Porto Preview: Injuries No Excuse? Neither Is Sloppiness.

Champions League football returns, the elongated Round of Sixteen especially stretched so that UEFA can milk as much television and sponsorship money as possible allow fans to see each of the games without having to split their TV screens…

Injuries have depleted the squad that travelled to Portugal but even so Wenger will be able to field a strong starting XI with options on the bench, albeit the forward line being a little limited in that respect.

Arsenal are favourites, a not unusual position, and judging by the comments attributed to the players in the media, Porto are not entirely sure of their chances, influenced no doubt by some indifferent domestic form.

Even so, they are the only team in the competition who has the chance to win four trophies in one season, which even if you factor in the relative strengths and weaknesses of domestic leagues, is nothing to be sniffed at.

An Arsenal win would be their first on Portuguese soil in a competitive match, a goal slightly less rare but not a common theme in the matches played against opposition from that side of the Iberian Peninsula.

Where the come from is the conundrum facing both teams. Porto’s main threat is Garcia although they Hulk available to them in spite of a domestic ban for six months for throwing his not inconsiderable weight around in what was quite literally, a clash with Benfica pre-Christmas.

Arsenal will be looking to midfielders, Bendtner the only recognised centre-forward to have travelled following Eduardo’s failure to recover in time. That is nothing unusual since the midfield has contributed more goals this season, combined, than the forward line. It is a reasonably healthy state of affairs since past seasons have shown that the central trio/quartet/quintet have been deficient in this aspect of their games. For all of the skills possessed, shooting was not a strong part of their game in an Arsenal shirt.

For Lukasz Fabianski, it is a big night. Unable to take advantage of Almunia’s absence earlier this season because of his own injury, he has been fitful in his cup appearances. Indecision apparent at Stoke in the opening minutes, excellent shot-stopping later on in the game. That is the pattern of his Arsenal career thus far, part of growing-up in public that we remember.

And I suspect, tonight, with a point to prove, he will produce an excellent performance in a noisy atmosphere. He is playing for an international place this summer so motivation will not be an issue; if he allies his abilities with concentration, those who believe  he will eventually lose out to Szczesny may yet be proved wrong. Perhaps Fabianski should ask Song or Diaby about using criticism to become stronger, they are after all, the resident experts on that.

William Gallas’ absence means Sol Campbell will come in, hopefully fully recovered, and ready to partner Vermaelen to keeping a clean sheet. Bacary Sagna should revert to right back but both he and Clichy will need to get forward to support a midfield that I suspect will be defensively-orientated. By that, it would be no surprise if Eboue occupied the right berth, not losing perhaps the overriding outcome in Arsene’s mind.

Whilst that would deny the attack some support, it would enable Cesc to play further forward, in a similar role to that he played in Villarreal last season. Alex Song’s absence will presumably mean a recall for Denilson, sharing defensive duties with Eboue and Diaby could give him more strength. Playing away from The Emirates, more confidence knowing that mutterings and murmurings coming from the home fans is a sign of a job being well done.

I suspect Nasri will get the nod over Rosicky in the final third, the midfield being more of a quintet rather than the usual variation on 4-3-3. Even so, it is an evening where concentration will be paramount. Slack tracking back, the undoing in recent big matches, will no doubt find itself equally punished. Pressing from the forward’s is as important as that of the midfield.

The line-up I expect Wenger to field is:

Fabianski; Sagna, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy; Eboue, Denilson, Diaby; Fabregas, Nasri; Bendtner

Defeat tonight is not the end of the world, provided an away goal is scored. The return leg in three weeks should see a number of the walking wounded back but it would be nice to be in a position of strength entering that match.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 17, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 706 Comments.

  1. Go gunners

  2. 1st 2wice?

  3. If denilson dnt dominate d midfield it wud drag cesc and diaby back. A draw wud do.

  4. Fucking defeat?

  5. Detotallyfuckingoutrageousunthinkablefeat?

  6. @Frank

    UnthinkableyetachieveablegiventhetotalunpredictableArsenal!

  7. A scoring loss?! A draw?! Hop on the ZP bus people.

    5-0

  8. A scoring loss?! A draw?! Hop on the ZP bus my friends. 5-0 and the going is good.

  9. Pro III,

    You is correct dog, a draw would do and you know its true, when denilsons busts the crab, a QF place we will grab and you know this partner

  10. Great article. I agree fully, we started this year a a hard working unit. Defeending from the front tracking back etc.

    Since RVP and Niki have been gone the front three just seam to wait for the ball moaning its to hard being that small. And the midfield seam to get over run from time to time.

    I really hope Niki can prove me right and come good.

    I’m sick of moaning gooners, saying x, y, and z are not goodenough.

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  11. @brdgunner damn right
    hoping for the start of
    “The Great Dane” ERA

    Marmaduke, Marmaduke
    lol

  12. rest cesc the sunderland game is more important.

  13. Why don’t you go and have a little rest yourself there, spitty…

  14. took the words out me mouth LimparAssist

  15. a score draw is the best we can hope for.Very worried about Fab especially from crosses.

  16. Fabianski has looked accomplished on crosses lately. He dealt with everything from Stoke, the only weakness was after 1 minute of the game, which perhaps is understandable.

  17. If we play at a high tempo, close the ball down, and still keep our defensive shape we will win this game.

  18. Marcus?

  19. Very worried about Fab especially from crosses???????????? Farkin ell. Slit your fucking wrists why don’t you. You want counselling…find a counsellor otherwise piss off, marcus.

    ….Arsenal,Arsenal,Arsenal…Arsenal…Arsenal…Arsenaaaaaal…Arsenal, Arsenal,Arsenal….Arsenal…ARSENAL

  20. Estádio do Dragão, that is what the portistas have called their stadium. They would have us believe that it means the stadium of dragons, but actually it is a reference to the supporters custom of going to games in drag.

  21. that would be lunch
    check back later
    always a pleasure

  22. There is nothing makeshift about the squad we are taking to Porto. Even with so many injuries we can still field an excellent first team side. We have so much more depth than we once had. What a fantastic squad.

    …Arsenal…

  23. Good to hear you in such determined form Frank. We have more than enough talent to beat the opposition today. With Denilson allowing Cesc, Diaby, Eboue, Nasri, Rosicky the freedom to play their attacking game we will have no trouble feeding the great dane.

  24. Well said Frank.

    Had Chelsea and Utd lost Drogba and Rooney as long as we have RVP I think we would be top.

    RVP is worth 6 points, and Drogba and Rooney are worht the same if not more.

    COME ON THE GUNNERS

  25. Frank its more of a second first team. I bet many teams would love for this to their starting line-up week in week out. We really have a deep squad. Wonder how Wenger would have handled the selection headache if everyone was fit most of the season.

  26. We are only missing 5 players who would start if they were fit – you need to deal with that.

    All we need is to ensure that we have a solid defensive performance so that we can find our passing as the game goes on.

    If we can keep a clean sheet for half an hour, we will go on and win by 2 or 3 goals.

  27. yet again wenger brilliance using the domestic cups too make the second string what they are today
    @1st lady

  28. i predict a nil nil.

  29. I dont think that’ll be the lineup tonight, I think Rosicky has to play.

    Did anyone watch the AC / Man u game last night? Anyone still want Huntelaar?

  30. sorry no smoletar on both

  31. Come on Arsenal!!! Hope we can put in a strong performance, a win or scored draw will do me nicely. my tip 0-2 to the Arsenal. Cesc and Bendtner to wear their scoring boots.

  32. Looking forward to tonight. Hoping for at least a score draw, maybe a win. Man U broke their duck against Milan last night, we can do the same against Porto.

    RSD, it’s true, AW has worked his magic with the domestic cups for years and now we are seeing the succulent fruits of his exploits. Shame we didnt have a longer run in either cup so that Vela, Eastmond, Fab etc could gain a little bit more experience…

  33. Huntelaar didnt fill me with excitement to be honest, but it seemed to me that Pato and Ron didnt want to pass to him… He was in good positions many times but just didnt get the ball. I feel sorry for him really as he had the same on-pitch treatment at Real.

  34. We have a good starting 11, with decent options still on the bench.

    There is no way we should be happy with anything less than a win going into the second leg. And I don’t for one moment think we will fail to get that.

    3-1 to us.

  35. Huntelaar is too slow for my liking anyway. At least Van Persie and Bendtner have got a little bit of pace.

  36. For the first time this season I am facing no game being televised except for the Man Utd game yesterday. Setanta are doing a German game today instead of the Arsenal game the buggers! Once more and I will cancel my subscription, the buggers.

    Any streams available other than the one I fish.

  37. myp2p.eu
    sopcast its the only way streaming is for losers

  38. I always use MyP2P – search in Google. you will have to download some software like Sopcast for it to work (there are instructions on the website).

    Once you have this, if you go to MyP2P, it will show all sports that are being streamed and will show the quality of signal – really good choices normally and you can ususally find english commentators too.

  39. The only top quality way to watch online i know of anyway! 🙂

  40. if you cant be there
    myp2p.eu
    got to love the dutch

  41. so you saw the game whats this about didi
    my highlight reel doesn’t show anything to bad apart from the old men at the back for ac. like statues!

  42. About Dida? The commentators were slating him but he didn’t seem that bad.. Fumbled a cross that he should have caught but that’s about it.

    Ron scored a deflected voley after 3 mins and AC were all over them in the first half (until scholes scored with his standing leg!!). Man U then looked like the better team and scored again shortly after half time. Man U looked like they were going to go on to win by 3 or 4 goals at this point – the Milan team had basically given up.

    Then they got a goal back from a lovely Seedorf backheel to make it 3-2 (but this was too late). AC finally jumped into gear again but there was only 5 mins left on the clock. If they had played like that for another 10 mins or so, it could have gone either way. Ended up 3-2.

  43. AC could have been 3 up within about 15 mins… Utd were very shakey at the back

  44. i saw that just typical scholes of late and utd how man in off’s r they gona get.
    Talk about OG utd

  45. We need to score that all important away goal. Denilson can score but he is a defensive liability. may Sol Campbel will cover up and mistakes Denilson makes. Fabainski needs to have a strong match in goal. A win would be great. A tie is good. A loss? I don’t wnat to think about it. Get the win and score a boat load of goals. Key- defense with campbell and Deniloson. Scring with Nasri and Bendtner. http://defutebol.net

  46. is denilson taking over the goat mantle
    come on he’s just come back from a back injury
    give the guy a chance
    saying that i still have ramsey in my team over him

  47. thought it was raining on the algarve
    Alves looks like leather
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11945_5955521,00.html

  48. Agreed RSD, I think Ramsey should be played as much as possible. Consistency will come with games… Denilson will start tonight though i think. He’s not a liability, that’s a bit harsh. He has slacked off a little of late but i think he’ll learn from his recent mistakes and step up again.

  49. Bendtner and diaby on the scoresheet in a 2-1 victory

    To all german speaking gooners check out my first blog post http://gooners-weekly.blogspot.com/

  50. i guessing so too AS
    but the crab was out injured over xmas wasn’t he haven’t double checked
    and back injuries arn’t easy to come back from
    i know
    so you can see why he was outpaced by Wazza
    maybe we should show dunga his stats so he can make the world cup;-)

  51. haha, i’m sure Dunga would love those.. He was a very similar player himself and knows the importance of being a player that does the industrious, unnoticed work in the midfield. As someone on here said recently, he is the link between the defence and cesc, a very important role…

    Imagine if Den turns into a player of Dunga’s ability! He’s certainly got the time to get to that level…

  52. now there’s a quote AS
    i think cesc really likes playing with Mr stats
    you can see they’re always talk to each other on pitch

  53. denilson came back in november he hasn’t just come back from injury.

    he is having a bad run of form, leave the injury excuses out of it.

  54. I think so too, Denilson seems to be one of the more popular players in the team. That’s what i love about the way the team is developing: they have all been growing up together and are becoming good friends as well as colleagues. Look at how Man U developed a team from very young (Neville, Beckham, Giggs etc) all grew together into what was possibly one of the best teams ever. I hate Man U so it pains me to say that. As long as we can keep the majority of players together, we’ll be a dominating force for years to come!

  55. who long do reckon till dunga chosse’s The crab over gilberto?

  56. It has been a poor few games for him but that’s it. He hasnt been playing badly for months. It was just the Man U game that got everyone on his back. He had come back well from injury until that point IMO.

  57. John, so the one time he just fell over during a match was in November and not like end of last year, huh?

  58. Don’t know RSD, prob at least a year i reckon. Gilbo Baggins is still highly regarded at international level, but saying Den has captained Brasil at every level so far so the international set up must like the look of him…

  59. @john double checking denilson played on 2 games over dec hull and villa and then didn’t come back till everton game.
    So he was in and out.

  60. John, try to at least ground your statements in some sort of reality.

  61. anyone flick over to lyon madrid game or was the mancs unmissable

  62. ok honestly it doesnt matter to me if denilson doesn’t get called up by dunga. of course maybe it will mean alot to him

    but for now, it is club over country.

    fabianski is a good keeper. an aggressive keeper who suits our game. he just hasnt got the chance to get a good run. maybe it will start from today.

    anyway, with him in goal, we have a higher chance of getting a clean sheet, because almunia kept one in the previous game, and so far, he hasnt been able to keep 2 clean sheets in a row.

    new keeper, new luck =)

  63. Mancs game was actually really good. I only saw the highlights of the Madrid Lyon game, Madrid didn’t look too special. Weak in defense as usual

  64. man u got away with it yesterday. i watched them and wondered how we could lose to such an incompetent team.

    milan shot themselves in the foot.

    they didnt get it right tactically. against sharper opposition, their midfield would have been overrun. pato, huntelaar ronaldinho upfront makes the team too imbalanced.

  65. @#7 a run in brazil team for denilson would do no end to his confidence
    look what it did to Capt FAB in spanish team respectivly

  66. No7,

    Rooney was the difference partner, he is the most dangerous striker on the planet at the moment and you know this, lets just pray he doesnt get injured or sleep with Emile Heskeys wife before the summer dog

  67. Arse Shavin

    Playing and growing together? How can foreign players picked all over globe grow and play together? Nerville, Beckham and Giggs really grew up together; speaking same language, same culture and coming through the academy. Emmanuel-Thomas, Gibbs, Eastmond, Watt, Bartley and the rest can develop that bonding not these overpaid average foreign players who have no bottle.

    Denilson for instance, has no quality to play for the club yet he’s being given tons of chances and blocking the development and growth of real Arsenal players like Eastmond.

  68. willy why dont you go revise your ladybird books over half term. like a good little boy,
    and leave the men to the real debate. DOG!

  69. Denilson will never play for Brazil. He’s crap. If Anderson and Lucas are both rated above him and play in the Brazilian national team at times, that tells a lot about Arsene’s judgement in bringing such a player here.

  70. Surely Marlon King is the most dangerous striker on the planet.

  71. We need at least a draw today. Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet and nick an away goal.

    I expect Cesc and Diaby to be awesome. Diaby to get a goal. I would love to see NB get a goal, but his finishing and the finishing of the front people we have available has not inspired great confidence. NB has good energy and great link up play. Hopefully he will learn to finish in the next 3 years. It took TH until age 24 – 25 to figure it out. Drogba even later. NB needs more time but we do not have that luxury now.

    Denilson needs to be steady. No howlers today. Hurry and get well Alex Song. Hopefully Sol will stay at home, dominate the airspace in the box and organize the troops in the back.

    I think Fabianski will eliminate the occasional mistakes he makes and have a monster game and go on to become a superb #1.

    Arsenal 2 Porto 0.

    Go Gunners.

    Go Gunners.

  72. realsocialdad,

    Listen up pops, I know your blog is pony but thats no need to stir up beef with me partner. I aint said jack to you yet your coming at me like a big fat spider monkey. You maybe trying to steal Yogi’s clients like StringvestHawk but you need to know your role, and shut your mouth G and you know this.

    Portos balls will played with, then stamped on by Thomas ‘Kerplunk’ Vermaelen and you know this dogs !!!!

  73. Maturks:

    so they havent been developing at the club for the last 5 or so years? They are approaching or in their early 20’s – so yes they have been playing and growing together.

    You’re talking about them as if they were at their peak (late 20s).

    The younger 2nd string players you have listed aren’t good enough to play at the top level yet. That’s what the domestic cups are for (from Arsenal’s perspective), giving them the experience of competative games against some strong opposition. We wouldnt be in with a chance of winning the title if they were playing ahead of those ‘overpaid average foreigners’.

  74. I think what goes against Denilson is his lack of destroying abilities in a physical sense. They want to compact, strong, tall and his methodical thinking is not that much of a want as Dunga thinks that can be compensated by the side’s organisation.

  75. Are you a direct descendant of Enoch Powell, Maturks? Or has the family bloodline been muddied over the years…

  76. limpar,realsocialdad..

    everton was 8 games ago

    from november to december denilson was not in the team for the burnley and portsmouth games and has played or been on the bench in all other games apart from city in the carling cup, our last away champions league game and westham away in the f.a cup.

    limpar that is the reality, I think he has had a poor run of form.

    I would say

  77. hahaha Limpar!

