I hope everyone has faired as well as can be expected during the past few weeks while the battle against Covid-19 has raged. Nice to be back to have a chat.
The return of football has been debated long and hard and without going all political on the subject, I’m still not sure it’s the right thing to do but we start off the ‘rest of the season’ with a trip to Manchester City this evening.
When part 1 of the season ended we were about to get heavily beaten by a City team that had thus far underwhelmed ……. underwhelmed so badly that Liverpool were/are 25 points ahead. We rejoin the season with Liverpool able to be crowned Champions if they win on Sunday, if we beat City tonight.
‘If we beat City tonight’ …. I can’t believe I just wrote that!!! I don’t really care when Liverpool claim the title but I do care that we get off to a good start and get out of this silly mid-table rut that we seem to find ourselves in.
On to tonight ……. Pep v Arteta. Master v Pupil. I’m sure Arteta will have played out every scenario in his head. Has he been able to drum some defensive nouse into the players that need to keep alert? Not mentioning any names but defending has to have been the most worrying part of our game up to this point. Out scoring the opposition every game is just fantasy – fun but fantasy nonetheless.
We are, I was reminded yesterday, the only team unbeaten in 2020 …… a very good reason to be optimistic.
Thinking about who might play in this first game makes my head spin. How will Arteta use Saka if Tierney is now fit? Which three out of Pepe, Auba, Laca and Martinelli will start? Does Ozil still have a place in the team? Will the youngsters – Willock and, Reiss Nelson feature?
Playing in an empty stadium will be weird, but obviously weirder for the home team. Does that give us a small advantage this evening? Will we be able to hear Arteta’s instructions or the players shouting at each other? A whole new experience awaits.
I shall leave putting a team together to you guys in comments.
Welcome back football, looking forward to watching you enormously.