Bonjour. Je m’appelle Arsene Wenger* and in preparation for an upcoming career change, I will be standing in for John Baines this week in previewing a top Premier League football match.
Last week, I tried my hand at modelling but that hit the skids when I refused to wear anything other than an ankle-length bubble jacket and prior to that, I had a go at being a politician but they said I was too evasive when asked straightforward questions.
I’m not too sure whether I’ll be cut out for this betting preview lark either, as apparently the aim of the game is to post healthy financial profits while also winning – and that’s a concept in which I lack a little bit the sharpness.
I’ve also been given a bit of a bum deal by being assigned Champions League-chasing West Brom’s visit to the Emirates as I didn’t see the Gunners’ defeat to Olympiakos on Tuesday or their pathetic home defeat to Swansea City last weekend.
I do vividly remember seeing us when we were decent many, many moons ago but since then I haven’t seen much of Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Ashley Cole, Mathieu Flamini, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie or any of the others that saw the light and I’ve certainly not seen any silverware for a while.
However, I’m still young and learning and with the assistance of a few teenagers shipped in from France on the cheap, I’m confident I’ll be able to make this piece easy on the eye and entertaining, even if it will probably tail off near the end and win you nothing. In for a penny, though…
Being a professor with a footballing philosophy, I feel I firstly need to address the most important issues in the game: possession and passes in midfield.
We are huge odds-on favourites to have the most possession and pointless passes around midfield, so that makes us 12/25 favourites to win the game, with West Brom and their horrible organised and efficient style of play 11/2, with the draw at 16/5.
But while we wait for it to be ratified into FIFA law that intricate tippy-tappy football in no-man’s land should be rewarded with wins, we’ll instead have to look at who’s going to get the better of things using that tired old concept of scoring the most goals.
West Brom have scored in all bar one of their seven away games this season and with me not that into teaching my side how to defend properly, I reckon the Baggies can definitely score over 1.5 goals in the game at 13/5.
If they do, then the win could be on the cards and certainly West Brom with a 1-0 handicap at 31/20 is worth a look for those neanderthals who still don’t see the merits of stringing hundreds of passes together.
I’ve been telling my boys that if we keep dribbling it into the box and playing one-twos until we get close enough to the goal line then we’ll definitely score against West Brom, because they’ve only kept one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League games.
For that reason, both teams to score – just how I like it – is a necessity for your accumulator at 7/10, as is over 1.5 goals in the first half at 6/5.
Now, the last match I do remember seeing was our emphatic 5-2 victory over Spurs at the Emirates, although I didn’t see the first 20 minutes, when we were thoroughly outplayed and would probably have lost if Emmanuel Adebayor didn’t get sent off.
But what that game proved was that when our passing is good we’re still an occasional force to be reckoned with in certain circumstances and with my players fresh from throwing away yet another lead in midweek, I reckon we could win this with plenty of goals.
However, although I think my Arsenal should win and will definitely be the better team in terms of passing percentages, I must remember that the most important aspect in football is to keep the bank manager happy.
With that in mind, I reckon sticking your free £20 bet courtesy of bwin on the 16/5 draw is the best way to go, with the 2-2 final score at 27/2 also worth a couple of francs.
Au revoir for now, bwinners.
*This article was not written by Arsene Wenger.