Arsenal vs Marseille preview: Goal-scoring machine Gunners are back! Plus favourite line-up
Written by Chris on October 31, 2011 23:00
Five. F-i-v-e. Fiver. 5. No matter how you say it or write it, the word five is suddenly meaning something for us Arsenal fans after last Saturday’s magical performance at Stamford Bridge.
Personally, I feel that the Chelsea game demonstrated that when our players perform, we can achieve positive results. Make no mistake, Johan Djourou, Per Mertesacker, Wojciech Szczesny and Andre Santos(in the first half) were far from convincing against the Blues but even though 3/4 of our defensive department didn’t impress (in both halves), we still managed to score goals and win the game because the midfield clicked and the strikers scored.
This, in a way, confirms what I have been saying for the last three years, that if we want to win things, and win we can, we have to start looking at these type of results, 5-3, 4-3, 6-2, you name it, because we create a lot of chances and we have players who can actually take them.
There should be no shame in admitting that defensively we may never improve, ultimately we again conceded from a set-piece because of some terrible marking in the box, but besides trying to fix our problems at the back we should focus on what we are already doing right: scoring goals.
Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Andrey Arshavin, Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Chu Young Park and of course Robin van Persie, all players who know how to hit the target, all players who know what it means to score goals and as we look forward to tomorrow’s Champions League game, this is indeed what our focus should be on, to take our chances and score as many goals as possible.
Defensively, yes, the jury is still out but with Thomas Vermaelen back I’m more than sure that we will improve, after all the Belgian impressed alongside Laurent Koscielny before the injury and that duo-tackle they made in the second half at the Bridge was a nice demonstration of the desire, heart and strength of these two.
As we look forward, the question to ask is: Can we win anywhere as Robin and Theo stressed out this week? Yes, but we could also lose anywhere if we don’t stay humble as ultimately this is what I’m afraid happened, last season, after the Barcelona win, with the players believing that they are finally “there”, when in reality they were still stuck on square one.
To conclude, I will unfortunately not be in a position to submit my post-match article tomorrow and such pattern may continue, for evening games, for the coming months as work is keeping me incredibly busy lately although I will still follow all games of course!
As always, my favourite line-up is below. Remember you can submit your own at Arsenal Interactive and then share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Three points are vital, of course, as it would allow us to “relax” a little in the last two games of the Group Stage.
But, I feel that some changes could be done to experiment a bit ahead of the future. Give Lukasz Fabianski a start to assess him in important games, especially now that questions are being asked on Wojciech’s reliability, way too crazy the way he left his goal in our last three games.
Defensively, I would try Thomas and Per in a central position with Laurent on the right. Johan Djourou was again disappointing against Chelsea, first half at least, and we cannot afford to go on with a player who has no idea how to properly position himself on the wing, that’s not his role after all.
In midfield, I would rest Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey, with Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky back in the starting line-up with Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie keeping their place with the Ivorian and Park ready to come on in the second half.
My gut feeling says that tomorrow’s will be Tomas Rosicky’s game, I feel he will steal the show.
The Gunning Hawk Coverage
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