I know this is an Arsenal blog, but I just finished watching Newcastle win at Old Trafford and I have to say, it is simply glorious watching Manchester United, Van Persie and company just crumble under the feeble guiding hand of Moyes. I might take more enjoyment if it was Chelski or Sp*rs, but the fact that Van Persie is so far behind Arsenal in the table (12 points) is something that suggests that perhaps, just maybe there is a God.
The World Cup groups were drawn yesterday, and I was originally picking Germany to win the whole thing, with three of their main players currently wearing Arsenal shirts. It vaguely reminds me of 1998 when the core of the French national team were all playing (or had just signed) for Arsenal. Vieira was key for both teams, while Emmanuel Petit was a rock, then you had Golden Boot winner Thierry Henry who had just signed for Arsenal. Those were magic days. Our boys had just gone and done the 'Double' then our French connection go and win the World Cup. Now I'm not saying Arsenal are going to win the double...... no I'm not.... but you can't help but draw similarities from that team and our current set up. Germany are still my pick to win it, although they were handed a tough group, and even Wenger this week had to admit he is liking Arsenal's current title chances.
We can't get ahead of ourselves, as this Christmas period will be a huge test of our moxie. Earlier in the season Liverpool was our 'big test' and we passed that with flying colours, but really we all knew the real test wouldn't come until mid December when we have Everton this Sunday, at Napoli Wednesday, at Manchester Citeh Saturday then a bit of a rest before we welcome Chelski to the Emirates. I'm hoping for a 3 point Christmas present, although seeing John Terry end his footballing career due to both his legs being ripped off by Bacary Sagna would be a plus. One can only wish.
It's bizarre that 4 months ago even the most optimistic Gooners were expressing their concern over squad depth, and rightly so. But you have to give Wenger props, because we've got World class players lining up on our bench at the moment, just waiting to get on and play, so at this moment in time I don't think depth will be an issue. Obviously continuity is something that's often taken for granted, but you saw Wenger mix the team up slightly against Hull and we looked great, so I'm confident about this next few weeks. I would say quietly confident, but it's hardly quiet if you put it out there in a blog for the world to read, is it?
With Napoli, technically all we need to do is avoid a 3-0 defeat. In all the years I've been watching Wenger's teams I've never seen him so much as play for a draw, so I would be surprised if we didn't go out there looking for an early goal to set the game up. We then travel to Citeh were we will be facing probably the favorites to win the title, at their place. They've scored the most goals in the Premier League this season, and we've allowed the least, so that will be a very interesting game. I would continue with a preview of the Chelski game, but that would mean talking about fat boy Lampard and all his lady boys over there in Fulham, and that's not fun for anybody.
Tomorrow is certainly not going to be easy either. An in form Everton team comes to the Emirates and while our defensive record is solid, they're right behind us allowing the second fewest goals this season. It'll be a tight one, and while I'm not usually one for predictions, I've nailed the last two Arsenal games, so I'm calling 2-1 and 3 points for The Arsenal on this one. Koscielny will have to be on his game tomorrow vs Lukaku, but he's already shown he's up for it this season and I would imagine he's relishing the chance.
Overall Everton are going to be up against a very confident and motivated Arsenal team. I'll always have a soft spot for Everton, as I was born that side of Liverpool, but come Sunday it's all Red & White for me.
Come on you Gunners!!!!