We apologise for the lack of blogging recently; it’s due to a set of circumstances which hopefully won’t continue for too long. Having not given our views on the City game, I’ll briefly touch on our point at the Etihad.
Up until now, we had actually had a worse season than last campaign when you compare equivalent matches. In 2011/12, we managed to beat Sunderland at home, drew away to Stoke, beat Liverpool away and we won against Blackburn at home (assuming Southampton replaced them). This season, the results were the same bar a draw to O’Neill’s side. But after the City game, we have finally bettered a result from last year.
We lost to City last season, but this time round we got a draw. The difference between the two games wasn’t much – we performed excellently in Manchester last time, but failed to get any points. This time we showed that “spirit” and got a late equaliser, courtesy of a striker’s finish from Koscielny.
A point may not keep us at the very top of the table, but it does do plenty of things. Firstly, it keeps the confidence up – we are still unbeaten this season. Secondly, we managed to draw away from home against the Champions. This shows we can compete with the best. In fact, we were arguably the stronger side for parts of the game. Wenger noted this in his post-match interview – there was some frustration that we (and by we, I mean Gervinho) failed to take all the chances we created.
But now we move on, with a match tonight in the
Carling Capital One Cup against Coventry. We all expect a totally new starting eleven to play a side that is yet to record a win in the league this season. Coventry sit 23rd in League One, with just 3 points from 8 games. They had to score 10 penalties to beat League Two’s Burton Albion in the Football League Trophy but did defeat Championship side Birmingham in the previous round of the Capital One Cup.
Here is my predicted line-up:
The news is that Yennaris will start, in our first home game against Coventry since Nico was a mascot.
I hope Arshavin plays in that Cazorla role, just behind the strikers. I think Wenger should’ve always used him in a central role – it is supposedly his favoured position and where he has played in Russia. It would be good for Wenger to have more options in that role, rather than just Cazorla. Otherwise, we could rely far too heavily on the Spaniard.
The defence has been all but confirmed by Wenger’s comments and ‘inside’ sources. I hope both Santos and Miquel get the full 90 minutes, because they are good players who are yet to start this season. They need to be ready to jump into the first team if we need them.
Our attack is the one area of the pitch which I am unsure of. My prediction is that of a strong front line, but we also have Chamakh and Gnabry in the squad, who could feature. I think Walcott will start because he hasn’t played much, which is rumoured to be due to his stalling contract negotiations. That could be the case, but it is also because Podolski and Gervinho have been playing pretty well. With Giroud, I don’t know whether I’d start him. He needs more time to get used to our style of play and a goal will do wonders for his confidence. But if he scores, then it’s “only against Coventry.” If he doesn’t, then he “can’t score against Coventry.” Either way, he’s going to be screwed by the media unless he plays an absolute blinder. I hope he starts against Chelsea too, because it shows the manager trusts him and his aerial presence could be really important. But I doubt he will start both tonight and again on the weekend.