Diaby To Shine In Porto?

FC Porto loom large on the horizon, the perceived wisdom being that Arsenal were the ‘lucky’ English club when the draw was made before Christmas. There is no doubt that the draw could have been tougher but underestimating the Portuguese side is the fastest way to find the exit door of this season’s Champions League.

Arsenal has never won a European tie in Portugal, the best results being two goalless draws, 1969-70 against Sporting and in 2006-07 against Porto. Kevin Campbell’s strike against Benfica in 1991-92 being the only goal scored on Portuguese soil by Arsenal in a competitive match. Not that the club makes regular visits there, a two goal defeat in 2008-09 the only other fixture.

If victory is to be achieved, the midfield will have to work hard and retain possession. That is not an overly concerning issue provided the players put in the graft. A key individual will be Abou Diaby. He is having his best season without doubt. Alex Song’s likely absence will mean a busy night tracking up and down the pitch for the French international, supporting the attack in the same way he did against Liverpool last week.

Wenger has praised him for his improvement this season:

Diaby for me is the player who is going step-by-step higher and standing really as a strong player.

Diaby has suffered comparisons to Patrick Vieira, the physical resemblance driving that in the early days. He was pencilled in as the natural replacement in 2006/07 before injury allowed Mathieu Flamini his season in the spotlight:

He missed a complete year with his ankle injury [in 2006/07] and since he came back last year he was out a lot but this year in central midfield he has really stepped up and improved tremendously. He has become a very strong player

Like Alex Song, Diaby has overcome his detractors, both now bringing revisionist tendencies out in supporters. Wenger must shoulder a lot of the blame for that, playing him out of position on the left of midfield, his physique hardly suited to a role of providing width, frequently Diaby ploughing through towards central areas. However, that had to be weighed against his injury record and the needs of the squad; who is to say the manager was wrong in developing the player this way?

His languid style of play makes him a soft target, nonchalance masking the amount of hard work that he puts in. There is still room for improvement or perhaps more pertinently, for him to meet the levels of expectation placed on his shoulders. He contributes in ways which Arsenal has been accused of lacking:

He offers height and a physical presence. It gives us the pair with Alex Song and even when Denilson plays, when Diaby is there we look strong in the challenges and strong in the air as well.

When you add Nicklas Bendtner and him, suddenly when you set-up on set pieces, who do we have? We have four or five who really can jump for the headers and it makes a difference. He gives us goals as well – a fantastic contribution. It is great and he scores important goals as well

Porto are not in good form but are not conceding many either. Goals will be at a premium for Arsenal. A win will set the return leg up nicely but avoiding defeat and scoring is probably the worst result that the manager envisages.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on February 15, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 300 Comments.

  1. 1st

  2. Diaby and Denilson supporting Cesc will be a tasty combination.

    I hope we go with Bendtner Eboue and Walcott ahead of that.

  3. To persist with the Cesc issues, much does depend on how far Arsenal progresses this season, and its prospects for next. On this basis, I cannot see Cesc leaving, not yet. I suspect the rise and rise of Diaby, Song, Denilson and Bendtner plus in the next rung Gibbs, Ramsey, Theo, Vela and Traore will convince Cesc of the future.

  4. So Wenger Say:

    “He missed a complete year with his ankle injury and since he came back last year he has been out a lot. But this year in central midfield he has really stepped up and improved tremendously. He has become a very strong player.

    “Diaby gives us height and presence so when he is with Alex Song or Denilson we look strong in the challenge and in the air.


  5. diaby my man. im considerin getting a Diaby jery.

    my team for wednesday

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clicy
    Cesc Dennilson Diaby
    Eboue Bendtner Eduardo

    Arsenal to win 2 – 0, Diaby and Bendtner to score

    dont forget you heard it here first

  6. i think walcott would have a fantastic game if he plays, i think he would the portugese a run for their money…….get it a RUN for their money………..ha ha

  7. ramsey diaby
    eboue/rosicky edu bendtner

    have edu and nicky swaping all the time
    if rosicky can put in another 60 mins

  8. yet you dont put theo in your team jeff?

  9. Feel good about this game for some reason. Really don’t see us losing.

    A fit Diaby & a re-callibrated Denilson should be able to withstand Porto for 90 minutes.

    My inner sage / Seer says:

    1. Eboue’s runs are going to be key
    2. Song & Arshavin are going to be drooling to return for the 2nd leg
    3. We will be in the next round

    Fabregas in my view will only leave us only if AW leaves abruptly or after he’s won the EPL, CL & other available trophies, and thinks its time for his kids to grow up Catalan!

    I can’t wait to see CHAMAKH in an Arsenal jersey. I believe we become the most feared team after his arrival. He is exactly what we need to add to our frontline.


  10. no to denilson!!! he is what almunia is to our goal and walcott to attack…
    the ideal midfield: cesc, diaby, ramsey and rosicky

  11. Yes Yes Ya’ll, and you dont stop.

    Porto will be flogged by our feet in the middle of there own streets and you know this.

    RealsocialDad you’re team has power but lacks fire upon a wire dog, get back to the drawing board and make me a cup-o-tea whilst your there partner

  12. Amit, and what would that be dog?

    Walcots got the talent partner but lacks the confidence and keeps running into walls and bumping his little head. Agree about Almunia, the man has ‘I cant believe its not butter’ fingers and you know this

  13. It will be tough in Portugal, Porto don’t concede much and they are really good at breaking up the game with dubious gamesmanship.

    Having said that I still think we will be a bit too strong for them, 1-2 is my predicted score.

  14. I bet Kieran Gibbs is pissed off. With Cashley laid-up at home sheepishly taking pictures of himself in a darkened room, – the left-back berth for England’s World Cup squad is wide open and ripe for the plucking. A bit like Veroni… actually, no.

    I feel sure, even acting as deputy to Gael (an Eboue to Clichy’s Sagna, if you will – in terms of appearances), that Gibbs would have done enough to at least make the squad. Just prior to his injury at Standard, he was absolutely flying. Sadly, a bit like Fabianski at the start of the season, he was sidelined at just the wrong the time – missing an opportunity to cover for Gael in an extended run of games. It was an opportunity to perhaps even close the gap between first and second choice left back at Arsenal.

    For me he’d done enough at the beginning of the season to win himself further starts, rotating with Gael. He is certainly already a more decisive, exciting, and technically skilled player than (poor old) Wayne Bridge, let alone the other left backs in the England pecking order.

    Bastard bone-graft after that brutal bastard Malinga smashed him when the game was already dead and buried. BASTARD.

