Arsene Wenger has declared that he is determined to build on Arsenal’s fantastic away win over the Premier League champions Man City last weekend. And that starts today, with another away game in the fourth round of the FA cup.
That is why the boss has vowed to pick a very strong starting line-up, even though we are facing a team in the bottom half of the Championship in Brighton and Hove Albion. Wenger also referred to the strength of the Arsenal bench at the Etihad stadium though, which had Szczesny, Gibbs, Chambers, Flamini, Rosicky, Ozil and Walcott, and admitted that some of those players would be starting today.
It does not take a genius to work out that Walcott and Ozil will be two of them, especially after he spoke about them in an Arsenal.com report as needing time on the pitch to sharpen up after long spells away with injury.
The Frenchman said, “People reproach you when you have no competition on the bench. When there is one, they question you as well. It is true there is competition for places at the moment, that is a luxury that only a club like of our stature can afford.
“It can make the players better, because the competition inside the club is always very important to keep the players on their toes. These are players who are in a bit of a special position, it is not their quality which is questioned, it is just the fact they have just come back from long term injuries.
“The best XI I have in my head can change every week. We are in a world where competition is vital and competition is just down to performance in the last game.”
I think most Arsenal fans would agree that we need to get Ozil and Walcott back and ready to help Arsenal enjoy a better second half of the season. The only problem is that playing both of them almost certainly means that Wenger will drop the excellent Santi Cazorla to the bench.
Do you agree that this is a risk worth taking or would you prefer Wenger to make absolutely certain of getting through?