Nov 27th, 2012 by 'holic
A midweek trip to Everton evokes memories of 1975, and a League Cup tie at Goodison. My first trip to the blue half of the city. Three of us went up on the train, and I don’t recall seeing too many other Gooners on the trip. Alex Cropley and Frank Stapleton got the goals in a 2-2 draw, and to kill the time after the match before catching the milk train home from Lime Street we went and had a pint or several in their supporters club. That was not the last time I found myself engaged in conversation with witty bluenoses who loved their football, either up there or at our place. They had their minority of not so friendly supporters at the time, who didn’t, but find a group of Toffees who want a beer and a chat and you have a recipe for an enjoyable session.
Sadly I won’t be breaking bread with the hosts tomorrow. The days of travelling back from the north in the early hours of the morning asleep on the luggage rack, before a full day at work, are long since gone for this old boy. In any case, do the milk trains still run? Those who do make that trip will be looking for a performance from the visitors. We trail Everton by a point and a place, so what better way to get ahead of rivals for a Champions League place than to beat them in their own back yard?
Jack Wilshere looks set to return to the side after sitting out the draw at Villa Park on Saturday. Theo Walcott is also back after injury and would be a popular inclusion in the side. I normally have a feel for who Arsene will pick but I have to confess I’m stumped here. As well as Walcott the boss has a decision to make about the skipper, unlikely to return if current form were the only consideration. Good man-management may mean having ‘rested’ him for a match that you lift his morale again by recalling him.
Everton are looking to end an awful run of just two points from the last ten Premiership fixtures against us, and have the perfect boost of a return from suspension for Marouane Fellaini, so key for them when they are at their best. They started this season by beating Manchester United at Goodison, where they remain unbeaten. Their only reverses so far came at West Brom and Reading. You have to admire what David Moyes has done there with limited resources, and the grumpiness he cannot hide in defeat. Remind you of anyone?
The ‘holic pound has to follow that ten match streak, and although a draw might be a more acceptable result than it was at the weekend, I am tempted by an old favourite. The Pet Shop Boys are performing a live gig in my skull. “One nil, to the Arsenal, one -nil…” I’m on it. Gunners Gaming offer odds that seem unique to them, 42/5, against that. Click on the banner ad above to place your bet. Thanks.
Now, we haven’t had a competition for days now. Let’s put that right.
Emirates Stadium Family Tour Up For Grabs
I am indebted to Experience Days for offering one lucky ‘holic a tour of the Emirates Stadium, with a Gunners legend, for a party of four. These tours run weekdays up until June and you can take up your prize at any time to suit you this season. This means if you are planning a trip from overseas you are obviously welcome to enter the competition. Obviously please only enter if you intend to take up the prize. I may even ask you to pen a few words about your day once you have been, but that isn’t compulsory, so don’t let that put you off!
I have had the good fortune to see just about every nook and cranny of the stadium and can recommend the tour to any Arsenal supporter. There is something to see round every corner, and your legend guide will tell you tales of days gone by that will amuse and delight in equal measure.
It’s a special prize and to win it I need you to tell me which two legends, included on the rota of those who host these tours, scored FA Cup Final goals for us at Wembley. The younger readers may need to do a bit of gentle research, but that is well worth the effort to be in with a chance to win this super prize. Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your name, address, and Twitter handle if you have one.
Answers need to be in by 9am UK time on Friday. I will announce the winner on Twitter, and in the Swansea preview on Friday evening. Even if you are unlucky in the draw I would suggest this would make a cracking Christmas present for the whole family at just £40. See the Experience Days link above.
Good luck ‘holics.
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