After a thoroughly boring international break that seemed to go on forever, it’s good to be back and it’s ruddy marvellous to have Premier League football back as well.
Arsenal caught my eye on Saturday. After the tumult (great word) of the RVP saga over the summer they must have been delighted when August rolled round and the season started, even if their first game of the season was a mundane 0-0 at home to Sunderland. Since then they’ve improved, as wins against two of the smaller sides in the league (Liverpool being one, that’s the joke! Lol etc) sees them well on their way to doing their usual “Look good until April and then bottle it when the going gets tough” routine. Back in the day, that’s when Arsenal’s tough got going, to quote Billy Ocean, but you can’t really compare Arteta and Jenkinson to Vieira and Dixon, can you?
Ever since Wenger decided to rip up a dominant, powerful and strong-willed team and replace them all with gifted technicians from the crèche it has all gone badly wrong, and you do wonder how much longer he has there if they don’t win a single bean again this year. They did look good at the weekend though, as they smashed a Southampton side who looked a little in awe at where they were and who they were playing against – who wouldn’t be in awe of Gervinho? – and even Little Theo found himself on the scoresheet, which was nice. Don’t ask me why but I love that little scamp, Walcott. I’d ruffle his hair if he had more of it and tell him what a lovely player he is, even if under my breath I’d be muttering about how Oxbow-Lake-Chamberlain-Square is, like, sooooo much better.
I got criticised the other day for tweeting that Southampton and Reading were doomed and the only question left to be answered is who’s gonna be the third team to fall through the trapdoor. People were seething with that one, let me tell you! “There’s only been four games”, “Southampton have had a tough run”, “Only September” etc. Well, bollocks to that. Deep down everyone knows I’m right. Southampton and Reading? Gone already, quite frankly, but who’s going to join them?
I reckon West Ham will be OK. Say what you like about Big Sam – and everyone has an opinion on him – but the man gets results even if it/he isn’t pretty. Wigan? You’d be a fool to put money on them going down, seeing as they’re the football equivalent of the old-fashioned wrestling villain, who manages to sneak away with his title belt even when it looks certain that his grand plans will finally be scuppered by the good guy. Aston Villa? I’m a Paul Lambert fanboy, so even though I recognise about five players in their squad I think he’ll keep them up. QPR? Gonna spend their way out, although I’d love to see them drop after the last day of last season, because I’m petty like that. So I see it being between Norwich and Liverp…West Brom, and I fear for the Canaries, I’m afraid, although all the time Peter Odemwingie is being a mardy bum and throwing tantrums the possibility of dressing room upset at The Hawthorns is highly probable, particularly with a first-time manager in there as well.
Finally a word on Saturday’s game against Wigan. Awesome, wasn’t it? It’s not exactly a fixture that gets the ol’ heart racing, but the 4-0 win over the Latics was enjoyable for many reasons and stands us in good stead going into next weekend and Anfield. A clean sheet, a goal from Scholes, a much-needed goal for Hernandez, an impressive display by Buttner, a drilled (see what I did there?) finish from Powell…there was an awful lot to like about the performance at the weekend, though Danny Welbeck’s “stumble” wasn’t really one of them. On that note, why does Hernandez take the penalty when Giggs was on the pitch? I know which one I’d rather take it, and it’s the man who [REST OF PARAGRAPH DELETED BY 7CANTONAS LEGAL TEAM]
So that’s it from me for this week. The next time we talk, I imagine there’s a strong chance I’ll be reflecting on the game at Anfield. I’m unbelievably excited, although that feeling will soon change the second Gerrard scores and goes running towards the camera. Last season, RVP scored twice there and his team came away with the win. Oh, what we’d give for that to happen again this Sunday…