Good afternoon to you all. It feels very much like morning to me after the Arsenally little one decided it was time to move from anarchy to monarchy, and literally throw toys at me, the little angel. That said, my decision to always wear an Arsenal strip when we’re watching football together seems to be paying off. He’s started to play with the crest on my shirt and burble something like “Arshenl”. Aah.
According to the excellent YoungGunsBlog, we’ve a very good chance of winning our appeal re Welly Silver, which is good news indeed. I’m guessing that even if we do, he’ll still go to Liga Segunda till next season, where he can hopefully get some games under his belt. Other youth news to report is that Emmanuel Frimpong is back in training. He proved himself useful and we need a good young player to put pressure on Song and Denilson.
Alan Hansen, a man whose opinion I rarely pay any attention to because he’s so patently bigotted against Arsenal, has spoken via the BBC Sport website about our chances on Monday night:
it is an absolute certainty that Sir Alex Ferguson will tell his players to put Lukasz Fabianski and the central defensive pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci under pressure at every opportunity.
That’s a given. It’s unfortunate that Fabianski made such bad errors when he first came into the team, because he is now regularly targetted with long balls, as we saw against Sp*rs. But it’s nothing more than we’d face from the likes of Blackburn, Wolves or Stoke. What we must do is ensure that we mark Vidic and Ferdinand well at set pieces. I know Rooney hasn’t scored since March – well apart from each time he visits the Salford Golden Oldies Massage Parlour – but he does pose an aerial threat as well.
According to some ManUre sites I had a quick look through, Ferdinand, Evra and Scholes may feature. But I take that with a pinch of salt as Ferguson always lies through his teeth and then has a tendency to throw up a surprise or two.
If there’s one area we can get to them it’s in midfield. Scholes is aging fast, Fletcher is just a thug, Carrick’s never been more than quite good in my book, and regardless of whether the skipper’s back or not, we should be all over them there. I’d prefer Wilshere to Denilson, with Song and Nasri. Clichy must stay alert to Nani.
The legendary Arseblogger makes an interesting comment about the shite Evra’s been spouting:
If we’re being honest the reason Evra’s comments sting is because there’s more than a hint of truth to them. Unpalatable as it might be to admit, there just is. It doesn’t mean that Evra isn’t the scuttery, infected discharge from an swollen anal polyp, because he is, and more, but our record is there. Lots of nice football, just not enough of it and no trophies.
Painfully true. Let’s hope that Nasri and Walcott (as sub?) make a mockery of his words and leave him in a mangled heap.
From the press conference, it sounds like we’ll be without Cesc. There’s going to be a late fitness test, which isn’t promising. Clichy will return (concentrate, concentrate, concentrate), and Djorou’s a possibility at the back. I’d like to see the big Swiss play because he’s so tall and good in the air. In other injury news Gibbs will be out for about 3 weeks with a sprained ankle. Chin up, Kieron, you’ve still got a very bright future.
So, expected line-ups for Monday night:
ManUre – van der Sar – Silva – Ferdinand – Vidic – Evra – Nani – Fletcher – Scholes – Giggs – Rooney – Berbatov
Arsenal – Fabianski – Sagna – Squillaci – Koscielny/Djorou – Clichy – Wilshere/Denilson – Song – Nasri – Chamakh – van Persie – Arshavin
Rather hilariously, AW has stated that snoods were suggested by the medical staff. Pansies – but I’d rather they didn’t injure their precious necks and spend four months out having horse placenta baths.
There’s some nice memories from Martin Keown and Tony Adams in the Mail here.