@LaboGoon opens the programme on Arsenal vs Southampton
Arsenal travel to Southampton this afternoon looking to bounce back after shooting ourselves in both kneecaps last weekend.
In that game from 10 minutes in till the end whistle we put in quite a credible performance, but it was ultimately the “Oh FFS” moments in the initial 10 that did enough damage. And that’s the lesson in humility that should accompany us for not only today, but onwards.
Going to St Mary’s has never been an easy trip for Arsenal. Our victory there last season has been the only one in the PL this decade.
Mauricio Pellegrino have his boys well organised in recent weeks. In their last three matches they scored 4 goals vs Everton thanks to a good attacking display, turned Pep into a demented banshee after keeping his gunslingers at arms length defending in numbers, before coming from behind to draw vs a very spirited Bournemouth team. That they can take a lot of heart from that performances, varying tactics, should be enough to give us pause for concern.
In our four matches following the FIFA week we’d been in good form, playing with energy, confidence and togetherness, besides that 10 minute freak show of course.
With the PL so unforgiving it’s hard to gauge how hard you need to go one game to the next during these congested times. So as default we need to keep the intensity and tenacity up, without getting ahead of ourselves. The PL is a steeplechase we go one hurdle at a time.
Chelsea allowing West Ham to pin them back in the opening stages of their game gifted the Hammers an opportunity they didn’t look back from. That’s a risk we can’t afford to make (again). When the ref blow the whistle to signal the start of the game we switch on, and stay on till full time.
Being the “most important game of the season” I have no doubt Arsène Wenger will field his strongest team from the available players. Those are the same as last week beside Shkodran Mustafi who’s missing out with injury. We could see either Holding or Mertesacker taking his place. Might be too soon for Chambers who only just came back from injury.
Arsenal are going into hostile territory as the St Mary’s crowd will be on our players’ back from start to end. So let’s keep our fingers crossed they keep their wits about them.
Good luck to all watching the game wherever you find yourselves, and don’t quit speaking out against those who seek to divide the Arsenal fan base. COYG