As the Liverpool game is only being played tomorrow, we have another 24 hours rest. In between we have the FA Cup, some league matches as well as the El Classico. I watched the first game between Barcelona and Real Madrid and it was magnificent. Spell bounding 90 minutes of masterclass football. I’m hoping for more of the same tonight but I have a gut feeling that the spectacle will be lessen by the fact that this would not be the Classico Mourinho wants to win.
They are playing each other another 3 more times after this. All within the space of 3 weeks. Looking at the title race, Barcelona have more or less sewn up the title. You really cannot see them losing a couple of game to allow Madrid back into the equation. Nor can I see Madrid beating Barcelona by 6 clear goals to eliminate the head-to-head advantage that the Catalans have. Mourinho however do have bigger fish to fry in the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League.
It would be a similar big match for us this weekend. Liverpool may have fallen down the pecking order but with Kenny Dalglish back in the helm at the Merseyside, they have slowly but surely crept up the table. Although for Dalglish to speak out on Pepe Reina is just weird. Classifying his goalkeeper as the missing ingredient in our team. I can only say that the Scotsman has not seen enough of Wojciech Szczesny to come out with such conclusion.
They have also seemed to build up quite an attacking prowess what with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez leading the line. The former has already played once this season at the Grove. Carroll was of course the striker who scored the only goal for Newcastle as they beat us at home earlier this season. We will have to be wary of him as he has just recently recovered from injury and showed some form by scoring twice against Manchester City.
There’s also an interesting piece from the Daily Express. This is about how there might be changes in the staffing at Arsenal beginning of next season. The position we are talking about here is the assistant manager one. Currently, it is being held by Pat Rice, an Arsenal legend in his own right and a former captain. A person who have served Arsenal Football Club loyally and whole-heartedly. Rice’s contract is up in the summer and there’s a big chance there might be a change of guard.
The question remains whether or not Rice has lived past sell-by date. Whether he has the influence which is required to reign in Arsene Wenger and the tactical knowledge to help the manager. Sitting from where we are and not being involve in the club, it is had for anyone of us to judge that. However, we’ve seen Alex Ferguson over the years changing his right hand man and thus having someone with fresh ideas and who may look at things from the other side of the mirror.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. There’s really a lot of ex players of whom Wenger could bring in as his assistant of choice. From the Adams to the Boulds to the Vieiras to the Bergkamps. Would not really be spoilt for choice considering we still do not know how good these individuals are as a coaching staff.
Match preview tomorrow.
Fun fact which I discovered today. Dennis Bergkamp holds a mechanical engineering degree which he achieved during his free time while still at Arsenal.