Defence and Attack: Decisions to be Made

It’s a clear run through to the weekend, football-wise. Petr Cech’s injury is clearing faster than previously thought and he may be available. Is that a good thing? Neither he or Ospina inspires confidence. Dave, however, has a good Wembley record. Maybe we need to tell the players the NLD is an FA Cup final or something?

The questions over team selection vex minds already. Defensively, we are a shambles away from home irrespective of formation employed. Wenger made no secret that he disliked a back three and ditched it for a back four. That worked.

So will he go to a back three for this one? Possibly; he has the personnel, even if playing in a back three robs him of Nacho Monreal’s attacking prowess. Are we any more reliable defensively with a back three? Absolutely not. We’re a ramshackle defensive side at best with just one solid defensive performance to our name: Chelsea in the Premier League.

The Carabao Cup semi-final ended with the same result but we were undone easily, grateful that Morata couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo. The goalless draw in the first leg lured us into thinking the defence was working, only for the cruel joke to be revealed at Bournemouth.

The irony would be if we keep a clean sheet with Dave in goal; the 200th may prove elusive until the end of his career. Is it possible he will never achieve that record with Arsenal?

At the weekend, it was suggested he stayed on the pitch because he wanted to break the chains which hold the millstone around his neck and I wonder if there’s an element of self-induced psychological pressure over the record? Is Cech ‘trying too hard’ to make it happen, becoming too nervous?

I Believe

That would surprise me but so do the repeated mistakes from the defence, so really it doesn’t surprise me because I half expect it.

Another expectation is that Alexandre Lacazette won’t start. After weeks of keeping faith with the France international, he scores and finds himself dropped. Well, maybe it was down to form or was it was easier for Wenger to give Aubameyang a home debut rather than starting his first game in the NLD?

Whatever the case, the claim we’re going to line-up with a two-man frontline doesn’t stack up with the personnel we currently have. We’re built for a single striker and for whatever reason, Wenger doesn’t think Lacazette is going to cut the mustard. That was evident from Saturday’s post-match comments about it being a competitive world. From hero to zero in under 30 appearances.

This after he had ended his goal drought against Palace as well. £52m and on the bench; not quite how he thought it would turn out when he left Lyon last summer. Maybe Arsène is right and Lacazette needs a more competitive environment to bring out the best in him. That’s a damning indictment of Arsenal that we can’t inspire a then-record signing to go and prove his worth in a World Cup season.

You have to say that the reaction of Wenger is unusual. Maybe he’s seen something in training which warrants the kick being administered to Lacazette’s postérieur although signing another striker is definitely tough love by anyone’s standards.

Ian Wright claimed Arsène had destroyed Lacazette’s confidence by continually substituting him on 70 minutes. There were times when you could see the player’s frustration and maybe Wright is right in his assessment. Maybe Lacazette is shot; that’s a mess of Wenger’s making which he must resolve.

I Want to Believe

Aubameyang is more of the type of striker we need on Saturday, that’s for sure. It allows us to play on the counter-attack and equally keeps Tottenham occupied defensively. The thoughts, I’m sure, are going through both manager’s minds.

It says a lot that even after a 5 – 1 win, we can’t decide what is the best line-up for Arsenal to field in the derby. There was never that debate in years gone by. Yes, winning the title made decisions easier to reach but nonetheless, should it be this hard to know which XI he will field?

Well, there is a case for ‘keeping ’em guessing’ and leaving Tottenham to wonder how we’ll approach the game. Except when I think of that possibility, I always wonder if we know ourselves. The doubts in my mind are formed by the poor performances away from home this season so the players must be thinking the same. It’s the only explanation why we habitually repeat the same mistakes.

Maybe Saturday is a new beginning. Maybe; it’s the hope which kills you…

’til Tomorrow.

65 thoughts on “Defence and Attack: Decisions to be Made

  1. Morning YW….I had the very thought you put in your blog this morning,regarding big Pete’s elusive record…..he may not achieve it with us.

