Bit of a downer tonight with the result, inexperience and changes, the main reason for this. We knew it would happen so to be fair to Rafa, why not.
Anyway onto the point of my post today. This was our first real look at our Alonso replacement and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was happy with what I saw. Aquilani looked composed on the ball, and has the football brain we need in the middle to create from one touch football. That point is where my comparison with Lucas starts, when we have Lucas in there, we lack that creative touch. His touch is suspect in tight areas, it seems to me he cannot read what his teamates are going to do, and therefore not thread the ball forward and keep the attack moving, the pass backwards is his comfort zone.
However, Aquilani did seem unwilling or not confident enough to get stuck in when not in possession, Lucas though is very productive when not on the ball, chasing down the opposition and forcing mistakes, giving us the chance of counter attacks into lots of space. This is an important attribute in tight games, especially when the opposition defense look like they are struggling, pressure nomally pays!
The one part of game that makes Aquilani my choice is attack. With a first choice back four and Masc in the starting line up, we have a perfectly capable defensive unit. It was good to see a midfield player, other than Gerrard, or A FORWARD DROPPING BACK, receiving the ball, playing it forward and getting into the box and LOOKING COMFORTABLE WHILE DOING SO!
So my conclusion is, I would pick Aquilani over Lucas, when we have a full strength, fully fit side. This would result in the following starting lineup for the Gooners on Sunday.
Johnson, Carra, Agger, Insua
Kuyt, Aquilani, Aurileo