Happy Boxing day to you all! I hope you took things to suitably crazy levels yesterday, kept conversation non-Arsenal for at least two drinks, then spoiled the day with an aggressive debate over the merits of Arsene Wenger’s career.
I just hope the players feel fresher than I do…
Brighton is the late kick-off today. We head down to the south coast to chase an extremely important three points in a title race which has so far proved to be relentless if you have #Top4 goals. As Emery said, “we are going to play [with] full [commitment]… the same three points are in Brighton that are in Liverpool.” Important to remember that beating Spurs in the league was tragically wiped out by that horror result against Southampton away from home.
The manager sounds like he’s going for a full-throated line-up. When asked about fielding LT, who is on 4 bookings, he didn’t flinch.
“In my career, I never made these decisions,”
“We are going to play the next match in Brighton and we are going to play full – not with considered options or playing with more caution.
“I don’t know whether Torreira would even be able to play cautiously but I don’t want him to think about the possibility of a suspension for one yellow card.”
I think the decision to play LT will be more about having a shite defence. It would be a full-on disaster if we don’t have him available for the Liverpool game. But, I do understand the worry that we flunk a typically flat day for football, then nullify a potential win we might have against the Premier League favourites. This sort of decision really does show how skinny our squad is. We should be able to field an Elneny like object for this game and feel fairly confident we can deliver a result.
Rotation should be a consideration today, I think the players have looked tired and we’ve picked up a lot of injuries of late. Interesting that Emery dropped this comment as well.
“I was speaking with [Laurent] Koscielny about the possibility for him to play against Burnley and he said: ‘Not today’ – because he was very tired after two matches in a week and I decided for him not to be with the group. Koscielny said: ‘I’m not Mattéo! Mattéo is 19 and I’m 33 years old!’
“I am very happy with Mattéo and he is improving a lot. He gives a lot of moments with the combinations, the quality and the possibility to play with our style. He needs to continue his progress with us but I think he’s [still] very young.”
Great to hear that Matteo likes to play, but a sharp warning that players in their 30s cannot be relied on for 60 games. Amazing how quickly you can go from a pivotal figure to a creaky old man!
Brighton have lost 3 on the bounce, the last they won was against Palace. Also worth noting they haven’t won any of their last 9 league games on Boxing Day. They’re without Lewis Dunk, their best defender by quite a margin. The stats line up nicely for us, but ultimately, as we saw a couple of weeks ago, the old Arsenal always lurks in the wings.
Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments!