Good morning tit lovers from a sunny and warm Southern France.
After the Leicester game I was in very high spirits, the next game was Olympiacos at the Emirates in the Champions League and a good win was envisaged. Due to our unfortunate defeat in Croatia this had to be a must win game to stay in contention for getting through the group stages. Wenger had been under the spot-light and criticised for fielding too many changes to the team against Dynamo Zagreb so the thinking amongst fans was that he would field his strongest side against the Greeks.
There will be many heated debates about the side that Wenger chose and the biggest debate is the inclusion of Ospina instead of Cech. For me, our strongest side has to include our #1 keeper, no question. So why did our manager use the Chilian? There have been a few conspiracy theories put forward. Firstly is that Ospina has included in his contract a clause that he plays all Cup games including the Champions League…. if that were to be the case then for me it is very poor team management. I couldn’t believe that Wenger would be able to make such a promise which could affect his team selection for such an important competition.
Secondly, it was mentioned that Cech had a small injury and Wenger confirmed this. However, my question is, ” Why was Cech on the bench if he was suffering an injury?”. Very strange and maybe the manager told a little porkie to avoid any difficult questions. He has defended his decision this week, saying that he has two world class keepers.
Thirdly, and this is my personal theory, Monsieur Wenger has realised that with his current squad, it is not possible to win the Champions League and therefore, he is treating it like the Capital One Cup and rotating as much as possible to keep the squad fresh for a serious push for the Premier League title. I really can’t see any other plausible reason.
So after such a disappointing defeat on Tuesday we come to todays game against Manchester (the red side) who were topping the league until yesterdays emphatic win by the Manchester blue side against the struggling Toons. United currently on 16 points and us on 13, a win for us today will make us joint second. Can we do it though, our record against them isn’t brilliant and last season their win at the Emirates was Van Gaals first win after taking over. I was critical of the purchase of a 19 year old Martial for £40m and thought it was a crazy price to pay for a unproven forward. However, he has proved me wrong so far and he will be a big threat today, as will Rooney who tends to score regularly against the Gunners.
Team selection is a difficult task, Kos is out with a hammy, Arteta and Flamster are both out, but the Big Coq is fit to play. Our strongest back four therefore will be Bellerin, Paul Easter, BFG and Monreal with Coq au Vin sitting just in front. Walcott or Giroud? Your guess is as good as mine, I’ve no idea, but Theo will probably start. The Ox, Cazorla, Ramsey, Sanchez or Özil will form the midfield, again, I’ve no idea who from that five. But one thing is for certain, Cech will be in goal.
What will be the outcome? I think we may see a few goals, it could end up a bit like last weekends game against Leicester…. who will get the 5 and who will get the 2?…. how the fuck would I know. This game could go either way but I’m hoping for a win to the Gunners. Hope is all I have left, I leave the confidence to the manager.
After severe floods down here yesterday I’ve woken to a gloriously sunny day. The wine is chilling in the fridge and the chorizo has been sliced… cheers and bon apetit. Enjoy the game where ever you may be.