My initial thoughts about today’s game revolve about whether previous season’s games have any relevance to results. It is 27 games since Man City beat us at home – , can this really influence the match? Of course not, though it does give cause for optimism in a weird way for a supporter looking for comfort.
We like City fans (hopefully a couple will join us today) they combine humour with passion, and they really get behind their club. How would we respond if unlimited funds were poured into our club? Would we despair and wish for “the old Arsenal back?” I think not - to be able to have a choice of strike force of Balotelli, Tevez, Dzeko, Aguerro and Tevez must give enormous pleasure, and that is without the genius of Silva and Toure. Plus they happen to be the Champions which is fine by me – if it isn’t us let it be MC; better than the Chavs or the Surrey Reds.
Don’t leave it so late this time, Mikel
But before I’m overcome by the wonder of City I should recall that we almost beat them in the away leg and did beat them at the Emirates last season. And we are on a long unbeaten run.
I expect a tight game today but City have some absentees (if only we had such a squad!). The Pine Rider is suspended following his pathetic assault the other week, Toure is at the ACN, Richards, Maicon and Rodwell are injured but MC will still put out a €200m+ team.
For those with a statistical bent this is very interesting …
I have checked a few MC websites and almost to a man they swallow the AW out narrative. Sad but inevitable, especially when some of our own do the same. They are very confident of a win citing our inconsistency and in particular, last week’s away draw.
And what of our form? Questionable is my estimate. We should have won every game in December, instead we dropped relatively easy points – though S’ton’s improved form shows it was not such a disaster.
We have to sort out the midfield – not the personnel but the tactics; asking Arteta to play the defensive screen is not working particularly well, and Podolski looks far better playing further forward . Lukas was poor at St Mary’s – we need more from him.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Ox in place of OG and TW playing centrally but this smacks of negativity. We are at home, OG causes defences problems, Theo is better out wide.
I am looking forward to the Dzeko/BfG match-up. Two fine players.
Onto today’s explorer: Enough of the ice-boys, let’s get horticultural. One of our greatest unsung collectors and explorers came from the sunny climes of Cornwall: William Lobb (1809 – 1864).
Lobb spent his life collecting in South and North America walking thousands of miles through jungle, desert and mountains. His collection of seeds changed the face of the British (and European) countryside we see today. Lobb brought back: The Monkey Puzzle tree, The Wellington Sequioa, Delphiniums, the Douglas Fir (plus lots of other fir and pine trees), countless flowers, the myrtle tree, some cedars and the barberis shrub.. He died in San Francisco from syphilis (hey, it happens!!).
Mr Lobb. Ozzy Ardilles Dad??
Today’s game has been written up as vital. Perhaps, but given our inconsistency who is to say that after beating the Champions we will not drop points to QPR? My point being that all the games are “vital” – they all offer the same number of points and let’s be brutally honest, how many of you expect us to challenge Man City for the title?
My hope is for an attacking, entertaining game and one in which we “play with the hand break off,” Oh, and no injuries or red cards and a loony (goal-less) cameo from the wonderful Balotelli.
Written by Big Raddy