Arsene Wenger spoke earlier about tomorrow’s Premier League game against QPR and was of course asked about our opponents, and you can see the full interview on Arsenal.com. Whereas a lot of the focus was on the Arsenal squad, such as the injury situation and the form of Giroud, Gabriel, Mertesacker and Krystian Bielik, there was a little bit about what the manager expects at Loftus Road tomorrow.
Wenger spoke about the difficulty of the job facing the new QPR boss Chris Ramsey and not just because he is new to the job and is taking over from someone like Harry Redknapp who has vast experience. The Frenchman spoke about how trying to manage a club that is fighting relegation is the most unenviable task in football (perhaps along with trying to overcome a 3-1 home defeat in the Champions League).
The key phrase Wenger used was it being a ‘fight against fear’. And I am sure the Arsenal boss will want to use that against the home side tomorrow, but what is the best way to do that? The fact that he also spoke about the enclosed Highbury-like atmosphere at the ground tells me that he feels the QPR crowd are a big factor, and one that we need to deal with.
So a good start, of course, but also lots of possession and a solid shape to give them no encouragement. An early goal for us would obviously be nice and I think that the Gunners should be at least a bit adventurous, to put pressure on the QPR players and stop them relaxing.
QPR are only out of the drop zone on goal difference at the minute and if Aston Villa avoid defeat they will start the game tomorrow back in it, which can only increase that nervousness and pressure.
Wenger needs to make it clear to the Arsenal players not to panic if we fail to score, none of this tearing up the pitch and leaving one defender on the halfway line malarkey. We need to trust that their ‘fear of relegation’ is bigger than our ‘fear of missing the top four’.
So who will blink first? They will and we will win the game easily…..