I really am a punny man.
This blog is a sneak peek inside my haywire mind, so bear with me.
I really don’t understand people sometimes.
How can the game be won when team news hasn’t even been announced yet? Wigan will be high on confidence from their recent form and desperate to pick up points in the increasingly heated Battle of the Bottom.
However, there are two sides to every coin, and you really must appreciate the new found gusto we’re playing with. Our team is icy cool now, slagging off Wolves for the bed wetting puppies they really are. As you see us brush aside a team in a similar situation as Wigan Athletic, you really have to wonder what we could’ve achieved with a season long injury-free run. We really have been on-song lately, and a huge part of it is the fanbase we’ve got at the Emirates.
For me, the Milan game was the real turning point. 4 down coming back home, nothing to lose. Instead of the usual roll over, we decided to give them hell from the first minute to the last. Exactly what a club on the ropes needed to turn themselves around. Since then, there seems to be a new found mutual respect among the players and fans. The players realize that not everybody wants to see 90 minutes of free flowing football, but a well fought battle from beginning to end.
Fans respect work, and players appreciate every ounce of support.
Man of the hour Tomas Rosicky had this to say yesterday.
“Recently the atmosphere at our home games has been absolutely amazing – the team can feel it and it is a big help for us. It is a great feeling to have the supporters so passionately behind you for the whole 90 minutes. The supporters really do make a difference and we’re hoping that we can keep that connection by winning more games.”
On the Smurfs, Mr. Rosicky?
“We have a great chance to stay in [third] position, but now we have to make sure of it. That starts against Wigan on Monday – and make no mistake, it’s a very big game for us.
We saw what can happen against a team fighting for its life when we played away at QPR, and we expect the same kind of performance from Wigan on Monday. We have to give 100 per cent to get the result.”
Perhaps the old head of Rosicky can instill some caution in this fairly young Arsenal side? We do have a tendency to switch off against the lower teams, and it is something to worry about as it was with QPR.
What worries me more is that Wigan have hit a vein of form as opposed to Rangers, who went in cold turkey and still managed to nick it. While the Latics aren’t the most intimidating side, they are capable of goals with the likes of the pacy Hugo Rodallega and the tricky Victor Moses.
While there are clear threats posed to our back line, it shouldn’t be too much of a job for the Verminator and Johan Djourou. Despite your opinions of him, never forget what he offered last year before his injury and that Tomas has been less than stellar in the past weeks. What Djourou offers is reliability and a sense of calm that is unmatched among our other defenders.
The real decider of the game will be in the midfield. For the first time in a while we have a real dilemma when it comes to who to play and where. Yossi Benayoun is a proper left-midfielder over the inconsistent Aaron Ramsey, but we also have Gervinho returning, and the Ox seemingly breathing down everyone’s neck, given his versatility.
I’ll predict a changed lineup, Song and Arteta remaining for their ability to impose on the game and dictate pace, but with the Ox starting on the right, Rosicky as a pseudo left mid, with RVP left to drift around the centre-forward position, spraying balls to Theo Walcott over the top, round and though the defence. Bueno.
Two players really playing out of their shells since the 5PUR2 incident are Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky. You really have to admire when a player starts doing all the right things, seemingly out of nowhere. What we don’t see is all the hours put into training their minds and bodies to become better athletes, and you see that more and more every game, especially with Theo.
Two years ago, pundits slagged him off time and time again, saying he had no footballing brain, and in the past, I had to agree. His play didn’t have any logic. He’s take the ball, run out wide, and spray a wayward cross into the box with no one there.
Now though, TW14 really does have a think before he makes a run. He cuts in, makes a clever pass, or just bombards through the middle, forming a new age Bergkamp-Henry partnership with RvP. When we faced Wolves, most people failed to comment on Theo’s more advanced role, and how well it really suits him.
Within the first ten minutes, he had directly contributed to 2 goals using his pace and dribbling skills. This is the proper position for our roadrunner because he can do just that- make defenders fall flat on their arse with sheer pace and raw ability, akin to the newfound direct style of play from Tomas Rosicky and the Ox.
This should be an exciting game, and I’m predicting either 3-0 or 4-1 to the Arsenal. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out tactically, because we really do have quite a few options at our disposal.
Anyway, here’s my stop, till next time.
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Published with permission from O-Posts.