What has the title got to do with this evenings trip to St. Mary’s I hear you ask? Read on …..
Arsenal go into this fixture on a superb run of results which have brought joy and good humour into every Arsenal home. Southampton have won their last two games as they look to rediscover their early season form. Injuries and boardroom problems have affected them but the return of players should see them climb the table again – starting next weekend!
Do you think players are affected by BoD strife? Can you imagine Rickie Lambert being concerned about the loss of a chairman? Manager perhaps, coaches certainly, but a Chairman?
“What’s a Chairman?”
Southampton welcome back Wanyama who has been a major loss but they are still without the “naughty” and suspended Osvaldo, Lovren and Ramirez. Lambert is a doubt. Pocchettino says he will send his team out to play “on the front foot”. Great, I hope he does because two attacking teams makes for an exciting game. Imagine having to suffer watching a Mourinho team through season.
We saw in the home tie that Southampton have some fine players and tonight will be a tough test.
Arsenal: Arteta, Ramsey, TV and Rosicky are back in the squad though I doubt they will start. Wilshere has another ankle-knock so my guess is that Oxlade-Chamberlain will start against his old club.
This may be too attacking in an away tie but what the heck. As long as we score more we take the points! Mr Wenger may disagree and play Arteta in place of Ox – we shall see. Ramsey is an automatic starter when fit but another few days R & R wouldn’t hurt.
Now – why is Santi better than Draxler? Because he is naturally two-footed, one of the best dribblers I have ever seen – his close control is exceptional – he has a wonderful spirit and he loves The Arsenal. This is not to say that Draxler will not develop into a marvellous player, he certainly has the physique which Cazorla lacks but ….. Let us assume Podolski comes good through to the end of the season and ends with 15+goals, why spend €35m to replace him? And if Drexler does come do you really think Santi will get to play centrally when the Wizard of Oz is in the team?
Nope. Get Theo fit and the squad is strong enough in the opposition half. I would prefer we buy a top defensive shield. An Essien style player.
But what do I know – I am not paid squizillions to manage a football team, though I am available ……
Southampton: Founded in the stone age, the town really took off when the Anglo-Saxons (yet again)settled in the St. Mary’s area. Their town was called Hamwic, which gave rise to the name Hampshire. By the end of the 9th C the settlement became known as South Hamtun. Those pesky Vikings raided throughout the next couple of centuries and South Hamtun floundered. However, a fortified settlement was established to keep out the scandinavian swine and by the time of Norman Conquest of 1066 the town had become important as travellers moved between England and Normandy. By the 13th century fortifications were built including Southampton Castle (most of which still stands) and the town became a major port where French wine was exchanged for English cloth and wool.
Over the years the town became the major embarkation point for the British armies as they conquered the world, and later became the home port for cruise ships such as the Queen’s Mary and Elisabeth.
Back to the game: Another must win? Much has been said of the MU team which won the title but only won one game against a top 4 side, ( let us not presume we cannot win against strong opposition) and harvesting points against teams outside the top 5 is essential. We have done brilliantly so far and I see no reason why our run cannot continue.
Anyone think that Boruc will try to outsmart Giroud again?
Hopefully the 3rd best Polish GK will gift us another tonight.