Late post today, but I AM EXCITED.
Sometimes you have to put all your pessimism to one side because that’s what football fandom requires.
Things that are of interest tonight.
The advantage of playing the first leg away is you can land that away goal and come back to an extra 10% boost from the crowd in London and see off the game with a dirty double pivot. That’s where the strategy comes into play. Are we going to Bayern to nick a goal and defend like heroes? If so, how are we planning to achieve that?
PSG absolutely blew it out of the park last night with an incredible showing of aggression and hard work. Their pressing game was a sight to behold, watching players you wouldn’t normally associate with beast mode all working together to make Barcelona look like a team of old men being taught a lesson. Bayern can press like that, we know they’ll have that up their sleeves tonight, so what is the plan?
I’d set up with finesse in mind and power play counter attacking football. Coquelin is a mistake in my opinion, especially under pressure of aggressive teams who will give you zero seconds on the ball. My midfield would blend hardwork with great on the ball skills. My attack would likely not include Mesut Ozil, who is off form and a bit of a waste in big games like these. I’d have a front three that boasted pace and intelligence. I’d go for Welbeck, Sanchez… struggling with who hits the right because we have no Ramsey, who did a great job pressing from the front against United last season, and we don’t have Perez who is injured. Not quite sure Iwobi has done enough to merit a place?
My midfield would be Xhaka, Elneney and Chamberlain. I really hope he doesn’t put Chambo on the right, The guy has been electric in the middle and he has a range of attributes that could be of use if he has a good game this evening.
Do Arsenal have a plan for the aggressive press? Will Bayern set up to allow us possession so they can steal and break at pace. What is our plan? Can we play over the press? Will we set up with players who can deal with aggression? Will we counter press and fu*k up their rhythm? This is not Swansea, Watford or Bournemouth. What are we going to do here?
Going to be very interesting to see if Wenger drops him. Rumblings in the media that the team aren’t impressed with him, his form has dipped massively and he plays badly in big games. At the very most, I’d have him playing on the left. But if my season was reliant on him, I’d not have him in the side. He’s not been worthy of a start and it sends the wrong message to the players if you can play like an arsehole and still start. Not to mention it seems tactically weak to start him.
Rumours from Ornstein, the god of correct information, is that Theo will not be starting. So what does that mean? Could Wenger sh*t the bed here and roll with Giroud as the ‘lob it to the big man’ go to guy? That would be really upsetting. I really hope we have something different up our sleeves because our form has not been good enough to go there and slog it out.
We’ll see though. It would not surprise me to see us win here, but I am very concerned it could be a mauling.
Covering all bases…
Recording a podcast after, so you’ll hear how I’m feeling in the morning.