Our away match at Aston Villa has been rearranged for
Wednesday March 14th, kicking off at 7.45. This match was
originally scheduled for Saturday 24th February, and has been
moved because of our involvement in the League Cup
final against Chelsea in Cardiff on the 25th.|
Ok, that's the straightforward one out of the way.
Now, remember our home match with Manchester City? Originally scheduled for
30th January, it was postponed because we had to squeeze in a
League Cup semi-final second leg against Tottenham (which, of course,
which is why the Villa game has to be moved).
That Tottenham game had had
to be moved because of the League Cup delays caused by the fogged off
first attempt at playing Liverpool at Anfield on 19th December (which eventually got settled,
emphatically, on the 9th of January).
So, the Man City game was moved to 14th February, and City fans got to work cancelling
their trains and planes and B&Bs for Jan 30th and made new bookings for Valentine's Day,
and they and 60,000 Arsenal fans got to work on pacifying their other halves (whether by trying to get tickets for them, too, or otherwise).
Then, bloody Bolton went and got a draw at Ashburton Grove in
the FA Cup 4th round tie on 28th January, and the replay was set for
The Man City fans went back to their travel agents, and 35,000 Arsenal fans
realised they'd gone on a valentine's pacification mission unnecessarily.
Right, that's the story so far. It gets simpler from here on, but then it
gets really complicated again.
They've set a new date of
28th February (kick off 7.45).
But whoah there City fans, don't go booking anything just yet.
If either Arsenal or Man City need a replay in the 5th round of the
FA Cup (we're not necessarily in the 5th round yet, see above re Bolton replay,
City have a potentially tricky away tie with Preston North End) then
those replays will be on 27th or 28th January, and Arsenal vs Man City will be
postponed yet again, indefinitely.
But even if neither side needs a replay, even if neither side has another
match to play that midweek, they might still move the Arsenal-City game from
this very provisional date of 28th January.
That's because if both Arsenal and City get knocked out of the FA Cup
at the 5th round (without needing a replay) or before (in our case,
in the replay), then both clubs will have a free weekend on FA Cup quarter-final weekend
which is 10th/11th March. In those circumstances, the Arsenal-City match
will be moved again, from February 28th to March 10th.
I hope that's clear. Amazing what a mess a little bit of fog can
create. I'm guessing Wenger and Benitez feel vindicated in their
claims that the 19th December game should have gone ahead.