The excitement is starting to ramp up from this end. Reading around the web trying to absorb as much inspiration as possible before I head down to a bar at 7am to take in the Spurs game on Sunday.
Spurs form is solid, if not a little lacking in inspiration. They’re without Alderweireld at the moment and Harry Kane should be back at the weekend, but I think it’s touch and go whether you start your main man in such a mega game after a month out.
Spurs are going to be tough to break down. They have the best defensive record in the league. That coupled with them playing an outrageously high tempo pressing game could cause problems for us on Sunday.
I don’t think we’ve played anyone who can press like they do so far this season. Important to note they inflicted wounds on Manchester City when they ruffled them hard. What’s our plan for that? Cazorla through the middle might not be the best choice for this one, and unfortunately, he’s still injured. Another example of the club not paying attention to niggly injuries in players that are too old to play 3 games a week.
That leaves us with a Xhaka and what, Coquelin midfield? Both prone to a bit of craziness and Wenger is concerned.
“The discipline is important and we want to be effective in all situations we face, and in the derby it is important to keep control of your reaction and to have a strong discipline, because it is part of the effectiveness in these games.
“Normally he is a very composed and calm guy. Sometimes on the field he has a reaction that is a bit impulsive and he knows that. It is not because you talk about that. He has to work on that and keep control of his reactions in the game.”
Tbf, I love having a nutter in the side. It gives us a bit of an edge. I’m talking nutter like PV04, not Eboue reading the notes of the opposition manager or dressing like a tiger.
I mean, ideally for me, our midfield would be Aaron, Xhaka sitting deep with Ozil in the hole. I’d have Theo and Iwobi flanking Sanchez. That way, we have enough pace to deal with their pressing and counter them.
We also have enough off the bench to chase the game late on. It’ll be great to have a late Giroud in the mix to cause problems. I mean, I think we’re heading into a situation where we can call Chamberlain an asset as well, his explosive pace coupled with his form this year is enough to put any team on the back foot.
The stars are aligning through the telescope, but let’s be real here, there’s no such thing as anything aligning for a NLD. It’s November for Arsenal, so anything can happen. Spurs haven’t been scoring goals, so you know there’s a chance they’ll be 3 up after 12 minutes. They have the best defence in the league, so there’s a chance we’ll score 5. We’re expecting a mega game, so it could be a boring 0-0.
It’s all up in the air and that’s what I love about the derby.
Spurs fans are very quiet at the moment, taking on the persona of their manager… that won’t stay the same should the worst happen on Sunday. So pray for fitness and a smart game plan from the manager. Should be exciting regardless!
Finally, before I go, congratulation to Mesut and Sanchez for making the shortlist for FIFA’s 23 man Men’s Best Player trophy.