First vs Third

November 23, 2013

Firstly, I have to say how impressed I am with our feeder team’s current form, nothing less than wonderful. One of the problems with the advantages given to the CL clubs and those backed by billionaires is that the romance has gone out of the league table. Never again will Wolves or Portsmouth or Spurs win the title, those days disappeared with the advent of colour television.

So we are delighted when after a third (almost) of the season an unfancied club can be 3rd in the table playing attractive football. Given the furore following Adams sacking and the arrival of the unknown Pochettino, Southampton’s revival has been the stuff of fairy tales. Built upon a sold defence and a hard working midfield, they have embarrassed a few of the top clubs and will be looking to do the same this afternoon.

But is their style so advanced? Big strong centre backs, fast athletic full backs, hard workers in midfield with both destroyers (Schnitzel and Wagamamma) and craft (Lollipop), wingmen and a big centre forward who is excellent in the air. Seems to me a bit like our ’89 double team.


An *80’s Ricky Lambert?

As usual you will be better served on other sites if you are after tactics or stats.

Instead let’s look at a couple of players.. Wanyama: After a poor start he has acclimatised to the PL and is looking a fine signing. It must be said that I expected him to be lining up on our side this afternoon but I guess the signing of Flamini negated the need for a DM. He was superb for Celtic and I think will do well  throughout the season, always assuming he doesn’t go the route of other “hard men” like Frimpers and Tiote who allow their reputations to affect their play – it is no good crunching into a tackle, winning the ball and then passing the ball straight back to the opposition!

Then there is Lovren. Brilliant signing – no other words for it. Who knew? And only 24 y.o. Expect to see a big money transfer in the next couple of seasons, especially as he will be going to Brazil with Croatia. It will be interesting to see how he copes with the movement of our forwards but alongside  Hooiveld he has created a mean defence.

Arsenal: Much has been made of the return of Theo and his potential link up with Ozil,but I expect our flyer will  get 20 mins at most. Instead we much “make do” with the team which has taken us to the Top of The League! It would be great if Rosicky is fit but there are doubts, so maybe Mr Wenger will be brave and play Wilshere in a very attack based midfield?

My team:

arse v saintsOur bench is getting stronger. Will Nik B still keep his seat? Fabianski, Monreal, Gnabry, Theo, Rosicky, Vermaelen, Jenks. Sorry Nik – it is back to the stiffs for you young man.

Would be lovely to see OG back amongst the goals but I fear that like all the other Southampton’s opponents we will struggle to score this afternoon. That said, if we can score early then the Saints will have to be more expansive.

Another disadvantage is that most of our chaps have been away on international duty – Santi and Monreal has been all over the Africa. Thankfully, Ramsey and Ozil, two players who are in the “red zone” have been rested, and Koscielny, due to another rush of blood, missed the Ukraine game, that victory will give added vava boom to our French contingent.

This should be an entertaining game with Arsenal having to find a solution to Southampton’s pressing game. If we really are to win the title this is an important game to win and I can see no reason why we cannot gain the three points. The loss to the Surrey Devils was painful but we left knowing the best team had lost, lose points today and there will be question marks.


It is the duty of all you lucky people who are going today to lift the team. Say it loud and say it proud – “We are the Arsenal and we are the Best …..”


written by Big Raddy