they say “Arsenal flew out to Sweden for their Europa League clash with Ostersunds on Thursday” suggesting that actually it is not the tense that is wrong but the calendar in the Daily Mail’s office. I’d reprint the pic, but it has a Getty Images tag beneath it, and they can get uppity if we use something they’ve snapped.
So on Wednesday the Mail is telling us that Arsenal flew out to Sweden on Thursday, and what makes this concerning is that this news comes soon after Football London told us long after Lacazette was operated on that Lacazette would certainly play as centre forward.
Mind you the Mail also tells us that “Arsenal have to keep up with rivals Spurs, who drew with Juventus on Tuesday.” I am not sure how that works, given that we are in different competitions, and that when it comes to trophies either across all time, or just across the last four years, we are somewhat ahead, so I suspect it is them trying desperately to catch us up, not the other way around.
Thus it is Anomalies anomalies anomalies. As if reality were not complicated enough already.
But back to the line ups and the three options the Metro gives various options.
In the first we get four at the back, and midfield three of Wilshere and Xhaka with Elneny playing behind them, and a front three of Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Welbeck – the latter as the centre forward of course.
The final version has the same standard back four, but with Wilshere and Xhaka in the middle without Elneny, an attacking three of Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Welbeck and then in front of them, Nkeitiah as the striker.
In between these two there is a version that has three at the back (Monreal, Koscielny and Mustafi), with the wing backs and the Wilshere Xhaka midfield ahead of them, and the a front three of Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Welbeck.
So no Ramsey in sight for any of that. Which might well be a good precaution, as it leaves him free to stay at home and get ready for the League Cup Final. Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles would then be on the beach – which is going to be the coldest beach this season.
But now, what’s this, for also in an article published today, 14 September we have headlined, “4-2-3-1 – Rob Holding & Niles To Start – Arsenal’s Likely Line Up For Östersund”. This is the website TheHotStepanovs who tell us today, Wednesday, “Tomorrow the Gunners will fly to Sweden to face minnows Östersund.”
Could it be that TheHotStepanovs is copying their copy from a newspaper??????
Back in the world of semi-reality, The Mail also tells us how Arsenal will adapt to the conditions. The report says, “They will adapt.” Fair enough.
And one final bit of news, following on this morning’s update on the list of players that are tipped to be coming to Arsenal this late spring and early summer. Under the headline “Arsenal make ‘astronomical’ offer to former Gunners midfielder ahead of free transfer – report” Football London tells us that
“Arsene Wenger has held personal conversations with Ozyakup about returning to north London and that he is considering ‘astronomical transfer offers’.”
Which suggests the “astronomical” bit might not be coming from Arsenal. Anyway, it will all end in tears because, “The 25-year-old is Besiktas captain but his form has dipped in recent weeks, with sources inside the club telling Aksam that Arsenal’s contract offer has turned his head.” So he is doomed before he starts poor guy, just like every other transfer Arsenal get involved in.
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