Good morning. We’re still here. I thought the roof was going to blow off the house last night. Crazy weather.
Hopefully it’s not as stormy in the north-east of England. Arsenal play Newcastle today and obviously we’ll be looking to continue our recent run of good form. We’ve won seven in a row since the Ipswich defeat and our last loss in the league was to Manchester United back on December 13th.
In terms of today’s team I think the only changes from Tuesday will be Diaby in for Song and Arshavin in place of Rosicky. Squillaci returns but I think the Djourscielny partnership will continue and with United playing in this evening’s late kick off there’s a chance to just put a little bit of pressure on them.
We owe Newcastle too. They came to the Grove and won 1-0 with an Andy Carroll header. His sale makes no difference to today’s game. His injury means he wouldn’t have played anyway but the loss of Shola Ameobi means they’ll lack something of a physical presence up front. Back in October our Carling Cup team went to St James’s Park and won 4-0. It was a weaker Newcastle side too but we shouldn’t have any doubts that we can go there and win.
The great thing about being in a decent run of form is that there’s not much to say about the matches. Just keep doing what we’ve been doing, hope the ref doesn’t give them a crazy offside goal, hope Alan Pardew has no objection to the way Cesc Fabregas wears his hair, and once we remain fully focused on the things we do well then I think this is a game from which we can take three points. Robin van Persie says:
It is vital to just keep looking at yourself. We all know United’s schedule, we know Chelsea’s schedule, but the main thing is to just look at our own. We have got a tough opponent now at Newcastle away, and so we only need to look at that.
I suppose as well there’s the added spice of Alan Pardew. If you can call him a spice. He’s more like a collection of dust from the corner of a room, mixed with some gravel, rather than a Saffron-esque addition, but his face annoys me and he’s got some previous with Arsene due to his goady dancing. Perhaps Arsene doesn’t bear a grudge but I am a petty man in all things football and the only dancing I want to see today is us on his metaphorical football grave.
In other news Wojscez©® talks to the Guardian, not so much about the chance he’s got at the club right now, but stuff in general. Like how his Dad punched Roberto Mancini in the face, the insanity of the former Celtic goalkeeper and his fetching pink goalkeeping outfit:
It’s embarrassing. I mean, you just wouldn’t see David Seaman or Jens Lehmann wearing a pink shirt, would you? I think Lehmann would have burned it.
He probably would have but then he had experience on his side. I don’t suppose it’s the done thing for a new keeper to come in and start burning shirts like a common Liverpool fan. And speaking of Lehmann he reckons the big Pole has got what it takes. Could you imagine a world in which Lehmann and Wojscez©® were your goalkeepers? It’d be just awesome. Each one trying to out-mental the other when they played.
“Pissing behind the goal? Pfff, that’s nothing. I just did a poo in Drogba’s hair.”
As I said yesterday the Arsenal fans have a lot of faith in the young man and along the way some understanding and patience is going to be required. In the the meantime his emergence and progress is most enjoyable. And I suspect, if he keeps things going, he’ll be able to dictate the terms of his shirt next season. No more pink. And instead of the sponsor’s logo it’ll be a silhouetted image of him punching whichever striker we’re playing that week with Batman style ‘KAPOW’s and ‘BLAM’s. Yes!
I love this story about Nicklas Bendtner. A French psychologist, in an interview with a Swedish magazine, spoke about tests he’d done with some Arsenal players:
One of the categories is called ‘self perceived competence,’ i.e. how good the player himself thinks he is. On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10!
Heh. Whatever you think about the big Dane that is funny. Imagine a self-confience off between him and Wojscez©®. Epic.
I know David Moyes has been speaking again but I have no more to say about that whole thing. Plus how seriously can you take somebody who says they don’t want to talk about something but then go on and talk about it while changing their story from a few nights ago. And even by saying I don’t want to talk about it I’m kinda talking about it which means I’m heading down Moyes Boulevard and nobody wants that.
Finally for today, this was most amusing from the captain on the journey to Newcastle. Let’s hope Tomas’s dreams come true today.
There’ll be live blog coverage of the game later on, and some new features have been added to the live blog itself. Check back later on for a post with details of how to access and how you can join in.