Just another Saturday

Awaiting the arrival of Islington’s finest.

It’s Saturday, it’s a 12.30 kick off so make sure you’re up bright and early for the arrival of another set of easy targets for scorn and derision.

There should be a lot to admire about Arsenal. Their club is one of the traditional ones, even if they did set tne standard for cheating your way to the top, they aren’t as horribly in your face mercenary as some and they rarely have players to hate. But… those supporters. The phrase ‘sense of entitlement’ doesn’t do them justice. This is a mob who had a protest march at the end of a season when they finished fourth and hadn’t won a trophy for six years. Who have a TV channel where tantrums happen on the hour, every hour. Whose average gate in 1992-93, two years after they won the league, was twenty-four thousand. They’ll very likely be seaching Witton island for Peruvian tapas bars and looking in Tesco for yak’s milk lattes.

The other thing that annoys me about Arsenal is that every time we come close to them they keep getting it right and we get it wrong. Mid-eighties we were both struggling; they sacked their manager and got George Graham while we held on to Graham Turner then ended up with Billy McNeill. Ten years later we were better than them; they brought in Arsene Wenger, signed Thierry Henry and we appointed John Gregory who bought Bosko Balaban. Even last season, when we finally started beating them regularly they stuck at it and they’re top four now. If anybody’s entitled to feel hard done to it’s us. They also produced the best goalkeeper in the country, which is one thing we owe them for.

It would be extremely unVilla not to have too many injury problems so Luicas Digne and Douglas Luiz helped out with that one, which means Morgan Sanson might get a start. Or perhaps hell will freeze over. Whatever the team, winning will be good in itself but the reactions of Arsenal TV, or whatever it’s called, would make the day even better.