Will the Arsenal players step up for this Top Four Final against Tottenham?

Will the Arsenal players step up to the occasion? by Konstantin Mitov

This game is massive for us. Not just in terms of the north London bragging rights. This game could give us belief for the top 4 or slash every slim hope of getting there. We’ve had years and years where we just had the better team and this game wasn’t as big with the targets we had back in the day.

Now though it’s massive, because Tottenham are a team on the up, with a squad full of good young players and a good young manager, and on top of that, they are in front of us in the table. They have had two good results in a row against United and Liverpool, so we’ll need to put out everything we have to ruin their day.

We’ve been the masters of our downfall this season. We’ve lost 15 points from winning positions, more than any other top 6 team and recent away games like Swansea and Bournemouth don’t help our cause on the road. It’s not obvious to pin-point our defensive record as the major weakness in the squad.

In the reverse fixture we took them down 2:0 and it was the best performance we’ve put this season in my opinion. We were disciplined, we pressed them, we were first to every ball, strong in our tackles and we isolated Kane from the game which made them look toothless. Will we do this again?

Our away form suggests different, and if you look back at our away games, you see how our midfield hardly ever protects the back 3 or 4 which leads to teams creating lots of chances – and with a lot of players having somewhat of a free midfield role, who will take the responsibility to drag the team back when it has to?

Granit Xhaka’s form has been awful and I think he should be dropped for Ramsey and Wilshere to start, but I hardly see Wenger doing this. Xhaka and Cech are the two people who’ve made the most individual errors leading to a goal in our net, and Wenger will likely start both if Petr is available.

Another person I’m desperate for us to drop is Iwobi, who will most likely start this game too. The formation will be interesting, but I think we should go with 4 at the back because as we see this season, it’s not just the formation that is the problem to our defence.

We’ve shown incredibly poor match management in games where we’ve taken the lead, as well as not that much character to come back from going behind. I am most afraid of conceding early and completely abandoning our game plan. I’d rather let them have the ball and hit them on the counter.

Up front we have pace, and Mkhi and Ozil will be loving the opportunity to play Aubameyang through and remember Wembley is huge, so we can use the pitch to our advantage. Also the Gabon striker has a good record against Spurs and I’m hoping it will continue.

I wonder if the players will rise up to the occasion, because far too often away from home we’ve looked like we don’t care and our away results at the big 6 aren’t all that pretty. We beat Chelsea over 2 legs when a cup final was on the line, but this game is a bit like a top 4 final, as it will be for every other league game with our position and points deficit.

It’s business time of the season. After Spurs we have the Europa League and 2 games against City and if we lose tomorrow it’ll easily erase all the positivity Auba and Mkhi have given us so far. I don’t really feel too confident, because I don’t know which Arsenal will turn up and I can’t see our defence keeping a clean sheet, so we’ll have to score. Hopefully we’ll do it more times than them!



  1. ThirdManJW says:

    The bigger question is: will the manager prepare the team correctly in terms of tactical approach, and will he drop the out of form players?

  2. gotanidea says:

    I thought Cech is injured? Maybe Xhaka would start, because I don’t think Wenger would use Elneny that rarely plays in this season.

    If Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Wilshere play together, there should be a DM that will anticipate any mistake they might make. And that would mean Arsenal have to rely on their fullbacks for the penetrations from the wings.

  3. it a huge game that we desparately need a result so pls wenger use jack wilshere because he is strong and he dont make mistakes most often lets go gunners

  4. Patrico says:

    In a tense game like this, natural defending mid-fielder is key and using make shift will be counter productive. Xhaka should still be featured for a variety. He is the only one with long passes, shooting from far and one with hard tackles. Tot has tough guys on the centre who need to be separated or managed by a dirty player like Xhaka. Opinion divided.



    1. gotanidea says:

      Wilshere as DM? Alli, Kane, Eriksen, Son and Dembele would slice him like butter

  6. i was a gooner says:

    yes, with Laca upfront & No brainer Petit out of Goonosphere..!!

  7. Phil says:

    We will win tomorrow I’m sure.Wenger has had all week to work on tactics and motivation so no excuses if we don’t turn up

    1. bran911 says:

      Wenger work on tactics?? Now that’s funny ???

      1. Phil says:

        Yeah that’s what I meant.No excuses

  8. Simon Williams says:

    Admin – When will we be able to thumbs up comments again?

  9. xplicit says:

    iwobi, if he would keep his level from everton’s game is essencial for tomorrow’s game. Boy’s got good ball retention, not easily dispossessed

  10. Uzi Ozil says:

    I miss the thumb buttons. There are some great comments I wanna thumb up but can’t and there are some I disagree but I also can’t thumb down.

    Please admin. Help.

    1. jon fox says:

      He can’t help, despite promising the thumbs would return eight days ago. Now he can’t manage it. Some Admin eh!

  11. Simon Williams says:

    Bell – Kilchelny – Mustafi – Monreal
    – Wiltshire – Elneny –
    Ramsey – Ozil – Mkhitaryan
    – PEA –

    This sacrifices Xhaka good long balls but gives us a proper no fuss DM. Jack can provide a little more creativity alongside him whilst still being good defensively.

    Iwobi replaced by Ramsey who plays higher up, and I more of goal threat than Iwobi will ever be

    1. Jhud says:

      we should start PEA Laca Miki and Ozil. thats our best chance of winning. yes we’ll probably let some goals in but I reckon thats our best chance of scoring more. Play PEA on his own up front and I reckon he’ll have a tough day .

  12. AJ GUN says:

    spuds aren’t all that….sure of our win buh there’s a little scare when i think about our defence they lost n to top it all cech is washed up i say give ospina the nod hope he stays on his line tho,n hold on to the ball …GOD DAMN!!

  13. Vlad says:

    “I don’t really feel too confident…” – should’ve started with that KM, and ended with it as well. What a “ray of sunshine” you are. And can you please come up with a better/new material next time? This whole “drop Xhaka, Iwobi, and Cech” thing is getting old. It’s like the 3rd time in a week that you’re saying the exact same thing. Frankly, it’s annoying.

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