Cardiff Preview: Colin, Points & Closing Up Shop

Charmless troglodyte Colin W*nker brings his Cardiff City clan to the Emirates in a match they will fancy their chances of winning.

The centre of the Arsenal defence is hampered by injury and the calamitous Mustafi. Harsh as it may seem, his elevation to leader of the back four brings fear to the surface. It’s going to be a Keystone Kops evening with the German organising the inexperienced Maitland-Niles and Mavropanos while the equally disorganised Kolasinac completes the quartet.

Maybe Monreal will slot into the left-back role to exert sensible influence over the young Greek centre-back. It is, however, time for Dino to step forward. I don’t view his as a ‘saviour’ as such and think with Koscielny or Sokratis alongside him, he would fare better than he will tonight. Mustafi has the potential for this to be a brutal part of Mavropanos’ learning curve.

While not necessarily a recipe for disaster, all of the ingredients are certainly there.

The other option is a back five with Monreal coming in as the left central-defender. As long as Lichtsteiner isn’t on the right, it could work. If that is to be the case, I would like to see Ramsey and Ozil as the wide players – I assume Torreira and Xhaka will continue centrally – with Lacazette up front. I am guessing that Aubameyang’s record means that won’t happen today but may be the case on Sunday.

It’s important that we win tonight. In the coming weeks, I don’t see Chelsea or United dropping many points. From memory, each of us faces one tough game during the next four weeks – Chelsea travel to City, Liverpool host United – and points dropped in winnable games will be the decisive factor. And we’re quite good at that…

If We Have Enough and Lose A Lot, Do We Still Have Enough?

The obvious thought from all of that is that we could do with a versatile defender coming in. Ostensibly a centre-back, but one who is also comfortable playing full-back. It’s not happening; Unai says so.

We have enough players who can play centre back in the squad. The problem is we’re having a lot of injuries in this position. We have enough players. If we can bring another player, and all the other players we have are well to play, then we could maybe have a problem in the future.

Unai Emery on signing defenders

A loan deal isn’t “a problem in the future” if that player is better than those we already have at the club. The only defender whose name is bandied around is Gary Cahill and thankfully, Chelsea don’t seem inclined to lend us this year’s Silvestre. Which is made because he could sabotage our faint hopes of finishing in the top four.

The problem might come in March, I guess he is thinking. However, with our luck at the moment, so might an injury. I don’t think we can be complacent in that sense.

The same principle applies in midfield. Emery rates Perisic and Suarez more highly than those he already has which signals problems for Iwobi, Mkhitaryan and to a lesser extent, Ozil. If the German hasn’t worked out Emery doesn’t rate him, there is something seriously wrong.

Emery didn’t sound optimistic about landing anyone before Thursday’s deadline passes:

[We will sign] Between nil and two. If they aren’t coming to help us like we want, then we would prefer them to not come. Two because we are looking at two different players who have the possibility to come here.

Unai gets vague on this week’s transfer business

Accountants or Scouts? Who to Listen to Me

It’s hard to believe we have been working since before Christmas on these deals. The reality is I think we procrastinated rather than had deals lined up. Is Suarez good enough? Perisic’s resale value will be negligible so should we sign him? Patchy form, I’d venture, forced the club’s hand.

A couple of days to go but tonight’s match is more important. I don’t expect too many changes from the XI which lost to United but it will obviously be closer to the one which finished the game:

Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Whatever the performance level, this is one where the result is more important. A bit of confidence restored before Sunday’s trip to the Etihad would do wonders although we’re such a Jekyll and Hyde side that you can never tell.

Enjoy the match wherever you watch it.

’til Tomorrow.

47 thoughts on “Cardiff Preview: Colin, Points & Closing Up Shop

  1. oooh……you are being a bit too pessimistic……..I also fear the worst with Mustafi……a
    penalty or own goal at least……. surely we have more reliable and skilful defenders in our 23’s…..or why not Bielek?

    Cardiff are generally cloggers ….maybe we shouldn’t risk any of our remaining first team?!!

  2. In fairness, I do have the inside track on post times, etc.

    But I’ll accept the ‘genius’ tag. It’s better than lazy bastard!

  3. Having managed to cripple the first team in that Friday FA futile escapade, Dick Emery should swallow hard and take the youngsters like Bielek, as suggested above for today and future games.
    To night, and more particularly at Etihad, we know,whether the Spaniard can be an improvement over Wengerski

  4. Ok at the risk of being contentious

    On Friday – even on TV there seemed an almost palpable feeling of dread dismay in the crowd when Mustafi had to come on & that this transmitted itself to the extent that the confidence within the team also dipped…

    after the event every action and inaction by Mustafi has been pulled apart by bloggers and their readers…’where was he for the second goal’ etc etc…so tonight WE will all be looking for/expecting the ricket and preparing to castigate him

    Problem I have is that tonight, I guess he will be crossing the whitewash and representing my team – he becomes one of eleven guys on whom I pin my hopes…

    The fans are the much vaunted 12th man – or I think it is highly likely – can suck out the life of a player/players

    Recognising all the shit over the last few years – we need to get behind the team – whoever is wearing the red and white.

