Whilst the general talk at this time on a Thursday, or in this case a Friday, on Vital Norwich is all about the City team news for the upcoming game, this week is a little bit different.
The Canaries’ opponents at Carrow Road on Sunday, Arsenal have just sacked their manager, Unai Emery after a run of form that has seen them winless in the last seven games. Last night’s 1-2 Europa League defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt was seemingly the final straw for the Gunners’ hierarchy as Arsenal put in an abject performance in front of an empty looking Emirates Stadium.
Empty seats are always the biggest statement that a fan base can make because without customers a business is unsustainable.
The talk is that Emery had lost the dressing room and once that happens, a coach doesn’t keep his job for long. The Gunners have announced that Freddie Ljungberg will take temporary charge.
However long I oversee @Arsenal for I will give everything I have to put smiles on faces again. We have a busy few weeks ahead and the team needs your support. Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/WdekcA4h5G
— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) November 29, 2019
This does, of course, make things more difficult for Daniel Farke to prepare for Sunday’s match. Will Ljungberg opt to keep things similar to Emery would’ve, or will he try new tactics and personnel?
I guess that Farke can only prepare his players as he normally would and try to make a best guess at what Freddie will do.
The team news coming out of Colney is that firstly, Todd Cantwell is fit, despite being seen wearing a protective boot at Goodison Park after last Saturday’s win over Everton.
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) November 29, 2019
In other news, Timm Klose and Grant Hanley are still out along with Alex Tettey who will be missing for personal reasons. Jamal Lewis has returned to training as well.
So, who replaces Tettey? The obvious choice is Ibrahim Amadou if we assume that Farke will opt for his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. The Sevilla loanee is fit and available again, so would seem like the logical replacement for Tettey.
Sam Byram made such a positive impact when he replaced the injured Lewis last week that it would be incredibly harsh if he didn’t keep his place and Farke has previously spoken of there being no room for sentiment in team selection.
Hopefully that means Byram will keep his place because I think he deserves another shot plus Lewis has been under-par of late. A rest might do him good.
“Sam Byram’s versatility is one of his biggest strengths, he was one of our best signings from the summer. When he wasn’t starting, he was always pushing the other players to deliver.”
The thing I have observed about Arsenal in recent games is that they have looked shambolic at times in defence but that they have a front line of Aubameyang and Lacazette that can score a goal at any given moment and either could surely walk into any top team in Europe.
The presence of Arsenal legend, Freddie Ljungberg in the visitors’ dressing room is sure to boost moral, something not lost on Farke.
“I think there will be fresh energy in the Arsenal side. To have a legend like Freddie in charge will be a big boost for the fans and the players.”
“Aubameyang is a world-class player and a great guy. It’s no coincidence he’s worn the captain’s armband several times. I always enjoyed meeting him at Dortmund.“
With the Gunners on the ropes but with a new man in charge, a club legend at that, and with City on the up after their first away win of the season, this makes for a fascinating match-up.
Hopefully not an along come Norwich moment.