Had 4 flights cancelled since Thursday trying to make it out to St. Louis. Currently sitting in La Guardia, nursing a 5 hour delay. Depressing ain’t the word. Cold is. They’re flooding freezing air con at us.
Anyway, let’s talk Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
I’ve watched them a bit this season, it’s very difficult to make a true assessment of thier state because they’re so much better than the rest of the Bundesliga and they dominate. They do have weaknesses though, I think their centre backs, Alaba and Martinez, can be got at and Lahm is no spring chicken these days. Unreal players, but I think an aggressive, fast paced counter attack could be interesting. Schalke caused issues when they went at them straight through the middle.
Here’s where it gets interesting for Wednesday. For us to do that, in my opinion, we need to drop Ozil. Not only has his form and attitude been questionable over the past few weeks, I’m just not sure his game is suited to a ‘buckle-up-your-belts’ night in Munich.
In my opinion, we need composure, discipline and speed to have a chance out there.
My midfield would be Xhaka, Elneney and Chamberlain. Xhaka can pull the strings in the deep role, then he has two players flanking him who can do the running. Oxlade-Chamberlain is also more than capable of receiving deep and distributing at speed, as we’ve seen in his last 3 games. Add to that his ability to break lines with his explosive-ness over 10meters, well, you have a good option there.
I know a lot of people will pine for Coquelin. His aggressive pressing is a benefit and he reads the opposition well. However, against the big teams, he just doesn’t cut it. He’s weak in possession, he can’t come deep to receive the ball and he’s error prone. It feels like Bayern is the game you’d need him, reality is, if you can’t deal with the ball at your feet, you’re going to be meat to a team that are very good at stealing the ball and breaking a pace. Demonstrated this weekend when they beat Ingolstadt 2-0.
I have big worries about Bayern taking a speed machine to Nacho Monreal. Douglas Costa if he starts would roast our Spaniard. Anyone with pace tends to cause him problems.
My biggest worry is that Carlo will have seen how Everton, Watford, Bournemouth, Chelsea and even Swansea for 45mins caused us massive issues by pressing. We don’t have a coping method. Teams will let us play the ball out of defence, as soon as it hits midfield they hit hard and we crumble like Ian Wright’s whitepaper in body language analysis… if you have the speed in your team, you can be at our penalty box in 5 seconds, if you have the quality, you can bury us early.
That’s why I think having mobility and class in our midfield, combined with someone who can pick out accurate long balls, could be the answer.
My front three would be Perez, Sanchez and Welbeck. Theo Walcott can put in a good show occasionally, but he’s not next level for tekkers and I’m just not sure he has enough grit in the big games. Sure, he looked pretty cool picking a fight with two oafs from Hull…
… but does he have the stomach in the big games?
Perez has a great work ethic, he can pick a goal out from almost anywhere and I think he’s shown more than enough of late to say he can cut it against Bayern. It’ll also surprise them. Not to mention his CL record, he’s started 1 game, scored 3 and has 2 assists.
I’d go with WELBZ through the middle. Watching Sanchez drop deep and give us no one through the middle against most teams when he plays centrally is a little frustrating. Danny can act as a bully boy outlet and he’s a good guy to pick out with a long ball. I also think he’d thrive in a game like Bayern. I’m picturing winners against United in the FA Cup and Leicester in the 95th last year and I’m starting to dream like someone who hasn’t paid attention.
Anyway, current mood right now. Name it if you remember being there:
I know how the story ends, but please, just be with me for a few more days… there’s plenty if time to whinge later in the week.
Right, there’s a dose of hope for you. Let me have it in the comments.