Sometimes in the midst of chaos you find a moment of clarity. In the midst of one of the toughest and most chaotic stretches of games any team in the world has faced this season, Arsenal find themselves in the middle of a two week lull. With all due respect to Sunderland and Stoke City, they aren’t exactly boasting the type of squads that Liverpool, Man City, United, and Bayern are. The fact that in the next month we have Bayern away, Tottenham away, Chelsea away, and City at home, means that this game is even more crucial. Not Just for the three points we so desperately need, but to make sure that we are in high spirits going into this next month of games.
The need for all three points is a given. This is a game that we SHOULD be taking points from, but more importantly, we need to solidify confidence in ourselves and our teammates before our dangerous run of games. For all you Star Wars fans, looking ahead to this month is like looking down the sarlacc pit (Return of the Jedi). I look down and see rows of razor sharp teeth with giant tongue like arms coming out to pull me into a pit of despair. We need to pull out our light sabers and blasters and go all out to show we are real title contenders.
With the imminent return of Ozil, we will be given a boost. This is the perfect type of game for him to regain confidence as well. He will have a lot of the ball and after being given a break by Wenger to recover mentally, I think that he will respond well and show his class. The team has had a full week off, which means everyone should have fresh legs. Seeing as there is another week break before our FA cup tie with Everton, Wenger can afford to release the hounds and put his strongest squad out there against Stoke. I hope to see 8 out of 10 players making runs into the box. All-out attack with the likes of Ozil, Wilshire, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlin, and Sagna all wreaking havoc and making runs into the area. If we can get an early goal, I can see us opening the flood gates and running rampant all over Stoke, but if they decide to “park the bus”(as the usually do) and we don’t score early on, then it may be a boring drawn out game with a 2nd half goal to decide the game.
If we lose, we will be tossed aside and all the “I told you so’s” will come pouring out from every critic’s mouth like they were spitting hot fire. If we win, it will be said we were supposed to and no one will pay attention, but I know a win will breed confidence in the entire squad, and when looking down into the sarlacc pit…confidence you will need!(Yoda Voice). My prediction: 3-1 to the Arsenal.