After a far from comfortable win on Saturday we’re in the FA Cup final!
And after Villa spoiled Stevie G’s birthday dream we’ll be playing a Villa team who have got Benteke firing again. It can’t be a coincidence that he’s started scoring just as we approach the end of the season and before the transfer window can it? He’s got a move to Sp*rs or Liverpool coming in the summer I reckon, poor sod.
Anyway, moving on we’ve got a huge game this Sunday at home to Chelsea. I don’t see this as a game we must win to keep our apparent title challenge alive. We’re not going to win the league this year, Chelsea have got it all wrapped up. I see it as a must win game to cement second place and to end our atrocious record against a Mourinho team.
So far, we’ve done well this season against the ‘bigger’ teams in the Premiership, four points from Man City on top of the Community Shield win, four points from Liverpool and we knocked Man United out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. A vast improvement on last season so far.
Our biggest challenge against the big boys is coming this Sunday against top of the table Chelsea. We’ve basically got a full squad to choose from, with the only question marks over The Ox and Mertesacker. We’re playing a Chelsea team that haven’t been playing that well during the second half of the season but are still grinding out results and could also be without a recognised striker.
If we can win on Sunday, it’ll be bigger than just three points. It’ll be the final piece of the ‘new Arsenal approach’ we’ve heard about after the Man City, Man United and Liverpool games. It’ll be a win against a Mourinho team. A Wenger victory over the arrogant one. A new approach against the best.
We all know how they’ll set-up. They’ll sit back, try and catch us on the break or wait for a mistake… Just as they did against United. We need to make sure we are prepared to wait for our chances, take them as they come and have them chase the ball.
As well as the need for a team performance I believe a couple of players are going to be especially important for us if we’re going to win.
We’re going to need Coquelin to carry on his fantastic form and put in a shift similar to Man City away. He’ll be the man to cut off the supply from Cesc or Matic to Hazard, Oscar, Willian or Cuadrado. He’ll be the one to break up the play and pass the ball on to our more creative players, even if we’re on the front foot he’s going to have a massive role to play to nullify any counter attacks or creativity they have going forward.
Giroud will come in for Welbeck, his hold up play and strength in the air will be important. He’s capable of making it difficult for John Terry and Gary Cahill with his ability to pull defenders out of position and opening up the space for the likes of Alexis and Ramsey to exploit.
For me, these two are going to be key to beating Chelsea, let’s hope the new approach can end the Mourinho jinx.