We have done the GK’s, now we need to look at the other areas of contention, the midfield and the attack.
Arsenal are blessed in the midfield department as we have the Fab 4 above and Rosicky, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Flamini and Diaby (?) as well. Fortunately for Mr Wenger, The Ox is not quite ready – though he could well be available on the bench – Arteta, Diaby and Flamini (I think) are injured.
So, we need to perm 3 of 4 but who loses out?
Ramsey? The man is in my opinion undroppable. He is the beating heart of the team and our upswing in form has co-incided with return from injury. He has not been able to replicate the goal-scoring feats of last season but he is a big game player and it would be no surprise if he scored tomorrow. He scores every 4 games
Ramsey has been forced to play on the right wing yet he still manages to influence the game. There are those on AA who do not agree with me about his importance, but I will blaspheme and say I would rather start the game without Alexis than without Aaron. Mmmmm maybe not!
Wilshere? Looks a different player since his return. Faster distribution, faster in the tackle, faster feet, less likely to “draw a foul” and he is scoring. The man is playing his best football for a number of years. But is it purely because he has not played much and the opposition are Kerry Packered? Goal of the Season last week, his defensive abilities are possibly not as strong as Ramsey but he has also been shoved out to the right which is not where he plays best. Against WBA he was central and his influence was immense.
Coquelin? Who would have thought we would be mentioning him as a possible starter for the FAC Final? But he has been outstanding. I had my doubts, to a certain extent I still do as I do not believe Le Coq can cut it as a World Class DM and that is what we need if we are to compete for the top honours. However, as a very good PL player he is firmly established and will surely start on saturday as we try to get stuck into the combined fouling of Cleverley and Delph.
Cazorla? The man has magic feet and has been a revelation plying at the base of midfield. HIs energy, vision, passing ability, dribbling and shooting make him an automatic starter … normally. But this is a one off and we looked much better as an attacking force against WBA than we had in the previous 4 games and who wasn’t playing? Ramsey and Cazorla. Santi scores a goal every 6 games, not bad.
So who loses out?
Given the midfield strength and counter attacking ability of Villa, Coquelin has to play at the base of midfield. So the question is which of the other 3 gets dropped. My heart says Cazorla, my head says Wilshere, my stomach says Ramsey.
In other words it is a decision I cannot make. Especially as I would love to see Rosicky get some pitch time as he adds so much to the team. And then there is The Ox who is just a fantastic midfield force.
This leaves the attack. Alexis and Ozil are certain starters, so it just leaves Theo or OG. I bet LB’s carbon fibre bicycle that OG starts. He is better defensively and Villa will see set plays as one of their most potent areas of attack.
So for me, Theo remains our supersub..
What do you think?
written by Big Raddy