Arsenal at the moment have only two fit defenders, Monreal is out, Debuchy is long term, Gibbs isn’t match fit and Chambers is “50:50”. Arsene Wenger hinted in his pre match press conference about the possibility of starting Hector Bellerin, the inexperienced Spanish right back.
Although it is an undesirable situation to have just three senior defenders, it opens the door for Bellerin to prove himself and as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. Kieran Gibbs may return but given his injury history, I won’t be surprised to see a backline of Bellerin, BFG, Kozzer and Flamini. Doesn’t fill me with confidence at all.
Where will Mesut Ozil start?
Ozil has started on both left and right wing in Arsenal’s new 4-1-4-1 formation this season. The keyword here is started, the German starts on the wing and more often than not moves to the centre. Arsene Wenger gives him that freedom to rove into space, be it in the centre or in the wings.
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He hasn’t been firing on all cylinders yet but some of the vitriol he has been receiving is over the top. We, Arsenal fans have to get behind and support him rather than abusing and tormenting him. He is class and it is permanent.
Sanchez or Welbeck up top?
Now this may not be as pressing as those mentioned above, but I suspect Wenger may opt for a midfielder on the wings, move Sanchez up top and bring on Welbeck late in the game. Cazorla was fully rested for the City game and my money is on him coming on for Welbeck. But having Ozil and Santi on the wings narrow us too much and I would go for the Ox on the left and Cazorla to replace Ramsey in the middle.
What has happened to Rosicky?
Tomas Rosicky has barely featured this season and expressed his disappointment recently. I didn’t mean to say he sulked and Nasried but genuine frustration of not having played as many games as he would have liked. It’s also underlines our staggering depth at attacking midfield that we have not called on a player of Rosicky’s quality and experience. Its a game that is perfectly suited for his high pressing and energetic style.
We have so many players in midfield that Arsene may be tempted to convert atleast one a defender, but the odds on him morphing Kozzer into a rampaging central midfielder is significantly higher than say Santi crushing into Diego Costa with a crunching tackle.
No more injuries please?
A startling statistic – In each of the games we have played this season, we have had atleast a player injured midway through the game or unavailable for the next game. Palace – Gibbs, Besiktas (a) – Arteta, Ramsey(sus), Everton – Giroud, Besiktas (h) – Debuchy (sus), Leicester- Ozil, Koscielny and City – Debuchy, Monreal. Dortmund? ??????