  15. wengerball,

    Why do you have a picture of Ice Cube as your Avatar partner? You wants to check yo self

  16. Diaby and Cesc are the 2 beneficiaries of the 4-3-3.

    Without the 4-3-3 there’ll be doubts about where to play him.

    In a 4-4-2 the only viable option is behind the main striker, in almost a 4-4-1-1 position. With 6, 7 players in the squad who can play that one role, Diaby might end up being a squad player.

  17. Ole Gunner you are a lovefool for 4-4-2. You need to get with the programme dog, we dont have the strength and guile of McGoldrick and Hartson any more. We dont have the Dickov, a true ferret in the box, to pick up any loose balls partner. 4-3-2-1-2-3-4 is the only formation thats worth its salt in the modern game, wenger knows this, I know this, and its time you knew this and you know this.

  18. Fuck off William you troll.

  19. There is very little difference between the current formation and the old 4-4-2

    We have two players sitting deep to shield the defence, two wingers, and a passer pulling the strings behind the forward. It could be 2004.

  20. Totally agree LimparAssist. Can’t wait to see him back. Any idea when he is back in the frame? I would quite like to see DIaby, Cesc and Ramsey in the middle. Denilson to come on later to give a bit more stability..

  21. Reyes had a great game last night – nice to see him playing well again.

  22. Agreed Ole, and we wouldn’t want Diaby back in that situation… He needs to be playing whenever he’s fit

  23. I’ve been working on a new line-up down at the training ground, I have tested it on the reserves and it seems to be working dogs, I truly believe its a way we can play in europe and be succesfull. I call it the Police Line-up. Here is the formation –


  24. Hi Kenyan gunner, on your qstn from your previous blog, yes i am.

    moda, fitu whoever, lay off Denilson!!! He may have been below his best in his last few games but that boy does really put in a shift. Not so long ago Diaby was getting cursed for the slightest of mistakes. He’s now everyone’s favourite.

    I really hope Fabregas aint going anywhere atleast in the next two seasons. This team has a point to prove and I hope he sticks around for when it happens. IF he does leave at the end of the season, we cant begrudge him, he will be missed but we will go on.

    Someone mentioned the fans showing their appreciation by calling his name every time he touches the ball. We do love and appreciate him. He has taken the player of the month five times now?It has to count for something.

  25. William, check your specs dude That doesn’t look remotely close to Ice Cube.

    Oh and are you from the Caribbean? I ask because of your use of “partner” in your posts.

    442 433 whatever as Arsene says, if we play well we should win, tactics are all well and good but I always feel it is down to the performance of the players on the pitch that makes the difference.

  26. wengerball, its looks like Ice Cube without his make-up on dog, only his home boys know his true face. How did you get that picture cus?

    No I aint fromt the Caribean, but I have kicked it in the Caribean. Once when I was there I looked up to the stars and said to myself ‘Marcelles Wallace was right’. So I stayed gone, and i’d been gone,….. I’d lost all my L.A priveleges partner.

  27. 2 true ole
    morning all
    missed the barca game
    but if Atlético can beat barca but couldn’t beat porto
    then shows you porto game is gona be tough
    would think it would be 4213 with cesc pushing up much like dippers game
    diaby and ramsey or denilson
    cant believe denilsons stats tho
    think he dont read the game well enough

  28. Realsocialdad, It’ll never work dog because an any opposing manager worth his salt will employ a 7-7-7-7-7-7-7-1 formation and cancel us out by hitting us on the break are you feeling me?

  29. you havnt been to the carribean, Will u donut dont lie partner

  30. “His languid style of play makes him a soft target, nonchalance masking the amount of hard work that he puts in”

    I don’t agree Diaby has a languid style of play. Kanu, berbatov are languid. Not diaby. He is a midfield engine. On form he’s all over the pitch, tackling, and driving play, making forward runs with/without the ball at his feet. He does seem to have a mellow personality however and I see how people can confuse his personality with his style of play

  31. im loving how diaby is winning people over, he’s doing a song and this is good. Denilson and Bentdner should follow suit.

    Will, i didnt see Almunia’s butterfingers on wednesday night against liverpool when he saved babel’s shot

  32. Zap you donut I have kicked it in the Caribean many times in my pirate days, a-ha !!!! matey !!! all hands on deck and all of that shit.

    Henristic, Diabys problem stems from the fact that he is half Girrafe. His legs are ridiculously long, although this helps him be a dominent force in the air the downside is that his legs get tangled up, so would you if you had legs the size of Mr Tickles arms so dont knock it partner. My man has longer legs then a mother f~cker and you know this

  33. arseneholis,

    There are significant differences.

    We went through this topic many times in pre-season.

  34. Will dont lie to yourself you’re just a teenager playing fifa 10 and you know this dog

  35. I agree with 2-Pac

  36. This game is remeniscent of PSV a few seasons ago: i hope underestimation wont bring us down as it had so many times in the 06.07 season.

    We HAVE to get an away goal

  37. you know that william

  38. well the problem with PSV i guess was most of the players not giving two shits especially in the 2nd leg when we let bloody alex score that fateful header

  39. Zap whats going on dog? Whats blue Zap all about? I dont like him, get rid of him

  40. Robin Van Persie…clickclickclick…Robin van persie…clickclickclick….Robin Van persie….clickclickclick…Robin van persie…clickclickclick…you are already a great player, son, and you will be even greater over the next year or two.


  41. Will…Is…..One….Fine….D-o-n-u-t

  42. my email didnt work but it does now….

    yeah whats up with pink will he looks like a retard and he knows this

  43. i agree with Frank at 11.26 am

  44. William / Zap

    Behave or the spam bin beckons.


  45. i wouldnt wanna be sucked into the spam bin it sounds as unnapealing as kenosha wisconsin

  46. I’ve been in worse bins

  47. @zap 11:23 am wouldnt say it was that big
    top two can still be caught

  48. what the one you’re living in now?

  49. Zap – i agree, and that has been our biggest problem for the last couple of years. Our players do seem to get complacent in some games and almost expect to win. Confidence is great but when it leads to slack, slow-tempo performances, it can be really frustrating. We cannot allow this to creep in again this season in both the EPL and the CL.

  50. (in reply to at 11:24 am)

  51. so u got back from that meeting without finsing out the score?

  52. i did the same thing ages ago against blackburn (record the match and watch it later) on the way home i saw a man in an arsenal shirt looking dizzy with a beer can in one hand i was like oh shit but we all know what happened that day..6-2

  53. Atletico have been crap all season, and have only got it together recently. They won yesterday, but they’ve always been kind of a bogey team for Barcelona, who are struggling with injuries at the back. The CL group games are no real gauge of where Porto are now.

