I’ve spent all week gradually working myself up with permeatations and speculative predictions in my mind on how the league will pan out for all four teams at the top, but we’re now getting closer to the actual action, so my numb feeling I mentioned earlier in the week has gone full Red Admiral in my stomach. Hopefully you’re a little more confident/less nervous than I am. I wouldn’t want to wish this feeling on anyone.
Still, apathy would be worse, because we wouldn’t be in any competitions and we wouldn’t therefore be in with a shot of anything. All we could have to moan about is ticket prices.
So I’m hoping that Arsène’s presser has some words of comfort that will alleviate the butterflies. Those damn insatiable butterflies that feed on my fear. I’m hoping that Arsène can say words that I can read a lot in to. I’m hoping I can see the body language of a man that says “hey, chill, me ‘n the lads have got this, ‘k?”. I’m hoping that the players undertake a training session that is intense, confident and focused, so that when they take to the field on Sunday they start the game quick and get the required goal tally needed for us to win it.
The good news is that Danny Welbeck could be back for next weekend’s game against Hull in the FA Cup. Just in time Danny boy, because Olivier is running out of steam in his proficiency in front of goal, whilst Theo looks more and more like a Lost Boy every day. That said, I think the momentum amongst the people I speak to for him to start instead of Giroud is growing, which I understand. Olivier looked a little forlorn against Bournemouth – Özil assisted goal aside – and it doesn’t help that when his goals have dried up, so has the team.
I get the clamour to see Theo play on Sunday, because of the success we had at Leicester earlier in the season, but this is a Leicester team that is totally different to the one we played at the King Power. That team was set up to go toe-to-toe with the opposition in a “you score, we score” approach, where as this current version is built on drensive stability and a counter attacking prowess that has every team a little worried on how to approach them. They’re built to run on speed in attack whilst sitting deeper, more compact and difficult to run in between the lines in defence, which is what they’ll do on Sunday. That doesn’t traditionally work for Theo. He had great games against Leicester and Man United because he had space to find across both back lines, but this new incarnation of Leicester will not afford him that space, which is why I suspect we’ll still see Giroud. He just has to step up.
I hope Arsène and his players are working out some sort of tactical master plan to outwit Leicester’s deep defence and pacey attack, I really do, because being a simpleton when it comes to analysing football matches, I can’t at the moment. Not unless we replicate their style and essentially play with no midfield. We’ve been good at that lately, to be fair, so perhaps it’s the way forward. Perhaps we sit Coquelin in front of the back four and play with ALL THE ATTACKERS in a bank of five? That’d make for an interesting game. I’m not sure it would be that great for our health though, eh?
The only other news coming out of the club is that Arsenal will be going to the US in the summer to take on the MLS all stars in LA. That’s great for our fans in the States and I’m sure it will be well attended by American Gooners all over the US (assuming the country hasn’t been evacuated at the prospect of Trump becoming President), but for me personally it means little. It’s unlikely I’ll watch the game or even bother to catch any highlights, but it’s good for the club to bring the US fans the opportunity to see the players that they normally only see on TV.
That’s all I gots for today. Enjoy your Friday and be happy. Life is to short to be anything else. Yes, I know, that needs to apply to me and I’ll try my best, not to be so bloody nervous!!