September 2nd 1893, The Woolwich Arsenal play their first competitive match against Newcastle Utd.
Then there was Supermac.
However, those are not the greatest ties between ourselves and today’s opposition. Newcastle were my favourite opponents on my Subbuteo baize. Always liked the red and white of Arsenal against the Magpie black and white.
I’ve only seen this Benitez side once, and that was against Brighton during their title winning campaign last season, and they were good to watch. They now sit one point above the bottom three, and my guess is there must be great pressure to bus park in tougher looking away fixtures.
Compound that with the fact that Rapha will have noted how ineffective we’ve been at breaking down massed defences recently, my hopes for the game rest squarely on us scoring early.
This will require all our good players, the dribblers, the scoopers, the eye of the needle threaders and the intelligent runners to be at their best, but more importantly, I think we have to up our tempo dramatically.
Also, and this will lead on to my team selection, I think we need to adjust our approach to risk. In essence, be less afraid to fail with the killer pass or the one-on-one take ons. This is how space is made in the danger areas.
For this to be less worrying from a defensive point of view, defenders need to be quick to cover the counter.
I read suggestions by RC and FGG for alternative DM’s. While we play three at the back, the speed of the DM is less important and therefore Xhaka is fine, but I have a sneaky feeling Arsene may go with the four. If so, then I like FGG’s idea of Maitland-Niles in that DM role, as opposed to RC’s Monreal. Partly because I think Monreal is a far better attacking LB than The Beast in a back four.
My hope is that a positionally disciplined performance by M-N, combined with his high speed in covering back, would allow Monreal and Bellerin to provide the width in attack, but of course, they’d both need to be aware of who was making a run and at such time hold their defensive positions.
……..Wilshere M-N Ramsey
Monreal Koscielny Mustafi Bellerin
Message to Newcastle and Rapha: “looking good at Subbuteo is not enough. Come and play football”.
Up The Gunners.
Written by MickyDidIt89