Ramsey & Giroud Cloud Arsène’s Sunday Thoughts

You have to laugh at Tottenham’s woes; you really do. “First night nerves every one night stand” declared in the aptly titled What A Waste. Their Wembley experience is indeed a waste with Thursday Night Football beckoning for them once again.

The Champions League has a curious look to it at the moment. Teams expected to finish second – us included – lead the groups whilst the top seeds are in their wake. None is certain of their fates yet and with most of the top two set to play each other again, it’s too early to declare finishing second in the group might be the best course of action.

But it does look that way at the moment.

It would be just our luck to finish top and then face one of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus – although I’d fancy our chances against the latter – whilst someone like City and even dare I say it, Spurs, face Napoli and Monaco. In those circumstances, you wouldn’t argue with the notion that we either do it the hard way or Arsène kicked the neighbour’s black cat in a fit of piqué and is paying the price.

There’s something more important immediately on the horizon. The north London Derby on Sunday: high noon. I haven’t seen any trailers for it but surely one of the two managers has been cast in the Gary Cooper role? Probably Pochettino because he is flavour of the month. Certainly with FIFA or whoever decides the candidates for ‘Coach of the Year’. Mourinho ought to win it because he parks the bus everywhere he goes.

Arsène may have some choices to make for the game. The defence picks itself, even when injuries strike. Both full back positions have clearly defined first choice and back up players, the central defence has a clearly defined pecking order as well.

Midfield is the area. It’s no secret that most of us believe we’ve missed Santi Cazorla the past few weeks, even if the results haven’t borne that out necessarily. However, the home game against Middlesbrough gave the best indicator of what might be expected this weekend with Tottenham in Arsenal’s faces from the kick-off. I’d like to think they would play as badly as they did last night but honestly, I can’t see it happening. Then again, they are on a run of six without a win.

There are two questions to answer. Who plays on the right and which of Alexis or Olivier Giroud leads the line. The shape and balance of the side is altered by both answers. Aaron Ramsey – Mr Marmite – has done well since returning from injury. I was surprised he started on Tuesday but having come through that test, the question for Arsène is whether Ramsey can withstand two games in five days?

The answer in that sense is probably yes. Which then brings the question of Giroud or Sanchez ‘up top’ as football parlance would have it. Ramsey has provided two assists since returning from injury but I wonder if he is the ‘right type’ of to occupy right midfield if Alexis occupies the lead striker role?

Arguably, if he played in the central role he occupied so well for Wales in the summer, the answer is yes. Alexis pulling wide or coming deep wouldn’t be an issue with a willing runner from midfield taking his place further up the pitch. Perhaps Ramsey ought to play alongside Coquelin in the centre if Cazorla isn’t fit.

Of course, freedom to roam is there in the Arsenal formation so there’s nothing quite so rigid as running in straight lines up and down the pitch. However, if you look at the way Chelsea were taken apart, a pacey wide player might be the answer.

It’s a headache Arsène wants to have. Good players in every position but at the moment, you have to think Ramsey isn’t an automatic choice. Which is good, keeping players on their toes, etc.

The other consideration in this is who leads the line. Sunday may see Olivier Giroud occupy that role with Arsène choosing to leave Alexis on the left to temper Walker’s surging runs down the Tottenham right. He was their best attacker last night and a defensive liability; Alexis could have a field day if Walker is as poor again this weekend. It puts doubts into their minds.

Giroud is refocused as well. This Giroud is the good Giroud, we just don’t know how long it will last. Three games, four? None? There is a barren run coming, it’s impossible to say when but at the moment, he is motivated and as Arsène said previously, the opposition might dictate his choices. Dier and Vertonghen were all over the shop last night so a physical battle with the French international could be the best bet.

It’s too early to call yet but Ramsey and Alexis on the flanks is my opening bet for Sunday. Theo is in good form as is Ox; they both have strong cases for inclusion, especially if we want to stretch the opposition back four. Whatever the answer is, it’s been a long time since the manager’s options have been so difficult to call.

