Strange to be playing a team one place below us and feel so ambivalent – it must be a response to the past couple of weeks. However, there is reason to look forward to today if only to vent some aggression and built up frustrations. Because today the comedy villain is coming to town.
Man City were always my second team. My allegiance came about through the wonders of Subbuteo. My set had red & white, and sky-blue & white players. Of course my team was The Arsenal, but I had many Gooner mates and needless to say (being an even handed sort of chap), I alternated colours with them. This was in City’s golden era, the days of Summerbee, Lee, Book, Bell and Doyle - a team of power, imagination and skill. I can highly recommend “Manchester United ruined my Life” by Coiln Shindler to get a taste of that team, a book that could have been written by a Spurs fan about Arsenal over the past 30 years. I wonder if Subbuteo is still sold? So many winter hours of my youth were spent on it, but I guess it has been overtaken by computer games today
This afternoon brings the best City team since those far off days to THOF. The frisson of MC having three ex-Gunners will guarantee a lively encounter:
PV4: An Arsenal great and one of the finest MF’s to grace the Premiership. PV has yet to be effectively replaced in our team which shows the magnitude of his influence. A much loved man who will receive a fine reception from the fans. It is said that he went to City to further his chances of going to the WC which highlights his ambition, though I suspect it was to top up his pension fund. Nonetheless, PV remains a potent player and will enjoy his day in the sun.
Kolo Toure: Could have been an Arsenal great. His early career was so promising but when Sol left his form went into a tailspin. A top bloke, despite his bitching about AW earlier in the year, and a man who always gave 100% for The Arsenal. A member of the Invincibles. However, Toure never seemed to gel with Gallas and rumour has it that their relationship was non-existent in the dressing-room, as such it was no surprise when Toure was sold. I hope he gets a decent reception.
Which is more than I can say for the other ex-Gunner lining up for MC. I will not be at THOF to welcome Adebayor home, but I wish I was. His reception could be less than polite! There is nothing like pouring scorn on a player from the safety of the stand, and we have been missing a villain since Shearer, Schmeichel and Sheringham retired. Not even a Spud or any MU player can provoke the antipathy that will be laid at Ade’s size 15 feet. And deservedly so, a more unpleasant player one is unlikely to see – from his cowardly stamp on RvP’s face to the insane celebration in front of the Arsenal fans, this man screams narcissus. What kind of egoist takes the decision not to play for his country following the tragic attack on the Togo bus – this by their Captain and the man most revered in a poverty stricken, football mad nation. Have any of the other members of the Togo side followed suit? I disliked Adebayor intensely when he wore the red and white, I hated his laissez-faire attitude, his patent lies about his love for the club, his dismissiveness of all the players around him, the preening and worst of all, the kissing of a badge that means so much to millions of fans and so little to him. €25m received for a man who I would have paid to leave was a superb piece of business from AW. Yes, he can score goals, the 30 in a season is a record that will not be broken for some time, but Ade was offside more times in one game than we have been all this season (very slight exaggeration). Perhaps we would have won the PL had he stayed, but I doubt it – this is not a man to lead the line, not someone to rely upon to inspire a team.
From the above you may correctly assume that my feelings towards TTT (The Togo T**t) are slighlty negative ……. To Pluto with him!
There are other players in the MC team! The odious but effective Bellamy, the quickly developing Adam Johnson who will give Theo much competition for an England shirt in years to come. I particularly like De Jong, who would have made a fine addition to our team when the Alonso purchase collapsed (I think the timing was wrong). Stephen Ireland is back from injury – a man with exemplary taste in cars – a fine player and one I would love to see us buy. And thinking of Alonso …. Gareth Barry, the man who effectively stopped his arrival at THOF, which is reason enough on its own to dislike the rat faced Midlander. And of course there is Tevez., what a wonderful player this little chap is. If Adebayor had 50% of his passion and energy, he would be a world beater ……. but he hasn’t! City, unlike us, have a goalkeeper, a man all Gooners would have liked to see us acquire 2 seasons ago. It wasn’t to be and a chance went begging to sign one of the World’s best GK’s, let’s hope he has a stinker today.
Injuries once again will determine who plays for Arsenal. Will Song be fit? His absence has been extremely costly. Sol and Silvestre are likely to continue as CB’s, though MC are a very fast team and I would play Sagna at CB with Eboue at RB. The rest almost pick themselves apart from upfront where we will hopefully see Van Persie start. Will we see Vela in the absence of Arshavin? It would be an interesting ploy but I expect AW to play safe and pack the midfield with Song/Eastmond, Nasri, Diaby and Rosicky.
A win or draw is important. We do not need to put further pressure on the team going into the last two games and as such have to secure 3rd. I believe we will get a result. The awful loss last week could be apported to lack of desire and discipline; those who played at the DW will want to show the faithful that the final 10 minutes was a blip.