First off, I'd like to address the European exit. We finished 12th last season and were nowhere near ready for a European assault. The adventure was great but the last match up was lost at Upton Park with the loss of Collins and Sakho not being present for this fixture. The injuries on the night also messed things up and perfectly illustrated why we were not at the adventure in Europe stage. I don't believe for a minute that the second leg was purposely thrown, we certainly put in a shift but it just was not enough.
What I can't stomach is that already seems to be a 'Bilic out' brigade as a result. I can already hear the booing at Upton Park if we don't beat Leicester next week. The players and manager need time and support, I only hope they give them all more of both than they ever gave the previous regime.
In the meantime, we have the small matter of a trip to the Emirates to get through. A big ask at anytime, let alone a time when they are fresh from a charity shield win against Chelsea and some real belief running through the club. Unlike some, I admire Arsenal, their football philosophy has always been to entertain and play the game on the deck in a stylish and precise way. In recent years we have paid them a little too much respect however and I hope Slaven goes out there with a slightly more aggressive approach. Here is my team line up….
This give us a solid base and protection for the back four, with some flair and pace up front. Zarate may replace Lanzini in his role, but the lad impressed me on Thursday and may have found himself a spot in the starting line up.
So, will it be a Sunday roast for the Hammers? I'm not so sure, whilst I don't think we will win, i think we give a good account of ourselves and be unlucky with a 2-1 defeat. But anything is possible, so come on you Irons!