So I really am looking forward to today’s game.
I must say I am cautiously optimistic about our chances against those nasty, ugly Chavs. We certainly have the team to do it. Even though this is certainly a preseason friendly, it’s also a chance to give ourselves a much needed psychological boost.
This is around the time you’ll be picking the team in your head and seeing as almost everyone is available (bar Welbz, Rosicky and Dia….oh he’s left) we’re pretty much full strength. Without Sanchez we have still been able to score so it won’t be said that we are not a goal threat from almost everywhere.
There are a couple of difficult positions to fill in the team, like Right back and Center Forward, but none comes close to the conundrum that is the heart of midfield.
This is a position that was kinda weak and in a sense also predictable in terms of choice. It was certainly Aterta and Ramsey territory and there was hardly anyone that would have displaced them…bar Wilshere maybe.
Over the course of 6 months thought that has changed and as I sit here and type this short article, I truly, truly have no idea the pairing that Arsene will use in the heart of midfield.
January of this year brought about two unlikely candidates for that spot in Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin. One was an attacking midfielder deemed too lightweight to handle the hustle and bustle that was the middle of the park and the other was deemed out of the club and only hanging around as a precautionary measure in case all else went wrong.
Then BOOM! The Man City game happened and The ‘Coq’ as he’s fondly called and the little Spaniard dazzled so much as a partnership that they were virtually undroppable and when good ol Aaron came back, he had to be shunted to the wings to moderate success.
Clearly Ramsey’s best position is in the middle and that was demonstrated time anfd time again last season when he played there. He also mentioned in interviews that the right was not his favorite position in the world. Now here we are again and we have to wonder who gets the nod.
I wouldn’t add Aterta to the list because while I feel he still has something to offer, he isn’t at the level of the other three. Will Ramsey be shunted out wide again perhaps? I don’t think so. If preseason is anything to go by he wasn’t put on the wing even once while Wilshere was played there a couple of times. It shows that the manager doesn’t see him as an option there and with the return of the Ox and possibly even Walcott, I’ll be surprised if Arsene took that route.
So who to use? Cazorla might not be the strongest or the fastest, but he’s almost impossible to get off the ball and he’s a decent tackler. Coquelin is everything we want Flamini to be; Tenacious, a little mean and pointy…yes he points too. And Ramsey is….well, the Welsh Jesus.
I think I saw a Ramey/Cazorla once in preseason and while it was decent you wonder if it’s the best option when facing a bullying Chelsea team. Maybe it could be like the Kroos/Modric relationship at Madrid…none of them are DMs, but they do play well together. I wonder if we could manage something of the like.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we’ll see on Sunday. I for one have no idea, I just hope whichever pairing it is, they perform well and we get to win.
You can sound off in the comments section as to who you’d go for as your preferred pairing.
Here’s to a Sunday win