Good morning all.
This afternoon at 4.30 P.M. we play Marcelo Bielsa’s mad attacking Leeds side. It should be an exciting game because of how they play. They have an all action, all attack, energy filled game that they play no matter who the opposition is. I don’t believe they have a single player that is as good as his Arsenal counterpart. Regardless of that, they will come at us in waves for 90 plus minutes. They will impose their game on us. It might cost them dearly, but even if it does, they will do the same again to their next oponents, no matter who they are. Remember those days?
Now, as for us? Who knows? We hope it’s the way we played for 44 minutes against Villa and not what we have seen for most of the rest of the season, but as I said, who knows?
Two big misses for us are Partey and Tierney. Their absence gives Arteta a problem or two that is more than just their own quality being missing. Who he picks to replace them will change the way we play considerably. The conservative changes would see Cedric and Elneny come in. Cedric is a genuine defender and Elneny is full of running, which me might need to match Leeds. A more adventurous line up would see Saka at leftback and Ceballos in the middle. Again, who knows? I can see the benefits for them all.
Luiz and Leno are back and one of them, Leno, seems certain to be selected. Luiz though? That’s quite a call for Mikel. Personally I’m not sure he should pay the price for what I consider was shocking refereeing, but I suspect he will.
We absolutely have better players than them, but so do every other team in the league, so we can’t rely on that, we will have to play well to win. We can and I hope we do because that will make it a good game and a good day.
Best of luck to Mikel, the boys and you all.
Newcastle playing an all ARSENAL academy midfield.
chelsea beat newcastle 2-0 and move up to 4th
Why do I think Partey is better than Elneny? Mostly just my judgement of him, between the injuries. Try my best to ignore price tags and noise about players-ie not base everything in this case on Partey reputation, fact he earned his place in high class Atletico Madrid team etc- but, while I like Mo, and think for certain jobs he is excellent, think Partey has a lot more to his game and can potentially form top partnership with Xhaka. *
Thought Mari played really well in 3-4 games he was in but not sure if that included any top sides or particularly fast attackers. Gabriel has been rocky for quite a while now, and in and out of team, but saw enough early on to give me hope he can be really good for us.
What would be your ideal 11, with everyone fit, at the moment then?
* admittedly can’t muster too much excitement about Partey at moment as my pessimistic streak suggests to me he probably won’t break out of injury cycle this year.
Ongoing worry for me as thought Tierney crying out for rest around time of Newc cup tie and, with Partey, find it alarming that even after happening twice before manager and other staff weren’t minded to show serious caution, even though he seemed to tire in latter stages of games.
The equation seems weird to me- keeping an at risk player on in belief it improves chances by say 5-10 per cent of getting positive result, in other words liking them significantly more than alternative, against risk of that player breaking down and then having to trust alternative for a number of games.
Perhaps indicates just how great pressure is on for results each game.
Podcast is up