Let’s not get carried away. Two wins against very poor opposition does not mean we are going to charge up the table - or does it? Could a week of 7 goals and a clean sheet be the portents for a massive improvement? We will find out today.
Aston Villa have had a troubled start to the season; they lack confidence, strikers, cohesion and points. What they do not lack is a very good young manager who will be using all his skills to rectify this situation. Lambert has proven he has the ability to take a club with a small budget to PL safety, I expect him to do the same at Villa, though he is banned from the touchline for this fixture thanks to being rightly upset with the officials.
I have always liked Villa; they have a noble history but went into decline 20+ years ago. To those younger fans it should be noted that, unlike us, they have won the European Cup – can anyone remember the name of their manager at the time? (without Google :-)).
Never liked their ground, set amongst motorways, scrubby parkland and industrial estates – and the scene of that horrible night of the DB missed penalty, and a hairy Giggs goal (BR was there in ’99). But like Liverpool and Everton, Villa are a proper club.
Who is this Man? (clue: he is not Inspector Clouseau)
Villans are not happy, their team are struggling but there are signs of improvement – 2 ahead against MU, doing OK at MC before being shafted by the ref, this will not be an easy game for us. Villa have a young inexperienced squad and are heavily dependent upon Benteke to score, despite having Darren Bent and Abonglohar in the squad. What has happened to Bent? A confirmed Gooner and according to Peaches a very pleasant chap, he has cost his employers over £50m in transfer fees and yet doesn’t feature in a team desperate for goals. He could be a reasonable Chamakh replacement in January.
Stat time; We have not lost against AV for 13 games (6 dr 7 w). In 7 of the last 9 meetings there has been a goal after the 87th minute. AV have won just 2 of their last 18 home PL games. All of this bodes ill for Arsenal who love to buck the trend!
Arsenal: No Theo, some of the team looking jaded, Sagna and JW both being used too often after retuning from long-term injury, Gibbs a risk, Podolski overplayed – is JNYC right that we need some rotation? Most would say Yes, particularly as we are away at Everton mid-week. I think a little tinkering and perhaps some timely substitutions will suffice.
I would be happy to se Gervinho if O-C his not fully recovered from his hip injury . Much will depend upon how AW sets up the midfield., he may choose to play Coquelin in place of JW.
Our recent run of form is entirely due to the good luck brought by the two hirsuite brave Englishmen presented in these pre-matches. Today’s explorer is sure to bring us victory: Edward John Eyre (1815-1901). An English land explorer who was just a touch self-obsessed as witnessed by the names of his discoveries – Lake Eyre, the Eyre Peninsula and the Eyre River (all in South Australia) he walked through South Australia, the Nullabor plains and along the Great Bight – over 2000 miles! Eyre later became Governor of Jamaica.
Why not re-name it The Eyre-Mirates?
I foresee a tough game this evening. Villa will be keen to get their season on track and our lads have yet to play 90 fluent minutes. Our recent habit of starting very slowly needs to be addressed, so I look for fast start, an early goal and a tight defensive display.
Written by Big Raddy