One year to the day after Arsenal 7 Newcastle 3 we meet them again. There’s a link to last year’s fun and games at the end.
Matters Everyone’s Favourite Pundit
Some say that listening to Michael Owen is similar to watching paint dry. I was one of these until quite recently, where awkwardly I offended an influential figure in the Drying Paint Observer’s Society – “don’t liken our respectable, yet much-maligned pastime to that… twat”, he demanded!
“Sorry,” I replied…
So from this point on, it occurred to me: listening to Michael Owen was in fact more like listening to paint dry…
Ramsey’s injury might not be a terrible thing. His form has dropped slightly and if there’s a position we can afford injuries… it is centre mid. It also improves the prospects for Cazorla and Wilshere, whose confidence will be boosted, knowing they are more likely to start.
Creative players need confidence like snow needs the cold. Without it they melt, becoming wet and irritating.
Against West Ham, Cazorla showed glimpses of his previous form. His game was less inhibited and operating centrally alongside Arteta, gave us a Spanish-like control. It might have been against West Ham, but it’s a kind of patience I haven’t seen in recent weeks.
It’s nice to have Podolski back as well. With him you get the composure of 100+ German caps – at no point does he look worried as he hasn’t a bloody thing to prove.
“Podolski why did you do that?” – someone might say to a strange decision. At which point he’ll turn, look them in the eye and show them a notebook (he takes everywhere) recording his appearances for Germany. Bit of a longwinded affair I agree – I’d just tell them to “Piss off”! But that’s what I like about Podolski… he deals in figures.
With Newcastle there is no middle ground and it seems that each game throws up a peculiar result. They’ll beat Chelsea one week and then lose heavily to Swansea the next. Lately though, their form seems to have settled and Alain Le Pardieu is all the more slimy for it.
Tiote, the man who ruined my only ever trip to the Emirates, returns after a ban, so I expect he’ll make a heavy-handed nuisance of himself.
I make our team as such:
Sagna Per Koscielny/Verm Gibbs
Cazorla Ozil Walcott
Bit of a rash call on Podolski perhaps; it probably won’t happen. Koscielny should be back from injury, but it would be a shame to drop Vermaelen after a few strong performances. Walcott has made my fantasy football team, so massive congratulations to him! Flamini rotating with Arteta wouldn’t be a bad move either; he speaks French, is a massive nutcase and will no doubt be able to irritate people.
Footnote: Alan Pardew still insists that by refusing to sell Yohan Cabaye to Tottenham, after Cabaye went on strike supposedly to force a move to Arsenal, (although Arsenal never confirmed this) was a better deal than Arsenal buying Özil. Pardew has even suggested that it was only because the bid for Cabaye was rejected that Arsenal bought Mesut Özil.
Cheers and gone,
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias