I have waited until the final whistle has blown at Goodison before considering the preview of our trip to Leicester, hereinafter to be compulsorily referred to as And Leicester, in honour of the song we amended in the early seventies. Quite why things got so lively at And Leicester, both when we played there and when venturing further north through the station, I’m not entirely sure. Fibert Street was a proper old school ground and I have to confess not having been to the Walkers/King Power stadium.
Indeed Arsenal and And Leicester have shared some famous faces, particularly from our European Fairs-Cup winning and first double squad. Frank McLintock, George Armstrong, Eddie Kelly, and Jon Sammels all starred for both clubs. Back to today, however.
Chelsea and Swansea have maintained their one hundred percent start to the season by winning their third fixtures today, thus making it desirable that we get something, and preferably three points, on Sunday. Please note the word desirable. It isn’t critical, crucial, or must-win in August. Having said that keeping on the leaders shirt-tails would make life easier in the months to come, and even with the injuries we have suffered thus far we should have too much on paper for the newly promoted charges of Nigel Pearson.
And Leicester opened the season by coming from behind twice to hold Everton, but in their second home fixture last Tuesday they were humbled by League Two Shrewsbury, scorers of the only goal of the game. That performance paled into insignificance given Manchester United’s humbling at MK Dons and Pearson will have worked hard at rebuilding his squad’s belief in the ensuing days. In between those two performances the Foxes gave a reasonable account of themselves at Stamford Bridge before falling to a 2-0 defeat.
Forget And Leicester, what of the Arsenal side to take them on, bereft of the injured Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Yaya Sanogo, and Olivier Giroud, but buoyed by the return of Aaron Ramsey, suspended for the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas. Quite who makes way for Rambo is far from clear. Jack Wilshere’s return to form in the 1-0 midweek triumph may have saved him, but can Mathieu Flamini be sacrificed to facilitate a Rambo/Wilshere axis?
The other alternatives could see either Santi Cazorla or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making way and the pack being shuffled. Whichever of the options transpire I will join the clamour for the return of Mesut Ozil into the playmaker role behind Alexis Sanchez, please boss.
Reasonably convinced though I am that we will bring the three points home from And Leicester, I am being cautious with the ‘holic pound. The 8/1 available for a 1-2 away win looks particularly attractive. I’m on it.
So all that remains is for me to wish those going a cracking day. Show Leicester what magnificent away support they have missed since we were last there in the Invincibles season. For the rest I also wish you a cracking day, and a perfect picture on your broadcast or stream.
Have a good one, ‘holics.