As for the team news, we all expect Mikel Arteta to be out with injury but I am hoping Arsene is pulling a fast one and Arteta will arrive to Newcastle in a blue and red suit donning a smart red cape. Flying into the Arsenal midfield to save the day from the evil Pardew, or something. If Arteta is really out then Aaron Ramsey will replace him as the deepest midfielder with Jack Wilshere replacing Ramsey in that box to box role if you catch my drift.
While I would understand the theory if we went to possession to then turn the screw later in the game due to hopeful weary late opposition legs I hope we do not go into the game like that. I hope we lay our defensive trap and that is all the players in position waiting for Wigan to pass the ball into their midfield only to find Rosicky, Ramsey, Cazorla and company tearing around jabbing in a foot to win
2-0 up and strolling, the game got turned on it's head by some lovely Fulham attacking and some forgettable Arsenal defending. Being Arsenal, the twists and turns did not end there. We scored the equaliser and had a chance to win the game from the spot in stoppage time but Arteta had his spot kick saved. After his pressure kick against Norwich I have forgiven him and promised not to harp on
Walcott and Podolski will not start out wide together, it just will not happen. Arsene will want to win the all important midfield battle so I expect Santi to be pushed back to the left with hopefully (prays to Dennis) Rosicky coming back in to the number 10 role. Ramsey and Arteta have formed a very good relationship in the engine room so I do not expect that to be broken up which could mean a place for
Gervinho's recent resurgence, I am intrigued to know how he starts the game. An in form Gerv is a very useful player, not just for himself but for the team. He drags defenders around and will make space for the best player in our team, Santi Cazorla who is likely to be drifting in from the left to add extra creativity. I have read plenty of people wanting Oxlade-Chamberlain to start ahead of Gervinho and after his good display at Swansea I can understand that but the reason for Gervinho's inclusion is because Arsene wants one of his wide forwards to play as a part time striker. Look at the moves that both Theo Walcott and then Gervinho made last week. Oxlade-Chamberlain
Our front line will be interesting. I am guessing that our left hand side will be between Podolski, Gervinho and Cazorla. With Wilshere out, I suspect Santi will be needed centrally so I am going to cross off Santi from that wide list and I guess the rest depends on Podolski's fitness. As he was on the bench for the Germans you have to guess that he is fit enough to start the game. Gervinho could
As the center backs do not need to put in a great deal of running, I expect that partnership to remain and to be honest, it is amazing that our best center back has had to make do with a place on the bench. Koscielny was outstanding in Germany, his speed and reading of forwards makes a huge difference to this team. Talk of Koscielny losing form this season is ridiculous and ignores the bigger
- Bayern Munich (a) - Mission Impossible Aborted?
- Tottenham (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Quick Starts, Restricting Bale & Belief
- Aston Villa (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Tempo man Rosicky rumored to start
- Blackburn (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Rotation, Dean & Progression
- Sunderland (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Beware of the bananas and plough fields
- Liverpool (h) Thoughts & Line Up: No more set backs, time for consistency
- Chelsea (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Arsene! Show Mata the Coq & get the engine purring