    “Bindippers” is an ugly Manc expression. Am I the only one who doesn’t like seeing it used on Arsenal blogs?

    Denilson, Diaby and Cesc is a formidable midfield. Denilson’s reputation among many Arsenal fans is totally unwarranted. His positive contribution is consistently ignored. Kitchen Sink still has some work to do!

    The Stoke game is a great example:

    A half-fit Denilson runs the midfield for 80 minutes, exhausting himself in the process. He drags us back into the game, wins tackle after tackle and initiates a number of attacks.

    With ten minutes to go he covers the left side completely exposed by a Traore foray, and has to track Sidibe, but doesn’t have the legs to keep up with him. And he gets slaughtered.

    Wednesday’s game should be a good opportunity for him to regain some confidence.

  54. Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
    Fabregas Denilson Diaby
    Eboue Bendtner Rosicky

  55. Yeah, got back early in the end and managed to catch the last 15 mins (which sounded like the only exciting part!).

    First half sounded pretty boring, but that was coming from a Boro fan so you’ve got to question their sense of style…

  56. it was a poxey first 45 to be honest

  57. “Song is gradually emerging from the declarations that he is not an arsenal qualify player = who would have thought Song will be so missed when he went fro nations cup this year?

    “so am sure Denilson will go through all the necessary ups and downs and eventually be recognized. Its a slow and painful process especially when injuries are involved, but he has the quality to get there!”

    Of the hated trio of Denilson, Song, and Diaby, Denilson was the first to prove his worth on the football field; yet whereas Song, and to some extent Diaby, tend now to be described as “monsters” whether they play well or not, Denilson is usually damned with faint praise, then omitted from the line-ups that people on here love to excrete. I think the importance of the homoerotic element in football support is greatly underestimated. Song and Diaby have more quickly gained acceptance among the luke-warmers because they are just the kind of dominant beefcake that those semi-supporters hope will ply them with drinks in their favourite evening haunts. The sleaker build of Denilson just doesn’t excite them in the same way. In this context, it is interesting to note that Denilson’s critics are almost exclusively male.

  58. is cos denilson stay in his postion all the time and doesnt run all over the pitch like diaby does

  59. fair enough.. From what i saw, Liverpool just didn’t look interested. It took us to score for them to limp into life.

    I can’t wait for the Porto match! I believe we can have a real go at the CL this year, providing we avoid the other english teams for as long as possible. We are beginning to get sussed in the prem but european teams aren’t as clued up on how to nulify our threats.

  60. wouldn’t mind another crack at utd or chels tho

  61. Denilson’s just not sexy enough Pz, even with his shakey head celebration…

  62. it the eyes as well AS
    like action man

  63. I’d say that Song and Denilson haven’t improved very much in the last couple of seasons; they’ve maintained a high level for 18 months now, since they came into the team on the back of Flamini and Gilberto’s departures. What’s great is that they’re both still young and there’s lots of scope for future growth.

    To me, Diaby has improved significantly this season, but that’s been down to him staying clear of injury and finding a permanent role in the team. As OG says, this new formation includes a bespoke “Diaby Position”.

    I love watching him play now.

  64. Yeah, we were unlucky in those games, particularly against the Chavs. But hey, they’re out of the way now, we just need to keep a lid on any complacency from now until the end of the season. City and Sp*rs will be our games of the season now.

  65. agreed OOU, sums it up really…

  66. A bespoke Diaby position? Jesus Christ, Brian Clough would be turning in his grave

  67. Arsenal’s win % with Abou Diaby playing is 70% and without him, the Gunners have won just 33% this season. Integral – courtesy of opta stats

  68. anyone else hear about the proposed play off for 4th place

  69. no. really? can u find a link, rsd?

  70. Football supporters are notoriously ignorant and fickle. Opinions are often only based upon the last match and the most obvious actions. Abou scored an important goal and so he is now top of the list. Denilson hasn’t scored or even played for a couple of games and so he descends to bottom of the list. It will all change over the next game or so…and fans opinions of players abilities really have no relevance.

  71. ta frank might as well go home then

  72. Cheers cellphish, interesting stat!

    Haven’t heard of that RealSD – so are they talking about having 4th-8th battling it out for a european spot?

  73. Frank, what are your views on the new ‘bespoke Diaby position’ though, its ground breaking stuff partner

  74. LOL. Thought “Bespoke position” would help make me sound like an expert.

    Seriously, Song and Denilson were already playing well at the start of 08-09.

    As it happened, the team wasn’t really clicking at that time, and with Flamini and Gilberto gone, people were looking to central midfield for the reason.

    Maybe Arsenal’s problem was actually further back and further forward – the Gallas captaincy, Toure’s stuttering form, and our lack of creativity up front.

    All of this has since been resolved, which is partly why we’re in a much stronger position now.

  75. Dont worry, have read the link now…

  76. is really enjoyable to watch in championship
    but would like to be envolved

  77. 20% from the official PL website think we can nick it so why not?

    RealSocio, I havent watched much of Barca this season( the whole “they are buying Fab” business kinda turned me off them)Last i checked they were on a 21 unbeaten run, looking to be the next invincibles? Did you mention they were beaten by atletico?

  78. afternoon 1stlady
    yeah atletico beat barca last night apparently the boy reyes was awesome
    but if atletico couldn’t beat porto we are in for a tough one come wed
    just any score draw would do
    a win even better

  79. “( the whole “they are buying Fab” business kinda turned me off them)” Me too…

    I used to love Barca but they are really beginning to get on my tits. Surely Cesc is getting pissed off with them too…? I’m hoping that they carry this on so much that Cesc turns round to them and tells em to fuck off once and for all. Wishful thinking?

  80. by the way most people us RSD

  81. Who said Denilson isnt sexy enough? With his boyish good looks and cute smile I bet plenty of women would beg to differ.

  82. 60 mil tho
    bet woody wetting his pants

  83. i watched that match, he set up forlan for the first goal, he played very well last night….

    so this things for real? wow its on ssn aswell..

  84. he married so lay off
    what a stunner and all

  85. laisa andrioli would, first lady..

    (according to a fourfourtwo magazine)

  86. I agree with Frank, and this is one of the reason’s Kitchen Sink’s videos are so valuable.

    Arseblog called Eduardo’s season a tragedy recently. After reading that I wondered if I was actually deluded and only seeing what I wanted.

    Then it struck: Eduardo’s contributions have been huge, but much of his best work is done in and around the box, like the header against West Ham, or even the assist for Cesc’s Bolton goal – seemingly nothing more than a little flick, but it was perfectly weighted and led to a crucial opener.

