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The one thing I would say though is that our awful run of results has coincided with a halt to our spending and continued spending of commercial giants Manchester United. Today the playing field has been dragged closer together so the gap in squad strength is different today. Basically quality is not the issue here, whatever mental issues the players have, today is the opportunity to right any previous wrongs. A lot of the players should not be suffering with any inferiority complex. Bellerin, Alexis, Özil and Coquelin do not have much of a history against Manchester United if any at all. Tonight should just be a big game where 100% will be required. Nothing more, nothing less.

about the importance of the QPR match today  and how it can positively or negatively impact a critical time of the season. I was a little weary and lacking sleep when writing that but the point stands. Results in recent weeks have been pretty positive aside from the Monaco and Tottenham matches of course but we are the second best team in the league going by domestic form. But I don't think we are performing at our maximum or even close to that and this is the time of the season where you hope to be doing that. Liverpool seem to be in that sort of groove at present and that is where I would like us to have been before next Monday's trip to Old Trafford

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

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more