Taking a Break

It's your friendly neighborhood Vices President Matt here, taking over from that other guy we had blogging last time.  

Right now we're in the boring expanse of the international break and our season sits at three match weeks down and just 35 to go. Also, it's just turned into September, so it's a great time to look back on Arsenal's summer.  Contrary to previous statements on this blog, some of the events of the summer might not have been so classy or amazing to some fans.  

Allow me to illustrate this summer's mood swings via hastily-made graph:

If you look closely, you'll note that the mood is roughly exactly where it was at the start of the summer: somewhere in the "Meh" range between blindly optimistic squee noises and people who don't think the FA Cup counts as a trophy.  So it's been a wild and crazy ride that pretty much just got us back to where we were after finishing 2nd.  Sure, it was a better finish than previous years (and that Sp*rs capitulation was epic) but ultimately it felt unsatisfying, like eating a bowl of sugar-free ice cream.  

We have two brand spanking new signings to add to the mix: Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Pérez.  And as some heated discussion on the Chicago Gooners Facebook page has already shown, these new acquisitions open up some interesting possibilities for our lineup, such as:

Fan-made lineup #1

Fan-made lineup #1

...or perhaps even something like this:

Fan-made lineup #2

Fan-made lineup #2

For my part, I think it's unlikely that Wenger will field a team like #2.  The man just hates having two strikers.  Far more probable is something like #1, though I think we're more likely to see Coq or Elneny in the middle, paired with either Santi or Xhaka.  And I'd take Ox on the right to Theo any day.

It's worth noting that our lineup against Watford, which was already one of the most attack-minded lineups I've seen from us in a while, was basically #1 but with Ox in Alexis' place and Alexis up top instead of Lucas, who we hadn't signed yet.  

So as we wait out another week before league play returns, feel free to fight over what lineup we might possibly see.  Could it be the all-midfield lineup of Alexis, Walcott, Özil, Santi, Ramsey, Iwobi, Ox, Xhaka, Coq (CB), and Elneny (CB), with the Jeff in goal? Or maybe the all-out attack lineup of Giroud, Lucas, Alexis, Walcott, Özil, Ox, Ramsey (RB), Iwobi (LB), Bellerin (CB), Nacho (CB), and Coq in goal?  

Bring your most ridiculous (or most likely, if you're boring) lineups to the Globe in a week for the Southampton match and we'll see who's got the craziest managerial sense and who's secretly Wenger in disguise.  I'll buy the winners a beer.  You can split the beer.  

Till next time, people.

Matthew Williams