FA CUP 3rd ROUND DAY!
The best cup competition in the world kicks off today, we have ourselves a lovely trip to the River Trent to take on the storied Nottingham Forest. Arguably one of the best club names in the game.
What do we expect from them? A big attempt at a performance. They are smack bang in the middle of the Championship, they’ve won their last 3, their players will be looking to shine brightly whilst the whole of the UK is watching on ITV a bit later.
Arsenal will be playing a very young side because there’s no choice. COVID issues, knocks, and some big games coming up will mean heavy rotation. When you have to heavily rotate, you can’t guarantee you’ll maintain performance, so we have to be prepared for the evening to be tough.
Rumours have it that Biereth, Salah, Hutchinson, and Patino will be on the bus. BIG rumours that the conductor of the 2022 hype train, Charlie Patino, could actually make his first start for the club. That would be special, he has everyone at Arsenal buzzing about his talent, and he even has his own song with the fans. I don’t think we’ve been more sure about a second coming since Jack Wilshere.
Outside that, who knows what the team will look like, but my assumption is it’s going to be all about the fringe players. Bernd Leno, Holding, Soares, Tavares at the back. Midfield will probably have to be Patino and Lokonga for the minutes. But somewhere along the line there’s going to have to be some first-teamers you’d rather keep fresh. The Smith, Odegaard, and maybe Benny Blanco spring to mind.
Personally, I’m looking for the same thing I always do during heavy rotation periods. All 11 players dropping performances like they want to be considered for the Spurs and Liverpool games. Healthy squads create the feeling that everyone could start. Unhealthy squads see these games as an imposition. As I said many times last season, players like David Luiz used to think they were above games like this, so they’d not show up. In healthy squads, they all go there to do the business.
IN OTHER NEWS
Ainsley made his move over to Roma to play under the delightful Jose Mourinho. I don’t really have much to say on this outside, I REALLY HOPE HE DOES WELL. It never worked out for Ains, the killer blow to his career was saying no to the right-back role which could have been lucrative for him. Still, going to Rome could be good. That league lacks power, so he’ll have a leg up on the intensity. If he’s playing well, he’ll have to up his concentration. All things he’s young enough to manage.
We’ve been linked to some midfielder in Brazil. Those rumours really do nothing for me. Their league makes Italy look intense, so it’s really hard to work out which players you can bring from over there that would make it here.
Midfield is such an interesting position to recruit for. We need a body for the now, but really, only for emergency reasons. So who are they going to buy cover for? And is it cover, or someone that can challenge Xhaka and Partey next season? Or, will they look for a midfielder that does something different to the other two. Someone that is more of a specialist for certain types of games? Is Arsenal building out two squads of players that do that same things, or are they building out a chessboard of pieces that can cover off the different types of games we struggle in?
Who knows, but if Arteta is to be believed, we’ll find out in the next 3 weeks.
Right, that’s me done, have fun in the comments x