A Tale Of Two Teams
Arsenal enter late-January fully aware that they cannot afford to drop silly points if they are to win the Premier league. Now we cannot blame others for the busy schedule we have formulated for ourselves, so the best thing to do is to get on with it. Congestion of fixtures has always been something many managers do not like, and well, AW is no different.
On Wednesday the club takes on Leeds away, and anything less than a win will see us knocked out of the FA Cup. The boss has already stated that he wishes to go for all 4 trophies this season, so expect an open game at Elland Road :
“I will go for it, but we will have to rotate.
“Our success depends on the way the whole squad can focus on the different competitions. I believe we have the quality to qualify no matter what I do on Wednesday. It’s just how much we are able to focus on the competition.
“The timing is not the best but it is down to us because we could have beaten Leeds at home. We didn’t manage to do that but now there’s no reason why we should give up.
“I will prepare [for] this game to win it then we will see. It is important we go there with a positive attitude.”
Now AW has mentioned that he will rotate, so the only thing left to be seen is whether the new players coming in for their respective matches can perform. Common sense tells us that quality wise we are much superior to Leeds, but whether or not our players can put in a performance that night is most crucial and in all probability decide the tie. Want an eg. Take a look at the home leg against Leeds at home.
3 days after Leeds its Wigan at the Emirates. Now usually I would not worry a lot for this tie, but since we are going to play 2 games in about 4 days, the fatigue factor does come into play. Now when the boss says rotating the squad I do not expect 2-4 changes, but rather 2 different teams. Its going to be something like manager mode in Fifa 11. The keepers shall remain the same as Fabianski is out injured.
As for the defense, the centre backs ‘may’ change, but the fullbacks will definitely switch. Eboue-Gibbs and Sagna-Clichy. Moving into the attacking department, here is what I think the boss should do. Its obvious that RVP is playing well so I’d play RVP specifically in a 4-5-1 formation whereas Chamakh and Nikko can play under the 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-3 style. Now if it’s a 4-5-1 formation with RVP up front, then I’d go for the same team we played against West Ham. Theo, Cesc, Nasri, Jack & Song. BUT, if Nikko and Chamakh play I guess it shall be:
Now the reason for this is because both strikers can head, both players on the wing can float in crosses. As for the midfield, incase we are playing the formation you see above, I would play Rosicky and Denilson behind the 2 wingers. The formation can alternate between a 4-2-3-1, or a 4-4-1-1, with Rosicky playing the Schweinsteiger role [ the one he played in with this national team]. TR7 is a superb passer of the ball and numerous times this season have I seen him split defenses with his long-balls. Ex. For Arshavin against Blackpool. Moreover, lying a little deep would not only give him the long-ball option, but also the freedom to come up occasionally.
If not i.e if the boss does not use the above formation [fig 1.], then adjustments can be made via Ramsey coming in, but in this case either Nikko or Chamakh shall have to sit. I will not comment on Denilson, and don’t ask me why!
It is indeed a crunch time for Arsenal. We play Leeds on the 19th, then Wigan on the 22nd, Ipswich arrive 3 days later and 5 days later (provided we go through Leeds) its Huddersfield at home (30th January). 2 days later we play Everton at home, and on the 5th its the Toon away.
A mark of Champions is not only to get past obstacles like this but also not being complacent. Consistency is the key for success this season, and AW is fully aware of it. We really performed against West Ham, and it is that performance which we require more often.
Show us what you’ve got ARSENAL, WE-ARE-WAITING….
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