(Informal blog tone activated.)
Good morning everyone. It finally started raining here over the last few days and I have to admit it’s a relief. Wildfires have been burning down my beloved wilderness and left the air choked with smoke and our cars covered in ash.
I remember seeing the fire coming. It was like a scene from a fantasy movie: the mountain (Mt. Rainier) had a weird layer of clouds that sliced it in two and off to the side there was this massive cloud of smoke from the fires spewing into the air like a column – like what I would expect if three dragons burned an entire army just over the mountains.
But the rain has come and is a welcome relief. The nights are getting colder as well.
The rain isn’t good all over, however. We have a long-suffering blog reader who goes by the handle Red Temptation on twitter (@thearsenalnote) who lives in the Dominican. She is literally in the eye of the hurricane. Hurricane Maria. She was just struck by a glancing blow of the last hurricane but Maria is coming. I don’t believe in prayer but I do believe in giving to help rebuild. I will try to find us a charity which uses most of their money for helping people and post links to that in the next post (tomorrow). If you have one you’d like to recommend, please do so in the comments.
As for Arsenal, they play in a League Cup match tomorrow against Doncaster Rovers. I had a oogle at their stats and they have none. They play in League 1 and they are in 19th place. They have 6 points in 8 matches. Leading scorer is John Marquis and he’s also their leading card getter. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he’s a bit of a handful as the Brits like to say.
Arsenal will be lining up a typical League Cup side. Wenger has specifically said that Wilshere will be involved as will Calum Chambers. I suspect Chambers will play on the right. Arsenal don’t actually have a good backup right back – Debuchy doesn’t train with the team and when asked if he would play Wenger flat out said “no.”
That frees up a spot for Holding and one of the more experienced CBs to get a start. I’m curious to see if Wenger plays a back three or back four. Either way, I think people will be pleasantly surprised by Chambers ability to go forward: he’s a decent dribbler and has a good cross.
In midfield I’m hoping to see Ainsley Maitland-Niles – though, again, Wenger deploys him as a wingback sometimes and we could see that. And along with AMN we might get a glimpse of some of the other youth team players. Wenger seems to be big on Reiss Nelson and also seems to be protecting the precocious talent of Jo Willock. We will see how Arsene picks his team in the morning.
I’m also excited to see the return of Jack Wilshere. He will be stepping in to the Özil role up front and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him paired with Giroud to start. In the 65th minute Wenger will bring on Lacazette and probably Alexis, just to keep them going. Wenger has a lot of choices up front. Walcott needs playing time and Akpom could play on the left. Both of them providing service to Giroud. I think I’ve picked 5 forwards. Lol.
My guess is that Arsenal will lineup with a 442 and just for fun I will go with…
Chambers Holding Mertesacker Monreal
Walcott Elneny AMN Alexis
Hey, it’s my blog and I can be wrong if I want to.
If you have extra time on your hands – and I literally have no idea why you would – you can read the big interview with Per Mertesacker on the dot com. He uses the word transition 102 times but he also talks about the importance of teamwork and really on blaming the team instead of the players when things fall down. It’s a decent read.
- Kolo Toure talked about what made his partnership with Sol Campbell so good: Campbell was good in the air, Kolo was fast on the ground. Also, he loved taking advice from Martin Keown.
- Per Mertesacker talked about transitioning into a youth coach at the end of the season: he would like us to remember that this is a team sport and he also doesn’t like it when former players-turned-pundit, specifically Martin Keown, give advice. He sounds like a wonderful family man and I hope he makes a great coach for Arsenal’s academy.
- No one could have predicted Thierry Henry would go on to score 229 goals for Arsenal. The official site has a typo: they say that Henry only scored 228 goals but I don’t count that deflection off Scott Dann as an own goal because that would be ridiculous. Henry scored 229 for Arsenal. 229 is a prime number.
- Lacazette likes Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah. They are good good players he says, citing their stats and calmness in front of goal.
Well, that’s enough of this for today. I have to go to work and see a woman about a thing.
Source: arsenal.com – go click on them, clicks have what plants CRAVE.