Daily Archives: January 9, 2012

Arsenal Hopes to ‘Leed’ with Thierry Henry’s Homecoming

Imagine witnessing a wedding ceremony with Chris Foy as the vicar for the day…I’ll hold that thought to myself.

Sir Alex Ferguson and his hordes visited the Etihad Stadium with fresh memories of the 6-1 drubbing and he was probably sweating when Howard Webb wasn’t announced as the official for the day. Sir Ferguson took a tactical gamble by bringing on Chris Foy for the Baldy and it paid off after witnessing the ref’s performance.

The Premier League is still heralded as the best football league by some standards but the level of officiating in recent times have become a great cause for concern.

I’ll leave out issues concerning goal-line technology because FIFA’s Gaddafi Sepp Blatter has given a deaf ear to those wailing for it to be implemented. I’ll lay my emphasis on in-game quick decisions that alter the course of an entire match.

Before picking up an injury in Arsenal’s narrow win over QPR, Thomas Vermaelen received a yellow card for a foul Laurent Koscielny committed. Any cynical challenge from the Belgian and he’d have served a one-game ban against Fulham.

With just 12 minutes gone, Chris Foy gave Vincent Kompany the chance to have an early bath after brandishing a red card for a tackle that seemed ‘normal’ with each passing replay. The usually theatrical Luis Nani stayed on his feet yet it wasn’t enough to convince the silver-haired man with the whistle.

The Red Devils have been paired with King Kenny Dalglish’s Red Army but there’ll be no Uruguayan racist herbivore to take center stage as he continues to serve his lengthy ban.

Speaking of “Kings”, Thierry Henry will make his second debut for Arsenal in tonight’s FA Cup tie against Leeds United. His debut came 12 years ago and he has turned out to be Arsenal’s greatest player of all time.

Henry is a figurehead that’s massively adored by Gooners worldwide and the way he has handled himself throughout this period has been nothing short of sensational.

He has made the terms clear that he won’t be expecting to start every game and he has done very well to keep the dressing room intact. His temporary teammates are also happy with his presence and Robin van Persie has said that he’s doing well in training.

This will be the 15th meeting between Arsenal & Leeds in the FA Cup and this fixture has had its fair share of history. The Gunners have won six, drawn seven and lost two.

With Robin van Persie basking the Sun in the Middle East, Gervinho on his way to Africa, Johan Djourou serving a match ban and the injuries to every recognized full back, Arsenal will have a reshuffled side tonight but Arsene Wenger has promised that it’s going to be strong.

I expect Lukasz Fabianski to get another run-out this evening in place of Wojciech Szczesny. The back line is highly depleted but I’m expecting to see Laurent Koscielny, Ignasi Miquel, Nico Yennaris and…Sebastien Squillaci *gulps* 🙁

I don’t know if I’ll prefer a night out with Freddy Krueger ahead of Squillaci because his horror outings on the pitch are way scarier than the nightmares on Elm Street.

The impressive Francis Coquelin will give Alex Song a breather in the holding role while Tomas Rosicky and Yossi Benayoun will complete the midfield triumvirate.

All questions will certainly be asked about Arsene Wenger’s possible front three with slots available for Andrey Arshavin, Park Chu-Young, Marouane Chamakh, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and King Thierry Henry.

With Gervinho “out of the way”, Arshavin will probably be a starter in Arsenal’s Premier League games so he might be axed from tonight’s starting lineup. Marouane Chamakh is available for tonight’s game before traveling to Africa but his performances have been a cause for concern.

There’s also the issue of the Asian Ghost that has featured sparingly and a youngster everyone has been hoping on to get a chance to stake his claim in the first team…there’s also the King. 🙂

Without further ado, I’ll go for the perfect blend with Henry providing intelligence and experience on the left, the Ox using his raw pace on the right and Chamakh spearheading the attack.

Irrespective of who Wenger picks, I simply hope that Arsenal would ‘Leed’ with Henry’s homecoming.

Besides, a 4th round tie against Aston Villa beckons and the FA Cup serves as Arsenal’s most realistic chance of ending the six-year long trophy drought.


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Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.