I am already nervous and thinking about when to start my alcohol intake, lunch-time seems appropriate ! Tonight BR will be decked out in everything lucky , having eaten his lucky dinner, be drinking the lucky wine and watching the lucky stream. I will do everything possible to help the team because tonight is a huge game.
Score early tonight Theo ….. pretty please
Of course, if we consider 4th place just to be an invitation to go out of the CL at the group stage like MC and the Chavs then I guess it isn’t so vital – but that rarely happens to us. Then there is the matter of finishing above the N17 Miscreants, not because I think it proves they are better than us but because they will think they are, and a Cocky Spurs fan is a cock indeed.
An Arsenal win tonight knocks Everton out of the race, a loss severely damages our hopes.
Trouble is Everton are really on a roll and arrive full of energy and confidence. For a club with the financial restraints they have to consistently finish above their “noisy neighbours” is a fantastic achievement, and a testament to the Joys of Moyes.
What should we expect tonight? I would be happy if Everton came to attack but I doubt they will – they know we have the pace to hammer them on the counter. No, I expect Everton to be combative in midfield, close down our creative players and attempt to staunch our ticky-tacky approach play around their box. They have a sound defence and in Mirallas and Anichebe fast attackers in a rich run of form. They come into the game unbeaten in six.
Before I get too negative about our chances, our run is even better than theirs, and we are at home where we have not lost to Everton since 1996 – I was there that day and Southall saved them, the Fatboy made save after stunning save as the Toffees stole the points. Let’s hope that Tim Howard has a poor night, though he usually does well against us.
As you know, I rarely delve too deep into games and tactics because so many other blogs do it much better than I can, but I see two areas where the game will be won or lost. Firstly, if Santi gets space and plays well, Arsenal will win, end of. By his own very high standards Cazorla was poor on Saturday but knowing him this season he will be looking to compensate tonight. The other area is Walcott up against Coleman. If Theo plays as he did in his cameo vs Norwich then Coleman will have to defend deep which cancels out his attacking threat. I believe Theo will score tonight.
Of course, there are other battles – Monreal/Baines, Fellaini/BFG etc – it will be an interesting game.
The loss of Rosicky on Saturday upset the rhythm this team has developed, if fit he has to start, which will also allow Wilshere a little more time to regain his mojo.
But what of Podolski? My 2nd favourite living German is desperate to start and made a huge impact on Saturday. He is by far our best finisher but is he ready to spearhead the attack? In some games, yes, but tonight I would stick with the height of Giroud and bring Lu-Lu-Lukas on for the final half hour.
Tonight’s English Explorer: St John Philby (1885-1960). All our explorers have been brave men, some extraordinarily courageous but the we have the Loonies, the blokes who in any other area of life would be confined to a small padded room. If however, you are educated at Westminster and Cambridge you get the chance to travel and act out your fantasies. This chap managed to do so and do it with some aplomb.
Clearly had a Public School Education.
A fanatical bird watcher he was educated in both ornithology and Oriental languages, St John started his adventures in the Punjab, India. He then travelled to Baghdad where he organised an Arab Revolt against the Turks. Travelling extensively through the Ottoman Empire Philby seemed to bring chaos wherever he went, which typically won him great plaudits back in Blighty and election to The Royal Geographical Society! A series of political appointments in Arab lands followed. He then started working for the British Secret Service before being sacked for “going native” – one of his plans was to sell Saudi oil to the Spanish who would then sell it to the Germans who were gearing up for WW2. After the war , having chosen the wrong side, Philby and worked all over the Arab lands.
St.John married and had a son who also became a famous traitor – Kim Philby. In fact it was Kim’s father who recommended him to MI6 ! St. John died in Beirut in 1960, 3 years before his son was disgraced as a double agent.
Written by Big Raddy