Injuries, interlull, intensity…in that order.

2 weeks is a long time to stew over a deeply frustrating performance. For both the players and the fans. Of course the players have the distraction of international football which probably helps to ease the self doubt, it does nothing for fans however. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that this can quickly transfer over to those players as an indifferent atmosphere inevitably leads to an indifferent performance. I for one hope that we instil some fear into the opposition through the power of voice. Our appetite as fans is what is required to get the best out of our team. It doesn’t matter that its Chelsea, Barcelonaor indeed Hull. Dortmund are the blueprint to follow on this front, it doesn’t always transpire to a blistering performance but it will damn well help.

I saw that Santi had a breather in that he didn’t play in Spain’s win against Luxembourg, which means he should be chomping at the bit to show why Ozil will have to fight tooth and nail to get back to playing in the middle of our CAM filled midfield. I hope that we like up our midfield with Arteta and Wilshere at the base and Alexis & The Ox as our wide men, leaving Santi to play in behind Danny Welbeck. That’s the blueprint that had us playing well last season so we should start that way and then if we are firmly in control of the game go ahead and experiment with the 4-1-4-1 that brings about the unpredictability of our attack that Wenger so craves. And I mean that in a good way. What he’s trying this season is to not give the opposition the fixed and rigid formation as that can be easy to park the bus against. With players like The Ox, Alexis, Cazorla, Ozil & Welbeck swapping and changing their positions and shape we can bring the element of surprise to the new bus stop way of defending that has made its way to the Premier League. It’s boring. It’s why England as a nation are left behind in terms of producing players such as Aguero, Silva, Fabregas, Di Maria & Alexis to name but a few. But let’s face it, firstly it’s a separate issue but most importantly it works against teams who aren’t willing to change so we’ll have to deal with this for a few years yet. The bright spark as far as England are concerned was Jack Wilshere. Two MOTM performances for England and now likely to have a clear run in the Arsenal side bodes well all round. Fingers crossed he can keep playing this way and translate it over to this Saturday. Let’s hope Wilshere to Welbeck yields better results than Wilshere to Rooney.

This weekend we’ll face a vengefully minded team led by one of the “old boys club” so far as managers go. The wheeler dealer himself said that Steve Bruce should have got the United job. Apparently playing for a club means you’re automatically going to be a brilliant manager there. Do us all a favour Harry, stick to car windows.

We will undoubtably have to be at our best to win this game. Anything less is leading to draws and defeats at the moment and the solution here is simply to bring the heat and bring it early. We have 3 very winnable games coming up and we need to go and put 9/9 points on the board to begin exerting pressure on the teams above as there are a couple of head to heads up there in the coming weeks. Chelsea go to United and United then go to City so that will give us the opportunity to catch 2/3 of them. I really hope that we have Theo available to come on and wreak havoc with his pace late on. We’re slowly but surely getting some of our regulars back in to compete for places and I feel like this will be a season where we need to score more than a couple of times to win games rather than rely on our defensive solidity as that looks like a ship that’s creaking. When I say creaking, it’s not that we’re playing badly, it’s that they know it’s them or nothing. The thought itself must be tiring and tiredness can lead to apprehension. Apprehension comes into anyone’s game when they know that an injury to them means playing Flamini or the Coq in their place. The stuff of nightmares.

I haven’t alluded to it until now but injuries have hit us like the plague. Just why is it so bad? It seems that no one is sure as to why. Are we training on soft ground and then playing on pitches that are too hard? Are we not training hard enough? Are we not spending enough time in the gym on muscle work? The answer it seems has evaded us all. Let’s just hope Shad figures it out sooner rather than later as we’re running out of the midfield ‘depth’ that we started the season with.

It’s been a quiet few days but we’re only 5 days away from the good stuff again.

Have a great week.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1

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