In Conversation With A Barca Blogger

Bibin from All About FC Barcelona has been kind enough to spend some time giving his thoughts on this week’s Champions League clash and Barcelona in general.

ACLF: Over the two legs, Barcelona is the favourites. How do you see the two matches going?

Bibin: I believe the First leg at Emirates is the crucial one. We have to go for a win there or at least a goal scoring draw. If we failed to score at Emirates, we will be in trouble. The key in the tie will be how Toure Perform. If he continues his good form, Arsenal could be in trouble (only if Guardiola picks him ahead of Busquets). Also Xavi’s return helps a lot. I think we will win the match at Emirates and then draw the return leg.

What makes you believe you will win at Arsenal?

Three reasons. First one is the fact that Barca will be more comfortable with Arsenal’s playing style. Second is the central defence you have got. Vermaelen is class but Sol Campbell is past his prime. Messi could make life difficult for him. Third one is the fact that the Barca squad is more experienced in terms of these kinds of matches. Even then this is going to be a tight match.

It seems that you think Barca will have problems keeping clean sheets in both legs?

It will be hard for both the teams to keep clean sheets in this tie. It is going to be a display of attacking football and definitely goals will come from both sides. Add to it, the occasional mistakes both our defences are used to make, goal will be guaranteed.

Iniesta is definitely out of the 1st Leg and highly doubtful for the 2nd. How much will Barca miss him?

We will surely miss him. He is an integral part of Barca midfield and forms the most lethal midfield alliance with Xavi. This injury surely complicates the first leg for Barca. He is expected to return for the second leg. Luckily we have Xavi returning now and that should ease the headache a bit. A midfield of Toure, Busquets and Xavi should still be able to do the job for Barca.

Henry has said that he would have preferred not to play Arsenal – do you think he will start in either leg? Is age finally catching up with him?

I believe we will start with him at the Emirates, especially because of his experience and knowledge of Arsenal. He is also one player who is past his prime. But he still is able to contribute to Barca’s success, that’s the quality of the talent he possesses. This season most probably will be his last season at Barca.

Where do you see the main danger from Arsenal?

That’s simple. I believe the main danger for Barca will come from Arshavin and Fabregas. Arshavin would be able to exploit the space left by Alves while going forward. And Arshavin always is a big game performer. Fabregas also is key, especially with his ability to split defence. But for me containing Arshavin will be the key for Barca.

No mention of Nasri or Rosicky. Walcott’s pace could trouble the left side of your defence if he plays. And what of our own version of Lionel Messi, Emmanuel Eboue?

They all are quality players, but I doubt they have the command on the game like Fabregas and Arshavin. Just watch your big games this season; it’s these two guys performance that decided those matches. When they failed, your team struggled against bigger teams.

Alex Hleb said that he felt Arsenal moved the ball quicker and were less direct than Barcelona

Arsene Wenger always loved the Barca style of play and with the quality of players you got, that’s not a big surprise. And it is also due to the fact Barca is playing at a much lower tempo this season compared to last season.

The defence is seen as the weak link in the side which seems harsh as they have kept 25 or so clean sheets this season. Is it an area which concerns you?

Isn’t it strange that one of the tidiest defences in Europe is considered a probable weak link? That’s life at Barca. It may not be entirely wrong. The defence has a definitive weakness against aerial ball especially when there is a strong CF like Drogba. But why the defence is getting exposed at times is due to the fact that they are an integral part in Barca’s attack. Arsenal Fans can definitely relate to that.

Another reason is the high defensive line we hold and the full backs getting forward most of the time. That’s why there is always trouble if the midfield fails to dominate possession.

Lionel Messi grabs headlines for his attacking displays; the suggestion is that he is carrying the side.

If you look at the whole season, then definitely not true. But yes, in the last few matches we have depended heavily on him to win matches. Luckily Messi is not complaining. But the last two matches showed that many of our players especially Toure and Iniesta are coming back to form and we should see them contributing heavily for Barca. But still Barca might look to Messi to score majority of goals, as Ibra still is struggling in front of goal. But he should have more creative assists from others.

The perception is that Barca has an outstanding starting XI but not too much depth to the squad.

Again the arguments do have some merit. What we are missing is some quality cover at the front left position and the centre forward position. But the problem is with the amazing quality of youngsters that are coming from the Youth Academy. So I think management always sees whether they can give enough chances to players like Bojan, Pedro, Jeffren, Jonathan etc. Again it’s quite tricky, just watch what happened with Gudjohnsen or Hleb in that case, it is not that easy to replace the starting XI and they always struggle to find quality playing time. And in Barca the youth products always will be preferred.

There was a lot of talk that Bojan would move on last summer. Perhaps Pedro is in a similar position? Is Barca facing a wider issue of talented youngsters leaving? Are the club ready for that?

There is a high possibility of Bojan leaving on loan next summer. Guardiola has preferred Pedro ahead of him. Guardiola looks like don’t not have much confidence in Bojan but Pedro is his chosen one. So he will never leave. Bojan’s recent form has been ok and most importantly he is getting some playing time, so he also may decide to stay. With such an excellent youth system, we may have to accept the possibility of some of these talented players leaving. The key is to identify the best and retain them.

This has to be asked…Do you think Cesc will join Barcelona in the summer? Who would he replace in the side?

This is a very risky question, especially considering that this is going to get posted on an Arsenal blog. I will answer this question in two parts:

1) Should Barca Go For Cesc?

Ok, my answer will surprise many but I firmly believe that Cesc will be a costly buy, one which Barca may not need at this moment. If Cesc arrives, then one of the options will be to move Iniesta forward. That is something I am against. I don’t want a midfield minus Iniesta.

Iniesta may not score many goals or may not have too many shot on target, but he provides something to our midfield which makes it the best. He with his constant tricks and skills and amazing ball possession and passing skills give the forwards lot of space to operate with.

What we really need is a guy to replace Henry on the front, someone like Silva or may be a Ribery without injury. There is no doubt that Fabregas is the ideal replacement for Xavi, but Xavi should play at this level for some more years (touch wood). By that time one of Thiago, Jonathan etc should be ready.

2) Will Cesc Join Barca this season?

No, if Arsenal wins some Silverware. Otherwise there is a high chance. Why I say high chance is because Real Madrid will be looking to pounce on him and no Barca management can afford that to happen. So we will definitely go for him if Real Madrid makes a even a slightest of noise.

Laporta though is obsessed with re-signing Cesc! Madrid cannot even say who their coach will be next week, let alone in the summer!! Most Madrileños will be praying that Arsenal dump Barca out of the Champions League, the shame of Puyol lifting the trophy in the Bernabeu would be too much for them to bear!

It’s always the story with Madrid. But remember in Madrid, the President runs the show, especially the transfer sagas. Barcelona winning the Champions League at Bernabeu will see Madrid making another mess of the transfer market. So I think everyone should be worried about that. I firmly believe that Laporta is obsessed to bring Cesc to Barca because of the reported interest by Madrid. Don’t blame him, he cannot allow such a scenario.

It was said that on the day Laporta first took over as President, his predecessor left him Fabregas’ file with a note, “You will have to explain how this one got away”. The question is whether Cesc would be the player he now is had he stayed or has leaving been the best thing for his career?

Nobody can say what would have happened had Cesc stayed at Barca. Arsenal did play a huge part in the development of Fabregas. But again you can’t say that, has he stayed at Barca he wouldn’t have developed into a quality player. You are talking about a team which developed the likes of Xavi, Iniesta etc in recent times and some exceptional midfielders in the past.

Laporta finally leaves the club this summer. Good news or bad?

I personally would love to see him continue. But there is no need to feel bad. In Barca it is the system which produces success. But it will be a dishonour not to appreciate his contribution. He was the one who placed Barca firmly back in the European Map.

But then there was a bit of luck which went his way. Just Imagine, What would have happened if he managed to sign Beckham instead of Ronaldinho? I think he has managed to keep in place a system that should continue the good work. He rightly has put the emphasis back on Youth academy.

Most Arsenal fans hate Laporta and will be glad to see the back of him. Next will getting shot of Florentino Perez!

Every Barca fan would love to see the back of Perez, but he will not go that easily. He will make another mess of the entire footballing scenario before leaving.

You wouldn’t want to see a Galactico approach at Barcelona then?

I would like to see Barca buy quality players because they have to offer something to the team, not because they are stars. The Galactico policy is all about buying stars. I firmly believe in developing stars. Remember in Messi, Iniesta and Xavi we have already saved at least 200 million in transfer money.

Pep Guardiola will go down as one of the most successful managers in history. Is he good or simply fortunate to have an outstanding team?

Bit of both. He is good but not excellent and definitely he is blessed with one of the best sides of all time. I don’t regard him as a tactical genius; he is more of a disciplinarian. And that was what this Barca side needed. He had made errors with his tactics and has made me angry many times with his decisions of not utilizing the whole substitution quota. But we should all remember that he is just in his third season as a coach. He will definitely improve and should end up as one of the greatest coach of all time.

His contract is due to be renewed but with the elections there is some doubt about whether he will sign a new one?

He will definitely sign the deal. But I like the attitude of signing deal for a year; it helps him keep his focus.

Thanks to Bibin for his time. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on March 30, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 403 Comments.

  1. I say 2-1 to the Arsenal for the first leg.

  2. 1 loose cannon

    Bibin- You are one level headed Barca fan very good answers but we will beat your boys.

  3. Good job.ultimate underdogs,i love it!

  4. Was Hlebs assessment of both team due to he played for both teams or was it based on this year.

    Bibin seems confident, come on Arsenal lets give them a beatin and squelch it!!!

