Set-Up for the Bridge

Chelsea Vs Arsenal. Always a big one. The anticipation is palpable and the fans are up for it especially since we have beaten Chelsea a few times recently. What gives all of us that bit of scepticism is the venue- STAMFORD BRIDGE – things just seem to always go wrong. Either red cards or referees screwing us over or just a complete meltdown. Adding to all the scepticism is the fact that this game has a make or break feel to it. Win and everyone’s buzzing again. Lose and its Arsene Out. 

A lot of fans will look to the FA Cup Final and want a repeat of the same setup ,same tempo in attack & same approach. Same tempo in attack,yes. The rest, nope. This is an away game, far too many times under AW have we tried to attack and blow the opposition away from home and each time, we’ve been absolutely battered. Pragmatic is the word. Pretty obvious, right? Not as simple as parking the bus. We need to keep things tight at the back and in midfield. Normally before each game, you’d find a lot of fans debating those 2 midfield positions a lot, it has to be Ramsey / Xhaka. Period. 

This is Chelsea. Ramsey/Xhaka keeping it tight won’t do it. The press has to be fast, strong and unrelenting which is why as much as this hurts me to say, we might have to consider dropping Mesut. What makes this scenario even more complicated is the Alexis situation, is he even committed to the cause ? Wenger dropped him at the weekend to send him a message and it would’ve gotten through but it does not guarantee his total commitment. That is something we will just have to trust AW with. Even if he is committed, I’d relegate him to the bench again to show him who’s boss. 

In such a ( very likely and entirely plausible )` situation, I’d keep the same shape, defence and midfield from the game at the weekend and let the front 3 of Giroud, Welbeck and Lacazette rotate with Giroud as a focal point which is where he’d be most effective. This front 3 also helps us whilst defending and having Giroud as a target man upfront in such games is always useful in a number of ways with the rest behind the ball. 

Dropping Ozil / Alexis isn’t as big a gamble as you might think. 

Thanks for reading and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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