  78. willy dont give a shit if anyone reads my blog or not
    it aint for anyone else its for me.
    And the reason i rattled your cage was to nip you in the bud. so we dont have to read your dribble
    if you want actually discuss things then do it
    but if you want act like a gangster go play you PS3!

  79. @john
    if you cant be bother to look through the match report dont make me do it for you. denilson went down injured in everton game and then didn’t feature till villa. and played again gainst manu
    i didn’t know to games = a run of bad form

  80. difference my big fat hula william! I was badly pby Dida. he was caught flat footed three times. the worst was the first goal. It looked like it trickled in. Its like he was in two minds, “do i jump and reach for it or run to get to it? The third one he just watched as it went in. From now on I promise not to judge any of our keepers too harshly. Please hold me to it in the future.

    Milan had numerous chances especially in the first half which they spawned. Huntelaar didnt impress me either. It was good to see that Ronadino is getting his groove back.

    VDS was the man of the match he pulled some pretty nice saves although if the trajectory of some of the balls had gone the right way milan would have scored more goals. valencia the super sub.
    Manu winning makes me feel as bad as us losing. I hate them s*ckers!!

    Anyway looking forward to tonight.3-1 to the ARSENAL. Bendter is due a goal, Fabrigas’ and a Denilson cracker.

  81. realsocialdad,

    Dont backtrack partner, you have disrespected me and my family and you know this. Leave my cage alone, its been rattled enough, stop touching it or I shall report you. Your blog is poor, sort it out and stop bullying people on the internet G. Please keep your comments football related, dont make me bust a cap.

    Porto’s face will be rubbed in the arm pit of the Arsenal and you know this !!!!

  82. He let go Palacious and rather kept Denilson? Very interesting indeed.

  83. realsocialdad,

    played hull home
    played villa home
    missed pompey away
    played everton home
    missed bolton away
    played bolton home
    played stoke away
    played villa away
    played utd home
    bench chelsea away didn’t get on (form)
    bench pool home didn’t get on (form)

    (form) = my opinion

  84. No7

    ManU are not a great team on paper this yr but they still win. That is a testament to thier manager. He knows how to win big games. He does not get rid of experienced players when by only offering 1 yr contracts when they hit the magic age of 30. I hope our team figures that out. We have been blaming inexperience now for 5 yrs. AW indicated that Chelsea had the advantage because their players are 29 compared to our players age 23. I hope none of us are prepared to wait another 6 yrs until our players reach 29 and figure out how to win against quality opposition in the big games.

  85. Oh dear.

    It’s hallucinating about the S*ds now.

    You should never have attempted to have a sane adult conversation about Denny.

    It’s like walking onto the set of Resident Evil drenched on blood.

  86. ‘drenched in blood’

  87. so potentially, denilson could of played 9/11 of these games a couple of knocks would be more suitable for analysis..

  88. Firstlady, fair enough about Dida for the first goal but i dont think he could have done much about the 2nd or 3rd, was completely taken by surprise.
    Totally agree about criticising our keepers, he’s been their keeper for how many years now and has never been the most solid… We were very lucky in the old days to have Lord Dave etc and we’re back to the caviar/sausages scenario!!

  89. lol finsburyparker

  90. Was not Dunga the ‘Water Carrier’ & Mauro Silvo ‘The Destroyer’ in his Brazil team?

    Brazilian teams over the last twenty years have been full of Chunky Lads, but they have also, consistently had ‘Smaller’ players in their team.

    Mauro Silva was only 5’9, not the heaviest either. Couldn’t find any stats for Dunga in ’92.

  91. That’s what i thought FP… Dunga played a very similar role to Den

  92. Denilson will be fine tonight. He`ll appreciate playing away from home.

  93. I stand corrected john me eyes must be playing up.
    but still form is temporary as the saying goes

  94. Dunga was the least skillfull Brazilian of all time untill Lucas come along and knocked him off his perch

  95. Didier Deschamps. Another role model for PND.

    Really looking forward to tonight. Come on you lovely lads in red and white. (Or blue away kit.) Anyway, COYG!!!!

  96. Realsocialdad I am still waiting for my apology partner

  97. FunGunner where is Maria? As Maid of Honour I expect you to know her whereabouts at all times, and report back to me if you see any funny business going on

  98. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What’s with all these Le Groan drifters over here nowadays? Get off Denilson’s back, you arsewipes were spouting the same crap about Diaby and Song and look where that got you.

  99. All I know is that Joe Montana was not a real sportsman, any fool could do what he did, wouldnt you agree Nasir-Lady-GaGa-Jones-Nasri

  100. Kaka, Dudu, Pepe, Dunga – I know what needs to be done.

    Denilson needs to become Dungnilson to get the credit he deserves.

    Incidentally, Lucas was a really good player before he joined Liverpool. It’s the same situation as with Anderson at ManU; he’s a very creative attacking midfielder being forced to clog it out in pitched battles on the halfway line. It’s a shame really.

  101. martuks or whatever your name is SOD off you sorry cretin. Sometimes I wonder if your likes just talk to rile us off!!

  102. fair play realsocialdad.

  103. off!-up!

  104. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    F*ck off Maturks, you f*cking dinosaur. You should really try getting up to speed with reality.

  105. dungnilson quality
    how many names does this guy have now?
    Mr stats
    the crab

  106. LOL, Palacios is awful.

  107. F. Frederick Skitty

    LimparAssist at 3:12 pm

    Priceless! I’m still chuckling….

  108. Realsocialdad, I’ve decided to forgive you dog, I love you, your dog and your blog, I really enjoyed the video clips, seriously partner.

    Tell me, why do they call Denilson the Crab?

  109. N-J-N

    Denilson does not deserve the flack he is getting. The fans of every sports team in history will try to pick a scape goat or 2. Right now it is Denilson and Almunia. It used to be Diaby and Song. For all of their sheep like behavior the fans generally do recognize when a player is really adding significant value to the team they just like with Song and Diaby. If Denilson plays well on a regular basis the fans will come around.

  110. No stats on Dunga, but at random I chose some dude called:

    Claude Makélélé Sinda.
    5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
    Couldn’t find weight (Age 36). Not the heaviest.

    1992–1997 Nantes
    1997–1998 Marseille 32
    1998–2000 Celta Vigo 70
    2000–2003 Real Madrid

    Was 18 in ’91, approximately Denilson’s age, a little older, when he signed for Marseille.

    Denílson Pereira Neves,
    5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
    Couldn’t find weight (Age 21/22ish). Not the heaviest.

  111. Doh! CM played 169 times for Nantes.

  112. @ Bill

    He also said that our relatively young players dominated Chelsea, and being younger meant they learnt more quickly and improved month on month. We are young, but you can’t say we are inexperienced any more. Couple of kids yes, but the core of the team is not callow.

    Also the magic age is 32, not 30. It’s based on good sense – you get diminishing returns in terms of performances from the over-32s, but their salaries stay the same. And mostly you HAVE to play them at the expense of the younger ones, not just to get value for the wages, but because some older players can find it harder to maintain their levels unless they play all the time, rather than just filling in now and again. Gilberto is a good example of this. (Campbell doesn’t have that problem, clearly.) You could also argue that the player should be prepared to prove himself (physically) each year. After 5-10 years of earning top dollar, there shouldn’t really be a financial security issue. So there are good arguments in favour of Wenger’s policy as well as the disadvantages.

  113. Not that I’m implying that Denilson will be as well known a player as Old Claude.

    But he is taller, and will be a little heavier (probably).

  114. Fungunner thats a great post homegirl, shit like that is why you is the Maid of Honour and you know this

  115. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Lay off the rock, Will. That shit will make your teeth fall out son.

  116. You know this

  117. F. Frederick Skitty

    I was wondering how tall Denilson was, 5′ 11 surprises me. I think he is a great (not so) little player and will come good with patience and encouragement.

    I do however get frustrated at times with his lack of physicality, or his apparent reluctance to use his decent physique – when necessary.

    I wonder who is next for the scape-goating? RVP when he comes back and doesn’t score a hat-trick straight away?

    I hope Bendtner can score tonight to stop the groundswell of howls of derision that our supporters seem so keen on. I think he just needs a quick goal to calm his nerves and he will go from strength to strength and develop into a truly devastating striker.

    I remember a few years ago when he was just starting to get games, his finishing was as good as anybody’s – actually it was his stand-out attribute. If he can just relax a little he will become one of our most potent weapons.

  118. Speaking of players being a bit heavier, Finsburyp, brings to mind the work Diaby did over the summer. There was a lot of speculation about what exactly he had been working on, but we can see the results now, in improvements to his balance and strength.

  119. What is it with Arsenal and Portugal, is there some kind of magical spell put on us not to ever taste victory, only draws and defeats???? Well tonight that stops, cause I’m gonna do something I have never, ever done before and that is to predict a victory for the boys in Red, and in Red I mean the ARSENAL!!!! I will not post a score cause I truly don’t have a clue as to what it could be, but I will state that it will be a 1 goal margain of victory, again in flavor of Arsenal… I like the lineups you gave although I would rather see Ramsey in for Denilson, I get a bit worried when he’s on the ball; and I know ppl will state that Ramsey doesn’t have enough time in big matches, but I say how do you get that time other than play in the big matches….. Anyhoo up the Arsenal!!!

  120. William, do you ever get the urge to talk seriously? I know it’s a big step but it might be worth a try… Peace out rudeboy

  121. Not too sure about the music, but this deserves another link. At one point in the game I think Diaby popped up at CB. The splits looked painful, but fortunately he was OK!
    He just looked like he was having fun and enjoyed himself.

  122. Frankly I am rather comfortable with Denilson on the ball than Ramsey. The latter sometimes tries some “Fabrigaskys” moves which end up not working and he loses the ball making us vulnerable. Us being the away team, and Song being absent and having Diaby and Fab play, Neves is the next best player for the 3rd slot.

  123. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Who calls Denilson Mr. Stats or The Crab, realsocialdad? Is that Le Moan slang?

  124. who is A.H socio?

    I read the article. i must say I don’t know any gay footballers but it would be fair if they were able to come out without ridicule from fans and their peers.

  125. that is true 1st lady denilson postional play first rate
    but sometime you wish he could be a bit more diaby like and be everywhere

  126. Can the game start already!!

  127. What is this new fascination with gay footballers??
    Jeeeezzzzzzzz the meja really will stir any pot.

  128. lets kick some ass, come on you reds

  129. wouldn’t know what goes on at le grove
    thats been hidden on nn for a long time

  130. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Agreed, Firstlady. Ramsey isn’t anywhere near as decisive with the ball as Denilson. Denilson’s much more comfortable on the ball than Ramsey, with much better vision, too.

  131. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Where did you come up with those terms, realsocialdad. Sounds like some half wit doomer bullshit.

  132. Fun Gunner:

    From a business standpoint the age policy is great. I love this team and I want it to be financially sound, but we have developed an alarming habit of losing games against quality opponents Either we lay a real stinker (ManU in CL semi) or we are “the better side” (United early this year and “dominating Chelsea” in the last game) and still lose.

    I do not know why this happens or what the answer is. I just want to see the boss fix the problem. Either the players are not good enough or the tactics are not sound, there are no other possible answers. No other successful team that I know of has ever had an age policy like ours. Giggs and Scoles probably might not be with United if they were disrespected by telling them they could only have 1 yr contracts. I do not think that is the only reason we lose to United and Chelsea but it can not be helping.

  133. Anyone who wants Ramsey to start tongiht obviously haven’t been watching AFC over the last few seasons.
    The players are being brought through relative to age & experience.

    So, for example with the forwards. NB52 is a year older then Theo, with one years more experience in the first team, and seems to therefore play more then Theo. Likewise Theo in relation to Vela, etc.

    There are lots of reasons for that, one is principal, rewarding players’ efforts.

    I don’t think a PHD in Quantum cryptography is required in order to work that out.
    Some people, are using a twisted logic to try and compare Diaby & Denilson.
    But when you take into consideration Diaby’s injuries, he’s two years older and more experienced then Denilson.

  134. Whatever the line up,

    COYG!

  135. FP not trying to compare denilson and diaby
    just with cesc and song names being on the sheet for the first team you have to make a choice between the two.

  136. Wasn’t referring to you RSD,

    But why it a choice?

    There are approx. 60 games in a season.

  137. Like I said, it doesn’t matter to me, I’ll support whoever plays.

    I do find the the need to debate this ‘subject’ oddl.
    As said above, from one perspective, Diaby and Song are the senoir players in relation to Denilson.
    Therefore, I don’t understand the ‘debate’.

  138. yes horses for courses
    of course 😉 fg.

  139. Typo: But why it a choice?

    >

    But why is it a choice

  140. Cool RSD,

    enjoy the match!

  141. ….Arsenal… ….Arsenal…. ….ARsenal…. …ARSEnal…. ARSENAL…. ….Arsenal…. …..Arsenal….. …..ARSENAL…. ….aRSENAL… …..AResenal…. Arsenal…. …..Arsenal…. …..Arsenal….

  142. We are Arsenal.
    COME ON ARSENAL

    ARSENAL ARSENAL Arsena;………..

  143. …Arsenal… …>Arsenal…. …..Arsenal….

  144. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Happy belated birthday to Arsenal’s bobble headed Brazilian Denilson:

  145. FP, NJN,

    Denilson and Ramsey are both technically brilliant footballers. Denilson is the more developed, and the more experienced player of the two. So as you say, FP, of course he starts tonight – he is the senior player. More than anything though, selection is dictated by the fact they play completely different roles.

    NJN, it’s difficult to argue the two are as far apart as you suggest, in terms of comfort on the ball, decisiveness, and vision. I don’t think there’s as much in it as you seem to, just the way I see it.

    Denilson’s talents are weighted toward defence, and vice versa with Ramsey. Denilson for example is one of the best readers of a pass I have seen, and with a timely intercept is seemingly always ending an oppositon move and letting loose an Arsenal one. This is of course absolutely invaluable and how anti-Deni types choose to ignore it… well it reveals a limited understanding of football. Denilson’s also brilliant at keeping an attacking move ticking over. He’s a great all-rounder. On the other hand though, Aaron Ramsey’s talents are weighted toward attack. He is perhaps the more intuitively creative of the two, in and around the box.

    Overrall, on balance, right now; Denilson adds more to the side going forward than Ramsey can add to the side in defence. In terms of an all round midfielder – Denilson offers more.

    It’s great for Wenger, and for Denilson, and for all of us (!) to have someone as good as Ramsey knocking on the door though.

  146. will be intresting to see who will become the better player between denilson & ramsey

  147. Arsenal at their best makes me feel like this:

  148. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I don’t agree with your assessment that Ramsey is the more intuitively creative player. He’s definitely more attack minded, but as far as picking a pass and executing a pass, Ramsey isn’t anywhere near Denilson’s caliber, imo. Denilson grew up playing our style in the Sao Paolo academy, Ramsey wasn’t so fortunate. I think Ramsey gets a pass on certain issues because of his origin and skin color. But hey, that’s life right.

  149. I liked your Johnny Cash one too realsocialdad 🙂

  150. my old man said be a tottenham fan…

  151. quality
    i have to pass this on if you dont mind

  152. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Funny stuff, Dupsffokcuf. That bit where they ask Fat Frank about Michael Ballack’s house was hilarious.

  153. Gerrard taking another dive.

  154. @ Bill

    I think the over-32s policy makes developmental and football sense as well! Everybody has to prove himself and work for his place, no matter how senior. It means the team is a meritocracy and also, it’s staying true to the youth policy.

    ..we have developed an alarming habit of losing games against quality opponents. Either we lay a real stinker (ManU in CL semi) or we are “the better side” (United early this year and “dominating Chelsea” in the last game) and still lose. I do not know why this happens or what the answer is.

    Then why blame it on lack of experienced personnel? Gallas is no stripling, but he went gaily gallivanting upfield and got caught on the counterattack just like everyone else. I think it’s at least partly the way we play – against big teams, we can’t afford NOT to do all the things we were doing at the start of the season – pressing when we don’t have possession, being patient, etc.

    I just want to see the boss fix the problem. Either the players are not good enough or the tactics are not sound, there are no other possible answers.
    I can think of another possibility – that the players have gradually stopped doing what they were doing before.

    No other successful team that I know of has ever had an age policy like ours.
    But how many managers have tried such a policy while having youngsters as talented as ours to step up? I think that’s the key. Plus we have to recognise that the financial reality of moving to the stadium demanded Wenger pay keen attention to value for money per player – although that time is pretty much behind us now.

    Giggs and Scoles probably might not be with United if they were disrespected by telling them they could only have 1 yr contracts.

    True, they might not, but if they think it is disrespectful, they need to get over themselves. The team and the club comes first. They should be prepared to prove themselves. And if they love the club that made them, staying on to fill in when required is a fitting way to say thank you. If 1-year contracts were good enough for Dennis…

    I’m not denying the value of experience or of mentors, but experience is easier to come by than talent – so if you have to choose, go for talent.

  155. I’ve got to say, I don’t see what origin or skin colour has to do with anything, but still, time to sit back and enjoy. ARSENAL

  156. Double Double Double
    Sol Campbell has won the double

  157. Thanks for the response LA,

    I can certainly see Diaby, Song, Denilson, Ramsey & Merida and friends being a part of the same squad.