  5. Well, Mr Barcelona blogger. Welcome to the best footballing side of the planet.

    The question is will Arsenal beat Arsenal-lite.

  6. Great conversation! It’s good to see a Barca fan not bent on getting Cesc at all cost! The addition of too many quality players at one position can cause more harm than good. Look at Gerrard and Lampard for England…

  7. I also think Barca wouldnt be as great if Messi doesnt show up, likewise AA and Cesc.

    No doubt they are heavily reliant upon him.

  8. 1 loose cannon

    Guardiola has said he will come out all attack at the Emirates lets hope he sticks to his words because that will suit us just fine. He is either bluffing or simply not aware that no team has come to the Emirates and attacked even United and Chelsea had their own tactics to beat us and attacking for 90 mins is not one of them. They all came and sat back and hit us on the counter but if Mr Guardiola thinks he is just gonna come over here play his expensive football and beat us then he is really in for a shock. Alves thinks he is a striker and if he does what he normally does in la liga then Arshavin will certainly help himself to few goals. They will be foolish to disrespect us.

  9. @1 loose cannon:
    I don’t think it’s a question of disrespect, it’s a question of ideology. Pep, like Arsène, wants to play beautiful football. He doesn’t want to win ugly, it’s something I find admirable. This is a quality I deeply admire from Arsène, win or lose, the boys will always try to play beautiful football!

  10. Yeah, nice rundown Bibin…Can’t disagree with any of that

  11. Agree Frank, its nice to know that a manager will stick to his beliefs and play the beatiful game in a beautiful way.

    Its nice that he also recognized that football is a game and that people also should be entertained when they spend there money. Really, football doesnt need any more stokes, etc.

  12. Very nice interview and comments by ACLFers. I usually don’t make team predictions cause it is pure speculation (and I am usually wrong anyway). But something tells me that Barcelona is going to get a very heavy dose of Eboue (and Nasri) on Wednesday. Maxwell or Abidal will be pinned back more than they are used to and Messi will have to help out a lot on defense. Just my wild, restless thoughts.

  13. This guy seems to think Barcelona is the best thing to ever happen to this universe.
    The Gunners are going to trash them. Song, Eboue, Nasri, Arshavin and Cesc(if he plays) are key. If they get the ball moving, no one has a chance, not even Barcelona.
    And about the Cesc becoming a better player- Why exactly did he leave Catalonia? Because he never got a chance and was a benchwarmer. The dingbats only realised after he joined Arsenal that he was good.
    As far as player development is concerned, no one in the world could beat Arsene Wenger. He’s made too many careers.

  14. Im surprised Bidan believes Barca will win at Emirates, but draw at Barcelona. I would have thought the other way around.

    Regardless, I believe that both teams play technical attacking football, the advantage goes to Arsenal, because Arsenal play in a much faster and physical league. As well as they themselves play much faster and physical. Having said that the referee will play a big role in the match.

    Arsenal rarely lose to Spanish and Italian opposition because of the speed of their football, coupled with the fact they play a technical game. We’ve seen it against Real, Inter, Milan, Juventus, Villarreal etc. Even in the 2006 Champions League Final. Arsenal were on top of Barcelona in the first 20 minutes before Lehmann got sent off, and even then Arsenal looked reasonably good.

    I cant remember ever there being a team that played attacking football against Arsenal and won the match. Im sure there has been 1 or 2, but I cant remember.

    Even though, Arsenal rarely lose to Spanish opposition. Im confidant about this tie.

  15. The reason why the barca blogist thinks a win and a draw is because he thinks Arsenal can play a defensive game in CampNuo a la Chelsea whereas at home we will have to attack and be more exposed, as we know this will not be the case. We will play more or less the same game everywhere, like Barca, and in both games.The remarkable thing about barca is that their record at home and away is pretty much identical, they just play their game and dominate wherever they go.Barca execute their game much better then us, they are far more patient in buildup, they pace the game differently, a lot of midfield domination thru a true one touch futbol, and slow approach before some quick predator move and attack, we play pretty much at the same way/pace all the time, that is why we cannot kill games very well, we do not defend as a unit like barca. we are far less apt in MF keep ball game, our game is predicated on move forward all the time ,

    But Two factors will decide. avoiding individual mistakes (i.e Almunia=howler, Sol=penalty, Clichy= left for dust on the wing) when we are under long stretches of pressure or in the midfield buildup which Barca is the best in disrupting and countering.
    and the second, yes, Messi vs Arshavin. these are the two match winning unpredictables, solos , on the field, Arshavin is a winner, but his workrate is erratic and while he has always his moment or two of briliance in every match he is not at his sharpest for some time now. But that is a big Match and Arshavin’s ability is super motivated in such matches.
    Messi will not miss, without him Barca are a handful for anyone, with him on song they are close to unbeatable.

  16. finally a level headed Barca fan

  17. I don’t want to predict anything.

    Just enjoying the game as this is “the” must watch game of the year.

    Either-way, in Arsene we trust!

  18. is BIBIN from Kerala in India or is BIBIN a spanish name? I am confused. Someone please clarify or if Bibin is checking this blog, please answer.

  19. 1 loose cannon: I don’t think Guardiola means any disrespect when he said that his team will come out and attack Arsenal. Its the way we play. We don’t change it for anyone or anything.

  20. ^^
    Here is Bibin.

  21. The Barca game is the big one. It is our chance go head to to head with team widely regarded to be the best on the planet.

    I hope we smash them. Win this game and I believe we may well go on and win the league -the Premier League. The injection of confidence and belief will be such that we will win and each and every one of our last league games.

    They say ‘that defeat’ against Birmingham (the battle of broken legs) was the turning point in our league campaign. They say we lost our way and never recovered.

    Should it not work the other way also?

    Win against and Barca and the songs will echo throughout the ages.

    May the footballing gods be with us!


  22. Bibin, Arsenal playing Barca is like looking in a mirror and seeing your own reflection.

    Of course Barca will attack! Of course Arsenal will attack!

    That is the joy of our respective teams!

  23. For a change, there will be less crunching tackles and more protection from the referee. It will be a good game between 2 technical sides. A good mix of aerial bombardment (need Bendtner, Diaby and Sol involved) and Wengerball might see us nicking the 1st leg.

  24. I also feel that the question of whether Cesc is leaving or not is irrelevant. It is for the most part a media circus playing with fire.

    The Barca team does not need him and so long as the prospect of him joining Real Madrid is as realistic as Portsmouth not getting relegated -I doubt they will bid for him.

    Perhaps one day in the future but no team depends on one man; as thierry well knows.

  25. Bibin seems to think we will just roll-over and let Barca win. I am sure if we manage to keep Messi Quiet we will win. I have a feeling we may not keep a clean sheet (Ibra to score) but win we will.

    Any chance of Galls being back tomorrow?

  26. This is the type of team that Arsenal can only dream of Playing in the Prem one that likes to play football. Barca maybe favourites but they will fear us just as much.I think both teams will be strong at home and also vulnerable defensively. Our best bet is looking to batter Barca at the Emirates and outscore them over both legs. With the crowd behind us I am sure we will offer a completely different test to the teams that stand back and admire their pretty football. We have often managed to pick the lock and grind out results against overphysical and defensive teams all the time.

    I think however we may cancel each other out in one of the games and the game being decided from shock horror a long ball, set pieces and crosses. Nobody has given Saidou Keita a mention. Very dangerous and underestimated player. His application may be less pretty but he has made very telling contributions. I will be bold I think we will win at the Emirates 3-1 and lose 3-2 at Nou Camp; Messi hatrick and go through. Then the small matter of Inter before battering Utd in the final. How about that for karma.COYG.!!!!

  27. This reminds me of the time we were meeting AC. A technical 0-0 draw was played at the emirates. The newspaper wrote us off. No English team had won at the Sansiro… They had Kaka then, Pirlo, Seedorf…

    we only had a midfield of Cesc, A wannabe Ronaldinho called Hleb, and Flaminini-who?

    THAT Cesc goal is one of my proudest Arsenal moments. Forget the league cups, THAT goal showed that this team had arrived. AC was out played, out thought and out fought.

    When Theo took Nesta to the corner Flag and blistered past him for goal two…

    Let Barca think they are the Superior… suits us just fine. I fear games where we are the favorites…


  28. Up with the Best of em blogs Yogi..

  29. Just wish we had RVP on board…

  30. @jhessart

    Me too.

    But he would be so man marked he wouldn’t even get a sniff.

    But who would think of man marking Eboue? who? 🙂

  31. I have no fucking idea who Pep is or who Laporta is. Fact is Barcelona are going to get stuffed on Wednesday night…..and again next Tuesday.

    Sol Campbell in current form is exactly the player we need playing next to TV tomorrow evening.

    Bibin, I think you have seriously underestimated the effect on the game of Samir Nasri, Alex Song, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue…to name a few.


  32. jehessart, yes RVP will be missed, I just thank god Dickov has declared himself fit.

  33. Love the Post Yogi!

    The Nemesis’ Football Opera, Fans’ Lineup Poll is open


  34. Oh I see we have another Frank on the site. Perhaps I should change my name? Naaah, can’t be arsed. The aviator, havetoo, aramalar..logo is the clue.

    Good idea though, YW, giving us a Barca fan to play with for a couple of days in prep for the game.


  35. “People talk about Arsenal copying our style. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but it’s impossible to copy our style. I am confident by the end of the second leg that Cesc will not be happy.” – Gerrad Pique

    Is this being set up as the Biggest piece of Humble Pie serving ever?

