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Nativity Players

4 min read
by The Fighting Cock

As much as some of us will try to, there is little escaping the fact that Christmas is upon us. Yes, the tide of Yule is rolling in; bank balances will be squeezed, children everywhere driven to giddy distraction, while football fans are treated to a glut of games. For AVB and his charges this […]

As much as some of us will try to, there is little escaping the fact that Christmas is upon us. Yes, the tide of Yule is rolling in; bank balances will be squeezed, children everywhere driven to giddy distraction, while football fans are treated to a glut of games. For AVB and his charges this could prove to be a pivotal stage of the season, a gilt-edged chance to sit firmly in the top four come the New Year or the peril of being packed in with the hoi polloi looking up and down the table.

November was turning into a football-nasty, but in keeping with the club’s tradition of inconsistency, we go and win three on the spin. Prior to the West Ham game I felt nauseas, a fourth straight defeat would’ve really left us in the excrement, instead we put in the best performance of the season (to date) and win comfortably. To follow that up we take what is now becoming a customary three points off of Liverpool, and even though the performance didn’t merit the win, I certainly wasn’t complaining. A leisurely stroll in west London ensued, and lo and behold, we’re in fourth. How’d that happen?

The win at Fulham coincided with our two least favourite clubs suffering (diddums) defeats, which made the weekend a whole lot sweeter. But before we all overdose on schadenfreude it’s worth bearing in mind that the league is still as tight as a mouse’s waistcoat; no one has made a charge, even the two Manchester clubs look fragile at times, which is why December can be the making of us. A look ahead at the five festive fixtures and the (fighting) cocksure amongst us would fancy our chances in all of them. The tone must be set, though. A result at Goodison and AVB’s Slow Train Coming could provide an alternative messianic tale for us to savour. Hark, though, it won’t be easy. Even failure at the Toffees wouldn’t spell disaster, but let’s not think like that.

Prior to the West Ham game I felt nauseas, a fourth straight defeat would’ve really left us in the excrement, instead we put in the best performance of the season (to date) and win comfortably.

What is likely to dictate the success over the coming weeks is fatigue and injuries. Now we’ve not a small squad per se, however we’ve already had a fair share of injuries and although Parker et al are nearing fitness, Bale hobbling off at Fulham wasn’t what we needed. Interestingly, Walker was on the bench for Fulham despite playing his best game of the season against Liverpool, so it would seem AVB already has half an eye on what’s coming, and, I would assume, Baines’ form.

I expect to see a few different line-ups over this period, and not necessarily enforced ones. Players like Dembélé should be fairly fresh, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see Livermore or Huddlestone feature against some of the more attritional teams to rest some legs. Yes, of course I mean Stoke and Sunderland.

December’s challenges will differ from what we’ve faced already this season. These are teams searching for form or punching above their supposed weight, making them unpredictable beasts. But for really the first time this season we play from a position of authority as not a single of our opponents sit above us in the table, as it stands. That alone should install confidence. In Defoe we have a striker that seems to have forgotten how to miss, and with Adebayor now available, and hopefully in the mood for some atonement, we should have plenty of goals in us, we are, after all, the third highest scoring club in the league hitherto. Striker crisis? Providing the resources are managed well and the squad isn’t disintegrated with injuries, we may have a very merry Christmas.

I expect to see a few different line-ups over this period, and not necessarily enforced ones. Players like Dembélé should be fairly fresh, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see Livermore or Huddlestone feature against some of the more attritional teams to rest some legs.

Now, you may feel I am coming over a weeny bit over confident, which would be a fair comment, however, given the malaise that engulfed the club some two weeks ago, with verified but anonymous Board Insider General Director Information Confirmed Knowledge agents stating AVB was dangling by a crane fly’s leg on Twitter and the hack press (people, please don’t be so gullible), I feel it is important to reflect on the positives. Call me a supporter.

[author name=”Samizdat” avatar=”https://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/forum/data/avatars/l/2/2118.jpg?1354465724″ twitter=”OlyLister” tag=”Samizdat[/linequote]

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2 Comments

  1. jurgen
    05/12/2012 @ 1:48 am

    Yeah we definetly need to do some rotation in the coming weeks so we don’t end up in the same situation as last season, parker playing for the reserves could mean he mite even be available for stoke or sunderland

  2. pleb
    05/12/2012 @ 9:11 am

    The more you see of AVB the more one likes. He is a winner and will prove this over the Xmas period. I think he rotates the players very well and once he gets a squad injury free look out!!!
    COYS

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