    A great squad!

    When people say that they don’t think Denilson will survive in this squad, I think it reveals the poverty of their imagination & ambition in comparison to the club’s manager.

  158. 1-1 will be the result tonight.

    That would be a good result against a decent team, but we need that away goal.

  159. any score draw would do

  160. William,

    yes, rooney is a fantastic player. no doubt about that.

    unfortunately, i am not english, so i dun give a damn about whether he will make it to the world cup or not.

    lets just say i wun be the saddest man in the world if he gets injured like van persie.

    lets see how man u copes if they lose him.

  161. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You honestly couldn’t see how someone from the UK would get preferential treatment from supporters who for the most part reside in the UK, LA?

  162. LimparAssist at 6:29 pm

    Great post! Agree with everything there

  163. the lady beside fat frank is hot.

    life sucks.

  164. Excellent post, Fun.

    Hand crimped pasty and two pints of cider on board.

    After that, I expect a comfortable win. Interesting that Yogi picked Eboue in his side. I can’t remember many others doing that this season. The ‘forgotten’ man.

  165. Just back from the Emirates… was lucky enough to get an invite to ask Tony Adams a question for a new ATVO show… an audience with

    WOW – an afternoon all those who attended will never forget.. and an afternoon full of startlingly honest and expansive chat from TA6

    i assure you, a lot of what he spoke will not make the final edit!!

    i am still gobsmacked with the underlying anti arsene stance he took

    going to settle down and watch the porto game.. but i will put up a full report of this afternoon on my blog later tonight.

    amazed with some of the stuff Big tone came out with… he certainly loves the club.. but he has 100% lost faith in wenger!!

    FACT!!!

  166. Anyone else think Hulk resembles Denilson?

  167. @ consolsbob

    ooh, hand-crimped, you authentic countryman you!

  168. Oh, I see. Well I wasn’t really talking about what other supporters think, so much as what (I think!) each player brings to the Arsenal.

    Also, as far as I have seen, being Welsh rarely counts for preferential treatment at football grounds – in fact, oftentimes quite the opposite.

  169. dups…
    HA HA HA HA!
    Hilarious

  170. Fun Gunner:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am not a WG fan. His bombing runs forward cost us goals.

    I understand the whole over 32 policy and it makes good business sense in some ways. My real concern is it is another manifestation of our entire organization becoming far too dogmatic in the way it approaches everything. Obviously we can not spend like Chelsea but I think we have gone overboard in our frugality to the point that it is hurting our chances of winning. Best example is how thin we played this yr at CB. Injury to WG or TV could have killed our season. With WG out of contract having a new CB now provides injury cover but would also prevent us from having to start a brand new CB pairing next yr. We made a ton of money in this summer transfer season and clearly could have afforded another CB even if we might have had to “overpay” just a little. Taking that type of risk with our season was unneeded and raises concern about having taken a good thing (financial frugality) too far.

  171. comeon ya gunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnersss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  172. dont you think johan would be ablle to step up then bill?

  173. wow, i am watching the stream from al jazeera tv. i think it is maybe sky sports or something.

    it is in english.

    and one of the pundits, sorry i dun recognise him, actually said that he thinks arsenal could become the strongest of the strong in the years to come because of the foundation we have laid down.

    WOW. i should go buy the lottery. since when the change in tack???

  174. There is a danger of being over-dogmatic, but exceptions are made occasionally. AA was an exception – smashing the transfer record. Campbell was an exception to the policy of not re-signing old players…
    Not as dogmatic as you might think, maybe?

    Also not buying any player if you can’t find the one you want isn’t JUST about the money. And Song is a CB as well, remember.

    Anyway…we’re off!

  175. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Gotcha. And well played on the last bit, LA. Time to enjoy the show!

  176. Bill – that was for you!

  177. This is a great pace for the game to be played at. Surprisingly open when the away goal rules!

  178. One other thing…we’re going to be a danger with Bendtner, Sol, TV and Diaby at set pieces against a dodgy keeper.

  179. Oh bollocks. Still, early days.

  180. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That’s absolutely frightening.

  181. means fuck all

    we still need the away goal

    carry on lads.

  182. to lose 2-1 would be fine

    to lose 1-0 would be fucked up

  183. Is there something like confidence in bottles? Fabianski needs to drink some. He has got the ability…but without the confidence that means nothing.

  184. diaby you monster… what a fucking player

  185. When is Wenger going to realize that he has 2 useless goalkeepers in Almunia & Fabiansky.
    You can’t win anything unless you have a top-class keeper. Mannone showed promise, but he’s not ready yet …… You can play the best football, but if your goalkeeper is suspect …..

  186. poor fabianski.

    We will score tonight though….just a matter of time.

  187. fabinski is not usleless, i assure you

    he has just totally lost his confidence… it can come back very quickly

    he needs one or two good saves and he will be ok

  188. fuck me fucking sol fucking campbell

  189. Just like that, excellent header back across the goal!!!!!!

  190. Sol Sol Sol Sol

  191. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Big Sol!!!!

  192. Sol – he just can’t stop scoring in the Champions League

  193. We look dominant so far!

  194. Sollllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  195. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!

  196. So Campbell can’t stop scoring in the Champions League!! 2 in his last 2 CL games!

  197. I just can’t remember any game that Fabiansky has played, where he hasn’t done at least one shaky/suspect thing during the match.

  198. gavin

    league cup v newcastle

    best arsenal keeper performance i have seen in my LIFE

  199. Fun gunner:

    Go Sol Campbell. Lets get some more and come home ahead.

  200. i’m liking that EF

    Double double double
    sol has won the double
    And the c##ts from the lane
    Have won f##k all again
    As Sol has won the double

  201. Well done Sagna. they are FAST these Porto players!

  202. great tackle Sagna!

  203. nasris playing a blinder

  204. Good take Fabianski

  205. Earlier I predicted that Fabianski would have a “monster game” and become our unquestioned #1. OUCH

  206. I wish i wasn’t at work. Sounds like a good game!!

  207. bill – since the mistake fabinski has been sound.

    stick with him, he is a top notch keeper.

  208. he is making up for it bill

  209. I am at work here in the US. I hope you are right about Fabianski. I have always liked the way he plays. I hope he does well. He seems to be prone to that 1 big error per game. That needs to stop.

  210. Has Hulk turned green yet?

  211. denilson much better so far

  212. Denilson is having a pretty good game…

  213. Fun gunner:

    Regarding your comment at 7:46. AA and Sol could both be looked as motivated by some degree of desperation. AA would probably not happen if our lucrative CL spot was not in mortal danger. Sol was cheap. I wish we were just as motivated to move from 3rd or 4th to first place as we were to save our CL spot. A little desperation might be all that is needed to put some more hardware in the trophy case before we die.

  214. Oh my, Porto learned some lessons from Bolton like kicking our players of the ball.

  215. Cool game so far.

    I like us without Arshavin.

  216. @ Bill

    So what if the motivation was desperation? The point is that in both cases, the policy was departed from when the case was sufficiently pressing. If the policy was ideologically motivated, it would never have been departed from under any circumstances. Arsene has principles, but he is a pragmatist when the case demands it.

  217. Good point, Big Al. Very good point.

    Excellent game.

    My pasties are always hand crimped Fun. What other sort could there be?

  218. The ref should send off one of those Porto players – teach them to kick Fabulous.

  219. “Denilson is having a pretty good game…”

    What about his own goal???!!!!

  220. We look ok without Arsh but he’d be loving the amount of space in their half, Rosicky looks surprised by how much room he’s got every time he gets the ball. That own goal was harsh, it bounced on the edge of the 6 yard box before it came to Fab. Also it’s totally taken the emphasis off the fact that Clichy got totally skinned yet again down that right side, he’s still a little off the pace post-injury.

  221. both sides are giving as good as they are getting..very open..no predictions!! i’ll take a 1-1 or 2-2 !! a win looks tough but i think we’ll be better in the 2nd half , so its very much on!!

  222. Warren Barton on Fox hates Arsenal. He’s a c**t

  223. @ cbob

    ha ha
    Wouldn’t expect anything less!

  224. The Porto player kind of miskicked his cross, so it was a bit unlucky – but still a howler. He’s recovered well though.

  225. warren barton – another fuckwit georgie graham turned down in the early 90s

  226. Tony Adams losing faith in Arsene, Stringfellow? Well, if I recall, TA hasn’t exactly covered himself in managerial glory. He also has been resentfull for years. If I recall, he didn’t even show up for the Highbury send-off, and that was when we were at our peak.

    2nd half started. Still holding to my 1-1 prediction but I’ll take 2-2.

  227. Niklas, that was awful!!!!!! ha ha ha

  228. lagooner – he definately gave a hint of feeling left out by arsene

    made comments about arsene never letting newcomers break into his coaching set up

    made some real snidey remarks about “being a winner” but arsenes team play good football

    unreal afternoon, will write up as much as i can recall after the match.

    came out with some real funny stories aswell….

  229. Thats a penalty!! what the hell!!!

    The Eduardo Curse!!

  230. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Robbed of another penalty.

  231. IF TOM DIVED THEN BOOK HIM! But he clearly didn’t so why didn’t we get a pen? Sick of this.

  232. stonewaller

  233. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    WTF is going on right now!!!!!!

  234. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    OMG that was a ridiculous series of events. What a joke.

  235. AAAAARARRRRRGGGHHH!!! WHAT THE FUCK???!!!

  236. THE REF WAS STOOD IN FRONT OF SOL, HOW COULD HE HAVE STOPPED IT?! This is a joke.

  237. Stringfellow : As I was saying about Fabianski … even a goalkeeper from League One would be better at this point …..:(

  238. campbell shouldve kicked the ball out innit?

  239. twilight zone

  240. Fun Gunner:

    I hope your right and he decides winning the league is important enough to do what it takes even if against his principles. We are so close.

    I predict, Diaby gets a second goal in the 78th minute and we win 2 – 1.

  241. Wow, getting robbed of a penalty and then this weird decision. I think we can safely say the ref scored the 2:1

  242. I don’t believe that!

  243. gavin – nobody is denying the lad is having a crisis in confidence

    does not make him a bad keeper.

  244. THE REF WAS STOOD RIGHT IN FRONT OF SOL BLOCKING HIM FROM THE BALL. He literally couldn’t do anything about them taking it quickly, this is ridiculous.

  245. You dont put the goalie under that type of pressure though.
    That was comical!

  246. Sol and fab you mugs!

    Porto have every right to take that quick!

    C’mon boys pick it up again!

  247. Bummer:

    Diaby still scores in the 78th minute and we come home tied 2 – 2

  248. Why do things like this never happen to manure ??

  249. I’m worried about Nasri, he’s gonna snap soon and he’s a nasty little bastard when he’s wound up.

  250. Did you watch foster?

  251. who’s the wanker in the yellow.

    this non pen list is getting fukin huge.

  252. Porto haven’t conceded more than 1 goal at home in the last 18 european matches.

  253. DukeGoonem: The wanker in yellow is actually Porto’s most dangerous player on the field.

  254. Gavin,

    Ive just said exactly the same thing to my mate……..

    things like that only ever happen to us!

  255. those things happen to united….just the other way

  256. denilson and fabregas are being consistantley fouled

  257. lookin at that goal again, the ref asked for the ball and gave it to Porto. That cannot be right, can it?

  258. just imagine how different this season would have been with RVP …. stupid international friendlies !

  259. Bendter is a great “holder-upper” and “layer-offer”, but his no striker.

  260. Gavin and Remi:

    THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.

  261. What’s all this mourning for? We’re in a strong position here.

  262. Oneofus : What’s so strong ?
    At Emirates, we need to win 1-0, 3-1 or 4-2
    How can that be easy ?

  263. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    “And I suspect, tonight, with a point to prove, he will produce an excellent performance in a noisy atmosphere”

    U were very wrong there,matey….Fabianski looks like a lost kid on tour ,marooned on an portuguese island…..Such freakish mistakes for a goalkeeper in the EPL.

    PLEASE DON’T EMBARRASS THE PREMIERSHIP AND LONDON WITH THAT TYPE OF PLAY.I ACTUALLY WANT YOU GUYS TO GO THROUGH SO DROGBA CAN TRASH HIS FAVOURITE BITCHES AGAIN…LOL

  264. i think 2-0 will do it Gavin…

  265. So er…Dave’s back then.

  266. lagooner : If they score 1, we have to score 3.
    If they score 2, we have to score 4 !

  267. At home? Easy.

  268. REAL-ENGLISH MAN

    Vince,l’m back……u guys banned my last profile,yh…..Scared of the truth….or free speech or something,….
    The internet is not 16th century England
    GET WITH THE TIMES,BOYS

  269. Two of the worst goalkeeping errors you will ever see at this level.
    A park keeper would have been ashamed !

  270. So how come we have so many low confidence players ? Fabianski, Walcott, Eduardo … to name 3.

  271. Freedom of speach, ha ha! no one is stoping you from saying what you want to but this is not your blog is it?

    If someone doesnt want you around why would you come back? this is a type of stalking.

  272. A Draw atleast but even if we win I will be very very upset.

  273. Veteran : We need a Brad Friedel or Van der Sar .. Even Lehmann went 49 games undefeated.

  274. the big worry is that cesc will get fed-up and up it to Barca.

  275. We have been kicked off the ball the whole night but suddenly all the Porto players are lying on the ground “injured”??

  276. I would have to say that regardless, the mistakes today are unnacceptable, you just cannot afford those type of mistakes at this level.

    However that goal did come after an obvious penalty.

  277. Based on the quality of our performance, 2-1 is not a terrible result.

  278. We’ll be fine at home, even Hleb’s scored against them!

  279. I feel like I am in the twilight zone regarding this match.

    Criminal mistakes, just criminal.

  280. Deary me, Gavin, how did I know that was coming!

  281. Confused as to why Diaby didnt shoot.

  282. well…………….at least we did better than real madrid

  283. It won’t be a cakewalk at home, but we’ll do it for sure.

  284. Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Vermaelen, Gallas, Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky, Song, Walcott, Bendtner

    3-0 at the Emirates.

  285. deano, this match is more dissapointing than United to me because we literally gave them the points. We played well defensively and they scored two blinkin goals!!!

    I feel sick!

  286. they are the stoke of the champs league

    wankers won’t stand a chance at the emirates.

  287. Oh well,

    ARSENAL!!!

  288. Porto must be the Portugese answer to Bolton (before Coyle). 2x as many fouls.

  289. Sorry, Diaby not Risicky in the starting XI

  290. Ref should be banned for life.
    Arsenal to win 3-0 at home.
    Go Gunners!

  291. Sorry, Diaby not Rosicky in the starting XI

  292. i miss eduardo and robin for that bit of quality and movement in box. The dane not at that level in my opinion too slow on ball too.

  293. While I am confident that we will win this tie, Arsene must be concerned.

    Put aside the comical ways we still find to concede goals we ran out of steam and ideas in the second half. Too many players not fully fit after injury, too many players who have played too much, too hard.

    We need to recapture the sure touch and precision of a few weeks ago in the final third. On the very positive side, Sagna and Sol were immense today.

  294. AW’s going to be fuming in that press conference. First the penalty decision, then that ridiculous goal.

    You know, that goal reminded me of a kids’ game, when the ref decides one of the teams needs a helping hand – “Go on, quick, I’ll get in his way so he can’t tackle you!”

    And what about the rotational fouling on Cesc? Worse than Bolton!

  295. That was some of the worst stuff I’ve seen in a while. Our wingers were lost. Our fullbacks were invisible. And our midfield didn’t impose itself on Porto. That error by Campbell was just atrocious.

    No worries though. A scoring loss away. Let’s see how tey do at our house.

  296. yep they score and we will need a fukin paddle to get us out of shit creek. All those cu*ts calling for flap. fukov. he is a liability and we all knew he was gunner throw a clanger but two,well he exceeded.
    anyway we will get the win at the emirates so its all acede,mic but the point is we need a decent keeper other then AL.

  297. Still, the result is OK. Porto are a totally different side away from home, and they’d have been desperate for more than 2-1.

    Our boys looked tired at the end, though. Let’s hope we can recover quickly for Sunderland.

  298. @ consolsbob, OOU

    I thought we looked tired in the second half as well.

    @ Bill
    Campbell. No-one more experienced in the team. Do you take the point?

  299. Based on what I’ve seen its clear that:

    We missed Song

    Denilson is not a DM. Can’t tell his contribution to the team

    Fabianski will never succeed here.

    Nasri is too slow to play at the wing and plays so indirect to be successful in the EPL

  300. The funny thing is that the ridiculous way they scored both times makes me feel less bad about the result. And all the kicking and the denied penalty – I am so indignant I can’t be disappointed yet.

  301. The ref did himself, or us, no favours. He missed a blatent penalty with Rosicky, he waited too late in the match to show the yellow cards to Porto players who had been kicking Cesc all night, and (I may be wrong but) shouldn’t the ref blow the whistle before a free kick is taken, cos he did not, and did not even raise his hand to indicate an indirect free kick until after the kick was taken.

