It’s a game of Two Halves

Arsenal found this out to their cost on Sunday.  Coasting at half-time, they were unexpectedly pegged back to draw by an until-then hapless West Ham. Arsene hasn’t pulled any punches when talking about the importance of holding on to such leads:

“We have a great chance [in the Premier League] this year but you cannot repeat this kind of performance and not come out with the three points.”

We’ve got a big old week ahead of us now, starting with tomorrow’s Carling Cup tie at home to Liverpool. Arsene Wenger has promised a “mixed team”, and I imagine the likes of Eduardo, Bendtner, and Samir Nasri, all of whom were on the bench on Sunday, will start.

The most intriguing return might be that of Lukasz Fabianski, who seems set to displace Manuel Almunia as our number one goalkeeper.  I’m praying that Fabianski is suddenly a mature and dependable goalkeeper, which is mightily unrealistic.  It would be incredibly frustrating if our goalkeeping situation proved to be what cost us a chance at trophies this season – certainly Mannone’s error made a massive difference on Sunday.

I wouldn’t want to see the Italian in the team for undoubtedly the biggest game of the week: Saturday’s North London Derby with Spurs.

Finally I can explain just what’s been keeping me from blogging this past couple of weeks.  No, I haven’t been cheating on you all with another blog, so please stop the threatening emails.

I have in fact been editing the a one-off special edition newspaper: Two Halves.

On the day of the derby, fans of Arsenal and Tottenham will be able to grab a free copy of the limited run at various North London locations. The paper can be read two ways, depending on your allegiance: one way up it’s packed full of Arsenal news and articles; flip it over and it’s got everything a Spurs fan would want to read ahead of the game.

I wanted to make something for fans, by fans.  I’ve been putting the Arsenal end together, and it features contributions from myself, Arseblogger, Goodplaya, the man from East Lower and more.  It’s also got exclusive interviews with the likes of Paul Kaye and Danny Karbassiyoon.

The paper will be distributed outside the ground before the game.  As I said, it’s absolutely free, so make sure you pick up a copy.

You’ll doubtless hear more about Two Halves as the week goes on.  We’ll need as many pairs of hands as possible so if you’re interested in more information or in helping to distribute copies, drop me a line via the contact page.  Cheers.

If you’re interested in going to the game but can’t find a ticket, hop on over to arseblog for a chance to win one of three pairs of club level seats.

Nice.

Gunnerblog is the brainchild of childbrained football writer James McNicholas. Aside from Gunnerblog, James currently contributes to Bleacher Report, The Mirror and ESPN.