I woke up yesterday morning thinking I was remarkably calm considering we have a European Final on Wednesday. This morning I awoke with a nervous energy not felt for many a moon. The hours until kick off going to be very long. I have bought a 9 pack of Tuborg Green (we Danes are hard drinkers and 6 packs are rare!) and a couple of bottles of a cheeky Italian Dolcetto to make the time go faster and numb my pre-match nerves.
Baku is awash with intrepid Gooners, people who have sacrificed much to support their team. Can the Arsenal give them the victory they deserve?
My first emotion when we made the Final against the Shed Boys was a cloud of negativity – “Chelsea are too good”, “Hazard’s last game”, Chavs have more experience and Big Game players” etc etc. I am sure many of you will have shared those thoughts. But I find today I am far more positive – this is a winnable game. All we need to do is perform as we did earlier in the season when we annihilated the Chavs at the Emirates. That’s all.
Can we? Of course we can.
Now I know there is many a slip twixt cup and lip and Arsenal have royally effed up many big games in recent time (Brighton/Palace etc etc) but Emery Knows 😀
The media are expecting a Chelsea win and the betting odds are against us but how can anyone gamble against a side with our front two? They are special and above all they are winners.
Do you think Mr Emery will pick Mesut to start? I don’t know either. I dither, changing my mind on a hourly basis. Had Mhki been available then No, but given his absence Yes, I would start Ozil. However by the time I finish writing this PM, I may well have changed my opinion.
Cech or Leno? We had a poll and Leno won but we all know Cech will start. The man has been great for AFC. I recall when he signed how excited I was that we had a safe and secure GK after the two flaky Poles (both of whom have developed in top GK’s). I wish him well in his final game.
And what of Iwobi? Will Mr E. choose a more defensive model and leave Alex on the bench?
Who is sure to start? Cech, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Xhaka, PEA and Laca. The rest remain in doubt, even Nacho.
If we play 3 at the back then, given his recent form, I would trust Mustafi but Nacho is so reliable and so experienced.
Could AMN start? We will need pace to counter Hazard, Willian, Pedro etc.
And in midfield, will Douzi be picked ahead of Terrier? I hope not though a midfield of Xhaka, Terrier, Douzi and Kolasinac is quite likely.
Mustafi Kos Sokratis
AMN Terrier Xhaka Kolasinac
My concern with this side is the reliance upon AMN and Wardrobe to get forward thereby allowing space behind for fast counter attack by the excellent Chelsea wide players. As always, midfield discipline must be maintained.
For Chelsea, well mostly I don’t care but I will be very upset if OG scores. Very. Hopefully Kante will be injured as he is a wonderful player.
VAR will be used tonight; much discussed, I believe VAR assists the game though some decisions remain open to interpretation. Referee is Rocchi, an Italian with much experience, we must hope he hasn’t been gifted a house or two by Chelsea’s owner
Last night I was over in Malmo Sweden alongside West Ham Bob watching another Malmo victory. He sat on the fence but hoped for an AFC win. Like many his head says Chelsea but his heart is Gooner. For us it is simple – Death or Glory. If we are to lose I do not want to look at any AFC player and think they could have worked harder – mistakes will be made, they are human, but to win tonight will require 100% effort and concentration.
A European Final as the final game is way beyond my season expectation. Win or lose the team have had a successful campaign but how wonderful would it be to lift the trophy?
Come on boys, you can do it.