It’s funny how in football harmony can do quickly turn into discord. Just look at the situation at Old Trafford right now. A pretty stinging defeat to the horrible lot from the other part of north London and what do you know? Jose is at odds with everyone again.
Having only recently signed a new deal, we’re seeing another implosion from the Portuguese and hopefully it’ll be as hilarious to watch as that season Chelski tumbled down the league.
They’ll still probably beat us at Old Trafford, but hey, I’ll take my small pleasures how they’re served up to me.
There’s also been a hint of that at Arsenal if you believe the gutter press. The whole Özil situation is the main talking point, but there’s also been talk of surprise and disappointment from Ramsey at not being picked and what with his contract still unsigned, there’s bound to still be a little friction going on.
It’s all very different from the smiles, laughs and jokes of the Singapore Tour earlier in the summer, but we all knew that was a charm offensive by the club and new regime. The players won’t be happy all of the time and with two defeats starting off the season as we had there would always be a tense atmosphere until the club got up and running with a win.
We’ve got that now and the hope is that the squad can now build some momentum, starting with Cardiff away this coming Sunday, which I’ll be watching from a bar in Portugal. It should be a game in which we see Arsenal clicking all the more, as we’ll be hitting the one month spot since the season started, plus we’ve played teams that are open, that will pack defence and break at speed and on Sunday a side who will sit deep, let us have the ball and be physical and aggressive in winning it back in key positions.
I do hope that Emery starts to get his starting line up right though. I’m loving the tactical changes to influence a game early on, but there is a tiny hint of me that wishes we would have a team that clicks from the first minute of a game, thereby negating the need for such drastic changes at halftime. I’m not trying to be the footballing ‘cake and eat it’ guy, I just want to see us at teams from the off.
I do think that there’s also room for players like Torreira and Laca starting straight away soon too. Both have been speaking about the impact that they’ve been having and you can tell that both are eager to start from the first minute. Laca has certainly been vocal about stating his case post West Ham and given the impact he seems to have made from the bench, I’d be keen to see what he can do from the start too, even if it’s not in a front pairing with Auba as Emery has already stated won’t happen.
For me positions are always loose in good teams anyway. There is so much movement and pace in the Premier League that defined spaces on a football pitch are quite redundant really. What I love is when attacking players change positions, pull defenders around a bit with their movement and if you can get a front three who are all on the same wavelength, it creates space and openings and they lead to goals.
And let’s face it, with our defence, we need a lot of those.
So I’d be inclined to give Laca that start he craves and I suspect he might be getting near it. We’ve tried Auba, Mkhi, Ramsey as a front three. We’ve tried Iwobi in there along with Auba and Mkhi. It’s time to give Laca a shout with Auba plus one. I’d probably say Mkhi would be the most likely as I think Emery likes him a lot, but would be more than open to see Özil with Ramsey deeper, or vice versa.
The fact that Emery is still experimenting also suggests to me that we’ll see him try something different and probably this weekend too. Each opponent we’ve faced so far this season has offered something different and Cardiff will be different too. So I’m of the belief that we’ll see another different set up on Sunday. Let’s just hope it leads to three points.