  2. A continué —

    Salut, Ras,

    As-tu dit @ 8:05 pm, hier soir, “oú-est-il, Henry? Je suis là, mon ami. Tu vas bien? 😀

  3. With regard the front formation-it’s nice to know that at least now we have alternatives/options for a quite devastating attacking line up,we couldn’t have said that some weeks back.I also think we should play a back 4….but keeping them as a 4,not the two wing backs bombing forward,but defending.
    Now we have Miki and PEA I don’t feel we have to risk our left and right backs being caught out of position(frequently)to put any more pressure on our two centre backs.I think the Tiny Totts will have enough on their plate with our midfield/forwards,but I really,really,really(enough reallies ?)hope he doesn’t play Xhaka.If he does I can see him doing something completely stupid(as he does in nearly every game)but possibly getting red carded-his temperament is that of a kid who can’t have sweets.Elneny for me.

  4. I do not think that Cech is trying too hard to ‘achieve’ a personal milestone for clean sheets, but there are two ancillary matters that are necessary to make sure that happens.

    First, he needs a decent and consistent defence to shut out the Spuds strikers, and secondly, he needs to be at his best when Kane or whoever get past the defence, as they will do on occasion.

    The Problem for Cech is that our defence can, in away games, play as if all their bootlaces are tied to each others boots; Kane is unfortunately one of the best strikers in the business; and Cech himself is way past his best, sadly, and anyway he should not put personal issues ahead of the team’s needs.

  5. Jonnygunner,

    Just to add to that, we should be planning to be defensively stable, as you say full backs who’s primary purpose is to defend. The Spuds are at ‘home’ so the emphasis is on them to attack, the more we stay solid the more frustrated they will become and therefore vulnerable to the counter attack. If we stick to Wenger’s mantra of we are an attacking side who view defending as an unpleasant chore then we will come unstuck. It’s these simple tactical adjustments that seem to be beyond him, or more likely it’s just that he’s too pig-headed to see the blindingly obvious.

  6. Good morning all, the Lacazette situation is very reminiscent of the Lucas Perez fiasco. For such a similar set of circumstances to follow one another tends to point to the manager’s failings rather than anything the players have done wrong.

    If Wenger can’t get the defence working, and it appears to be a task beyond him, the only alternative is to go completely gung ho in attack and hope we can out score the Spurs.

    Whoever is fit in goal, I’d prefer Macey, a back four of Bellerin, Kolasinac and perm any two from Merts/Koscielny/Chambers/Holding/Monreal/Mavropanos/Mustafi. The full backs instructed to stay back and defender. Elneny Wilshire, Ozil, Aubemayang, Lacazette, Mhkitaryan.

    I commend the idea to the house!

  7. Jonnygunner,

    You seem to have forgotten Wenger’s tactics:

    ‘not the two wing backs bombing forward, but defending’ – He said he wants to entertain so defensive wing backs aren’t part of the plan

    ‘hope he doesn’t play Xhaka’ – Nailed on starter

    ‘Elneny for me’ – A little to much handbrake for M Wenger

  8. Orson Kaert,

    I completely agree with your lineup, and if I’m chosing two CB’s it would be Mustafi and Kos.

    Elneny and Jack to sit and focus on defending and springing the quick counters by quickly getting the ball to our front 4. Then, bring Ramsey on for Jack if we are chasing the match or for Lacazette to do some running around and helping however he can defensively .

  9. What a good idea, let’s stop all this blogging nonsense, no more expressing opinions and debating ideas. We’re obviously getting beyond our station in life. We should go back to the good old days as mushroom supporters. Kept in the dark and having a regular covering of shit.

  10. There’s a photo of Luis Enrique, Chelsea’s next manager? in this morning’s Telegraph. He looks more like Roy Keane than Roy Keane does.

  11. HenryB,

    Morning my friend

    I think you bring up a good point but I also don’t think our defenders have the trust and faith in Cech either.

    If you have a quality or at least commanding GK your defenders will feel more relaxed and in return, IMHO, play better as they know they have a GK behind them they can trust. Cech, he doesn’t seem to instill that in our defenders or help them out like going and claiming a cross to help your defenders out. I know he is the best in thr PL, but De Gea seems to always help his defenders out and thus you see the likes of Smalling and Jones being half decents CB’s and playing more freely.

    I hope you got what I was trying to say.

  12. nicky,

    Sadly we are away on Saturday so the more relevant recent example is actually Swansea. So you may wish to rethink that one 😉

  13. Hi Nicky, you rascal, you have been away for a long time and I was wondering where you had gotten too.

    Your views and opinions may not be popular with some, but you have every right to say what you think.

