Arsenal, Stephen Ireland, Darlington and a goal from a corner to come

Arsenal, on their day, can play the type of football that makes you want to watch for another ninety minutes - even if you are on the wrong side of it. They play football the way it was supposed to be played.

But are they ready for us? We'll put ten men behind the ball tomorrow and we will make it difficult for them. I'm not going off on one today, but knowing that; isn't it depressing.


We might not though. We might surprise. Alex McLeish might have finally got the players to play football like Arsenal. We might show Arsenal what it's all about tomorrow. The manager might have spent the last few days working on possession and making space. He might have spent the days teaching the players the importance of not playing that ball unless they are confident someone from our team is going to get the ball.

You know what - when we have a corner tomorrow on the left, we might not play it short and we might fire it into the box and one of our central defenders might rise above all other players and head it home.

A goal from a corner

And if we score from a corner tomorrow, surely that will mean progress? All season, we've not scored from a corner. If we get one tomorrow, can our manager point to that and say that things are starting to work for him? I bet you this - when it happens, someone will say it.

But I'm not that concerned about tomorrow. Win, lose or draw, it has absolutely no bearing on this season. Sure, a win would be nice and it would mean I enjoy my Saturday night a little bit more, but I sort of expect a draw and I wouldn't be surprised if we lost.

And that isn't wrong. We all look at the club differently. At least we are not Darlington. Did you know, they need to find £200,000 by the end of April or the club will be shut down? You can read a little about it here, it is a touching story and one that hammers home the real world of football and the absolute need for supporters.

But there is something honest about supporting Darlington at the moment, but also very sad. Why doesn't a team like Manchester United (I'd love to write us, but we never would and couldn't) arrange a pre-season friendly and promise to play the first team, sell out the 25,000 all seater stadium and help them along the way? Isn't that what the footballing community is supposed to be all about?

Joking aside

Sorry. Scoring from corners as progress. I don't know where that started, but I do firmly believe we will score from a corner this season and why not tomorrow? Has a team ever gone an entire season without scoring from a corner? I'll ask OptaJoe - he can tell me and I'll update the page.

And I know some of you have fallen for the story in the Daily Mail today about McLeish getting money to spend next season, but don't worry, that story was supposed to go out next Sunday - he wont be given money.

He won't be given money, because that would be a massive mistake. You don't give money to a manager that isn't going to be here for very long and this manager, even if some don't want to accept it, isn't going to be here very long.

It is okay saying he is, but why does anyone think this manager is going to change how things have happened for years? What is so special about this manager or his football? I'll tell you the answer and it is nothing. So don't expect anything to change.

Odds and a prediction

I fancy we will get a draw tomorrow and you know what, the form Arsenal are in, that is a good result. I'm also predicting a headed goal from a corner. I don't think I can get odds on that, but the odds for the match are below.

Transfer speculation

There is also growing speculation that Stephen Ireland might be off in the summer and his destination is New York. How about that eh? Don't be surprised if it happens.