The time is NOW.
It’s the one we’ve been waiting 17 years for. The one you always had a little bit of envy for when your Spurs mates were up the road having a ripping Thursday night.
It is here, Europa League football. The last memory I have of it is PV04 blasting over against Gala. Since then, it’s been a competition that has eluded us because we’ve been just too damn good.
Wenger isn’t bitter about being in the Hipster Cup, not at all.
“I watched a few games and the main game, of course, was Chelsea. After a while I went to Barcelona against Juventus. It raises many questions about the Champions League, the way it is organised now. We will certainly have to think about it.
“What issues? Think about what? We will speak about it another time.”
He’s just telling it as it is. Champions League is a joke. Let’s talk about it later yeah? She was a slag anyway.
Sorry boss, what was that?
“Wednesday or Thursday night is no difference for us”
Errr, right back at ya Sister Sledge. Play when we want, don’t we?
So here’s the deal. We face FC Köln in a match up of kind-of-titans at THE HOME OF FOOTBALL.
Wenger could rest up 7 first teamers.
Petr Cech, Laurent Koscielny, Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka ALL missed training. That’s big news, because I have my doubts they’re all injured, so it means Wenger is taking advice from his backroom team and he’s going for EXPLOSIVE pace and power at The Bridge on Sunday.
So what do we have to look forward to? Well, Olivier Giroud did the prezzer with Wenger so he might lead the line, gunning for his 100th club goal. Quite the milestone. It’s also a chance for Jack to land a game.
“Jack is very hungry and very determined‚,”
“He is also not completely at his best but he is getting there every week. I think he enjoys being back and enjoys competing for his place. What I see in training is positive.
“When he began his rehab I was on tour with the club but since I came back I have observed him more. I know Jack well enough; he analyses every training session to see how he has done. He has a football brain, you don’t need to tell him much on that front, but I speak to him of course about how I see his evolution.”
We need a smart Jack performance. He needs to move the ball quickly, and move into space, rather than the tustle he enjoys so much (that has had him injured a few times). Fans might like to see the fight, but I’d prefer to see him stay out of trouble and dictate with his intelligence, vs his ENGUUURLAND brawn.
We’ll see though.
Good news to see that Mesut and Aaron won’t play a part in the game at all. Aaron needs to be wrapped in cotton wool. Too often he’s fit for 5 games, then we lose him for 3 months. Not quite the same for Mesut, but it’s clear his fitness has been an issue his whole career. At Madrid, he was played for 60minutes, then dropped. Arsenal just go hell for leather and play him in all the games until he’s exhausted.
The evidence has been laid bare by Sky a few times. The latest is quite damning (here).
The positive is what we’ve always known.
The negative comes with his fitness.
‘The numbers become less impressive, however, when they are broken down on a per 90 minute basis. Ozil, who played 2847 minutes last season, actually ranked ninth for distance run per 90 minutes and 10th for sprints per 90 minutes among the 15 Arsenal players who played a minimum of 1000 minutes.’
They note that there’s a decline as the season goes on. Layer that in with the big game failings and you have a problem. Pundits aren’t imagining it. You can say, ‘Arsenal don’t show up in big games’, which is totally fair. But look, you buy star players to lift the team. There really isn’t an excuse for one of the best in the business to not be there in the big matches.
Anyway, if it’s a trend to rest Mesut and co in the front end of the season, it might pay dividends in our Premier League play. Wenger essentially trying to replicate the CFC / LCFC model of resting the big names in the week. If he really does use his second string properly, we’ll have a more motivated squad as well. So the Europa League ‘could’ be a huge advantage for us.
Basically, we need a big win tonight to keep the plan on track… so fingers crossed!
Right, that’s me done. One last time on the podcast.
BIG LOVE AND HAVE FUN x