  36. lets hope so Arsenalkabisa
    morning all

  37. I used to have a lot of respect for Barcelona for political reasons as well as football. But when I shipped up to Paris to watch that farce of a European final I realised that Barca had joined Real Madrid and the Mancs amongst the elite of the spoiled bloated brats of football. It was obvious from the music, arrangements, ticketing etc that day that UEFA wanted a Barcelona win. Since then the arrogant, self-indulgent, hyocritical, unpunished whine coming out of the club about Cesc Fabregas sticks in my throat.

    Bibin, I hope your team get it right royally shoved up their arses over the next couple of games.

  38. Just for the record, Arsenal’s style was developing well before Barcelona started their passing game. AW brought it all the way from Monaco, where he first started to put ti together.

  39. …and why do Barcelona have an English flag in their logo?

  40. the english flag comes from genoa frank the engish brought the flag in the 1500 or so.
    It was used so that they could trade in med.
    im guess as barca is port in med they also used the flag too.

  41. the arse style of play aw says it comes from the ajax team i would say it comes from the Magnificent Magyars of the hungarian team of the 50/60

  42. St George – patron saint of Barcelona. same goes for Milan, and a load of other places.

    St George’s day in Catalonia is great. The boys get books and the girls get red roses – well, they used to just get roses. Now they get roses and books.

  43. Thanks, realsocialdad, but why? There is no real link between Barcelona and England these days is there…apart from the number of English retirees and workers in Catalonia is there?

  44. Hold up. St George is the patron saint of all of Catalonia.

  45. So is the flag of St George universal? Is it that we do not have an English flag at all?…is there no connection aprt from St George between England and Barcelona.

    …and of course why is St George connected to either or both. I think he was Greek wasn’t he?

  46. And of course, Gaudi’s gaudy architecture is loaded with Catalan Nationalism, so there’s loads of references to the St George legend.

  47. The crusaders..I know we are not allowed to mention the murdering bastards…used to wear the Cross of St George on their T-shirts.

  48. What legend? That he killed a dragon? That really is no foundation for a country now is it?

  49. Yeah – look at the Georgian flag. LOL

    It’s just a St George’s cross, which kind of takes the edge off it for me.

    No idea why St George was chosen. It goes back to when Catalonia was linked with Aragon.

  50. Running around killing endangered species just for effect is inappropriate in this day and age. I am for changing our flag and leaving the other one to the Catalans. Actually lets be the first country not to have a flag. Just have an empty pole.

  51. Or just a flag of transparent plastic. I’d like that.

  52. Uhoh, that didn’t sound right at all.

  53. ..or a bin bag might be appropriate if current economic forecasts are correct.

  54. get out while you can

  55. They wont have Iniesta.

  56. Cant wait for the match

    please i would want to to conduct another interview with Bibin after the first leg and also the second leg. win or loose

  57. Ugh… reading this is worse than a smug sp**s fan coming on here saying how good they are. Why do it? Barca are horrible.

  58. i would want to see what he would say after we murk barca

  59. I still don’t know why a turkish fella is the patron saint of England. The scots have a scot, the welsh have a welshman, and we have a turk.

  60. I think there’s so much hype on this game it’s gonna be one of the most boring games we’ve seen in ages. Diving, cheating primadonnas. And that’s just the officials.

  61. Jeff, do not fear the Barca, let the Barca fear you

  62. It’s Jesus vs the Messiah.

    Ready for some Cescy football.

  63. BBC have a crap title: Cesc meets his makers or something.

    Might he be meeting Wenger for the first time?

  64. Barcelona are the best team in the world we are the 3rd best in England.

    My biggest fear for us is that clown in goal Almunia,Remember the final in 06

    2-2 at the grove

    2-0 to Barca at the Camp Nou

  65. What an impressive Arsenal supporter you are, Larry.

  66. Don’t write Barca off guys,they are a very good team and the worst to get in the qf of the UEFA. I would rather have taken the Mancs, but the draw is done and the game is on in 30 hours, If we win on Wednesday then we will be boosted and also win our remaining games in the Pl. My scores 1 – 0 for Arsenal and in Spain 1 – 1

  67. Ay Larry King also posts?

    Might you be referring to American Football?

    I have a feeling you have your scores reversed…

  68. A cocky so-and-so aren’t you, Bibin?

    We’ll see.

  69. Larry, pls when you refer to my team, arsenal that is, dont put “we” or “us” just say arsenal because no true arsenal fan would say what you just said

  70. Barcelona play with a winger as left back. Maxwell has no positional sense whatsoever, and I’d really consider playing Walcott. The kid would never have played someone so quick in his life.

  71. Jeff, do not fear people saying ‘we’, let people saying ‘we’ fear you

  72. james stop calling my name, u should fear the letters J.E.F.F, dont you have abything to do wit your life. Fucking 10 year old, you want to play with adults.

    i would hunt u down seriosly

  73. ‘Will Arsenal beat Arsenal-lite’, Ole Gunner? Excellent.

  74. I pity whomever will face Arshavin. He may be in for a long night. The only way to play against Arsenal is to pack the bus, and play on the counter.

    If Barca want to play a game with lots of space, pushing their defense line up they will be hurt. Once the ball is behind maxwell, with Eboue or Theo sprinting, Barca are in Trouble..

  75. The more i think about this game, the more i wonder where Barca will hurt us..


    Sagna Sol TV Clichy

    Cesc Song Diaby

    Eboue Bendtner Arshavin

    or Even


    Eboue Sol TV Clichy

    Cesc Song Diaby

    Nasri Bendtner Arshavin

  76. ArsenalKabisa, ill go with your second formation. Attack all through
    hope diaby is fit

  77. Even If Diaby is not Fit, Either of Denny or Nasri or Rosiscky will slot in there pretty easily…

  78. one more thing, how did you get that picture because i dont like my avater

  79. LimparAssist,

    Eboue, Nasri or Walcott for the right side of attack?

  80. Kilburn Gooner


    i bet you said that Man Utd and Chelsea wouldnt hurt us as well

    Try looking at the Spanish waiter in goal as to where Barca may hurt us

  81. @OG

    Eboue is my first choice if he is not in defence,

    Nasri is my First choice if Eboue is in Defence

    Eboue and Theo will bring Pandemonium to Barca’s right… ohhhhhhhhhhh i just cant wait.. so many permutations

  82. @Kilburn Gooner

    I did? I tend to forget.

    No one can hurt us when playing football. I haven’t seen that in all my life.

    In other things like scrappy, injurious, shirt tugging, score-with-your-bum kinda thing, yes. Football – no.

    Barca cant park the bus and counter so well. Hell, they even cant break other players legs..

  83. Paulie Walnuts

    Excellent Q & A with Bibin. Unlike Pique he sounds confident but not arrogant.

    I`m convinced Barca will get a shock tomorrow evening. They`re a class team with the best individual attacking player in world football but they`re not used to the high tempo we`ll be playing at.

    Bring it on

  84. Was going through the comments, there is a firm belief with Arsenal fans here that Barca players are a bunch of over-rated fools. That’s quite surprising. The same bunch of players have won six trophies last season. You can ridicule it by calling all fluke, but six flukes is bit an overstatement.

    Barca and Arsenal both should be comfortable with each other’s game. So we should see more of an open game, and hence I firmly believe that this match will live up to his expectation.

    I do believe the likes of Eboue and Nasiri could create pandemonium in Barca’s defense, but surprisingly there was no mention of the possibility of Messi creating something similar in arsenal defense here. May be according to you all, Messi is another over-rated player.

    jeff : I would love to do another interview after the first leg and access what happened. I am a Barca fan but prefer to keep a level head when accessing facts.

  85. AllaboutFCBarcelona,

    Listen, you’ve got Messi, who’s by a fair distance the best player in the world.

    But apart from that we fancy our team.

    First, because we always do and we can beat anybody.

    Second, because Barcelona haven’t faced many sides that attack at the pace Arsenal do. We know you allack very well and keep the ball, and Messi can be unstoppable, but we can also tear any defence apart.


  86. Eboue must be in contention for both right back and right midfield spots, Ole – so I’ll have him at RB for the home leg.

    I think it would be harsh on Nasri for him not to start. He’s done more than enough to earn it.

    Having said that, part of me thinks Walcott’s pace could turn Barca inside out!

    There’s also Rosicky to consider – who I think will play a major part in the tie at some point.

    In short, I’m happy with any of them, and supremely confident that AW, having watched more of Barcelona than I will ever do, will choose the right combination to pick the lock.

    I’m stopping by in Barcelona on the way back from Pamplona this July. If we should win the tie, I’m not sure what would be more dangerous; a Fabregas shirt on Las Ramblas, or the bulls of Pamplona. Hmm…

  87. Stop pissing off our Barca guest on this blog. You possibly can’t expect him to say he’s afraid that his team would lose to Arsenal, unlike some dumb a** fans of ours, who are already shitting their pants. Good post YW.

    I think it’s a good time to play Barcelona. Iniesta out with an injury, while Xavi is just returning. Xavi wouldn’t be able to play at his best. We know how long it takes for a player to find form when he’s out for a long time. I think with the likes of Song, Nasri/Diaby/Denilson, Cesc in the midfield we can really dominate the game. However I doubt we’ll see Eboue tomorrow at RB, Arsene would trust Sagna for that, since getting a clean sheet is crucial in this home fixture. We will be the better team for sure tomorrow, what matters most is how our player’s take their chances infront of goal. If we have a relatively clinical day tomorrow, we can win by a couple of goals.

  88. AllaboutFCBarcelona…kudos to you for being level headed in your arguments…but remember…you are on an arsenal blog…so you shouldn’t be surprised if we are backing our team. We will be discussing OUR team and OUR attacking prowess…not yours.

