We can and must believe we can beat Atletico! by Konstantin Mitov
The final meaningful game of the season has come. We go to Madrid needing a win or a high scoring draw to progress against a side which has conceded just 18 goals in La Liga and only 3 in the Europa League.
They will be happy to sit back and hit us on the counter, but we have to attack and that’s not necessarily bad. We tried defending a few times this season and it didn’t work. We failed to make it an easy game against CSKA and even Ostersunds so even if we had a lead I doubt we’d be able to hang on to it.
Up front though, we have the quality to hurt them. The starting 11 pretty much picks itself, with the exception of two positions. The keeper choice is likely to be Cech, due to his experience although neither him nor Ospina have been great for us. Then comes Mikhi or Welbeck?
I’d personally start Mikhi and bring Welbeck on in the second half due to his pace and his work ethic. He’ll be very helpful in defense if we have a good result. Mikhi is the more creative one and although his injury will likely keep him out of full 90 minutes, I’d start him.
We are major underdogs, but this is a plus for us. We’ve gone away to massive grounds needing results and we’ve failed to get them in recent years, but we only need 1 goal this time.
If there is one thing that has not been a problem this year, it’s scoring goals. And while this season has been a massive reality check for us, we have to literally forget everything that’s happened and just give 100% to try and win the game.
The players will be up for it no doubt. They know it’s the last chance to prove themselves in a meaningful game and for some it can even earn them a world cup spot. I have this little tickling feeling in my heart that we’ll nick it 2:1 but logic tells me we’ll make a defensive mistake that will kill us.
Anyway, I’m excited! Being an Arsenal fan in the last 10 years has often sucked the joy of football out of me as I always knew what would happen. Now that Wenger is going I’m excited for the future as I have no idea what it looks like.
Finally on that thought, the news about Liverpool’s assistant coach leaving to replace Wenger are hilarious! The media is reaching the point where every football person that shifts his job is the next Arsenal manager.
It’s sad what they’ll do to get more clicks. Besides, the betting companies are really enjoying this too as the more names are in the mix, the more profit off of failed bets they’ll make.
We’ve just sacked Wenger and there is still the small matter that we might win the Europa League, which will completely change the cards we can play to attract a new manager. Besides we’ll be looking at a lot of options, not jump to the first guy.
We hired one of the best scouts in the world and we signed a director of football, that has overseen some of the most successful parts of Barcelona’s history. Those people are here to ensure we don’t get another emperor in charge.
With Ivan Gazidis putting his grip on the football club and Josh Kroenke closely looking at the club, we will not hurry with the decision. Anyway, there will be plenty of time to discuss this. Now it’s time to get our Arsenal scarfs on one more time as this is a massive game. Exactly the type of game I want us to be playing in!