Monday, 11 March 2013

Podolski fit? -Grimandi scouting Ligue 1 duo -Ramsey over Arteta for me

Morning Gooners.

It really is the quiet before the storm. Little in the way of Arsenal news to talk of this morning. Lukas Podolski tweeted he was on his way to the training ground yesterday, 24 hours after he said he was recovering from a small injury.

Night followed day. There was a league match which pricked my attention for all of a second when I saw Liverpool had taken three points in their game with Spurs. The merseysiders sit two points behind us now. But out north London neighbours remain in third, seven points ahead having played a game more.

Arsenal's French scout Gilles Grimandi has been tracking St Etienne pair Stephane Ruffier and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - a goalkeeper and centre forward respectively - according to the Daily Mirror.

Ruffier, 26, has kept 13 clean sheets in 28 Ligue 1 appearances this season. While at the other end Gabon born Aubameyangm 23, has a record of 16 goals and eight assists from his 27 league appearances.

Back to Wednesday's match and I think our best formation would be to return to the 4-2-3-1 but play Olivier Giroud through the middle against the Germans. I'd love to see Podolski given that role but it appears the manager want to persist with his compatriot.

I'd play Theo Walcott on the right, Santi Cazorla behind Giroud and Podolski on the left. Behind them in the deep-lying midfield roles I'd play Jack Wilshere alongside Aaron Ramsey.

The defence picks itself. Carl Jenkinson at right back, Laurent Koscileny alongside Per Mertesacker in the middle and Thomas Vermaelen at left back. Wojciech Szczesny between the sticks.

I know its slightly controversial to pick Ramsey ahead of Arteta, but I think we need someone with high energy levels in the middle of the field, a player who can win the ball back and give it to our creative players and someone who won't give up.

I don't think we need to be too cautious in out team selection. We need to go for the win and get an early goal. Bayern's home record isn't as good as their away one. They've conceded a goal in 54% of their home league games this season and went behind twice only last weekend - coming back to win 3-2.

We've got to show ambition and even know I think the majority of us know it's a tall order, we have to have some belief a winning the tie possible. We've got to dream haven't we?

That's it for today. I hope to be blogging for the remainder of the week but my trip to Germany may interfere. So, until next time...


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