And so to the Haemorrhoids and the magic of the FA Cup. Trying to think of different things to write about in these previews week-to-week isn’t easy, this game pretty much writes itself though. Injury hit, managerless and plucky underdogs take on local rivals and Premier League leaders in the cup? That about covers it really.
Following the performance and result at Old Trafford Sherwood and the players are probably gagging for the next game and are in the mood to take on anyone. Ironic then, given the resources available, that what this squad really needs at the moment is to kick back for a while and let their bodies recover from the festive period exertions. Instead they have a second NLD of the season to look forward to. The first one didn’t go so well. Our 1-0 loss in September was our first defeat of the season. They scored an early goal but were then pushed back for the remainder by our midfield pressure. In what will probably be remembered as the signature of AVB’s time in charge though, we created few opportunities to equalise. Defoe’s deflected shot that nearly crept in was probably the closest we came, whilst Hugo had to be at the top of his game at the other end when they hit us on the break. We had them camped in their own six yard box for the last five minutes but couldn’t force the ball over the line. Those last few minutes of drama look like they could be very important come May as they look to stave of the Man City charge and we keep our eyes on Southampton and Newcastle. Not quite the way we planned it.
Given that the eleven that turned out on New Year’s Day is our best available the side is likely to be based on that as much as possible. Several of our players no doubt need a rest as I say, Dembele, Rose and Chiriches to name but three but until others start emerging fully fit from the physio room, they ain’t gonna get one. Rose appears to be still carrying his injury, I tremble at the thought of Fryers v Walcott. I’ve seen one report saying that Lamela is ill and I’ve no idea what state Adebayor is in, his shoulders will be aching though given that he’s been carrying our attack for the last few weeks.
They’ve got injury problems too but Wenger would have rested players I’m sure. Giroud, Bendtner, Gibbs, Ramsey and Ozil are all laid up but we probably could’ve expected to face the likes of Rosicky, Jenkinson, Monreal, Gnabry and Podolski anyway.
Allowing an early evening kick-off is a brave move by the local plods, perhaps they’re hoping that there’s a large overlap between Dryathletes and attendees at the game. They’ll be lucky.
Our regular nemesis Twattenburg is down to referee. According to reports he’s currently under investigation for comments made to Adam Lallana. Pochettino’s cryptic ‘We don’t want to be judged by our young, handsome, good-looking players’ gives a clue as to the area of Twat’s indiscretion, perhaps it’s a good job that Lamela may not be fit after all.
Up for the Cup? We certainly are. Let’s have ‘em.
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