There’s an Arsenal Stadium Mystery pun waiting to be written in tomorrow’s headline. Something involving Trojans, or maybe a play on Leonard Grimble? Had Sokratis or Mavropanos been fit, it was a chance to show off with a pun on the classics; maybe the referee will be Homer? Oh, I forgot, there is a conspiracy by PGMOL against us so that can’t happen.
Brentford arrive for the Carabao Cup 3rd round tie, in a match Unai Emery made clear will feature a second string XI. Pretty much, I’d expect the back four to be the one which faced Vorskla last week with Mustafi in for Sokratis.
We don’t have many options at the back currently. Injuries are wreaking a touch of havoc this week and with Emery making it clear Rob Holding is playing, I’d be very surprised if any of the youngsters were promoted for tonight’s game.
The Spaniard encouraged Holding to take his chance.
We need every player when chances and opportunities come because we need to also take more players to play. Like on Sunday, for example, after Sokratis’ injury it was important how [Rob] played and helped the team to find the performance to win against Everton.
[Brentford] is also a good opportunity for Holding to continue taking confidence, taking minutes and taking also our ideas of playing and I want to look at him also with our best performance, staying in the first XI.Unai Emery wants to give youth a chance
It’s easy to question the wisdom of sending Calum Chambers to Fulham at moments like this. However, when the weekend comes and everyone is miraculously fit, he’d just be sitting on the bench with criticism raining in on the club for not getting shot of him on loan during the summer.
Giving Chances and Opportunities
There’s a chance of Sead Kolasinac returning to the XI after he returned to training. We’ve played Nacho Monreal out of necessity in every match since the Bosnian suffered his injury. I don’t think he’d have played in the Premier League but certainly against Vorskla. Is tonight too soon? Returning to full training is one thing, being match ready is quite another.
He’s one of a number of players Emery had in mind (I should think) who he had in mind when he spoke about the type of XI being fielded this
Against Brentford, I am going to prepare the best performance for us, but I’ll be giving chances and opportunities to the players who are playing less in the competition. Also maybe the young players can have opportunities to play in this game if I think it’s the best for us to give them this opportunity of starting in the first XI, but the first thing about the best performance is thinking about winning.Unai Emery – Everyone needs to be ready when opportunity knocks
It’s pretty much the philosophy we’re used to but last night’s match at Old Trafford carries the warning for Premier League teams. The Championship isn’t as far behind in ability as you think.
But I’m not going to let that stop me from giggling like a young child at United’s misfortune. Excuse me for one moment.
I needed that. There’s nothing so funny as watching Mourinho’s third season syndrome unfurl before your eyes. OK, listening to Mauricio Pochettino tell the world Tottenham need to win trophies to be considered a big club; that’s as funny. Or that they will be in their new stadium by Christmas. The gifts that keep on giving: all I want for Christmas are
Which brings us to this evening’s starting line-up. Hazarding a guess is a tricky business but…
Leno; Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Holding, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Elneny; Willock, Smith-Rowe, Welbeck; Nketiah
…works for me.
A reminder to those hardy souls attending to check on the travel information due to disruption on the tubes.
Finally, to the prizewinners of the Alan Smith book. The books are now received at ACLF Towers so will be sent out this week.
Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.