“When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now”
M. Wenger is 64 years old today and as a gift UEFA have given him a mouth watering challenge at THOF; our Professor must be hopping with anticipation at the prospect of pitting his wits against a team and manager who represent the finest in football.
Our season has started (apart from a ref-affected first game) brilliantly. Reflected not only in the points tally but also the possibilities of the team’s future – we are already very good and we are going to be the “couilles de chien”.
Dortmund: Not much to tell you that you don’t know already. They are very good, they are in form, they have a superb defence, a better midfield and a lethal attack ! Klopp will be in the stands following an ill-advised impression of the Ferguson rant - how was it SAF was never sent off for abusing a 4th official?
I am looking forward to watching Mkhitaryan, the man signed to replace the treacherous, Goetze. And of course the performance of Lewandowski will be under the spotlight, what with the media speculation of a transfer to The Emirates. Cannot see it myself but he is a top striker and we could squeeze him in somewhere!
Last time BD came to THOF we won 2-1 with goals from some fellow whose name I forget. BD beat us in 2002 with a goal from Rosicky, it would only be right for the Little Mozart to score for the righteous tonight (70th mins sub?)
I wrote recently of my admiration for both Subotic and Hummels and how they cope with the wingless Arsenal attack will be one of the keys to the game.
Then there is their fans. It must be wonderful to have such support – our away boys are brilliant but these loonies are on another level completely!
Arsenal: Once again the absence of Walcott’s pace could be costly. I love our tiki-taka but some unadulterated searing speed undoes defences, if nothing else it forces the defenders to sit further of the player.
However, the addition of Özil has brought an added dimension. His headed goal on Saturday came as a result of a lung-busting late run - a part of his game which has surprised me. Not only is Mesut brilliant with the ball at his feet and a master of space, he is also an extremely hard worker.
The recent run of success allied to the two CL wins must give the entire squad huge confidence. It is this rather than the personnel which will inspire the team tonight. The return of Cazorla and Arteta brings wizardry, calm and authority to an already fine side.
The development of the understanding between Santi and Mesut will be one of the highlights of the coming seasons. Both hugely intelligent, both two footed (as are we all – no disrespect to uni-peds) and both team players.
I have been wracking my brain to find fault in out attacking play and have decided that we do not score enough goals from outside the area. Can someone remind me of the last time?
The defence remains a concern. We have to start getting some clean sheets or the season may unravel. It is all well and good relying upon the attack to score more than we concede but eventually we will get caught out. Thankfully, it seems that the problem lies in lapses of concentration rather than a deeper lying malaise.
An attacking team. The bench is getting stronger and amazingly Bendtner is looking threatening. If we are winning on 75 mins expect to see Monreal
Tonight is one of the highlights of this (or any) season. Two teams who are committed to attacking football on a warm autumn evening in a packed, noisy stadium. Given a decent referee it will be a great game. I wish I could categorically state that we will take the points, what I can state without fear of contradiction is that every Arsenal fan watching on television would love to be there.
Win this and we are almost through to the next round.
Written by Big Raddy