Finally, there’s a new post on Dad’s Jukebox, with Times of our Lives reaching 1980. It’s an epic…

’til Tomorrow.

63 thoughts on “Ramsey & Giroud Cloud Arsène’s Sunday Thoughts

  1. Yiannis says:

    Hi all! I see Walcot as a starter. We need his spped to keep them thinking twice before committing forward. Coquelin and Cazorla in the middle. If Cazorla not ready, then Ramsey. Alexis on the left and Giroud upfront.

  2. C says:

    Good stuff Yogi!

    With reports Theo ans Bellerin are fit, along with Nacho, then Theo starts plain and simple. Rose is an even worst defender than Walker but attacks WAY more, Theo not only is working his ass off but is a perfect winger for Sanchez at CF especially when Rose is pouring forward and Theo can stretch thrm and his finishing has been clinical.

    Dier and Vertoghen were all over the place but it was with movement not just a fight. Sanchez starts for me and the biggest decision would be Ox or Iwobi on the left. Iwobi’s been brilliant alongside Ozil, Sanchez and Theo so he starts.

  3. Jonnygunner says:

    I hope either Theo or Ox start on the right wing YW,Ramsey only gets so far then(in the main),turns and passes sideways or backwards-just like Sagan used to do in the final 2 seasons with us.
    At least Theo and Ox will give them a run for their money and put the ‘b’ Jesus’ into them.I just hope that the Spuds don’t end their shitty run at the Emirates.

  4. Jonnygunner says:

    Autocorrect spelt Sagna as Sagan ?

  5. captain senderos says:

    hope monreal is fit as there is a report from arsene wenger that gibbs has shoulder injury

  6. captain senderos says:

    and from wengers comment, his beloved son, aaron ramsey may start the match

  7. Arsetralian says:

    captain senderos,

    Hmmmm

    Lot of maybes from AW

    I have a feeling his Ramsey name check and saying how important he ‘could’ be is making him feel better for warming the bench unless Theo’s hammies really are still twanged

  8. Arsetralian says:

    It is positive though as you say YW that he really has some tough decisions which means in a tight game we have proper options on the bench

    We need to press as energetically as those Germans did knowing we have plenty of energy to come on

    With quality

    I am feeling bullish suddenly

  9. Arsetralian says:

    Who is itching to pour cold water on my enthusiasm?

  10. YW says:

    I’m selling tickets for that occasion, Arsetralian.

  11. buckagh says:

    For me Ramsey doesn’t start on Sunday I don’t think he is match fit and he needs to play his way back into the team but not on Sunday I think you are being generous giving him two assists YW one was an accident the other a safe ball into a general area but if these count as assists fair enough. An eager Giroud, and Ramsey are great options to have avaiable again.

  12. C says:

    For all of the talk about Xhaka, shouldn’t the same be applied to Giroud, sure he hasn’t seen as many reds, but we have seen him on a quite a few occasions pick up a stupid yellow and then on multiple occasions lash out at defenders and be lucky to stay on the pitch. Given the intensity and just how the Spuds players have been playing since the mid point of last season, should we worry about Giroud?

    (though admittedly he wouldn’t start in my line-up)

  13. Arsetralian says:

    YW,

    I suspect much of my excitement is being able to watch the game at 11pm live on Sunday night. That is a luxury.

  14. C says:

    Given Santi looks like the only one that won’t be available, this is the XI I would start

    Cech
    Bellerin—-Mustafi—-Kos—Nacho
    ——-Xhaka———Elneny——–
    ——————Ozil——————–
    Theo————-Sanchez———Iwobi

    I wouldn’t mind Le Coq pairing with either Xhaka or Elneny either. The thing is, with the high pressing game of the Spuds, playing Ramsey in that pivot is asking for trouble given he likes to dilly dally on the ball and he won’t have time for that. I want players there that will think quickly or be strong on the ball, thus its 2 of Xhaka/Elneny/Le Coq. Giroud doesn’t get the nod because Sanchez is simply IMHO a better overall CF and the SPuds like the big target strikers that are standing still and Dier and Vertoghen can battle them and since they play a high line know that Giroud won’t get behind them. Give me Sanchez who will work his socks off while still battling and then Theo and Iwobi with Ozil.

