Given the state of the group should I find something else to do than struggle to find a stream? Should you?
No need to go through the significance (or not) of this game – you already know we are through and highly unlikely to achieve top spot. In a way this is a shame as an away tie in Turkey should be exciting, instead it is an exercise in escaping injuries.
Who is in the “red zone”? Much is made of the number games played by Alexis (or is he Sanchez – I never know) but if you want to see a man who is exhausted look at Mertesacker. The man has carried our defence through the first part of the season following a lengthy world cup campaign; at Stoke he looked shattered.
If I were manager I wouldn’t start a single first teamer and take the beating with a smile but I am not and Mr Wenger, unusually, has already named his team and to my dismay is starting the clearly knackered BFG and Ramsey. Bellerin is playing at LB – which is strange for a player who has struggle in his natural position on the other flank. The forward line looks potent with Sanogo central and Campbell and Podolski flanking him.
The bench is interesting and I would very much like to see Zelalem get some pitch time.
Galatasary: We have played them before. This is the team which lost to them in Copenhagen in 2000:
Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Sylvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Petit, Overmars (Šuker 115), Henry, Bergkamp (Kanu 75).
Tasty but still losers. How many of that team would get into our current first team? I would say 11!!
Galatasary are undefeated in their last 5 home ties against English opposition in the CL. They also have a rabid crowd of fans (read loonies). These blokes make an unholy racket and have the full schmeer of flares, flags and banners – whatever happens it should be a fine atmosphere.
The food in Turkey is excellent, some of the world’s finest cuisine (IMO). So much to choose from as one would expect from such a diverse country. So far in this series I have avoided desserts but I am a man with a weakness for sugary stuff so today we will look at Baklava.
This wonder from the Ottoman empire first came to the West’s attention in the 1650’s though there is written evidence of it in the 13th century. Filo pastry layered and filled with chopped nuts and honey, it is hugely popular in Turkey, Greece and Central Asia. The difficulty is to find some fresh baklava because unfortunately in such places as Bounds Green and Green Lanes there are unscrupulous pastry shops who do not date their produce 😦
But find the real thing, freshly baked and ….. mmmmm.
Tonight is effectively a dead rubber but nonetheless it is The Arsenal and as we fight so hard to get into the CL it seems churlish not to enjoy it. Mr. Wenger has put out a side which I am sure will compete and possibly win. The front three have an opportunity to show the fans and prospective buyers their abilities. The defence is still fragile particularly down the left with two 19 year old’s.
Can we win? Without the pressure to win I can see this team being more expansive and despite lacking a creative edge (Santi, Ozil, Alexis, JW) we can overcome.
written by Big Raddy