I can understand why a few Arsenal fans are almost celebrating another FA cup trophy already, because the Gunners are the strong favourites to come home from Wembley happy on Saturday evening. There is the small matter of a game to win first though and the Monaco game this season served as a stark reminder that odds can be upset in football.
Still, with Arsenal having beaten Aston Villa twice already this season, and comfortably at that with a 3-0 away win and a 5-0 thumping at the Emirates, many of us expect Arsenal to win and win well. Plus, there was the suggestion from Tim Sherwood last week that he would send his players out to go `toe-to-toe´ with Arsenal and that had us rubbing our hands with glee.
But in Arsene Wenger´s press conference yesterday, reported by Arsenal.com, the prof seemed to me as if he would be taking a more cautious approach. Not only did he suggest that the subs bench would have a major part to play, indicating that he expected a tight game, but he talked about our new defensive solidity needing to be on show at Wembley.
The Frenchman said, “We are more stable defensively than we were before and I think that’s a good basis to go from there. We still have some improvements to make but overall I think there’s a style of play that we set and our balance between attacking and defending is much better. We have a good opportunity to show that on Saturday.”
There could be some kidology from Wenger here of course and he could be planning to go out all guns blazing from the first whistle, but I think we may have to be a lot more patient than we would have liked. Do you think patience and caution is the right way to tackle Villa or should we let our creative and attacking players have their heads?