Saturday, 17 September 2016

Arsenal's Trip To Hull City Previewed

The games are coming thick and fast for Arsenal at the moment. They somehow managed to sneak a point away to PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday night and they're away again today when they face Hull City in the Premier League. It's a bit early to be saying this is a must win game, but anything other than a win world be a very disappointing result.

I'll try to keep my preview as brief as possible as I'm suffering from a bad cold as well as attempting to prepare for my youngest's 21st tonight. Usually I would go into what I think might be the starting team and my reasons for thinking so, but it's impossible to second guess Arsene Wenger at the moment. It almost seems like he's a picking the team to prove himself right rather than the best team for the game.

I still can't understand why Granit Xhaka isn't a permanent fixture in the team or how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is keeping his place despite looking almost lost at times. From what the manager said yesterday Xhaka will eventually cement a place in the team, but it's almost as if he's saying the midfield wasn't crying out for a player of his quality. As for Chamberlain he looks like he's turning into the new Theo Walcott and it's nigh on impossible to justify his place in the team. Whatever it might do to his confidence, I think the good of the team and it's needs have to take preference and he has to be overlooked.

I'm also worried about the left side of our defence as team after team are targeting us on that side and getting some joy from it. Nacho Monreal isn't getting enough protection from whichever player plays wide right and opponents are taking advantage of it. It's blatantly obvious and needs to be dealt with post haste. 

Hull have started the season very well all things considered and have as many points as Arsenal from their first four games. For me it's a case of all hands to the pump and their lack of quality and numbers will catch up on them at some stage. We need to hit them hard and hit them fast and test their resources to the full. 

I have no doubt they will defend in depth with numbers and try to hit us on the break or from set pieces. It's a tactic we find difficult to deal with far too often and it could take patience to break them down. In games like this I think Olivier Giroud is the best choice of the players we have to play in the central striking role and he has to play if he's fit.

For me the trial of Alexis Sanchez in the striker's role hasn't worked and he's far better in a wide role. He's one of the best players in the Premier League and it makes perfect sense to play him in his best position. In s tight game like this he's far more likely to make the difference coming in from a wide role than playing centrally.

Having said all of that I still think we should beat Hull no matter what team is chosen. With the right attitude and commitment we should have too much for them and we just need to impose ourselves on the game. It's a very busy time of the season and results bring confidence and we quite simply need the three points.

We don't need to rest players for the Forest game on Tuesday night and we should play our strongest team. I know I said I wouldn't go into team selection, but it just can't be ignored I suppose.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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