    Before anybody says, “Well the Spuds won’t play a high line against us”…..let me remind / tell you that its just the way they play, they played it against Citeh, Liverpool(in the PL and CC), Everton, Monaco, Leicester, Leverkusen (2x); its just the way they play and they don’t know how to play any other way.

  15. C says:

    Arsetralian,

    Don’t let anybody pour cold water on your enthusiasm, I think they are there to be had!

  16. jonnygunner says:

    C,

    Very fair summary there C
    I would put le Coq on to start as he seems to get himself all over the pitch at the mo.
    Only trouble with him is though….he knows what the NLD is all about and he got a card last time.Xhaka/Elneny it is then-pity we couldn’t have Santi-even for 45 minutes.
    I’m glad normal service is resumed with our back 4(and keeper).

  17. Pistol Fish says:

    Arsene will start both Ramsey and Giroud when fit and we will revert back to his beloved tika taka. It’s only through necessity that we have played the way we have up to this point.
    Unfortunate as its been refreshing and quite honesty the reason for my renewed interest in the team.

  18. Wailesy says:

    Thanks Yogi,

    It’s a tough crowd. The Mourinho gag was a classic! ?

    I like C’s 11.
    No way does Ramsey start, anywhere! Cazorla straight in next to Xhaka if fit.

    One thing we may all agree on here is that it may just be the best bench ever!

  19. C says:

    jonnygunner,

    I know, Santi would be magical against a team like Spuds that likes to press because he is to good with the quick pass. Its actually why I think Elneny should get the nod because he is similar in that style and his workrate is tremendous, tough decision but I think like you, its Xhaka/Elneny.

  20. Sam says:

    sounds like Santi is still not fit. Achilles tendons take their time.
    I’m still fussed that there’s no word on a new contract for him.

  21. Bill says:

    Interesting post yogi and a good preview.

    The back 4 picks itself. If Cazorla is available then he is a no brainer. If he is not available then I expect the same midfield that started on Tues with Xhaka in the box to box role.

    The forwards are the really interesting question. I am a big fan of firepower upfront and Walcott, Giroud Sanchez would give us the best possible combination. However, in the Emirates era Arsene has almost always started someone he considers to have a central midfielders skill set at one of the 2 wide forward spots which means only 2 out the 3 from Giroud Sanchez and Walcott will start. I think Sanchez is an easy first choice. I prefer Walcott over Giroud but its hard to justify leaving and in-form Giroud out of the team so I expect Giroud and Sanchez to start.

    Iwobe’s influence on the games has been fading recently and that was easily predictable based on what we have seen for the last 12 years so I expect Ramsey or Ox will start on one wing. I think the likelyhood of Ramsey and Ox having a positive influence on the game from the wing is relatively equal but IMO Ox has a much higher potential upside and I like him better so I would prefer Ox instead of Ramsey.

  22. Bill says:

    Interesting follow up on a couple of players we have used a lot of keystrokes talking about in the comment section. Joel Campbell seems to be struggling to make and impact in Portugal. He has started a couple league game earlier in the season but he apparently did not impress and he is not even getting very many minutes on the pitch now. Joel looked pretty good on his earlier loan spells and certainly deserved a chance with our first team. I still think he would make a reasonably good 24th player in our squad but unless he really starts to play better I doubt he will come back.

    Benik Afobe has not started any league games and been sub-on in 6 games usually sometime around the 85th minute. A lot of us were upset that Arsene brought in Yaya Sanogo and did not give Afobe a chance. It was easy to criticize in retrospect after watching how ineffective Yaya was but the reality is that Yaya had dominated the youth world cup so there seemed to be real upside. I think Afobe was second only to Nik Bendtner in hype as an academy level striker prospect but Arsene has seen literally hundreds of promising players and I don’t think he has made any mistakes when he lets players like that leave. I suspect Benik’s ceiling is somewhere in midtable in the championship.

