Saint Mikel prepare to banish the demon cockerels
Today is Mikel Arteta’s first North London Derby as manager of Arsenal, and it’s a chance for him (and the club) to lay down a marker.
One of the down sides of our travails in recent seasons has been seeing the noisy neighbours have periods of being more competitive than us.
They even got to a Champions League final, for goodness sake (although it’s perhaps best not to contemplate what strange and satanic sacrifices were enacted in the bowels of N17 to bring that about).
As anyone connected with Arsenal knows, them being ahead of us is not the natural way of things.
When God* created the world He assigned a role to every living thing. As the hymn ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful‘ has it: “God made them high and lowly/and ordered their estate.”
Part of that ordering was that Totteringham Hotspurs are meant to spend the vast majority of their time in our shadow.
But God is merciful, so he allowed that once in a very rare while he would let them slither into the light, if only so they could understand what they are missing the rest of the time.
They’ve just had their period in the light, now it’s time for Saint Mikel of N5 to banish them back to the wastelands.
If we can win today, there is a good chance that this game will be seen as a pivotal moment when the Arsenal began the march back to greatness (that greatness to include establishing a new era of domination over the Spuds).
Here’s the team Saint Mikel will most likely start with:
Bellerin – Mustafi – Luiz – Kolasinac – Tierney
Xhaka – Ceballos
Saka – Lacazette – Aubameyang.
The only room for doubt is whether Auba will start down the middle (I don’t think so, because we will need Lacazette’s hold-up ability for periods in this game) and whether Saka or Pepe gets the starting nod. I see us going with Saka and keeping Pepe as an impact sub.
Here’s to us being flushed with success at the Armitage Shanks Arena this afternoon.
*Insert god of your preference.