Good morning all, I would say it’s gonna be a quick blog today as I’ve gotta get myself ready to go to London for the game but there’s a massive amount of stuff to get through so that might not be the case.
Today we take on perhaps the most difficult opponent in the league outside of the top four. Everton are going strong under their new manager Roberto Martinez and the addition of power in Romelu Lukaku. They’ve lost just one game all season and managed to pick up wins against Chelsea and United and draws versus Liverpool and Sp*rs. This is going to be a tough one.
However, this Arsenal side have no reason to be afraid. We’re on an impressive run ourselves, conceding only seven in our last 13 games and currently have the best defensive record in the league. Not to mention that at home we’ve scored 15 goals.
Therefore I can’t help but feel that if we bring the same success in recent games into this one – both from an attacking point of view as well as a defensive one – we can pick up the win and the three points. We sit in a prime position to go seven points clear at the top after yesterday’s results in which Chelsea and United lost whilst Man City drew. If we can create that game it greatly reduces the pressure to win against Man City and Chelsea in our next two Premier League games.
Team news seems to be effectively the same as it was vs Cardiff. Podolski has returned to training but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll make the bench. Other than that it seems Sagna is still out which means Jenkinson will continue in the side. That means the side will most likely be
Jenkinson Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
Wilshere Ozil Cazorla
I can’t help but feel that one of those attacking six won’t play because we now have great options in Arteta, Walcott and even Rosicky on our bench. Wenger may opt to use Walcott over Wilshere to exploit the fact that Baines is out injured and therefore create more of a threat. He could also opt for Arteta over Flamini if he wanted to have a more attacking build up from further down the pitch.
Regardless of the squad that’s chosen we certainly have the quality to win the game today. Everton are a quality side, they have a beast in Lukaku and a seriously talented player in Ross Barkley, but they don’t have an Ozil, a Ramsey or a Cazorla in their ranks. That’s the difference. However we can’t get complacent here because they will punish us. Wenger likened the game to Liverpool earlier in the season, saying
I think it’s a bit similar to when we played Liverpool. They had a very strong record when they came here and the challenge will be identical.
This is a team who have a good technical level and have just had a good result against Manchester United. So we know we want to turn up with a huge performance.
That result against United will give them confidence but it could also be their downfall. They took their best team to Old Trafford and ground out a very fortunate 1-0 win. We played against Hull at home, rested a few key players and walked away with a comfortable 2-0 victory. They’ll be tired, we won’t. Let’s use that to our advantage.
The thing is that even though they’ve taken points against the top sides I still don’t see it as a reason to be wary. The reality is that we’re currently better than all them sides, and if we want to show that we are, show that we’re challengers no matter who doubts us and show that we deserve to go top of the league by seven points, then we’ve got to win today.
Arteta spoke yesterday of his thoughts on the league so far and how we’re performing. He said that todays game will be a tough challenge, that the current competition for places is a good thing and will only help our chances of winning the league, before explaining exactly why this year things are different, saying
The difference to previous years is we are top of the league when by now we would be 10 or 12 points behind whoever was first before, that is a big difference.
The confidence and atmosphere is different and we want to maintain that.
Does it matter we don’t have the experience of winning the title before? No – as long as you have the quality, the ambition and togetherness that we have, I think we are in a good position to do it.
That is where we are and I think the Christmas period is going to be massively important.
Every single year we’ve been on the back foot and it’s killed our chances before they’ve even started. This year that’s not happened, we’ve got the wind our sails, the teams around us are crumbling and all we’ve got to do is keep picking up the wins. Win today and we will be top by Christmas regardless of the results against Man City and Chelsea. Then we take on West Ham (which will most likely be postponed because the FA are thick as shit, it gets postponed every year, you’d think they’d change it by now) before going up north to Newcastle.
So, my predictions for today? It’ll be a two goal margin win – much similar to the Liverpool result – but I’m not sure by which scoreline. It could be 2-0 if we deliver the same defensive performance in recent fixtures but you can’t help but feel that lad Lukaku get something so I’ll go for 3-1 instead. In all fairness the scoreline is pretty irrelevant so long as we win, and that’s what we’ll all be cheering for.
COME ON YOU GOONERS!
Tagged: afc, arse, arsenal, arsene, arteta, baines, blog, cazorla, chelsea, flamini, jenkinson, liverpool, lukaku, man city, man utd, martinez, ozil, podolski, ramsey, rosicky, sagna, united, walcott, wenger, wilshere, young, youngarse