The international break is over and I have returned.
Arsenal take on Bournemouth at The Emirates this afternoon in desperate need of a win, a phrase I seem to repeat weekly.
I predicted Arsene Wenger would make a crazy team selection against Liverpool a fortnight ago and I hit the nail on the head but, I expect him to be slightly more rational today.
However, it’s not about who Arsene picks here. This town isn’t big enough for the both of us and it’s my town.
So kick back and relax, here is my team.
I’m not going to bother with the same joke about David Ospina I usually make because I imagine it’s getting boring. Petr Cech is in goal and there’s not really an explanation needed.
I’ve decided to stick with the 3-4-2-1 but with a slight tactical tweak that could make all the difference.
Let’s be honest, Wenger tried to copy Antonio Conte’s Chelsea system in order to achieve success but, foolishly he forgot about one of the most important pieces of the three back puzzle. The sweeper.
David Luiz plays that role for Chelsea, brilliantly well may I add and I’ve decided to put Laurent Koscielny in that position for today with the simple instruction of keeping a very close eye on Jermain Defoe.
He will be flanked either side by Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi because I refuse to play full backs, more specifically Nacho Monreal, in the three man defence. Those two need to stay solid and wide awake as Bournemouth’s pacey attack could cause problems. Don’t push too high up leaving spaces in behind because as good as the covering Koscielny is, he can’t defend on his own.
The wing backs are an easy choice once again.
Hector Bellerin is on the right with Sead Kolasinac on the left. The pair need to get forward and make a contribution but also fulfill their defensive duties. I need a high-energy performance to provide an impact at both ends of the pitch and give us an outlet down the outside, rather than trying to funnel centrally as I believe Bournemouth will create a blockade in that area.
I picked Jack Wilshere last time out and I’ve picked him again. His fight, energy and attacking impetus are exactly what is needed in the team at this moment and now we know he is with the club until at least January, why not use him? Let’s get him back to fitness, protect him and we will hopefully see him return to his brilliant best.
Granit Xhaka is alongside him and I want the Swiss to sit deep, acting as destroyer when not in possession and a deep lying playmaker with it. Xhaka can play a crucial role in this Arsenal side but I think we are yet to see him at his best.
Ever since the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette for a club record fee in the summer, every single Gooner has been waiting to see him line up alongside Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. That time is now.
I’ve picked all three with Ozil and Sanchez operating just behind Lacazette. I want creativity, I want constant danger caused and more importantly, I want goals. Goals, goals, goals. Because they win games.
So that’s my team. What do you think?
To quote Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson…”It doesn’t matter what you think!”
It only matters what Arsene thinks. Who will he pick? We shall see shortly.