    Maybe it passed people by, because it wasn’t a thirty yard pile-driver, or a lightning quick breakaway sprint.

  87. true ooU but would like him to score a few
    he deserve’s it

  88. Denilson has had a fine season. So has Alex Song….and Abou is now getting the run of games he needed to impress ‘fans’. He had already impressed the manager. Personally I have never forgotten the fantastic pass he gave to RvP, over the defence and over RvP’s shoulder. Fucking beautiful pass and a beautiful goal.

  89. I have a simpler explanation. While Song and Diaby are on form, Denilson has been struggling to find his.

  90. Player of the season has to be Clichy though dogs, he’s been outstanding and you know this

  91. right need to take the dog out
    catch you guy and girls later
    lurve n peas

  92. Will your attacks are as devastating as Kenosha wisconsin’s town centre

  93. Ole – the system we are playing now is different to pre-season, there is little difference now to the old one. We play cesc as an attacker, rather tha midfield and ush our wingers on as he gives us more strength through the middle, but basically the same.

  94. denilson hasnt been that bad…..he is a diffrnt kind of dm, he is more of an invisible wall like gilberto rather than a rhino like flamini …he readsd the game and gives the team balance

    he would obviosly play on wednesday , there is no way wenger would play ramsey instead, that would just kill denilsons confidence

    denilson would make all of you eat your words

    hail denilson, a true brazilian
    shame on you doomers, plastic fans

  95. Porto two European cup wins Arsenal none.One of the most shameful stats in football

  96. Denilson let himself and the team down recently. But he’s still a quality player.

  97. As far as I can tell, Diaby’s ability has rarely been questioned. Its his consistency and injury record that most worry about. Now that he’s stayed relatively free of injuries, its no surprise his good form has more consistency. His value to the team now is pretty obvious to the daftest of fans

    Song is also more consistent. His value to the team, protecting the back four, tackling, skill in tight areas, good eye for a pass, etc is also very obvious.

    Denilson, because of injury has been struggling to find form. Even before that though, his contribution to the team has not been quite so obvious for many, including myself. He does have a knack of scoring important goals, and tends to have good stats. Also a lot of bloggers on here practically worship him so he must be doing something right.

    As long as Diaby, Song and Cesc are fit though, I don’t see wenger starting him that often, even when he’s fully fit.

  98. every footballer has a bad patch

    Arshavin has had bad times, nobody said anytin

    cesc wasnt immpresive against liverpool either, still nobody seemd to notice

    i fully believe in wenger and anybody in arsenal squad is definately good enough to wear the jersy

  99. lets stop debating on denilson and talk about issues worth talking bout

    Arsene knows

  100. Henristic,

    Diaby’s ability was questioned by many blogs and pundits.

  101. henristic, we dont worship denilson, we just dont bash our players, it doesnt help, it only makes things worse

  102. Eastmond NOT denilson please!

    Playing denillson would be dicing with death. Diaby cant do the defensive job, I agree with yogi that he would be a useful attacking partner to cesc but someone has to be behind the two if song is not fit. And I pray it wont be the “tourist” that is denilson.

    Cheers all!!

  103. Oofus, if some people ‘don’t notice’ the work Eduardo does then what’s really the point in those people watching a game of football? I mean, I know blind people get a lot from the atmosphere and everything don’t get me wrong – but if you can’t appreciate a touch like the one putting Faberge in against Bolton, then you really ought to just give up now. Those are the sort of touches that make the difference, and it’s why Eduardo is so good to watch, and why he fits so perfectly into the team. Touches like that seperate football above any other sport, for skill and beauty.

  104. Ole,
    I don’t know about pundits as I never listen to or read them. I do read a few blogs and I can’t remember any denying he’s got ability. The most negative ones just complain he’s inconsistent. “Good one game and shit the next 4” is what I common read.

  105. common? = commonly

  106. Again, maybe you don’t read a lot of blogs.

    I got bombarded on twitter for pointing out he was actually playing well early in the season.

    Many people said he didnt have the football brain to play for Arsenal. And I include many generally positive Arsenal blogs.

  107. Limpar, a few of us have spoken about this before with Edu. It seems some people expect him to just be a goal poacher and when he isn’t doing that, he’s regarded as failing in his position. He has better touches and flicks bar none in our team

  108. I agree with limpar, the form of eduardo will be absolutely crucial to our fortunes this season with the rvp situation.

    I am beginning to doubt that he will be the player he was before the brum game but he has shownGREAT SPIRIT to come back from his horrendous injury and he still possesses quality which will serve the team well.

    All our best wishes need to be with him!

    Cheers all!!!

  109. guess we have to nb bout denilson he’s coming back from a back injury

  110. Arse/Limpar is it any wonder that our goals scored per game has gone down since he got that hamstring? He may be down as far as scoring goals but he makes some moves only arsenal players are capable of making. I still cream over a backheel assist he made to Arshavin” who assisted in the goal I think.

  111. I remember that one Firstlady, up there with his heel volley in the cup… He is such a quick thinking player, i just hope Chamakattack doesn’t come in the summer and supercede him.

  112. Great post as usual Yogi.Tell Denilson bashers that pretty soon they are gonna eat a humble pie.We will spank porto fc and any team put infront of the Arsenal

  113. who will drop out for chamakakakaka?
    when the 1st team is fit. sorry if.

  114. I wont mind him being superceded as long as he is doing his best. Afterall they will all be ARSENAL. The two can make a force to be reckoned with.

  115. Good post. Now time for Denilson to prove how good he is. And Eduardo again. And Vela.

  116. That’s a big ‘if’ RSD!

    I am still struggling to decide who i would put in the starting line up if we had all our players fit…

    RvP, Arsh & Edu up front? Where do NB, Theo, Vela (and possibly Chamakakakaka) fit in?

    Midfield i would have Song, Cesc & Diaby. Rosicky & Nasri could fit into any of the wide front roles or the more attacking midfield roles…

    I dont think we need a striker that isn’t better than what we have. If we’re going to get one, they need to be top, top class (IMO obviously!!)

  117. Sorry AS


    the bench is looking amazing

    for the summer who’s on shopping list then
    GK yes but almunia is a bit of a goat
    CH if gallas goes can johan step up or would you put song back there
    HM is eastmond good enough yet??????
    denilson will he prove the doubters
    or is he just “mr stat”

  118. realsocio it will be quite a headache for Arsene but with our injury record I am guessing he will fit in somewhere.

