Match preview – Arsenal v Leeds United

WTTGT Writer: Devon James Andre Halls

So it’s that time of the year again, our customary fixture against Leeds in the FA Cup 3rd round! If there’s ever a better time or way to put last year’s result at home behind us, it’s a fair old drubbing of our northern cousins on Monday night.

Taking a quick glance at the team sheet from last year is enough to gauge the monumental differences in our squad when compared to 12 months ago. Szczesny was featuring in just his 4th game for the first team in this fixture last year, yet in the year 2011 he made the second highest number of appearances behind only our Captain. The team featured players like Denilson and Bentner whom I’m sure none of us would like to see within 100 miles of The Emirates again; I would personally man the perimeter with a spud gun free of charge! All told a third of the squad who featured in this fixture last year are either on long term loan or have been sold. I feel that this is, if not a large stride, then certainly a step in the right direction.

But moving on to the present day we have a fixture which should provide a good tonic for the rather poor result at Craven Cottage last week, where the squad looked tired and a little out of ideas. And who better to serve this tonic might I ask, than a Frenchman, who has served 11 glasses of the stuff in his last 11 outings against Leeds United? I’m talking about goals by the way for anyone that didn’t catch on, and personally I can’t wait to see Thierry lead the line again. I’m not sure whether or not he will be starting, but I would be quite surprised if he isn’t, when considering Chamack is checking to see if he left his footballing ability in Africa, Van Persie is definitely being rested, and no-one knows if Park even lives in this country!

With regards to the rest of the squad, injuries I fear shall force us to play our strongest defence as we simply don’t have the room for any rotation. Will Squillaci feature? Preferably not, if only because I’d rather my heart didn’t keep jumping into my mouth whenever he has to deal with a cross, which I assume will be quite a lot on Monday night. On that basis I think Miquel may feature, with Koscielny, The Big German and Coquelin, who I thought had a fantastic game against Fulham (Zamora being unmarked for their 2nd goal aside). Personally I would like to see some older heads feature in the centre of the park, namely Arteta and Rosicky, but mainly I would like to see The Ox take charge in one of the attacking midfield positions and really bulldoze Leeds’ average, injury riddled defence.

For all of you coming to the game make sure you bring your voice boxes, because if there’s one thing people from the north have learnt to do over the last millennia, it is squeal like something from a farm yard, and I don’t like the idea of them voicing their opinion in my stadium!

Up The Arsenal!  


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