Saturday, 25 October 2014

Sunderland (A)

Posts have been few and far between recently and for that I apologise. Hopefully this post will get this blog back on track this season. 

I'll start with a word on Wednesday nights performance. For 89 minutes we were outplayed and quite frankly looked out of ideas. The only two players whose performances I remember are wonderful Sanchez who at the moment is carrying the entire squad and Gibbs who put in a real shift at left back. We were on the verge of a humiliating defeat and Chambers who had a poor night put in the cross of his life to find onrushing Gibbs who's side footed finish into the far corner was truly top drawer.

Then in a dramatic finale, some fantastic work in box fell to Podolski who had been desperately thrown on for Wilshere and the German turned and blasted the ball into the net sending the travel fans into delirium. It was a great win but it doesn't cover up the frailties and our make shift defence at the moment just looks so weak its concerning and this has been confounded by the news that Koscielny will be out for another month at least.

Anyway we're in Premier League action today away at Sunderland and we're desperate for a win. We've not won in the league since Aston Villa which was weeks ago and Sunderland will be dangerous today following their monumental (and rather suspicious) thrashing at the hands of Southampton. So we should go there under no illusion that they will be playing for everything.

Our team today will be interesting. Arteta is fit and I feel that he will come straight back into the side today. Our back line I think will swap around as it's pretty clear that Monreal isn't cut out to play centre back. As thats the case I expect Chambers to start alongside Mertesacker with Gibbs on the left and Bellerin on the right. That doesn't bother me much as I think Bellerin can hold his own well, he's fast and intelligent. Jack Wilshere starts his ban for picking up too many yellows so I think Ramsey will sit alongside Arteta. Our three behind Welbeck I think will be the OX, Cazorla and Sanchez from right to left.

Sunderland do have dangerous players in the shape of Fletcher the thug upfront and with others like Connor Wickham who every now and then puts in a stella performance. We will face our old keeper Mannone between the sticks who no doubt will still be hurting from last weeks performance and though he's a former player today we need to pile on the misery.

Midweek Gibbs was asked whether that result could be a springboard for this season and he said he hoped so. I think we all join him on that and let's hope it starts today with a nice comfortable win over Sunderland. COYG!