Sunday, 16 October 2011

Arsenal vs Sunderland Preview

Morning all,

Another pre-match rendition from the one, the only, the GoonerVerse. Is it me or am I the only one that has wanted an introduction like that before. Doesn’t feel quite the same when you do it for yourself but I fear it is the only time I will get such an introduction.

We go into today’s match following a much welcomed breather according to monsieur Wenger. Whilst I could do without the shitty international break I am sure there may be some truth to the statement. Everything we have touched, whether good or bad has been analysed to death by the media and even wins are scrutinised beyond belief. The pressure on the players is intense and this break is actually that for them, a break. And for once, it is a break because nobody has come back in worse shape.

In fact for today’s game we see the return of the deadly Squilaci! Now we can really get our season started… Really though, we have some players returning and are only missing Sagna, Wilshire, Vermaelan and Diaby. Seems immeasurably shorter then the last few times I have done that but the bad thing about it is, is both Sagna and Wilshire are very long term and the latter two, despite being fit soon can be expected back on the treatment table if their poor luck continues. However we have a much fuller squad to choose from and with the exception of right back we are looking in better shape around the park in general.

It seems clear from Wenger’s comments that Jenkinson will be given the opportunity to fill in at right back and fair play, that is what he was bought for. I just find it interesting that the poor lad has got his critics already as he was no worse than anyone in the games he played and the general consensus at the start of the season was that he looked the part. Of course he is still raw and was unfairly thrust into action so anyone in that situation is going to make mistakes. Aside from the united match though he was generally decent and was in a side that played some difficult ties, but then was there anyone apart from Walcott that came out of the united game with any credit?

Anyway I hope we get behind the lad today as it must be difficult enough for him. Aside from Jenkinson there is one other selection dilemma for le boss. Just in front of Jenkinson where it is either Walcott or Chamberlain. While I think a lot of people are jumping the gun on our forward, strange because it has never happened before, I do think there is something a little special about the lad already. He is already pushing Walcott at this young age which is only a reflection on how well he is doing already.

There is a lot of talk of whether Walcott should make the move up front and I wonder if we could revert to four-four-two to see how that works as it would be interesting to see Walcott plays up top, but clearly he is never going to get ahead of Van Persie. A team at the moment of Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscienly, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Chamberlain, Song, Arteta/Ramsey, Gervinho, Van Persie and Walcott could work well but of course there is not much scope for experimentation. I know we would be reluctant to lose a body from the midfield but with Van Persie in a withdrawn forward role, and Walcott using his blistering pace to split defences open could we be looking at a system more akin to that of the invincibles, then now. I know that people will say that football has changed and that there is the need for the extra body to dictate the game, that is something that is not happening at the moment anyway so why not try something a little different. Also United have reverted back to four-four-two so there is evidence it still works. When fully fit that formation looks even stronger and has the potential to maybe work. Teams would not want to attack us as they are now as Walcott on the shoulders of any defenders will cause problems. This would also prevent us from being so frustrated with him, well at least in theory.

Well enough of football manager, need to wait another week or so for that so in the meantime I shall just deal with reality. I expect Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscienly, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie. I doubt Chamberlain will start but I am sure he will come on.

I do expect us to win today and I have a confident feeling today for some strange reason but this fixture has been fairly tricky in recent history, so I will take any victory we get.

Enjoy today and the rest of your weekend gooners! Speak tomorrow!


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