  302. No need to go off on Fabianski there Duke. That shit could’ve happened to Jean-Marie Pfaff. It was a one off.

  303. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a cruel game. There’s no doubt we should be heading back to the Emirates with 2 away goals under our belt.

  304. Denilson was actually one of our better players on the pitch..

  305. @ MDGunner

    That rings a bell, in fact I seem to recall some rule being brought in as a result of Thierry taking quick free kicks.

  306. Porto has always been our bogey side we have never won there even with Thierry. I think we played well enough to win this game and put in a decent defensive performance.There was nothing about this team that should alarm us. As always Arsenal were their own worst enemy gifting Porto to goals . Flapianski had a night to forget. . Diaby played well in a deeper role. Eboue…wow where has he been what a dummy !!!!! Bentdner a battering ram in the first half. Lets batter them 4-0 at the Emirates. A priceless away goal.

  307. OOU @9.48
    Yeah, I bet they defend with 10 men and try to hit us on the break

  308. Sorry Maturks but Denilson was perhaps the liveliest of the midfield three tonight. And Fabianski shouldn’t be turned into yet another “he won’t make it here” case. Your right about nasri though. He should fvck off right back to Marseille. Not.

  309. We can’t “put aside the comical ways we still find to concede goals.” Strike off those two blunders and we won 1-0 – a very respectable scoreline in an away match in the Champions League. Give us our penalty, and we won 2-0 – hardly evidence of a lack of ideas going forward. How many goals do you expect?

    There were a lot of solid performances.

  310. We need a GK, a striker and a DM next season. The same request we made 3 seasons ago but had Nasri instead. Denilson can never be successful because he’s crap. Without Song we had no winner and pusher in the middle, they ran through our midfield at will while he jogged far away.

    Fab4 might be crying inside playing alongside such crap. Ramsey should have played.

  311. i dont think cesc is going to stick around much longer – i mean how struggling year after year – not winning . . . . AW is just turning into an excuse machine – time to spend some of that money we have.

  312. Let’s see what the doomers can come up with tonight. The goals were errors from a goalkeeper most Almunia haters want and the most experienced man on the pitch. Bring it jokers. Let’s see what you can bitch about.

  313. fucking cheating referee this isn’t 6 aside football.

  314. They ran through our midfield like a knife cutting through a butter.

  315. bitter pill to swallow tonight

    wenger dead right… you are allowed to take a quick free kick anywhere on the pitch BUT not in the box.. the ref has to allow a wall to be built

    the fucking cunt simply gave the ball to them and had the audacity to body check sol at the same time

    he is finished, after this game and the france/irish game fiasco.. his days ref’ing top level games are done and dusted.

    cunt.

  316. I too cannot understand how the ref just gives them a free kick like that, I dont get it, surely your team has to have a chance to get in defense? I have never ever seen anything like that.

    The ref asks for the ball, if the player doesnt give it to him, wouldnt that be a card. He should never ref another match in life.

    That was criminal to say the least.

  317. They would have us believe that it means the stadium of dragons, but actually it is a reference to the supporters custom of going to games in drag.

  318. Wenger was right in complaining that it was not a pass back. If you look at it carefully, the ball hit his foot, not the other way around.

    It cannot be correct for a referee to give such an advantage to the attacking side, esepcially by allowing them to take the free kick a couple of yars away from where the offence took place.

    To add to the blatant penalty the referee missed, he has compounded his incompetence by, not only allowing the goal, but assisting in it as well. As they used to say “we woz robbed”.

  319. Maturks, again, Denilson was even better than Cesc tonight. He held the middle together. If you want to complain about them running through us look to Clichy and Sagna. They were taken to the cleaners by Varela. And Fabianski made a few saves that more than made up for his blunder. A blunder, may I add, that is bound to happen to any goalkeeper once in their career. Tonight was just Fabianski’s night I’m afraid.

    I know you’re pissed about the result. We all are. But we gave them the game. Otherwise we would’ve beaten them by at least two goals. So just relax and contemplate the fact that we got an away goal and we’re very much still in this tie. Be a big boy and pick up your toys.

  320. Hot knife through butter, springs to mind.

  321. The bad part is that Fabianski should know better than to pick up the ball even if Sol played a bad back pass.

    We need a big win this weekend, we need to put atleast 4 past sunderland to get our confidence soaring again.

  322. @ G69

    Agree Denilson played really well, which is a bright spot.

  323. As much as I was furious with the gifted goals I felt very sorry for Fabriaski this could damage his future opportunities, it depend how Wenger looks at it. I think he has the quality but what we saw tonight was pure naivety they really mugged us. Porto deserve nothing from this game and What a shit Performance from the ref, a blatant penalty not given then offers free kick and stand in Campbell’s way while the Porto player takes a quick free kick. But I have no doubt we will finish them off at the Emirates I saw nothing to suggest they have any quality. But the away goal is crucial; we only need a 1 nil win.

  324. BengalGooner

    AW only spends Arsenal money bettering the wages of crap players.

    Denilson 50k a week
    Vela 40k a week
    Theo 60+ a week
    Traore 25+ a week
    Bendtner 50k a week
    Eduardo 50k a week

    Nasri, Fabianski, Almunia, Eboue, Mannone, Rosicky have all got improved contract meanwhile winning nothing. They lack the bottle to win anything.

  325. If there is a formal protest and the referee is shown to have been wrong, will the goal stand?

  326. @Gb69, it wasn’t a back pass as noted by Arsene, the touch was a mistake and wasn’t intended. The Referee stop over the ball and impeded Sol+ he collected the ball From Fab and gave to Porto. Didn’t give clear penalty which am sure we would never get another after the celtic incidence, The Ref was a horror to behold. WE seem to be the only team who play well and still lose, you have to fell sorry for Arsene. Denilson for me was our most outstanding player today, you would have though he swapped jersey with Cesc. As for Lukas, i don’t wanna blame him cause if you play a young keeper in games like this, then you should expect stuffs like this except you are a certain casillas, young players are always inconsistent, and to be fair to then that how they learn. We will absolutely maul the Cheating C**ts at the Emirates. It’s the least we could do after this undeserved defeat.

  327. poor from fabianski no other problems..

    no mistakes we win 1-0 no shit ref we draw 1-1

    get our blatent penalty we win 2-1

    arrrhhh

  328. good points, coolsteve

    The thing with Fabianski is that he just doesn’t get to play enough, that’s why he throws in the odd mistake.

  329. Gainsbourg69, you’re not reading the script, it’s all Denilson’s fault.

    Fabianski needs a run of games, maybe he was just over-eager to prove himself tonight. I’ve seen him have many good games, so I wouldn’t write him off after a couple of errors.

    This business of not getting even the most obvious penalty decisions is beyond galling, but what can we do? We just have to take our chances when they come so that we are not at the mercy of corrupt officials.

  330. Oh please get away with bull crap Maturks.

    What the hell does this have to do with the loss tonight? absolutely nothing.

    It was two mistakes and not by any of the players you mentioned so please refrain from player bashing.

  331. still good enough to do the job at home…find me one human who would bet against us doing the job at emirates….we really missed song today more than anyone else and once he’s back , our half would look smaller and with arsh back , we’d have more creativity

  332. 1LC,

    Luckily Wenger is not a reactionary. He’s not the type to judge a player on one game or a pair of isolated incidents.

    Maturks you should really go night, night. Let the adults talk. It’s rude for little kids to interrupt.

  333. YW

    How prescient your preview was……unfortunately.

  334. We don’t need anyone…..

    We need to bitch slap that freaking “referee”, cunt.

  335. Apart from the comics in this game, 2-1 is not a bad result. We just have to score early at home to have a more open game.

    I’m disappointed at Fabianski for the the first goal, yes he is not playing on a regular basis, but that was a weird goal to concede.

    I didn’t see their second goal and I don’t know all the circumstances, but it seems to me that someone should stand in front of the ball and not allow the kick to be taken when we are not ready. A yellow card is much better than conceding a goal.

  336. strange strange game that.

    From the 2 goals….to our goal.

    Wierd one.

    We should batter them at the emirates though.

  337. “Luckily Wenger is not a reactionary.”

    He’s always struck me as progressive, which is just one of the reasons why I like him. 😉

  338. FunGun, I agree that Fabianski needs more time but that first goal?

    I am not hating on our goalies but I am starting to think we may need to get a veteran in.

    Just a thought.

  339. Coolsteve,

    It was a back pass. Sol nudged it gently with his left foot when he should’ve let it go.

    The way the kick was taken was a bit odd but it counted. We can argue about that all year but it will still stand.

    Onward and upward. The kids are maturing and look a viable threat. Who would’ve thought we’d be this good a year ago?

  340. the difference in luck between us and manure during the wenger/fergie years is simply amazing.

    the last 24 hours epitomise it perfectly.

    viz-a-vis scholes goal, portos 2nd following blatant pen not given to us.

    sickening, so sickening.

  341. Its normally the the opposition ask for the ball instead you have the ref demanding for the ball to be given back, in my opinion he wanted them to take it quickly and score, but this incident will only make us street wise next time.
    I have never seen Fabregas so furious after the game labeling the goals “soft, school boy errors”.

  342. Why a manager of his level should now be filling Arsenal with all these average foreign players is difficult to understand. For 12+, Ashley Young and Milner (both direct players with pace) are better than this Nasri midget.

    He only buys French players. Sylvestre, Bischoff anyone?

  343. bischoff is not french.

    unlucky.

  344. Maturks,

    “Dont stay, please go”

  345. Maybe Maturk’s a reactionary though.

    James Milner has pace??!! Oh man, that’s hilarious!

  346. @Maturks F**k off. Guess you would suggest we sell the whole team and then replace them with the Spanish National team? Loads of Bullocks there!!!! Again the doomers will claim it was Denilson’s fault, when actually he worked his socks off. Thought Cesc had a poor game by his standard, couldn’t blame him when the Porto players serially and systematically fouled him with each player taking turns; you get carded you step aside for another C**nt to take his turn in bringing him down. The ref is a mug!!!!

  347. OOFUS,

    “He’s always struck me as progressive, which is just one of the reasons why I like him.”

    Him being a progressive is why I’ve always liked him too. His football philosophy the Rinus Michels, Dutch, Total Football type.

  348. Maturks, you can shove Milner and Young up your arse. We don’t need one dimensional players. The reason why Villa is in sixth and we’re in third is because our players are not one trick ponies.

  349. Gainsbourg69- it wasn’t a meant back pass but it is a back pass. An experienced keeper would either kick it for a throw or simple boot it up field. I’m certain he will never do that again and he will never give the ball back until the defence is secure, these kind of situations you don’t learn about them in training, so lets hope he takes a valuable lesson, lets just hope they don’t prove costly.

  350. Ya Both Young & Milner are giants

  351. Oh Maturks opened my eyes. All that’s wrong with our team is that we go crap foreign players. We need more well ‘ard Englishmen. We should definitely sign Rory Delap, anybody agree?

  352. coolsteve

    I didn’t see Denilson working his socks off. He’s not got the quality to play for the Arsenal. He was falling all over the place and jogged while the Porto boys passed. Anytime he attempted a long pass he missed. He succeeded in playing 4 yards passes only sometimes to colleagues being marked and eventually got dispossessed of the ball.

  353. What is the connection between working your socks off and quality?

  354. I think Rory Delap will do better than Denilson. Both of them are crap but the difference is that Delap is not considered exceptional while Denilson was brought here under an exceptional player label but has failed to show same.

  355. I must’ve been hallucinating because I saw Denilson intercepting and dispossesing opponent players left and right

  356. Denilson was falling over because he was fouled more than Cesc if that’s even possible.

    If I had to pick a man of the match tonight it would be Denilson. He tracked back and tackled everything that came near him. He was the midfielder that battled the most for us.

  357. Yes, both Young and Milner are better than the midget we paid 12+ for because he’s French.

  358. F*ck Off Howard

  359. Two or three are usually enough Pz. As long as you don’t give goals to the other side. We did tonight.

    At the other end, we didn’t look like scoring in the second half.

    Too many tired players. That is not a criticism.

  360. How come Denilson cost us 12+? Last I remember the price we paid for him was 3,5..

  361. Let’s be honest. just for a moment.

    Denilson and Diaby were superb.

    Campbell was excellent. Bendtner had a good game.

    I loath the clowns on here who only support the anti-moron brigade, but we played well tonight.

    For those people who hailed Fabianski as the answer, today is a sore ride, but that is what it is. He still strikes me as our best option, accepting that Tech9 wont play this season. Tonight just bought his time forward even more.

    The difference tonight was a decent ref, Cesc getting protected, and being at home.

    We will go through this tie, we did well. If we learn, our poor second half will have been worth it.

  362. My Gosh someone suggested these Arsenal players are too honest and that’s why they lose certain games. LOL!!!! Tempted to agree with that but may I suggest that they are a bit naive in certain situations. I would love to see one of our players bring an advancing player on a counter attack down and take 1 for the team.

  363. You don’t think Villa will ask for 36 million for Young or Milner?

  364. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a dunce you are, Maturks.

  365. Maturks (Howard). you opinion of the game leads me to 3 conclusions.

    1. you did not watch it.
    2. you watched on a dodgy stream.
    3. you know nothing about football.

    Which of these is correct I do not know but I suspect the 3rd option.

    Now Fuck Off.

  366. Steve, the Porto players announced before the game that their plan was to stop Cesc. They chose to do so by foul means, and the ref allowed them to get away with the obvious rotational fouling. We see this all the time over here and I can’t believe the referees haven’t wised up to the practice. Some early cards would allow a game of football to break out occasionally.

  367. When you’re at your lowest ebb because your team has suffered from refereeing decisions which make a mockery of the game, it’s humbling to light upon a character like Maturks, who clearly has problems which make those besetting the rest of us seem trivial.

  368. Gainsbourg69

    May be you were watching a different match but Denilson was once again crap. He didn’t track back. His passes were the usual 4 yards sideways and backwards. He jogged while Porto boys passed him in midfield. He was bullied all over. honestly, for 50+ a week, I don’t know what he does for the team. Well, as usual, I know you will bring out his stats as the best midfielder in the EPL.

  369. Maturks = Howard.

    The minute the word “Exceptional” is accompanied by “Talent” in one post, you know it’s Howard.

  370. “Exceptional” is one way of describing Howard.

  371. G4E, don’t forget average foreigners and Denilson is crap – you can always spot a Howard post regardless of which name he is hiding behind.

  372. Before the game they said they will kick Fabregas and they did just that while the ref watched on without offering him any protection. I thought as as much as our naivity played a part in the defeat the ref was on their side most of the time

  373. OOU, “Exceptional Retardom” That is.

  374. Gunner4Ever

    Milner was available for 12 million as Nasri while Young was available for 10 million. He chose to bring in another Frenchman who has no pace to play direct and dribbles and dribbles till he loses the ball or bring the ball back.

    There are too many average foreign players in the team destroying it.

  375. It seems that Howard is the only one who did not see Denilson’s good game tonight.

    Should have gone to Specsavers.

  376. There is no way Villa will let an Average English player go for 10 million…you can rest assure that this number will be multiplied by at least 3 just because he has a British Passport.

    If you know anything about how Arsenal play, you wouldn’t say we need a direct player. All Young will do, is run at the wing and cross the ball, to who? We don’t play the “English” way.

  377. Bradys right foot

    Two things will happen as a direct result of tonights game, we’ll tank Porto at home of this I’m certain and Wenger will invest in a goalkeeper.

    After the game tonight I don’t think the young keeper will have the trust of the players but more importantly the manager, unfortunately he cost us the game and he’ll be praying he hasn’t cost us the tie.

    I thought Denilson done well and I can’t understand the criticism he’s getting In his industrious role of breaking up the oppositions possession in midfield.

    A mention for Gabriele Clark from ITV a sycophant when interviewing Fergie and delibrately provocative when interviewing Wenger. Clear penalty? he retorted to Wenger with a sense of bewilderment, what a plank. Yes Gabrielle it was a clear penalty as clear a penalty as you are a coward with a mic more likely to fellate Fergie than upset him. Still by watching ITV at least I was saved no doubt from the rantings of Jamie Claptrap. I’m filing this result into the small part of my mental Gooner library, into a box which says never to be spoke of again.

  378. Sad little racist aren’t we Maturks? Obviously not an Arsenal fan or you’d have watched the game tonight and witnessed the amount of forward passing Deni played, none of the crabisms hold water based on what he did out there tonight. If you dislike our players for not being English then I don’t know what you’ve spent the last 15 years doing, you must be a ball of rage. As well as a twat.

  379. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Maturks 10 27 post is absolute bollocks. What a f*cking loser.

  380. Maturks…

    England decided that the best chance to win a title is to hire an Italian coach. You get it?

  381. Poor, poor Howard! Nasri was the star of the first half, but Howard didn’t see it. Denilson was the star of the second half. In particular, his unequaled energy enabled him to produce a breathtaking defensive display in the final quarter. No wonder Howard has had a nervous breakdown.

  382. Can’t remember who posted the Brentford footage of Wojciech Szczesny a couple of days ago but my God, if anyone looks like one for the long term it’s him. I feel sorry for Fab though and also Mannone to an extent. We owe Don Vito for our win at Fulham and it’d be sad if he faded away.

