The transfer window that wasn't and Arsenal in the FA Cup

I really do love the FA Cup and everything it stands for. The game, to a large degree, has ruined it, but the magic is still there and when magic is involved anything can happen. This gives me hope for tomorrow.

Most, if not all, of the magic for this season has sadly already gone and it is only the fourth round. Usually look to who Stevenage are playing but they are now in Division Three and doing well and I'd guess they are favourites to win today.


Brighton is another side - they are at home to Newcastle today but Newcastle will have too much for them, so while it is going to be interesting - my hope and attention turns to tomorrow. If we beat Arsenal, it could very well be the win of the season and you just know the atmosphere is going to be second to none.

At Arsenal

It would be easy to look at this match and resign myself to thinking we will get beaten, but in football and especially the FA Cup, things happen that are not supposed to happen and while this is the only silverware Arsenal are playing for and Wenger will send out his strongest side, I think there is something here for us, if we want it badly enough.

You see, it really does come down to 90 minutes and setting some simple targets and you might think them obvious, but I'm going to repeat them, because if we don't do these, we wont win.

First; five in the midfield. You cant give Arsenal space and they love to play the ball through the middle. You also have to have one man sitting deeper than the others, so if you want, call it 4-1-4-1 but I call it a variation of 4-5-1.

You've also got to play their way and try to keep hold of the ball and play the right ball. The sad truth is, if you keep giving Arsenal the ball, they will eventually break you down. The best way for them not to break you down is for them to not have the ball.

I know it will be hard, but that is why you have 11 players and why each of them should be looking for the ball and creating space.

Lastly and I know I am really over simplifying this, you need to create chances and that will happen with Gabby on the left, Albrighton on the left right and Stephen Ireland or Barry Bannan playing just behind Darren Bent.

But, the most important thing for Gabby, Albrighton and either Bannan or Ireland to remember is that they are midfielders and that the minute Arsenal get the ball back, they have to be tracking back and closing down the channels.

I did really over simplify that and I apologise, but Arsenal are not going to change how they play football and how we play isn't good enough, so we have to adapt but tomorrow, I fancy he biggest influencing factor could very well be the support.

The transfer window

You might have noticed, but I haven't had the transfer window watch box up on the site this month and I wanted to explain why. You see, it was never going to be a month of anything exciting. The last time Alex McLeish did something exciting was on his honeymoon and with our owner wiling to accept an offer that will give him his money back, he isn't going to make much available.

So, don't get excited about the next few days, it is what it is and while I'm not saying we might not sign a player or two, think the Barry Ferguson or Nikola Zigic type - not a player that is going to strengthen - player that is going to take the place of one of our players, still not to get a proper chance.

Until tomorrow: Odds and bet of the day

Odds for the match tomorrow below, but my fiver today is going on Leicester, QPR and Stevenage. If those three come in, I take home £97 - not a bad return, but a definite gamble. Get the odds here.