  23. Bill says:

    On the other side of the coin Serge Gnabry has started reasonably well in Germany. He has 3 goals in 8 games and that would look good from any of our wing players not named Walcott or Sanchez. Iwobe has done reasonably well so far but his long term future is clearly not as a forward. IMO. However, Arsene planned on starting Iwobe in a wide forward spot which meant that Serge was not going to get any minutes and I don’t blame serge for wanting to leave and Arsene thought he was expendable. Myself, I would rather give someone like Serge who is capable of scoring more chances on the wing and move Iwobe back into the midfield depth chart where he belongs. Its early and players of Gnabry’s age can have adrenaline fueled hot starts that fade with time but he if he can push on and improve he may be the first player that Arsene has made a mistake by letting him leave.

  24. YW says:

    Bill

    Campbell will be back. If he’s cocking it up in Portugal, who will buy him? There weren’t any offers this summer.Sad to say but he’s not good enough for Arsenal.

  25. C says:

    Bill,

    Campbell isn’t fitting into the manager’s formation more than it is he is playing poorly when called upon. Mixed bag though, he has played well but then other matches he has been and shown the workrate.

  26. Bill says:

    I know that Gnabry wanted to leave and I don’t blame him because there were not really many minutes available for him. However, I wish we would have convinced him to go on loan to Germany instead of selling him. Talent evaluation in players coming thru the ranks like him is certainly not an exact science and most time players you think are really good are over rated but occasionally someone is better then you thought. Some take a little longer then you expect. We might as well be stockpiling as many players as we can like Serge on loan so we could cherry pick the ones we think might be able to help us.

  27. C says:

    Can SOMEBODY ANYBODY tell me what is with pundits and their need and desire to constantly talk Ozil and how he is apparently overrated and not World Class?

    On a positive note, the German FA has decided to give Ozil a rest during this interlull; good for them, him and Arsenal.

  28. C says:

    Bill,

    I never understood why people all of a sudden thought Gnabry was shit because he couldn’t get match time at West brom? He was coming back from literally almost a year off of futbol and was working his way back from to both form and match fitness. Its strange because prior to him getting injured he was showing his talent and then he got injured. Funny how the same thing happened to Ramsey and Jack and everybody wanted to wait but Gnabry was all of a sudden shit. He was unplayable at the Olympics and in the few matches I have seen of him in Germany, he has been a joy to watch not just in the goals he scored but his overall talent.

    There is a reason why the likes of Bayern, Dortmund and other top German clubs wanted him and why Low has spoken quite highly of him even amongst the massive amounts of quality attacking talent that he currently has at his disposal.

  29. C says:

    Not trying to sound like a asshole, but when did Gibbs hurt his shoulder, when he was falling all over himself as Ludogorets scored?

  30. Bill says:

    The fact that Arsene held Iwobe back from the summer olympics indicated that he had made up his mind that he was probably going to be starting Alex this season. Credit where its due and what we have done has been working so far but I am not a fan of Arsene’s obsession with starting a midfielder in one of the wing spots.

  31. Ras says:

    Good afternoon all. The Santi injury is a tad worrying. If you think that prior to the season before last Santi was rarely injured for any prolonged periods of time.

    Taking into account his age, the recurrence of the same injury and the time it took for this injury to heal its not a particularly good sign.

    We should revert to the formation that has served us well this season.

  32. Bill says:

    C

    We have seen literally dozens of players come thru the ranks like Gnabry. Ryo Miyaichi is the first that comes to mind. Ultimately all of them have ended up in the same place. Its way to early to say that Gnabry is going to be the player who could have made an impact. Outside of the olympics there was no reason to think Serge was any better then Joel Campbell and there were certainly not enough minutes for Joel.

