Episode 5: Back to Work, Back to Health

Sep 13, 03:43 AM
Episode 5 of Saved by the Bellerin considers the "new" Arsenal fans can expect to see after the international break.  Sammy returns from his one episode break and offers a unit by unit assessment of personnel and preferred rotations now that the summer winter has officially closed.  

Who of the veterans David Luiz and Sokratis and the English youngsters Callum Chambers and Rob Holding make the best defensive rotation?  How soon can fans hope to see the injured fullbacks Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney in the lineup?  

In the midfield, has Unai Emery found his ideal rotation or have his puzzling opening sets against Liverpool and Tottenham suggested he's still looking for answers?  Finally, with up top, how wise is it to continue using all three of the "big three" of Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Pepe every week?  Should the two veteran strikers rotate to keep both fresh over the course of the long season?  

Should the big three only start against top-level competition, with Reiss Nelson getting more looks against lesser sides?  Raf and Sam finish the opener by breaking down Arsenal's defensive tactics. Is Emery being too ambitious in the way he uses his backline, playing his fullbacks far up the pitch?  Has the uncertainty in the midfield contributed to the breakdowns that have occurred in the last two matches when Sokratis and Luiz have been exposed to counter-attacks?   

In segment two, Marissa rejoins the pod to update listeners on the Arsenal women.  The defending Superleague champs opened their defense against West Ham earlier in the week and opened their Champions League campaign with an emphatic 4-0 win over Fiorentina's women.  Marissa assesses the strengths and weaknesses of this year's squad compared to last and makes the case that this year's starting lineup has seen a greater benefit thus far from returning injured players than it has from the handful of summer signings.

In the closer, Dean and Raf ponder the list of good injury news that broke on Thursday and relish the return of Ryan and Freddie next week.  This will make the SBTB lineup whole again.

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