  383. Gunner4Ever

    Arsene decided that the best way to win the league is to play foreign first eleven. Right, where are we?

    Did you watch the Manu v AC Milan? Counted the number of crucial saves VDS made to win the game for them?

    Did you know Givens was available but chose to stick with GKs like Almunia and Fabianski?

  384. Fabregas will stay as Barcelona are really after Denilson

  385. He’s still going! Give this a go Maturks: http://le-grove.co.uk/
    You’ll fit right in.

  386. Szczesny should be our No.1 next season. Not experienced at 19/20? Casillas started playing for Madrid at 19 and Valdes for Barca at 20 but it won’t happen because Arsene sees Almuniua and his side kick as one of the best GKs in the EPL.

  387. Howard is the man who when caught with his pants round his ankles, in flagrante delicto, simply proclaims his innocence more loudly than ever.

  388. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You just proved his point, Howard. England opted to go with a foreigner, like Wenger. Now where were we before you started rambling about your favorite club United?

  389. Arsene has now lost it. He only thinks about himself, his players and how he can develop players for the French national team.

  390. Pull your pants up, Howard. You’re making us all blush.

  391. And the mighty VDS is English I presume? Again F**k off Maturks

  392. I like Denilson but he wasnt good today but he was better then he has been, getting back to shape though.

    Fabianski im affraid is not going to make the grade lets be honest, lets just shoot him now and be done with, no time for fukin sentiment, we need another keeper to take over from big Al.

  393. Barca and Real are looking for Denilson as his stats makes him the greatest midfielder ever to play in the EPL.

    According to the Brazilian national coach Dunga, Denilson is the first on the list of midfielders he plans to call for South Africa.

  394. Everytime I watch the replay of the debacle of the second goal, the free kick is more and more Campbell’s fault. The Porto player was three yards behind him…no need to get near the ball. And everytime I watch the goal, it is more and more the ref’s fault. I have never in my life see a ref so proactively demand the ball from the keeper, place it, and then back into the defender.

  395. Go and play with DukeGoonem, Howard.

  396. Maturks, you over done the sarc with that 2nd para.

  397. We all know that experience English keepers never give up bad goals…especially against Croatia.

  398. Right i’m done, let’s all stop with the troll feeding now.

  399. DukeGoonem

    Szczesny is the deal. Arsene just need to use him next season but I doubt it. He’s so much belief in Almunia that he laughed off when Jens suggested to him that Almunia will only let the team down.

  400. oh your back Poliziano i thought you buggered off.

  401. the second goal was fabianski’s fault the touch from campbell was a nervous touch because fab didn’t come for the ball then fabiankski gave the ref the ball, he could of held on to it or threw it away. I still think the ref was fucking wrong..

  402. @ Merlot

    When you’re at your lowest ebb because your team has suffered from refereeing decisions which make a mockery of the game, it’s humbling to light upon a character like Maturks, who clearly has problems which make those besetting the rest of us seem trivial.

    ha ha ha!

  403. These foreign boys, they always bottle it. Arsenal v Chelsea FA semi no bottle.

    Arsenal v Manu CL, bottled

    Arsenal v Manu EPL
    Arsenal v Chelsea EPL

    All bottled. They are no winners, may be never will.

  404. Not enough communication, maybe? For the “back pass”, I mean.

    @ Paul N
    It was a bad error, but what I meant was if you just play every now and then, that sort of thing will happen. All part of the learning curve, no way round it, really.

  405. Sometimes it pays to take a deep breath and count to 10 before posting after a disappointing result to prevent the knee-jerk OTT reaction. Fortunately it is just half-time in this match and we have a chance to make up the deficit in the second half at home. 2 – 1 is not that bad a result as there is only a one goal deficit and we have the away goal. Looking for scapegoats is not going to change what happened tonight.

  406. I caught some of the bile pinksleep junior was spouting on sky… Ugh. Still sounds like fiorentina had just as poo a ref as we did. Unfortunately I have no faith in platini to get this sorted

  407. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Merlot hit it on the head with that post. The guy is clearly looney.

  408. This is clearly the effect of a media witch hunt that followed when this ref allowed the goal from Henry hand ball. afterwards the anti Arsenal brigade connected Henry to Arsenal and not his current club and accused him that he was “sympathetic to those with Arsenal connections” and tonight we saw the fruit of that witch hunt, tonight he did all he can to prove he does not favour Arsenal or any French connections and went as far as unjustly punishing us. He asks Fabinski to give him the ball he rolls it on the floor then blocked Campbell’s path it is just cruel the way he dealt with the free kick. It looks like he was desperate for them to score. Normally a referee would get out of the way then allow the free kick to be taken. this man is impotent and should not be allowed to ref any game.

  409. Does anyone have the feeling we will never get a penalty. It’s really becoming a cause for concern

  410. Superb peformance.

    Porto stand no chance in the return game.

    Fabianski is going to be a great keeper. He made one mistake…the first goal. But he won’t make that mistake again in his career. His positioning and saves were exceptional though.

    Now…their second goal. The pundits have it wrong. It was a travesty from start to finsh. the only person who called it right was AW.

    Thierry scored a similar goal…no he didn’t. He asked the referee if he could take a quick free kick, and the referee said yes…it was a direct free kick. Tonight there was no dialogue between the referee and the free-kick taker. In fact the referee was very active in the goal. watch the footage. He may as well have said here have it. A questionable touch/back pass was punished by an open goal… penalty. That is not in the rules of the game. The referee was very wrong and Porto cheated. Of course English pundits seem utterly blind on these occasions. The sooner someone takes Jamie Redknapp out the better.

    The foul on Tomas thirty seconds before was the most blatant penalty you could imagine. But neither the referee or the linesman saw it. That smacks of total incompetence or corruption. The fact that it was a more obvious decision than the indirect free-kick means that this referee should never referee a top-class game again.

  411. Woljech should be recalled from Brentford NOW age isnt a handicap when we have two lousy goalkeepers ask anyone who has seen him hes not for the future the future is now

  412. Cesc let himself down as a captain today. When asked on TV about the game he blamed a player…not good. He was not our best player this evening.

  413. You are a complete arsehole are you not, solgooner? Fabianski will make the grade. He is very young for a keeper at top level…and he was playing in the Stadium of Drag Queens…not Brentford.

  414. coolsteve- let me add on how the constant flak we get from the media effect us, remember the Eduardo incident? it was blown out of all proportions and since then no penalties were given. The media is certainly powerful and if they don’t like you they will hunt you down. in the Arsenal case we have far too many foreign players for their liking. Their hypocrisy is clear, Gerard diving all over the place, does anyone say anything?

  415. What’s even more disturbing is the negative attitude of the pundits toward Arsenal and their obvious wish for us to fail and fulfil their “I told you so” prophesies. The highlight for the second goal didn’t show the ref retrieve the ball from the keeper. It just showed the porto player drop the ball and take a quick one. it was made out to seem the keeper actually handed the ball in.. and the They should have kicked it out message followed ignoring the ref demanded the ball and the keeper kicking it away would have been booked. I think the ref was very active in the goal scored, can he honestly saw he didn’t hand the Attacking team the advantage. Our own mistakes too should also be looked @, however they are well documented and the more you look at the goals conceded this season the more you just wonder. We need to learn lessons which we don’t seem to be doing. We are The Arsenal and will smack the hell out of Porto

  416. Frank you were a bit harsh on Cesc.He was targeted througout the game and the ref did not offer him any protection at all. He was clearly upset after the game when he said “school boy goals” maybe after he calms down he will probably regret what he said. I alwyas think its not fair to ask players and managers traight after a defeat.

  417. does any one know the last time we did get a pen
    i can only think back to celtic

  418. you hope 1LC but does fuel specualtion

  419. ref oh ref, must have kitted up in porto dressing room, it was as good as a penalty, no ten yard wall which should have been on goal line, blocked sol campbell, we had a similar situation against AZ and the ref did the rite thing, i think mr HANSSON should go back for more courses and start from a lower league dat aside an important away goal for the second leg maybe d likes of arsh, song should be ready …..the team played well but sol was excellent

  420. FRANK FAB will make the grade is as good as your prophecy that we would win the EPL and more!!!

  421. Yes I am sure that he may regret his statements to the press, 1lc.

    We are not a one man team…if Cesc goes the team goes on. He is a great player but by his own admission there are others in the wings. Hi s opinion as stated on TV tonight was wrong…factually and for the team. He needs Arsenal more than Arsenal needs him and he should remember that from time to time.

  422. FRANK where can I get a eose tinted TV like yours?

  423. We will win the EPL and the Champiuons League.

  424. Champions league

  425. sorry rose tinted

  426. Ah solgooner, it is called supporting your own team and forming your own opinion.

  427. VP11- Agree Sol had a good game he lacks pace but his positioning and timing of a tackle is excellent. The back pass was very unfortunate it was accidental and Fabianski thought it wasn’t a back pass.

  428. FRANK ANOTHER BRILLIANT COMMENT CESC NEEDS US MORE THAN WE NEED HIM.
    I AM WELL AWARE DENILSON IS AN AN ABLE REPLACEMENT AND THAT FAB DID NOT SCREW UP AGAINST STOKE AND CHELSEA

    THE ONLY THING WE AGREE ON IS THAT WE SHOULD BEAR PORTO AT THE EMIRATES

  429. At 35 Sol had the legs on Falcao…what an outrage that such a cheating little bastard should have the same name as such a reta player. Sol is a very class act indeed.

  430. BEAT PORTO

  431. Bradys right foot

    By: Frank on February 17, 2010
    at 11:53 pm

    “The sooner someone takes Jamie Redknapp out the better.”

    Jamie Claptrapp, I just mute the bastard Frank, I mean at least I get some comedy value from Merse, but in Claptrapp I fear that theirs actual proof that as a species were regressing.

  432. ANOTHER THING WE AGREE IS THAT SOL WAS EXCELLENT

  433. I don’t think Cesc’s words let him down if that’s what he said. If anything this game should be a kick up Fabianski’s back side. It’ll do his career a world of good if he works hard to never have a night like tonight ever again.

  434. “I fear that theirs actual proof that as a species were regressing.”

    You only have to read comments from Howard to confirm that point.

  435. Sol was awesome tonight. Wenger hit the lotto with that signing to be honest.

  436. Actually when Cesc made that comment a few months ago, ah solgooner, he was referring to Abou Diaby, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Alex Song, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri etc as well as Denilson. Hios point was that we are not a one player team…neither should we be. I certainly do not fear Cesc leaving. Whether he does or not.

  437. Imagine the most frightening thing you have ever experienced. Your biggest test. Possibly your biggest nightmare….you work so very hard to deal with it…day in day out….and then you have to face it. You worked so hard but a simple mistake projects you right into that nightmare.

    .. as you become conscious of the mistake, the nightmare…some twat of an Arsenal fan says that you need a kick up the arse. Surely the only conclusion you would draw is that the guy was one of the most stupid cunts you had ever met in your life.

  438. You see Cesc? You fucked one of your team mates right royally tonight, son. You should never have done that. You are no longer on my list of favoutite players.

  439. if cesc did say that then i want believe he is getting frustrated becos todays loss was not really one for trading blames, which i believe even if has to be the case, should be done in the dressing room or training ground, no doubt fab has made errors but everyone needs time, i remember when cesc started with arsenal and Henry would always talk to him about how to pass the ball now he is a better player, football as interesting as it is ain’t a simple game

  440. to be honest it could have been a 1-3 win
    yet a couple of strange decisions by the ref and lineo changed
    the important thing is we have an away goal
    we are still within striking distance
    1-0 at the grove would do it
    lets not forget we beat them 4-0 last year
    with song, aa and edy in the squad we should be able to repeat the result.

    Cesc i guess he was annoyed so are we.

    fabianski looked solid apart from one ‘orride cross to deal with which he got wrong
    and not having played with sol enough
    cant really blame him for that
    he pulled out some world class saves to night.

    dont believe the sensational dribble they feed from sky its crap
    especially tight pants redknapp what do expect from a yid

  441. Frank,

    Your criticism of Cesc is wrong.

    From what I heard of the interview he did not criticise Fabianski. In fact he never mentioned him. He merely stated that the team deserved no better conceding schoolboy errors at this level.

    And he was right Frank. He only spoke the truth and betrayed no-one.

    Cesc’s body language on the field is all wrong and has been for some time now. The problem with pursuing a youth policy is that some players develop quicker than others. Some players are attracted by money, which at a club with a wage cap always proves to be a challenge. Some players want the laurels of success all too quickly and becomes impatient when other players, of their ilk, are not signed.

    His grandfather died recently and he played the next day. When this season is over he will have spent 7 years at the club. Longer than any man normally spends in any job, let alone a young man at the top of his trade like Cesc. People forget he’s only 22. He’s been here since he was 15 ffs.

    Barca are 3/1 to win the CL and the prospect of playing for his idol, Guardiola, while co-ordinating the likes of Messi / Iniesta and Ibrahmovich will prove to be too tempting. Eitherway, win or loose, we will loose Cesc this summer.

    I’m absolutely convinced of that. And if he goes we should wish him the very best. He’s a wonderful young man and an absolute joy to watch. Not only for AFC, but for football in general.

  442. You are an opportunist are you not, Joe?

    I have no problem with wishing him the best when he leaves and I agree that he did not mention Fabianski by name. As for his age…I am not sure that he should be captain. He may leave this summer and he may not..either way I don’t see Arsenal losing.

    One point though, this team is not dependent upon Cesc Fabregas. It is a privilege to have him at Arsenal. But he is not essential to our continuing success.

    I think though that Fabianski will be a great keeper, with or without Cesc’s help with the media.

  443. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You talk like you’re Cesc Fabregas, Joe. How is his body language wrong? And what does his deceased grandfather have to do with whether Cesc is going or staying. Also, what does him playing the day following his death have to do with anything? What do you gain from trying to predict the future, Joe? Is it all about bragging rights? All so you could come back here in 5 months to say I told you so? What a load of tosh. F*ck off and take your usual post loss/draw ramblings with you.

  444. Fabianski will be a ‘great keeper’ – I surely hope it will be somewhere else: I watched him long before he came to Arsenal and he did not improve one tiny bit…

    should be sold – but who will buy him?

  445. No Im not an opportunist – but thanks for the judgement.

    I agree with you on both fronts. Fabianski will be a great keeper. He’ll learn from tonight. And Arsenal are not a one man team. In fact, as good as Cesc is, I think he slows up the counter attack!

    I do think he’ll go though. And, as usual, the Club will make great money for him.

    Our defense has been shocking though Frank. Sometimes, I think the person we miss most is Dein.

  446. You know a bit about goal keeping do you, suga3? Especially Arsenal goalkeeping?

    Why a spud name?

  447. without Dein, we are toothless in the transfer market: Ivan looks like a boy scout compared to him IMO…

    Dein was Wenger’s strongarm IMO: ever since he left, we haven’t won squat – coincidence?

  448. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Here comes the Le Groan herd.

  449. Ramsey this season showed some touches of brilliance and he will get better and better, the good thing with Ramsey he did not want to go to Manure and certainly Cardiff will not launch a media campaign and most definitely they will not offer us 50 millions to have their player back. He is for a very long stay at Arsenal. He will be a star alongside Wilshere for many years to come. They will be just like Xavi and iniesta.

  450. suga – it may have escaped your notice… but

    since DD left… we built a teenie weenie new home

    only cost nearly a billion bucks.. but hey ho

  451. a Spud name? care to explain?

    if it was supposed to be a ‘smart’ conotation with Alan Sugar, then sorry to disappoint you: it’s Suga-free actually…

  452. I believe that we are very nearly there. No need to complain.

  453. I could give a fuck about your ill-chosen name…more interested in the source of your expertise re: goalkeepers.

  454. SFH,

    we were specifically told that building it will not affect our ability to buy players, no?

    Frank,

    I know enough about football to have said that Fabianski was a poor buy the very moment he came: I had the pleasure of watching him playing for Legia before he came and he just keeps making the same errors, simple as…

  455. Frank,

    why so rude?

  456. But it clearly has.. even you can see that much.

    The economic world is different in 2010.. than back in the early noughites.

    We are not struggling or on the brink like pool and maure… we simply choose to live within our means currently.

    A time will come when a large portion of the debt is repaid.. and then we will be able to splash out.

    Until then, support the club.

    Easy really, nobody has a god given right to win anything.

  457. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    One of the rudest, nastiest, motherfuckers on the web asking why someone is being rude with them? Oh f*ck off. You Le Groan c*nts wouldn’t know the meaning of rude if it smacked you in the face. Or wait it just did and you didn’t like it did you? Man up you f*cking pansy.

