Morning. How are you? Oh right, that exited? Me too. What, not about St. Patricks day? AHHH! I see.
Now, I have no idea what’s happened. But I am really, really excited about the game this evening.
Why you say?
Arsenal have been put in the ideal fail scenario. By losing 3-1 at home, Wenger has been put in his favourite tactical position.
ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK
That’s all he really has on the tactics board today. He can’t wait for the first 20 to pass and absorb pressure. He can’t take it through to half time without a goal. Wenger has one option, go at it hard, score a goal early on and try and destroy Monaco as quickly as possible.
I mean, if anyone has this sort of game in the locker, it’s Wenger. It’s like asking Louis Van Gaal to talk about himself in a press conference. Or Jose to focus on the minor things. It just feels so natural.
So how is he going to line up?
Well, the great news straight up is he’ll have Gabriel and Kos available. That gives us recovery pace. Something we didn’t have in the home leg. We can afford to bomb forward knowing that someone like Berba is unlikely to get past our two more mobile centre backs.
In midfield. Well, you’re going to have Coq available, I’d imagine Cazorla will play through the middle with maybe Ramsey alongside (guy thinks he’s a striker, so why not!). Up top is going to be interesting. Who is going to get the nod? I’d guess it’ll be Sanchez, Giroud and #WELBZ giving us a Theo off the bench.
… but who knows. The only thing we can be sure of is that it’ll probably be one way traffic. The interesting part about this will be how Jardim reacts. When you know that there is pretty much only one plan for the opposition, you can counter that.
So will Jardim surprise us and press us hard for the first 20 pushing us back? Or will he gamble and absorb the pressure. Because look, Monaco are the most boring team in the Champions League. So they’re capable of keeping it together.
I guess Wenger also has a tactical challenge on his hands. If it’s predictable for him to be predictable, could he provide a surprise of some sort? It’s all up for grabs. We just need to make an impact early on.
Good news from a setup perspective is that Monaco don’t have Kondogbia, Currasco (player who scored late on) and Toulalon (silver fox).
We also have the added excitement that a deficit of this magnitude hasn’t been turned over for years. I think the only team to do it was Ajax. Compelling challenge.
In Premiership news, Liverpool fluked a win at Swansea when Henderson shinned the ball over the keeper to earn three points. Rodgers is going for 2nd, Arsenal are too… should be a tight run in. Ten games is a lot, many twists and turns are upon us. Great news is Liverpool and United play at the weekend, which is unlikely to mean a draw. I’m hoping United drop the points.
Big game today. It’s amusing watching the away fans on Twitter… you can tell the guys who are the haves versus the have nots by their accommodation. Sorry for the fans rocking a £180 a night tent. No one gives a shit that your beer is £9 in Monaco either. I hear they’re actively turning people away who don’t have a Coutts / AMEX black card and if you want to sing, do it in the damn car park. Can’t wait to see the halftime food offering!
Have fun wherever you are! See you tomorrow. x