Let’s get this out the way at the beginning because it is so distasteful to write ….. Pulis is doing a fine job at Palace. Who would have thought it?
Right that’s done.
And now for another unpleasant chore, a retrospective of Arsenal’s January Transfer window. I will be brief, in my opinion it was …….. how can I put this? Dire.
I know there are extenuating circumstances but the Draxler Affair was a comedy which ended with the player himself stating (I say “stating” but who knows if he did) that he wanted to come but Schalke refused to sell. AW saying it was all a media sham and Shalke winning all round. But who knows what is true? The club have never been open in their dealings and as we all know tradition is paramount at THOF. Any long-term fan knows that until a transfer is announced by the club everything you read and hear is supposition and gossip.
Crystal Palace on the other hand have been very active, bringing in 5 players. At least one will start today, Jason Puncheon, who is in excellent form following his joke penalty at Shite Hart Lane. And of course today heralds “The Return of the Chamakh” ( whatever happened to that Mark Morrison?). I always liked Chamakh but he is at his level now; an inability to reach the standard required by Arsenal was not down to lack of effort but lack of talent and he cannot be blamed for that. Bet he scores now!!
I have already sullied my keyboard with my first sentence so will not linger on their manager. Suffice to say, he is an odious fellow who will hopefully return to South London pointless and humiliated.
Arsenal: Usual stuff – who starts given our mounting injury list (which thanks to our bizarre TW signing now has a Swede in the treatment room).
Please Mr Wenger can we see more than 60 seconds of Podolski? Whilst I understand the need to balance the team by playing Gnabry on the right and Santi on the left I would much prefer to see (for the final 30 mins) Ozil go right, Santi central and Poldi on the left.
Can we go into a game which is likely to be a midfield battleground with only Arteta to put his “foot in”? Micky suggests playing Vermaelen a in midfield and this makes much sense to me – won’t happen though.
I expect Rosicky to start. He has been a major plus this season. I recall a conversation with kelsey a few seasons ago when we both wrote off Tomas’s career and questioned why AFC didn’t pay him off ! I am excited to see whether Rosicky plays in a Mask. Would he be the first Masked Gooner?
The recurrence of Ramsey’s thigh knack is hugely annoying but it gives The Ox a chance to show us why he will be so integral to the team in future years. Important games ahead and his work will be under scrutiny.
This should be enough to win today. We have quality on the bench which has been further strengthened by the absence of Park.
The origins of The Crystal Palace are obvious(see pic) but prior to the building of this wonderful example of English Victorian ingenuity and engineering it was just a part of Penge Common. And what is Penge apart from where Tony Hancock came from (look him up)
Penge was another of the towns established by those hardy travellers the Anglo-Saxons. It was original called Penceat which means edge of the wood thanks to it being on the periphery of a dense forest.
Crystal Palace was built for the 1851 Great Exhibition which was hugely popular. In just 6 months over 6m people visited which was a third of the population of England! It was the first building with public flushing toilets and it cost one penny to visit them – almost a million did which is remarkable because you could buy a decent central midfielder for a penny in those days – anyway – this is where the expression “To spend a penny” comes from!! (for our foreign readers this is slang for going to the toilet)
It burned down in 1936.
On paper this should be a win for the good guys, but who knows? We haven’t been playing our fluent brand of Wengerball in recent weeks – perhaps not since the Ramsey injury. This is the last “easy” game before the “Death Cluster” (™ RL) we must take three points and return to our rightful place at the Top of the League.
written by Big Raddy