  458. SFH,

    but I do support the club…

    however, it does not make anyone within it immune to criticism, does it?

    as far as I am concerned, if we were to live within our means, we would not spend bazillions on kids who don’t even play for us due to work permit issues or improve contracts of certain players who did absolutely fuck all to deserve it, neglecting the gaping holes in the process…

    you know it makes sense…

  459. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Just saw this on another blog and thought it was quite fitting for Arsenal supporters:

    “The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”- Pierre De Coubertin

  460. ‘One of the rudest, nastiest, motherfuckers on the web asking why someone is being rude with them?’

    oh, you’re far too kind, I’m flattered 😆

    I see sarcasm is lost on some ‘tough guys’…

    bored already – off to the real world…

  461. for a start the youth project runs at a PROFIT

    to my knowledge there are maybe 3 or 4 players who are out on loan in spain, or not yet in (silva) due to work permit issues.

    big deal.. hardly worth crying about

    you are right, nobody is immune to critiscism.. but the critiques need to be backed by common sense

    not stark raving looney tune banter.

  462. I am only being rude because I think you are a fucking twat, suga3.

  463. hahahahahaha…

    grow up: this is a result business, not fucking paralympics and it’s 2010, not 1900…

  464. Ah I see….

  465. Frank,

    I should not dignify this drivel with a comment, however, fuck you too…

  466. suga – who did you support in the last millenium?

  467. But you did….and you are not really very bright are you, son

  468. SFH,

    Arsenal is the only team I have ever supported, and yes, it goes back to 1900s…

  469. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Hahah how witty. Blame it on sarcasm. What a f*cking soft c*nt.

  470. Just time for a drink and then to work. Arsenal will slaughter Porto in the home leg.

    …Arsenal….

  471. Frank,

    having trouble understanding plain simple fucking English? not too well educated, are we? try understanding the meaning of ‘should not’ and ‘however’ 😆

    and I am not your son – my mum knows better than that…

    NJN,

    what a lovely blog hard man you are – fucking priceless…

  472. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    What a lovely yes man you are, SUGA3. Back to Le Groan now, you’re being a Black Sheep right now. If Geoff knew one of his herd got away he’d throw you in the spam bin.They need your witty humor over there. A couple of em probably got knife to wrist right now as we speak.

  473. funny how people with fuck all reasonable arguments resort to attacks ‘ad personam’…

    nitey nite…

  474. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Boring

  475. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Another yawner. Although, I have to say I cracked a smile when you busted out the emoticon. That was cute.

  476. I have to say after watching the second goal debacle…this is not the referee’s fault at all. We know referees make stupid mistakes all the time and never consistent, maybe another referee wouldn’t have allowed it to be played without a wall.

    But where the hell were we? Were is our smarts? This is the most naive goal you can ever concede. Why did Fabianski gave the ball back? Most goal keepers will argue with the referee and even get booked..I know for sure Mad Jens would have done just that. I also think Sol Campbell with all his experience should have done better in this incident, not the back pass but standing in front of the ball instead of holding his head? He had a good game overall except for this.

    Anyways…Not bad with 5 players missing away from home. We still can beat this team at the emirates.

  477. yes fabiansk was a bit naive on it G4E
    but the ref didn’t even let us know he was restarting play till the ball was in the back of the net.
    and completely obsrtucting sol.

  478. another 4-0 at the grove

  479. As usual Frank is talking sense. Sorry for Fab – hell don’t we all know the feeling, somewhere sometimes in our lives. But every keeper has a similar story, especially the best of them.

  480. i loved the way AW warmly congratulated his counterpart after the game,

  481. I admired Porto’s 2 speedy wingers, but the away goal is priceless, it means Porto have to come out and play at emirates, and they will be well beaten

  482. I felt Denilson played very well. Cesc had a terrible second half tho’. By his standards.

    Sol was excellent except for the indecision on the 2nd goal.

    Cheer up, Arsenal supporters. Back to the sewer trolls. Our woeful Portuguese adventures continue. some traditions never die.

  483. You might not remember, but this has happened with Arsenal many times before, and virtually every time we have put the game ‘to bed’ at home. We score one goal and Porto have to play for keeps, and then they are in trouble.

    I see it as a good test for the lads.

  484. zimp. when are we gona win in the algarve.
    Was nice too see from AW
    he was like aint football crazy.
    Varela was especially good but we could have held a higher line. but then again maybe not with sol’s pace.

  485. A real mixed bag last night. We played pretty well in general, but the 2nd goal. My life!

    The 1st goal can simply be put down to a goalkeeping error. No great shakes, he will learn from that. But the 2nd goal was really schoolboy stuff. We have a freekick against us in our area, yet not one player makes an effort to get back…..and our goalkeeper turns his back to the ball after giving it back to Porto. It is amazing things like that can happen as this level.

    Our midfield made no attempt to get goal side if the ball went past then on a number of occaisions. This is why our defence looks so isolated so often. This is the biggest part of our game that needs sorting.

    Still, like I said we played pretty well and should have had a pen. But again, the opposition have not had to do much to get 2 goals.

  486. Fabregas was plain frustrated after the game, and he can be forgiven what he said. His comments could be directed at Fabianski, but also for the rest of the team (him included) who just started to amble back to our area once the free kick has been given.

    But lets be honest, Fabianski was at fault. He gave the ball back to them, and then turned around. Crazy.

    Why should the ref let the team who have comitted the offence to organise themselves and take the advantage away from the team with the free kick. It is exactly the type of goal we would have scored, so our players should have been alive to it.

  487. i thought the referee was really poor yesterday.

    porto played some good fast football. but it was marred by the way they were flying into fabregas.

    i thought fabregas would get hurt. honestly they were playing rugby.

    the portuguese have always been dirty, divers and theatrical.

    the ref was already a disgrace. i cant believe we went into half time one yellow card apiece. the 5 fouls cesc suffered in the first half were bad cynical scything fouls.

  488. Flapianski will not cut the mustard. he has made nearly a clanger in each game, the guy might be good in a few years time but till then he should not be anywhere near our 1st team.

  489. I am still seething from last night. Fabianki made a howler save but I am not going to judge him harshly,he is still young and for a guy who doesn’t get to play that often I can understand, he did well to redeem himself and made a couple of great saves afterwards.

    Fabrigas was poor tonight though in his defense the porto team were on him like a tick. Fouling him at every opportunity without being punished. Denilson as many of you have pointed out was our best midfield player. Sol was great, I cant blame him for he back pass since it didn’t look intentional to me. I didn’t see it until after 3 replays and after someone went to great lengths to make me see. As for Rosicky’s penalty claim they didn’t even bother to show a replay so I really cant comment on it but from his reaction it felt like iy was one.

    We played the second half in third gear, after they scored their second we looked like a deflated balloon. I cant remember us making any shots towards their goal. Sagna was tired, I remember Theo doing most of his defensive work after coming in. I wish Eboue had been introduced earlier and to replace him. Bendtner spawned afew chances but I believe with game time he is going to get there.

    The fu cking referee! What a d*ckhead!! And to think he is going to the world cup. He denies us a penalty and goes on the other end to offer them a goal on a silver platter!!!! Did he even blow the whistle before the kick was taken? Someone tell me, aren’t we supposed to have a wall as that was an indirect free kick? Then it’s like he body checked Sol. And the fuc king commentators going on and on about how that was clever play from porto. For some reason I don’t feel too confident about the result as this should have been a draw for us at the least.

    I see porto coming at emirates and putting 10 men behind their goal and catching us on the counter. I hate losing like this!!!!!

  490. For the record, we have had one penalty since the Eduardo inident, which was missed. Last season we had nearly 20.

    The free kick was wrong for a number of reasons. The first is that it was not taken from the place where the offence took place. In the context of a free kick in the middle of the pitch, that may not be important, but, nevertheless, you see refs many times requiring the ball to be put back, but in the context of a free kick so close to the goal, complying with that rule was parmount.

    In addition, no Arsenal player should have been allowed to stand within 10 yards of the ball, yet fabiansky was closer than that.

    The referee showed preference towards the attacking side, by taking the ball from Fabiasky and giving it to the opposing side, whilst, at the same time, not making sure that he was nnot impeding a defender.

    Just imagine what Fergie would have done had this travesty happened to Manure.

    I doubt whether a hoal like this has ever been seen before.

    Yes Henry took free kicks before defenders were ready, but the circumstances there were so different, the ball was outside the goal area, there were many defenders and they were just not ready. Here the Defenders were not even allowed to get between the ball and goal, let alone to be ready.

    Shocking refereing. I shudder to think that he may take charge of the return leg.

  491. Wake up Arsenal fans…the result last night is no surprise. Our manager doesn’t want to buy a goal keeper to replace the incompetetent Fabianski and Almnunia. He doesn’t want to buy a striker to replace the injured RVP. We have bendtner up front last night who was so ineffective. Its a disgrace!

    Sick of this shit.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Fabregas leaves us this summer. He must surely know that the team is not up to it.

  492. The performance yesterday was our best for a month. Some people are judging it from the result, but it has to be acknowledged that Porto’s goals were the most undeserved you will ever see. They will be worried about the return leg. Their luck for this match has been used up, and it has availed them only a narrow win at home. In their hearts, they know they are about to be crushed – like a fly that sees the newspaper too late to escape.

  493. poor displays by a lot of players, we lost it in midfield imo, i dont think we need to panic though and if we can keep the majority of the squad we will improve in time

  494. Once you get past the manner in which we conceded, last night wasn’t really much of a setback; we got an away goal at a difficult ground with 6 starters missing.

    A two-goal margin on victory shouldn’t be a problem at home against Porto – we’re always more confident at home and those guys are godawful away. We’re sure to have some players back for that game as well.

    Still, we did lose last night, and that always encourages people like Gooner1 to indulge in their second favourite hobby.

  495. The 2 goals were an absolute shambles, Cesc was right, Schoolboy stuff.

    Annoyingly, Fabianski does enough between the mistakes to show he can be a very good goalkeeper.

    The frustration for me is that we seem so easy to ‘get at’, whether it is naivety or immaturity, opposition teams seem to be able to break against our defence too easily, especially with no Song in the team.

    When teams begin a break against us, we need to learn to be more ‘professional’ and if a little foul is required against an opposition player while they are still in their half, so be it. We are too nice, allowing teams to break into our half in numbers.

    Without a doubt, teams such as Man U and Chelsea would do it.

    And i have to question what some people were watching last night if they think Denilson was our best player, and it was the best performance for a month – laughableat best.

  496. I thought the performance was the worst I have seen since the tinies beat us 5-1.

    No composure. No quality. No cohesion.

    I doubt we had any one time in the game we strung together 5 passes.

    In the second half, I couldnt watch anymore….I was on the phone moaning to my brother….

    I must have seemed like a “D&G”.

    Rosicky was angry about something the whole game. After the penalty denial and sham goal, he virtually stopped playing.

    The only player with composure and quality yesterday, in anything but sporadic doses, was Diaby. Stood strong.

    People around me were raving about Eboue at the end.

  497. best performance of the month Poliziano, you consumed too much Italian pisswater last night i think.

  498. Ole Gunner, Rocisky was scared of the Hulk brother. That Big Green bastard was hacking his ass. He should of known not to piss him off and you know this.

    Fabianski is a good keeper but seems to soil himself in the big games, he needs some Wenger psychology partner but sometimes thats just the way the ball bounces G.

  499. Agree about Diaby Ole – our best player last night by some margin.

  500. The party men have arrived to ensure everyone follows the official line.

  501. Enough about whats going on in your house Poliziano, why do you think it was the best performance in a month??

  502. Yes, the official line Pz is as I’ve laid down. Conform or dissolve 😛

  503. jjgsol-good point the free kick wasn’t taken from the spot where the incident happened. Regarding Henry’s free kick against A.Villa he actually asked the ref if he can take it quickly the ref agreed, this time the clown rolls the ball to the Porto player while the ball is on its way to the net he then left his arms to signal the free kick to be taken by then the ball was in the net, Ok you could say he does not have to give a signal but he added to Porto’s advantage by taking the ball of Fabianski and blocking sol’ path on this he should say its a bit cruel and get the free kick retaken.
    They didn’t deserve anything from the game we gifted them the goals. Anyway I have no doubt we will beat them convincinly at home.

  504. I think some people take their own opinions a leettle too seriously

    As for Cesc’s post game comments – they were a bit ugly. But I think they were made before he’d even got off the pitch, and he probably had an ITV reporter needling him when he was still trying to get his breath back. I guess he’ll be reminded to take time to cool off in future.

  505. Next season there will be no, Fabregas, Gallas or Merida, and unless a new deal is done Ebuoe is a free agent under the Webster rule.

    Fabianki is a millionaire goalkeeper who can make a few decent saves but has screwed up too many times. We will beat Porto but that doesnt mask our problems if we play better teams.

  506. I tell you something though dogs, that Swedish ref hates us.

    Shotta Gunna, add Sweden to the list of countrys and organisations that hate us. There trying to keep us down partners and I dont know about you but I aint having it and you know this.

    We will crush them at the Emirates

  507. DO WE GO IN THE GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS OUR GOALKEEPERS HAVE SCORED THREE GOALS THIS SEASON.ITS A SHAME THEY WERE OWN GOALS

  508. http://legendaire.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/my-missus-always-fancied-bouldie/

    for all you who missed the link last night, provides an unedited insight into the musings of Tony Adams

    WARNING: does not make great reading for pro=wengerites 😦

  509. SOLGOONER,

    Gunnersaurus will also be gone. We’ll sell the entire academy to Chelsea, and donate the Emirates to charity.

    I swear

  510. StringvestHawke, I think Adams had been on the Brandys when he wrote that G

  511. “Next season there will be no, Fabregas, Gallas or Merida”

    Who is this “no”? Surely not Dr. No?

  512. In the last month, we’ve been thrashed by Stoke, man utd, and Chelsea, we laboured to a draw against Villa, and we scraped a win against Liverpool. Although we lost last night, it was only through the intervention of the referee. The commentators (who are reviled on here, but in fact love Arsenal more than most of our supporters) were full of praise for us at half time. After the break, they only wanted to see more of the same. The only question seemed to be how many we would get.

  513. OLE lets see whos right after the end of the world cup

    Cescs body language says it all. Merida cant even get in the squad,and Gallas wats a two year contract.

  514. POLIZANO FOR ONCE WE AGREE, The commentators didnt stop praising Arsenal and how they had appeared in more quarter finals then any other team. they were shocked as we all were by Fabianskis follies

  515. william – he did not write anything… he was definately compus mentus… he spoke with a lot of belief and conviction.

    I felt he felt left out by the club.. that was his major gripe.. and maybe having a sly pop at the current side was his way of getting back at wenger.

    petty.

  516. Gawd, I hope Solgooner leaves in the summer with gooner 1 on a free transfer to Ulan Bator fan club.

  517. Solgooner- You obviously know everything. You had a chat with Cesc and he told you he was leaving and you also negotiated Gallas’s Contract. Let me tell you something, you know absolutely nothing, Zilch , nada. You are purely making things up as you go along or simply a victim of the media rubbish

  518. William why are you talking like a African American music producer? You’re a good actor I’ve noticed, you would do well in comedy drama.

  519. Which commentator’s were they?

  520. READ MY POST YESTERDAY @ 18#

    I WAS VERY WORRIED ABOUT FABIANSKI.ESPECIALLY CROSSES I.E THE FIRST GOAL.ITS A FUCKING PITY WENGER WASNT

    I DONT BLAME ALMUNIA OR FABIANSKI THEY ARE TWO SHIT KEEPERS WHO ARE A MISTAKE WAITING TO HAPPEN.I BLAME THE MANAGER FOR NOT REPLACING THESE CLOWNS

  521. I hope Fabianski never plays for Arsenal again..he’s a disgrace.

  522. well said, Marcus! The manager is at fault for having blind faith in his players. he cannot see how inept the goalkeepers are in big games against quality opposition.

  523. Thank God for Cesc.He doesnt give us the Bullshit Wenger gives us.We lost because of schoolboy errors not the referee

    Do you think Lehmann would have given the ball back?.

    And who is the muppet who coaches our keepers the guy should be sacked this morning

  524. I have never seen such a goalkeeping howler in my life. You rarely even see free kicks for back passes because most GK’s wouldn’t run the risk even if there was the slightest hint of doubt. The first goal was embarrassing but we picked ourselves up and looked by far the better team.

    The 2nd though left me feeling like absolute shit. Can’t imaging what Fabianski felt like. He was too worried about shouting at the linesman (as if that would make a difference) and wasnt even looking at the ball when the kick was taken.

    It is down to the referee to some extent for letting them take the kick quickly, but no one can deny that Fabianski has made 2 too many mistakes now. He can’t be relied upon.

    Sorry for being so negative but i am so frustrated, dissapointed and angry. I wasn’t going to go online today because i knew it would make me relive last night’s 2 shambolic moments.

  525. While it was a terrible mistake, you can’t write a guy off after 1 or 2 mistakes.

    Fabianski has done enough to show he has the potential to be a top goalkeeper, and don’t forget, he is very young for that position.

    Most GK’s are not in their prime until they hit their late 20’s.

  526. This was a monumental licorice chewing, acid drinking, hand it to the mothers, lost in the wilderness, self doubting, incapable of speech, first in a life time, Sunday school boy, game in the park. Absolutely wonderful experience. Is this professional football at the highest level? There should be an immediate reduction in all ticket prices to zero.

  527. Football wise I agree that last night was our best for a while. Until their second we got our passing going & were the better team.

    Diaby & Denilson played well although Denilson tired late on.

