A case for the defence

4-1, 4-1, Monaco. Good week! I’m still wondering why the Champions League draw was kind to us, as if waiting for the offside flag to be raised to notch off s last minute winner. I’m dumbfounded. To top it Chelski drew PSG, making for a tough couple of games for them to juggle. It all makes for great reading as well as a great opportunity to claw back some points (albeit in a few months). I also wonder on how much of a positive impact that a good draw can bring. The players will start believing that they can progress and make strides in all competitions from a draw like that.

In no way is it a done deal as we know how hard we can make even the easiest of situations e.g. Being 3-0 up to a team who hasn’t won away in European Cup Competition since dinosaurs were around, and then throwing it away. But for once we don’t have to wince at the smallest prospect of us getting through. We have a genuine chance of going through, and although it will be a tough test (as they all are at the top level) we should be winning against them and going through. The opportunity is there, let’s just hope we grab it with both hands when the time comes.

One thing that has been good to see in response to the debacle at Orc City FC is that with a varied back 4 we have been able (largely) to cope with the threat of power (Galatasary) and pace (Newcastle) without too much panic. Set pieces continue to be where we concede from which is the worrying part, but in game we seem to be coping. Thankfully Debuchy is back at the right time. A back 4 of Bellerin, Debuchy, Mertesacker and Gibbs is one I’m pretty happy with. I think Debuchy played
Really well against Newcastle at CB, however I think Wenger will revert to Debuchy at RB and put Chambers alongside Mertesacker against Liverpool. Make no mistake, even though the Mancs beat them 3-0, Liverpool could have easily won the game if they had taken their chances. United don’t know how to cope when conceding a goal at the moment as they revert to sitting deep and praying for a slip by the opposition to enable a counter attack. I wonder how they would have reacted to going 1-0 down to Liverpool at home, but luck continues to stay with them and they’ll ride that wave into 3rd if it continues.

This ‘luck’ strongly correlates with the fact that The Premier League isn’t quite as strong as the German or Spanish Leagues and it’s not just that they are progressing more quickly, it’s that there is an element of regression in English football. It is still a faster pace but has a more traditionally Italian feel to it as defending has become the default position of even the better teams in the league (City & United v Chelsea). It’s the blueprint of success in England but Bayern, Real Madrid & Barcelona seem to disagree. As much as it pains me to see tossers like Na$ri win trophies, at least City try and play good football. It’s a rare commodity these days and is a big reason as to the dip in standards/quality of our beloved league.

Moving onto what Wenger mentioned about transfer activity (or potential lack of) needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. He’s not going to publicly say “we are buying Hummels, Benzema & Goetze” (I jest!) to inflate their prices as well as do the jobs of the scouts at Liverpool, Chelsea & Sp*rs. We all know that they’re following Dick Law around in the shadows, stalking who we’re after. I don’t understand why fans pay so much attention to public address on a secretive subject. He knows it’s his last chance to enforce a change or there will be more baying for his blood so it’s best to just let him get on with it. We’ll all now see links to various players that we’ll see a YouTube video of and immediately know that they’re what we’re missing so enjoy the last few weeks of peace before the #ITK brigade start swinging their hoses about.

I for one know I’m going to sleep well this evening in the know that we weren’t completely screwed in the Champions League draw for once and that we’ve won 2 on the bounce. Winning is good.

Lastly a special mention for the little magician Cazorla being back amongst the goals. Seeing that smile is joy encapsulated – he normally quite likes a game vs Liverpool so the goals couldn’t have come at a better time. Oh and Giroud’s second goal…woooooooo *does the finger clicking thing that Giroud does when he scores a flaming hot beaut like that goal*.

Have a great week.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1

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