If there is a team we do not want to play after a 120+ minute bruising game at Wembley it is any side managed by Allardyce. If there is one player we do not want to see it is Andy Carroll. Sometimes the football Gods kick us in the goolies.
Can our battered and injury strewn team gain a vital victory in their quest towards another season of the Champions League? We shall find out tonight.
Allardyce has stated that WHU are not safe yet which is true but I would be hugely surprised if they are relegated – there are some awful teams in the drop-zone and WHU are not one of them. West Ham, as any Fat Sam team is, are well organised, battle for 90+ minutes and play dull, dull, football which sadly gets enough results to avoid Sam getting gardening leave. This season we have seen managers with attacking instincts being replaced by those with a more pragmatic view, perhaps clubs look at the survival expertise of Allardyce and think “sod pretty football, keep us in the PL” – an understandable viewpoint.
What do you think Sam will be telling his players to do tonight? Do you think he will be saying, “let’s retain possession and pass it through their midfield”? Nope – IMO he will be saying “8 men behind the ball, look for the wingers and then lump it into the middle for the Big Man,” “if one of their Fancy Dans gets past you kick him hard”, and “look to get set pieces as often as possible”. Arsenal have to fight and stand up to the physical battle.
Would you like to see Andy Carroll at Arsenal? No, really – joking aside when fit he is a major handful, a proper old fashioned centre forward. If (huge IF) we had a player able to feed off knock downs he could do a job for us. Surely a better sub than Sanogo but a far more expensive one. Mr Wenger has identified stopping crosses into Carroll as being vital “Yes [we must take special care with him] because once the ball is up there, you do not find many people who can compete with him and win the challenge” – which means BFG is in for a tough night.
As to our team, I would like to see our Scandi Supersub get a start. He looks as though he can handle himself and deserves a reward for his excellent weekend penalty. Given that Flamina is still suspended and Arteta is knacked Kallstrom appears to be an inspired signing !
Or could we see Vermaelen given the DM berth many have proposed for him? To play a back line of Sagna, BFG, Kos, TV and Gibbs would allow Gibbs to act sit a little further forward. TV could help nullify the threat of Carroll and it gives us a chance to play 3 at the back. What do you think?
Upfront, we have to start with Giroud. We remain a blunt instrument but he is our sharpest blade. Sanogo or Podolski? Given the need to stop the supply of crosses, Podolski. But and this is a huge BUT, there is a chance that Ozil will return which would be brilliant for both us and OG.
Playing Fat Sam teams is never easy especially given the negative physical effect of an injury blighted season and the draining weekend but 3 points are very, very important.
written by Big Raddy
This is arnie’s suggested line up