Phil Gregory on Arsenal v West Ham United
We’re straight onto the next cup final with the Hammers coming to the Emirates on Saturday, but first a quick word on the Hull game.
As a longtime Bendtner fan, life hasn’t always been easy for me. I had a huge argument about him with a few mates before an economics lecture, which happened to be two days before the Burnley game. Not the best of timing, in hindsight. Thankfully, before they could enjoy their moment, there was the small matter of his slamming in a hat trick in the champions league.
Slowly, he’s winning round the doubters: on my end, a few of them are just a little bit quieter in their criticisms, no doubt wary of the fact they look more and more wrong with every game. And again, he grabs the winner (and not an easy finish, though Myhill shouldn’t really have spilled it) and no doubt his detractors will be that little bit quieter once more.
Keep it up, Nicklas.
And what a pleasure for that to prove Phil Brown’s last game in charge of Hull. Words cannot describe the dislike I hold for this man: he is truly vile and distasteful. With hindsight of what came out of “Spitgate” listen to the following radio interview with him:
Truly reprehensible. He just peddles lies and accusations, and then has the audacity to accuse somebody else of questioning his integrity. Phil Brown, you have none. His whole manner in the interview is awful, he comes across as rude and having an over-inflated view of his own self-worth in speaking down to these “mere” BBC journalists.
Ahh. I feel better now. Onto the Hammers.
We’ve got a demon to exorcise in this game, after throwing away two points at Upton Park earlier on in the season. I don’t think anyone expected West Ham to be where they are this season, perhaps off-field financial troubles have had a part to play, and no doubt a injury list to rival ours this season won’t have helped.
That said, I see them settling in the lower-mid table positions and a team in those reaches of the League shouldn’t be giving us difficulties at home.
In terms of injuries, Cesc and Rosicky are both “expected” to pass fitness tests this morning (no doubt it’ll be confirmed shortly after I send this to Tony). Song’s back from his suspension in what is a big boost for us, though Gallas is one big mystery at this stage. Physioclub now numbers four, with long term injuries keeping Ramsey, Van Persie, Djourou and Gibbs out.
Im going for:
Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
Eboue St Nicklas Arshavin
Honourable mentions to Rosicky, Eduardo, Theo et al on the bench. The mystery that is Vela may or may not be on the bench, I’m quite keen to see whether he is involved as he hasn’t been for a while and there are no reports of an injury.
Naturally, I may be wrong, Cesc in particular may be given a start if there is no doubt surrounding his recovery, that one is very much down to the medical team I think. Caution is, as ever the word when it comes to Rosicky.
Swiss midfielder Behrami showed himself to be a tidy player in our FA Cup clash, harrying play well and we’re likely to see much of the same. Other names for the Hammers are Carlton Cole, who is enjoying a productive campaign despite a few injury troubles along with the ever-solid Scott Parker.
I’m settling for a fairly comfortable home win. I know comfortable isn’t something we’ve done recently, but it’d be great if we could get a couple of early goals to our name. I’m looking forward to seeing Upson live, I’ve never really seen what the rave reviews that get him into the England squad are all about, so it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with the in-form Bendtner..
3-0 to the Arsenal, and I’d really love the clean sheet. Sol had a couple of shaky moments in the win over Hull after some solid displays for us, so it’d be great to see a performance from the veteran Gunner.
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