Clearly, Carlsberg had very little to do with this weekends football results from an Arsenal perspective. Every single one of the clubs we hoped would drop points, managed in various ways to come away with all three. I'm not sure you'd get a great return if you used your Betfred promo code and backed all the top clubs to win these days, such is their dominance. I'd like to include us in that and hopefully we will prove that today.
So tonight the pressure will be on us to match that at home to West Brom. At least the match is at Ashburton Grove, much like against Stoke City, our record in our own backyard is a darn sight better than it is at their gaff. It still astonishes me just how different results can be in different stadiums when the rules of the game are exactly the same. It just goes to show just how important psychology is in football.
Could tonight be the night where we dust off the old dial-up modem and plug in AÖL? Ok so that sounded much better in my head but the question still remains. We have yet to see Alexis Sanchez and Alexander Lacazette on the same pitch for even a minute let alone all three of Özil, Alexis and Lacazette starting together.
That said, would you be surprised if Iwobi was rewarded for his Stamford Bridge team display? On many levels, I would totally understand and respect that decision, which I know sounds like balancing on the fence somewhat but from a supporters perspective, my view on both Alexis and Mesut is certainly different to how it was before, knowing that I expect them both to be walking out of the door in June/July for new clubs. Meanwhile players like Iwobi, Welbeck and co are part of our medium-term future at least.
In terms of talent and what we will probably need on the pitch, I think the AÖL should provide the tools needed to break down what will almost certainly be a well-drilled team who have worked all week on stopping us from scoring goals.
I hope we go into the game with the mentality of playing to score early rather than the 'we need a little bit patience' approach. While patience may well be needed against a team who will have very little intention of attacking us, the idea of us passing it around at the back hoping that we will move West Brom around scares me, because blink and it's 75 minutes and we've created little of note.
It's important that the players combine quickly in the final third and it will be interesting to see how Alexis gets on with Lacazette. Will Lacazette's role change a little given just how much Alexis demands possession of the ball? Without Welbeck running into the areas Laca leaves behind when he drops deep, we might see Lacazette in the penalty box a little more than previously, otherwise they could end up occupying the same spaces.
As I've said before, I would like to see Lacazette get on the end of more chances so maybe Alexis coming back into the team can benefit the Frenchman and benefit our goal tally.
Mean Lean's Predicted Line Up:
Three points is a must, ideally with a sprinkle of good football added for good measure.