(Note to self, remember to be positive, only speak for yourself and say nice things).
Sh*t, we are going to Highbury and facing a resurgent and confident Arsenal.
(Note to self, not quite what I had in mind).
O’Leary said: ‘If a few people want to take it out on me, that’s fine, as long as they stay away from the players because the players are doing the best they can.’ (So we are 16th and he is telling the players that they are doing the best they can! Ok).
Arsene Wenger said: ‘I’m sorry, from where I was sitting, I didn’t see it.’ Funny thing is, that was before anyone asked him a question!
Arsenal Team News:
Freddie Ljungberg (calf injury) and Sol Campbell (painful attitude problem – apparently!) are both out, as is Ashley Cole (long term ankle injury). Pascal Cygan, Lauren and Dennis Bergkamp are also out. Phew! (from): Lehmann, Almunia, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Hleb, Flamini, Fabregas, Gilberto, Pires, Henry, Adebayor, Djourou, Song, van Persie, Reyes, Diaby, Walcott.
Player to watch: Henry
Boring I know, but it has to be Henry, his goal mid-week v Juventus was magic.
Aston Villa Team News:
Baros is a major doubt but will face a late fitness test on his injured ankle. Mellberg is out with flu and a hamstring problem, Berger hasn’t returned to fitness yet (shock horror!) and Milner is still suffering from a virus that he has had for weeks now. Fingers crossed the reports suggesting he has glandular fever are wide of the mark. Delaney is also still missing from action. (from): Sorensen, De la Cruz, Hughes, Ridgewell, Bouma, Hendrie, McCann, Davis, Barry, Phillips, Moore, Jumper-Jumper, Angel, Taylor, Agbonlahor, Gardner, Cahill, Baros.
Player to watch: Gareth Barry
According to my friend Kiltie, it would be Gareth Barry because he has nice thighs! I couldn’t possibly comment, but do think without him we’d have stood a fair chance of being relegated this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season: Arsenal 3-1 Villa (Pires 19 pen, Henry 45, Pires 72) (Hendrie 3)
This season: 0-0
Martin Atkinson, 13 matches, 1 red, 42 yellows.
Mystic mug says ‘oh balls, this is tough’. Right, thanks for that! 2-0 to Arsenal (and by that I really mean Villa will be so good today that we will wipe the floor with them and leave with happy memories in our last visit to Highbury. Bit early for a drink I know; but that hasn’t stopped me).
09/03 Yim Yams (WBA) 12noon
16/03 Small Heath 12 noon.
Both at home and both crucial for David O’Leary in his fight to keep his job.