No long talk, let’s get down to it.
Get On From the First
For five minutes on Wednesday, we actually had good reason to expect all the pre-match expectations of an ‘easy’ victory come to pass. All that verve did not last beyond the opening stages and the result at the end was a consequence of that drop. It will even be required more now against a Premier League side who play with a higher tempo. Sluggishness won’t get the Gunners any result on Sunday as the Everton defence, though not the greatest in the League, will be sturdy enough to break down. It absolutely has to be gong-ho, from Andre Marriner’s first whistle blow.
Midfield must be solid
Roberto Martinez deployed a formidable trio of Gibson, McCarthy and Gareth Barry in the second leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday and they seemed to work so well that he may actually choose to retain them. Barry is good at shielding but can still distribute superbly even at 33, while the other two will be the designated hatchet men. For Wenger, there just cannot be no passengers in the midfield as the Gunners will effectively get out-played and out-muscled. It could mean getting someone sturdier to sit with Coquelin while Cazorla takes charge ahead of them.
How about some actual width?
Arsenal have a set of thrilling attacking players who, on their day, can slalom through any defence in the world with trickery but never are the Gunners more devastating as when conducting a sprint relay from the wings. Think back to Pires and Ljunberg flying from both sides to connect with Bergkamp and Henry through the aisle. With the talents of Walcott and the Ox, both more natural in wing play than Danny Welbeck, Coleman and Baines should have enough to keep them busy, taking advantage of their inclinations to bomb forward.
How about some ‘rational’ defending?
And if the wingers do their jobs in attack properly, there then may be no need to have to see the full backs lose their defensive identities trying to keep up with the so-called attacking mindset of the ‘modern full-back’. Chambers and Monreal are more conservative than Gibbs and Bellerin and against the threat of Everton’s full-backs, it may be worthwhile to have them mind their primary roles.
Get Alexis more in the game
He has not exactly “gone off the boil” but Alexis needs a goal to bring his levels back up. His hard work has continually been impressive but a good reason to jump and pump his fists will see him return to his menacing dashing best.
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