I was e-mailing my Dad yesterday. I was saying I think tonight could be really bad. This feels like it could be a mauling. We’re the goat in the pen in Jurassic Park. Everything is fine, then the clouds encircle, then bang. It’s over. Goat all over the jeep.
There are major concerns ahead of the game. Like, the main one being half of our squad are dead.
Look at the state of this.
I mean, that’s two centre backs away from being a pretty damn good team!
I was kind of ok that we might be able to grab a draw yesterday, now Bellerin is out and we have to resort to ridiculous jiggery pokery, I’m in a panic. Debuchy looked shite against Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday, now he has to line up against Douglas Costa for an evening.
<Take moment to compute what that could mean>
So basically, I’m not very confident. I don’t see how we can deal with the high press, I don’t see how we’ll deal with the strain down a right hand side that might contain Joel Campbell and Debuchy… or worse, Kieran Gibbs. I don’t see how we’ll deal with the occasion. Especially when you consider the narrative of this evening centres around Bayern having their feelings hurt in the first leg.
We be like…
Still, crazier things have happened, right?
I mean, we went to the Bernabeu with Flamini at full back accompanied by Senderos, Campbell and Eboue. We kept a clean sheet there, right?!
So I guess for this evening, what we have to hope for is a blunt Bayern Munich, some fast sealant gelling going on with the boys and some serious fight.
Wenger dropped some interesting chat before the game about another ‘nearly signing‘ when talking about Pep.
“I met him at home when he was 30, 31. He wanted to play for Arsenal. I can’t remember why it didn’t happen.
“I had players like [Patrick] Vieira and [Emmanuel] Petit, who were still young then. He showed great personality when we talked. What I admire about him is that his team play very positively.”
I mean, it’s fantastic that now our ‘nearly squad’ of players now has a coach as well!
Pep has been predicting what will happen tonight, and you know what, he’s not wrong.
“Arsenal want to attack and build up but when you press Mertesacker and Koscielny, they don’t want to play,”
“They play long balls to Giroud. Also, if they lose the ball and we make two or three passes, Mertesacker doesn’t want to stay high up, so they go back in their box and defend there.
“Arsenal will try long balls to Giroud. Cech will not play the ball to defenders, he will try long balls to Giroud. We have to defend well and be ready for that.”
Apparently 20% of our passes in the first leg were long balls. Well, really, how else are you going to play? I think it was Bayern who defeated Klopps high press a few years ago playing the false 10… Martinez would power through the middle and take a long ball. They literally played over the high press. Which is sophisticated when it’s Pep, long ball scum tactics when it’s Sam Allardyce.
I think pretty much the only way we can play to day is to go over the top and hope that Giroud can slip in Sanchez. I mean, now I’m writing about beating Bayern with a long ball, I’m feeling confident.
No I’m not.
Wenger has predicted ‘uncomfortable moments.’ I think he must be talking about the moments in my underwear.
Still, fear can bring the best out of players. It’s just 11 men vs 11 men. There’s not reason we can’t turn something around.
Just don’t look up..
But we’ll see, have a great day and enjoy the match from wherever you’re watching it!