Last nights game against Southampton led to 10 changes. But still it was clear it was a very decent side that we put out.
Obviously, for a bigger chance to win a trophy this season the game was quite important for us to progress. However, I feel a far larger importance is ensuring that the influx of quality players we have in midfield are kept motivated and ready for bigger games when needed.
Arsenal’s midfield is so strong its almost impossible to keep everyone happy without chopping and changing each week. Our game against Villa showed that the calls for Ozil to play central were confirmed, yet that will do nothing for the headache that Wenger must have in choosing 5 players to go across the middle of the park each week.
Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ox, Ozil, Rosicky, Podolski, Sanchez, Ramsey, Flamini, Diaby (when fit) , Walcott (when fit), Gnabry (when fit) and Campbell and I am pretty sure I am forgetting one or two is a pretty ridiculous array of quality players to choose from. Especially when our defence looks so incredibly light and being patched up with young rookies for Champions League games.
I do wonder what Wenger looked at when he decided on what areas need strengthening at the start of the season, as I look at those players and any five of them playing would make a decent midfield but over time you would pretty much guess that Wenger would have what he feels are his starters when everyone is fit, and this will surely lead to players looking to be moved on come January.
For me, I look at those players and I would identify Arteta as the player that I would target if I was playing against him. I see him as the weakest of all of those other players and yet he has been made captain which I am guessing means he starts when fit.
But it is what it is, and we move on.
This week sees the coming of the laughing stock from up the road. Just as a point, did you know that their club Captain is Kaboul, and Vice Captain is Adebayor? It makes Arteta look like Bryan Robson or Tony Adams in comparison.
Anyway, a hugely important game and a must win even at such an early stage. The reason why I say that is with Chelsea at home to Villa which you’d expect them to win easily, and with us playing Chelsea next week we don’t wanna be more than the current 4 points away. If we are to believe Vincent Kompany interesting statement that he believes its a 3 horse race with us, City and the Chavs then we really need to ensure we keep in close quarters.
Spurs after losing last week will surely be working even extra hard this week to ensure that they don’t lose again but I am pretty sure that its not a game that would be difficult to be pumped up for.
From our side, we need to ensure that we don’t allow this game to get over intense and lose our heads, as suspensions especially at the back is the last thing we need. These games wouldn’t take a look to spill over.
After these next games in the league, you’d have to say that the fixtures favour us a little all the way up until Man Utd on Nov 22nd. After Chelsea we will have Hull (H), Sunderland (A), Burnley (H) and Swansea (A). There really could be a great chance for us to take all those 12 points, so it just shows how vital staying in touch means over the next fortnight.
We have a very healthy unbeaten run building up nicely in the Premier League. Since we were hammered by Everton we have been unbeaten in 10 games. It shows how much that game must have effected us, and I think since you have seen a much stronger resolve from us. This year at Goodison we were 2 nil down but showed great heart to come back, and we were unlucky not to beat City at home too. Hopefully after Saturday that streak will be 11 games, based on what I’ve seen so far this season I would say its hard to see anything but a home win, but the Derby is not one for form books generally.
To me, this side is now starting to click. Sanchez has scored 4 in his last 6, Ozil hopefully has turned a corner- he perhaps now will play more often in his central position and was MoM on Saturday after a goal and assist. Welbeck has got off the mark too, and we still have Walcott to come back. I get a feeling that something awesome is happening at the club. Only 5 teams in the 92 English league clubs are unbeaten. We are one of them. Liverpool who should have won title last year have lost 3 out of 5. I would predict that if we can come out of these next 2 games with 4 points or more, we will be top of the table when we play Utd.
Either way, lets enjoy the build up to a huge game in our season. Its usually one we enjoy.