- Finding the balance
Gooners are currently high on negative emotions and some have really been nothing but crass in their assessment of Wenger as a clueless tactician. The fact remains that only Sir Alex Ferguson has managed more League titles than Wenger in England and you don’t get that far if you’re don’t have a clue on what to do with your players. That said, the progression of football all through decades demands adjustments to the modern tune. In times past, Wenger was a pace setter with tactics but maybe he may need to brush up, especially as he’s tried and not succeeded this season to pull all of his stars in one game. Jack Wilshere’s unavailability means Wenger will have one less attacking player to worry about, meaning we could actually play with more balance today.
- Chambers to the center
It would have been less about not fully trusting Hector Bellerin but about seeing Monreal’s full capability as a center back. And the reality has become obvious: he is NOT. And that means Calum Chambers should be played in his most preferred position tomorrow, while his fellow 19 year old is deployed to man the right back role. Chambers could be the Koscielny pro tempore to give Mertesacker the partnership he’s missed in the Frenchman’s absence.
- Careful passing
Mertesacker complained about the team’s struggle to get going with our usual rhythm in terms of possession and passes, with particular reference to carelessness in giving the ball away at crucial positions. The defence has been much criticized for not being tuned on during key moments of the game but the blame will go to the midfielders who have been most guilty of letting go of the ball. This ill effect has not been helped by the absence of a real holding midfielder in the team. while Flamini has the toughness to fly into tackles, he obviously isn’t the greatest technical man in the dressing room. Arteta will most likely replace him in front of the back four but given the captain’s age and declining speed, even his usually calm repertoire has come to be insufficient. Wenger must put Ramsey in a role beside him else will get punished and pummeled.
- Two strikers?
Are we sometimes too easy to read and predict? You could bet that Gus Poyet has a pretty good idea about how he will line up tomorrow and so would have his plans in place to disrupt our game. We must begin to spring surprises on every Matchday and playing two men up top will be quite a shock even to gooners. There’s a possibility of Welbeck and Podolski to play together with support from Alexis and Chamberlain on the wings. We seemed to lack variety of options in our attacks in recent games and the two could be made to combine to their strengths, Poldi the one closest to the post.
- Score and keep scoring
Southampton has set the standard for playing Sunderland and though we won’t expect to hit 8, we should take our chances as they come without being wasteful. It’d be nice for Vergini to start it for us, but then we must take what we get or rue it.
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