  119. let hope wenger doesnt take diaby to austria this year then 🙂

  120. This is a good time to change all of that. A goal will put a ton of pressure on FC Porto. The guys should be rested and loaded for bear. A win will do wonders for us. The midfield is the key. Don’t give up the counter attack goal. Diaby is the key. You are right on both accounts. Attack and play great “D” is the key. Simple but true.

  121. LANESRA

  122. Great post:

    Diaby has been superb this year when he has been able to play. We are a much better team when he is healthy. He can be a real difference maker. He is a great example of the need for patience with our young players. Diaby needed time to mature and even though he has missed several games this year, when he has played he has been excellent. He always has the talent, he just needed maturity. Same with Song and even RVP. It takes time for these players to mature. People who think Walcott, Vela, Ramsey, NB52 etc can come out and play consistantly in their late teens/early 20’s will not give these players a chance to mature. The players themselves and the fans need to have patience.

  123. What would people’s starting 11 be if we had a fully fit squad? I wouldn’t want to choose…

  124. thats easy AS
    usual suspect at back
    cesc diaby
    rosicky RVP AA/bendtner/edu

  125. Spot on Bill. not everyone realises that players reach their potential at different ages. If anyone has proved that it has been RvP. Even Thierry didn’t come into consistent form until a year or so ago and he’s 26…

  126. That’s what i mean RSD – we need to get rid of the / / / !!

  127. team for porto
    sagna gall ver clichy
    eboue or denilson
    cesc diaby
    nasri bendtner rosicky

  128. AS, the beauty of a football season is that the whole squad must pull their weight – and we’ve got a great squad this year. But when it comes down to a one-off match, like a big cup game – then Wenger’s personnel choice becomes informed by tactics, form and the opposition, as well – I’m sure – as a whole load of other considerations we’re not privvy to.

    Having said all that, I think my favourite line-up would be something like…

    Eduardo RVP Rosicky
    Diaby Song Fabregas
    Clichy Verm Gallas Eboue

    But leaving out Denilson, Arshavin, Nasri, Sagna, Walcott, Gibbs and Ramsey shows how strong we are.

    Course it’s all academic anyway because we’re hardly ever all fit!

    Btw, no idea about Gibbo – definitely won’t be back this season though.

  129. Sorry, got confused halfway through that… i meant RvP…

  130. depends who were playing dont it
    we have options
    which is nice!

  131. or Eduardo for Bendy, but I think Bendy for height

  132. Eboue in the Song role, ZimPaul? Now there’s an idea…

  133. Fair enough Limpar – very hard choice but as you say it is all academic unfortunately…

  134. Do teams play good defence in football or just defend well?

  135. Yes, Eboue would do well in the Song role, he’s fast, can tackle, and he drives well in possession.

  136. didnt try eboue in song role last year v fulham
    and we lost

  137. LimparAssist, Eboue in the Sing role is silly dog. Eboue has two roles which he excels at.

    Role 1 – Undersdtudy on the right hand side. He provides decent cover for either position.

    Role 2 – Team Clown – He is an extremely funny man, his impressions and his slap stick comedy and fantastic.

  138. shit sunderland have got Richardson, Campbell and Ferdinand all available

  139. I meant the ‘Song’ role, not the god dann Sing Role although he is an all round entertainer

  140. wOJACK pOLANSKIE, the keeper that we have out on loan, looks like a barn stormer. 6 ft. 5 in tall and as quick as a cat. Beware the Premiership this one will win it all for the Arsenal.

  141. right catch u guys later been a pleasure
    school run beckons

  142. Eboue in there? Not sure about that… I don’t think he has the positional discipline to stick to his job. All his other attributes would fare well in there but i can see him getting caught out on occasion

  143. i think eboue has played rb in every cl game so far, so i’d expect him to start tomorrow. i also wouldn’t be hugely surprised if eastmond starts instead of den as a more direct replacement for song. i suppose we will see if wenger considers him good enough for the big stage and also if he considers him more of a direct replacement for song than denilson who has different qualities as a player and is less physical than you’d expect to get from the other two. will be interesting to see for sure.

  144. cheers RSD

  145. now thats a fair shout ryan

  146. denilson fuck!
    shit run!
    who said he can read game??
    he totally disqualified

  147. Arse Shavin:

    Hopefully the young players themselves will not lose patience. They have to realize that when they are ready their time on the pitch will come. If they have the talent like Diaby eventually it will show and they will become regulars. That probably will not happen in their late teens. Once they start to play well the fans will respond just like with Song and Diaby. If they do not have the talent eventually that will also show Bentley, Aliadiadare etc etc.

  148. Bill, Djourou is our best kept secret partrner, that boy is gonna be the best striker the premiership has ever seen. I just hope he can stay off the bottle long enough for people to see it dog

  149. That’s the key Bill, their own patience… Out of the current crop of players, i can’t see a Bentley or Aliadiadiadiad at all. They all have the potential to be top class and that’s why this squad is better than we’ve had in years.

    Players like Ramsey will be AMAZING once they find consistency and make that step up mentally. Can’t wait!!

  150. William – absolutely spot on dog as usual, and you know this.

  151. haha arse shavin..

  152. diaby improve hard n more btter now
    he look frightened to other defend n mid
    he can do dat bcoz he tke the critis seriously
    n he train hardly to bcome like now
    i very apprciate for him
    anyone agree with me??

  153. cha – hard to decypher txt spk.

  154. what people dont see about eboue is that he keeps the team going in the dressing room, apparently he’s the joker in the team and he keeps everyone’s spirits up..

  155. Yeah and an amazing dancer too! What a legend

  156. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s a wicked stat, cellphish. I just saw a band named cellphish the other night, you wouldn’t happen to be from the Los Angeles area would you?

  157. dont u agree with me njn

    Kenosha, WI is a shithole?

  158. eboue great as a lb but as a hm thats a no no
    as a left sided midfielder okay but not writing home about him

  159. Come On Lanesra!

  160. can anybody read cha 3:40 pm
    am i getting to old?

  161. Relax dogs, I’ll translate.

    Cha said –

    ‘I am very happy to be here, my name is Cha, I live in England and I have two brothers and three sisters, I love them very much but they can be annoying sometimes, ha ha ha. I enjoy football very much and think arsenal are very good team and you know this. Eboue is a clown. goodbye and thanks for listening bye bye’

  162. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I haven’t been to Kenosha, WI Zap so I couldn’t tell you. But I am a fan of small towns, so I can’t really agree with you there. Plus, I don’t really go out of my way to talk shit on random cities. I also had a mate from Wis”can”sin back in the day and she was one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Plus, they love their cheese up there, can’t hate on that. The cheddars here in the states aren’t anywhere near as good as the mature white cheddar from Sainsbury’s though, imo. Yummmmm.

