You can’t deny it. You’re scared. You’re scared and excited.
Be honest with me. You think we can win, don’t you?
Yeah you do. You think this could be a turning point. Where Wenger bares his teeth. The moment our season goes from unfocused and loose, to uncomfortable and profoundly hopeful.
It’s the moment you fall in love with a girl you know isn’t really interested in you. You gotta enjoy the ride while it lasts. Accept the unread Whatsapps, endure the overly touchy ‘best friend’ likely called Zach, and welcome the inevitable long-term heartbreak that awaits.
I know the drill with Arsenal. I know where this is heading. So why am I convinced we
can will pull off this feat?
Because this is England.
The Premier League doesn’t respect form. It doesn’t respect reputation. It always, always, always throws Arsene Wenger a survival bone. AND IT LOVES POPPIES.
So let’s see what happens today.
Some things we need to pull it off.
He needs to find some of that Chelsea form that made him a Premier League winner back in the day. A great keeper but one that hasn’t really show his best self at Arsenal. Can he resist the urge to hoof the ball at every chance? Can he keep us in the game when we need him to? Will he ever save a penalty? He’ll be tested tomorrow, so a lot rests on his shoulders.
Stepping out of the shadow of Mesut Ozil, can the Welshman deliver on his Xg rating, can he prove to the mainstream fans – who called out Ozil early doors – that he’s more than just a potentially great player? He needs to calm his forward roaming instincts, he needs to sit a little deeper and he needs to find a way of playing nicely with Ozil and Sanchez who don’t exactly love him.
For one game, wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could avoid an unforced error? I can’t imagine there’s any situation in which Pep wouldn’t recognize that he’s a real liability. I’m sure he’ll be pressed into a corner at every opp tomorrow, so this is a big game for him.
Can the front three we dreamed of combine to deliver a good result against a top team? We have a number 9 who can finish, the greatest quarterback of all time, and a Chilean dream machine who is one of the best in the league. If the mechanics behind them can function efficiently, then there’s a chance we could come away with something.
If we go down early, can he react?
Can he set the team up with a kernel of an idea?
Can he offer a surprise?
Maybe. Probably not.
So let’s pray he’s feeling Churchillian when he delivers the prematch team talk.
Right, over to YOU.
See you in the comments.