|Oh Jose, you kill me!|
Ah whew - excuse me the indulgence. I don't normally like to give any opponent much attention, but when our least favorite referee sticks it to the most ego-centric instigator in the league, I gotta take a moment...or two hundred and enjoy it. Anyway, onto the matter at hand...
Tomorrow brings a chance to turn up the heat on Man City and keep ahead of Everton as we travel to KC Stadium in search of three points from Steve Bruce and Hull. While their strike force of Jelavic and Long are cup-tied when we meet up with them again in the FA Cup Final, they are eligible tomorrow and will be sure to trouble us as will Huddlestone, who will be looking to create plays for them and anyone running down their right flank. Unfortunately, our main left backs are out injured which means TV5 will again have to deputize in that position. He had a good game against West Ham at left back though. Let's hope that run of form continues.
Other news is that Mesut Ozil is in contention for the returning to the squad. He's been in training, posting Instagrams of himself on Twitter, and faces a late fitness test to see if he makes the bench. I say bench in hopes that Wenger doesn't start him just returning from a long lay off. I don't have much faith in Wenger's ability to control himself when it comes to not overplaying key players. He's confessed to overplaying Jack, Ramsey, and now, Giroud:
"For a while he played maybe too many games… but he’s a strong guy, he can cope with it. Up front it’s difficult because every challenge he goes into is physical. He’s not a guy who moves away from people to get the ball. He’s a guy who fights with people to get the ball. When he comes out of the game he has 50 fights behind him. That is more demanding than the guy who just runs away."
So not only is he admitting to not rotating Giroud properly (insert often trod frustration at lack of transfer business in January), he admits to doing it knowing the physical battles he endures every game. Every year I think Wenger has the ability to self-reflect on the mistakes he's made. He talks about them in the press, on the web site, in interviews. What he seems incapable of doing is remembering the nasty consequences of those past choices, and makes the same ones. Over. And over. And over. I have no idea why the club has spent tons of money on this GPS red zone tracking thingy if our manager ignores the results. It's almost like he just can't help himself.
I helped my brother coach a softball little league time a few years ago. I know the game. I played the ir for years, coached many teams. Being the third base coach means, among other things, I got to decide whether to send a runner home either on a hit, or a ball that got past the catcher. I remember this one game where we were coming from behind in the last inning, our last at bat. I was so hungry for the win, that I sent two runners home when really they were not fast enough to make it. We had one out left and we were one run from taking the opposition into extra innings. I end up with one of the slowest girls on the team on third base. My head told me "Lisa, do NOT send this girl home on a ball past the catcher, wait for a good hit." Repeat - we were one run away. The pitch came in, the catcher missed it, it went behind her and...I. Sent. The. Slow. Girl. Home. And guess what? She was out and we lost the game by one run. I knew the right thing to do. And I just couldn't help myself. My brother is going to read this. And he will know exactly what game I am talking about. Ugh.
Unfortunately, Wenger doesn't manage a mere little league team. If he can't learn to discipline himself, he needs to give someone the authority to pull the plug on playing exhausted players who are in the fabled Red Zone. That should be mandated in is contract extension, if he gets one and takes it.
Anyway, I think that's all I have for now. I figure we'll line up similarly as we did to West Ham. Flamini may replace Arteta and maybe Ox will get a start. Who knows? I think we have enough weapons to beat Hull now that our confidence is on the upswing. So, here's to three points and cheers to Mike Dean (that is sincere, by the way. No sarcasm anywhere, Heh.).
Have a good one Gooners.