Coming back from playing football last night I wrote a mini blog about the importance of the QPR match today and how it can positively or negatively impact a critical time of the season for us. 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 feels like we are sitting on the fence of confidence today, a bad day at the office this evening could see us travel to Manchester and Monaco in fragile condition but a convincing performance and three points tonight could see us with our tails up.
I hope we go positive at Loftus road. Positive without being stupid that is. I believe we are best when we are playing on the front foot but are aggressive and committed when needing to win the ball back. Remember the 1-0 win against Manchester City at the Emirates a few years back, the one where a late Mikel Arteta swerving shot grabbed us all three points. Yeah well that is the way I enjoy us playing the game, although I don't remember many stand out performances in that manner away from home.
Francis Coquelin appears to be available for the match tonight after his broken nose on the weekend. 'Ard as nails that boy, I tells ya. Arsène hinted that he might have to wear a protective mask if he does play. Assuming that is to accommodate being hit on the nose from a high ball again. Couldn't have been much fun, especially with this cold weather.
Aaron Ramsey is back in the squad after injury and one assumes that he will make the bench. I found Arsène's comments interesting about how we've missed Rambo in the transitions from attack to defence. While I love Santi on the ball in that number 8 role, we've missed Ramsey's ability to pinch the ball in midfield. It will be interesting to see what sort of condition Ramsey is in. How many games will he need to get back to his best. He hasn't quite reached the highs of last season and that is not even talking about his goals but if there was a period where we needed him back in the squad, it's now.
Like I've already mentioned, I would rest Koscielny and Alexis for this one. Not that we don't need them tonight but because they are dipping slightly and they've both had injury concerns in recent times. Mertesacker and Welbeck respectively should give us plenty of quality as replacements.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
I say predicted line up but it's more of a line up that I would like to see this evening.
There is a good argument that Tomas Rosicky should come into the side tonight. When he came on against Everton, it almost looked like he was making a point with his closing down of the Everton players. You got to love his attitude and I wouldn't be at all disappointed to see him come into the side. Who you leave out of the team for him is the issue.
Anyway needless to say, I hope we get three points and play well. Back tonight with the usual pre and post game stuff.