Arsenal vs Manchester United
Thats 8:45 pm Nigerian time.
Listen, let’s not get carried away by the Liverpool result
We’ve strolled pretty comfortably past most opposition throughout this season.
Our weaker performances have come against the top 5 teams + Manchester United. We lost to Man city and Man Utd, drew with Chelsea and Everton, won one and lost one against Liverpool, and beat spurs.
Aston Villa is in fact the only team outside the top 5 that has beaten us, and we all know that was a freak result.
One thing is peculiar about Arsenal this season though, and thats our bounce-back-ability.
We’ve always responded well after a defeat.
In fact, we went on a nine match unbeaten run after that AstonVilla result, winning 8 and drawing one game against Westbrom.
Then came the visit to old trafford where we were defeated by a narrow 1-0.
We bounced back immediately though winning 3 of our next 4 games.
Then there was the accident at Manchester City, and then Chelsea parked the bus. But that again was followed by a 7 match unbeaten streak, before Liverpool happened.
When you look at it like this, we haven’t done badly. I know people are scared because of the margin and manner of the Liverpool defeat. They made us look so poor, but if we were that bad, we simply would not be where we are in the table right now, with a superb chance to go first if we beat Manchester tonight.
And If that opportunity, and the fact that the red devils are an old ghost that should finally be put to rest is not enough to get the players fired up, then I wonder what in the world will.
There’s been a lot of talk of Ozil not starting tonight, but I don’t see how that is a solution. He’s been singled out because we all expect him to be the best on every pitch every day, but the truth is that the whole team was poor against the reds.
His form is suffering but I think he’d be better off playing through it than punished.
I personally don’t like his body language, but for some to suggest that he doesn’t love the club enough, and deliberately not giving his best, is childish and premature.
Give him one season to adapt is my verdict; Mesut Ozil will come good.
Gibbs should start ahead of Monreal and I would love to see the Ox back in midfield with Rosicky starting on the right. That means Wilshere should settle for a place on the bench.
Preferred starting line up
Sagna. Mertesacker. Koscielny. Gibbs.
Ozil. Rosicky. Cazorla.
Wenger said that he doesn’t regret not buying in January, but I know and I think he knows it deep down that we are a world class team, that is simply short of a world class striker, and i think we can be invincible again if we could get one.
Just imagine this exact squad with a Thierry Henry. Savor the thought for a second. Relish it. Close your eyes and visualize it.
Ozil let’s Henry loose on the left flank, dribbles past Walker, Dawson and Vertonghen collide, spots the run of Ramsey. What a sublime lay-off into the Welsh man’s path and….. He just cannot stop scoring at the moment.
Okay, snap back to reality. Perhaps Wenger will come good this summer, but for now, we’ll have to deal with this with the players we’ve got, and I still think winning the premier league is not beyond them.
Let’s just bounce back with a morale boosting performance against Man Utd, and I’m certain, the Liverpool result will be forgotten.
BOUNCE-BACK-ABILITY all the way.