20th September 2015: Assessing our start and Spurs selection
Evening all. As the dust settles on round six of the Premier League season, I guess we can say it hasn’t been a bad start. Especially when you consider that had we not been victims of inexplicably bad officiating, and the aggressor rather than the reactor had been sent off yesterday, we’d very likely be joint second in the table right now and just two points behind leaders Manchester City.
As it stands though, we’re fifth in the rankings, five points off the summit and head to White Hart Lane on Wednesday for a Capital One Cup game which could either provide the perfect platform for us to get back on track, or compound yesterday’s heartache, giving people the proof they’ve been waiting for that our players are sh*t, the manager’s past it and Jurgen Klopp must be parachuted in immediately.
Personally, I’m not sure I’m too concerned about Wednesday’s game. I mean, of course I always want Arsenal to win and especially against Tottenham but I’d far rather a win next Saturday in the league given a choice and if resting players in midweek will help us to beat the Foxes then that’s what I’d do.
Yet our squad, which looked bursting with options in pre-season, is suddenly looking rather bare following a swathe of out-going loans, injuries to Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and now Francis Coquelin and suspensions for Gabriel and Santi Cazorla, so Arsene doesn’t actually have much room for manoeuvre when rotating.
With Coquelin worryingly rumoured to be out for a month in the French press, and Cazorla suspended, perhaps the game against Spurs would be an ideal time to reunite Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey in central midfield, after the duo enjoyed such a stellar campaign as a combo a couple of seasons ago.
That would give the pair a chance to rekindle their partnership ahead of more important games and also make room for one of Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain get a run of games on the right of the attack.
A lot will depend on the recovery of individual players of course, and the fact we had to play the whole second half with at least one less man than our opponents yesterday means the players will have exerted even more energy than usual. In fact, after Croatia, that’s twice in four days we’ve played with a numerical deficit for a large chunk of the game and so I’m guessing there will be at least a couple of players in urgent need of a breather.
Arsene was asked after the game yesterday about ‘putting things right’ against Tottenham and although I’d have said something like “we don’t need to put things right you tw*ts, we were playing just fine thank you, until that bald, attention-seeking joke of a referee ruined the game’, the boss himself, said:
Yes, we try but it’s the League Cup. We play on Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday and we have to see how we recover and how we go from there.
Meanwhile, Petr Cech picked out what he thought were positives from our defeat at his old club and said that we need to keep going as it’s still very early in the season:
I would say that a positive thing was that we made it difficult for them when we went down to 10, and then down to nine. We had a few half chances, so we didn’t make it easy for them in the last 15 minutes when we started to push a little bit more. The second red card then came and that was what they needed. You have to pick yourselves up and continue. That’s the only thing you can do because you don’t win or lose the league after five games. You need to carry on until the last minute of the campaign. Obviously we need to keep going.
After losing the match in that manner, having a vital player like Coquelin injured and picking up suspensions for two other players, the only way I’ll view that game as having anything positive come from it, is if Mike Dean is relieved of his role for the rest of the season and Diego Costa is retrospectively banned for five years. The c*nts.
See you next week.