The big one is tomorrow. Arteta rolled the entire season on Europa League. He has to deliver.
My big fear?
There are so many temptations and potential traps that could down us.
Do you bring David ‘BIG GAME’ Luiz back in the mixer?
Does Auba start?
Does he risk Tierney or Lacazette despite them having no game time?
Internet people are saying we should roll all the dice. For me, that’s dim thinking. Nothing wrecks an Arsenal plan worse than an early smack in the face. Losing players that are important to the system isn’t good for the system. Also, losing players for the final would also be disastrous.
I’d prefer to lessen the risk by playing fit players who want to perform.
The biggest galaxy brain worry is rolling out a Villareal tactical plan built for Manchester City level players. We’re not there yet. 20-year-olds in the false 9 role is not going to work tomorrow. We need to have a simple plan every single player can follow. That means the right players in the right positions. We have enough fitness to deliver on that vision.
Auba is fit, he wants to lead, he’ll have horrendous memories of his miss last year, that desire to prove the world wrong will be key. That feels like a huge boost.
Martinelli was on fire at the weekend, he’s in form, he should land a starting role.
Odegaard created 5 chances against Newcastle, if you’re playing Auba, you need him on the pitch.
Then it’s tough because you have Lacazette, Saka, and Pepe pushing for starts.
We need to win 1-0. Simple as that. Then we’re through. I would prefer destruction. I’m not sure we’ll get that, but we certainly did away for Slavia Prague.
If we win, Arteta has made a second final in two of the toughest ever seasons. That’s good work. He’ll still need to win the final, but it certainly takes the edge off the league season.
I don’t even want to contemplate a loss.
Whatever the result, there’s still a lot of introspection about this season to be had. It’s not been good enough. A trophy won’t change that.
… but, it’ll go a long way. It’s the memory zapper in MIB. We all need a memory zapper for this season.
Fingers crossed Arteta has something special lined up.