  163. We all should get behind manu eboue. He is in his last contract year, and we should support eboue till he extends its. (Of course we still support them after the extension).
    Eboue is my favourite player ever since he is here. He is my legend. Arsenal Legend!!

  164. eboue is a great squad player
    and would be only happy for him to sign up again
    last year he was the goat much like almunia is this year
    anyone no any more about this dodo
    wenger trying to nick in front of manu

  165. Zap – “Come On Lanesra!”

    What’s that about? Did i miss something?

  166. dodo? never heard of him…

  167. Cheers RSD.

    Looks interesting! Manure don’t need another Brazilian full back.. Saying that, we already have 3 LBs fighting it out. Unless he’s much better than Clichy, prob not worth 8million…

  168. but he can defeneder
    dont have too use him as lb

  169. Hmmm, that makes it worth it then in my eyes! Particularly if Sylv goes, Sol will be getting his bus pass by then and Gallas might be off too…

  170. true but he does deserve 2 years

  171. Gallas? He definitely deserves 2 years. He’s been awesome since losing the captancy and toure as a partner. He’s still fairly quick too, would be a huge loss if he doesnt sign

  172. Gotta go, might be back later… Peace

  173. not really njn on the whole the people in wisconsin are quite racist

  174. sorry not wisconsin, in Kenosha the town..

  175. realsocialdad the quality of your blog is outstanding, i must say

  176. Arse Shavin it’s Arsenal spelt backwards..

    also why does the emirates stadium look yellow when its not matchday?

  177. thanks zap y
    ou can always join the debates on facebook
    tho you have to show a real name!!!!!

  178. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I think you’re generalizing, Zap. There are racists everywhere. Look at pricks like Jaguar and Moda. Moda tries hiding it by picking Diaby over Denilson, but deep down he hates Diaby, too. But generally speaking, there are far more racists in the South of the United States.

  179. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    South east I should say.

  180. i agree njn…..

  181. anyone have an idea when wenger is entertain the press tomorrow for porto game?

  182. anyone know where the reserve match will be live streamed?

  183. Firstlady

    Denilson will not stay here beyond a year because he’s not good enough. Its not recent, even when he had his chances at the expense of Fab4 injury last season. He’s the weakest in the midfield of Diaby, Cesc, Song, Ramsey and Denilson of course. I can’t see him surviving the competition Coquelin, Ramsey and Eastmond are going to give him.

    An average player brought in under the cover of ‘exceptional talent’ but who can’t live up to it. No pace to track back, no attacking ability, short passing specialist that don’t lead to anywhere, bullied off the ball and no height to help defenders in aerial battles. Can’t see what he brings to the team except that he’s one of Arsene’s favourites.

  184. he got to be dong somtething right moda
    mayb it all in training
    think you assesment is a bit harsh
    he coming back from a back injury
    maybe he’s a squad player like eboue
    that dance he does must means he’s a bit of a funny1

  185. Side note, but isn’t it great to see Arsenal excel across all areas of the club, another hallmark of the Wenger era.

    First Team: 3rd place (6 points behind 1st)

    Reserves: 2nd place (2 points behind 1st)

    U18’s: 1st place (8 points ahead of 2nd)

    Ladies: 2nd place (4 points behind 1st, but 6 games in hand of 1st and 4 games in hand of 3rd!!!!!)

  186. “Denilson will not stay here beyond a year because he’s not good enough. Its not recent, even when he had his chances at the expense of Fab4 injury last season. He’s the weakest in the midfield of Diaby, Cesc, Song, Ramsey and Denilson of course. I can’t see him surviving the competition Coquelin, Ramsey and Eastmond are going to give him.

    An average player brought in under the cover of ‘exceptional talent’ but who can’t live up to it. No pace to track back, no attacking ability, short passing specialist that don’t lead to anywhere, bullied off the ball and no height to help defenders in aerial battles. Can’t see what he brings to the team except that he’s one of Arsene’s favourites.”

    Do you ever get bored with being clueless?

  187. very true lagooner but hardly ever mentioned

  188. Have you all seen A Night at the Emirates, fantastic short film.

    And here is a little bit about Szczęsny

  189. evening yes thanks
    is nice
    but looks all a bit to civilised
    would prefer the fans to have a bit more flare 😉
    ie chels game

  190. F*ck Off Myles Palmer

  191. forget him, he is a 2 bob racist pimp.

  192. just hide him on nn its easier

  193. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    “Denilson will not stay here beyond a year because he’s not good enough”

    That might be the stupidest comment I’ve read on a blog.

  194. play nice peop’s is his opinion

  195. team news
    Coquelin – Miquel – Ayling – Evina
    Henderson – Eastmond – Frimpong
    Barazite – Sunu – Emmanuel-Thomas

    Subs: Dunn, Byles, Yennaris, Deacon, Freeman.

    guess that rules eastmond of a trip to algarve
    could song be fit????/

  196. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Constant unwarranted hatred is what it is, realsocialdad. He’s a miserable prick who’s only contributions here have to do with a soon to be 22 year old who’s consistently proven his worth to Arsenal outside of a couple bad games. He doesn’t criticize anyone else but Denilson. Weird isn’t it? He can f*ck right off as far as I’m concerned.

  197. if you ignore it will leave

  198. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You must be new to the blog.

  199. Radamel Falcao García, 19 goals in 25 games in all competitions, and more!!. we must be careful, he’s not only a great goalscorer, he’s a good pivot and very dangeorus in the air.

  200. There is so much buzz about the moronic 4th Spot for the CL via play-off. We need not worry though as we would dominate the league for years to come with these group of players. This is just an attempt to smuggle the 39th game in. Talk about greed and TV revenue

  201. With fans like these, we don’t need enemies. A couple of quotes with illustrate:

    Online Gooner (Giovanni Fontanella), 15/2/10: “…. a team of dwarves. Just point the attention on the dwarves themselves: they don’t always they give 100%, and can’t always compete, because they simply are not top level. I’m not talking about Cesc, Arshavin and Van Persie here, of course, but of the Diabys, Denilsons and Eboues we have.”

    Caught Offside (Brinsley Bailey), 15/2/10: “Wenger’s stubbornness, in sticking to a playing method and team selection that is clearly failing, is at the very least surprising.”

