Has the Interlull hindered Arsenal's momentum?

By Avenell Dave

Thank heavens the Interlull is over. 

We can start focusing on proper football again and not hear about snitching England players, ineligible players and Poland. 

The big question is not who is fit or not - there have been no real surprises in that regard. 

The real question is whether we can get back to where we were or whether the Interlull will have a similar impact on our momentum as it has in the past. 

This is indeed a key period with games against much tougher sides than we have faced so far, although Saturday's opponents Norwich is perhaps the ideal opponent, being a side who attack, play open football but don't have the real quality to beat us if we play to our strengths.

Of course, we have been here before and assumed a victory is there for the taking against so called lesser sides, only to suffer humiliation. 

The current squad and mindset seems to be a lot more resilient, though, and it's important that we get back to winning ways after the West Brom draw. 

We're top of the league and everyone will try that little bit harder to beat us - what we need to do is try even harder to stay there. 

We have a real chance this season if we maintain the professionalism and the craft that has seen us take more points than anyone else this calendar year. Two good half-seasons either side of the summer are not enough. 

We have to make this momentum count. 

The problem I am having as I look at the squad is who should play. 

Assuming Ozil is fit, he would make up the midfield with Flamini and Ramsey (who is undroppable) and Rosicky is likely to take one of the more attacking berths.

That really only leaves on place to fill if Giroud starts as we know he will.

Does that go to Arteta with Ozil pushing up? Or to Wilshere playing in an unaccustomed left berth again? 

My feeling is that while Arteta and Flamini is a great shield against the stronger teams, they cannot play together in games where goals are needed and the threat from the opposition reduced. 

With Walcott still out, I would give Gnabry another run-out. He is brave, tries to make things happen and Norwich are the sort of side he won't have as much of a problem facing as some of the stronger sides even at this stage of his career.

One thing to mention is our defence. We've only kept three clean sheets in the last 14 home Premier League games,  and Saturday should be the start of us tightening up. Not losing games is half the battle, especially when you have a cast of creative players like we do.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs

Flamini Ramsey Ozil

Gnabry Giroud Rosicky