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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

It is a little bit catch 22 when it comes to players returning after a long time out. They need to play games to get back to their best levels but when they start their come backs they are not at the level we require as Theo showed against Hull City in the cup last week. While Theo and Alexis give you two great attacking threats, it is hard not to look at the other side of the coin and wonder if the erratic side of their games will cause the rest of our game a few issues. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the most part has been very good for us this season. He has dipped in a few fixtures and his aim will definitely be consistency. With Alexis on the other side he gives the side extra balance with his ability to drift inside and help control the game,

The FA Cup is back again and it will be great to inject some good feeling back into the atmosphere following the Southampton defeat. The mood is such that you'd think we had won once in six games, in reality the loss to Southampton was our first defeat in six games. Scoring 14 goals conceding 8 during that time period. But a cup clash with last seasons cup final opponents can hopefully bring back some positive memories. Looking back at that team that lifted the cup, it's amazing how different it is to the team we see today. 7 of the 11 players in that team will not be in the squad this afternoon, it is also possible that at least two of the remaining four players will be rested due to a rather hectic Christmas schedule on a rather small number of players

Alexis is likely to play as centre forward and it makes sense that Oxlade-Chamberlain starts on the right. Arsène could move Cazorla to the left of attack and that would be a familiar position to the Spaniard and would also aid us when it comes to wrestling some more control on the game. Tomas Rosicky could then replace Cazorla in the middle of the pitch. Trouble with that is you would be moving arguably our best player in recent weeks from a position where he has played his best football for some years. Even though the left of attack isn't ideal, I'd rather leave Cazorla where he is and start Rosicky on the left which should cause less disruption to the rest of the team

Anfield stirs up plenty of memories, both recent and past. In fact it is rare to find one of these fixtures that was devoid of incident. The obvious, if not the most enjoyable place to start is what happened last season and I need not go into detail about what took place that day. I would say though that like most of our big defeats I didn't think we were any worse on paper, perhaps that is a touch of the red specs syndrome, although I stand by that. I still believe that the issue was how we

On the flipside our already ridiculous injury list is basically taking the Micky out of us. In true Arsenal fashion, we were given a sample of Aaron Ramsey back to his best only for him to be cruelly whipped away from us again. He had scored three goals in his last two games, you just know another was coming today. Ok, maybe that's a bit presumptuous but I could certainly see that happening. No chance of finding out though. But that is almost the least of our problems because our defence has been targeted by those pesky injury gods. Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal are both injured while Calum Chambers is suspended thanks to the crazy world of Anthony Taylor. You'd imagine it will be another mixture of experienced players out of positions along with young players who are not yet fully ready

The pressure is somewhat off tonight as we have already qualified for the Champions League knock out round, while the possibility of top spot is there, it is unlikely that Dortmund will lose at home to Anderlecht (famous last words perhaps) so Arsène has gone for rotation over hope. A sensible move given the yearly long list of unavailable players at our disposal. There is some good news with the return of Mathieu Debuchy. His injury has meant a reshuffle for the likes of Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal for the most part. Debuchy's aggression and recovery pace has been missed so hopefully we won't have to wait too long before he is up to full speed.

  • 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