Oh, good morning everyone. Red wine is very delicious but it tends to make me wake up earlier than I’d like and with more, how will I put it, pain in my fucking head than I would like. Not to worry though.
It’s getting closer and closer and now that the FA Cup final is out of the way we, and the newspapers, can concentrate on the game on Wednesday. Despite the incessant bleatings of the Barcelona players in the papers here about how it’s a 50-50 game and there’s no favourites in a final there’s no doubt that Arsenal are the underdogs. All the Barcelona fans I know reckon a win is a formality. We are the underdogs and Freddie Ljungberg is happy with that, saying:
Maybe in the past we’ve been favourites and this year people have seen us as underdogs because we haven’t done as well in the League.
Certainly our league form earlier this season would have lured Halifax Town in a false sense of security let alone Real Madrid or Juventus. Arsene Wenger suggests the team might have made a subconscious choice to perform best in Europe. It may not have been that subconscious when it was our last chance at some kind of trophy. He is talking up the underdog status as well, saying:
Barcelona are the super-favourites and we are a dangerous outsider.
He also wants us to play a more relaxed game now that 4th place is secured. I think we’ll see the 4-5-1 formation again but with it quickly turning into a 4-3-2-1 once we have possession. Where Barcelona are suspect is at the back. Certainly both full backs will be there for the taking and Hleb and Reyes will be encouraged to run at them and make use of our overlapping full backs. Then we have to get Henry, Freddie and Cesc arriving in the box.
Tomorrow I’ll go over the team selection and the XI I’d select. A more detailed match preview. Or something.
In other news Jens Lehmann talks about life in England, getting punched and elbowed and how he has to tell the referee what’s going on. We’ve seen a couple of incidents with him in the last few weeks that we hadn’t seen for quite some time. It’s certainly as a result of forwards winding him up but hopefully that’s behind him now. There’ll also probably be a load of stuff in the tabloids but I’m up too early for them.
Dubs has made nearly Â£1,800 in the pre-Paris Rocky fund. If you want to give a bit it’s going to a great cause and thanks to everyone who has kindly donated so far.
Now, I might take some painkillers and have some breakfast. See if that helps. Till tomorrow, have a fine Sunday.