    By the way, Mr Bailey, like Mr. Fontanella, also went on an anti Denilson rant in his little piece of trash. Trash indeed because it was riddled with falsehoods (e.g. Arsenal defeated by Bolton) and half-truths designed to support his unsustainable thesis. Tells you that the vast majority of fans know very little about football, much less the talented footballers this club now has at its disposal. Arsene Wenger is right, totally ignore their ignorant frothing

  202. the 39th game wont happen for atleast 3 years cos of tv deals
    why do you bother reading the online gooner myles is a chelsea fan

  203. What position is ‘pivot’..or is it a manoeuvre or skill?

    ‘Right, son, you are marking him today. Stick close and if he tries to pivot stop him. If you can’t stop him pivoting then do the fucker, you hear me?’
    ‘ Awww look at that. They’ve scored. After all I said he’s let him pivot. I said don’t let him fucking pivot.’

  204. RSD – “Why bother reading the online gooner?”

    Why bother reading, period? That my man is the question.

  205. Training session.
    ‘Right everyone positions… remember attackers vs defenders.and no training injuries today lads. go careful on the defenders attackers aaaand go…peeep’
    ‘PEEEEEEP…wait, wait wait……what the fuck is that you were doing there, son’
    ‘Pivoting…where did you learn that, son’
    ‘HAHAHAHA…ballet he says….you some sort of fucking puff, son’
    ‘Right gentlemen let us start again. Any ballet manoeuvres and your off understand’

  206. i have it hidden on nn
    there are some blogs out there were plastic’s dont hide
    this one
    avenell rd

    As for reading why bother breathing;)

  207. I don’t think rebuilding strength and fitness in the first full season back after a horrific fracture can be counted as a tragedy, more like a miracle.

    The finish against Burnley in that avatar picture to your right had me tearing my eyes out, it was so sad.

    I heard that AW played Diaby at LM to help rebuild the strength in his leg. Probably just gossip.

  208. interesting tho on diaby on left

  209. I goal and Diaby is a strong player now ? I would say he’s had an average season with some highlights.

  210. average what would the bad points be then to bring down the highs
    0-1 to arsenal jet

  211. Big opportunity for Freeman, this. Glad to see he’s doing well.

  212. that lad freeman is turning into a brilliant little striker

    reminds me so much of gerd muller

  213. Thank you, Passenal. Nacer’s aim for this season was to make his Premier League debut. If it hadn’t been for his injury, I’m sure he would have made it by now, as the loss of RvP and Bendtner would have provided plenty of opportunities. There are still many matches left, and we are confident that he will achieve his aim.

  214. haven’t seen much to be honest
    but took goal well
    pitch is a mare

  215. nacer missed a sitter in first half but on second look nasty bobble

  216. I heard that too FP – Diaby said in an interview that he was played on the left to strengthen his left foot and I’ve seen him score a couple of crackers with it too.

    What, do you actually watch the team play? Diaby has scored 7 goals and made 4 assists despite a couple of injuries.

  217. “reminds me so much of gerd muller”

    Phew, that should take some pressure off his shoulders.

  218. i’m sure the lad reads this and values my opinion 😆

  219. Passenal,

    What’s the difference between vamos and vamanos. Wife wants to know.



  220. I thought ATVO were not showing live reserve games any more.

  221. It’s only live text Dupsffokcuf.

  222. They’re not Dupsffokcuf, but they are doing live test updates, which is how I’m following the game.

    Muppet, Vamos is the verb ‘to go’ vamanos means ‘lets go’

  223. Thanks Passenal & Muppet. I have been following the live text but it seemed from RSD’s comments that he was watching it.

  224. Another disallowed penalty for Arsenal.

  225. Even the reserves don’t get penalties these days!

  226. yeah it comes with broadband at me house
    hate to say it on chels tv

  227. nacer look like he will fit in rvp well
    he is “the pivot” 😉

  228. to be honest it pretty fair the commentary
    saying that he said the 1-2 is unfair
    we’ve been all over them
    looking bright for youngguns

  229. Barazite is 20 in may. Surely he is close to a regular squad place. Haven’t seen him play since Barnet 2 years ago, but he must be much improved since then.

    A very exciting prospect.

  230. got to say he was pretty much involved with everything good we did tonight and his movement was great off ball
    if he hadn’t been injured he prob would have been in first team already

  231. jet has been in the mix an’ll

  232. thats it the double over the pensioners.

  233. Arsenal reserves win 2 -1 well done boys!

  234. interesting eastmond didn’t play?

  235. Thanks Passenal.

    Does Gilberto Silva not belong in the ex-player AKB squad?

    Footballers who are AKBs:

    Charlie George
    Bob Wilson
    Thierry Henry
    David Seaman
    Liam Brady
    Steve Bould
    Gilles Grimandi
    Robert Pires
    Dennis Bergkamp
    Peter Beardsley
    Charlie Nicholas
    Kenny Sansom
    Patrick Vieira
    Paul Davies
    Pat Rice
    Nigel Winterburn


    Gilberto Silva?

  236. I agree again FP Gilberto’s in

  237. I agree with all of the above just as long as Gary Lineker is excluded; he can FRO and so can PZ

  238. thats good natt from me

  239. Very good, 1 Number10; but why should he be told to fuck right off? I’ve never heard anything bad about him as a person; and for someone who isn’t an Arsenal supporter, he gives Arsenal plenty of support.

  240. Vamos can be used as question as in let’s go. It can be used as we’re going. Vamonos is let’s go now.

  241. Cheers Gainsbourg69.

  242. so he and you can FRO right?

  243. http://www.goals.se/en/2010/02/10/highlights-arsenal-liverpool-1-0/ for the highlights against liverpool!

    there is also a competition to win a replica, see the website for more information. 😀 Oh to be a gooner

  244. 1 Number 10,
    I’ve already given you the “well-done” merited by your witty reduction of “fuck right off” to an acronym, but what is more interesting to me is why Lineker should be told to do so.

  245. lagooner is becoming a real fountain of info. Excellent post about how well the club is doing alround.

    Onus is on the first team though. At least 2nd place is what I expect from them this season, not that my expectation counts for anything.

  246. The premier league are trying to squeeze every penny out of the supporters and add to the already congested fixture list by introducing play offs for 4th spot. They are trying to take advantage of a competition that does not belong to them and turn it into a mini knock out competition, honestly money is driving people crazy these days. I thought your merit of a champions league spot is because of an entire season’s hard work instead they want to hand it to a mediocre team in a one off game. It is really a ridiculous idea. The 4th spot into the champions league proper is already contested through 2 play off games. I’d rather see it scraped completely than making a farce out of this 4th spot. the CL is full of mediocre teams that don’t even make it into the qualifying stages why add to it. The possibility of seeing Spurs or Birmingham in CL would be very off putting.

  247. hey 1lc

    i completely agree, just another way to make more profits

  248. very encouraging for orient fans:

    Interviewer:Where do you intend to take this club?

    Chairman: Nowhere.