    You pointed out yesterday there are a limited number of first team minutes available. If we kept every player like Gnabry who we thought had potential hanging around the first team and gave them all chances then we would have no place to play Walcott or Ox. That is why I am such a big advocate of loan spells and stockpiling.

  33. philmar says:

    Spurs are the hardest team to score against this year.
    Vertongen and Dier will best be beaten by speed and mobility especially if hit when their marauding CBs are up field. We might have a lot of space to operate in…Giroud is not the mobile man we need upfront. He doesn’t run well with the ball and he lacks the pace to get behind their CBs.
    However….the Spuds have a MASSIVE height advantage they could use to their benefit in set pieces. We may need Giroud to defend set pieces. Who will defend against the likes of Wanyama, Vertonghen, Dier, Sissoko, Dembele, Alli, Son, Lamela, Jannsen and Kane — ALL of them are 6 feet or taller!!
    We might see Olivier for that reason.

  34. Bill says:

    Chuba Akpom’s ceiling is probably going to be in the championship or may be even below but you never know what can happen. I know he is having back problems right now but I think it was poor decision to keep him sitting around when we could be stockpiling him on loan. I think that would be by far the best thing for him because he should be playing regularly.

  35. jonnygunner says:

    philmar,

    Sissoko,Dembele,Lamela and Kane won’t likely play-I think they’re injured/and/or banned

  36. C says:

    Great to see Theo, Bellerin and Nacho all training!

  37. C says:

    Bill,

    I tend to disagree, Gnabry showed a lot of promise when he was awarded that run of matches at the end of the that last season prior to his injury. I thin there is a massive difference between Ryo and Gnabry, first being how highly rated and wanted Gnabry was by all the big clubs in Germany.

    Gnabry was as highly if not more highly rated than Ox was (though I know you don’t follow the Bundesliga).

    We also can’t say there wasn’t enough mins last season for Campbell, there was but it went to a terribly out of form Theo, Ox and Ramsey.

  38. Bill says:

    I criticize Arsene for a lot of things and I think he keeps some players around to long. Nik B comes to mind. The one thing he has always been 100% spot on with is that younger players he lets go have not turned out to be someone we wished we could have back. Its early and Serge may be his first mistake but history and his record is certainly on Arsene’s side so I suspect Serge and Joel Campbell will probably have a ceiling which will be somewhere below the level needed to be an impact Arsenal player for Arsenal.

  39. Bill says:

    I don’t follow the German league but the number of players that we have rated highly has reached close to triple digits by now. Time will tell but perhaos allowing Gnabry to leave will turn to be a mistake. However, realistically with Iwobe having morphed into a forward there were not enough minutes and Campbell was expendible and Gnabry would have been lower on the pecking order then Joel. We can revisit what is happening with Serge later in the season to see if he is still playing well but the critical factor will be how he does for the next couple of seasons. Plenty of players start out really well or have a good first season but never replicate that performance.

  40. Bill says:

    C

    Perhaps the only player you could say that Arsene should have kept from the last 10 years is Carlos vela. He had a couple of really good seasons in Spain although statistically he has not played nearly as well in last couple of seasons as he did from 2011- 2014. I don’t know for sure but perhaps the problem with Vela may have been attitude and Arsene did not consider his upside worth the headache.

    Vela’s best season was 13/14 with Real Sociedad when he scored 16 goals and had 12 assists. We certainly could have used a forward like that. To correlate it with a discussion we had yesterday, in the 13/14 season Carlos played 37 league games, 7 league cup games and 8 Europa league games. Arsene rotates more then that.

  41. Bill says:

    That was 16 league goals and 12 league assists for Vela in those 37 games in 13/14. He had even more if you count all 52 appearances. I always think in terms of league goals because those are always high leverage goals and I think its easier to compare.

  42. Bill says:

    C

    I know you don’t agree with a lot of my ideas but I am really not “anti-youth”. I hope I have at least explained the logic and the thought process behind where I get my ideas about loans and stockpiling and almost everything we spend all of these keystrokes discussing. .

