Morning, boys ‘n’ girls.
I hope today finds you nourished, chipper and prepared for the stomach-churning wait until we kick of against that rowdy bunch calling themselves our rivals. Days like today are bloody murder if, like me, you possess an innate ability to fret before games. Some folks I know appear the picture of serenity before proceedings. I’m a nightmare; I pace, fidget and generally irritate anyone around me.
When we travel to White Hart Lane, it’s worsened. We all know Spurs are sh*t, of that there is no debate. However, when pride and rivalry comes into play, the form book is swiftly dispatched through the nearest window leaving the potential for anything to happen. Today could easily be 5-5. If I was looking to place a bet on LatestFreeBetOffers.com I wouldn’t have the first idea where to start with a prediction.
The team news is slightly worrying. Aaron Ramsey hasn’t recovered in time, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil both face lengthy periods on the sidelines and we’re already without Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs (probably) and Abou Diaby, who hasn’t travelled with the squad because he’s locked himself in his basement and is refusing to come out until he’s put the finishing touches to another of his Jaffa Cake sculptures.
However, we are bolstered by the return of Nacho Monreal, Yaya Sanogo and the first inclusion of Swedish megastar, Kim Kallstrom. The likelihood of KK featuring from the start is pretty slim, but I’m not going to write him off at all until he’s at least kicked a ball in an Arsenal shirt. He does have a few good attributes – a rocket of a left foot and he knows how to take a free kick. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll turn out to be useful after all the hullabaloo surrounding his arrival – Don’t @ me for saying that…
Given our slightly depleted forces – hardly an ideal time, huh… – my best guest at the 11 players that’ll take to the field is:
If we need anymore inspiration for today, we can always take note of these words from our old friend, Emmanuel Adebayor, who’s been shouting off his considerable mouth in the media about Arsenal’s inability to handle the pressure:
“Arsenal are a good team when they have the ball. When they don’t, they are not that good. When you put them under pressure, they can’t handle it.
“They don’t have a lot of physical presence. Apart from Flamini, I don’t see anyone who puts themselves into a proper battle.
“Rosicky is not that type of player, Cazorla is not the type of player who defends. Arteta is trying to do it, but that’s not his job”
I’d thoroughly disagree with that. Perhaps in seasons passed it would have a degree of truth, but this team certainly, to me anyway, appears much more resolute and able to dig in. Sure – we’ve had our moments of weakness away at Anfield and The Ethiad, but on the whole we have looked very solid.
With a bit of luck, should we be winning in the 89th minute, Flamini will have read those words and decided it’s a good time to win the ball and send Adebayor tumbling unceremoniously into the advertisements. Head first. At considerable speed. Omitting a distressed yelp. The absolute c**t.
All that talk is to be expected, especially from a cretin as vainglorious as Adebayor. What matters is action on the pitch and I have every hope we’ll take to the field up for the game. Spurs will be, we can count on that. Our game plan should be to retain as much possession as possible and hit them at the back where they are the weakest. They have offensive players capable of hurting us, but their defence has looked ropey at times and is far from full strength. Get an early goal and silence the home fans and we should have enough to win the game.
I never feel comfortable predicting North London derbies. My head is telling me this one has a draw written all over it. With Chelsea’s faltering against Villa, a win will send us right back into serious contention. I’m tentatively going for a 2-1 victory.
That’s all for today, folks. The comments await your thoughts below. Take a moment to tell me your thoughts. I haven’t included Rosicky in my predicted XI, would you? Do you think the Flamini-Arteta axis is a bad idea? What do you think the final score will be? Let me know.
I’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow with a review. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.