Monday, 4 May 2015

Hull vs Arsenal: Match Preview

Preview | Pre-match conference | Team news

With Chelsea sealing the Barclays Premier League crown, at least all of our hopes can be pinned on something more realistic i.e. second. It's a job made much easier after Manchester United (heh) fell prey to West Brom. And for obvious reasons, it would be an important step toward challenging for the title next season.

I feel that we really need to curb on injuries if we want to win the league, though. Obviously variables like Wenger's relatively one-dimensional tactical approach won't change, but his rotational policy has shown signs of progressing. Not enough of course, seeing that the likes of Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky don't play even though the season approaches its formality stages.

Mesut Ozil was overplayed whilst carrying an injury against Bayern Munich and Chelsea and missed the subsequent two months or so. Alexis Sanchez burned out around the January-March phase because he played straight 90s for around a dozen games. Look at Chelsea - despite their superior training regime and relatively relaxed style of play, everyone minus Hazard ran out of steam in the second half of the season.

Giroud was on an enforced quarterly break and came back a lot stronger, partly because he was augmented by Danny Welbeck, who played in the FA Cup to take some of the burden from him. Now compare that to the Giroud of last season who seemed like running through cement because he was knackered toward the tail end of 2013/14. No prizes for guessing which policy is better.

We don't need Ozil nor Sanchez to intimidate or overrun a Hull City as good as immune from relegation. In fact, the only two games needing a full-strength squad are against Manchester United and the FA Cup Final. Bringing in a few fresh legs at this point would not only take the heat of our more prominent personalities, but would also make squad players relatively positive about their Arsenal futures. Making certain that our top players don't get long term injuries now is also part of preparation for next season title assault.

Hull caused us plenty of problems in recent times with the 2-2 at the Emirates and the FA Cup last year, but we weren't in the best of places back then, and a marginally better Arsenal easily saw them away 2-0 a couple of months later. If we manage to make hard work of this then that's on us but I suspect we won't. Won't we?

Right, till then happy St. Totteringham's in advance (I'm that confident!) and take it easy. Later.

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz ]