We had hoped that Arsenal were over that hurdle of losing to teams that go for grit over guile and try to outmuscle to the opponent.
In truth haven’t seen as many of these types of defeats from Arsenal in the last few months.
But there is still an obvious lack of muscle in the team. Arsene Wenger could argue that Barcelona battered Real Madrid without an specialist muscleman.
But this is The Premier League. It’s more physical than La Liga and it requires a different balance to the team.
With Francis Coquelin injured the Arsenal boss once more finds himself up a very smelly creak without the necessary accessories. On the Frenchman’s injury, Wenger said:
“We will be without Coquelin for certainly the next two months.
“We have players like Flamini and Calum Chambers has been educated as a central midfielder so there are good opportunities for other players to show up and show they can do the job.”
…and in terms of injuries in general, AW said:
“We’ve been hit very hard in November because until the Sheffield Wednesday game in the League Cup we had a good record but since we have lost a few players,”
“We have Ramsey and maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain back for the weekend and Walcott will be the next one – all the other players are long-term injuries.”
Wenger’s lack of midfield enforcer shouldn’t be exposed against Zagreb and the comfortable win that we expect for The Gunners will once more mask the gaping weaknesses in this squad.
But an away trip to Norwich at the weekend may prove more of a physical challenge.
But to matters in hand. We actually think that Arsenal have a better chance of qualifying than many credit them with.
A win here and a not impossible big win in their final game against Olympiakos and they are through.
So a strong team should be put out on Tuesday. Here’s our stab at it.