Have you noticed a spring in the Gooners step since winning in Munich? Suddenly this new Arsenal is not the shoddy bunch of lazy artisans just trotting around and picking up money for nothing (and chicks for free), No, this is a team focussed and able to get a Top 4 spot – possibly even top 3.
The 4th Place Trophy. Currently residing in N.17
But let’s hold hard a second. Nothing has changed - or has it? Has our defence tightened up with the dropping of TV and the addition of Monreal? Has our midfield improved with the loss of Wilshere and the injury to Diaby? Are we better without Theo?
Time will tell.
So, today we take on the mighty WBA ably led by Braniac Steve Clarke. Roy Hodgson took WBA to 10th, Clarke has taken them up to 8th, which for a small club is a job well done. IF WBA win today it will be their most victories in a season in the PL. WBA’s home record is just one point worse than ours, only 4 teams have won at the Hawthorns and as such I have concerns about this game. That said, they have won just 3 of their last 12 games. A draw seems likely.
We all know about the new “Drogba”, Lukaku, who is going to be a major star over the coming years; can BFG and Kos handle him? I hope so.
But as always, it is not how WBA play, it is how Arsenal do. The optimism created over the last couple of months has been grounded in improved teamwork and application. In Raddy’s opinion, the 4-4-2 is allowing Santi the space he requires to influence any game he plays in – he has become an essential player in this team, which is remarkable considering this is his first season. A brilliant buy by Mr.Wenger.
This is the type of game which Ramsey will enjoy – a midfield battle. I cannot see WBA parking the bus, nor can I see them being gung ho, what I expect is a tough game with us controlling the ball. Gervinho’s unpredictability, both in his possession and his positioning, was important against Reading, he will cause anyone problems should he repeat his performance – but will he? Who knows? Not Gervinho, not his team-mates, not the fans, nor his manager.
I am assuming Wilshere, Monreal and Walcott are not quite ready to start but even if they were I would go with the above team (perhaps JW for TR7). I would love to see Podolski get more starts but Rosicky is the better midfielder and in an away fixture he has to be the safer bet.
Today’s English Explorer: Frederick Lugard, later Baron Lugard (1858 – 1945) soldier, mercenary, African explorer and administrator. Fred was a different type of explorer to those we have read about this this season, basically he was a soldier who went through Africa freeing slaves and kicking two colours out of anyone in his path, setting up Britain as the pre-eminent colonial power in Africa. It should be recalled that Britain’s great wealth wasn’t just created by brave fellows going out alone with a knapsack and a compass, it was also built through the gun and violence – Freddie was an expert.
Iron fist in a Velvet glove – Harder than PV4
Following a stellar military career he became the first Governor of Hong Kong where he founded the University of Hong Kong, then Governor of Nigeria where he attempted to put an end to the slave trade between the African nations (it being abolished in Europe). Highly decorated as a soldier Lugard was first knighted and then became a Baron. He died childless at the age of 87.
This is another huge game, not just because of the 3 points but also because of the rising level of hope and expectation surrounding the team.
And as we all know ….. it is the Hope that hurts .
written by Big Raddy