Ten reasons to be optimistic about the outcome of the first North London derby of the season.
1. Form. They’re there for the taking. Dodgy draws against Everton and Leicester, spawny wins over Palace and Besiktas and a humiliation by Southampton, this is what their season looks like. Only one convincing performance all season and that was at the expense of a Villa side with the squits. All three of their goals were assisted by Dai O’Rhea and came when the rumour spread that the local Morrisons had run out of loo paper.
2. Substitutions. Poch knows his bench. Three times already this season the fourth official might as well have been holding up a Royal Flush instead of his numbers board. West Ham, Limassol and Forest have all had no answer after the manager has played his hand. If we’re in it near the end, we’ll win it.
3. Wenger still thinks it’s 1995. Pick a team full of kids to play a nearly full strength Southampton side that has impressed everyone so far this campaign and then blame ‘two soft goals’ when they lose? This wasn’t Dodd, Monkou, Shipperley and Dave Beasant they were up against. More proof that he’s lost touch and doesn’t care about the supporters.
4. Wellbeck. Average Premier League games between goals in the last 2 seasons = 6.2. He scored last week meaning that Luis Suarez will probably be in double figures by the time Danny next sees the net ripple.
5. Europa League. 8 of our last 13 defeats have come straight after Europa League games. No Thursday night ITV4 this time round, just that, erm, confidence booster against Forest. Ahem.
6. Fitness. Get paid big, get to know the physio really well. That’s the Gooner way. Wilshere and Gibbs have come through the ranks and even made it into the England side by adopting this credo. Debuchy, Giroud, Walcott, Sanogo, Monreal, Flamini, all listed on physioroom.com. Our only current crock is Kyle W.
7. Keepers. Hugo goes from strength to strength and is one of the world’s finest. Most people still think Szczesny is the floppy haired bloke who had a hit with ‘I am the one and only’ in the mid eighties. Wenger’s failure to sign a replacement years ago is a perfect example of the stubbornness that makes Arsenal the underachievers they are.
8. Belief. Anyone who tells you that the players are behind the system and the manager at the Haemmerhoids cannot have noticed the resounding echo in the trophy room, the crates of medals won by players who have left the club, the comedy of the Fourth Place Trophy comments or Ivan Gazidis treating the club like his personal ATM. ‘Success is keeping the books healthy’ might as well be the sign above the home changing room door.
9. Experience. Our key players now know the importance of this game, Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Capoue, Hugo have all been through it. Adebayor, Kaboul and Lennon have seen more of them than any player on either side. Wellbeck, Ozil, Sanchez, Chambers? They don’t understand the nature of the struggle.
10. Honesty. Average attendance at the Corporate Cake Tin was 59,786 according to the home side. According to the police it was 53,788, that’s nearly 6,000 missing per game. They’ve swapped the Wonder of You for Price Tag. It’s morally corrupt.
I could’ve had more. The fearlessness of youth, our away form in the last two seasons is up with the best, Pochettino knows how to give the ‘big’ teams a hard time. Let’s face it; it’s in the bag. COYS.
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