Daily Archives: October 26, 2015
When the Gunners bottled up at home to Olympiakos, many had believed that their European adventures were going to come to a disappointing end yet again and with a high-profile game against Manchester United coming up, the team had to regain their focus, lick their wounds and bring their A-game as the club’s eternal rivals visited the Emirates. It’s fair to say that the Gunners blew the Red Devils away in one of the most pulsating first half I’ve witnessed as an Arsenal fan in a long while. Brimming with confidence from vanquishing Manchester United, the Gunners had a tricky fixture against Watford and it was one of the drab first 45 minutes I’ve seen from the side. They looked like a far cry from the team that was near perfect against Manchester United but the quality of the squad shone through with goals from Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.
Then there was the game against the European juggernauts, Bayern Munich, where the Gunners struggled to get a hold of the ball for 90 minutes but they had the best stats of the night – two unreplied goals against the German superpowers, igniting the flames of their European campaign. Following the exertions from the Bayern game, it was expected that some of the lads would be fatigued and it was shown in the Everton game but the players still had to dig deep to snatch a result from the dogged Everton side that gave the Gunners a run for their money.
So that’s four wins on the bounce since the defeat to Olympiakos and the club’s remaining fixtures in October sees the team make trips to Hillsborough and the Liberty Stadium to take on Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea respectively. November starts with an all-important away clash to Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena and the Gunners can take some solace in the fact that they haven’t lost in their recent trips to that ground. The North London Derby will be followed with clashes agaisnt West Brom, Dinamo Zagreb and Norwich.
There has already been a casualty in the Gunner’s resurgence with Aaron Ramsey suffering from a hamstring injury that has seen Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain return to the first team. In goal, David Ospina is currently injured so the Gunners are walking a very tight rope in that department and will be hopeful that nothing happens to Petr Cech. At the back, Gabriel Paulista has shown that he’s an able deputy for both Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny but I expect Calum Chambers to get some action in tomorrow’s clash against Sheffield Wednesday. Kieran Gibbs and Matt Debuchy are dependable back ups to Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin, so it will be important for the former to get some game time while the latter get some rest because they have been instrumental in the team’s upturn in form.
The Gunners are blessed with a plethora of midfielders but the injuries to Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and more recently, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey wouldn’t allow the manager rotate as much as he would like in central midfield. Sure, Mathieu Flamini can step in for the Coq but who would replace the likes of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil? It’s not as if there are some youngsters we can call upon for those positions. In attack, Alex Iwobi and Joel Campbell could get some gametime on the wings but I heavily suspect that Wenger would play the Ox against Sheffield in his bid to give the lad more minutes.
It’s really nice to see the team enjoying a run of form and we can only hope it continues.
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