  5. Feels more Eddy than Freddy

    (McGoldrick than Ljungberg)

    YW:
    So, Suarez is a done deal. According to the Catalan press, that is.

  6. Good news, if Suarez is in despite Raul trying to be too clever with Barca. What about Persil, the elderly Croat?

  7. Certainly condemning Mustafi before the game kicks off could be counter productive, although I’ve seen players suffer far far worse at the hands of the fans over the years and survive. Some even went on to have half decent careers (Perry Groves will testify to that) An interesting report was that the United players went to the Ems feeling that just because we had a new manager it didn’t mean that the culture of miserable defending was likely to have changed at the club, and it does seem that it’s going to take a monumental effort to turn things around. And a bit of cash of course if anyone can find a crowbar big enough to crack open the old parasite’s wallet.

  8. Els:
    Mustafi to shine tonight.

    I would gladly take a good performance from the chuckle brother. I did notice something powerful with our back line, their is huge potential for synergy. M(ustafi), M(aitland niles), M(avropoanos), M(onreal). The M boys are in it tonight, M squad for a clean sheet :p

  9. their => there. Who gives a flying F about grammer these days anyways huh? Is consols bob going to hit me with his cane!? No offense bob, I love you sir just making jokes. Grammer jokes =)

  10. I can’t be mad at emery for wanting to throw the facup given the circumstances. We’ll most likely take it out on Cardiff as more significant prizes are at hand.

    Happy it’s Suarez instead of perisic if true.

  11. A few years ago Sami Khedira, the injury-prone slowest defender was linked to our club, until he demanded a whopping £250K per week!T Not sure, about the elderly Persil, the Croat. Why Dick Emery seeks these supernnuated players?

  12. If Suarez is in, then there is no further point in seeking more loans. Dick Emery should serious thoughts to include a few of our younger players in his first team who will play with zeal, rather than going in for grandpas across Europe!

  13. At least Arsenal coach is involved in decisions in regards to transfers etc.. But the over-exuberant baby-faced Ole , who has not faced a serious opponent in the PL or CL fixtures, is taken for a ride by the Ferguson et al., keeping him thinking that he will be a permanent manager. Hence, poor ole grins from ear to ear every time. Ed Woodward, Glazers and Ferguson do not want an unknown Ole, despite what the useless pundits in the TV and Radio think, to manage a brand called Man U which should attract further sponsors and resonate will in the stock market. Poor Ole, he will have to go back to Norway at the end of the season. It is Poch, Man U are after. That should do for Miser Levy.

  14. Well that was a horrible first half fellas

    Not sure we had a shot on goal

    At home

    V Cardiff

    Let our great second halves commence again

  15. Arsetralian,

    I’m baffled. In the last couple of games we’ve shaken off our slow start hoodoo and we’re putting in plenty of energy. Can’t fault the attitude. Tick.

    But despite Ozil’s clever footwork and some nice passing triangles in their half, our service in to Auba and Lacazette is just too poor. We seem too slow in mounting our attacks, so we too often face a dense, organised defence.

    Then towards the end of the half we start getting aireated about the ref’s decisions (OK, it is Mike Dean, for which evolution has prepared all Gunners) and Guendouzi goes off collecting a yellow for dissent. Sign of a sense of desperation in the team?

  16. Auba strokes away the pen. 1-0

    Cardiff have been getting dirtier and dirtier, so justice is served.

    So far…

  17. Laca is back on top form. Whole team finally playing as if we own the pitch.

    Which, come to think of it…

  18. premiership is always fun…who expected man united and man city to be beaten by bottom sides today…hahahahahah

  19. Is it me, or did it look like Ramsey was saying goodbye to the fans?

    Watching Liverpool winning the title will not be strange.

  20. The Arsenal site quotes Emery saying (Tues night) in his folksy way that he doesn’t know and hasn’t spoken to anyone at the club about Suarez coming. It could be a need-to-know thing and he doesn’t need to know. We’ll see.

  21. As much as we need help on several fronts, the one thing we don’t need is airlifting players in in the hope it will help, only for them to be added to the (dead) wood pile. We’ve done enough of that over recent years.
    I’ve reluctantly written this season off as one of much improvement. I was hopeful prior to the start that Emery might improve some of the drifters (I almost said grifters) – and maybe he’s done that with Bellerin but few others. In fairness, the injuries have been extreme but they’ve only compounded the existing problem. So, some attrition has to occur. By sale, if we’re lucky, or loan or simply walking. Trouble is, I see very few I would consider to be keepers, and I don’t mean the men between the sticks. Who’d be a football manager?!

  22. Posters , note that what we have is a coach and NOT a manager. Then, you figure out the difference. Players will be ” airlifted” in the situation that AFC finds itself now, and that is a fact, whether some one likes it or not. Best to accept this fact, and move on.
    Here, in Totteridge, where Wenger lives,we are watching Dick Emery’s progress.

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