This game couldn’t come soon enough. Ever since the defeat at the Bridge, the aftermath has been rather unsavoury, so much so that I have done all I can to go on full Mugabe media lockdown. But as hard as I tried I have still been subjected to nonsense from idiots like Chris Sutton and Charlie Adam. Charlie Adam? Are you being serious?
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for listening to the view that now could be the time to hand the keys over to a new driver, although I don't think it is as straight forward as that. I thought some great points were made in the post Chelsea podcast by @Stillberto, @PoznanInMyPants & @YankeeGunner. If you haven’t had a listen yet, I would recommend that you do.
But what I’m not having is idiots crawling out of the woodwork to stick the knife into Arsene Wenger and our club with brain dead drivel. Nah, not for me thank you. I will avoid all the spitting and vitriol and wait until the football returns but each to his/her own.
The league chase may well be dead and buried for another year but the players are really going to have to motivate themselves and regain some form, because there is plenty of football from now until the end of the season. It is difficult enough in this league to make football predictions especially when the pressure starts to build.
Judging by Arsene’s comments a number of times since the Chelsea game, it seems as if he really isn’t happy with his players. At least on three separate occasions he has spoken about the players needing to do their jobs or a club works when everyone in the club does their job.
I’d love to know what is and was going around Arsene’s head post Watford and Chelsea. Where does he think it went wrong? where does he point the finger? Not that we will ever know these thoughts.
Hull City make for very intriguing opponents in the lunch time kick off.
They are full of confidence after victory against Liverpool and some much improved performances from their squad since the arrival of Marco Silva from Olympiacos.
Hull City will have nothing to lose in a way and they would have been watching the Watford match against us, licking their lips at the prospect of another upset, an upset that seems a lot more likely than if we had beaten Watford and taken a result at Chelsea. Arsenal on the other hand have to bounce back in front of what I suspect will be a very tetchy crowd. If we don't score early, I fully expect moan, groans and A4 card waving.
There have been rumours that Petr Cech will get dropped for David Ospina and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to be honest. We may get a good idea who is in Arsene’s bad books by looking at the players who have been relegated from the starting line up, if any.
Mohammed Elneny is back in the squad after the Africa Cup of Nations but will it be too soon for a starting place? Francis Coquelin has had a week to forget but a partnership of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Elneny does not appear to have the right balance on paper. At least on my paper. Hector Bellerin is back after he assaulted Marcos Alonso's elbow last weekend, just surprised he didn't get a 3 match ban for it.
Mean Lean’s Predicted Line Up:
It’s pretty damn difficult to predict to be honest. If Arsene doesn’t want to take the gamble on Welbeck just yet then perhaps Lucas Perez could play wide on the right.
It’s not so much the personnel but the way we approach the game that will be key. Arsene has spoken about the need to be united and show we are a strong unit, words won’t make that happen, the players on the pitch will have to back up the manager and fight for the club on the pitch. A bad result would be another huge blow for the confidence of the team in such a critical period in the season. It looks like a straight out fight for the places under Chelsea and a bad run of form from any team will slam a massive dent into their chances.
I'd love an injection of pace into our team again. Both with and without the ball, we get back to doing that and we will get back to scoring goals and winning games.
Make no mistake, we need a win today to steady the rocking ship. It could get ugly and Arsene knows that, which is why Arsene is once again begging the fans to support the team during this important phase.
Fingers crossed we can do that and inject a little bit of positivity back into the club.