Good morning all.
Early blog for an early start start, high noon in fact.
This is a hard game to call, we go into the game feeling chipper following our late winner in the Europa League, while Leicester have their tails between their legs having been dumped out of the same competition. On the other hand they are doing well in league, while we are struggling big time. So in short, anything could happen.
Normally I can at least hazard a decent guess about the line up, but not today. I seriously have no clue what Arteta will send out to start the game. We have some players seriously in need of a rest, Saka, Xhaka, Bellerin for sure, but can he afford to rest them, or even some of them? Even one of them? The cheer up that Thursday gave us will soon disappear if we lose our 12th PL game, he has to turn our league position around, because putting all our eggs in the Europa league basket is a dangerous business. People are clinging to the hope of winning the EL, but if we get dumped out of that and are stuck in 12th or 13th place, the cat will be among the pigeons.
Make no mistake, this is a big game and in difficult circumstances, unless we win questions will be asked about selections and priorities. We can all understand why players should be rested and other given game time but that understanding will fly out the window should we lose again. That’s the nature of hindsight management. I don’t like Arteta, but I don’t envy his task over the coming weeks. He has to go on a good run or things will get nasty, and with the chance of fans returning to the stadium, that nastiness will become very vocal.
Anyway, we shouldn’t forget that we have some very good players, no matter who is selected and at least Maddison isn’t fit, so that should help.