Let’s cut to the chase from the start …. I actively dislike Blackburn. Never liked their kit, hated Simon Garner, Dalglish, Mark Hughes, Fat Sam, the SAS, Haj Diouf, Kean, the Chicken men, and their ground is as awful as the town.
Last time we played Blackburn at the Emirates we beat them 7-1 and they were lucky to get the 1. An insipid display from a doomed team.
More of the same today …. please
Can we expect the same today? Who knows? Much depends on the mindset of The Arsenal because we have handed out some real hidings at THOF this season. I would love today to be another thrashing but somehow doubt it will happen.
And what of Blackburn? Sitting mid-table in the Championship, carrying huge debts and reliant upon loan players (Bentley, DJ Campbell & Kazim Richards etc) they are a club in trouble. I was surprised when looking at B’burn’s squad to see the name of Nuno Gomes. 36 y.o and given a 2 year contract in summer . Gomes was once a £20m player but that was before Ox was born! Why sign him and give him what must be a big pension fund? Who knows?
It’s not all mis-management at Blackburn, they have also had their share of bad luck. For example, they signed Leon Best from Newcastle for £3m in summer - a good player who had recently recovered from a cruciate ligament tear, one month into this season and he got another one!
One very good signing has been Jordan Rhodes. Our CB’s can expect a good physical battle this afternoon.
David Bentley. Will he start today? I doubt it, but Bentley is sure to get pitch time, and I expect him to get the reception he so fully deserves for his celebration following the fluke at THOF a few years back. To us this is a chap who has thrown away his career, a man who was born with immense talent but allowed his ego to derail him – to Mr Bentley and his family, he is a multi-millionaire who lives a lifestyle few can imagine. Such is modern football.
With the Bayern game looming AW is sure to rest much of the team. This is my guess ……
Runners & Riders
The above team has all the necessary firepower to win this afternoon, though I accept it is light in midfield with Ramsey being asked to play the DM role. It also highlights the lack of a centre forward to replace OG.
Today’s English Explorer: As we are playing a Championship side today we have a second division explorer. – top man nonetheless. Cecil Rowling (1870 – 1915). Young Cecil was one of England’s most accomplished mountaineers and was among the first to explore and survey Tibet, in the process identifying Everest as the highest mountain. He went on to discover the source of the Brahmaputra river, and later to survey the jungles of Papua New Guinea.
Don’t mess with me, Laddy ….
The First World War intervened and Rawling became a highly regarded soldier. Fighting at Ypres and the Somme he rose to Brigadier General, winning the DSO and the CMG. Leading his troops at Passchendaele, Rawling was killed by a German shell.
Blackburn will pack the midfield and likely parrk ‘t buss. As this is our last realistic chance of silverware we should get this tie settled early but somehow I feel Arsenal are in for a battle this afternoon.
To those fortunate to attend stay positive.
Written by Big Raddy