Monday salutations, intrepid perusers.
The weekend results have been kind to us. Spurs and Liverpool continued to falter, and whilst Chelsea won, they were far from convincing. Today, we have the opportunity to put more distance between us and another one of our rivals for the fourth spot; beating Newcastle will leave them, like Liverpool, behind us with the gap seemingly unattainable. Victory also puts us 3 points ahead of Chelsea and a mere 1 behind our uppity neighbours.
Winning is important.
Since he took over, the deplorably irritating Alan Pardew has, to his credit, quietly built up a good Newcastle side. With the likes of Ben Afra, Tiote, Cisse and Ba, they have significant offensive threats. Where many have expected them to struggle and reside within mid-table mediocrity, they’ve performed admirably at times and deserve to be taken very seriously.
That said, I’d expect us to beat them on our own turf. Our last 3 results have put the smiles back on the faces of the Gooner fraternity. There’s a new passion and urgency about our play and it’s paying dividends. And we’ve returning players to strengthen the ranks.
Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are both available for selection, and our defensive options are bolstered by the return from a lengthy period on the sidelines of everyone’s favourite portly Brazilian full-back, Andre Santos – let’s hope he’s kept away from the fucking sugary treats whilst on the sidelines.
I’d opt for a starting line-up of:
Szczsney; Sagna, Gibbs, Koscielny, Vermaelen; Song, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho; van Persie
I’ve left out Theo because of the way Newcastle will play. I think Pardew will park the bus and aim to counter-attack. When teams do that at the Emirates, Theo tends to be ineffective. If there’s space behind the back four, he can destroy full-backs with his pace. Take that away, and his game isn’t creative or intelligent enough. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s impressive performances warrant a starting birth and he had the footballing brain to go with the Speedy Gonzales pace.
In other news, yesterday there was an interesting bit on Le Grove about the plans for the club over the summer. As always, I agree with some of what they say and disagree with other parts – I don’t think Diaby should be released from his contract just yet when I believe he does have the ability to be a big player. They said something similar about Robin van Persie, and he’s doing okay after his injury troubles.
The potential addition of Yaan M’Vila and Jan Vertonghen I agree with immensely, as I do the necessity for another creative midfielder. Mainly, I agree with the need for a shake up in the backroom staff. Part of Alex Ferguson’s recipe for success is his ability to continuously freshen things up behind the scenes with the employment of varied assistants and coaches. With Pat Rice retiring, a new No2 (probably Steve Bould) with a few new faces alongside him to coach the players wouldn’t be a bad idea. A new voice on the training pitch to keep the players from lapsing into complacency might help eradicate some of the calamitous blunders that have plagued this season.
Let me know what you think in the comments.
That’s yer lot today. Let’s hope for a good performance tonight and a delicious 3 points to get our paws on. I hope you enjoy the game wherever you may be watching. Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.
Take a moment to follow my Twitter account – @_ArmchairGooner.
Finally today, I’d like to reserve a special mention for Sian Massey. Unfairly put into the media eye thanks to two complete misogynistic idiots in Andy Gray and Richard Keys, by correctly flagging Micah Richards’ ‘goal’ for Man City, she proved beyond question that women do know the offside rule.
Well done, Sian.