It seems to be the only question mark these days. By now everyone knows what strengths both players bring to the team. Welbeck is an important cog to a team that want to keep you pressed in your own half. We saw his effectiveness against Crystal Palace by winning the penalty single handedly from what was essentially a poor Giroud pass that wasn't troubling anybody. But in a game at home where you want to score goals, what better wide right sided player is there than Theo Walcott? The other point to factor in here is the game time. Walcott has not started for the last two games, can Arsène leave him out for three in a row? It would be a big call but ultimately he has to make the right decision based on the team. Welbeck is almost a certainty for Monaco away but maybe, just
So I expect Cazorla and Özil to remain as number 8 and 10 respectively. So I suspect that the only decision will be who plays on the opposite flank to Alexis Sanchez. Danny Welbeck was the preferred option last weekend and if Arsène wants a player who will work harder to put pressure on the ball when we haven't got it then he'll get the nod. But I'm going with the runs and finishing of Walcott today. Welbeck may be saved for Monaco at the Emirates.
It's an interesting change really. Both Alexis and Welbeck like to close down the opposition and pinch the ball back, the same cannot really be said for Walcott and Özil. But in the transitions those two players can be match winners for us, especially if they are able to combine together after a Coquelin intercepting for example. Tomas Rosicky is exactly the type of player you want at White Hart Lane. A player with experience, ability to keep and use the ball well. Not only that but the desire to win the ball back, an advantage he has over his two team mates. Not only this but Rosicky scored twice in three games against them last season so you'd think he'd be quite up for this game. But I am probably wasting words as I just don't see Arsène leaving anyone out to include the Czech. We shall see, it would be a big call but a call I'd understand for sure
Arsenal are not the only Champions League regular to fall on the Villa sword of late. Chelsea and Liverpool have taken sucker punches to the chops in recent seasons. You'd have to think that is largely down to the type of personnel the Midlands side have in their ranks. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann are all good players on the counter attack and I can think of more than a couple successful Villa counters on us over the years. So with that in mind, we are going to have to be good whenever we lose the ball. The likes of Coquelin and Ramsey who I both expect to start will have to be switched on, especially the latter who does like a stroll towards the opposition penalty area. I mean who can blame him, it's not as if he hasn't had plenty of success doing so
I cannot count the amount of times I've heard people posit that injuries are no excuse for poor results. If that was the case I'd like to hear a good reason as to why yesterday's top teams who decided to rotate their squads all suffered with defeat in their own stadiums. Two of the very richest teams in the country who have 2/3 top players per position losing should provide sufficient evidence that not having a consistent team can effect results. So on that very subject, today will more than likely provide a chance to rotate some fringe players like Theo Walcott and Mesut Özil into the first team. As we are not in the league cup anymore we need to give them chances when we can. All unfunny jokes aside, today is an opportunity to give certain players a deserved rest as well as giving returning players a chance to get some much needed sharpness under their belts
Enough about them anyway, what about the Arsenal? The squad is pretty much as it was. We need someone to replace Mathieu Debuchy who 'injured himself' in our last match or so they say. His replacement will probably depend on how we want to approach the game. I know Arsène is a sucker for going toe to toe with the big boys and that has been our undoing in recent years but I think it may well be different this time. But I wouldn't listen to me too much, I tend to get all over excited just before a big game. But I'll try to explain, I think we are a team who build confidence based on our performances rather than our results. We could win 5 games in a row, the way we beat Crystal Palace at the start of the season but I'm not sure it
- Hull City (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Rotation a sticky subject as Walcott likely to start
- Southampton (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Welbeck out Rosicky in? 1st choice defence luxury & more
- Liverpool (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Which way around for Chambers & Debuchy? Ox drive needed
- Newcastle (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Which 11 would you prefer today?
- Galatasaray (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Rotation over hope in pressure free trip
- Stoke City (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Will Arsene restore Welbeck & Giroud partnership?
- Southampton (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Can we rest Alexis and claim 3 points?