Always good to play a newly promoted team at home after a busy (and triumphant) week. West Brom according to Mr Wenger will be a tough test and one of the best sides we could play. Tosh, I say – he couldn’t have asked for a better fixture considering the progressive destruction of his squad. If we don’t pick up 3 points today we may as well hold up the white flag regarding the title.
We go into the game on the back of a confidence boosting and easy victory over our local rivals. The dressing room must be awash with testosterone which AW will be looking to unleash upon a team who have started brightly having taking a spanking at Stamford Bridge, but drawing with Spurs and beating Man City last time out (CC). This must be tempered by an appalling away record – WBA have just 4 points from a possible 52 in their previous away games in the PL.
In Roberto di Matteo WBA have a fine young coach who will be assuring his side that they can escape a beating akin to the 6-0 at the Bridge. Should ex Arsenal youth player Jerome Thomas start, it could be an opportunity to apologise to Jack Wilshere for the push that got Thomas sent off with a 3 match ban. You may recall Jack refused to take Thomas’s hand after he was elbowed, JT reacted to the snub by pushing Jack and got red carded.
I cannot see Di Matteo playing anything but a cautious game hoping to counter attack. He must know that should Arsenal score early Scott Carson will be in for a very busy afternoon.
My team …..
Bench: Chesney, Vela, EE, JD Diaby/TR
This assumes Rosicky and Diaby will not recover from injury. If either is fit, I would replace Denilson. Vela didn’t do enough at WHL to start today, neither did Djourou. I would like to see Chesney get a start but expect Almunia to play. It would be good to give Chesney a bench seat thereby making him feel included in the first team set-up.
We have been playing fast, fluent football, have become more incisive upfront with less pitty-patty around the opposition box and we seem to have sorted out some of our defensive frailties. In short we have been superb up to now. Even at Sunderland where we had our backs to the wall there were many positives, not least of which was the knowledge we should have won the 3 points despite a lacklustre first half. Wilshere has been superb and is growing rapidly into the team, though I expect him to be rested as soon as Diaby and Cesc are fit. We remain unbeaten and on the way to another Invincible season
This to me is an surprising fact about West Bromwich, two of my favourite singers were born there. Robert Plant ex Led Zep and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy. Now to me Lizzy are the quintessential Irish band and I always thought Lynott came from Ireland – but no, he was born in Sandwell General, West Bromwich. Wherever he was born, he played in one of the finest bands ever to walk the planet, RIP.
Can we win? Of course. Will we win? Certainly.