    The `joke` goals are killing us. Fabianski ? I really don`t know – he makes great saves but gets the basics wrong & he`s an international not a 17 year old.

    Finally … the pundits. Nice to hear Platt talk sense (the ref was a disgrace) but Jamie Redcrap may as well be sat in his Spurs strip. Laughable really

  528. Good keepers are hard to find nowadays partners, barring shay given maybe evryones keepers are a bit suspect. Fabianski is particularly shakey at the moment though dogs, he’s got a confidence issue whioch for a keeper is like a nervous man holding a AK-47 and you know this dogs.

    Zimpaul dont be cussing my Lingo G, this be how we talk down Holloway nowadays, now ere dis, would mans like a cup of Tea?

  529. But hey, we’re gonna do them at home so what’s the problem…?!?!

    That doesn’t make up for the fact that we always make things difficult for ourselves.

    Why can’t we just start doing all those annoying things that other teams constantly do to us like kicking the ball away, standing on the ball to allow players back, cheeky fouls that would save a goal for the sake of a booking, wasting time.

    I hate all these things when they’re being done against us, but that’s what you have to do sometimes to WIN. Sol, more than anyone on our team knows this.

  530. The error on the first goal was so bad I’m thinking ti doesn’t reflect on his quality at all. You can’t be that bad and be keeper for your national team, and be playing for Arsenal.

    It was just a freak incident.

    Fabianski is too eager. In a hurry, but he doesn’t have the experience to be in so much of a hurry to be number 1.

  531. When I see that cross come in i grabbed my balls and thought ‘Whats mans doing Metres of his line?, mans needs to check himself before he riggedy wrecks himself’

    Then the nect thing I knew he was picking the ball out the net bare face !!!! It was messed up G.

  532. Good point Arse shavin, when we are winning, why do we have to attack and push forward in the last 5 minutes of a game as though we need another goal? Why can’t we sit back, keep possession and just run down the clock?

    Again, it all comes down to the manager. He is the one guiding the team.

  533. Matt

    I or 2 mistakes are you kidding.The Fa cup semi last season when he came running oout of his goal with no chance of getting the ball.The Stoke game in the cup.Flapianski is hopeless.And you cant defend him

  534. The mistake by Flappy for the first goal covered up once again Clichy getting skinned by a winger.He has been awful since he came back from injury

    Bendtner goes shows what folly it was not to sign a striker in january.The guy is not good enough.

  535. Should have been 1-1 wasn’t I have no doubt however that we will finish them off in the home leg.

    Was it me or did Diaby get into many positions to shoot but continually do a Hleb.

  536. Walcott was good though wasn’t he? lol

  537. Early on both Sagna and Clichy were getting skinned becaus there was no cover for them. I thought Eboue would have got the nod but didn’t……this situation was helped when Diaby and Denilson started helping out in the wings.

    Diaby was IMO immense yesterday. Excellent all round MF performance by him

  538. well its too late now, we lost, we made mistakes, as long as we work on these issues and make sure they dont happen again, for those who say we keep making mistakes i say, yea your right but at this stage of the season there is little we can do about it . i like to think of myself as a supportive fan but we cant hide from the obvious and that is that our sqad is not the best . this is true, so we have to try with whatwe have. I wasnt angry last night, in fact i had to laugh to stop meself from crying, as a fan i cant influence wenger i can only hope that our best players get back soon and that we can push on. I used to get p….. off with commentators talking about us as if we were not the light i believe we are, i now have to agree to some degree, i dont think we are the finished article yet, question is, can we keep our best for next season, will we buy more than just one quality player in the summer. Wenger says he wont dispence with a player that he has invested four years in, thats concerning

  539. Maria, Maria !!!!!!
    She reminds of the West Side story !!!!!!!

  540. What I do hav a gripe about is all these individual mistaks that our players are commiting it REALLY gets on my ****.

  541. **** off back to Le moan Boomer!!!

  542. Maria. It rally gets on your ****?

    Are we playing Blankety Blank?

  543. Bendtner’s problem is that he is lazy. he really went missing in the 2nd hald and did not offer our defence an “out ball”. He hid and did not show for the ball.

  544. On Fabianski I can accept the 1st goal. It was a howler, but that is all it was. The 2nd goal is where Wenger really needs to be concnered. He gave the opposition the ball in our own area and then turned his back on play. That really is unforgiveable.

    Irritating really because I quite like him, and he the two mistakes aside was very good.

  545. Lazy????…what utter rubbish. He is playing himself into fitness.

  546. He was the same before he was injured Frank. he has talent, but is lazy.

  547. The mistake that got to me on the second goal was the fact that Fabianski was watching the Porto player and not the ball otherwise he wouldn’t have askd Sol if he touched the ball.

    And the bloody ref handing the ball to the Porto player then blocking Sol was crazy. Then to give a goal that was taken why his back was turned was…………aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhh maddening to say the least.

  548. I dont think Hulks should be allowed to play. The ‘fit and proper persons’ act should apply to players as well, you cant have loose cannons like that running around. Poor Rocisky was soiling himself and had to be changed by Pat Rice three times it was a disgrace and you know this.

  549. The ironic thing about the 2nd goal is that the striker was just giving up pressuring Sol. You can see him slowing down when Sol clips the ball.

  550. Benny should have come off far earlier than he did but due to injuies Arsene options were limited yet again.

  551. Oh. For a second there I thought, ‘Right Man For The Job – Pre-Match Music’, was a poll for us to vote Wonder of You out – alas, no. Not just yet.

  552. Wenger has been manager for 13 years.He inherited Seaman and bought Lehmann.The rest of the keepers he has brought to the club have been rubbish.For a club the size of Arsenal not to have one decent keeper is nothing short of a disgrace.Keeper is the most important position in the team.They cannot afford to make mistakes.It says something when our best keeper is playing at Brentford!!!!!!!

  553. LOOSECANNON .Merida is getting no playing time at Arsenal and will get a signing on fee and a place in the team at Atletico, Gallas can also get a signing on fee and a 2 year deal in Europe, and Cesc has been loyal for 6 years without silverware and no one can blame him if he leaves, but lets hope we have a plan B because hes the motor that drives this team

  554. FRANKIE YOU ARE SO RIGHT I SAW WOJIC PLAY FOR BRENTFORD AGAINST LEEDS AND HAVE WATCHED VIDEO SINCE, HES THE BEST WE HAVE GOT AND AT 19 HES NO YOUNGER THAN CASILLAS WAS WHEN HE STARTED WITH MADRID

  555. Bendtner isn`t lazy. His role up front on his own is hard work & he`s still not back to 100% match fitness. Tall players are often wrongly accused.

    Maria, I agree about Diaby doing a Hleb !
    He has a great shot on him & had at least two occasions last night when he should have let fly. Even if he was well outside the box shots can be deflected or fall to someone else. Scoring goals from outside the box will make him the complete modern midfielder.

  556. maria, open your thick head and read what i wrote

  557. Hey hey hey Boomer thats my fiance you’re talking to, which means only I have the privilege of calling her a thick head and destroying her emotionally, cappiche partner?

  558. I have seen what your about before Boomer and what ca I say………I don’t like!!!!

    So…………**** off back to your spritual blog home.

  559. Denny really played well in the second half yesterday. Back to something like his best.

  560. So drop Fabianski and play Szezny, and then the moment he makes a mistake, cane him too?

    Name me one GK who never makes a mistake.

    If you wrote off everyone who didn’t perfom from the moment they got in the first team, you would of written off Bergkamp, Pires and Henry as well.

  561. Denilson didn’t play well yesterday Maria, not sure what game you were watching.

  562. Matt, the 1st goal was a mistake. The 2nd was unbelievable and nothing to do with technical ability.

  563. PW

    Dont you know its our policy to walk the ball in

    As for Bendtner he will never be a top class striker unless he improves his first touch.

  564. I thought Denilson was poor as well. He did well in the last 20mins though to be fair.

  565. So he is the only GK in the the world who has mistakenly picked up a back pass?

    And he should be dropped for all time because of it?

    Come on…..

  566. It is not the pick up that does it mate. It is giving the ball back and then turning around. It is pure mentalness. A 14 years old would not have done that.

  567. Matt

    Good keepers dont make as many mistakes.Thats the point.Almunia and Fabianski have made loads of errors this season.Compare these two with Seaman and Lehmann

  568. For me he did Matty. In the arly stages of that match our full-backs were having their clocks cleaned Denny with with hlp from Diaby put an end to that imo.

    What do you think he did wrong yesterday that resulting in him having a bad game?

  569. Oh no, not Matty. Matt I always get you two mixed up!!

  570. “For me he did”

    You don’t have to modify what you said, Maria. Denilson definitely had a good game last night.

  571. Well he did put Sol into trouble with a mis hit pass in the first couple of minutes.

    His passing was definately a bit off, and again, he allowed players to drift past him when defending.

    In the 74th (ish) minute, he gave the ball away, and then allowed a player to run past him, and even when he noticed he just jogged back towards his own goal – very poor effort.

    Maybe i am biased, as he is not a favourite of mine.

  572. Actually David Seaman and Jens Lehmann both made catastrophic errors that cost us European trophies.

  573. I thought he gave the ball away far too often. But he was no worse that most of our other players who were all guity of doing so.

  574. The real question dogs, is what was he doing standing on the edge of his area anyway, he closed Sol down and put him under unecessary pressure and you know this

  575. Clichy is just a shadow of his former self and teams know he is our defensive weakness with Gibbs out and Traore only good at attacking we have no other choice unless Gallas goes to LB and Sol stays in the middle.

  576. William – He would have been fine there if he had taken charge of the situation.

  577. The penalty should have been given, the indirect free kick should not have been given and the referee should not have allowed the goal. The Arsenal players were not culpable for the second goal it was just very, very poor refereeing.

  578. Lord some of you people do talk complete shite.

  579. We were totally fucking done by the ref. All the rest of it is bullshit.

  580. It does my head in.Wenger can sign such gems as outfield players but he has a blind spot when it comes to goalkeepers.The reason Almunia is number 1 is because Fabianski is not go enough its as simple as that

    How close did we get to sign Soreson and will he be coming in the summer?

  581. Well exactly, Frank.

  582. It was very poor refereeing Frank.

    Amateurish…..

  583. Frank, the penalty shout – fair enough. But the goal that followed was definitely Fabianski’s fault. Any right-minded GK would have booted that into touch, or anywhere… He also shouldnt have given the ball to the ref. A booking would have been a very small sacrifice in order to stop us from losing.

  584. Frank – That is complete crap. Ever heard the saying “play to the whistle”? That mean even if the ref makes a dodgy decision, you get on with it and play.

    Yes we should have had a pen.
    Yes the award of the free kick is open to debate.

    and

    Yes our players should have reacted to the free kick. Not stood around doing squat. Or worse still, turning their backs on play. In our area.

    Wake up!!!

  585. Fabianski is a better keeper than Sorensen……AND….I doubt whether RvP and Sorensen will ever appear in the same team.

  586. That is media generated rubbish, goonerandy. All they do is dangle a nice fat juicy anti-Arsenal worm and you go for it every time, son. Supporters like you always do.

    When Fabianski turned away the referee was holding the ball. In other words play had stopped. He had every right to assume that the free-kick would not happen until the referee blew. Quick free kicks occur when the taker has retrieved the ball…which he did not and has then indicated to the referee that he wants to do it. Which he did not do.

  587. Arse Shavin,

    I’ve seen all the best keepers handle back passes. You could tell he didn’t see that Sol had touched the ball.

    Maybe he’ll then be open to blame for not seeing that as his concentration would then be questioned.

  588. LA

    Yeah the Ref dropped the ball in his own net and picked up a back pass.We lost because of that clown Fabianski.The worst Arsenal keeper since George Wood.Sol was used to playing infront of Seaman and Lehmann last night must have reminded him of his days at Sperz

  589. To add insult to injury the refree had already made a horrific game changing mistake and then deliberately blocked the nearest player to the free kick taker.

    One appalling decision after another, after another…and all you can do is dis our players.

  590. Piss off, Raymond.

  591. Frank – That is naive in the extreme. If you honestly believe that our players not not culpable at all you seriously don’t know very much about football.

    “Supporters like me”. Heh, you have no idea of anything about me. Only that I have my own opinion and don’t get my views from either the media, or are completely blinkered.

  592. It amazes me that we haven’t learnt that Cesc cant take a corner lick.. I have been watching this go on for some time and he over hits them every time. Im sure Rosicky or Nasri would be better deliverers of the ball.

  593. And yet the media line is the one you tend to take on here, goonerandy. From a professional point of view I do not know very much about football, so I take my lead from AW on occasions like this.

  594. Some of you people must search for ages for your player hating ‘nuggets’. What a prick you are Yoda.

  595. Frank

    Do you think Lehmann would have handed the ball to the ref?.Of course he wouldnt have.Thats what separates the good keepers from the bad.He should have held onto the ball and taken a yellow card.The 2nd goal was all down to Flappy

    Ole

    You may have seen all the best keepers handle a back pass.But how many have sitched off and conceded a goal from it.As Cesc said SCHOOLBOY ERROR

  596. I thought our set-pieces were good yesterday – each one was floated in to exploit our height advantage over Porto. There was a clear plan going on, and we always looked dangerous from corners.

  597. Frank the ref didnt help but it was sloppy defending on both goals dog and you know this.

    Arsene said we couldnt afford any more god damn sloppiness but last night all I saw was sloppiness here, sloppiness there, mother f~cking sloppiness everywhere.

    In short, it was a sloppy performance from our defence and thats the truth baby

  598. I guess everybody doesnt love Raymond, I do though Ray, you know you is my boy partner

  599. I agree witn Frank 100%. That ref had it in for our team and it’s French manager.

  600. Naaah…you have been listening too much to Jamie Redknapp and the other creeps, Henry Mancini. Most of the players were still appalled at the ‘penalty’ decision as would any player in the Prem be…If the referee asks for the ball you give it to him assuming he has taken charge of the situation. The referees role in all of this is key. Once he has the ball in his hands the ball is dead. Too late for a quick free kick.

  601. Henry Mancini,

    His keeping on the first goal was even worse than the referee’s rubbish form on the second goal.

    But why wouldn’t the keeper hand over the ball? it’s standard. It happens in football every day.

    That’s a silly point of criticism.

    The ref asked for the ball, and then allowed a quick free kick. Technically, the ref should ask for a wall once the defending team’s players don’t allow space to play the free kick. Holding on to the ball is part of that. it was the ref’s poor form.

  602. I hope we see more of that szonal marking at th Emirates as well.

  603. I agree with Big Al, we were defending very well, especially in set pieces.

  604. Frank – Wenger said what you would expect him to say. And rightly so.

    As for the media view, I said (to my wife) as soon as the 2nd goal went in that is was a stupid goal to conceed. And that whilst many will blame the ref, we can only look to our own players being half asleep. Fabregas also said as much after the game.

    It is strange you say to take your lead from the manager, when the only thoughts you get from him are the ones he gives…..to the media. His own thoughts on things will no doubt differ significantly.

  605. Clearly some of you did not witness Jens Lehmann’s catastrophic error in the ECL final, or David Seaman’s in the European Cup Winners Cup Final against Real Zaragoza.

  606. Frank,

    People judge keepers on reputation. If the goalkeeper has a good rep, mistakes will be overlooked.

  607. @ goonerandy.

    I can only assum your wife rolled her eyes up to the sky thinkg why do I bother. Much the same as I am doing right now.

  608. Dont be such a Neanderthal frank,,, you get all hot and flustered for any little reason,,you could give yourself a heart attack. I dont think he is that good at taking corners. I like him and will be devastated if he had to leave. So to call me a player hater is nothing but fucking retarded.
    Grow up man!

  609. No, goonerandy, I take his lead. When I saw the incident my first thought was that the action of the ref was outrageous. You were obviously too busy talking to your wife to have noticed. Readying yourself for a player assault no doubt. Interestingly my first thought about the ‘back pass’ was that it was an accident. On watching the replay I was convinced it was an accident. First impressions are often right.

    Still the opinions of a person who professes to ‘know’ about football and then embarks on a ‘Bendtner is lazy’ tirade, are worth diddly squat, or even less.

  610. What does that have to do with anything? I saw both, but that has no bearing on last night

    Nobody is saying that we expect a keeper to be perfect. That position above all other highlights any mistake. I like Fabianski and still think that he could make it with us. I hope Wenger sticks with him on Saturday for starters.

    Seaman and Jens pro’s outwweights their cons. Fabianski is border line so far.

  611. Besides the two goals was I the only one to enjoy the performance allot of players worked hard last night to ensure the team came away with a result that could be converted into a pass through to the next stgaes.

    I was most impressed by the workrate of Denny, Diaby and Nasri.

  612. What a load of hogwash some supporters sprout on the back of a loss. Unbelievable really. Very boring. And boorish. Our team has a tough outing and all the piss poor ‘gooners’ come with their player analysis crap. Arsenal did not have a great game, no one really said they did, but it changes little or nothing. Arsenal is a great team. The very first person we should be supporting is Fabianski. You idiots know full well he is a very good keeper. He has made errors, and yesterday a couple of completely uncharacteristic howlers; every keeper – without exception – has done this.

    It is very clear you have never played football.

