Anyway fast forward a few years and the poor Stoke supporters are very angry and upset that Ramsey didn't like having his leg broken by an out of control idiot. How very dare he? After being subjected to abuse from the Stoke fans ever since that day he put his finger to his lips when he scored against them this season this has upset a very sensitive support who can dish it out but cannot take a fraction of it back. A tiny, tiny fraction I may add. They want to sing anti Ramsey songs today without taking into consideration that he will not be in the squad today. Probably not even at the ground so good luck with that.
One player he spoke about bringing back into the side was Oliver Giroud which left me with a twang of disappointment I must say, not because Giroud will be starting you understand, I am sure his previous sit outs will give him that extra spring in his step but I wanted to see Yaya Sanogo play against a team that wasn't either one of the form title chasing sides in the league or you know, the best team in Europe/World. The thinking being that he had gave a very good account of himself in two very difficult games so perhaps in a game where we are more than likely going to have a lions share of the ball, perhaps Yaya might empty out a couple more tricks out of his locker. Given Sanogo's freshness at this stage of the season, Arsène would normally try to shoehorn him into the team but I just don't see how both Giroud and Sanogo can start together. None of them are really suited to a wide birth so maybe it will be impact from the bench for Yaya.
The manager has some difficult decisions to make today. It is hard to disagree with the notion that the FA Cup proves on paper at least the easiest route to silverware this season but higher priorities are on the horizon. With key personnel out injured for the season or a large chunk of it, the manager will be desperate not to pick up anymore major injuries but more than that I think it is simply down to the fact that at the start of the season the FA Cup sits third on the list of priorities, well fourth if you include a Champions League spot. With a congested fixture list coming up he will not be able to play the same 11 across all the remaining competitions, it would be a sure fire way of exiting all of them.
Fulham at Old Trafford is a fixture that would have been a guaranteed three points to the home side in the past, today it is no surprise whatsoever that the away side managed to grab a draw. But tonight's game is a different game completely. Manchester United will have no pressure to take the game to Arsenal unlike their last game. I wonder how Moyes will approach tonight's game. Liverpool proved incredibly successful taking the game to Arsenal, pressing us high up the pitch and not letting us get out of our own half. I am not sure whether Moyes will have the bravery to do that at the Emirates and instead may decide to park the bus and hit us on the break with pace and obvious quality in van Persie, Rooney and Mata. I wouldn't be surprised to see the latter.
Mikel Arteta who was quite possibly the best player on the pitch at the Emirates in the game in November. Jack Wilshere trained yesterday so is available for selection. If Jack is 100% fit and firing on all those proverbial cylinders then he will more than likely start in the number 8 position. Oxlade-Chamberlain came up with the answers from that position against Crystal Palace last weekend but playing at Anfield is a different kettle of fish. I would rather he started the Ox on the right, that way he can still play with the confidence that he has surely picked up this week.
I tell you what for nothing, I would rather be playing Ian Holloway's open Crystal Palace than Tony Pulis's rejuvenated team. I haven't watched his Palace team so I don't know if they compare to his previous Stoke sides but the improvement in results is crystal clear. I imagine that they will be looking to defend in numbers and try to stop us from playing through the middle. What is slightly reassuring is that his Stoke team picked up 0 points in the red half of North London during his time in the Premier League.
- Southampton (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Does Arteta return open the door for Podolski to start?
- Coventry City (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Zelalem, Bendtner & JW10
- Fulham (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Let's get some goals
- Aston Villa (a) Thoughts & Line Up: Giroud, Özil & Ox return to face Villa
- Tottenham Hotspurs (h) Thoughts & Line Up: Midfield battle could be interesting this afternoon
- Cardiff City (h) Pre Match Thoughts: Injuries but still permutations galore
- Newcastle United (a) Thoughts & Line Up: A chance to restart a winning run