So…. let’s begin to really look forward to the return of Premier League football.
Norwich aren’t having a great time of it at the moment. Their talismanic manager left them in the summer for pastures new, and the leaving was messy and acrimonious.
Chris Hughton has come in and inherited a squad built by and one assumes, ‘tuned’ to, Paul Lambert’s style of both coaching and play.
Arguably Hughton needs to make it his squad playing his way, but the big issue for him is whether he has enough time to do so.
In the meantime, in the league, he has lost three times, heavily each time, and drawn twice. The draws were reasonable, but heavy losses damage the confidence of the players really badly.
So, coming into this game, Norwich come off a heavy loss to Chelsea, and the international break. During the ‘break’ you can bet Hughton has been working on and with his squad, gearing up for this forthcoming match, which is more than Arsene Wenger will have been able to do.
Arsenal, for their part, come off two good wins, and the international ‘break’, which for most of the players means being away with their respective teams. Not much time for reflection, but a huge dose of confidence.
On the face of it, Arsenal should romp away with this one. We should be looking at the same kind of result that we got against Southampton. On. The. Face. Of. It.
Yet we have seen Arsenal fail before due to overconfidence. They have every right to be confident, that is true, but sometimes it’s a fine line between confident and overconfident.
Tempering the confidence should be the fact that Arsenal are away. Norwich seem to be a little better at home, and you can bet their fans will be right up for it. I’m hoping this factor will level Arsenal down a bit, just enough that they put in a great shift.
I’m not feeling overconfident about it myself, and while Grant Holt might not be Andy Carroll, he can certainly create a menace of himself up the centre. I’m fully expecting the long ball towards our defence, and in some ways it might be for the best if Kos is out and our BFG is in.
Up front, I’d also be looking for Giroud to fill his boots, especially against Norwich’s leaky defence.
Getting myself geed up for it already! Roll on Saturday!