Graham Potter has taken Chelsea job. I can understand why he’d want to move to a club which will give him more money to spend on transfers etc but as we’ve seen in the past, what he’ll really need is what Chelsea don’t usually give and that’s time. Sounds obvious I know but I think Potter will either confirm he’s a great coach and manager, or it’s going to set him back in his career. Will the Chelsea board let him pick and choose who he sells and keeps? Will all the big egos the club has in the squad see Potter as a big enough name? I hope it’s a no on both.
Mikel Arteta and his players are in Switzerland, preparing for match against FC Zurich. Pre match he said:
We don’t have that many players available, unfortunately, with injuries we’ve picked up in the last two weeks. This is a competition that we want to take very seriously, against an opponent that is going to make life difficult for us. We want to start the competition the right way and maintain our momentum.
The managers words translate to “don’t expect many changes tonight” I think. He also talked about Bukayo Saka and how he plans to manages his playing time ahead of the World Cup in November. Why on earth Saka needs treating any differently to any other player expected to be playing for his country this winter I don’t know and in any case, I’m sure Mikel Arteta will put Arsenal before international teams. Every single one of our players time on the pitch needs to be managed because the season is long and it’s going to be hard. Having so many injuries this early in the season doesn’t help matters either, with Emile Smith Rowe being the latest, Goodness only knows what state our squad will be in after the World Cup.
That’s for later in the year though, tonight it’s all about beating FC Zurich and getting the perfect start to our Europa campaign. I know nothing about tonight’s opposition other than as said yesterday, they’ve not won a league game yet this season which is bonkers really bearing in mind they finished last season as the League champions. But, they changed manager at the end of the season as Andre Breitenreiter moved to Hoffenheim with Franco Foda. Funny enough, I’ve no idea who either of them are either. Lol
Foda on Arsenal:
We’re looking forward to this extraordinary game in front of a sold-out crowd against Arsenal tomorrow night. It will be important that we’re compact defensively, but then, once we’ve got the ball, we play calmly and decisively. A lot is possible in one game and we do everything we can to achieve the best possible result. Arsenal are extremely good at positional play and often have a lot of possession. We have to keep the gaps in width and depth small because the Gunners are also great at moving between the lines.
Arteta on Zurich:
The biggest danger is that, after the season they had last year, they haven’t got the results that they expected. You can see how willing they are to win football matches. This is a different competition, a different context and I expect a team that is going to be very ready tomorrow. (Tonight)
Our record in the group stage of this competition is good and hopefully that’ll continue this season.
Anyway, here’s the confirmed team/squad:
Turner, Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Lokonga, Marquinhos, Vieira, Martinelli, Nketiah.
Subs: Ramsdale, Hein, Zinchenko, White, Saliba, Smith, Cirjan, Odegaard, Saka, Cozier-Duberry, Jesus.
See you in the comments.