by .

Antonio Conte exited another cup, this time a semi-final against Chelsea, his side were utter, utter dross all game. No energy, no idea what they were doing, no real output.

That means they’ll show hard at the weekend and we’ll all be wondering how a team so bad can pull a performance out the bag so good just because it’s Arsenal.

Or… Arteta and the coaching gang might have a plan to take more than a point of a very average team bereft of ideas.

That does take me neatly into the game this evening. I really hope Arteta knows the most important thing for Arsenal fans this season is beating Spurs. I don’t care what happens tonight. It’s Liverpool over two legs and we know they are so desperate to win, they basically cheated to get out of playing us last week when we were in good form.

Arteta is going to have choices to make this evening. Dice to roll. I just hope he doesn’t take risks on players that are important to the season. Emile Smith Rowe is key to what we do, if he breaks, we’re in trouble. Tomi is THE MOST PRECIOUS of players, nothing hurts more than seeing his name of the team sheet, but at the same time, this is a League Cup no one cares about, and I’d rather live to fight another day with our first teamers… because we are not strong enough to make top 4 with the second-stringers. We saw that against Forest.

If there is a chance of losing a big name for Sunday, it’s just not worth it.

Granit Xhaka is different. He had COVID, I’m guessing his 7 days are done. He’ll be in the mixer and we need him next to Lokonga. That man is made of different stuff. So I’m not really that worried with him. But I think people are starting to see the reality with Granit, we’re better with him in the side, he’s very solid bar a few brain farts a season. Sambi needs experience next to him, he’s too young to carry a junior.

The big picture here is taking 4 points from the next two Premier League games. If we can manage that, Top 4 is game on. We have 2 games in February, we’ll have a little midseason break to bed in the new players, then we’ll be fresh and ready to hit the rest of the season VERY hard. 1 game a week is a huge advantage if the luck rides with you.

We could blow that in leg one against Liverpool if we rush players. It happened last season when we brought TP back early. That cost us big time. Let’s hope we’re not thinking similar things this evening.

Liverpool needs a lift. Klopp is under pressure. He needs a trophy, this is the earliest one he can take, but make no mistake… that team is stammering and he doesn’t have VVD to blame this season. It’s on him. Pep is taking him to the cleaners.

I’m saying that because it’s likely he’ll roll with the big guns. This evening might see us shithouse them with a 5 at the back jobby. Arteta needs to realise that Cedric is not very good and if he rolls him out against elite full-backs, we’ll be beaten before we leave the tunnel. Try something different. If we can escape Anfield with a draw, it’s game on in leg two and we can go for it with a fitter group of players.

We have seen a worse group of players at Arsenal beat better teams with 5 at the back. There is no shame in doing that at Anfield. NONE.

The key is not to get hammered like we have been recently. Super basic, but just don’t get railed. We need a resolute performance, everyone focused on the job, and we need to frustrate them. Liverpool were walked through over and over by Spurs a few weeks ago and as we all know, Conte’s Spurs are shite. We have power players who can make runs, we have talent that can find feet from distance… can we piece those bits together and make it count?

We’ll go big tonight with our starting 11, really, we can’t take a chance with Leno in a game like this, he’ll panic. We need to have Gabriel in the mixer because Rob ain’t it, and I suspect we might see Nuno on the bench in a game this big.

But who knows… just don’t break anyone. That’s all we ask. Spurs is all that matters. That’s the real Cup Final.

Ok, have fun in the comments. x

UPDATE: Odegaard, Tomi, Smith Rowe all out. GOOD. Arteta derisked it. I bet they’re all back this Sunday.


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Unoni


    We’ve done this to death
    Fact is he removed 6 attacking mids and replaced with Suarez
    Why are people still carrying water for emery when it’s clear that both his successor and his predecessor are superior arsenal managers?

  2. Unoni


    Also, assists aren’t the only measure of a successful creative central midfield player. How many assists did scholes and pirlo get per season? The last pass is not always the most important in any given passage of play leading to a goal scoring opportunity

  3. Markymark

    Xhaka gives refs reasons to send him off . In a slower league a fair bit of his lack of pace and positional recovery would probably be not so prominent so I’m thinking Italy would suit him down the ground. I gather he had issues in Germany according to one poster which surprised me as their league is surprisingly crash bang whallop so I’d assume he’d survive their as well

  4. Markymark

    Just to add I think Xhaka is definitely the kind of guy who’d take one for the team and I’m assuming he’s popular because of that . Sometimes you’ve got to let a situation ride out and live to fight another day. I’m not sure if various managers have ever worked with him on that . A lot of his issues appear to be reckless play when he’s one on one with a forward . Sometimes you’ve just got to let that play out. Forward still has to slot it past the keeper

  5. Time Up

    We need foreign refs to not listen to the media. The media all agree when an Arsenal player sent off since Wenger days. Our ex Arsenal boys in the media always s quiet and nice. The ex victims players always questioning the ref for any decision against Liverpool.

    I remember that cunt TAA almost breaking Saka leg with not even yellow!. I can give you 10 tackles in the league this year worse than Xhaka tackle, and with not even yellow card!.

  6. G

    ”What we have seen over the past few months is other than white, the new young players performances are regressing”

    Don’t agree.. both were brought for the future and both have showed the potental..

  7. Time Up

    Anyway, we’ve 11 fit first team player (not from under 23) players. We could call the game off on Sunday. The minimum requirement is 13.

    Call it off. I know the Spud without Son, but if we play Eddie or Auba away against decent PL team is like playing with 10 men.

  8. G

    And what a but White has been .. defending good, not great at mo,, but range of passing is quality.. with 1 pass will hit Laca.. 1 way of breaking the press

  9. raptora

    Can’t believe that so many Arsenal fans argued with the decision.

    It’s a high foot to the chest of an opponent, 0 contact with the ball, he is absolutely aware that Jota is running behind him as he drops a look at him earlier in the situation, he’s absolutely reckless and has zero control over the situation as the ball is very far away from him and he is aware that he’s taking a chance, and also he’s the last man in the defence.

    What exactly is the mitigating circumstance in here?

    He literally said he’s sorry and many of his teammates supported him. He did not plea for not guilty. He apologized. It’s a straight red for me. If we see another player do this, we’ll cry to the sky.

    Problem is not that Xhaka got what he deserved, but that other players from big clubs are often spared. With that, I agree. Fk Mike Riley. However, this clear of a red, I still believe it would have been given in 95 out 100 times as it had many layers making Xhaka guilty.

  10. The Bard

    James that’s a sensible post but unfortunately it’s not applicable to football today. Its a short term business. The days of a Wenger or Ferguson are long gone.angers have to produce the goods. Its true we are progressing who knows what will happen next season. Maybe we have to sell Saka because he’s had a mega offer or ESR or Untd buy a new team.
    Our best bet is 4th place this season and it got a whole lot harder last night because we had to play with 10 men for much of the game and have the Spuds at the weekend. I could easily see our season fizzle out over the next few weeks. Then wheres the progress !!

  11. Negative Nigel

    Well the way things are shaping up.Well be getting Jack shit this window.If Juve want us to buy Melo permanently they’re taking the piss.But then that’s what Italian clubs do.cos they ain’t got a pot to piss in.But they’ll do their best to get Auba for peanuts.Just watch.Melo a no no & PSG won’t let winaljum out on loan.That’s it then. Vlahovic & his agents taking the piss.( Italian clubs again) why bother?
    Lets hope Sunday is postponed.Just heard Chris Kavanagh reffing.Nuff said.