  43. Pistol Fish says:

    I agree Bill. Although goals in the CL could be considered high leverage goals too.
    But a player playing CL football has at least 8 more games they could play.
    Dosent add up when comparing goal returns. PL goals is a more accurate measuring stick.

  44. C says:

    Bill,

    I think there are a couple of more players that you could make the case for but Vela is certainly somebody that either should have been kept or should have been brought back since there was clearly a buy-back clause. The point is, yes some of the others have made a name for themselves and had successful careers in the lower-table and Championship or other leagues but that isn’t exclusive to Arsene.

  45. C says:

    Bill,

    I appreciate you at least giving reason as to why you have a kind of “anti-youth” policy. Keeps things entertaining

  46. YW says:

    jonny

    I bet Kane’s fit for the bench at the very least after last night!

  47. Bill says:

    C

    If you look at Wikipedia, the total number of appearances per year for Alexis are almost the same for his years at Arsenal and his years at Barca. Ozil had significantly higher appearance totals per season with Real Madrid compared with Arsenal. The idea that Arsene uses his players more then other managers does not stand up to scrutiny. I am not sure what other evidence is needed to disprove the perception. What Arsene does is comparable with managers at other big clubs. In fact I would argue that the evidence points to him being more liberal with time off especially at the start of seasons.

  48. Bill says:

    Pistol fish.

    League goals is always the easiest measuring stick to compare, IMO.

    CL goals are usually high leverage goals but there are some games in the CL that can be meaningless. I remember discussing a Podolski after he scored a brace in the last game of group stage when we had already qualified and almost all of the players in the squad were cup team. I would not consider those as high leverage goals.

  49. C says:

    Bill,

    The difference is in the winter break, other leagues have it, the PL piles up matches plain and simple. Say what you want, but while the match counts might be the same, when those matches are will be different.

  50. Bill says:

    C

    Some of us have been saying that our players really need a rest when the season is only about 1/4 over after they had a summer break which is longer then the winter break. Suggesting that winter break as a difference maker seems like a real stretch. Even if it were true then the same thing would affect every team in the PL. The critical thing is the number of games and minutes played per season and there is no evidence that our players are not over used compared to the other teams in England and Europe. The holiday period fixture list is crowded which is why managers usually do not use the same players for all of the games in the holiday peroid. The fact that England does crowd a bunch of games around Christmas means the other leagues have to crowd in more games into the rest of the year. I think you have been saying it for so long that you are emotionally attached to your belief that Arsene rotates less then other managers. 😉

  51. philmar says:

    Any ACLF’ers in India?
    I’ll be in Jaipur the day of the NLD and would appreciate any info on what channel/satellite network I’d need to see the game.

  52. Colts says:

    Depth huh, who would have thought it would have so many benefits. One of the disadvantages of this team has been the predictability, teams could drill well in advance knowing how we would set up.
    Well, the dawn is brand spankers isn’t it, selection headache for Wenger and poch.

    I’d start Moe and Theo/Chamberlain, Alexis up top. And please God no dembele, that dude on form is no joke.

  53. santori says:

    The good GIroud that scored 23+ goals last season and came in to rescue us against USnderland when we were struggling to find a winner. The good GIroud that scored 3 goals in last two games.

    Why won’t you start him?

    There are no “Plan Bs'” as Wenger mentioned today on the main site, as I have said all along.

    Why limit yourself?

    We can play Giroud only up top. OR We can play Alexis up top or we can play BOTH. They are all options and good ones.

    We have Giroud come in and scoring. We have Ramsey still showing ring rust but exhibiting clear function with two assists in as many games. We have Granit back in scoring and providing passes from deep, something necessary if Santi is not 100% ready.

    NO one not even Ozil is guaranteed a start save many Kostafi and Bellerin.

    Ramsey’s best position is Ozil’s, attacking the box but the German is weighing in with goals a plenty prefering to assist directly into net this season.