  249. what’s up Zap? Anyone who gets that 4th spot will have a tortuous root to the group stages I the play offs will take place after the season ends and before the players recover they will find themselves doing another round of play offs to get to the group stages. I hope we don’t ever need to go through that but if it happens to us It will be terrible. Imagine playing Stoke in a play off game and getting beat by a Rory Delap throw. Its criminal.

  250. Nowhere? Ha ha ha, that is genius

  251. haha it was quite funny. i know it’s a really stupid idea i hope it doesnt happen

  252. Whats the news. is Song traveling at all? we need an away goal, considering the injuries a score draw would be a good result.

  253. i dont think song will play. btw did u see algeria 0-4 egypt? it was horrible

  254. I know, the score does not tell the whole story it was one of those games, it just did not work out for Algeria, partly the ref and partly they had themselves to blame, they should’ve kept their cool when they had a player sent off. Never mind you are going to the world cup and they are not.

    I thought Song has recoverd, Arshavin is out.

  255. i hope so (song and arshavin)

    and yeah hopefully we’ve learned..

    i have to say the goalkeeper was such an idiot headbutting the ref.

  256. Algeria can play they are quite powerful in the air, Belhaj is a good player he did really well for Portsmouth in the FA cup, lets hope they stay in business otherwise they will take away the points we earned against them

  257. reallY?!! oh crap so 6 points!!!!

  258. if they don’t survive, there is no other way they will have to take away all the points gained from Portsmouth games. But I think they will survive and i’m backing them to do well in the FA cup .

    I’m nodding off. looking forward to Wednesday. have a good night

  259. denilson like baby
    childish play from him
    y cannot he bcome like essien
    stronger n faster n da best shooter
    more like to gilberto
    didnt hve strong physical yet??
    even essien is same tall wif him bt y essien can compete to more taller n big physical.
    denilson jz think he is god enough
    my young brother is more better than him
    out denilson
    doesnt need for arsenal team

  260. I don’t care what anyone says, Arsenal is a marvel, a joyful, dynamic team set up and – on the whole – an ethical club, with strong principles against racism, for internationalism and the overall development of football. What a wonder.

    It is building an extraordinary (unprecedented in my experience, perhaps I am not aware of others) depth of players and talent.

    It already has a global acknowledgement, even from the diehard anti-Arsenal fear-mongers, as a team that will not be beaten at its best, and a style that every manager in the world admires.

    If that is not enough for 60,000 fans to sing, scream and shout LOUD every weekend, to the last breath and second of the game, no matter what, then I don’t know what is. As we are debating who ‘might’ leave and why, there is only one answer – the fans can all but keep any player, if they choose, by singing, and singing. How much is home support worth in points, I wonder? Minimum 3, maximum say 9 a season.
    Fans can just about ‘will’ Arsenal to win the EPL.

    But will they?

  261. As I cannot make matches, because I live 13,000 kms away from emirates, and a year’s savings to get to a match once per year, I am asking local fans please to do this for me – sing, scream, shout for 90 minutes non-stop, no matter what! I would do it for you, if I were in your position.


  262. I want the hairs on the back of my neck to rise – you know the feeling – just thinking about the atmosphere at Arsenal home games!

  263. Zimpaul sometimes I wish I was there too. You wouldn’t believe the shouting I do every time we play despite being thousands of miles away. There are also moments when i can’t even dare utter a word coz of magical moves which leave me open-mouthed with owe.

    If Arsenal stopped to exist I’d not watch football.

  264. We’re on our way…
    We’re ON OUR WAY!
    We’re on our Way…
    How we get there, we don’t know
    How we’ll get there, we don’t care
    All we know is

  265. One other area of concern for Wenger is the fitness of Thomas Vermaelen, who revealed yesterday that he is still playing through the pain barrier after injuring his right leg against Aston Villa last month.

    “It turned out I could play against Manchester United, but after that game I had some more problems so I went for another scan,” the Belgium defender said. “We could see then that there was a big bruise on the bone. It is painful, but that can be controlled with medicine and when it is not broken, you can’t do too much wrong. It is not a big problem to play, but it will take some time to go away.”

    Looks like Varmaelen isnt 100% fit.

  266. ZimPaul you’re a legend and an inspiration. I wish we had more fans like you in the stadium.

  267. So it wasnt just the fans who went through the pain barrier against the mancs n chavs.

  268. Big win for the Reserves last night. Nacer expressing his frustration at having to watch on as his friends make their prem and CL debuts – is a reminder of what’s great about our youth development system. How many other team’s players can refer to their teammates as their friends, first and foremost? These players have actually grown up together. It’s really rather wonderful.

    Also, Notts County rumoured to be after Giles Sunu on loan.

    Did anyone see JW play for Bolton last week, that could give me a little Jack report?

  269. careful Zimpaul, you carry on like this and you could take Franks place as the No1 Arsenal fan.

  270. Well, to be fair, no one will take Frank’s place Duke, and I defer to him. But in Zimbabwe, yes of course, I am Arsenal’s # 1. No question.

  271. From what I saw on Sky Limpar, Jack played very well.

    Confident. Sougth the ball. Started on the right and then went into the middle. Passed the ball into space that Bolton players didn’t always run into. very competitive. Robbed PV4 and wrestled him over.

    A pearl amongst swine although it seemed that some of the Bolton players enjoyed the change of style. Credit to Collye for a change in approach.

  272. Excellent. Thanks, Cb. With Bolton’s cup run stuck on repeat, and Jack cuptied, he should be getting some more starts in the next few prem games. Maybe as soon as tonight…

  273. Michael ‘The Beret’ must be up there with the leaders, for Number 1 fan.

  274. I would defer to Consols in addition. Along with the ACLF regulars and naturally Yogi.

  275. You being facetious, DG?

  276. Just watching the reserve highlights. JET was cracking – he could be absolutely unplayable in a couple of years. Great win against a strong Chelsea team.

  277. Just seen the 18 man group named for the porto trip and Gallas, Song, Almunia, Arsha are all out injured and eastmond is not included!
    It’s going to be a testing game my prediction for tomorrow’s team:

    Sagna Campbell Vermalen Clichy
    Denilson Diaby
    Nasri Bendtner Rosicky

    Eventhough I am diappointed we are missing Gallas it will be nice to see Campbell back in the champions league after playing his previous game in the final against Barca.

    Bendtner to have a cracking game as he seems to like scoring against the portuguese (I think he scored in both game in the Danish world cup qualifiers against Portugal).

  278. and Eduardo is also unavailable.

  279. I still dont think the Colombian Porto players have what it takes to beat Arsene…

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