With another day to go before we line up against Chelski, today is all about looking at others and praying for results to go our way. Most of my family on my Dad’s side are West Ham fans, so is my brother, so they’ve always kind of been my ‘second team’ if there could be such a thing. That’s a weird concept actually, because you can’t really have a ‘second team’ I don’t think, so I’d probably change that to ‘team I hate the least out of all of the other ones in professional football’. Not as catchy though.

Anyway, before that tangent I was starting to talk about West Ham playing City at home today, to which we’ll all probably be Weet Ham fans for the afternoon. They’ve got a good record away from home, but on their own soil I’m not so sure, although there seems to be more goodwill around Bilic than there ever was with Allardyce. Fat Sam was never a face that fitted, but the Croatian’s clearly does, so let’s hope the Hammers can do us a favour and do over City.

The other games of note are Leicester versus Stoke, which I think I fancy Stoke to get something actually, such is Leicester’s stuttering form. Perhaps a point at the King Power? Then you’re probably looking at the Spuds against the Eagles, in which Alan ‘I think I genuinely am the coolest guy on the planet’ Pardew will fancy an upset, provided somebody can actually score for Palace. They should really look in to that.

As for Arsenal, what Arsenal fans are looking in to, seems to be the words of Paddy Vieira, who has ladbelled Jose a manager who has had more influence on him than Arsène. Now, there’ll be plenty of people who will be getting quite irate at a former hero who isn’t singing the praises of Arsène, but I got in to a conversation on Twitter which got me to thinking. The conversation was on whether the pair didn’t quite see eye-to-eye and, if you look at it, you wonder if there’s something in that. Vieira was overlooked when he retired and subsequently moved to  City to be a development director of some kind. A lot of us wondered why the club would have overlooked him for some sort of role, but perhaps it’s because Vieira and Arsène aren’t the best of friends, which would explain it. 

You can also look at Vieira’s autobiography, in which the first chapter talks about when he was sold to Juventus, and you can tell Vieira was a little bit bitter at the move. The way he describes it is that Arsenal had the two or three seasons before, always rejected bids, where as when Juventus came knocking Arsène and Dein were ready to listen. In his book he says he was happy at Arsenal, but when the club accepted the offer he had no choice, as he no longer felt the love. Perhaps that has affected him too.

Anyway, it’s all a bit of a side act to the real stuff, which is the football. We’re sitting at the top today but I’d be surprised if we still were by 5pm this afternoon. I suspect City will win, or at least draw, with their goal difference taking them top of the tree. That’s fine. We know what we must do tomorrow and maybe it will ensure the players are highly charged enough to put Chelski to the sword.

One more thing before I go; I was particularly pleased with Football365’s calling out of Adrian Durham on their Mediawatch page, after he stated that Mesut Özil was bottling it by not playing at Stoke. The reality is that Mr Durham has no idea what has happened. He doesn’t know if Özil wanted to play, but Arsène told him to rest up for Chelski. He also talks about Arsène playing players in the red zone in the past, but we have all seen what the result of that is – just look at Henry in his first spell at the club in his final season – so I’d Arsène is taking short term pain for longer term gain (i.e. Making sure Özil is fit for the rest of the season) then I’m all for it.

Right, that’s that for today. I’m offski.