So tonight’s game may mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it will give the main Arsenal players the chance to have a rest from our gruelling fixture list, and also to give some of our youngsters a chance to impress Unai Emery in a real matchday atmosphere. And of course it gives Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal a chance to gain a little bit more fitness as well.
We may have an easy game tomorrow night against Qarabag when we will see some of Arsenal’s youngsters on display, but we then begin the gruelling Christmas schedule on Sunday when we travel down to Southampton, where we have a poor record against the Saints. I am sure Emery will have the team fresh and ready, although we do seem to be lacking a few defenders! If we don’t lose it should mean we have gone four full months without losing a game!
It has been over six months since the Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny last appeared in a competitive match for us, but after a frustrating summer spent watching France win the World Cup without him, and then watching the rise of our new back line, he is now ready to come back as our leader.
Arsenal are in the middle of a gruelling run of fixtures at the moment, but our best players can have some respite on Thursday when we can play a completely rotated team against Qarabag in the Europa League. We have already qualified from the Group and a draw will guarantee we finish top but we really need to rest some players – as fatigue, injuries and suspensions are starting to make an impact on the squad.
A couple of years ago UEFA made the Champions League fairer by seeding clubs based on who were actually champions of their country. That avoided the bizarre scenario of the likes of Man City winning their domestic title but then being in pot 4 based on not having the European history of their rivals.
We are in for a fascinating evenings entertainment from Old Trafford, as Arsenal’s nemesis Jose Mourinho tries to stop Unai Emery’s incredible unbeaten run since the opening two games of the season. The Red Devils extensive injury problems will give us extra confidence but with the resilience that Arsenal have showed over the last few months we know that they will fight to the death or at least for 90 plus minutes!
So Arsenal have yet another crunch match to try and extend their unbeaten run to an amazing 20 games in a row in all competition. The Gunners may have an abysmal record at Old Trafford but there has probably never been a better time to play Jose Mourinho’s injury-ridden side.
Poor old Jose Mourinho. He hates losing and despite spending squillions in the transfer market he just can’t seem to close the gap on the Top Four at all. While Arsenal were making mincemeat of Tottenham, Man United dropped 2 more points in a draw at Southampton, and is now wallowing 8 points behind us and the Spuds.