Wish You Were Here (JW/AR/AOC/FC etc)

November 24, 2015

A MWG or a MLG or even a MDG? If Olympiakos get a point in Munich it doesn’t matter anyway.

My opinion is that we should give it the full beans, attack from the first, if we are two up by half-time bring on the kids and look forward to a trip to Greece. If we start slowly, go in even at half-time then fight out a tough 1-0 whilst picking up an injury or two would it be considered a successful evening.

I am sure Mr Wenger will go all out to win this game and expect to get a result in Athens, he is focussed upon the CL and rightly so. The CL is the source of our European reputation (such as it is) and AW has a wonderful record of getting our club into the last 16.

Why is it important? Money and seeding.

There have been times this season when I thought it would be better if we gave up on the CL , finished 4th and concentrated upon the PL, but that is not how AFC work – the club philosophy is to try and win every game; tonight will be no exception.

Who plays?

Same as Saturday. Flamini replaces Le Coq. We do not risk Ramsey who has only had one day of full training. We have a 5 day break before the Norwich game.

Unknown

 

Tonight I will don the full kit, turn the TV out towards the terrace, settle into the padded teak Steamer and enjoy a Pretendies. Thanks to the freezing conditions I will be armed with a full bottle of warming fluids (single malt), an Arsene Wenger down coat, a Steve Bould woolly hat, Eduardo gloves and a Chamakh snood. If there is no sign of BR in the morrow then send out the St. Bernards.

We are a much better team than Zagreb and should win tonight.

COYRRG


Theo or Giroud? Yet again!

September 16, 2015

Zagreb. Champions League. Away game in delightful Croatia. Winnable? Why not?

This is why we celebrate finishing in the Top 4 and yet there seems to be a bit of “so what” about this game. You know what I mean – I bet you are thinking “well, it is great to have an Arsenal game on the tele tonight, but win, lose or draw we are going out in the next round so does it really matter?” Come on …. you know you think that way!! Another viewpoint might be  – and we have already seen comments confirming this – that the game at the weekend is more important as such we should play a weakened team full of (quality) squad members.

And yet, as I said before, this is what we strive for – a mid-week night game against a League winning team (unbeaten in 42 games), so let’s celebrate and remember we could be playing on Spursday 🙂

I know nothing about Dynamo Zagreb. A little research shows the club have won the Croatian League 10 years running, that they have a 35k capacity ground, that they have produced some fine players including Corluka, Modric, Dejan Lovren, Mario Mandvukic and the much loved ex-AFC player and Crozillian, Eduardo. They managed just one point in the CL group stages last season with a minus 13 goal difference.

The players focus may be diverted by the fact that DZ’s manager and CEO are out on bail having been accused of embezzling €11m from the club and tax-man!

Eduardo is still in the squad and could play tonight.

On paper we should win this tie, DZ’s highest paid player earns less in a year than Ozil does in 3 weeks (true!) but it doesn’t work like that does it? Hard work, a partisan and passionate crowd and an opportunity to impress managers in the Big Leagues will drive the Zagreb players – we need to be careful.

Unknown

What of our team? Who should play? Well, I have absolutely no idea. I cannot even say with any certainty that Cech will start ahead of Ospina (who is a fine deputy). Ramsey, BFG and Bellerin are out, I expect Kos and Gabriel to be our CB’s. Ozil and Sanchez could get 70 minutes but beyond them …… ???

Monreal or Gibbs? Gibbs has done nothing wrong and deserves a start, should it be here or at Stamford Bridge? Same goes for Debuchy, Arteta, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, even Flamini.

Perhaps AW will give Joel Campbell a run though  it would preclude him being sold to any club remaining in the CL in January. Given Theo’s start last Saturday and the expectation that he will play centrally at Stamford Bridge I believe Giroud will start tonight.

Here is my punt:

Cech

Debuchy    Gabriel    Koscielny    Gibbs

Ox   Coquelin   Cazorla

  Ozil

Giroud     Sanchez

Wouldn’t put LB’s sofa on it though.

We should win this game, we are better all over the pitch and we are good away from home.

I am 71% confident.

COYRRG