Arsenal v Sunderland. We’ve heard from an Arsenal fan (click here if you missed it). But what exactly do we want from this traditionally difficult game? Pete Sixsmith has a modest shopping list …
On Sunday morning, the alarm clock will be set for 3.45am and I shall be waiting at Thinford Roundabout for the coach at 5.15, ready for a sleepy trip down to Ashburton Grove.
It’s a long day, we won’t get home until 10pm and there is every chance that it will be a defeat, heavy or otherwise. So, what do I want from Sunday?
* I want to walk away from Asburton Grove with my head held high after witnessing a determined and gritty Sunderland performance that makes me proud to follow one of the oldest and most distinguished clubs in Europe.
* I want to see our manager put out a team that will not sit behind the ball and invite Arsenal to come at them. Do that and we will lose.
* I want to see an attacking line up, with one of the youngsters up front with Sessegnon and with midfielders ready to run at a distinctly shaky Arsenal defence.
* I want to see a fluid midfield that passes the ball carefully and accurately. That would mean the return of Vaughan, possibly at the expense of either Elmohamady or Cattermole.
* I want to see a back four that is solid and tight and that does not give an inch to the likes of Van Persie and Gervinho. It’s a big game for Turner, who improved as the Albion game went on and needs games under his belt.
* I want to see the management team use their substitutes thoughtfully and not shove them on when it is too late to change a game. Bruce has a poor record with subs – they have very little impact.
* I want to see the fans getting behind the team and the shirts and reinforce the view that Arsenal fans are just a wee bit quiet.
* I want to stretch out in my seat on the coach, read the paper and listen to Spurs give the Mags a good stuffing as we progress up The Great North Road, warm in the glow of a fine performance and a fine win.
And the chances of this happening are…………….??