  89. LA,

    I would suggest that since not conceding is crucial in this 2 legged affair, we would be better off playing Sagna at RB, since he is more defensively sound.

    Rosicky, Cesc, Diaby, Nasri, Song, Arshavin, Theo, Eboue…….Just read the previous line a few times, I can bet you all would feel a hell lot more confident about tomorrow. Too many midfield options.

    Xavi, basquests, Yaya, Keita, Messi, Henry…….Strangely it really doesn’t inflict any fear in me………….

  90. @AllAboutFCBarcelona(Bibin)

    At Arsenal, its all about a team. That is why we talk about Eboue. Its a common joke that we all go to watch Arsenal just to see Eboue.

    You talk about Barca’s six flukes. That was last year. And to be honest, if Chelsea had for a moment tried to play football, they would have knocked you out. the Anti football gods did Chelsea in for all their negative play. Manchester never really showed up. Plus they don’t know how to play football. And they are cunts.

    If Barca were in the EPL, it would struggle to get to the top Four. Not because Barca is not good, but because, the game that you played against Chelsea so to make to the final will be a week in week out experience. Barca would face Boxers, and Farmers and wife beaters day in day out in the league. They wouldn’t survive past the December cold..

    We are optimistic because, to our silky chocolate game, we have some steel – some dark arts; we have the option of playing long ball and winning Ugly. Barca does not have that.

    We play faster. Other than the first team, we have players who can change the game in such a way that Barca may end up feeling like they have played four different teams with four different formations.

    We can do direct in your face football, we can do speed, we can do keep ball, we can dazzle you. We can hurt you.

    We are writting these comments, because, unlike many Barca fans, we have seen Arsenal play. And we have seen Barca play, and we feel we have an advantage over you. You are all skill. But we are skill and more.

    We are Arsenal.

  91. I reckon, considering our physical edge, we should kick the shit out of em, like teams do to us. A few elbows/studs up/eye gouges flying in would surely go unpunished? After all if it happens against us all the time, why can’t we have a crack at it? Aren’t they the hallmarks of a hardwoking british team? And when the softy foreign shits are all crying, score some amazing goals.

  92. Ateeb…you are right about being clinical in front of goal…that should be our main concern…no more complacency and casualness…we need to be focused…win the 50-50s in mid field….and attack with confidence.

  93. You are a star ArsenalKabisa, best post all day.

  94. It’s always interesting to read an informed opponents view of a game against us. However, I always find myself disagreeing with what they say. No surprise really.

    Bibin thinks he supports the best team in the world. He’s wrong of course. Still we know that in a cup competition anyone can win. Even Leeds at manu.

    Therefore we will need to treat them with respect to avoid any upset.

  95. an excerpt from the bergkamp interview..

    The only problem, he says, is goalscoring. Arsenal have missed the injured Robin van Persie and departed Emmanuel Adebayor, and need to be more effective in the final third.
    “Arsenal always have more possession of the ball than the opponent. You don’t see often a bad pass in the midfield. But in the final third, often it’s a bad decision. That’s so strange.
    “They just need to be able to finish it off. You have to shoot, to want to score goals no matter how. Just score that goal! You can’t be afraid to miss.”

    This is what we’ve been missing since RVP ‘s injury….we have been a little nervous in the final third…i can remember a couple of incidents where we’ve taken a bit to long to shoot and made that one extra pass thats proved to be wasteful…just hope we can conquer our nerves tomorrow…if thats taken care of…we’re going to run away with it…no problem

  96. Rinseout….i really dont think wenger would condone violence…and i wouldnt either…our squad isn’t built to play that way…we have the ability to win match with our brilliance…we dont need to involve elbows to the head or studs to the shins…when we have vision, pace and tenacity….

  97. check bibins site:

    If Abidal plays, Then Theo has to play…

  98. The squad for this match is – Valdes, Pinto, Marquez, Puyol, Piqué, Milito, Sergio Busquets, Touré, Xavi, Keita, Alves, Abidal, Maxwell, Pedro, Bojan, Ibrahimovic, Messi, Jonathan dos Santos, Henry and Jeffren.

  99. Kabisa that post was wonderful, best post today

    Bibin, would be waiting to hear what you would say about the match

  100. Bibin,

    Thanks for a great read this morning.

    I don’t think anybody thinks that Barcelona are overrated, or indeed foolish.

    I think lots of Arsenal fans will fancy us, especially at home because we play at a very high tempo, week in week out, and as you say, Barca are playing at a slower pace than last year. We’re all hoping this will tell.

    In Diaby, Denilson and Song we have three of the best in the world at winning possession. In Xavi and Messi you have two of the best at keeping it, the midfield battle will be dazzling.

    I happen to think that we will have the edge, due to having to compete so fiercely every Saturday, with teams that play as though fighting for their lives.

    I hope we get a fair referee, and I’m sure we’ll get a great, great game.

  101. Also because of what AK said.

  102. Diaby, Denilson and Song we have three of the best in the world at winning possession. In Xavi and Messi you have two of the best at keeping it

    In Arshavin and Eboue you have some of the best in running at defenders in a one on one open game..

  103. Somebody get Jeff a Brandy, he’s shaking again

  104. Consolsbob….have read that one before…but theres no harm in improving what we’re already good at….and trust me..we can get that 18.3 a little closer to 20 if we’re a little more decisive in front of goal:)

  105. I agree Arseman! Also, the figures do show that we don’t shoot as much as the other sides. That could be improved on, I am sure.

  106. Bob,

    That shots at goal ratio is good despite us missing some sitters. Plus it doesn’t take into account the shots that were never made, despite our players being in really good positions and opting to pass. What it actually shows, is that our players should be encouraged to have a go at the goal, since we’ve got the best shots at goals ratio. Hence, tomorrow I hope we choose to shoot rather than past, and have good composure infront of the goal.

    Bedntner would be bent upon carrying out his personnel feud with Ibrahimovich, and he can perform in the big games. Then we’ve got the Cesc vs Xavi, Messi vs Arshavin, and other performances to drool over. Would be an interesting game. I hope Rosicky starts tomorrow, but I’m not sure if one should drop Nasri or Arshavin for him.

  107. Consolsbob…thats exactly what Bergkamp is talking about…having the confidence and belief to shoot and visualize scoring the goal even before the ball leaves your foot…we see denison taking shots without thinking twice…and if more player were to follow…we’d see those numbers skyrocket

  108. this and the next 10 years would be wonderful for arsenal….we need to give it a name…THE GOLDEN ERA..thats the name

    We arse the arsenal

  109. I am really worried about the Barca game.Wind back 12 months and all the optomism before the man u semi at the emirates.We were going to smash them.Yet in the end it was men against boys

    We must show Barca the respect they deserve and not go gung-ho like we did v man utd who just picked us off.A 0-0 or 1-0 would not be a bad result

  110. Big Al
    Sagna Sol Verm Clichy
    Cesc Song Diaby
    Diaby Diaby Diaby
    Nasri Bendtner AA

    and if eboue is brought on then id replace the 2 diabys on the right with 2 eboues

  111. The Iceman forever remaining Ice Coldddd!!! Brrrrrr!!!!!!

    Great interview Bibbin’s even though I caught a hint of cockiness in his replies, not surprising considering the team he supports are the current holders and have the likes of Messi on the team sheet. I’m confident more than ever about our chances even though I have to admit I had my head in my hands when I saw the draw live. After some thought it sank in and I realized that there will be no loser in this game as long as its played the way everyone is expecting it to be played, if so then every football fan is a winner. No bullshit fouls or calls, no cynical play and finally no regrets. COYMFGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

  112. Captain Cesc had fitness test this morning and not come out for training


    Mind games? Or no Cesc?

  113. Arsenal have got Diaby, Gallas, Nasri, Arshavin et al in training. no Cesc yet

  114. HG – Were on the same page my friend but there’s something different about us this season, we fight like hellllll. We just got to keep it tight at the back, that is crucial, away goals would be the end of us. 0-0 would truly be a great result but we all know that aint going to happen, someones going to score and I really hope its us.

  115. ArsenalKabisa….source???

  116. boss Wenger due to speak around 1pm. update on Cesc and Gallas then – John Cross on Twitter

  117. Where are you checking this kabisa??? Gallas?????? Wtf??? Getting his fitness back for the 2nd leg no doubt???

  118. @Arseman

    John Cross on Twitter

  119. “Do you pips think he stay or leave??”

    Good question. It’s hard to say. I mean, I know Messi says that he’s happy in Barcelona, but the call from North London is inevitable – it’s either going to be this summer or next – and I wonder whether he’ll be able to refuse.

  120. public open training at the Emirates…

  121. Jeff, please get a hold of yourself man, panicking is the worst thing we can do.

  122. thanks man…im sure cesc is gona make it….even if he doesnt…we have nasri…no worries

  123. If Cesc’s receiving treatment and even the slightest doubt for the Barca game – then it makes perfect sense for him to sit out training today.

  124. @Limpar.

    Wenger said he would play only if he makes it through today’s training session

  125. Paulie Walnuts

    If the Cesc fitness doubt is bruising then he`ll play. There`s no point him training & getting another knock on it.

    Didn`t TV have a similar problem following the Villa game ?

  126. When did he say tha, AKt? Well, either way we’re about to find out more at the Press Conference.

    I agree with Paulie, all the talk has been of heavy bruising. Few painkillers maybe and he’ll play.

  127. Interesting read

    Dont Know where i got the cesc to train to prove fitness link. Still hunting for it

  128. I belive that we will see a refereeing fiasco tomorrow and next week.


  129. Apparently, Gallas has been in training today. Hope that means he’s fit enough to play tomorrow!

  130. Guys I’m really worried about Jeff, he’s sitting in my front garden clutching his kness to his chest and rocking back and forward, I’m looking at him from my window right now. I’ve left a brandy and a ham sandwich next to him but he doesnt seem interested. I dont know what to do, will someone please come and collect him.