    In my eyes you must be one of the very few nonagenarians who has mastered what is a relatively new technology, and to have learned to blog with all the others who like to chat and exchange a myriad of ideas and opinions with their fellow Gooners, so, as I assume you must have supported the Gunners for 80 odd years, you have my respect, and I am always happy to see your comments, even if I do not always agree with them? 😀

  14. Hi ya, C, at 12:23 🙂

    I understand you perfectly, and your example of De Gea and the Manure CBs is a perfect example of players being able to help each other to be better together than they are as individuals.

    You know that I, like you, would prefer to see Macey, or perhaps Martinez, getting the nod to be the #1 GK, perhaps next season, altho already there are rumours of Arsenal on the look out for a more experienced GK – and presumably very expensive – and if it is someone right at the top of the tree, I would not argue against that, but it makes me wonder why we mess up the careers of young GKs by leading them on, then shipping them out – Like happened to Chezzer.

    The reason for my views are probably similar to yours, in that Cech has been a top Keeper, but those years have slipped away, and he is no more than an average Keeper now — and that is not good enough for Arsenal.

  15. If I am a bit slow responding for a while, C, it’s because I am trying to earn some dosh, and so work is my priority at the moment.

    But I will get back a bit later — and I have missed teasing Bill !! 😀

  16. HenryB,

    Spot on comment.

    I think the biggest thing is that we chatted at the end of last season about how Cech needed to be replaced last season and with Szczesny coming back it was the perfect time but it all went to shit rather quickly and Cech being an average GK is right on it, capable of making some really good saves but also just as likely to have a ‘WTF’ moment!

    I hope Macey or Martinez gets a shot but honestly it feels like Martinez might not be coming back and I really hope Macey gets a shot even if we bring in a more experienced GK. Its actually interesting that Oblak is being rumored as the ‘more experienced’ GK given its because he got a chance NOT because he is older given that Macey is 23 years old and Oblak is 25 years old. If I was going to chase somebody, sure Oblak is an option albeit expensive, but I would see what PSG would want for Kevin Trapp who is currently their GK2 but that lad is a talented GK who only lost his spot because Areola is supposed to be the best French GK not named Lloris so naturally France’s biggest club would want him to start.

    We shall see what happens but come next season I truly hope that neither Cech or Ospina are here.

  17. Sad news for one of our loanees, Mavididi who did his left hamstring AGAIN (same one as last season) and now there are fears from Charlton (club he is on loan at) medical staff that he could be out 10 weeks.

  18. Great post yogi

    It will be interesting to see how Arsene uses Lacazette now that PEA has arrived. He is currently on pace to score 13 league goals this season and has only 1 goal in 3 months which is very reminiscent of the sort of numbers and the dry spell we would have expected from Giroud. Players have to take some responsibility for their own form. We always complain about Arsene making excuses for his own under performance but then we do the same thing for certain players. I can only speculate why Lacazette has struggled but the idea that his confidence has been destroyed because he has been substituted is a rather lame excuse. If his psyche is that weak then do we really want him as our striker?

    Lacazette has been good when given time and space and he has taken most of his good chances. His finishing prowess has not been the problem. I think the real problem is the rest of the league has figured out how to frustrate Wengerball and we do not create many high percentage chances for our strikers. Our slow tempo allows the opposing defense to set up and effectively cover the space around the penalty area which makes it difficult for goal strikers who are not very good at making space for themselves and creating their own chances. Hopefully PEA will be able to beat the odds and thrive in our striker unfriendly system.

  19. Orson @ 10:52

    “the Lacazette situation is very reminiscent of the Lucas Perez fiasco. For such a similar set of circumstances to follow one another tends to point to the manager’s failings rather than anything the players have done wrong.”

    Perez no longer plays for Arsene and has gone back to his ideal situation in Deportivo but has only score 4 goals in 19 game which his career history. I am not a fan of Arsene but blaming him for the underperformance of a career journey man who probably did not belong on a big team is off target. IMO.

  20. Over the years we have always blamed our strikers for poor finishing. Lacazette has plenty of pace and he is a good finisher when he gets space and time. Podolski was also a good finisher. I think the reason both struggled is because they don’t get enouhgh time and space to use their finishing skills effectively

  21. A good player would prove himself even in situations that don’t suit them. Lacazette should be given maybe another season or he is simply not good enough or he has failed to adjust to the English game. Falcao didnt do it at chelsea or utd i didnt see anyone blaming the managers, so i dont think Arsene is to blame

  22. I don’t understand why Lacazette and Aubameyang can’t play together; I mean why not simply replace Iwobi with Lacazette.

