I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet. Today’s north London derby feels like the biggest and most important one for a few years. If we win today we will go top of the table, for a few hours at least, and we will also show Spuds that they are still not as good as they would like to believe they are.
Another reason for wanting to win this game is that it would give us three league wins in a row and would go some way to dispelling the view real or otherwise, that we tend to go through a bad spell in November in terms of both results and injuries.
Of course, the biggest single reason for wanting to win is because we are playing the scum. I remember being at the Villa game at Highbury on the final day of the 1998/1999 season when we missed out on the title and after the game a bunch of Spuds scum travelled down to the area outside Finsbury Park station to rub it in and cause trouble. Bloody pikeys. That is a massive reason for our players to go out onto that pitch today and give their all to shut those cuntbuckets up. We need to show them that they will never reach the same level as us, both in terms of ability and the class of the club as a whole. I really hope that the fans at the game today give it their all to vocally support the team.
Team news is that Wilshere, Arshavin and Rosicky are all fit to be included in the squad. The only unavailable players are Almunia, Diaby, Ramsey and Vermaelen. Our squad is, touch wood, finally beginning to get back to full fitness and it looking quite strong, which feels like a very unusual thing for an Arsenal fan to be saying as we approach the depths of winter. Usually we begin to drop like flies right around now. Maybe this year we have gotten our spell of injuries over with early doors. Fingers crossed that’s the case!
I still think that we will line up as:
Sagna Squillaci Koscielny Clichy
Fabregas Song Denilson
Although Wilshere has passed his fitness test, I think that the boss may go with Denilson to offer a bit more defensive protection. I also think that the starting of Walcott down the right will give Spuds something to think about before giving Bale licence to go down the wing. The manager has a tough decision to make over playing Koscielny or Djourou and given that Koscielny is good in one-on-one situations, I have a feeling that he will shade it. Djourou has done well recently and deserves to keep his place, but I think it will go to Koscielny. Apparently, Bendtner is not going to be included in today’s squad because it is felt that he needs some extra practice by himself as he is returning from injury. Of course, it is totally coincidental that his non-inclusion coincides with the little outburst he had last week. A total coincidence…
That would give us a bench of Szczesny, Djourou, Eboue, Wilshere, Rosicky, Arshavin and RvP.
All in all, that is one of the strongest match day squads that we have been able to put out for quite some time. I can’t wait for kick-off. The adrenalin is pumping. Now all I need to do is get some beers in, choose my bets to place and I’m all set.
NewsNow screwed me a bit yesterday by taking too long to include my post in their feed. So, if you haven’t already, please check out yesterday’s post.
Have yourselves a great day and here’s hoping for a massive three points and a humiliation of the scum. Remember, you can also follow me on Twitter: @colm_smyth
Take it easy.