SO HERE we are again, the Christmas programme is over, the effects of the food and drink excesses still apparent (as the five-aside fitness levels have shown), and we’ve a new calendar year with the top of the Premier League table looking remarkably like the sports section of a 1998 newspaper (aside from the fact Man City found their level in Division 3 back then). The title run-in is upon us as I’ve no doubt we’ll be reminded from the gadget-happy Richard ‘hairy hands syndrome’ Keys and Andy Gray (if they are allowed back, that is). So how well placed are the ‘Gooners’ to end the trophy drought that we’re so reminded about? Those TV cameras really do like spanning around the Emirates for the gap years post 2005!
IT MAY appear to be an innocuous squad announcement for a meaningless friendly, but this afternoon could turn out to be a day of reckoning for the Republic of Ireland’s bid to qualify for their first major tournament in ten years.