It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. Victory upon victory upon victory is undoubtedly corking stuff; but our heroes seem incapable of tying their shoelaces without someone pulling up injured. Never mind the football – I don’t think anyone doubts that there will be goals a-plenty and we will ultimately come from behind to win. The real poser ahead of today’s game is which one of our mob will be injured next. (My money is on Modders, on the grounds that he snapped something or other against this lot last season.)Merrily however, it seems that there is actually also good news emanating from the treatment room, as the great big loveable Michael Dawson is back in the squad. Huzzah! And not a moment too soon, with Kaboul exiting stage right last week. Not sure if Daws will be ready for a full 90 minutes, so we could be due the glorious sight of Corluka trundling around the centre of defence for the first hour or so. Presumably then the game-plan will once again have to be to outscore the other lot, rather than “keep it tight at the back”…
Slow-Paced Defensive Game of Containment
I rather sneer at the man who places a wager on our heroes to keep a clean sheet these days.
The Bremen game was very much the exception, because in general our lot cannot help but cram all sorts of attacking mayhem into their bi-weekly 90 minute act. Pause a moment just to imagine the looks of sheer incredulity amongst the faces of our heroes, if ‘Arry gathered them in the changing-room and told them to play a slow-paced, defensive game of containment. The horrified silence would presumably only be punctuated by a resounding thump, as Gareth Bale fainted, and the sobbing of Luka Modric, gently rocking in the corner. Opposition fans might not necessarily like our lot, but we are pretty well ensconced as the neutral’s favourites at the moment, for the glorious entertainment value.With no VDV today I presume we will have to adopt a more attacking 4-4-2 today. It might leave us a little over-exposed away from home in the Champions League, but away to Birmingham it ought to make for an hour and a half of fun. If my Fantasy League team has taught me anything this season it is that the Birmingham defence do like a clean sheet or two, which ought to throw down the gauntlet to Gareth Bale and chums.
Everywhere one looks at the moment the top teams are dropping points, and while Birmingham away is hardly straightforward, we do have a jolly good opportunity for a fourth consecutive league win, ahead of Chelski next week. Ordinarily I would settle for a draw in this sort of fixture, but on current form I expect nothing less than another late, late winner from our heroes.