The trip to West Ham tomorrow will see a much-changed Arsenal XI start the game. That’s no surprise, the EFL Cup under whatever banner it has operated, is always a testing ground for Arsène.
And Wenger made no bones about changing his line-up. Talking before the Southampton game, Arsène made no bones about changing his line-up; it’s in keeping with previous years and supporters feel the same way.
This is more important; this is the Premier League. Not only that, it’s West Ham and that’s for many, one step below Tottenham. It’s a must-win game because we expect to do so. The ‘Old School’ supporters remember the 4 – 1 drubbing which captures the 1988-89 title win perfectly.
Tomorrow’s another game. The tea-time kick-off in England, Arsenal will know whether they are going top or keeping in touch with a win. The latter probably.
We know some players will drop out: Emi Martinez isn’t playing tomorrow unless Cech or Ospina go down with an illness overnight. Mustafi and Koscielny will take over in the centre and if we’re honest, everyone prefers Monreal over Gibbs.
Which takes us into centre of midfield and here’s where the arguments start. As it’s an away game, Coquelin and Xhaka are the ideal pair but in purely football terms, it’s Ramsey and Xhaka; passing and support for the attack.
The biggest question is, as ever, over the attack. Olivier Giroud’s injury settles the argument; Alexis leads the line. The question remains who is on the left. C’mon, we know Theo is going to be on the right so is it either of the Alex’s, Iwobi or Oxlade-Chamberlain, or Lucas Perez. Expect to see Lucas at some point but starting? As Much as Ox is the more logical choice, Arsène never paid much heed to logic and Iwobi will be there at kick-off.
Which is a pretty solid line-up and good enough to win. Now, it’s just down to reality…