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The Highbury Library animted promo v5 350x350

I did say I was dreaming right? Basically nobody goes to Barcelona and dominates the game because that is what Barcelona are. Only a handful of teams have had more of the ball than Barcelona, let alone gone on to win the game in that way, especially at their gaff. Beating Barcelona wouldn't quite be a miracle but beating them at their own game in Barcelona would.

After Arsène's comments about boom boom boom (gotta get that) Giroud, it wouldn't surprise me to see the Frenchman kept in the team to see if he can continue scoring goals again. Anyway Welbeck will be saved for Barcelona, where he can tear them to shreds, scoring four counter attacking goals or something

Tonight I expect Arsène to ring in the changes, he said as much in the pre match presser. Rotation has it's pros and cons, we know what the cons are of playing the same players every match, having lost some key players for long stretches of the season and also Oliver Giroud's drop in form are good indicators of playing too much football but at the same time, when you produce a good team performance as we did for the most part at White Hart Lane, you want 

I cannot help but feel the entire game will revolve around how we deal with Tottenham's high energy pressing game. We struggled massively against it last season and that was with Santi Cazorla deep in midfield, a player who is often able to tip toe his way around onrushing opposition players and start a move with a decisive pass to a player who has found space between the lines. Since we lost Santi and pretty much Arteta, that option does not exist so I worry about Coquelin and Ramsey trying to deal with that issue. Unlike last season, we will need to find a way to escape that and not get penned back inside our own half for long stretches of the game

Arsène hasn't really given Welbeck much of a run as centre forward so I wouldn't be surprised to see Welbeck played from the right and maybe Walcott played through the middle. On a very similar theme, I would really like to see Alexis have a run as our centre forward. Now, I am sure Arsène has his reasons why that experiment has been pretty much thrown out with the rubbish, I mean he is the fella who gets to see the players up close and on a regular basis, not to mention the fact that he has had a few decent strikers under his management over the years but watching Sergio Agüero take a quick touch past his man and fire low past the keeper in their 3-1 beating of Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday, I thought to myself, 'Alexis could do that'

I reckon the plan will go something like this, start defensively, make a lot of blocks and tackles. Francis Coquelin will be very important and hopefully he will be closer to the pre injury Coquelin. When the draw was made, I said that without Coquelin we wouldn't be able to get a result from this game, but Francis Coquelin in the team gives us a much better chance. He is one of the best players in the Premier League without the football so I expect him to be making a lot of important defensive contributions. Then if the game is level or very close on 70 minutes, we will see Arsenal applying some pressure on Barcelona. It is a tactic that has worked against this team a few times now, to some success I might add

You know what I'd like to see today? Some good old fashioned aggression. Not the Tony Pulis 'let them know you're there' type aggression but the 'don't let them look up and find a team mate easily' type of aggression. I mentioned this after the Southampton draw but we are too tentative at the start of games. Almost like we are dipping our toe in the water, cautiously waiting to find out what the temperature is like. A little keep ball here, a little bit backing off there. Scrap that, let's dive bomb into the bath, holding our knees as we splash. Force the issue from the first whistle and take some risks. Let's stop giving the opposition so much respect. Yeah, I'm pumped now

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more