Thanks to the capricious efforts of another Russian premier league club owner we get to see the former Southampton manager back at the Grove again after his first attempt ended in a 6-1 thrashing.
Anton “Zingo” Zingarevich, who bears a resemblance to the owner of the bus stop in Fulham, seems to be trying to ape the Siberian’s ownership style also – slightly gingery side part, check; change manager for no discernible reason, check; trophy (super) model wife, check.
What Gooners will be hoping is that the “new manager bounce” effect will not be seen on a Reading team who are only off the bottom slot due to the efforts of dear old Twitchy Redknapp.
The Royals have lost their last four league games, two at home and two away although the two away games included a narrow loss at Old Toilet and 3-1 loss at Goodison Park against an in form Everton team. Slightly more worrying for Reading were the home losses to fellow strugglers Villa and Wigan – which together with the tight away displays points to a game we cannot afford to take lightly as Reading seem to tighten up on the road.
While Reading’s top scorer is Le Fondre with a healthy 12 league goals it’s worth pointing out that Reading have only managed the same number of goals in total during 15 away games, which points to a team trying to keep things tight but sacrificing attacking intent for defensive solidity. It will be interesting to see if Adkins changes this approach during his first game in charge
Moving on to the good guys, with the completely unexpected injury to Diaby, the not so surprising delayed return of Jack and the obligatory England instigated Arsenal injury (to Walcott this time) the options in midfield reduce as quickly as volunteers for match reports on this site when Peachy logs on.
A middle three of Arteta, Santi and Ramsey will provide the ammo to the front three gunners of Lu-Lu-Lu Lukas Podolski(can we please make that chant his rather than a recycled one we used for that Dutch “bloke” last season?) Giroud and possibly The Ox, although I can see Wenger starting Gervinho who seems to be recovering a smidgen of form/confidence. I would also like to see Rosicky get either a start or a sub appearance as he appears be fit and has not exactly been overplayed when available.
At the back I see Wenger favouring Sagna over Jenko with BFG paired up with Kozzer although perhaps Vermaelen will be returned to a starting spot – having said there seem to be rumours that he will be moved on this summer due to his captaincy not working well and his form suffering a dip too. Monreal will fill the final back four berth on the assumption that Gibbs is not quite ready with Fabianski keeping his place.
So my team is this:
Wenger may well go for Chesney, Sagna, BFG, Vermaelen, Nacho-man, Coquelin, Arteta, Ramsey, Santi, Gervinho and Giroud.
Today’s explorer, though Hackney born, was raised in another Berkshire town close to Reading namley Newbury (TW14’s
hometown) is one Captain Collet Barker.
Born in 1784 he enlisted into the army in 1806 and in the following year he started a four year tour of duty serving in Sicily and then in the Peninsular War against France, allied with Spain and Portugal.
By 1828 he had set sail for Australia in the prison ship the Phoenix where he charted areas of South Australia, Western Australia and the Coburg Peninsula in the Northern Territories. It was at Coburg where the Captain had to use all his skills of diplomacy and tact to repair the poor relations with the aboriginals. Sadly while swimming across a narrow channel to clarify a route around Mount Lofty near Adelaide the Captain disappeared and was rumoured to have been killed by locals who mistook him for a whaler or a sealer; this was in April of 1831 when the poor chap was my age, 46.
Mount Barker in South Australia was named after him as well as a town called Mount Barker in Western Australia, sadly no likenesses of him are available so it can only be said he definitely has only one of the triumvirate of title, rank and beard. The Captain does however have his memory marked by this in Southern Australia.
Back to today’s match there is a plan by various supporters groups to mark the passing of Rocky with applause on 7 minutes, although some will argue this is too close to the fans of the bus stop in Fulham’s behaviour re. De Mateo however I will commemorate Rocky in some way from the upper tier, Clock End.
The lads need to be pushed on to a victory that keeps the pressure on the chicken chokers from Middlesex.
Written by charybdis 1966