  23. HenryB,

    I noticed the inferral of other people’s opinions in your post Henry…my beef with Nicky is pure and simple.I think it was Aaron?…can’t be sure,last week who I’d had a ..ahem..difference of opinion with.Nicky chucked his bit into the hat by telling me my language was choice-and I had to resort to that….something along those lines anyway.
    He chose of course to side with someone whose views reflected his own-however,my difference wasn’t with Nicky-he just chose to get involved.
    I’m sorry,but as much as I respect my elders,I have limitations like everyone on here.
    All of that plus the fact I find him pretty insufferable.
    Rant over

  24. My issue is why we signed Lucas in the first place. We’d already passed on him earlier that summer so if he wasn’t good enough then, he wasn’t when he signed him.

  25. Lacazette is yet to play with Ozil and Mhki behind him, when he does so for a run, and still doesn’t score then I will be worried. Wenger just gave a debut to PEA knowing Mhki was there, and he hoped things would sort themselves out, and luckily it did. Lacazette will get his chance in the Europa league, that is 2 games to prove himself. That’s if he doesn’t get the opportunity to play in the league, while PEA’s form continues.
    Let’s not forget that the toxic situation at the beginning of the season must have affected Lacazette somehow. Coming into a new team, star player wanted to leave, midfielder wanted to leave, coach makes bizarre selections that undermine the team, coach later admits to making a mistake, this also unsettled him, not to talk of being substituted by a fancy striker lacking in qualities he has and which suits the team.
    Sanchez might have been a toxic influence in the dressing room, but what he stood for, surely must be similar to the reasons which Van Persie had in mind, when he chose to sign for Man United. Lacazette found himself coming into the club at a bad time, its not his fault, he will deliver as long as the team behind him is performing at its optimum.

  26. Bill,

    If you are going to hop onto the “need time and space” category for finishers then the last too you should make reference too are Lacazette and Podolski. One had the shortest backlift I have seen of any player and Lacazette is a finisher and his goals have varied from no time and space to a tap-in. The problem IMHO that Lacazette is going through is simply adjusting to a new league and as a CF its just not about scoring goals when it comes to adjusting contrary to what you think. Strikers have to get used to playing with different players (lets not forget that Lacazette has started a number of matches when Ramsey, Iwobi and Welbeck made up the rest of the strike force), adjusting to the speed, physicality and defenders of the PL.

    Its funny because you seem to write him off yet, lets see what happens because there are more international players that have struggled during their adjustment period into the PL then showed their class in year two than you may think. I mean you bang on about Salah ALL the time yet even in his time at Chelsea he was regularly missing chances and before this season he was always thought of as more of a creative winger who would get you 11-15 goals.

  27. I will go out on a limb and say you put Ozil, Lacazette, Mhkitaryan and Augameyang together, we will not only look a better attacking side but score goals….it might not help the defensive side but we will certainly be class in attack.

  28. Lest we forget, last summer was not the best of times. I imagine all the lies in press conferences about Sanchez, the audacity of the player to challenge Wenger’s style, Lucas Perez whining about been ripped off, Oxlade sticking to his guns and searching for a way out, the perennial Joel Campbell conundrum, the hopeless pursuit of Mbappe, the advertisement of Mustafi to Inter and his return to the first team. Not the best of times when you include the renewal of contract for the manager who’s presence causes a division in the fanbase and the team he’s supposed to manage.

  29. Podolski didnt really struggle for goals at Arsenal, he was just on a general decline as player and was limited outside the box and when team was not playing well. His sub in the FA finals to bring in Sanogo is an example

  30. The performance of a player is a product of many factors – I think it’s rather too early passing qny form of judgement on Laca, seeing how the whole team has performed this season.

    The player, manager, the league, team dynamics are part of factors that will determine the final output of a player. This thinking that Wenger is responsible for anything wrong with anybody at Arsenal is faulty.

    The current defensive struggles for instance has the players being culpable with some very shoddy displays. Arsene is no doubt the leader of the pack, but this pack needs to do better, because he’s had some good campaigns before.

