As for our good self, even with midfield injuries we still have a few options up Arsène's sleeve. Many people have said that they expect Santi Cazorla to be moved back into the middle to replace Mesut Özil but I don't see past our little bouncy haired Czech. Tomas Rosicky was a big reason as to why the team kicked on during that second half of last season to win game after game on route to our CL qualification spot. I expect us to go back to that same formula which would mean Lukas Podolski dropping down to the bench. I can see a lot of frowning faces out there but away from home in a game we must control seems about as good a time as any to have Rosicky
Arsène wants to approach the game. We over commit too early and we'll get punished so I don't expect Podolski to start the game. Tomas Rosicky is usually a starter of big games the issue is that both Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had good games against Everton but given that I expect the team to do plenty of pressing, I think Arsène may well try and save Chamberlain and Podolski until later on in the game when the team will try and get the needed goals. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see us play not to concede first and foremost. Personally I want to see the Ox start the game. His defensive game has improved considerably and his pace is a form of defence
Anyway fast forward a few years and the poor Stoke supporters are very angry and upset that Ramsey didn't like having his leg broken by an out of control idiot. How very dare he? After being subjected to abuse from the Stoke fans ever since that day he put his finger to his lips when he scored against them this season this has upset a very sensitive support who can dish it out but cannot take a fraction of it back. A tiny, tiny fraction I may add. They want to sing anti Ramsey songs today without taking into consideration that he will not be in the squad today. Probably not even at the ground so good luck with that.
One player he spoke about bringing back into the side was Oliver Giroud which left me with a twang of disappointment I must say, not because Giroud will be starting you understand, I am sure his previous sit outs will give him that extra spring in his step but I wanted to see Yaya Sanogo play against a team that wasn't either one of the form title chasing sides in the league or you know, the best team in Europe/World. The thinking being that he had gave a very good account of himself in two very difficult games so perhaps in a game where we are more than likely going to have a lions share of the ball, perhaps Yaya might empty out a couple more tricks out of his locker. Given Sanogo's freshness at this stage of the season, Arsène would normally try to shoehorn him into the team but I just don't see how both Giroud and Sanogo can start together. None of them are really suited to a wide birth so maybe it will be impact from the bench for Yaya.
Speaking of Jack Wilshere, I suspect that if Jack is fit then he will come into the team alongside Mathieu Flamini but I have to say, I'd quite like to see Tomas Rosicky given a more disciplined role alongside the Frenchman. The Czech gives the ball away less and it usually takes Wilshere a few games to sharpen up. It is not as if he was at his best before he was rested/injured for our FA cup game. Many people will want to see Lukas Podolski continue in the side but I think Santi's ability to keep the ball better might be more useful in a game where the opposition are likely to have a lot of the ball. Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs and Oliver Giroud are all likely to return to the team so
The manager has some difficult decisions to make today. It is hard to disagree with the notion that the FA Cup proves on paper at least the easiest route to silverware this season but higher priorities are on the horizon. With key personnel out injured for the season or a large chunk of it, the manager will be desperate not to pick up anymore major injuries but more than that I think it is simply down to the fact that at the start of the season the FA Cup sits third on the list of priorities, well fourth if you include a Champions League spot. With a congested fixture list coming up he will not be able to play the same 11 across all the remaining competitions, it would be a sure fire way of exiting all of them.