  131. Yes I will collect him. Where do you live?

  132. Paulie Walnuts


    We see refereeing fiascos in practically every match these days. Who are the officials tomorrow by the way ?


    Sticking Gallas straight in against Barca would be a big gamble. Not ability wise of course, just due to general & match fitness after his spell out. If he`s OK in training this week I reckon we`ll see him against Wolves.

    Sol will be OK tomorrow in my opinion. He`ll enjoy the physicality of Ibrahimovic.

    We have to starve Messi of the ball & / or keep him as far from goal as possible.

  133. Just pop your address up on here and we will sort out.

  134. Busacca from Swizerland, Paulie. I will see if I can find out about him. Address, contacts, bank accounts, proclivities that sort of thing.

  135. Unfortunately it seems almost certain that Campbell will give away a penalty tomorrow, so I hope Manuel has his saving gloves on.

  136. okay its mischief:

    Boss Wenger says on Cesc: ‘at the moment he would not play but we will give him another 24 hours.’

  137. Cesc is not fit enough to play. He will be assessed again tomorrow. From Phillippe Auclair.

  138. Boss Wenger says Gallas ‘has a chance of playing.’ Also confirms Diaby, AA23, Nasri all ok

  139. Which is good becuase if he played at the moment he would be on his own. No teammates, no supporters, no opposition.

    I would suggest he turns up in 29-30 hours. There is a good chance that his teammates, Barcelona and some officials will be in the stadium then.

  140. Arsene has named squad of 19 to give Cesc every chance of proving fitness, bur said: ‘if it were today he wouldn’t play’

  141. aaah I see…IF it were today

  142. @Frank

    That is another way to look at it… Might you be a lawyer by any chance??

  143. Paulie Walnuts

    Cheers Frank,

    I hope Busacca is `looked after` before the match.

    Mind games from AW ? I believe Cesc will play & Gallas will be on the bench.

  144. I think that Cesc and Gallas will both play tomorrow.

  145. Arsene said the reason Cesc didn’t train today was to prevent him from getting another kick.

  146. I agree Gallas will play.Sol looked dodgy v Porto cant make the same mistakes v Barca

    My team:

    Sagna Gallas TV Clichy

    Nasri Song Cesc Diaby

    AA23 NB52

  147. Sol will play. We need his fleet footed ways.

    Where’s that lad Alex the Ice Cream kid? I had assumed he would be here given that we ‘lost’ against Brum and Denilson was shi*t, Almunia was sh*t and all that malarky.

    Any one seen the creamer?

  148. ‘They are an exceptional side. But we are an exceptional side too’ – Wenger

    there is only wan Arsene Wenger! wan Arsene Wenger! wan Arsene Wenger!

  149. @HG

    Your team would get over run by Barca so bad you wouldn believe. If you want to go for Width, The play Proper wingers, Theo And Arsh on the wings.

    You cannot Crowd the mid against Barca… Thats Suicidal.

    Plus Wenegr uses a 4 3 3 and he wouldnt change it for just one game..

  150. Iniesta’s goal at Stamford Bridge last season was a beautiful goal.

    Am very glad he’s not playing.
    Barcelona’s most important player last season?

    Glad to see Gallas is back, as expected, for this game.

    Maxwell does seem to be slow.

  151. HG clearly you are a true supporter. Your formation prediction shows that you’ve really been following the team and have a good understanding of how wenger likes to line up. Any other amazing insights for us? would your rather fabianski be in goal? should we call back szcezny?

  152. AK

    playing Walcott would be like playing with 10 men.Nasri and Diaby have been outstanding recently and Song and Cesc are Certain starters if fit.

  153. Arsenalkabisa – your post @ 11:18 sent goose bumps up my spine!! WELL SAID!!!

    do i have your permission to copy parts of that??

  154. NJ

    Szcezny certainly couldnt do any worse than Average Al

  155. Nasri has too start on the right btw. no question.

  156. HG – I think he most certainly could. picking up “back passes” perhaps. what about almunia’s penalty save?

    and honestly, I’m just trying to wind you up bc i know your opinion is worthless bc you clearly dont know much about the Arsenal, at least this season. my guess is that you are not in fact a supporter

  157. @HD

    Are you a Spud? Re: Theo.

    If you want to play 4 4 2. Then play with Out and out Wingers. Not Central Midfielders. Diaby on the Wing is Playing with 10 Men. Nasri, maybe. But he does more damage when he cuts in from an advanced position in the final 3rd…

  158. @NJGooner

    Ask YW… tongue in cheek.

    Yes, feel free to use as your own.

    We are Arsenal!

  159. great thanks mate!

  160. ** ALSO **

    wanted to take this opportunity to let all of you London ACLFers that I will be making my pilgrimage to London and the Emirates for this weekend.

    Any advice, thoughts, recommendations, whatever would me most welcome. If any of you more respectable gentlemen wanted to meet for a pint, that would be delightful.

    Thanks all.. I’m really starting to lose it thinking about this weekend!! and wednesday for that matter


  161. arsenal suffer from the big stage syndrome!!so it should not worry you when we start shootin blanks n pointin fingers to every player at our vicinity!!insisting that prof must GO… all lies in the teams INNER belief not fabs or arshavins belief but the TEAM! Victoria concordia crescit?

  162. Yogi:

    Today’s post is another example of why your’s is the best blog in all of the vast “Arsenal blogosphere”. Great stuff. Your a blogging God.

  163. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola could field Carles Puyol as a left-back rather than in his customary centre or right-back position against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night, according to a report by AS.

  164. Paulie Walnuts


    I think Alan Smith is just guessing

  165. My nightmare scenario for tomorrow is Arshavin failing to track back and leaving Clichy to deal with Messi & Dani Alvez.

  166. I have a feeling Cesc will be on the bench. To make a cameo and score two precious goals. I can smell a 4-1 win against them.



    Denilson………… Song……………. Diaby


    Bench:Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky, Eboue,Gallas, Fabianski

  167. ole any chance you think that will lead AW to start with TR and Nasri wide of NB52??

    but yes that could be a huge problem. hopefully can drop a little diagonally towards clichy to assist

  168. Arsenal Kabisa
    Do we have an Arsenal Supporters club in Kenya? By the way great post aabout why we will beat Barca..honestly “maji imejaa kwa tumbo” you writing that kinda helped.

  169. NJGooner,

    I don’t know how much stock one can place on this- but it’s sometimes a good indicator of which team will start; from the training pictures it seems like the probable team for tomorrow;

    Clichy, Gallas, Sagna, Vermaelen, Diaby. Bendtner, Nasri, Rosicky, Denilson, Almunia,

  170. ole where are you seeing these photos? i love when they post some of those pics on! love to see the players joking around etc..

    does seem a bit harsh on AA not to start. I think he needs to start AA though. hes been pretty diligent tracking back to help clichy

  171. ooh ooh!!is Song injured Ole?

  172. Well done Yogi. Excellent post.

    I was gutted when I first saw this final 8 draw. Since then I have gained an alternate perspective: I frequently find myself resenting the Arsenal “having” to play clubs like Stoke & Bolton. Muttering things like: dishonest, clogging fuckers can’t play football! Well, we’re a day away from a true test of our footballing superiority.

    To be clear, I believe that Barca are the team to beat in the CL.. however, I believe we’re the only team left in the competition who can beat them. All of em crossed for a healthy midfield of Cesc, Diaby & Song. Come on you Reds!

  173. Does anybody else imagine Bibin as a cute small Spanish boy kicking a football too big for him?

    Or is that just me?

  174. yea vaardo ive felt that same resentment over stoke, bolton

  175. Firstlady,

    I think Song is in the squad. Maybe they didn’t take a photo of him.

  176. Damien, wtf mate?

  177. NJG have a good time, mate. Hopefully, by the time we play wolves, we’ll be RIGHT back in it

  178. Fucking hell, Diaby’s photo scared me, he really does get stuck in dont he? Im sure samir keeps his distance now, haha,,

  179. If Cesc is only 40% likely to play, then why on earth did Wenger not take him off on Saturday to give him every chance of being ready for this one? I know he says that the Birmingham game was the most important game at that time but hell . . . he started without Nasri and AA. Am I missing something here, I do hope this is all kidology!

  180. Because he’s the Captain, and he didn’t want to come off.

    Well, that’s what AW said in his post match comments.

    I believe him.

  181. Thanks Zap should be an amazing time. your frome the US right? you ever been over there for a match?

    and WOW, cant believe gallas is back in the squad. last week wasnt wenger saying he was doubtful for the 2ND leg?!?!? is AW taking a page out of rudolph the red nose reindeer’s playbook with some mis-information??

  182. Finsbury . . . who runs the team?? Are we another player power team . . . I don’t think so!

  183. JD,

    Hopefully Cesc canl play, but I won’t complain at getting the chance to see Nasri play ‘in the centre’ again.


  184. i think its interesting that if Cesc is out, AW’s job of team selection becomes a lot easier. nasri in the “cesc” role, TR wide on the right, NB, then AA wide left

  185. and WOW, cant believe gallas is back in the squad. last week wasnt wenger saying he was doubtful for the 2ND leg?!?!? is AW taking a page out of rudolph the red nose reindeer’s playbook with some mis-information??

    NJG it’s about time!!I cant even count the numerous times the rednose and (chelsea) whoever was manager at the time telling us so and so is not available (just b4 internationals anyone) and then have them turn up for their next game.

