Friday, 9 December 2011

125th Anniversary match, Everton (H)

Well I won't go into Tuesday night's game for two reasons: 1) It was totally irrelevant and 2) we had a shocker. Wednesday was far more interesting and I took great pleasure watching both Manchester teams crash out. 

Moving on, today sees the club celebrate 125 years in operation and Arsenal yesterday unveiled 3 statues of some legends within the club. Herbert Chapman who guided Arsenal to 4 league titles in 5 seasons, he was seen by many as paving the way for modern managers with his in depth analysis and advanced training regimes. The second was Tony Adams, the rock at the back who played for Arsenal for 19 years and was our most successful captain. The final statue was that of the true legend that is Thierry Henry, need I say more? Thierry was at the unveiling and he was clearly moved by the gesture and shed a few tears, the pictures on the Arsenal site say it all.

But to the match today. Everton are a club that I quite like, they always put a good fight and are the sort of club that can throw up an expected result here and there. But this season they've had a terrible start and a lot of fans are expecting us to walk this one and in reality we should. Similarly to last weekend this is the sort of game that if your challenging for the top four you really need to win. With Chelsea taking on Man City on Monday we have a big chance to close the gap on Chelsea who are only 2 points ahead of us in 4th. 

After losing Andre Santos, we'll have somewhat of a makeshift back four with Djourou on the right, Koscielny and Mertesacker at the centre and Thomas Vermaelen on the left. The rest of the squad I assume would be first choice regulars. Arteta will face his old club and no doubt receive some hostility from the travelling fans but that's to be expected. And of course Van Persie will be upfront and hopefully can continue his tremendous form.

Threats from Everton come from either Saha or Drenthe, I would imagine it would be Drenthe as I don't think Saha will be fit to play. Cahill is always a danger and we know that Everton are pretty useful from set pieces so the back four will be in for a real test. On the left Billy boy can also cause problems on his day (I really couldn't be arsed to try and spell his name). 

The club have got some special "celebrations" planned in honour of our anniversary and are urging fans to get to the Emirates early to join in with these. Hopefully the day will have a good atmosphere. COYG!

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Everton