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06/07: Preview: Arsenal

Our Last Meeting
"Sure, Arsenal remained in second gear throughout and, still able to carve us apart with Plan A, they never needed to resort to Plan B, whatever it might've been. With the outcome beyond doubt, the whole thing rather resembled watching edited highlights on "Match of the Day" with full knowledge of the final scores. Still, we stuck at it admirably, never coming to terms with the sheer quality of our opponents but slowly and surely realising that we might be able to give them some problems in return. We couldn't live with Arsenal, so we slept rough in their garden shed for a while. Gary Fisken, for example, spent forty-five minutes chasing shadows, then concentrated on seeing if he could make a more positive contribution instead...and, to an extent, succeeded. These are small things, but they shouldn't be ignored."

Ian Grant,
Watford 2 Arsenal 4,
F.A. Cup Third Round, 05/01/02

Most Relevant Aspect of Babycare
The whole life-change thing. Arsenal fans probably look back at Highbury much as any new parent looks back at their life before Day Zero... with a touch of regret at the loss of certain things, a rueful longing. Before they realise that the alternative to moving on was staying at the ageing, inadequate Highbury for ever. And then shake themselves and look at the wonderful stadium that now surrounds them. And grin widely.

Going down instead of us because:
Remember the Wembley Champions League experiment of 98/99? It's well established that Arsenal are crap away from Highbury...

BSaD Verdict
Ahhh, the thrill of the Premier(not)ship(not). Could Arsenal finish second this year? Or third? Or maybe fourth? The possibilities are… well, that's about it really. The new stadium could work for or against them in the short term, and whilst Rosicky could be a tidy signing his star has waned since his big-money move to Dortmund - a gamble on unfulfilled potential rather than a banker. I'll go for third. Yawn.