Starting XI against Newcastle, team news and transfer fluff ‘n’ stuff.

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FA Premiership, Monday 12th March
Arsenal Vs Newcastle

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.

Also, Arsenal blogger Dave Seager has an excellent interview with Ryan Rocastle, son of the late, great ‘Rocky’ Rocastle, on his site, 1 nil up, 2 one down. Have a read, as it’s well worth your time.

4 Comments

  1. Gary The Gooner

    Backroom staff reshuffle is probably as important as signing a few decent players, look at the average age of the coaching staff and the average age of the squad – big difference. I would like to see Steve Bould as No2, Tony Adams brought in as Reserve Team Boss, Mad Jens as GK coach (Seaman would be better, but think he’s too busy fishing!) Also Bergkamp in as Coach.
    Think that Wenger should try the American Football approach and have seperate coaches for Defensive and Offensive players, especially after teh news that the players hardly ever practice defense. Bringing in some of the old players, the Legends that made Arsenal, would be a big boost!!

    Reply
  2. The truth

    Why would anyone give a crap about YPUR predicted line up?
    Useless arsenal fan trying to get attention.
    Every prat posts a blog with predictable lineup and opinion on why he chose each player.
    Who gives a crap about your opinions !

    Fools!

    Too much time on your hands.
    Get a life you losers !!

    It’s only the real line up people care about. Not your pathetic British players favourism and Ramsy worshipping !!

    Shameful that top 10 arsenal players are not even British !!!

    Reply
    1. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      Congratulations.

      In three years of blogging, your little contribution is comfortably the most jarringly stupid thing I’ve read.

      If you don’t care about my opinions, or you think blog owners are “prats”, perhaps you’d like to explain why you’re reading and contributing on one?

      Twat.

      Reply
    2. James 'Raul' Stokes (Post author)

      Oh, and the top ten Arsenal players aren’t British? Jack Wilshere?

      Reply

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