Daily Archives: February 23, 2011

Stoke visit the Emirates: Happy homecoming Shawcross :)

I woke up really late today. I was probably pissed off because I went on a trophyless campaign in my Football Manager 2011. I had to settle for 2nd place in the league, lost in the Champions League quarter finals to two David Villa headers, beaten in the FA Cup semis by another human manager who manages Citeh and lost in the Carling Spoon semis on penalties to Blackburn. Disappointing innit.

I’ll probably make one or two vital signings and come back stronger in the 2013/14 season.

Well that’s Arsenal in the virtual World. The gunners in reality are going to play their game in hand tonight against Stoke City. Snow in the Emirates stopped this match from being played last year.

Today’s visitors have a very appalling record against us in our home soil. Their last eight visits to our turf. This record dates back to the days when Ojukwu was the leader of the Biafran Republic.

AW the Alchemist said a few words in his press conference

“Personally I don’t even think about the Carling Cup. The best way to win the Premier League is to win the game on Wednesday. It is only that which is important”.

“If we want to keep in touch with Manchester United, which we want more than anything, this game is vital.

“We have given so much in the Premier League, we have gone through so many difficult periods and have come back with such resilience. Being mature is about giving importance to a game that is very important for us as a team”

There is a Carling Spoon final in the horizon but we have to be focused tonight. We are still four points behind Man Utd so a win tonight will cut the gap to a solitary point. They face Wigan, Chelsea and Liverpool next so it’s important to keep in touch with them because I clearly feel that they can’t get 9 points from these 3 games.

Stoke has lost all the away games they’ve played in 2011. You don’t need any soothsayer to tell you how Stoke City plays. Traditional direct football.

As a rugby outfit, they breed big, hefty, bulky and strong lads whose prime objective is to attack the ball when it’s on air.

They have a “not to secret” weapon, Rory “Spring Hands” Delap. All he does is to clean the ball with his trademark towel then pelt it into the 18-yard box for the damage to be done. Where was he when Alexander the Great needed pelters in the war against the Persians.

Since we are at home, we are sure that we’ll having the backing of our fans.

AW the Alchemist has talked up AA23 before tonight’s game saying that he always believed that the Czar of Russian football would come good. The fight for a place is back again because Walcott has also done well while he got his run-out. It’s left for AW the Alchemist to decide.

Tonight sees the return to Emirates of Stoke’s leg snapper in chief, Gentle Ryan Shawcross…a man that won’t hurt a fly according to Tony Pulis. We had a youngster whose learning curve was increasing by every game he played. He had done so well to usurp the double D combo of DiabDenilson. In February 2010, Shawcross snapped his leg in 2 places. The youngster was out for an entire pregnancy period.

I expect our fans to give Shawcross a nice homecoming. The best way Shawcross can atone for his crime against Arsenal humanity is to cause a foul for a penalty and score an own goal with an overhead kick. Then he’ll be truly forgiven.

Szszsz says that we can’t afford to slip up any more points. I know that he won’t concede cheap low drives from strikers like Carew and Jones. He’ll have to do a lot of jumping.

Sagna will continue at right back while Clichy will come in for Gibbsy. Kos’ back problem means that Djourou will be in need of a new partner. As much as I like the way Miquel looks, the Squisha will have to get the nod in a match of this magnitude.

Song didn’t do too well against Leyton Orient but he’ll still retain his place in the holding midfield position. The Whizkhid returns back to his position. Even though Rosicky scored his first goal since the Feudal Age, he’ll have to make way for his captain.

Nasri is back in business so one of the wing positions will belong to him. In the fight between AA23 and Walcott, Walcott will win the contest because AA23 played 90 minutes on Sunday.

The question in mind will be the player that will step into rVp’s hot shoes. Will it be Chamakh, a player who hasn’t scored in his last 11 games or Bendtner, a player whose confidence level is in a World of its own.

If I’m a manager playing against tall defenders like Huth and Shawcross, I’ll lay my eggs on a red danish basket. Let’s not forget that it was Bendtner’s lovely header that sparked our revival in the Britannia Stadium thereby handing Stoke their first home defeat of 2010.

My expected lineup should be

Song-El Capitan-Whizkhid
Walcott-Wald Bezt-Nasri

I hope you enjoy tonight’s game wherever you are.

We are at the business end of the league so there’s little or no time to slip up.

Here’s to 3 valuable points.

Stoke visit the Emirates. Let’s give our dear ol’ Ryan a descent “homecoming”