By Avenell Dave
"But could he play at Stoke on a wet and windy winter's night" is often the question asked of world class players when the suggestion of them moving to England is raised.
For Stoke, you could easily read Sunderland, with their vociferous fans, isolated ground and typically hostile weather.
We've suffered there in the past, don;t forget.
Abou Diaby's career was effectively ended by a grotesque and avoidable tackle up there a few years ago and Per Mertesacker's season was also ended there a couple of years back due to the state of the pitch.
They've struggled this season already and Paolo Di Canio's revolution seems to be anything but a success so far.
If we had played them the week after the T*tt*nh*m game, I have no doubt that we would have won easily.
The Interlull of course changes things.
Sunderland have had time to get their players more attuned to a new system and we come together after travelling the globe.
All talk has been of Mesut Ozil and thankfully, even Di Canio seems to have realised that resident slugger Lee Cattermole, with his 32 yellow and four red cards is not really good enough to be playing at the highest level.
Could we afford NOT to play our record signing after losing our opening game?
This is going to be one of the strongest, most competitive title races for a while and although many may choke and laugh at the thought that we can compete, there's no reason why we should not be there or thereabouts if we manage to stay free from major injuries.
Of course we need another striker.
Of course we could do with someone else at the back.
But we have what we have and we have to get on with it at least until January.
With everyone back and available, we can keep this fine run going, but it's a big ask to play week in week out with so little scope to rotate.
Losing Mertesacker through illness is far from ideal and the fact that Ozil has the big as well suggests to me that he will probably be on the bench.
There is a lot of pressure on Olivier Giroud to stay fit and keep scoring...and to improve his finishing which could still do with some honing.
But we will be thinking of points dropped if we don;t come out of tomorrow's game with all three - and if Di Canio tries to get his side to play football, that may play right into our hands.
Jenkinson Sagna Koscielny Gibbs
Ramsey Wilshere Flamini
Walcott Giroud Cazorla
Let us know what you think - who should start on Saturday for Arsenal?