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Saturday 18 April 2015

Reading Preview..

Good afternoon everybody, just a brief post today on another big game for us. As we always say, when it gets to this time of the season every match is important and none more so than today with another opportunity of booking ourselves into a cup final. It would be the second cup final in a row, not bad for a team that hadn't previously won a trophy in 8 seasons, (I hate when people say 9 years, because that gives the false impression that there were 9 seasons or 9 different occasions where we had a chance to win a trophy, when in fact there was 8). Anyway back to the game.

We are obviously on a great run of form at the moment with 8 league wins in a row and the team is confident at the moment, very confident. I think this will be our biggest challenge today; how we control our confidence and supreme favourites tag. Make no mistake about it, although Reading currently lying in 18th position in the Championship, and have not won in their last 5 championship fixtures, while also only having won once in their last 10 league matches overall, this will be a physically demanding game.

We all know the score by now; Reading will be organised very well, soak up the pressure and hit us on the break. It will be down to us to break them down so we need to start the game at a fast pace right from kick off in a similar fashion to how we started the Liverpool game, while also aggressively hunting the ball back in an effort to pressuring them into mistakes. 

We all have the memories of last seasons semi final, against Wigan, which went to penalties. That was a match in which we really struggled to get going as a team and it was only through sheer will that we won, well get to penalties on that game. Or you could thank a BFG for literally rising up to the occasion and heading the ball in for an equalizer, I think inside the last 10 minutes. (Mertesacker actually gave away that penalty as well it must be remembered, but the only that matters now is that he got the equalizer). Anyway, Wenger referred to this in his pre-match press conference;
"Last year we went to penalties against Wigan, we have learned from that and I think the urgency level will be quite high in our team"
It has become increasingly difficult to pick the starting lineup, even as a fan, as there are plenty of different and valid arguments as to which team is the best. However, the manager might see this as a chance to give Gibbs a game, or perhaps bring in Welbeck. We may also see Debuchy at right back, maybe even Callum Chambers, however, I would be surprised to see any other changes to our lineup. I think right now it is all about keeping up momentum and I think the best way to achieve that is to make the smallest amount of changes to the team as possible. This is a semi-final, giving us another chance of winning a trophy so we cannot afford to take it easy. I would go with the same lineup from the last 2 matches, including, obviously, leaving Szczesny out of the team;


Bellerin  Mertesacker  Koscielny  Monreal

                  Coquelin    Ramsey

        Sanchez                               Ozil


Yes, I know that Ramsey has been playing mainly wide on the right in the last 2 games, but for the sake of naming the lineup, it is easier to put it down like this. The team are so fluid and change positions so regularly anyway that it doesn't matter so much how you put  them down.

It is of course, absolutely ridiculous that this and the United- Chelsea match is kicking off only 10 minutes separately. I mean how can that happen? Surely it would make sense for both Sky and the BBC to have the matches on at different times? it just seems like another way the F.a cup is being put on the back seat as these increasingly stupid television deals are messing about fixtures all over the place. This has definitely been the worst season, and when you couple that with the fact that there has been no gratitude towards fans; it is aggressive corporate selfishness at best.

Right that about does it, enjoy the game today.

Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.

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