ARSENAL IN CRISIS!
There. I said it. We’re officially back in crisis mode again. It’s actually quite relieving in a way. Gooners can now give those f***ing ‘hope’ and ‘positivity’ things a rest, I mean, what the hell was that about anyway? Marquee singings. Pfft. Unbeaten so far in the league. Who cares. Mesut Ozil? More like Mesut Bozo, am I right, AM I RIGHT?
Aaand relax. Breathe. It’s going to be O.K. Yes, fair enough, Arsenal have well and truly been served a refreshing buffet of reality breakfast at Dortmund midweek. It came with healthy servings of ‘why the f*** haven’t we reinforced the defensive midfield position’, a great selection of ‘our defence looks like it’s had to analyse ten Salvador Dali paintings before stepping out on the pitch’ and a smorgasbord of ‘playing Mezut Özil on the wing in front of a 19 year old debutant right-back is the equivalent of having a de-activated and dormant nuclear bomb lying in front of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five’ as a last line of your country’s defence’.
But, having said that, erm... I don’t know actually, they are all pretty valid criticisms. That’s why this game against Villa has already become far more crucial than it needs to be at this stage of the season. The problem with Arsenal is that there are a million voices out there who pick apart every single detail of every performance, which is why defeats like Tuesday can feel so stinging, because they are relayed back to us over and over again by vacuous goons like Robbie Savage and Jamie Redknapp.
This doesn’t make us a bad team but it makes our weaknesses; of which there aren’t actually that many, seem insurmountable. In reality, we have a squad of huge depth in midfield and up front. We have world class players, even if some are not performing at the moment. Our defence at the moment isn’t playing at it’s best but with Chambers back in the team instead of Bellerin (although he didn’t do that badly mid-week) will shore things up a bit.
Villa at the moment are looking as dangerous as they ever have in the last four or five seasons. Agbonlahor is looking threatening, and Lambert has cultivated a team of athletic youngsters that are beginning to gel. They are buoyed by victories over Liverpool and a decent revamped Hull side, and sit in an enviable second.
Still, we have the team, and more importantly the SQUAD, to beat them. And that is where the victory will lie for us. We have to rotate. If Ramsey and Özil aren’t playing well, and lets face it they aren’t, give Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain a go. The reason we have built such a strong team is so that when players lose form or get injured we can replace them, if not like for like then at least with different qualities that can cause teams different problems. The direct running of Chamberlain and the two footed ability of Cazorla could be just thing we need to unlock a confident Villa side. If we do rotate, and Wenger doesn’t read any scary stories to Koscielny and Mertesacker before bed time, then we should be able to get a win that we suddenly so sorely need.
I’m hoping for a scrappy 1-0 win, like the kind we do when we are scrapping for fourth at the end of a season.