Wenger bids to rip Hart out of Pompey

It’s the sentence I don’t want to write. But here goes: Pompey haven’t beaten the Arsenal in more than 50 years. There. Said it. So you’ll forgive me if I physically shrink into my seat in the upper tier of the Emirates tomorrow at the final whistle if Paul Hart’s beleaguered side have ended this half-century hoodoo. Please Dennis (God) no.
Of course, current form, off-field turmoil and  the potential continued firesale of players means there is no way the team most of my mates support (I live on the Hampshire border) can overcome Arsene Wenger’s men in the wake of the Everton thumping and victory in Jockland. Is there?
Throw in the continuity, confidence and concentration levels afforded us by the strong possibility that AW starts with the same eleven he did in both of those previous encounters, and surely the glorious Gunners will be victorious (through harmony, of course).
Oh, and the slight matter of the rip-roaring Reds losing just once in the league in 2009 and only suffering one defeat in 25 league games mus count, mustn’t it?
So if we are unchanged, should we be? Shouldn’t AW have half an eye on the Champions League second leg play-off against Celtic on Wednesday at the (newish) home of football? Will players need rest ahead of the second-half of a game which financially is more important than Pompey at home?
Isn’t the following league game at (very) Old Trafford against potential title rivals Manchester United of significant importance to allow some of our key protagonists the afternoon off? Maybe, but then again, Arsene Knows, doesn’t he?
Now, take it that we’ll be unchanged, what of the visitors? They can consider themselves a tad unlucky to come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat against Birmingham City. They seemed to have earned a point with a 0-0 draw as the clock ticked down at St Andrews midweek and then David James collided with former Gooner Seb Larsson giving away a spot-kick and James McFadden scored for a late, late triumph.
Had they snatched a point at Brum their confidence would have been up after the frustrating defeat in their opening game of the Premier League campaign in a 1-0 loss at home to Fulham but as it stands they must be very flat ahead of the game today.  Adding to their woes, Pompey can’t call on Steve Finnan, Hermann Hreidarsson and Papa Bouba Diop who are all out with hamstring injuries.
So the opposition will be possibly deflated and leaded-booted one would hope thus giving the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song and Denilson — who seem to have a renewed fleet of foot about them — time to control the midfield and gain territorial advantage allowing Niklas Bendtner, RVP and the Russian miracle that is Andy Arshavin to flourish in front of goal.
But what do I know? All this talk of the flamboyant front players grabbing goals and there we were last week in the Bullens Road stand last week at Everton Tommy V. and Billy G. chipped in with headed goals so you have to say we can score from anywhere. Even from the bench. For if AW does start with the same team surely Eduardo will be given a bigger slice of the game if we can nab a goal early on? God, (Dennis) I love that man.
Gird your loins, Gooners, the first home game of the season is upon us and from the Railway to the Rocket Wengerites will be supping in positive mood ahead of the action that should see the Arsenalistas prevail. Fifty years since Pompey beat us…let’s make it 100! Gulp, what have I said!

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