Looking back in history, Arsenal hate traveling to eastern Europe, yet this is where they must try and re-ignite their season after West Brom stomped all over what was previously a great start.
It is not that the defeat has deflated me, it is the manner in which is was done, however that is old ground and today brings us a different game with different problems.
With Fabianski starting he must be in the very last of the last chance saloons. If he sinks I don’t see how the manager can persevere with him, yet if he swims it may well give the manager a dilemma ahead of the game against Chelsea depending on the fitness of Manuel Almunia – that is how quickly things can change.
Lucasz has brilliant talent, his natural reflexes have been lauded ever since he arrived at the club, you just have to question that thing between his ears sometimes, is he cut out for it mentally? That is where my doubts are aimed at.
In front of him he should have a similar defence to the one that played on Saturday afternoon, Koscielny and Squillaci will probably form the center back partnership, with Sagna on the right. Hopefully, having passed a fitness test, Gibbs will start on the left giving Gael Clichy a massive boot up the jacksy because believe me, it is needed.
Jack Wilshere returns to the side and will undoubtedly start in midfield, I put my money on Denilson and Song partnering him which I am fine with and understand completely in Europe, they offer greater protection for the back four and it suits our slightly altered system when we play away from home. I think the fact that we now talk about Wilshere as an essential player in the team just shows how bigger impact he has had on the team this season. He is quickly establishing himself as a talisman, I can’t wait to have Cesc back alongside him in midfield.
The front three will probably consist of Samir Nasri, Marouane Chamakh and Andrey Arshavin, there is no way that any one of those three can be dropped right now, Arshavin for his capability of producing a piece of pure genius, Chamakh for his hard graft and Samir Nasri for scoring four goals in two games and becoming a much more influential player since the end of last season.
Again, on the surface we should sweep Partizan Belgrade away pretty quickly, they are not a team jam packed full of stars, yet there will be one hell of an atmosphere there and it is not a pleasant place to be traveling to at all from what I have been hearing, though these days things have apparently improved a hell of a lot.
Tonight we just need a positive result, any win on offer, and get the hell out of there and prepare for the Chelsea game. A win tonight and the doom is partially lifted, a win tonight and a good result against Chelsea and it will be relegated to history. However, it must start tonight.
We need to see the hunger, hard work, precision and discipline that class teams are made of, we need to see the basics done well.
Come on Arsenal, and Lucasz.