Today’s post is by PA regular Anicoll5
Who – me?!
The dust has safely settled on Wednesday and we face a very different prospect at 3 bells on Saturday with the arrival of Sunderland at the Grove. It is good that we have a game so swiftly after Munich and even better it is at home.
It has been a mark of our improvement over the past year that every on-field setback we have suffered has been followed by a performance of tenacity and good quality.
It is the mark of their character that our players respond to adversity. There has been no whingeing, excuses or mysterious ‘injuries’. We have got stuck into the next game. Character without ability is however often unrewarded, and we have invariably managed to claw at least one and usually three points from the next match.
I see no reason that pattern will change tomorrow against Gus’ Mackems. Sunlun have come a healthy distance since the lunatic Di Canio mockingly asked the referee why he did not send him off in the September game, and Martin Atkinson duly obliged the Italian headcase. We played them and they were doomed, Di Canio driving the Wearsiders to Hell with a whip and a chair.
Sadly all good things come to an end. Now they are back with a fighting chance of escape from the drop.
Looking at the Mackems’ away form it is not that bad, a 3-0 thrashing of their neighbours at SJP, a semi-final defeat of the Chosen One’s red and white army and a rare win for any away side at Goodison emphasise they should not be underestimated. For once however the opposition may well have their eyes on Wembley and their tussle for the Capital One Trophy next Sunday.
I have a small but affectionate spot for the Mackems, partly a family thing, partly a game in 1977 at Goodison, which saw them relegated. Sunlun must have brought 10,000 on a Wednesday night. Never seen so many men sobbing.
Other than Gibbs we seem to have got through Wednesday unscathed so Arsene has an almost open choice of who to put in. The intriguing question is who leads the line?
My guess is Sanogo to get another start and I have my fingers crossed he might just pick up his first Premier League goal.
And if we by some strange twist of fate earn a penalty?
Well I know who I would pass the ball to!
You may pass your ball to anicoll5 on Twitter @anicoll5