Today’s an interesting day, because it still feels like we’re so far away from Arsenal’s game, yet it’s a weekend in football in which we’ll all be paying a lot of attention. Leicester travel to Everton in a game in which you have to wonder whether they will finally come unstuck. Much like how we all assumed that eventually Chelski would start picking up points, everyone is asking themselves whether Leicester’s bubble will eventually burst. Games like Everton away are the types of games where I’d expect the ‘pop’. But if they win, if they manage to get something against Everton, even I’ll start to wonder whether they might just be able to ride the crest of the confidence wave all the way until May. Injuries will determine if they can and if they pick up the same level of injuries that we’ve had, then surely there’s no way their squad is big enough.
There’s also an opportunity for United to bore us to within one point of where we’re at, so I’ll be interested to see what they can do at home to Norwich. It’s fair to say they’ve been pretty bang average all season, but you’d expect them to nudge over a Norwich side that I thought is one of the poorest teams we’ve played this season. They, like West Brom, were pretty much gifted something against us and at Old Trafford I expect they’ll just roll over and have their bellies tickled.
The Spuds go away to Southampton – which is where we’re next at after the City game, and I’ll be interested in that fixture mainly to see how the Saints play. The Tiny Totts try to play a similar expansive style to us, albeit they press a little bit more, so it will be interesting to see how Southampton line up, because I think they’ll replicate today’s performance against us on Boxing Day.
In the Arsenal world, the players made hospital visits to two hospitals to deliver presents to
Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky kids in Royal London and Whittingdon, which is always a nice thing to see such joy being offered at Christmas, regardless of the club in question. So Ramsey, Welbeck, Ospina and Arteta bought some Christmas cheer to those kids. I wonder if any of them asked Danny where his bed was located? I kid, I kid.
Per has said some interesting things in an interview with the official magazine. There are plenty of people who criticise him for his apparent lack of place, his somewhat gangly style and occasionally he does have the odd mistake, but when you look at him as regularly as I do, you can easily defend him, because he is a good player and adds value to the club. He speaks about how some of the younger players look up to him, that he is the organiser and that he tries his best to be that role model for other players at the club. Per is a natural leader and to those people who do criticise him and say he isn’t fit for the team because there are technically better players, I do have to chuckle. For these are the same people who talk about ‘characters’ at a football club. Pundits too, who talk about “who are the leaders in that Arsenal team? Where are the John Terry’s”, do make me laugh. These people in the same breadth will say a player isn’t quality and then talk about bringing characteristics to a team. But Per brings that leadership. Sure, with a series of games under his belt, Gabriel probably would be a better player technically, but sometimes it’s not about that. It’s about balance in the team and having a selection of players that each bring something different. Per brings leadership, he brings a motivational benefit to the team and a communicator. That’s sometimes as important as an extra couple of yards of pace.
Despite what some might say, our best central defensive partnership is still Big Per and Koscienly and whilst we still have back up in case one or both get injured, our best chance of winning the title is with those two playing 95% of the remaining Premier League games this season, I reckon.
Anyway, there’s not really a lot else going on, so I think I’ll take my leave for another day. Cheerio!