As exciting as recent off pitch events have been, nothing beats having the Arsenal back on the pitch again. Our opponents today will be our London chums Watford at Vicarage road, it kinda feels like a tricky fixture to me, or is that the usual pre match nerves. Probably a healthy dose of both.
Chelsea had to come from behind to take all three points, and that included the usual Diego Costa controversy, so it won't be easy at all. We beat them 3-0 away last season if memory serves but the game was certainly no walk in the park. We had to keep resolute, defend well and as the game entered the final stages our quality told.
I can’t help but feel that another performance like that will be needed for us to take anything from Watford today. At Leicester last weekend we defended very well for the most part, we will have to have the same focus from the whole team. Still get flash backs of Theo Walcott sprinting back, barging into the opposition and coming away with the ball. That was nice Theo, more of that please guv.
We are going to have to produce more in the attacking areas of the pitch compared to last week. I expect Alexis Sanchez to continue at centre forward, unless Arsene decides to switch Theo and Alexis around. Pre match Arsene said that Giroud is still not there physically which leads me to believe that he will be kept on the bench, unless of course that was a cheeky curve ball for the Watford manager to swallow but I doubt it.
You know what I am excited about? Watching Mesut Özil and Granit Xhaka combine for the first time. If ever a deep lying midfielder and number 10 were suited, it was these two guys. Xhaka is great at finding his team mates between the lines in advanced positions while Özil is the master of finding spaces in those areas. I hope to see those two combine often this afternoon.
As long as we have sufficient movement ahead of those guys from Alexis and Walcott then I think we will create chances today. Adrian Clarke showed on the breakdown that Arsenal lacked movement last time round, let’s hope that will be corrected this time. We need to find that difficult balance between defending as a team and still having enough players forward to cause Watford multiple problems over 90 minutes.
I hope we see Mohamed Elneny in midfield in place of Francis Coquelin today. We will have plenty of the ball and will be tasked with breaking Watford down so I hope we use Elneny’s superior distribution in the middle of the pitch. I would say Santi but I don’t see him starting in the engine room away from home, although it would be quite fun wouldn’t it? even if it would lack a bit of legs and running. But look at his smile, how can you leave that smile on the bench, it doesn't seem right.
Mean Lean’s Predicted Line Up:
One point from the first two games is not a good start, there is no way around that so coming away with our first three points of the season is very important even if it won’t be an easy task. What this club needs again is good feeling flowing throughout the club and not folk hurrying to take out folded bits of a4 paper at every opportunity .
Victory followed up with the two imminent signings would go down a treat and hopefully narrow the divide between the club and a section of our fans.
It could be a big day for Rob Holding coming up against £30m+ man Troy Deeney, well that is what Leicester City bid for him earlier on in the season didn’t they? What a crazy world we live in. Deeney is very powerful and works very hard for his team so I expect him to be pulling towards our young centre back as often as he can, so maybe that is a good reason why Coquelin could be kept in the team, I dunno. Holding needs to have a big game today, hopefully his performance last week has given him the confidence to take them all on.
Chelsea face Burnley, Manchester United play at Hull City while Manchester City host West Ham at home on Monday so we really need to grab some points today. That’s points plural.
Let’s hope so.