    I think Zap is in England but originally from Algeria

  186. NJG i live in london!

    and yeah, most recently at home vs manu, as we all know an absolutely depressing match, but i guess i’ve been lucky the times i have gone there, couple of 6-0s, 7-0 and 3-0, so there had to be a first loss when i went, and not exactly the type i wanted…

    I just watched the champions league preview, they focused on the US and the fans there (unfortunately man fuck again) and they really are enthusiastic, made me a bit sick to hear them going roonay, roonay…. I see that virus is so deep worldwide.

  187. Fair enough Finsbury . . . I would just worry that it would be a huge boost for Barca to see our team sheet without Cesc’s name on it.

  188. yes you got that right firstlady, algerian but live in england.

  189. my bad Zap.. thought I remembered you saying somethign about converting friends in the US. just kind of assumed you were here.

    tough one to watch id imagine. and yea that virus is spreading. Man Utd are the typical team that Americans support. I’ve found that in the US, a lot of Arsenal fans are either ex-pats of other countries or just not your general view of an American. whereas the majority of Utd supporters would fall under your stereotypical image of an American.

    well Zap, I dont want to push the boundaries of the blog comment section relatioship, but you let me know if you have any advice, arsenal pubs to go to, or even if we were to rendevous at said pub… whateva

  190. yes Firstlady i remember that as well!! it was like lampard and essien both werent “fit”. soooo annoying.

    glad to see AW is willing to “play the game”

  191. JD,

    It could also be an advantage!
    Such things are down to the players, as a fan, I’m starting to get a little excited about this game.
    I don’t think AW ever has any problems winding his players back for games where they are the underdogs.

    The last game against the Chavs was actually quite close. This team have come back from problems all season long. Maybe, in context, a draw against The Brum helps for this game? Who knows?


  192. In the EPL, we’ve played 5 times without Cesc. Winning 4, and drawing once, if I remember correctly. So if Cesc isn’t fit enough to start, we have a squad that can cope without his absence.

  193. yeah NJG sounds cool, but unfortunately im going away this weekend, and re. places to go before the game, i dont think you’ll have much trouble finding an arsenal pub outside the stadium, they’re all on the way there, plus i dont have much knowledge of the area since i live near fucking stamford bridge in west london

  194. no worries, thanks for the tip. im sure theres plenty. im trying to decide if i want to go explore the stadium and the area aroudn it the day before the game OR to just arrive on match day and be completely bamboozled!!

    Zap ill be back in London that following weekend

  195. Sorry, that first paragraph is wrong, again.


    Such things are down to the players, as a fan, I’m starting to get a little excited about this game.
    I don’t think AW ever has any problems inspiring players for games where they are the underdog. In recent seasons, every time the team has performed. Last season, an early goal killed off the second leg, but I think AFC will give Barca a better game then ManIOU, or the Chavs.

  196. cesc doesnt actually usually turn up in the big games, so im not concerned abt him, much, much more concerned about diaby, who wouldve thought we’d be saying that a couple of years ago? just shows how much abou has developed

  197. Sigh, second correction:


    ‘perceived underdog’.

  198. not sure i totally agree re cesc Zap… BUT i completely agree about Abou. I just love watching him and song play in midfield. A lot has been made of fab’s benefit in the 4-3-3, but i think diaby has benefited the most after not having a solidified position in the middle in the 4-4-2

  199. yeah..

    i just love the way diaby looks like hes shown too much of the ball to the opposition player, and in the last moment takes it away and suddenly finds himself in acres of space

  200. Zap

    you are a twat.Cesc doesnt turn up for the big games.You are a joker

    After Messi ans Ineista he is the best player in the world

  201. i agree Zap.. he did it sooo many time at Brum. great way to describe what he does too! I can never seem to put it into words!!

    HG I thought we already discussed the validity of your opinion?

  202. Look at diaby’s record this season vs the big teams, vs man united away, he was world class, apart from the unfortunate own goal, he owned the united midfield and pissed all over fletcher and carrick. We missed him a lot vs chelsea at home, man u at home, both of which im convinced we would have won had he played. Against chelsea in the 2-0 defeat, he just played amazing and showed us all what a player he is. The winner vs liverpool that turned our season around confirmed the fact he is incredible quality and that he doesnt crack under pressure. If he plays against barca, i can easily see him causing trouble and if he doesnt play, along with cesc, unfortunately i can see us getting run over.

  203. HG if you aint got anything constructive to say i suggest you fuck off or ill send your mum to pick you up from nursery you cunt.

  204. There are some muppets on here.

    Song and Diaby are made to look good by playing along side Cesc.The same went for Parlour playing alongside PV and EP

  205. just ignore him Zap, he thinks we run a 4-4-2. obviously is someone who thinks he knows arsenal or just some sp*d without a job

  206. hahah,,,true. A lot of jobless spud fans-James…he is the perfect example actually..

  207. Avoid the other half of north london. NJG, you dont want to go to tottenham mate, you will leave with a lot of bad memories, unless you like drunks everywhere, drug dealers round every corner, shitty surroundings and worst of all….a glimpse of white hart lane..

  208. Peter,

    So which one are you – Statler or Waldorf?


  209. I suppose I will Zap, but what do you think — should i explore the area aroudn the ground, walk aroudn the stadium the day before the match or show up on match day with no idea what to expect??

  210. I just dont know if I’ll be able to mentally handle seeing the Emirates and actually attending a match there in the same day.. too much for my American brain to comprehend!!!

  211. Peter, I completely disagree. In fact, I’d argue one of the reasons cesc has been so great, especially in terms of his goal scoring tally, is the strength, solidarity, and support provided by diaby and song to cesc. so he’s got the confidence to trot forward knowing that he wont be exposing a massive gap should he do so

  212. plus a season ago, cesc was our only “bail out” player. If we were in a tight spot and wanted to hold possession cesc could track back grab the ball and move it safely forward, without requiring perfect service or lots of space to set himself up in.

    this year both song and diaby have excelled brilliantly in providing this “bail out” service im describing. anyone else notice this?? song especially bringing the ball out from the back and diaby in the middle

  213. “cesc doesnt actually usually turn up in the big games,”

    Stupid comment of the day. The folks at the San Siro certainly wish you were right.

  214. ok ok bad comment. But i think this season, he certainly hasnt for fucks sake im only saying that so we dont miss him so much and focus on who ACTUALLY bloody plays, allright nolagunner?

    NJG, i would go as much as possible my friend, so i would go the day before BUT it would be that much more special arriving on the match day.

  215. zap…cmon man…u should know better…lol

  216. thats kinda what im thinking Zap that going the day of would just be so incredible. then again, it might be nice if i got weak kneed on match day only once in teh ground. instead of once outside and once inside haha. but then again, I think thats the attraction… ahh life’s tough choices sighhhhhhhh

  217. Villa and Spurs this seasons comes to mind there zap, just off the top that is.

  218. Cesc will not leave Arsenal if we don`t win silverware this season, he loves it at our great club.

  219. NJ Gooner,

    I hope you enjoy your taste of the Emirates on Saturday.

    Personally, i like the 12 pins Pub,which is just around the corner from the Finsbury Park tube station, and a short walk to the ground.

    Plenty of room, a big screen to watch the Man U v Chelsea game on before hand, and a more than decent pint of Guiness on draft.

  220. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I think Nic Bendtner is going to be well up for this one. No one has said much about his beef with Ibra. I reckon he’s going to be out to prove a point. As is Ibra, but we all know about Ibra’s track record in big games for club and country.

  221. Paul N, I dont consider Villa and spurs top teams….Anyway i took that comment back, i just dont want anything to hold us back if cesc doesnt play, we can win without him thats my point.

    Kaman Arsenal

    Kamna You Gunnerssssssssss

    Oh yeah and come on bayern tonight

  222. If we dont win anything this season, next year we will. definitely. Im sorry but chamakh, van persie, arshavin, nasri, diaby, cesc, song….that is just too good.

  223. heres an interesting read….compares the Arsenal 2010 CL squad and the Arsenal 2006 CL squad

  224. NJ

    The twelve pins a reasonable place to start , and follow the route to the Ems from there, down St.Thomas’ past the stalls and burger vans.
    Then you’re onto Gillespie Road & Arsenal tube.

    Gillespie Road is what really connects the two stadiums for me. The same old members clubs, the stalls in the same locations. This was all caught on the ‘Night at the Emirates’ video, so drool over that before you come!
    And if you wander around early enough you can see the area transform on a match day, always a nice sight.

    After games, the nearest pub is on the other side, The Lord Palmerston, usually you get some away fans in there, so it’s a nice place to go too.

    Come on the match day, would be my recommendation.

    For people who drive into London, a hidden gem is the nature trail from Highate tube. On a nice day, you can park up there, and walk down the old railway until you’re right next to the stadium!

  225. Just never heard that before, that it.

    You “took it back” (The Green Mile).

    Lets hope that Cesc gives us a game to remember.

  226. but Zap you must admit, those are big games compared to say Portsmouth, Wigan, etc..

  227. god just listening (well reading?) to you guys talk about the stadium, match day and everything makes me giddy… hopefully 1 day i’ll be at the stadium cheering us to a 5-0 thrashing of Barcelona/Manure/Cheski….
    really NJ….hope you have the time of your life..(i know you will)…you lucky mug

  228. Those games were huge NJG, though they may not be a Barca, United etc.

  229. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    James/Damien is on a roll today. Every joke the man typed today flopped and was tremendously unfunny. Had this been live, you’d have been bombarded with rotten vegetables a long time ago.

