Archive for April 29th, 2007

My funny feeling…

73 comments April 29th, 2007

…is that we’ll thrash Fulham today. I almost feel sick saying it, because my record with predictions is such that it makes it almost certain we’ll lose. But after a few heartening performances since the win over Bolton, and with Fulham struggling under a caretaker manager who owes almost all his success to David Healy, it just seems it might be time to give someone the kind of thumping we haven’t really delivered since our Baptista’s Anfield romp.

Baptista might start today, with Abou Diaby shifting out to the left, to cover for the wholely unsurprising absences of Freddie Ljungberg and Tomas Rosicky. A point confirms Champions League qualification (it’s already confirmed – thanks bassetjb), but with Liverpool slipping up yesterday, it’s possible we could apply pressure for third place too.

In a typically forthright interview with Amy Lawrence, William Gallas has spoken about Arsenal’s problems defending set-pieces:

“I will change that. I will talk. I’m old enough to organise things. I don’t like zonal. Maybe it’s a good system when you have the right players. When Arsenal had a lot of tall, strong players a few years ago – Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Patrick Vieira – it can work. But this season is different. We don’t have a lot of tall, strong players. Zonal is difficult for us. If you mark one v one that means that is your man and when your man scores it is your fault. It is your responsibility to mark him. With zonal when you concede a goal everyone looks at everybody else.”

That’s a sight we’ve seen too often this season, and I have to say, I agree with our French defender. It’s clear as day that the zonal system hasn’t been working for us for some time now, and as the old adage goes, a zone never pops up to head home. Mark the men and allow the keeper control of the area.

People might say that Gallas shouldn’t come out and say this in the press, but if it requires that to pressure Arsene into making the defensive changes we so evidently need, then I’m with Gallas all the way.

I’d like to finish by congratulating Leeds United on qualifying for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. If you wish to send your congratulations to the fans of Leeds United, feel free to do so here.

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