After frustration comes perhaps rotation, albeit enforced. Arsenal attempt to beat Swansea for the first time in four attempts and earn us a decent day out in Brighton into the bargain. They will have to do it without the injured Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky (bit of a mystery knock that one), and the suspended Laurent Koscielny.
A number of those who laboured against the champions man advantage on Sunday may also come into the reckoning for a rest on the bench for starters. We can speculate about who that may be but this is an occasion where frankly Arsene will be adjudged to have got it wrong should we go out, and will receive scant recognition if we go through ‘because we should be beating Swansea at home‘.
It is also entirely likely that Michael Laudrup will shuffle his pack. His team are ninety hardworking minutes away from a Wembley final in the other domestic cup competition and may want his best side fresh for next Wednesday’s second-leg against Chelsea. Let’s not forget Michu didn’t start the first game ten days ago. It is a measure of where we are that they will change a few faces and still expect to have a real chance at the Grove.
Our second-half performance in Wales is the reason I am being positive with the ‘holic pound. We turned a difficult situation around, albeit undoing that good work at the death with some diabolical defending. Much that was good stemmed from Kieran Gibbs on the left flank as a supplementary attacker, and if either Theo or the Ox get going on the opposite side we may just stretch them sufficiently to create opportunities. BtM noticed I have a bit of a thing about 2-1 at the moment, and I am on that scoreline again. It is 15/2 with Gunners Gaming, and by the law of averages it must come in soon?
It will be interesting to see what sort of a crowd turns up. We have a lot of games in January, and some may consider cat B pricing a bit too steep given the proximity of two Cat A Premiership fixtures at home this month and the sixty quid to attend the bus stop in Fulham on Sunday. Pips are being squeezed, and I don’t mean Gladys Knight’s backing group.
I have spent time this evening listening to Arsene’s much quoted interview with Al Jazeera. Before you start reading too much into the two players we want to add you should consider this interview took place in December, just after Bradford. The party line has since changed.
Finally a word on the decision to overturn Vincent Kompany’s red card on Sunday. That word is farce. I understand that City fans will defend their man to the hilt, and I get that my impartiality in this matter could be seen as non-existent. Both sides choose the angle of the ‘challenge’ that shows their case in the best light. What is astonishing to so many is that the decision has been taken to overturn the red card when clearly there is no conclusive evidence that the referee got it wrong. Other than the fact it was Mike Dean, of course. That is the only good thing to come out of the mess. Even they now indirectly acknowledge his incompetence.
Have a good Wednesday, ‘holics.
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