Wellington, wellington, wellington, how about that for a third round Capital One Cup draw for us, eh? Spurs at White Hart Lane. Who would’ve though it?
At least we’ll get to see the youngsters on TV…but wait…how many will we actually see? Because you know that these days we have a squad of players fighting for a place, so I reckon we’ll probably get to see quite a lot of familiar faces when we rock up at their gaff in September.
Ospina, Debuchy (at this rate with Bellerin keeping his place), Chambers, Gabriel, Gibbs, Flamini, Arteta, and Walcott and Welbeck returning to fitness. All of these players will probably be looking at some game time, so unless Pochettino plays his strongest side, we’ve got to fancy ourselves a bit in this tie, eh?
Regardless of our recent history of very average of poor results in the wrong side of north London, with some of those players you’d expect them to be given a chance and want to take that chance quite desperately.
But that’s a little way off yet, because we still need to get this season up and running, what with our spluttering and stuttering start to it. Particularly at the sharp end of the team.
A lot is being made of the number of shots we have had at home in the last five or six matches, only scoring in the last game of the season against West Brom. I think a little too much is being made of it actually. There’s quite a bit of finger pointing, of photoshopping of quotes and stats on an image of Giroud, as well as much gnawing of bone and gnashing of teeth because we haven’t signed a striker.
I mean come on people, there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ and all that. There are a few factors as to why we have gone so many games without scoring and each game has a slightly different narrative. Swansea last season was one of those ‘Champman’ results where the football karma gods decided that we were going to huff and puff and get nowhere. So too was the Sunderland result last season, as a team fighting for their lives made tackles everywhere, but also we had very little to play for.
The West Ham game was an appalling performance and the players know that. Unfortunately that’s just what this Arsenal team delivers some times and I’m coming around to it. Then we come to Monday’s result, partially determined by our own clear nervousness defensively, but it just looked like we were a little out from picking up all three points in the second half.
So there are mitigating factors in our performances and the manager knows we have to be better. On Saturday we’ve got a Newcastle side who have just come off of the back of a Capital One Cup victory at home and will be buzzing, but Giroud has the odd goal against the Geordies so I hope he can find his way again. We can ill-afford another lacklustre team display and with tough games against Stoke and Chelski coming up after the international break, things could start to look ropey unless we pull our fingers out.
We’ll find out more from Arsène tomorrow about who’s available, so until then, chins up people.