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Monday, March 05, 2007

A Point Gained or Two Lost?

An example of the typical optimist's dilemma, did we gain one point or did we lost 2 on Saturday? You can understand Pardew's feelings when he said that it felt like a win with Ambrose's 89th minute equaliser after being 2 goals down. Who wouldn't have taken a draw at half-time? But a win it definitely was not.

With Man. City's defeat at home to Wigan, the gap to safety is still 6 points, and an inferior goal difference to overcome, but Wigan after 2 1-0 wins in a week have disappeared off the radar and are now in the 15th spot. And with only 9 games left, the points available are rapidly running through our fingers.

The high spot on the horizon is, of course, the form of our new creative spirit, the on-loan 19 year old from the Arse, Alexandre Song Billong. Described by one Arsenal blog as "a lemon" and Wengers' revenge on Pardew, he continues to defy his previous fans logic. Overwhelmed in the first half maybe but after ZiZi's appearance and the opening up of more space in the second half he made chances for Holland and Young and supplied the pass for Rommedahl's cross for Ambrose to score. But it was surely Pardews mistake to keep the same team as against the Hammers. Watford were always going to be a tough nut and we should have put extra men in midfield to bolster what Pardew knew was a weak defence. It's too late after the game to lament our bad injury luck.

Fortunately with only 2 remaining games in March we now have a 2 week break before we face the Magpies and then another 2 weeks before Wigan so it all gives us time to get Bougherra, Thatcher, Hreidarsson, Marcus Bent and Reid fit and Pardew may even face a difficult choice about who to play in defence as well as midfield.

Man. City's performance on Saturday in their fifth home League defeat in their past six games should also give us a lift. Although they have two games in hand their run-in is extremely difficult with games against the current top four, Chelski, Liverpool, manure and the Arse. They also travel to St. James Park and White Hot Lane. In the "current form" league they are second to bottom with only 4 points from their last 6 games while the Addicks are up there in 11th spot with 8 points.

It all makes our visit to Eastlands on Easter Saturday vital for both teams. Its now 2 months since their last win - over Everton 2-1 on New Years Day - and next up for Pearce's team are Chelski at home on March 14th. They also visit Middlesbrough and Newcastle before they play the Addicks and the way they are playing we could be level on points when we visit them.

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