“Once more unto the breach, dear friends” … so the dust has barely settled on another 0-0 draw and we go to the Hawthorns to face bottom side West Brom. Three points are much needed for all sorts of reasons and on the face of it you’d be entitled to think we’ll get them, but this is a Baggies side that are fighting for survival and we looked tired on Saturday. I have a feeling AW will rotate for this game and we may see some surprises but I’ve been right about very little this season so who knows! I’ve got to hold my hands up and admit this game kind of snuck up on me and I wasn’t as organised as I should have been for today’s “Ask the Oppo” so the normal format has gone out the window!
So for today, to bring you the pre-game Baggies view, I went on to the BBC 606 site (my old stomping ground before I found the comfort of Arsenal Insider!) and read through the posts of the WBA fans and picked out a couple of comments that would have answered some of the questions I intended asking!
PGL: Tony Mowbray said he thinks your side have to win “four or five” of their last 11 games to avoid Premier League relegation. Is there optimism in the stands?
606er: Out of the eleven games left, I’m marking us down for home wins against Bolton Stoke and Sunderland and an away win for the last game against Blackburn. I doubt we will get anything from the other games. So, will 12 points be enough? I think not. Too little too late, even if we do achieve this.
PGL: Tony Mowbray says he has no fresh injury worries ahead of tie, what do you expect your line up to be?
606er: If Bednar isn’t fit, Simpson can’t play and Beattie is on loan then we can only play Moore and Fortune up front. I wonder if TM will go for 451. Personally I wouldn’t mind if he did.
Loon Donk Meite Robbo
Mozza Bobby Jesus Valero Brunt
Moore coming on for Valero after we go behind.
PGL: We’ve been unable to score of late in the Prem, do you think the Baggies defense will keep us out again?
606er: Alan Hansen said on MOTD last night that us and Arsenal are similar in some ways, we both play pretty football but at the moment neither of us can do anything with it! But the monumental difference is that Arsenal have a defence. The Gunners scoring drought will end on Tuesday…and I fear with a bang.
PGL: What‘s your prediction for the game?
606er: I think that(being a bit of an optimist) we can pull out a win from t he hat of tricks and give our survival a boost. I half believe we can win 2-1 against a struggling arsenal at our place.
PGL: So that’s about all I could cobble together late on a Monday night from the Baggie 606ers. But what I did read was a general feeling that most WBA fans have resigned themselves to going down, and losing today, with only the odd one or two positive voices.
As for us Gooners, I think we’re all a little lost as to what’s going wrong. Against Sunderland we could blame the ‘park the bus defence’ but Fulham came and played football and we couldn’t break them down either. I’m going to have to repeat a point often made by FTK, midfield goals are mega important and we don’t seem to be getting any. What’s been going right is that our defence has been very solid but Wild Bill is out today. I think JD will come in and provide quality cover so I’m not all that worried.
Our last league goal was RVP’s late effort against Everton so fingers crossed today we can break the non-scoring habit and bang in a couple. Villa head to Middle Eastlands to face a City side that have been much better at home than they have been away so lets hope they can take some points off the visitors and at the final whistle we’re closer to O’Neill’s men than we are right now.
I have had a couple of pops at Bendy of late and I’m not sure I’ll ever be a fan of the Dane but I think tonight’s game could be a perfect one for him. Against a poor defence he should be able to use his size and strength to good effect and be a decent aerial threat.
I’m not sure what AW will do with Arshavin tonight. Post Fulham the Russian said:
‘Fulham was a hard match for me,’ said 27-year-old Arshavin. ‘Even before the end of the first half I felt as if I had spat my lungs out. In the second half my legs simply refused to serve me. I am not physically strong enough yet to play the whole of the match. But I think with each coming game I play it will be easier in this sense.’
The Premiership is a difficult league to adjust to and I think we may seen him start on the bench with Ramsey coming in for him and Bendtner in for Vela.
Whatever 11 take to the field the facts are simple… nothing less than a win will do. The team need it, AW needs it and we, the fans, need it. With news of Theo and Cesc imminent return lets hope tonight is the night our season finally gets off its knees and starts running.
Over and out.