Monday, March 06, 2006

Madrid Preview

Due to some 'technical' difficulties, I can only update when I'm in university at the moment: the technical difficulty being my useless housemate not paying the cable bill. If someone knows how this is possible when its on direct debit and I'm paying £630 a quarter into that account, then answers on a postcard...

Madrid: Its the game many of us have wanted since Wenger started to have an effect on the way we played football. I'm not going to go on about all the players and whether this has come 2 years too late, more on the situation as it stands.

Its half time and we're one nil-up. Thats it. Obviously I'd have bitten off your arm if you offered a 1-0 win in Spain, but we're only half way there. A 2 goal blitz by Madrid like they did in their Cup means we have to score 2 on the night as well. Yeah, as long as we don't lose, we go through, but its tough. On talksport, they hardly mentioned the Arsenal game as they took it as a given, I think cant think of anything more foolish. I feel a lot may come down to formation, and the attitude it brings with it.

Playing 4-4-2 would give one heck of a spectacle (like yesterdays blackburn/totts game but with better players) but would increase the chances of losing. I'd take a Chav-esque 1-0 grinder any day in this game. To play the same as in Spain is safer but may mean the players, in their heads, are playing for a draw. Its a hell of a careful balance, but I'd play the same way as in Madrid, or at least start that way. It was essentially one striker but with such pace, it became 3 up front when need be.

Highbury has always been a strange pitch for away teams, there is simply no space for them to play if used to wide pitches such as Madrids'. Being used to this narrow style I believe we will pressurise them into errors and can break from there.
I have a feeling Wenger may start with Dennis but sentimentality aside, I think that's a waste. We need pace to hit on the counter attack and if I made one change it would be freddie out on the right and Diaby in the middle to hassle in the narrow confines, allowing Cesc to create and Gilberto to marshall the back four.

I'm going with another Arsenal victory on the night, but it will be much closer than last time, make no mistake!
And to top it off, after another MOTM performance by Cesc, he will salute the new President of Madrid with just the two fingers!


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