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Sunderland preview: bring us luck, Black Cats ;)

February 20, 2010

‘The black cat, for those who are not superstitious, can only be viewed as the victim of several millennia of smear campaigns. Many cultures have viewed the animal as an unlucky beast, and there are dozens of different superstitious thoughts regarding black cats. The poor ebony furred animal seldom gets good press, though there are certainly some cultures that have revered rather than despised the animal, and many rumors just as superstitious, but more positive about the black cat […] In parts of Europe and in Japan, a black cat crossing your path is good luck,  Scotland is most generous to the kitty; a black feline at your doorstep meant prosperity was coming your way.’

Good morning y’all. After 2 days of silence, during which I was setting myself up at the new place of work and getting used to commuting after 2 years of working within the walking distance from home,I am back with the Sunderland preview. The above introduction is a quote from this article, well, not exactly a quote, as I tried to keep only the good bits not to jinx today’s game. Once again, this game is one to show character and ‘bouncebackability’ after the embarrassing defeat at the hands of our own goalkeeper – trust me, it was really no fun to answer the same question time and time again: what do I have to say about my countryman? Well, what can I say? I feel for Lukasz just a little bit, as it was too big a game to come back into the side after a poor performance at Stoke, and he said it himself that he would like to play more and will ask Le Boss to at least loan him out in the summer, nevertheless, he is supposed to be a professional footballer, sometimes these are asked to punch above their weight and come up trumps or at least minimise the damage instead of inflicting it. I don’t think he will get another chance this season and despite Cesc coming out with a statement on how the team is behind him, I can see him shipped this summer. Oh well, no one can guarantee that a player will come good, but I have been saying all along that him signing for Arsenal was not a good thing for either side for obvious reasons: underdeveloped keeper cannot play a lot for a top team too often, which stifles his development and this is turning into a vicious circle. Besides, I never rated him at Legia either and let’s just leave it at that.

We have a game of football to play today, no? Both teams will want to win, each for different reasons: Arsenal have to go back on track and gain some confidence and momentum ahead of another trip to Stoke where our recent record is less than impressive, Sunderland on the other hand will want to clock up the first league win since November when they managed a 1:0 home win and that was against us. We need to win this and we need this win badly to stop the rot – again, we have quite a few players missing and the ones we have available need about every ounce of confidence they can get: luckily Song is back and it should allow OGL to move Denilson to his current best position, which is the substitute’s bench or behind it (may still inexplicably get a start ahead of Ramsey), with Gallas still out, Sol should keep his position in CB where he did more than OK in the last game.  Would consider playing Rosicky on the right and Theo on the left side of Bendtner upfront, introducing Vela or Nasri (or both) at the later time (no, not in the 88th minute). It will be interesting to see if Clichy will keep his place or if we will see Traore who at least has pace and was not as bad positionally as Gael is nowadays as far as I can remember. I am keeping everything crossed that we will approach this game like a cup final. We have 18 of these left to play…

Thank you for reading, come on Arsenal!

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