Having been directed to this Lee Dixon piece on the beeb website I felt the burning need to share, it really sums up what a lot of us have been suspecting about our defending or lack of it. There may been some rather systemic problems in our setup as a club, I suspect we play a bit too much mini-football that focuses on close control and passing, while defending is ignored. As Lee ponders, who is coaching our players defensively, are they doing the right stuff in training, is there enough focus on the back four as a unit? I wonder, I really do.
Being the ultra optimist, at least we should be able to learn from these mistakes, Arsene wants the team to unite and show solidarity in the face of this criticism. I could not agree more with Arsene when he spoke about the media's pathetic spinning of his press conferences, they have now dishonestly misrepresented his words following thre Villa and Chelsea games, it is cheap and shallow of the media. At least Ancelotti was wise enough not to react like a hysterical Jack Russell puppie as O'Neill had done the week before. Arsene also spoke of the made up rumour of him wanting to sign Sorensen, what a surprise that was complete and utter horse manure. Elsewhere it will be interesting to see how Kyle Bartley gets on at Sheffield United on loan, if he can get some first team action under his belt then he may force his way into the first team squad for next year. Jack Wilshere is getting a run out for Bolton at the City of Manchester stadium tonight.
Liverpool are going to come and play defensively, that is pretty much guaranteed. They will shield their back four with Macherano and Lucas, they will then have a trio (Maxi, Gerrard, Kuyt) in front of these two defensive players, with probably Ngog up top. I think we have to start with Bendtner even if he can only last 50 or 60 minutes. This would allow Arshavin to drop to his favoured role on the left, Walcott should get a run on the right, despite the criticism I thought he put in an industrious shift against Chelsea. Song, Cesc and Diaby will make up the middle three. Eboue must be pushing Sagna for a starting slot and given Clichy's form, Traore can't be far off the left back slot. Liverpool will love if we play without an orthodox striker, it will play right into their hands, I really hope we don't leave Arshavin up front on his own again.
Traore is even worse than Clichy, sell them both after this season.
Don't rate Traore as a defender either but he's actually BETTER than Clichy in one problem area: CROSSING, something we are really poor at. The Guardian did a statistical ranking of effective crossing in the PL and we were way down the bottom. Honestly, my lack of faith in Clichy is so deep right now that I wouldn't mind seeing Traore there. I have little faith in him as well but I don't agree he's worse than Clichy right now. Traore's also a bit nasty, which Clichy isn't.
I'm pretty nervous about tomorrow's game.
Eboue instead of Walcott
Eboue is dynamic. i don't know why he doesn't play more often.
The ONLY WORRY on my head - What if Bendtner doesn't start? I'll keep my eyes closed till I hear the whistle...freakin' me out already!
We can beat 'em. Come on!
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