The one game no Arsenal fan wants to lose, the one game spurs fans have forgotten what it feels like to win. Wenger will want to keep that sequence going, while taking one step closer to a place in the top four and the day St. Totterington’s is commemorated.
- An early start
Three times have Arsenal scored in the first ten minutes over the course of the last four games and just how that will be if it were to happen again in this game. We saw how Rosicky’s goal helped the team settle in very quickly into this fixture last year and even if it will be quite unsightly to see Wenger’s team have to soak pressure for 80 minutes, an early goal always gives you the psychological edge to scare your rivals into abandoning any initial plans they had for the game.
- Dancing to Santi’s beats
Alexis will again be missing for the second game in a row but it wouldn’t bother most Arsenal fans much now as they know he is just one other talented player in a squad packed with great potential. Even in his presence, Santi Cazorla had been the chief architect of the team and we do not expect anything to change at Spurs, only that both his teammates and opponents will now take him more seriously when he is on the ball. More of Walcott darting into space and Santi dancing towards him, the music won’t stop for the gooners even after the Referee ends it.
- Giroud over Welbeck
He will never be like Henry or Bergkamp but except for those who truly understand the game, Giroud’s value in this team will remain wrongly understated. Welbeck offers mobility and pace and all that but the escape route from pressure that comes with playing with a big target man will continue to see the Frenchman as favourite until Welbz adds more of that bulk to his collection. His hold play freed up Ozil in the last game against Villa,that was after he had given a good assist to Rosicky at Brighton. And he has 6 goals in his last 7 games, and he scored the winning goal in this League derby the last time he started; what more could you ask for?
- As it was in the City
But even if Rosicky does not rock one up into the top corner after 72 seconds this time, it may be required that Wenger yields to his players replicating that template from the game against City. The fact of this being a local derby may make it an un-derby-like thing to do. But it’s more about the points than how you get them and seating in for the first 20 minutes should be a good way to go against Spurs in their own ground. They do not have anything close to the same level of threat City can pose, even with Harry Kane and Eriksen in full gear. But then…
- Eriksen is some freak that will take some killing
You have to say he was the best bit of business Daniel Levy did with that entire Bale-out fund. He has managed to score free-kicks in nearly every game he has played this season and it is hard to think of any other player who has had as much conversion success as he in the last five years in the Premier League. Which would imply that Mertesacker will have to caution his mates on not being too rash in the areas around the box. Not only has the Dane been bending in dead balls for fun but he’s been fizzing lose balls from the edge of the box quite well. It will be Coquelin’s biggest test yet, one which will see him jump through Schneiderlin and Matic straight to The ‘Vieiral’ Realm if he passes it. Don’t you think.
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