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Posted by Bernard A at 2:50 am
|Not many Gunners meshuga enough to turn up at 9am with my pal Stuart|
for the 5km South Manchester Park Run as a warm up for Saturday's match
Posted by Bernard A at 6:58 am
Late KO's on Sunday are always a bit stressful, having to dash back home and bash out my missive for the Irish Examiner's deadline, knowing that there's a sub-ed sitting at work in Cork waiting upon me to be able to go home.
In truth, I was just relieved to be able to get it done in time to put my feet up on watch the highlights on MOTD2. Yet after seeing these, I wondered if I'd been too disparaging, as it came across as a far more entertaining encounter and on viewing again the number of times we got in on goal, only for the fast reactions of Tim Howard to deny us, it seemed as if we'd actually played far better than I'd first thought?
Then again, all I know is that from minute one, as we seemed to stand off Everton and invite them to do their worst, I wanted the Flamster out there, flapping his arms and bellowing, cajoling and encouraging his teammates not to allow our guests time and space to get their heads up and carve a huge hole through our half of the pitch.
Hopefully Walcott's return to fitness (and form?) might prove a remedy, but the other worrying factor for me is that despite the enthralling prowess of our interchangeable midfield at present, Sunday's starting line-up is sadly deprived on any real pace out wide on the flanks. With Everton's full-backs not having to concern themselves with the prospect of leaving themselves exposed to being outpaced, they were able to spend the entire match adding manpower to Everton's forward thrusts. And so long as we continue to play with the likes of Jack and Santi provisionally supposed to be starting out wide, I worry others might also attempt to take similar advantage.
Meanwhile, as I'm just about to leave for Stansted for the trip to sunny Napoli (please reassure me that the expression is "see Rome and die" not Naples)?, I thought I had better get this up and posted before I leave.
I can't help but worry about the inevitable psychological impact of going into a game knowing that we don't need to win and can afford to lose by less than three goals. I will be pleasantly surprised if we kick-off in the Stadio San Paolo and take the game to our hosts, instead of again sitting back in our own half, inviting Napoli to show us what they have got. We really don't need to be affording the likes of Higuain an opportunity to build up a head of steam.
Besides, with the trip to the Etihad and a confrontation with Pellegrini's rampant strike force looming, we badly need to sort of convincing, professional performance in Italy that will enable us to take on City with the confidence to play our own game, rather than fretting about thwarting theirs
Whatever is set to transpire, just how fortunate are we to be facing that absolutely tantalising prospect of a non-stop rollercoaster ride of scintillating footie......bring it on
Come on you Gunners
Posted by Bernard A at 9:34 am
Posted by Bernard A at 1:59 pm