    Identifying weaknesses and preferring solution is easy – I’m sure Wenger tries – but the real-time translation on the pitch really matters. Ask any manager (Conte isn’t happy presently) – or Gary Neville for a better option, talking it up or leading the execution.

  31. The problem all forwards will face at Arsenal is that we are currently looking for the next RVP or Thierry, all forwards are bound to arrive with massive expectations and scrutiny, they will get no level of patience

  32. Interesting report that says Mhkitaryan has been working after training with Aubameyang and Lacazette to provide them service. Normally you find the coaching staff doing this but Mhkitaryan doing it having only just arrived shows a level of commitment to his Arsenal career.

  33. If I were Stan Kroenke, and I knew that the Glazer family are Americans like myself and they find themselves sitting on top of the list of richest football clubs. I would be thinking of improving my establishment to get closer to the top earnings wise.

    Sanchez to Man United was a January’s shirt sales success, which broke their club’s previous sales record by 3 times over.

    I read this and I wondered if maybe, Ivan is making a similar investment by the signing of PEA ?

  34. The theory that laca cant simply perform with Ramsey and Iwobi behind him is funny, Lewandoski was top scorer in WC qualifiers with Poland, Morata isnt doing well despite having Hazard, Fab and the rest behind him. Individual quality, ability to adjust and many other factors all play a big role…Laca may simply lack one of the factors

  35. I remember one game we played and a pass was cross was hit towards Podolski on the left. It was a ball over the top, the player didn’t reach the ball and he signalled afterwards that he preferred ground balls, whilst I might not remember all of Podolski’s goals, I definitely remember he wasn’t a tap-in striker, he was a cannon shooter, with a fiery left foot.
    Lacazette is a player that thrives when there’s intelligent movement and productive direct dribbling. While we can claim intelligent movement, our only dribblers are Mhki and Reiss Nelson in forward positions apart from the CF’s. This is why Wilshere is preferred to Ramsey, because he can dribble and he can move with the ball at his feet. If Lacazette had the chances that Morata had against Arsenal in our last league match, with his form on the day, it would have been a Chelsea win.

  36. Hello Nicky

    How’s your Guernsey fitting these days?

    We didn’t do too badly against Everton. Let’s leave it to Arsene Wenger to decide team and game plan.

  37. I have two more issues:

    Kim Kallstrom (A losing bet?)

    Park Chu-Young (Possibly the stepson of Willie Young?)

    My issue is why we signed Lucas in the first place. We’d already passed on him earlier that summer so if he wasn’t good enough then, he wasn’t when he signed him.

  38. I looked up Kallstrom on wiki. Looks like he is playing for DIF Stockholm. Bumped into the DIF firm in Copenhagen after the UEFA Cup Final 2000. A thoroughly unpleasant bunch who were looking to pick a fight with anybody. This is the best way to deal with them:

  39. Hi JonnyG, @ 3:36,

    My comment to Nicky was referencing his ‘disappearance’ from the ACLF site some time ago – and that followed a response from him, to me, about something I said, which made him cross. [I don’t remember now what it was about.] 😀

    I know nothing about the discourse between you, Aaron (?) and Nicky — and to be frank, I was not referring to anyone specifically when I said that Nicky’s views and opinions were as valid as anyone else’s – including mine — which are usually rubbish anyway. 🙂

    Personally I like Nicky – being 90+ y.o. and capable of blogging at that age, and that is after supporting the Arsenal for 80 years or so, earns my respect and admiration – even if I do not always agree with him — but then, no one who blogs about Arsenal always agrees with everyone/anyone else, do they? Just ask my buddies Bill and C. 😀

  40. C:
    Interesting report that says Mhkitaryan has been working after training with Aubameyang and Lacazette to provide them service. Normally you find the coaching staff doing this but Mhkitaryan doing it having only just arrived shows a level of commitment to his Arsenal career.

    C, taking that quote at face value – I think that is exactly what we have been looking for – personal improvement for the benefit of the team. We need more players to adopt that habit — so maybe Miki for captain? Can he kick butt as well do you think? 😀

  41. Bill:
    Over the years we have always blamed our strikers for poor finishing. Lacazette has plenty of pace and he is a good finisher when he gets space and time. Podolski was also a good finisher. I think the reason both struggled is because they don’t get enouhgh time and space to use their finishing skills effectively

    Hi Bill,

    I see that C had a different view to this comment by you, but I have another that he might also agree with.

