April – Aphrodite’s Month.
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty, so as we enter April, after a seemingly never ending wait to watch some real football, we finally entertain Manchester City today. The two week international break has inevitably left us with a few walking wounded or should I say limping wounded.
Love and beauty: an apt phrase when watching our lads at their best. As I write, it is difficult to tell who will actually play with RVP, Eduardo and Diaby definitely out but we will see the return of Adebayor, Fabregas and Walcott or at least hopefully at some stage during the match. Mr Wenger has a difficult selection choice to make with two games in four days, both being important.
A win today and we open up a 6 point lead over Aston Villa before they play on Sunday, yet it is vital that we are prepared for the equally tricky game on Tuesday in the tiny, compact stadium of Villareal. I expect our strongest defence of Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy to play in both games and, of course, Arshavin will almost certainly be involved today but there are so many possibilities for the midfield and the attack that at this time I will avoid hazarding guess.
A word about City, ever since I was a small lad I have had an affinity for them. I remember watching the 1956 Cup Final with Bert Trautmann an ex German POW who had decided to stay in England after the end of the war. Trautmann had joined City in 1949 and took part in the 56 final as City’s keeper…City beat Birmingham 3-1. Trautmann suffered a serious injury with 15 minutes of the match remaining: it was confirmed three days later that he had actually broken his neck. A bit of nostalgia never to be repeated.
Back to the game in hand.
Earlier this season City gave us a tonking at their place, we were embarrassing. However, things have changed since then; we have developed into a stronger, more compact unit, so I expect a far better performance and to give them a beating they thoroughly deserve.
The injection of money into that club is obscene and in the long run it can’t be good for the game in general. Bellamy is out and they share the equally worst away record in the EPL, having mustered only one win. The onus is on us to continue our long domestic unbeaten run so let’s hope by 5:00 pm we will be celebrating another win (woodwork permitting)