I can’t say I was massively surprised by the result at Everton. It’s becoming a bit of a troubled ground for us, we’ve not won there since the Wenger days. We didn’t play well enough to take anything and in this league you don’t get anything. What it does mean is that we’ve heaped massive pressure on ourselves in what is perhaps, a pivotal week of the season.
Brentford are unbeaten in nine league games and playing some seriously impressive football. The threat carried by their (bet happy) striker is one we cannot take lightly and the threat that Mbuemo carries is another we can’t underestimate. They’ve only conceded one league goal since the turn of the year and have hit eight. That has carried the Bees up to 7th just behind high flying Brighton. This is a massively tough game, make no mistake.
But we’ve also won many tough games this year. Our players have shown already that they can handle the pressure of these occasions and the Emirates will be rocking as it has been all season. From the team news side, there’s nothing unexpected. Emile Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus have all returned to outdoor training but remain a way off a return. The manager will be keen not to rush any of these players back and set push them even further away. So the team almost picks itself.
We’re still looking a little bit short in critical areas, so much so that a big injury to one of our first choice XI would be almost fatal. Jorginho proved against Everton that he is no Thomas Partey, his lack of pace was also VERY evident. Leandro Trossard provides decent cover on the wings but upfront we’re also critically short of players with Jesus’ continued absence.
This is a high pressure week with two high pressure games. Brentford tomorrow and then the Champions are in town on Wednesday. I’ve always said you learn more about how a team reacts to a defeat than the defeat itself. Stand tall boys. I’ll see you there.