Filed: Monday, 14th April 2014
By: Preview Percy
Preview Percy has had a nice rest this weekend. Does it mean he's got any better? Does it heck......
Next we go to the Library to have a laugh at the expense of Arsenal. Due to their involvement in the Cup the match will be played on Tuesday night with a kick-off time of 7.45pm it says 'ere. It's also on space tv and on your PC I suspect if you know how to do it.
The home side currently sit in 5th spot following the non-diving half of Liverpool's win against Sunderland at the weekend. Arsenal's previous match saw them go down 3-0 to the same side, Everton, a result that put a severe dent in their aspirations of winning the league. The Thursday night league may beckon – something that they probably would try to get out of but for the fact that their qualification might be at the expense of Spurs who probably still see it as a path to glory or something.
Their last 6 in the league read LWLDDL and there's been some heavy tonkings in that spell, including a 6-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea. That match was famous for Andre Marriner awarding a red card for a denial of goalscoring opportunity that wasn't to a player that wasn't responsible for the offence in the first place. Now if Gibbs and Oxlade Chamberlain walked in to the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home for The Bewildered right now I wouldn't know them from Adam (I'd probably presume that it's the taxman after me again and leg it to be on the safe side). However, the point is that I'm not being paid a handsome sum to recognise footballers from an obscure North London club (is there any other sort?). Andre Marriner's punishment for his blunder? None of course.
They've made it through to the Cup Final of course – and we shouldn't belittle the achievement of their disposing of the holders. That particular tactical triumph was greeted by their support with all the fervour of a World Cup win. The best thing about the semi-final was that it at least it spared us the sight & sound of Dave Whelan mentioning to everyone his broken leg every five minutes.
Looking at the absentees they'll be without midfielder Mathieu Flamini for this one. Flamini missed the Cup Semi as well having picked up his 10th yellow of the season (not counting reds) in the Everton thumping, resulting in a two match ban.
They have two facing late fitness tests. Last season's runner-up for player of the year Laurent Koscielny has returned to training after missing the four games since the 6-0 against Chelsea through embarrassment. Or “a thigh injury” as it is officially referred to. Midfielder Thomas Rosicky is also close to a return. However, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has a damaged hyphen or groin strain or something.
In goal we'll probably see a return twixt the sticks for Wojciech Szczesny, who sat out the FA Cup semi-final leaving Fabianski to do the saving of weak penalties job.
England midfielder and Hammer in reduced circumstances Jack Wilshire is also said to be ready for “light training” so it's a bit of a shame that they've already played Spurs twice then or he could have gone straight back into the first team.
The choices up front seem to lie in the form of Olivier Giroud and Lucas Podolski. Podolski's substitution in the semi final at the weekend met with a chorus of boos and the player himself has gone into print to express his lack of happiness at the fact that he has only completed a full 90 minutes on two occasions this season. Anyone would think that he was being paid by the minute or something.
The other option, Giroud, has been a bit hit and miss this season, though he's still the club's top scorer with 19 to his name. There have been rumours that he might be on his way at the end of the season. One of the reasons for this is said to be that the player had blotted his copybook by spending the night before a match with Palace in a hotel with a woman to whom he is apparently not married. Photos appeared in the press of him and what appeared to be a child's doll only more plastic, though the spotty work experience kid assures me that the over made-up apparition is in fact a model. She's certainly no matron though. Giroud ended up apologising to the club, his wife, his family, his team-mates, Parliament and lord knows who else. Meanwhile Wenger has denied that a sale is on the cards.
Podolski has both a dislocated finger and a tight leg muscle. I think I saw a video once in which one of the protagonists sustained just such an injury. If Podolski did his in the same manner I'm surprised he didn't catch his death of cold at the same time.
Also available up front is Yaya Sanogo. Sanogo had a bit of a 'mare at the weekend and, although Giroud's form in recent weeks as been a bit iffy, Sanogo did enough at the weekend to suggest Giroud is the more likely to start.
Us? Well last week was a right royal pain in the backside. Yet again a Diverpool side spent the 90 minutes going down under the merest suspicion that there might, one day, be a hint of contact. All of which was repeated this weekend as Suarez got away with five yellow card offences for the price of one. And all of which once more got ignored by the media guys, presumably mindful of the fact that that two bob city has a habit of boycotting anything that criticises their two bob club.
While we're on the subject, is there any chance of Sky paying off Jamie Carragher. I'm all for equal opportunities in football but surely there are plenty of opportunities in the world of refereeing for brain donors without having to see them getting paid to work as pundits trying to convince us that the funny look that a defender gave Suarez was enough to see him tumble over.
On the injury front we have a new worry in the shape of the skipper who has a hamstring problem and is, in the words of the boss, “a serious doubt”. Ginge is also a worry having pulled up lame in the match against Club Jacques Cousteau the other week. However we are getting ever closer to the return of Joey O'B, though I reckon the bench is probably as far as he'll get.
Prediction? Well they'll be a bit knackered after heroically defeating the might of (checks notes) Wigan, though squad rotation might help them out with that. Form isn't great and they'll be a bit anxious what with having seen the Toffeemen nip into 4th place while they were otherwise occupied. A win for us would cause serious damage to their bid to make it four million years running getting knocked out of the so-called Champions League as soon as they play someone good but I suspect that we are more likely to share the points. So the Avram Grant Olympic Rest Home's fund to pay for a cab to drive the obnoxious lying diving thug Steven Gerrard from the car-park gates to the front door of the Boleyn (£2.50) on a 2-2 draw.
Enjoy the game!
When last we met at the Library: Lost 5-1.Collison actually opened the scoring before the hosts scored five in a few minutes in a match overshadowed by a serious head injury to Dan Potts, who spent the night in hospital wondering what day of the week it was. Despite that he was still too overqualified to referee a top flight match.
Referee: Kevin Friend Had a dreadful match in our 1-0 defeat up at Hull earlier this season. Apart from inventing a penalty for them and ignoring one for us, it was almost as if the advantage law had never existed.
Danger Man: Giroud. Having a poor time? That's usually your cue to have a ball against West Ham.
Daft fact of the week: In Uganda an Arsenal “fan” called Henry Dhabasana is alleged to have bet his house and his wife on Arsenal to beat Man Utd. He lost the bet and the house, though the article doesn't record what happened to his missus. Meanwhile, a Millwall supporter undertook a similar bet using his home before the match at the Boleyn a couple of seasons back. Although Winston Reid's winner meant that the bet was lost, the Millwall fan towed his home away and hid it before the bookies could collect.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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