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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Diary of a Fantasy Gaffer: We’re dreaming big, don’t jinx it

This way to see who’s in our stable this week.

Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THERE WAS ONLY one Arsenal fan in the room this morning when we switched on Sky Sports News to listen to Arsene Wenger’s pre-match musings.

But we could imagine Gunners worldwide wanting to hurl themselves between the manager and the camera to prevent his outlandish theory being picked up be the mic.

“…I think we are title contenders, and Liverpool as well.”

Ah, Arsene. Why did you have to go and ruin a perfectly good looking season for two clubs by piling all that pressure on? Why can’t you just keep being the dark horse – at least until Christmas.

By the time Liverpool and Arsenal meet in north London for Saturday evening’s big one, Chelsea will more than likely have their feet up at the top of the league. Anyone else smell a stalemate or is that just the damp corner of my kennel?

That’s the worst case scenario. Ideally we’ll be treated to a glut of goals with that lovable rogue Luis Suarez doing to Arsenal what Andrei Arshavin did to Liverpool. Yeah, you can call Godfrey a dreamer, but that’s what Fantasy Football is all about.

Of course, we’re being slightly forced into dreaming big because dreaming big hasn’t always worked out so smoothly for us this season.

The Paul McShane Experiment (TM) has eaten away at the core of our defence for nine game-weeks. The boot room brains trust kept coming up with scenarios where the Wicklow Wonder would tap into a secret spring of points or provide good value for an unused substitute. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

To mend the fences, we’re sticking with a home-grown Irish solution, but we’re gone coast to coast to ask directions in Killybegs for Seam Coleman’s house. After going up the left road and past the 12 wrapped bails on the right, we found him and he’s agreed to come on board.

We all know Coleman’s attacking threat, but under Roberto Martinez this season he has become a permanent Toffee fixture, playing every minute of every game this season.

Everton have a healthy mix of tough and handy fixtures coming up, but we’re giving Coleman the nod for the long haul… unless it all unravels horribly for him against Spurs.

Here’s how our new and improved defence looks with Coleman in place. How’s your team going?

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