Happy birthday Thomas Vermaelen

By Tony Attwood

As one door closes another slams in your face, as the old Cockney saying goes.  Thomas V must be feeling this, aged 25, not sure when he will play again.

I’ve got problems too, but not as bad as his.

And you don’t want to know about my problems, but I will tell you anyway. I am away from the native lands, and my laptop is playing up no end.  So far I have managed to screw up Dogface’s piece by getting the pictures in the wrong order and missing one out totally, and I can’t publish Phil’s preview of the game this afternoon because the computer won’t open the file.

So, to cover the situation while I try and resolve matters further, here’s a very quick preview.  If I can sort the pictures, and/or Phil’s normal preview, I will.

We play the men from the north who along with their near neighbours are struggling to stay ahead of such mighty powers as Bolton and Sunderland in the jolly EPL.  So far this year they have won 2, drawn 3, lost 1 at home, scoring eight letting in six.

Last year was Billy’s greatest triumph – predicting a 1-7 victory and thus being out by only one goal.  Ramsey was the culprit missing a sitter in the final seconds.   Then as now Everton are for sale, no one wants to buy, and they lose millions every year.

I can’t really draw too many conclusions from the Wolverhampton game since I was sitting in the first row at pitch level – which although fun doesn’t allow the overall vision that one gets from the higher zones.  My impression was that there were moments when we were given a bit of a rough ride, and the form of Cesc wasn’t 100% – but a fuller view from the TV might have given a  more realistic picture.   Scoring  first in the opening minutes is always nerve tingling.

The thinking on our side of the ground was that Fabianski was the man of the match – looked like it from my position, although I see Chamackh got more votes in the press.

But the away support was as solid as always – our side of the ground looked sold out to me, while up in  the stand opposite it certainly wasn’t, but maybe they prefer pingpong in the black country.

According to the saturday paper the Everton game isn’t sold out either and we are favourites.  That should  put the mocker on it all.

Here’s a team – might even have some resemblance to the team that is playing today…


Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy

Song, Denilson


Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin

Bendtner could play at least a bit – Lord Wenger shrugged off the journ-gibber about wanting to leave – and Gibbs should be on  the bench.

Which leaves Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott, VP.  What of them?

Obviously if my line up played they would all be benchified.  But I think we had more solidity after the Denilson change was made mid-week (but I stress that was from being in the ground, and not seeing the overview), which is why I have given the little fella a break.

Nasri surely will play after not starting mid week, and although I know lots of people don’t seem to like Arshavin any more, watching him from very close quarters (his attacks from the wing were right in front of me in the second half) it is extraordinary how he makes opportunities.  And he hit the post (we seem to be doing that a lot).

If Theo comes in, it is for Arshavin, and maybe that is so, leaving Arshavin ready to roll full speed against the Tinies next time.

The rest of  the bench will be the usual crowd who must be getting quite used to the sitting on the sidelines stuff.  Lansbury, Eastmond, JET, Vela.

Anyway, I will now try and resolve the technicals before the game actually starts.


5 Replies to “Happy birthday Thomas Vermaelen”

  1. Update – Dogface’s article on the ref has now been amended and has (I think) all the photos in the right order in the right place!

  2. After all this “buy Arsene, buy” comments in which mostly people were complaining about our lack of attacking options, can someone take calculator and tell me how many combination’s in attack we have?
    But we lack height …. sorry Djurou is in, than we lack weight… oh no he is heavy too, well we lack width than.

  3. Nice one Tony – we appreciate your efforts! I can confirn that everything looks ok with my atricle… well from an editorial point of view anyway!


  4. Well, I wrote already in August that without buying anyone in January or next summer, we will still have to offload one player over 21 because of the youngsters coming of age. An alternative to selling would of course be to have 2 different squads for CL and EPL and leaving 1 over 21 years out of each squad…

    The squad we have now is 2nd to none. I think Chelsea may have a better starting XI when both their and our players are all fully fit but take out 5+ players through injuries, suspensions or loss of form and it would look very different.

    I’m still frustrated by the lackluster performances against WBA and N’castle; IF we had put in a proper showing in both those games, we’d be leading the table.

    However, with almost everyone back, the competition for places is really hard and it looks good ahead of a busy December/January.

    3 points today and no injuries – that’s all I’m asking.

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