    Arsenal’s tactics are pretty much out and out attack orientated from the get go, which involves the full backs/wingbacks piling upfield — the midfielders and even the CBs are often all up in the opposition half, and that clutters up the play in the centre of the pitch which means it is almost impossible to get a shot away.

    We tend to score our goals from crosses from the wings, or by slicing the opposition defence into pieces with free running football – but that does not work when we throw every player, except the GK, upfield and they all get in the way of each other and make their defending much easier and Lacazette’s job so much more difficult.

    I therefore agree with your comment, if taken in this way — and the solution put forward by C that we should play Lacaz and Auba upfront – with Miki and Özil creating behind them will open up the play with their speed, and creativity. I cannot wait to see that happening. 😀

  42. Unfortunately, I seem to be out of synch with the chat today – so I have to go, and hope to see you peeps tomorrow! 😀


  43. HenryB,

    Yea, I think it makes perfect sense for Mhkitaryan to do that to help with understanding Lacazette since he and Aubameyang seem to have a symbiotic understanding. Mhkitaryan for Captain, well that would be really interesting….

  44. HenryB,

    That comment to Bill makes perfect sense and its why I would prefer that we play Elneny and Jack to sit rather than have Ramsey bombing forward when the people we want on the end of moves are Aubameyang and Lacazette followed by Mhkitaryan and Ozil and then Ramsey.

    I know people will point to what he did against Everton but they fail to mention that 1. it was a shit Everton side and 2. Iwobi was in the team to help defensively.

    Personally, and I think it has always been the failing of Wengerball and a tweak that needed but was never made, I would prefer my pivots to sit or boss the middle of the park and be the link between defense and attack not a key part of it. I know people will say, ‘well Lampard was brilliant at it or why can’t we play to the strengths of Ramsey’ and my answer to them is two fold: 1. Lampard played in a team where normally in midfield he was often played with two more defensive midfielders or a combination like Ballak and Makele allow Lampard to push forward. 2. Why would we play to the strengths of Ramsey when we have Mhkitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang and Lacazette.

  45. Wenger’s in depth analysis of the injury situation prior to the NLD. Monreal will be back, Welbeck might be back, Cech won’t play unless 100% fit.

  46. Elneny wins Player of the Month and he could possibly not even make the bench (which would be a massive mistake) let alone start the NLD.

    Elneny would be in my starting XI.

  47. Happy Birthday Jenks, strange your still an Arsenal player.

    Maybe Arsene is shifting his hard on from smaller midfielders to RB’s….

  48. YW:
    My issue is why we signed Lucas in the first place. We’d already passed on him earlier that summer so if he wasn’t good enough then, he wasn’t when he signed him.

    Lukas was a career journeyman forward who spent a lot of his career in Russia and was never even that good for Russian teams. He had one career season for Deportivo and scored 17 goals the year before we bought him.

    Early in that summer Arsene had no interesting in Perez because he still thought Welbeck would be back near the start of the season. I think he bought Lukas because we needed an emergency backup forward and cup team player to fill the back end of the squad during the first half of the season when Arsene found out Welbeck would not be ready until at least midseason and perhaps even longer.

  49. Orson

    Lacazette is nothing like Lukas. Lacazette was the most prolific striker in France if you combine his totals over the last 4 years and he lead the league in scoring at least once. Lacazette was clearly brought in to be our #1 striker. Lukas on the other hand was brought as a relatively low priced stop gap to provide emergency cover until Welbeck came back. We found out Welbeck would be out until at least mid season and perhaps even longer if he had an further problems and the next best option would have been Akpom or Sanogo

  50. Good chat YW

    Whets the appetite

    Could be a cracking game

    Just not sure

    Have neither particularly positive or negative vibes

    2-2 then

  51. Bill,

    I was referring not to similarities in ability, rather to similarities in their situations. Both players were “eased” into the side and then over a period of half a season were given the cold shoulder. Perez has gone, and if Emanuel Petit can be believed, Lacazette could well leave in the summer.

  52. Morning, today’s post is here:

    Yesterday’s photo came from 20 Million Miles to Earth which starred Frank Puglia who missed out on a big occasion when illness forced him to turn down the part of Bonasera, the undertaker, in The Godfather.

    A bit like Petr Cech who is likely to miss out on tomorrow’s big occasion.

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