Good morning, folks. The big day is here. Are you feeling a little nervous? Whilst not overcome with terror, Butterflies are hovering about my insides and there is the occasional frenzy of gaseous activity in my underpants.
I really, really want us to beat Spurs. Whilst in London last week, I was passed in Waterloo by a vertically challenged, saggy-faced cretin wearing a ‘Mind the gap’ t-shirt. I yearn for an Arsenal victory, not only for the glory, not for just the invaluable 3 points, but because I know it’ll upset that dismal excuse for a human being.
Discussing form and progression in the league is irrelevant, as neither count for much in a North London derby. Those things get hastily tossed out of the proverbial window, and I think we’ll see an open game with a few goals. Spurs aren’t known to approach away games with a ‘park the bus’ mentality and it’s that element I feel we should exploit. Redknapp will send his underlings out to have a go at us, and that should free up some space down the flanks for Theo/The Ox and Gervinho.
The wide players will be crucial in both an attacking and defending sense; a fine balance between the the two will need to be found. The team more or less picks itself, but one dilemma could be choosing between Walcott and Oxlade-Chamerblain for a starting birth. Given Theo’s tendency to disappear during important games, and the impact his pace can have from the bench if the game is open late-on, I would start with The Ox. He’s more inclined to help out Sagna.
In the centre, we’re looking at a triumvirate of Song, Arteta and Rosicky; Ramsey is definitely out with an ankle problem . The main injury worries come at the back with both Gibbs and Koscielny scheduled for late fitness tests today – both are expected to pass. I think the 11 trotting out onto the pitch for kick-off will be;
Szczsney; Sanga, Gibbs, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho; van Persie
Spurs are undoubtedly a good side and posses a lot of threat. Gareth Bale may look like a cross between Ben Stiller’s ‘Simple Jack’ character in Tropic Thunder and a homosexual priest, but he’ll be a major problem down the left side if not correctly policed. They’ll be a perpetually offside, egomaniacal pantomime villain up front we’ll need to keep an eye on, too – I can’t think of anything worse than allowing him to score.
I’m going to predict we’ll win by the odd goal in 5. Anything less than a good performance will see us lose, so I hope the tales of fresh vigour and determination amongst the players leaking from inside the camp are true. We’ve had our fair share of downs in recent weeks, I think we’re due an up, don’t you?
Let’s keeps as many crossable body parts crossed as is humanly possible.
Thanks for taking a moment to read, you beautiful bastards. I’ll be tweeting throughout the game – @_ArmchairGooner – if you’re unable to keep up with events. Enjoy the game and get right behind the team!