Good morning everyone! A very quick post today as I feel like I’ve written this preview about 168 times due to the total bore that is the International two weeks.
Yesterday saw one result go in our favour, United and Liverpool drew 1-1 in a game that I thought was pretty tame and lacking in quality. Steven Gerrard put the scousers ahead when he fired a low freekick through the United wall, shortly after, Chicarito headed a poachers chance past Reina. I appreciate that competing with United this year might be a little way off but catching Liverpool is well within our reach.
Luis Suarez has been accused of being a racist by world class muppet Patrice Evra. I’m not sure why you’d need to resort to racist comments to get under the skin of that idiot, but it’s a pretty massive thing to come out and say, it’ll be interesting to see if anything can be proved in that case, my guess is that it won’t. Nice mud-slinging Evra…
Arsene Wenger has been talking to the media outlets trying to build some confidence in his players. He reckons Mertesacker can become the new Tony Adams because he’s an intelligent player and he’s working on his aggression.
‘He said it was relentless (The Premiership). It is quicker than the football he is used to playing.’
‘But you can trust the Germans! He is adapting well. He is getting more aggressive. He is a very intelligent player and he will be a big asset to us. He is a little bit like Tony Adams. He is not one of the quickest but he uses his brain.’
I hope Wenger has that right, I think people are far too quick to write off players these days and I certainly think people have been too quick to write off the big German. He’s a great reader of the game and he’s come into a total shambles of a defence, it was always going to be a nightmare.
Wenger also thinks the rest of his signings are good, making the insightful comment that if your players lose games, people think they’re bad players. No sh*t Sherlock?
“People judge your buys quickly but I am happy with the buys we made. I’ve heard that Song is a bad buy, that [Thierry] Henry is a bad buy and over time they were not so bad. I’m not happy with the results but that is completely different.”
I’m not quite sure who the people were who said Thierry Henry was a bad player when he joined, regardless of his dodgy finishing, he came to Arsenal with pedigree and even when he was missing, he was doing it in electric style. Alex Song… well, Geoff still thinks he’s a bad player!
The coach did his usual just before Christmas statement of saying that if the two moons of Jupiter are correlated to the Star of Bergkamp, there’s a chance he could sign players in January. It’s standard that he has to say this even though we all know it’s not true… it takes the pressure off him and it allows people to say, ‘Look, I think he knows where he’s gone wrong this time and I’m pretty certain he’ll rectify it in January.’ I hold out zero hope of that happening.
I have no idea how we’re going to line up today, but it would be great if we could surprise Sunderland by starting the in form Park Chu-Young and dropping Robin Van Persie just deep of him. I doubt that will happen, so I’d imagine we’ll see a front three of Gervinho, Theo and Robin. In midfield, I’d be very tempted to give Benayoun a start. He’s a very good player and he’d certainly bring a little more spark to centre. Again though, if they’re fit, I’d say he’ll go for Song, Arteta and Rambo. At the back is the really tough decision, but I think Koscielny, Mertesacker, JD and Gibbs. In goal, the usual.
If Arsenal want to kick start our 5 game run with a bang, this is the chance. The team need to get the crowd on side, they need to show some fight out there and show they can be clinical in front of goal. A solid victory is what’s needed, not bumbling our way to a 1-0 win. Belief comes from dishing out a thumping, if we can’t do that to Sunderland today then we really should be asking questions of ourselves. Steve Bruce is getting very close to P45 time, it’d be a nicer Sunday if we knew we’d helped towards that, especially considering it’s Nik B’s club.
I’ll be heading up to the game today, hopefully we’ll have a great atmosphere today. This season, due to the total lack of expectation, I’ve found the ground a lot noisier and people in far better spirits. A continuation of that’d be marvellous!
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P.S. I have a spare for the game, if you want to make an offer, call the number in the first comment on the site, he just wants to shift it.