  613. Fabianski has not played for us long enough to have built that reputation. He will though.

    Goonerandy, you must not assume that all my comments are about you. The keeper comments were a reference to those having a go at Fabianski’s mistake. Multi-threading you see.

    Yoda, you will have to do a lot better than that, young man.

  614. Actually, Maria, I thought we played very well and have said so. I agree with you. Usually do.

  615. I agree that the backpass was acidental. I don’t blame Fabianski for picking it up either as I put that down to instinct.

    My gripe is that we switched off once the free kick had been given (incorrect or otherwise). Nobody made an effort to get back, whilst Fabianski gave the ref the ball and then turned around whilst we conceeded a goal.

    Before you mark me as some “player hater”, I am far from it. I think Denilson is not good enough for us, and I think Bendtner is lazy. That is about it as far as my negative views on players go.

    I rate this squad, and think we are so very very close to maturing in a team which could dominate.

  616. Raymond/Henry Mancini, whoever the fuck you are, the referee inexplicably gifted Porto a goal. He didn’t allow a wall to be formed for an IFK inside the area! He didn’t even allow time for Fabianski to turn and face! He then blocked our nearest defender from intervening in anyway by positioning himself directly in Sol Campbell’s way!

    It was a fucking joke. Regardless of whether or not there were suspicious motives behind this massive error, or whether he is just embarrassingly gutless and shit at his job, doesn’t matter – either way, if you, as an Arsenal supporter can’t see that we were totally fucking hung out to dry by that decision, then you’re as much of a useless wanker as he is.

  617. I thought that Denilson and Bendtner were excellent last night.

  618. But all that aside, I do agre with you (Frank & Maria) that in the whole we played pretty well last night against a decent side. Away from home.

  619. Maria 1.13 that is the highlight of my day as nothing else seems to be working out. I see we have a new scapegoat in Fabianski.

  620. Limpar assist, this Ref is the same mother f~cker who hung Chelsea out to dry against Barcelona last year dog.

    I tell you what theres alot of racist people against England and her fantastic clubs out there, a helluva lot dog. It stems from basic Jealousy partner, rise above it.

  621. And she was right as well.

  622. goonerandy,

    The point of a quick free kick is to take if before the players get back into position. In this case there were 4 players + Fabianski around the incident.

    With the way the ref handled it, there was NO chance of getting back to defend it.

    Sol could easily have blocked the pass for example, but the ref was blocking him.

    The ref was atrocious. Sometimes you just have to blame someone else and not your own player.

  623. Bendtner and Rosicky seemed to tire, but both always looked dangerous. Clichy was caught out twice but came back and looked determined. Cesc was kicked about, and had a touch second half. Otherwise there wasn’t really a weak performance aside from the two gifted goals, and even then Fab made 3 excellent saves. I thought Porto defended well in the second half.

  624. “Away from home”.

    The most important point for me. We dominated the ball and had the better chances.

  625. Zimpaul,

    I disagree. I thought we were poor all round. Porto didn’t play particularly well either.

  626. NO I dont Frank,, yes I am a young man, i have no need for your approval, I dont think we are good on corners. I dont think Cesc is good at delivering the ball. I have my opinion, to call me a player hater for that is fucking pathetic, age does not necessarily go hand in hand with wisdom as you prove time and time again.
    A whipped in ball to the center of the are is so hard to defend and requires the slightest of touches bye either team to deflect into the net. Overhitting to the far post or beyond (wich we seem to do all the time) is not very productive and easier to defend.
    If you have any resason to dissagre Frank then why the fuck dont you do it like a grown man and not a little name calling pussy. State your reason and have a fucking grown up debate. Dont hide in your corner spewing forth names FFS

  627. Ole – Your 1st paragraph illstrates why the goal was OK. The ref did not cover himself in glory that is for sure.

    The question is; could any of our players prevented the goal. The answer is yes. Instead of feeling sorry for himself Sol should have gotten himself set before the ref even had the ball. Fabianski should have held onto the ball for longer (he could see were were in no position to defend), and almost certainly should not have turned his back on the ball.

  628. We shall eat Portos balls at the emirates with a dash of Sweet Chilli sauce

  629. Actually Francis, I was in Paris in 06, and although Lehmann’s error cost us a man, it certainly didnt cost us the game. Oh, and this is the same Lehmann who kept a record amount of consecutive clean sheets on the way to the final. We spanked Barca that night and Henry missed two guilt edged chances. Both Barcas goals were Almunias fault. And Wenger should have never replaced Bobby P.
    I was in Paris when Nayim scored aswell, and I couldnt give a fuck mate.. The season before we won it in Copenhagen against a much better team (and without Ian Wright) and Seaman got us to the final with incredible displays in Sampdoria for instance..
    Almunia has never done anything apart from look like a sex offender. If I saw him in Argos I would murk him.

  630. GR you say seeman and Jens’ pros outweighed their cons. I am sure this is through their careers. How can we judge Fabianski now, its not like he’s been playing week in and week out and to suggest that his cons outweigh his pros is doing exactly what Frank says you are doing!!

    That ref ought to be hanged!! the Bastard!!

  631. Firstlady the ref is a daft racist against English clubs and he even lets france commit hand balls whenever they want. It aint on G, summits gotta give partner

  632. The best thing about last night was Big Sols first minute tackle.

    Says a lot really.

  633. Time to do some work,,, We can have it out another time Frank.

    Peace Yall!

  634. goonerandy,

    Your criticism sets too high standards. You say Sol should “have gotten himself set before the ref even had the ball”.

    What does this mean?

    What does getting himself set mean?

    BTW I didn’t say it wasn’t a good goal. Allowing it didn’t contravene the rules of the game, it was just very poor refereeing. He simply gave Porto a goal.

    Once the ref got possession of the ball, he was obliged to allow for a wall to be formed. He should have at that point instructed both sets of players as follows.

    He would have been well within his rights, to blow for the free kick to be retaken even before the goal was scored.

  635. When Fabianski turned away the referee was holding the ball. In other words play had stopped. He had every right to assume that the free-kick would not happen until the referee blew. Quick free kicks occur when the taker has retrieved the ball…which he did not and has then indicated to the referee that he wants to do it. Which he did not do.

    That makes sense to me, Frank.

    @ goonerandy

    Is the ref allowed to let a free kick be taken quickly if the game has been stopped?
    Also, if he is going to allow a quick free kick, doesn’t he have to signal his approval? He wasn’t even facing the right way when the free kick was taken, and I don’t think he even realised the kick had been taken until the ball was heading for the net, so how he can have approved it is beyond me.
    Admittedly, the players failed to anticipate his stupidity, but it was the ONLY time in the game that he allowed a quick free kick, so I’m not surprised they weren’t expecting it.

    @ Arse shavin at 12:47

    I think Fabianski was too close to Campbell to boot the ball out – it could have ricocheted off Sol and gone anywhere. I don’t know what would have been best, assuming he even realised Sol had touched it, but I think he would have had to concede a corner.

  636. Great Post FunGunner, its shit like that which is why you is Maria’s Maid of Honour on our big day rude girl and you know this

  637. “Once the ref got possession of the ball, he was obliged to allow for a wall to be formed. He should have at that point instructed both sets of players as follows.”

    Just answered my question, Ole G, thanks.

  638. Bolo to insinuate Almunia is a sex offender is beyond pale as far as hating a person goes.

  639. Like I said, the ref did not do well. He did not handle the situation well at all. I am not interested in what other players/officials do to be honest. My gripe is our players switched off, regardless of what the ref could/could not be expected to do.

    And I would bet that away from the media and on the training ground that is what Wenger and the coaches will be focusing on as well. We cannot acount of indivuduals outide our club; however some of our players could have prevented the goal had they remained alert. That is the long and short of it.

  640. @ goonerandy

    So do you agree that the kick should have been retaken?

  641. The ref knew he`d dropped one – why else have a chat with Arsene.

    We ARE easy to ref though. Nobody seems to argue or get in the ref`s ear when things are going against us apart from maybe Cesc. It`s well known that officials like to even things up.

    Don`t get me wrong , I don`t want us to be like Chels / Man Ure & be totally obnoxious, just get ourselves heard a bit.

  642. I didnt insinuate anything. I said he looked like one.

    He drives me insane, always has done, and seeing as I’ve followed the team for the last 20+ years home and away, I’d say I’m entitled to my opinion. Would I ever boo him, no.. Would I begrudge him a great performance?, of course not, but the fact remains, we will NEVER win ANYTHING with him between the sticks. It really grates because The Arsenal have a history of great goalkeepers, and that’s where any great team begins.

  643. Bollo, what is your evidence that Almunia is a sex offender?

  644. FunGunner – No I don’t unfortunately. My first reaction was the the ref would pull it back. But once he hadn’t I knew that we had been sloppy.

    There are freekick taken quickly all over the pitch. Cesc does on a regular basis. In fact us more than any other team I can think of take quick free kicks. It is exactly the type of goal we would have scored as well.

  645. William, come on sonnnnnnnn, I expect better of you player/

  646. @ goonerandy

    Didn’t Cesc have a goal disallowed in a similar situation? And he was outside the box.

    My first reaction was the the ref would pull it back. But once he hadn’t I knew that we had been sloppy.
    Do you concede that the ref had stopped the game by demanding the ball from Fabianski?

  647. The most important thing to remember here is Fuck the police/

  648. Bendtner needs a huge kick up the arse.To play as the lone striker you have to run your nuts off and not wait for the ball come to you.In his big head he thinks he is the best striker in the world time for him to deliver on the pitch.Chamakh will be here in the summer

  649. Bollo you know that dog, I hate the god damn 5.0

  650. Victor ‘led the Israelites out of Egypt’ Moses did more in 20 minutes for Wigan last night than Nasri has done for us all season. He is a poor mans Hleb and I didnt think such a thing existed. Obviously it was to protect Tommy’s broken hamstrings, but I thought Nasri should have been subbed last night.

  651. For real William, for real. Stop the snitching dog.
    I know you with me on this.

  652. Would we have been complaining if we had scored THAT goal?Or would we be saying what quick thinking by our players just like we did when TH14 did it

    Wenger is getting boring by making excuses for our defeats.At least Cesc is not afraid to tell it like it is.

    didnt Porto get a draw at OT last season
    Lets hope Vito is between the sticks on saturday

  653. FanGunner – The game was stopped the second he blew the whistle.

    I am a big believer in quick free kicks if the attacking team wants to take one. Why should the team who have been “wronged” have the advantage taken away from them. Unfortunetly in this case we were on the recieving end.

    Like I said it is the exact type of goal we would have scored. Quick thinking by the attackers, and head up arse by defenders.

  654. As I said, Goonerandy, Cesc’s goal in that situation was disallowed.

    It was quick thinking from Porto. But on the question of teams taking quick free kicks…
    Why should the team who have been “wronged” have the advantage taken away from them.
    They didn’t have the advantage. Porto wouldn’t have had the ball if the referee had not taken it off Fabianski and allowed the Porto player to grab it off him. They didn’t have the advantage until the referee gave it to them.

  655. Different refs will have differnt views on quick free kick. Wrong, but there you go.

    What did you think when Cesc’c was disallowed?

  656. I should clarify my point with reagrds to the advantage being taken away.

    If a player gets fouled and in turn stops the attacking team in its tracks, why then should the team that comitted the foul be given time to regroup. It is a double whammy for the team that has been “wronged”.

    I know that scenario does not apply to this case, but the rules do.

  657. @ goonerandy

    It’s not the ref’s personal view on quick free kicks that’s the issue. If it was, I would question why he allowed that one, in the most dangerous position, and no others in the game.

    If a player gets fouled and in turn stops the attacking team in its tracks, why then should the team that comitted the foul be given time to regroup. It is a double whammy for the team that has been “wronged”.
    The question is whether it was either fair or within the rules to give Porto an advantage they did NOT have when he blew the whistle for the back pass. If Fabianski had given Porto the ball, or dropped the ball and they had pounced on it, fair enough. But they only got the ball because the referee demanded it from Fabianski, and Fabianski had to obey eventually.

    For the Cesc goal, I was disappointed the goal did not stand, but subsequently understood the decision because Cesc didn’t consult the ref before kicking.

  658. fyi

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/2010/02/the-porto-free-kick-the-referees-point-of-view/

    A post from a working referee. He is an Arsenal fan, but the rules seem pretty black and white – the ref got it wrong.
    I knew I was right about the signalling, as well.

  659. FanuGunner – I take your points, and do agree with them to a point. My issue though is not if the free kick has correct or played out fairly. It is that regardless of this, our players switching off was the cause of the goal.

    If our players (Sol and Fabianski) and remained alert the goal would not have happened regardless of what the ref and their players did.

    These lapses are what costs teams at that level.

  660. A Mr G Poll said in his newspaper column this morning that the ref was correct. As much as I dislike the man, he is better qualified than a working ref on a blog. Would you not agree?

  661. @ goonerandy

    Well, I disagree – it was the ref’s incorrect handling of the situation which allowed them to take what was virtually a penalty.

  662. Fair one. Agree to disagree then.

  663. I do hope Fabianski would not turn his back on a pen though. People really would be asking questions then.

  664. @ goonerandy

    No, I wouldn’t necessarily accept Poll’s opinion over that of a referee who also happens to blog. It would depend on his reasoning and the rules he could trot out in support of his view. Walter on Untold Arsenal has provided apparently unambiguous evidence to back up his opinion. And has not to my knowledge issued three yellow cards to the same player.

    Being a blogger does not in itself invalidate an opinion – as a working referee, as opposed to an ex-referee, he is arguably better placed to know the current rules of the game – which are what this argument is about.

  665. @ goonerandy

    This is not a hypothetical situation, so in the absence of any evidence for your view, and with clear evidence for mine, I don’t agree to disagree – I think you and Poll are wrong.

  666. I don’t like Poll, but a ref who has world cup experience is more likely to understand the rules of the game than an ametuer ref. Come on.

    Like I have said though, my issue is not with the why’s and woes about the details of the free kick. Simply that we went to sleep and did not defend what was put in front of us. It was schoolboy stuff and our captain said as much.

  667. I put this same comment on today’s post but I guess people are still debating on yesterdays post so I will copy and paste it here.

    Embarrassing defending kills is getting out of hand. Yesterday someone lamented “why does this never happen to ManU”. Our table position in Goals conceded for 7 yrs. has been 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th and this yr 9th. The slow deterioration of our team defense is the most worrisome problem of all. Even AKB nation has to be secretly concerned.

    AW inherited a great defense which combined with his offensive genius gave us the glory years. Lee Dixon recently said that during his time there was not much defensive coaching after AW arrived. The person who writes Arsenal column (the brain) indicated that we do no defensive drills on the training pitch. There has to be a connection.

    I think its time for AW to give up a little bit of his control and hire a defensive coach. Defense is clearly not his strong suit and we need someone who can get stop the slide. The need to upgrade some of our players is another debate. However, changing the defensive mentality of this team is an absolute necessary first step if we ever want to be better then 3rd place or CL semifinals.

  668. I am wrong that we did not defend the situation correctly?

    Are you saying that you are OK with Fabianski turning his back on play when the opposition have a free kick ten yards from our goal? It does not matter if he agreed with it or not, that is what was happening.

    Are you OK with the fact that Sol (who was very good all night) stood feeling sorry for himself whilst the oposition strikers saw an opportunity and took it?

    Fine. Good for you.

  669. I am wrong that we did not defend the situation correctly?

    Are you saying that you are OK with Fabianski turning his back on play when the opposition have a free kick ten yards from our goal? It does not matter if he agreed with it or not, that is what was happening.

    Are you OK with the fact that Sol (who was very good all night) stood feeling sorry for himself whilst the oposition strikers saw an opportunity and took it?

  670. @ goonerandy

    Poll is wrong about the ref. This was not a judgment call, like the (also wrong) penalty decision. There are procedures laid out in the rules which the ref did not follow.

    You are wrong about the goal being due to poor defending. The defenders could have anticipated the ref’s ineptness, but the goal itself came about because the ref allowed Porto to take a quick free kick without signalling it properly. If he had done what he was supposed to do, we would have been prepared.

  671. The goal came because our goalkeeper gave the ball to the ref whilst our defenders were sauntering back. And then turned his back on play.

    The free kick had been given, shit or bust. If Fabianski had not done what he did they would not have scored as they did. Stop getting caught up in the free kick business, it happened. The gaol happende because we did not deal with it.

  672. World cup ref Poll is wrong and you and internet blogging ref are right?

    Ok then.

  673. World cup ref Poll is wrong and you and internet blogging ref are right?

    Ok then.

    Glad we finally agree, goonerandy.

  674. Heh, I can’t belive I now look like a G Poll fan. I can’t stand the guy.

  675. Graham Poll is renowned for misinterpreting rules, and his new persona as a pundit is based upon sensationalism. The gentleman on Untold Arsenal was quoting from the rule book.

  676. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Umm Victor Moses didn’t come on until the 80th, buddy. If he was the dogs bollocks he’d be with us or United or Chelsea, but he’s not, he’s with Wigan Athletic. Funny how you make no mention of him greedily blowing a clear cut chance right at the end. F*cking dunce.

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