This will be a grown up post.
BR has had many years of intensive therapy following which has been able to overcome most of his childhood resentments. If he can come to terms with personal issues then surely it is possible to find it in his heart to cease a lifelong hatred of a Leeds team which went out of existence 40 years ago?
For year upon year Dirty Leeds were my most hated team – even more than the N17 Miscreants (who let us be honest deserve sympathy not disdain). Today BR will make peace with the nemesis of his youth – – – – Leeds, you are exculpated
The Leeds team who gave us such a scare last season at the Emirates were not even born when that little swine Johnny Giles was kicking lumps out of George Armstrong. They came to entertain and entertain they did, forcing a 1-1 draw and it was only a fine away performance that took us through (3-1) to the next round. Let us not forget that the year earlier Leeds had won at OT. They can upset any of the big sides and an Arsenal team sans RvP will have to be on their mettle to win tonight.
Of course, the opposition is secondary tonight. The roar when the homecoming hero comes off the bench will be heard by our Canadian correspondents, our Californian friends and our Aussie mates. We all wish we could join in the fun. Can he perform? Of course he can.
A little older, a little facial hair but still alarmingly attractive
On Saturday we had a fine discussion about tonight’s game which encompassed much of what I would have written today. I would especially like to thank Deano for giving the Leeds perspective in a non-aggressive way. His insights (reproduced in the paragraph below) into the Leeds team are far more informed than mine could ever be.
Ross Mc Cormack on his day can be a real handfull and certainly knows where the net is. Luciano Bechio is a big strong lad more in the fashion of a typical English CF, not Argentinian type, but he has a good first touch and can hold the ball up well and bring players in, heads the ball well also but has been far from his best of late. Aidy white is a young FB with loads of pace and bags of potential and works the overlap well when not on the back foot. CB’s could be a problem as most are injured and we only have 2 fit. Tom Lees is a big lad who watches the ball well and has good potential but very inexperienced as yet. Darren O Dea is on loan from Celtic and is steady but not exceptional.
Johny Howson our Captain and CM star is a very good box to box player but is out injured which is a loss. Adam Clayton on his day is a very good young midfielder from Man City who can strike from distance and has a good touch, again a little out of sorts of late. Ramon Nunez is a very skillfull Honduran international who got player of the tournament at the Copa America. Still getting used to English game but with the ball at his feet is a good lad. Andros Townsend on loan from Spurs at the mo seems a good young winger with pace and I am sure He will be up for it if picked. Somma, Snoddgrass, Kisnorbo, and some others are all injured so maybe Mikael Forssell could get a game and you know all about him I am sure.
In short, Deano said that Leeds were capable of beating anyone but were suffering from injuries to important players (sound familiar!). Managed by Simon Grayson, they suffer from the Bates effect i.e a megalomaniac who has unrealistic expectations and is interested purely in profit thereby selling all the best players and signing ex-“names.” (Gradel sold to St Etienne/ Forsell signed). He almost bankrupted Chelsea who unfortunately were saved by the Russian.
As our team, I expect AW to put out as strong a side as possible. We have only 4 games in January so burn-out is not an issue .
Not sure whether Chamakh will be with Morocco , if he is the Park would play centrally. Park, Ryo and The Ox all played 90 mins for the reserves on Weds loss to Sunderland which may be an indicator they will start tonight. Your guess is as good as mine!
It is fitting to find a fan who was around during those Dirty Leeds days, a man who despite being a true Rock God maintained his Goonerdom whilst touring the world, who when I saw him play a gig at The Lyceum came on stage wearing a red and white scarf. The man in question is Robert Nesta Marley. A man who knew all about forgiveness and redemption. Mr Marley lived in Islington for some time and being a football nut often went to Highbury; unusually his timing was off as he started going in 1972 – the season after the Double
Bob. St. Thomas’s Rd. 1973
My name is Big Raddy and I am an Arsenalholic..