    BUT the thinking that Ramsey even at Rwing is going to cull us of pace is a wrong one.

    We lacked pace against Ludogorets last game not because GIroud was up top or Ramsey was playing but because usually, we have Bellerin to provide the width (with Mustafo covering him)

    Jenkinson is a technically limited player. Against Ludogerets, we had a double whammy with Ramsey (who none-the-less provided the assist from the wide position). HIs passing was poor but wil get better with match sharpness.

    There is no reason to feel Ramsey (or any other option) will function better or worse out wide because Bellerin provides the license for Ramsey to tuck in field to do damage there.

    This is the case with Walcott who has now come to realise that playing up top is not a necessity to plunder goals.

    After all, Alexis plundered a haul of goals some 2 seasons ago from the left.

    So why can’t we benefit from Giroud up top and Alexis still afforded license to roam out left or centrally (as he does) since MOnreal or GIbbs will be pushing up to provide the width on opposite flank to Bellerin.

    Effectively we are playing a 3-1-4-2 when entrenched assaulting enemy lines.

    Granit (or Coquelin or Santi) drops to assist the Cbacks as the fullbacks push up in support of the wingers allowing them to also tuck in field through channels. The link player also pushes forward with Ozil and Alexis is roaming either with Giroud up top or wherever he pleases.

    Its a flexible system that lets us press higher. When defending,we morph back to a 4-4-1-1

    To say that we can only play with Alexis up top as our first option is ludicrous and limting in thought, the same sort of unimaginative thinking that said Wenger was wrong to be trying to play Alexis as CF start of season in the first place.

    Plus GIroud is very efficient in movement which makes up for his poorer mobility. He also tends to be more in and around the box where Alexis may sometimes go missing in other parts of the field which negates us of the presence to finish off in the box or accept more direct crosses into the box.

    There are obvious benefits and disadvantage.

    That said, I think much of the deliberation this weekend will first and foremost surround injury/fitness issues.

    Walcott, Santi, Monreal, Ox and Iwobi have all had decent rest through mid week and will be good fresh legs to come on.

    If Bellerin passes fitness test, he is a must. Jenkinson to me lacks technicality where I felt Calum would have provided us more.

    Otherwise Iwobi or Ox look solid choices to provide energy on one side. Should Walcott be also ready, then we may elect to put Alexis up top first and switch to Alexis wide with Giroud up front later on.

    Either way, the advantages of this current squad is clear in its options.

    All are Plan A options and the great thing is even these so called ‘peripheral’ players (in the limited thinking of some people) are firing.

    That’s got to be a good thing.:D

  54. Aaron says:

    Want to see back 4 again- which was on a run!

    Do not want to see Sanchez and Giroud together.

    Would like to see pace on the right to counter ringam’s press.

    Santi got hacked on the achilles, and young or old is no easy recovery. I remember Kos being injured their and having serious doubts about his career at Arsenal.

    Either Santi or Xhaka for me to split the lines on long passes, if not Elneny to keep the D tight.

    Have a feeling it will be a tight game-meaning no errors allowed.

    This will be an exciting derby especially if Arsenal can push the spuds further on down the line!

  55. SSW says:

    Philmar , I don’t live in India now but I believe it will be shown on Star Sports Select HD 1 at 5:30 pm Indian Standard Time . I’m not sure if they will be showing it on the non HD channels Star Sports channels. If they are it might be on Star Sports 4.

  56. GMan says:

    philmar,

    The match will be on Star Sports Select HD. Have a nice time in India. 🙂

  57. captain senderos says:

    jose mourinho deserve to be sacked, after spending hefty sum , his team is still bereft of ideas, what a pathetic fellow

  58. Shashi_U says:

    philmar,

    Hi – you have to watch it on Star Select 1 HD or Star Select 2 HD. You might have to go to a bar in one of the more premium hotels to catch the game (but they are reasonable and they’ll let you watch it for a beer which isn’t very expensive in India).

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