Chambers Koscielny Hayden Monreal
Ramsey Wilshire Arteta
Gnabry Walcott Ozil
That is some team and one capable of winning this afternoon, unfortunately it is plucked from our lengthy injury list. 4 weeks out for Ramsey!
Why did I start with this? Two reasons – firstly that injuries will stop Arsenal having any chance of winning the PL this season, and I do believe we were in with a good chance; secondly, Mr Wenger said yesterday regarding the January transfer window ““If everybody is fit then we don’t need to go into the transfer market.”
This worries me. Arsenal have consistently been top of the injuries league for many years, doesn’t Mr Wenger know this? Doesn’t he know that we never, repeat never, have an injury free squad. We have to buy or loan at least two players in the window if we are to challenge for Top 4. (update: Chas has pointed out that this was just part of AW’s speech and he has not written off the possibility of signings – Mr Wenger, not Chas 🙂 )
Newcastle: On a run of wins and arriving having “battered” the Chavs. They too have injuries but nothing like ours. They have pacy forwards who are in form, a solid defence – Taylor is out but Coloccini could be fit. Alnwick starts who is 3rd choice GK but when we were forced to do so Martinez performed very well, I expect the same of Alnwick. Sissoko is suspended and that is good news.
Greenwich-born Steven Taylor. Ideal signing for AFC
Arsenal: So what do we have to win? It seems obvious to me that Newcastle will score so we must outscore them. Having so few defenders means we have a space for an extra attacker – so my tactic would be to play an extremely attacking side. A 3-4-3 would do it but Mr Wenger is likely to start young Bellerin on the right with Debuchy next to him. This sends Per to the left of defence which don’t work very well against Stoke, did it? Any team which kicks-off with Ox, Santi, Alexis, Welbz and OG has a chance of scoring heavily.
A little extra: Have you ever heard of Elisabeth Fry? You should have – she is on the back of the ￡5 note! She was a prison reformer during the early 19th century. Born in Norwich to a wealthy banking family Elisabeth became a Quaker and heavily involved in humanitarian work. Horrified by the conditions of women at Newgate prison in London she resolved to make the prisoners brutal conditions easier and set up a charity to give food and medical care.
This was a time when a woman’s role in society was ornamental yet Fry became the first woman to present evidence to the House of Commons. In 1840 she opened a nurses school – one of her pupils was Florence Nightingale who took a team of Fry’s nurses out to the Crimean War. She then opened a large hostel for ladies who had fallen on hard times in Manor House and later a much larger one in Highbury, just around the corner from The Emirates . She died in Ramsgate in 1845.
Have you seen this woman?
Back to football. Should be a cracking game today and one full of attacking play. Given the paucity of defenders and the excellent form of the visitors we cannot be too optimistic but with Alexis in the team anything is possible. A win would make my weekend.
written by Big Raddy