  230. i know arsemen.. its almost like I dont believe it will happen. Ya know since I started following and consuming everything arsenal day in, day out I’ve always thought about attending a match as an impossibility. I dont know, I just feel removed from it, getting up early to watch matches etc, I just viewed the prospect of attending a match as something that would NEVER happen.

    Now that it is, i literally cant believe it. like CANNOT believe it. Pretty sure I will tear up when I walk into the stadium, or the first time I get to join in in a song with the fans around me.

    I’m not a religious man – but this is my pilgrimage to Mecca that is one of the 5 pillars of the Islamic faith, REQUIRED, for all true believers. This will probably be one of the most emotional set of moments in my life, not to mention one of the best days anyone on this earth could ask for. Plus, i feel it will give me some credibility amongst you “real” gooners

  231. Paul i was responding to Zap who said Sp*ds, Villa were not “huge” games

  232. Awesome NJ…glad you’re fulfilling ur dream…hopefully next year it’ll be my turn!…cherish the moments…ur a lucky man:)

  233. I know NJ, Zap was responding to my post, I am agreeing with you.

  234. well my bad!

    Yogi, if you’re reading this is what my suggestion has to do with!!!

  235. Was it really Stadler or Waldorf, Yogi? You know from over there?

  236. NJ, somehow I feel you are reading what I wrote with the wrong understanding.

    I was just saying in agreement with you that those games were massive even though Zap minimized them.

    Not sure what “well my bad!” and your ssuggestion to Yogi is all about but I meant nothing offensive in the least.

    We kool?

  237. Mr Bob, how is life sir and the family?

  238. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Someone get NJGooner his proper Arsenal supporter credentials. He’s a “true” supporter now that he’s booked his ticket to the Emirates. Every comment you make from here on out will be looked at in a totally different light, NJG. Your credibility has just gone through the roof, mate.

  239. NJG,

    Matt’s right, the twelve pins is certainly good for a pre match pint or two. Haven’t been there for a couple of years, but have good memories of it (The World’s End is good too). And I’m with Finsbury on approaching by Gillespie Road – that’s a must.

    If you’re with a girl and fancy celebrating after then the barman at the Albert & Pearl on Upper Street makes a killer whiskey sour, and the Hen & Chickens on Highbury Corner is fun, opposite The Junction.

    If you’re in the mood to celebrate Spanish style after tomorrow and pre Camp Nou, Camino in Kings Cross for tapas and pitchers of Sagres for a fiver!

    …although if you follow my route you might end up spaffing your whole billfold on booze. The upshot is though, you’ll be fine. We are blessed not only with the finest football team in the known world, the finest stadium in the country, but also, quite magically – by the finest array of pubs, boozers and bars in all the land!

    I’ll be at the game but hungover like an old bear and will be jetting off right after for more Easter shenanigans.

    Enjoy Mecca.

  240. Thank you Matt, Finsbury, limpar (anyone else!) for the advice.. means a lot to me that you’re willing to take teh time to make another gooners experience better. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  241. Gilespie road eh? which tube stop would be most advantageous to take to come through that way?

    limpar are you of the opinion that i should go to the ground on matchday without having explored it the day before? im debating what to do.

    Just watched taht “night at the emirates” video WOW..

    and Limpar – when i got to the end of your post and read “Enjoy Mecca” i got chills up my spine..

    answer me this ACLFers — how can a football team create such a reaction inside me?!?!?!?

  242. ☆┌─┐ ─┐☆
     │▒│ /▒/
     │▒ /▒/─┬─┐

  243. NJG i often wonder how watching eleven men on a football pitch can inspire so many emotions..the fact its arsenal, the team we all love, and the emotions sparked by arsenal is why football is so great.

  244. Cmon Bayern!!!

  245. Evening Paul. They are very well thank you.

    We will have two of the boys for Easter although they get shorter shrift at this stage of the season interms of my attention, at least at match times!

    You must have it tough, juggling the emotions and demands of a baby with that of following Arsenal during this wonderful, if scary, time.

    I was thinking today that I might try and sound reasonable in debate on here but actually I now spend my times either in fear of conceeding a goal interspersed with deep joy when we score and rage at referees and other teams- that’s during games- and in a state of emotional instability in the periods between games.

    What a season!

  246. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I was being sarcastic, btw. Just “taking the piss” as they say across the pond. You’re going to be in for a blast, NJG. I’ve done the museum and tour of the Ems, but haven’t been able to get over there for a proper game yet.

  247. Bollocks.

  248. F@#K…shrek scores for Manure

  249. yup. i mean i have some pretty desperate and intense sports allegiances fostered and developed by my dad. But both are American sports teams, the NY Yankees in the MLB and the Green Bay Packers in the NFL. I have very strong and real connectiosn to both teams. But it is only in their moments of utmost success (title wins, playoff wins, rivalry games, etc) that bring out the motion that Arsenal generates week-in, week-out.

    I cannot explain this, perhaps it is the fact that the season lasts literally all year long. so the team is constantly there. But that doesnt explain why their successes bring such unchecked enthusiasm and happiness to me.

    anyone else care to offer a word on this?

  250. Paul N – of course we are cool. “My bad” means like my fault, it was my way of apologizing and accepting blame all at once!

    and my suggestion to Yogi had to do with stacking posts in a different way, so that a response could go right under the post its in response to but like indented.

  251. Is it me or don’t teams bother actually defending against manu?

  252. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    There wasn’t a defender within 10 yards of Rooney. That’s shocking.

  253. NJN thank you for clarifying yourself. I find that sarcasm is particularly hard to detect over the internet.

    but to respond to your sarcasm, they’re some truth in every joke after all, i feel that being a true supporter in the cliche sense is somethign i cant attain because to me its teh week in, week out match attendance, going to away games, etc…

    but for me, this is about getting a taste of what being a REAL supporter.

    I also feel that attending a match will fill the void that I feel exists in my Arsenal life.

  254. just hope bayern dont spread their legs open like Milan did

  255. oh and njn i re-read my post, and i didnt say it would make me a “true supporter” but that it would give me some sort of credibility with the “true” support hahah

  256. Chamack equalises for Bordeaux….4th goal in CL

  257. umm. Why are we dissapointed, and why are we watching manu, when you can have a look at chamakh for bordeux, much rather watch that then shrek scoring for man fuck

  258. and chamakh scores!

  259. Chamakh seems like he is great with his head. I hope all the rumors are true. Is anyone watching? How does he look with the ball at his feet?

  260. bill…hes got some pace man…looks impressive!

  261. As far as i have seen he is not a clinical scorer with his feet (not unlike some current Arsenal players) but has very very good timing in the air (80% of his goals are headers)

  262. zap….just hoping to see Bayern kick some putrid Manure ass….

  263. Bayern playing some sexy football…

  264. 1 loose cannon

    Ribery needs to test Neville he is shite and has no pace at all..
    Bayern are getting closer

  265. ferdinand being his usual dirty sneaky self

  266. lyon 2-bordeaux-1

  267. has ManIOU struck a deal with the Champions League refrees too?

  268. Pace and great in the air would be awesome. Hopefully Clichy, Sagna and who ever plays on the wings will be practicing their crossing. Traore (sp?) seems to put in great crosses but needs to work on defense. He played the wing on loan at Portsmouth. I do not know how well he did. I wonder if he could move forward and occasionally play left side ahead of clichy for us?

  269. Bill…Traore was extremely effective from the wings for Pompey….very direct running and great crosses…he definitely managed to impress….its a shame pompey will be relegated…they have played some good football over the past couple of years

  270. Scholes has made some horrible tackles in the 1st half…really doesnt deserve to be on the pitch…

  271. thats the man utd treatment for ya arseman!

    unfortunate that its not just an english disease but a european epidemic!!

  272. Arseman:

    Thanks: I like Traore. The few times I have seen him he has pace and always seems to put in great crosses. If I remember when he was playing we had AA up front and not much chance of heading in goals. Gallas said a couple of years ago what a great prospect he was. Hope he has the patience to stick with us. Lot of talent in front of him.

    I hear Pompey’s fans are really great. I wish ours could would make as much noise. I hope they will be back up soon.

  273. bill pompeys fans ARE awesome! when we went to fratton park a few months ago they were insane!!

    banging drums, chanting the whole game, right to the last whistle. thats dedication. and ya know what thats what REAL support is. thruogh the good times and teh bad. its doubtful that stains on the gooner world like Le Grove exist in the Popmey blogosphere

  274. NJ…it never ceases to amaze me!

    Bill…Pompey does have great fans…thats why I say some of us should stop their whining and just enjoy the ride…we really dont have much we should be complaining about!

  275. Nani’s a bloody joke.

  276. oou….ManUre players dropping like flies at the very hint of contact…

  277. Bayern could take them here.

  278. Calling Rooney Shrek is an insult to Shrek…please refrain, as I do like Shrek.

  279. cant believe bayern got a booking before Manure

  280. Haha, that guy gave him a reason to hit the turf!

  281. Gotcha NJ, “my bad”

  282. oou….ManUre players dropping like flies at the very hint of contact…

    Maybe Chelsea sent the new trampoline to United then?

  283. G4E…u have to admit…if shrek had a twin sister…itd look like rooney.

  284. Chamack is excellent tonight…

  285. Yes Mr. Bob but I am not doing too bad at juggling everything.

    Yes this season is great, only want to top it off with some silverware inspite of all that is against us.

    What a team, huh?

    Bayern look really good!

  286. Looking at gamecast on espn, United dont have a single shot in the 2nd half?!

  287. yea PaulN…a very undeserved lead (how many times have we said that about utd this season?) Bayern have dominated possession and the game…just a bad defensive error costing them the goal

  288. Fuckin hell bayern could be winning 4-1

  289. the 26 Million euro man Gomez…makes me laugh 26 Million!

