I didn't have any time to write anything post Bayern Munich due to work commitments, so in the world of Arsenal Vision that game simply did not exist. This can only mean Arsenal are in great form, and we are perfectly ready to take on our North London buddies from down the road, and by buddies I mean sworn enemies obviously.
Credit where it is due though, albeit reluctantly, Tottenham look to be on an upwards trend and have started the season very well, they have only lost once this season against Manchester United at Old Trafford and even then they were well in the game. Only a Kyle Walker own goal *chuckles* separated the two sides back in August. Manchester United would have been the clear bookies favourites on www.casinoservice.org/
This fixture last season was extremely frustrating, it was during a time where we hadn't found ourselves properly, especially offensively for various reasons. Alexis was a soloist who hadn't adapted to our way of playing and I believe Arsène thought this was having a negative impact on the team as a whole, so Alexis was benched for that fixture. A defensive mistake from Mathieu Flamini allowed Érik Lamela to score the opener before Oxlade-Chamberlain grabbed a late equaliser.
If that fixture was played later in the season the it may have been a very different story. Unfortunately our spluttering engine meant far too many crucial dropped points from August to December.
Fast forward a season and we are on equal points with the league leaders but a familiar obstacle has resurfaced. I had been really encouraged by the fitness of our squad during the second half of last season, perhaps Shad and the gang were making good progress and a corner had been turned. This was the season where our injury nightmares would be put behind us, yet at the time of writing this, we are without at least seven (probably forgotten a few) first team squad members. The problem is not so much about the players we are able to field but the lack of rotation in the past few weeks.
Arsène was asked if tiredness should be a problem and he categorically stated no, so let us hope that is the case. The good news is that Tottenham played a day later than us in the Europa league and they put out a pretty strong team, not only that but they are a team that use a lot of energy during matches due to their pressing game so perhaps, just perhaps they will be in a similar position as ourselves.
Hector Bellerin is unfortunately ruled out so Mathieu Debuchy will be experiencing his first run in the team this season. You cannot understate the impact of regular football, so hopefully whatever match he took part in during midweek, it will do him some good.
As for the rest of the team, I can't imagine any other changes apart from Laurent Koscielny coming back into the team for Gabriel, unless Arsène decides that Mertesacker needs a breather after Munich.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
As much as I would like to see the high tempo, all action Arsenal that we witnessed during the first twenty minutes against Manchester United, I don't think we will see that type of game. Maybe we will see a more cagey affair and it could be down to the little details on the day. Can Mesut Özil continue his excellent run of creating chances? Oliver Giroud is in great scoring form and is probably one of the very few players in world football who has scored home and away to Bayern Munich. We need Alexis back to his match winning best.
Basically, I don't really care how we do it but can we stuff them please? We owe it to them after last season. I enjoyed the prior season when we took six points from them along with a cup victory. Only picking up a solitary point last season just isn't right on any level.
Manchester City travel to bottom placed Aston Villa in the early kick off so that is a formality isn't it? And no, I don't believe in jinxing. So if we are to keep pace with them, before the international break we will need to grab all three points by hook or by crook. If we are to challenge for this title all the way then we will need to win games like this when we are not at our best. If we cannot play our best we still need to find a way of digging out the three points.
In other news, Chelsea lost another game. Jose Mourinho's boys took another beating. That is now four league defeats out of five. It leaves Chelsea three points off the relegation zone. Jose Mourinho missed the game due to a stadium ban while Arsène Wenger had this interview published.
One is a specialist in crying, the other a specialist in class.
Fingers crossed to the Arsenal later on this afternoon. Post match stuff later.