by Quiet Quentin
It has been a curiously muted build up to this game with Mr Wenger being particularly tight lipped in response to, it must be said, what was some untypically muted questioning from the world’s media at the pre-match press conference. Indeed at times one wondered if there was anyone there at all.
Of course there have been the usual commentaries about injuries – one of which I noticed was so extreme as to suggest that Arsenal’s injury crisis is now so great that they will struggle to put out a side today. But I think this is going a little too far.
BBC Radio 5 however did do a preview last night which was a huge improvement on its normal Friday night output, saying, ” ” and then again ” “. The counter argument was largely unheard, but of course it was ever thus. It was however a start.
As for the form guide Southampton seem to have lost their way somewhat, and one wag suggested that they had given up completely and were having difficulty coping with the entire concept of this game. But the press as usual have taken their typical view focusing on “the forgotten players”, “the unsung heroes” and “the players we simply will not see.”
Tickets for the match have been particularly hard to find, and there have been reports of even the disgraceful ticket touts that litter the streets around Arsenal station giving the whole match up as a bad job. A similar protest has also been called for by the street vendors.
As for predictions, 0-0 seems to be the bookies favourite, and it has become difficult to get any odds on this score at all. Maybe someone has some inside information that has not reached us yet.
However for those who do make it to the game, I am sure they will see football the likes of which they have never, ever seen before, football in which you can hardly believe that the game is happening before you eyes.
The one worry of course for this type of match is just how much noise the crowd will make. A veritable wall of silence, as some have predicted will put a real dampner on the match, and that really would be a shame for all those people who have worked so hard to get this game on, despite the surrounding apathy.
As for the teams, I expect Arsenal to line up
The invisible man
Left at home Backed away Backed further away So right back he’s gone
White on white No one
He’s-left Early Willie Play You won’t believe he’s playing
Referee: Imnot Ere
It is, you will admit I am sure, something of an esoteric line up, with elements of the team that failed to win a single game during the whole of June last year, although I must admit I have always maintained that was more the opposition’s fault, rather than the Arsenal team.
The real surprise of course is the inclusion of Untold’s Sir Hardly Anyone in the number nine role. Especially given that the last time I saw him he was at his stately home in Rutlandshire eating nine rolls. But on a day like today experimentation must be the order of the game, and indeed this type of experimentation is what the world is by and large known for.
There is a rumour going around that because of some of the nasty things we’ve said about Sky’s match preview programme, they won’t be mentioning the game at all, but I do think that is a little childish. However we are assured that the Match of the Day review of the game on BBC1 tonight will be absolutely up to its usual standard.
Do say (if you are a chicken): Is this some kind of a yolk?
Don’t say: I’m not sure about this new invisible kit.
As Brickfield Gunners recently said: Just remember to turn your hourglass anti-clockwise.
- Why do some football supporters get so angry?
- The one gigantic question the football media refuse to ask, let alone answer
- OOOuuuuccccchhhhhhhhhh Santi Cazorla
Arsenal History Books on Kindle
The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle. Full details are here.
Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without. For full details please see here.