We’ve been presented with a good opportunity to get away from the bumpy ride the club has provided us with in the league, a chance to defend our cup. It’s certainly not an easy game and taking this fixture lightly could see us surprised similarly to our early Capital One Cup exit to Southampton.
I do however expect us to advance and I anticipate some more positives to take than we’ve been able to recently.Positives such as youngsters getting some match time, a more convincing fluent display and hopefully a more solid and cohesive work out at the back.
Personally I would like to see Akpom, Bellerin, Coquelin and Campbell feature, all for different reasons:
Chuba Akpom is incredibly talented and has proven himself at youth level as has Sanogo but to me Akpom looks more skilled and technically adept than Yaya. He’s raw as one would expect but if our creativity is in full flow on the day it could see him thrive off opportunities, let’s hope he takes them. I’m certainly a huge fan.
Hector Bellerin has had a bit of a breakthrough year for us in this campaign however situations that have been forced upon him have been a little unfair. Such as making his European debut against Dortmund and thrown into a tricky away trip to our bogey team Stoke. On such days where we have been woeful he has rarely looked the most out place, which in itself tells us how underwhelming this campaign has been for us.
I admire the adventure in his game, his exciting pace and the technical ability. Although I’d be happy to see Jenkinson back I’m not sure Wenger will, therefore Bellerin needs as much experience as he can if he’s to be the long term solution at right back.
Those that have followed my articles all season will be aware that I have called for Coquelin’s inclusion for a while now and I’m pleased he’s been involved lately. I’ve had difficulty trying to fathom why he was suddenly frozen out of the team by Arsene and although he’s not the answer to our midfield woes he’s a better all rounded player than Flamini. I’m not sure he could be trusted to sit as the deepest midfielder but he adds the bite and aggression we lack in the middle.
Lastly Joel Campbell seems to split opinion amongst Gooners as to whether he’s worthy of a place at the club but with Podolski gone and Sanogo seeking a loan, Joel may become more prioritised and It would be foolish to let another attacker go now.
I think between the three Joel Campbell can offer the most he’s probably the only one that has that bit of spark to his game as Wenger once said when he was on loan in Greece.
I am not in any way discontent about Podolski’s departure as I feel his £100k-a-week wages can be better used elsewhere as well as his squad position. The only concern I have is whether we will even take advantage of the empty space.
I thought rejecting Cesc Fabregas was a good idea so long as Arsene addressed more pressing issues but we all know what happened there. I must get back on topic before I trail into one of my rants J
It’s difficult to keep up with who is actually fit at the back but I sense Koscielny isn’t fully there. He was uncharacteristically poor at Southampton and I can’t help but feel we rushed him back. A new defender is vital to wrap Laurent in cotton wool and help gives us solidity at the back but before that we could be in a bit of a pickle. Mertesacker has played an awful lot of games lately and has been in torrid form because of it. It’d be wise to rest him but would mean a player plays out of position, Debuchy maybe alongside Chambers?
For now it’s a guessing game.
Lastly we will have a chance to see if Ospina can fill the vacancy that may be open in between our sticks. From his two games I can remember this season he has impressed me once and let me down the other time in the cup.
I’m unsure of how he will cope in English football due to his slight height at only 6’0 but he’s flexible and looked good when he came on for a dismissed Woijech Sczesney against Galatasaray . We are in need of strong competition in goal so we must hope that Ospina can provide it.
Big game ahead let’s hope we witness positive one and hope certain players seize their opportunity.