As we host “Be-SHIT-tas” – Arsenal

The only thing nearly as good as your football club winning a game is a rival team losing won, when they lose heavily it’s even better, when they lose to a League 1 side in the 1st game of a Capital One Cup then that is joy in heavenly proportions.

I tweeted that before the game but even I really didn’t mean it. In truth I was so certain the United capitulation was not as bad as losing to MK Dons that I didn’t bother to watch the game. Tired from a long drive from work and off to bed I went, trust me there is no better way greater way to start a day than getting up from bed, refreshing your sports feeds and seeing that a rival team has been humiliated. With all our heavy defeats last season, we really know how it feels.

Anyways, to address matters at home , we host “Be-SHIT-tas” today at the Emirates. Arsenal are too classy to make them suffer for the awful pitch they made us play in and we expect that the difference in class between us and them will show today albeit hampered by the absence of our Olivier Giroud. The mandate for the game today cannot be made clearer, beat “Be-SHIT-tas” and qualify for the group stage of the champion’s league.

Wenger obviously loves to play in this competition and has experience qualifying for it; however the test today will be a tough one with at least four starters out of the game (Gibbs, Giroud, Ramsey and Arteta). For all the arguments posed by some the Arsenal blogosphere last season about training methods causing injuries, I do not see how that has influenced the number we currently have.

Injuries will remain a risk you cannot avoid in professional sport and you can only mitigate its effect by having a bigger squad. Having a big squad in itself is one thing, having a big squad filled with Niklas Bendtner’s is another, hence the need for a big squad of quality players. We seem to be near there but we are not yet, if you agree with the Steven Covey Time Management Grid, the need for Arsenal to sign a striker just moved from top right, to top left.

prioritygrid

Alexis Sanchez is just settling in and early indications seem like we really do not know how to play with him upfront yet.  He has lightning pace and quick thinking but he doesn’t seem to work well with Debuchy and Monreal/Gibbs perpetually crossing the ball when they get to the bylines. Giroud gives us an alternative in that system and the manager needs to find someone who can give us even more alternatives than Sanchez currently offers. Sanogo and Campbell with all the promise they offer cannot be saddled with that responsibility early on in their Arsenal careers.

Really sad for Giroud, footballers play football. That is what they do, play, train, play again and to be out for such a long period has a physical and psychological effect on a player. Last season we suffered loses to Theo, Podolski and Oxlade for periods as long as the timeline for Giroud’s return and we seemed to cope pretty well, leading the league for long periods. Hopefully the manager takes the correct decision required to make sure we repeat that now. There is a saying that you cannot win the league before December but you can lose it.

One thing however is for sure; we cannot afford to lose today. I think we have the quality in the team to win and I hope we do irrespective of who is fielded. Like I stated in the preview for the game away last week, one of the key performance index for Wenger this season should be that we do not play this game next season again. This league is tough but we need to start finishing higher up. By the end of this game, we would have played 5 games already, City (3), Chelsea (2) and Liverpool (2) and no with our penchant for getting an injury per game, the less needless games we play the better.

Have a great day friends.

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