By Billy the Dog McGraw
This is a match that really doesn’t need a review, since it is obvious that the referee has decided on the game before we start. The only hope we have is that the growing audience on Untold means that Mr Dean might think that after we have predicted what he will do, he will trick us by being a fair minded man in the middle.
Possible, but doubtful.
Anyway, I decided to carry on the old routine by talking me old pal Dennis Bergkamp in his potting shed on the Enfield allotment park, before the game, and he gave me the run down. Dennis as usual has been looking at both the opposition and its history, and our team.
Here’s his report…
Blackburn is a diminutive principality set in Lancashire which boasts, in its tourist booklet, that it has at five streets from which terrorism has been almost totally eradicated.
Known locally as Blacheborne the town’s name comes from the original word for bleach, which tells you much of what you need to know.
History teaches us that two people lived and died in the town (probably of bleach poison) and their burial urns have since been found. And that’s by and large the history of the place. Quite an odd spot to put a football team really although it does explain why the ground is usually empty.
The main road in the area drives through Pleasington Cemetery and is known by the snappy title as Bremetennacum Veteranorum. The unpronounceability of the name explains why no one ever goes there.
As for the team…
Szychcyzczhcy will play in goal. There we are, that’s about that sorted.
But the back four? Koscielny may or may not play. Vermaelen may or may not play. Sagna will play, so will Mertersacker. So that’s two.
Who else is left? Jenkinson misses out through suspension, Gibbs is injured. So who else have we got? Ahhh… Nacho Monreal. That’s three. If neither of the injured centre halves (as we used to call them) can play then we might see Angha or Miquel get a game. I can’t imagine Squillaci playing, although you never know…
In the middle Jack Wilshere’s fitness is unsure, and even if fit, it may not be worth playing him against Mike Dean.
Abou Diaby could play, as could Rosicky if Cazorla needs a rest. Aaron Ramsey might also expect to get a start. Arteta should play. Ooops that’s four.
Up front it is the usual suspects: Podolski, Theo and Giroud, unless Mr Wenger wants Oxlade-C to get an extra run around and give Theo a rest. Oh and there is Gervinho who was a different player in the African Tourney. So maybe it is time to see him again.
As for the opposition here is the team:
Dean Dean Dean Dean
Dean Dean Dean
Dean Dean Dean
And by and large that is about that apart from the usual run of statistics.
We beat Blackburn 3-0 in the semi-finals of the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium in April 2005 and I was there. What shocked me was that Blackburn only took up about half of their ticket allocation – and yet despite the huge demand from Arsenal fans, we were not given any extra tickets. Typical FA cock-up.
Blackburn last beat in the Cup in the 1928 semi-finals and that was their last victory in the competition.
The last time we played each other in the league was last season and we won 7-1. Unfortunately I was in Australia and missed it.
Although we are the second most successful club in the FA Cup, and have never been knocked out by a lower league club since Mr Wenger took charge, lower league knock outs were common in the past. York City, Wrexham, Peterborough… it used to be common place.
On the other hand Blackburn haven’t conceded a goal in the first two rounds they have played in.
So back to the front, as it were, here we go
Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
Walcott Giroud Podolski
- Arsenal – Blackburn Rovers: we can expect the worst. The very worst.
- Misunderstanding Arsenal: misunderstanding football. Who has got it most wrong?
- Is Financial Fair Play really all for (or because of) Arsenal?
- Injuries and transfers. Looking forward to two cup games in four days.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches