“Ospina is out injured. He came back from Colombia with a shoulder problem and he’s out.”
Arsenal have a long and illustrious backlog of stories relating to keepers who have a dip in form then suffer injuries. Almunia, one of the originals with a mysterious broken finger. I think there’s only been one keeper who has been genuinely dropped for being crap and that was Jens Lehmann way back when (horror show against Blackburn).
David Ospina doesn’t start because he’s average. He’s been an average keeper performing well. In our last Champions League game, he was just doing what keepers with bad technique do. Make mistakes and scare the defence.
So tomorrow evening, we’ll see the keeper who should have started all our Champions League games return between the sticks.
I totally ballsed up my reading of the fixture list yesterday. We play Bayern at home. It’s going to be a massive challenge to get anything out of the Germans. They’ve been in terrific form this season. Lewandowski has dropped into the elite zone of professional strikerdom. He’s untouchable. The game has clicked for him. Perfect awareness, balance and confidence combining to bring you the complete striker.
WE TRIED FOR HIM.
Yes we did. But he wanted Bayern. Sad for us, right? He’s the best most unfashionable striker in Europe. I’d love him in the Premier League. But he’d be worth about £100m now. So the chances of that happening are pretty low. I think his salary is pretty obscene as well.
It’s quite hard to work out how we’re going to down Bayern tomorrow. They’re just a disgustingly brilliant team. I think if anything, they’ve underachieved under Pep Guardiola. We had peak Bayern under Heycknes and there have been constant jibes at Pep and what he’s doing. Amazing really how taken for granted the league is over there.
The one thing we have going for us is that Bayern don’t get tested that often. So we have a chance to cause some problems. We can take aim at their centre backs, we have more than enough craft to unpick them. For me though, it’s more about which Bayern turn up. If it’s electric Bayern, it’s going to be a very long night.
The other challenge we face is Pep and his attention to detail. There will be a very detailed plan in place. They’ll have spent time on the training pitch replicating what we do and working out ways to defeat us. I’d imagine they’ll have a plan in place for Theo and his pace. I’d imagine they might try and prey on the overall greenness of Bellerin. They might try and agitate Per Mertesacker knowing that he’s not exactly the fastest these days.
It’ll be an intriguing encounter. It’ll give us an early doors guage of how we’ll deal with Manchester City. It’ll also give us a nice idea of how good we are compared to a super elite team.