Right then, lads and lasses, time to get back on the wagon after the hour that was the week before last and see if we can get back to winning ways with three points against Tony Pulis’ West Brom at home today.

Ig won’t be easy, it certainly won’t be pretty, but any jove, it is something that needs to be done. Especially if we want to continue to dream that this squad is actually capable of challenging for the title. Champions just don’t fudge up games like this. Not if they want to hit that 80 point+ mark I spoke about earlier in the week.

The team massively fluffed their lines against Everton and Man City. We know it, they know it, the manager knows it, the whole world told them about it. But we can put that unpleasantness behind us all if we beat West Brom on our own turf today. And whilst it’s not exactly a task we should take lightly, it is one that we should be feeling confident enough in, because these are the sort of games you hope Arsenal can control.

West Brom sit in eighth and they’re there because they’re ticking along nicely under Pulis. They’ve lost two of their last six, but that was away to Chelski and at home to United, which is nothing to be sniffed at, and I expect they will most certainly cause us problems today. They will look to use the pace of players like Phillips to attack us on the wings and they’ll get balls in to the box where possible. We’ve looked vulnerable with Mustafi out of the team, so if I was in Pulis’ position i’d look to see where I could isolate Rondon with Gabriel on aerial duels specifically. Rondon is a bit of a unit, but I’m not sure how good he is in the air and so perhaps that can be a saving grace for us.

It won’t be, however, if our fullbacks don’t pull their fingers out. Monreal was the chief protagonist for City’s second goal and so if he’s given the nod today – although I’d be seriously tempted to play Gibbs – he needs to make sure West Brom’s attacking wide players don’t get in behind him. The same has to be said for Bellerin. He’s super going forward, as we all know, but in games like this there will be an inevitable desire to push bodies forward. So whilst we need to be able to overload their defensive flanks, we also need to be able to balance defence with attack in a game like this. I don’t know about you, but I’ma little bored of seeing us go behind in games like this, so I’d love to see a nice, controlled 3-0 win today. One of those where we score early, get a second before halftime, then get a third somewhere in the middle of the second half. We haven’t had one of those in a while, have we? So it would be nice to get a post Christmas gift of a comfortable afternoon.

But who are we kidding, right? This will be a tough game. Pulls will set his side up to frustrate and he’ll look to start at getting a point and build on that, with the ideal game plan being a sucker-punched counter-attacking goal and then camping the entire team on their own 18 yard box.

Our team should have some changes, but I don’t think it will, because I think Arsene will tell his team that they have an opportunity to erase the bad memory of a week ago, with a win. So I think Montreal, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Xhaka, Coquelin, Ozil, Lexis, Iwobi and Walcott all start. Personally I’d like to see Perez in one of the flanked positions, but I don’t think it’s something we’ll see, not for this game anyway.

If West Brom do sit deep, it makes sense to have more players who can play in confined spaces, which is why I’d seriously consider his options instead of Theo. Ramsey is due to have a late fitness test, but given he’s spent most of this season injured and given the Ox is also out, I can’t see Theo not starting. If you read my ramblings regularly, then you’ll know that I’m not a fan of Theo playing with teams who sit deep with not a lot of grass for him to run in to, but this season he’s cropped up with some decent poachery type goals, so I think he’ll get the nod and if he does i’d like to see him pick up some more centralised positions. Especially if Hector i feeding him from the flanks. I loved his goal against Chelski where Hector slid the ball across to him, so I’d love to see another one of those tomorrow.

But what I’d really love, i mean REALLY REALLY love, would be for Mesut to put in the kind of performance we all know he;s capable of. I’m bored of the Ozil bashing and I’m sure you are, but the only way to silence that is by him putting in one of those performances that have us all purring. Make us purr Mesut, make us purr.

There really isn’t that much more to say. We need to win. By any means necessary. Sometimes it takes us a while to rediscover our swagger after we’ve been dealt psychological body blows. So when we’re not in the best of confidence, all that matters is points.

Let’s have three of them today please, Arsenal.

Right, i’m off ski for another day of booze and too much food, so I’ll catch you tomorrow.