Blackpool Pre-Report: Harry Potter Returns!

As featured on Arsenal America. It’s the curtain raiser at Emirates this Saturday against Blackpool. To be fair, I love the name Blackpool. It’s so very English and makes you think of Harry Potter. Even better Blackpool destroyed Wigan in their last game. Blackpool versus Wigan, not exactly a clash of the titans, but perhaps the most Quidditch sounding game of soccer ever. Unfortunately for Blackpool, they’re the Muggles in this story and Fab’s return to the lineup, EPL’s own Harry Potter, promises to make it a very special night. For Arsenal.

Yes, after a three month tabloid saga, our wizard of the midfield, Fabregas, should run onto the pitch with the captain’s armband. After such a long war of words this summer, no doubt the player and fans will both be quite happy to get down to business and just play. Let the Quidditch begin!

But all stories of magic must have supernatural obstacles and for Arsenal the issue, as always, appears to be the injury curse. A curse that has no end in sight. Not to mix metaphors too much, but Arsene must let go of his “precious” ring! Or apologize to the voodoo shaman he pissed off on his scouting trip to the Land of the Lost.

The latest casualty is Nasri; who picked up a knock in the last game that requires surgery and a month on the sidelines. But the bad juju doesn’t end there. Last game saw the emergence of Koscienly (Kos). A fantastic start but for a seemingly unexplained red card. Surely someone cast a spell on the referee’s eyes -the evil wizard Domenech?

Add to that, the uncertainty about this whole goal keeper situation. It’s like when a potion of your own creation goes horribly wrong. You know, when you meant to mix crow’s feet but accidentally put in salamander tail or some other such nonsense. Sigh. The life of a wizard. In any case, one needs to be a fortune teller to predict the starting lineup.

Fortunately, your very own Goonerdamus (moi) has mixed some toad’s ear with snake skin and thrown some salt over his shoulder to look into the future and has a thought or two. With the return of Fab, RVP and Song, the midfield and forward lines will put a lot of pressure on Blackpool. This means Arsenal will be back to developing their skills on breaking down a defense with 8 men parked in front of the goal. Better now than when we face the evil witches from western London or the banshees from up north I suppose.

Goal keeper

Almunia to start unless the increasing rumors about Schwarzer are true. Then Schwarzer to start. Of course Fabianski might do well in practice and push them both aside. That’s clear, isn’t it???

The Back Four

Clichy, Vermaelen, Djourou, Sagna

The big news for the back four is the loss of Kos, but the return of Djourou. Still looking for that new central defender signing. Ho hum…


Fabregas, Diaby, Song

Fabregas should be back; and, where better than Emirates? Diaby played for Song last game and should return. Song was on the bench so should also be back as well. All hail the return of our midfield. Sorry Blackpool.


Chamakh, RVP, Arshavin

Nothing says Attack Attack Attack!!! Like these three. Barring any surprises, Blackpool will be playing most of the game on their side of the pitch.


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