  290. Arseman,

    Isnt that a shame that they just seem to get these crappy breaks!!!

    Seriously, how can “own goal” be your second leading scorer!!!

  291. Ribery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  293. There you go, one goes against them and Neville should get a red for that handball damn it!!

  294. PaulN !!! and just as you say that…rooney deflects the ball into his own net!!! Karma is a bitch…hahahahahha

  295. Scholes finally gets booked.

  296. Finally Scholes gets a yellow…seems like the anti-footballing gods are waking up!

  297. Scholes should be off wit his second yellow. the free kick was off Rooney haah such a potent goalthreat

  298. Well these refs are surely not afraid to hand some cards out to United.

    One more goal now Bayern!!

  299. LOL, Arseman!!

    United try to sit down on the one goal and its gonna bite them in the backside!!

    Not one single shot in the 2nd!!!

  300. PaulN…trust me they are afraid (unless u were being sarcastic above)…scholes shouldve been off…neville shouldve been off…by now

  301. They do like a good dive, the United players.

  302. No I meant it, about Neville! I didnt watch the first half so I am not aware of what dirty old scholes has been up to.

  303. oh….hes been dirty…im sure hes done some permanent damage to Altintops family jewels with a horrible high footed challenge…and took out badstauber with a typical scholes special…

  304. I think Rooney meant to kick that guy, why would you have to swing your foot like that? Must have gotten tips fro Sawcross!!

  305. ohhhhhhh gomezzzz! so close!

  306. GOMEZ SO CLOSE. You have to admit, Van der sar is really good

  307. No joke Bayern look very classy!

  308. Remember the 2006 final..we completley out played arca. and reduced them to hitting those fukin long diagonal balls out wide..the long ball c*nts.

  309. oliccccccccccccccccccc!!!!! u beauty!!!!!

  310. FUCK YES!

  311. I knew it would happen, sit down on one goal and you get done in!!!

  312. KARMAAAA…where have you been all season?

  313. Oh my….shrek looks injured

  314. Rooney’s fucked as well. This match gets better and better!

    Has Manure’s luck finally run out?


  316. PaulN…you are right…if you play like cowards…you get what you deserve

  317. yessssssssss

  318. if rooney is injured this could be the best game ever!!!!

  319. Just maybe OOU, just maybe.

    The better team won, the better team by a wide margin at that.

    Apart from set peices, United didnt take one shot!!! thats a shame.

  320. Arseman

    I don’t mind calling Rooney…Fiona 🙂

  321. now a win tomorrow…and this would be the happiest week of 2010 yet

  322. Arseman, It was good talking to you. I just feel as if we had something to do with bayern winning. We just kept saying the right things, prophecy!!

  323. G4E….As you wish…form now on Rooney shall be referred to as Fiona:)

  324. If thats true then I thank you for your prophecies LOL.. I feel a little guilty but I hope Rooney’s out for the season.. then comes back for the World Cup.

  325. YYYYYEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hahaha. I predicted a win, with Robben playing. But this was even better. Manc, were just too one dimentional, trying to cross the ball to the Shrek to head.

    If it was the EPL, Olic would have been booked for stealing the ball from Baby Evra.

  326. i have to say Bayern impressed me, i thought they would play like another milan but man utd fuckd themselves by trying to sit back in the second half

  327. Hows that for Karma. What a good footballing team Bayern are. They will be hard to beat and surely should be up there as potential winners. Just as fat Andy Gray was talkin up Utds result. Good advantage played by the referee. Rooney limps off. Shame. No really. Looks like a metatarsal. If so Utd are well and truly f@cked because Wayne is 10 players in one. Fergies paper thin team will be exposed.

  328. PaulN….then we should surely chat tomorrow…lol

  329. hahahahahaha

  330. same place, same time Arseman

  331. That luck well just had to run dry for United!!

  332. Gooner4life…metatarsal….ouch…lol

  333. is rooney’s injury that that that serious?


  334. If rooney is infact injured….chelsea can run away with it at the weekend

  335. the match that is…the league is ours!

  336. United almost got away with a draw, but that was some truly BABYISH defending by Evra. What a prick.

  337. Goodnight and good luck gentlemen…tomorrow is Dday…gather your positive energies and focus them on the emirates…we are the Arsenal…lol

  338. Lets use this as a springboard to beat Barca. Under estimate us at your peril Barca. Like Samuel Eto I dreamt of Vermaarlen scoring the winning goal against Barca.COYG!

  339. pyles the pillock called evra the “most dynamic and rugged full back in europe” in his blog today. that cunt.

    Hopefully, tonight’s the beginning of the end of utd’ s luck.
    i can’t stop laughing. bayern totally outplayed manure tonight.


    now lets take care of biz tomorrow. come on you Gunners!

  340. Ateeb, I think he was expecting someone else to get the ball. Too many people were around the ball.

  341. Fergie’s saying it’s an ankle injury?

  342. Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson: “Wayne Rooney got a kick on his ankle and we’re not sure how serious it is right now. He might be out of Saturday but we’ll take a look at it tomorrow.”

    Hahaha. Sore loser that red nose pig. He didn’t get any kick on his ankle, he fell on it himself.

  343. After having such a good season, it would be a great shame if poor Wayne got an injury that kept him out of the rest of his league games and the World Cup.


  345. Poliziano your my hero.


  346. 1 loose cannon

    I thought Van Der Sar keeped Manure in this tie otherwise it could’ve easily been 4-1. Still I’m delighted with this result. Lets hope more of the same on Saturday and they finally start to implode big time.

  347. I can imagine Poliziano is a lot of people’s hero’s.

  348. I think we should all call and console the guy who tackled Rooney if thats the case Poliziano, you know and some encouraging text messages.

  349. 1LC, I agree, United were totally outclassed, it was quite embarrasing. They are just not mentally of physically strong enough, it seems.

  350. Fergie confident that his 2nd highest goal scorer can fill Rooney’s boots in his absence.

  351. 1 loose cannon

    I can’t beleive Alex fungus saying Rooney got a kick , No one touched him at all.

  352. How sad to see picture number 2:


  353. Quite right, Paul N. I’d love to see a journalist ask Ferguson whether he would be phoning the offending player to offer his condolences.


    W.T.F… If they don’t want him, let’s get him back

  355. I’d ignore the Bolton fans on this one, RO – their minds were made up before he even joined, and they’ve never been more than grudging when he’s played well. Owen Coyle’s quotes show that JW’s appreciated.

    Be especially suspicious of that Vital Bolton guy – he’s got a habit of trying to wind up Arsenal supporters. It’s the only way his page gets hits.

  356. OOU – fair enough mate, typical scummy blogger. Can’t believe the gall of it though!

  357. 1 loose cannon

    This could be our lineup

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy

    Diaby Nasri Fabregas (I hope) Arshavin


    Its a very strong line up and I’m feeling very optimistic.

    Chamakh has pretty much revealed where he is going. He said
    “Do I already have Arsenal on my mind? A little, but our end of the season is so important that I can’t plan for life after Bordeaux”

  358. Yep, pretty ungrateful. That blog was entertaining when we played Bolton a couple of months ago though!

  359. 1 loose cannon

    Rinse out- Bolton don’t like pretty football because they had watched rubbish for years. They are used to eating mushy peas why give them caviar.

  360. Guys – I got a peek at fragments of both matches going back anfd forth. I must say this was a most pleasing night. Manure losing 2-1 and totally outplayed in the 2nd half, Rooney falling over his own ankle and best of all seeing the Chamakh-attack (I stole the phrase from elsewhere). I just have a pleasant buzz at just the thought that such an awesome player like Chamakh is coming to Arsenal on a free. His is the extra dimension that could make us unbeatabled; strong in the air, brave, links up well and is a menace in the final third. I can’t wait.

  361. Guys – I got a peek at fragments of both matches going back anfd forth. I must say this was a most pleasing night. Manure losing 2-1 and totally outplayed in the 2nd half, Rooney falling over his own ankle and best of all seeing the Chamakh-attack (I stole the phrase from elsewhere). I just have a pleasant buzz at just the thought that such an awesome player like Chamakh is coming to Arsenal on a free. His is the extra dimension that could make us unbeatable; strong in the air, brave, links up well and is a menace in the final third. I can’t wait.

  362. Hello Shotta and the rest of the ACLF crowd.

    Just listening to the earlier chatter and I was thinking the same as Ole about the possible line up based on the bibs.

    It would make sense seeing Rosicky starting on the left instead of Arshavin.

    Wenger will be wary of both Alves and Messi on that side. If Arshavin is going to lose the ball then shrug his shoulders and not track back then I would also select the hard working yet still very classy Rosicky to help Clichy.

    A side of..

    Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
    ——Diaby Cesc
    —-Nasri Bendtner Rosicky

    Looks pretty strong to me and with the likes of Eboue and Arshavin on the bench to change the game if need be then I would be a very frightened man if I was a Barca fan.

  363. Broken metatarsal for Rooney? Sucks for him as he was having a great season but it is very good for Arsenal’s title chances…

    Provided the team takes care of business against Wolves, we’ll be at 71 points, three behind United (74) and one behind Chelsea (72) after the draw. This is a somewhat acceptable scenario.

    If Chelsea beats United, then we’ll be tied with United (71) and three behind Chelsea (74). This looks like the best scenario considering Chelsea has the most difficult fixtures left of the three challengers.

    If United wins, they’ll be at 75 points and Arsenal will be tied with Chelsea at 71 points. This is the worst scenario as most of United’s other games at home.

    So our best bet is to root for Chelsea to take three points at OT. As much as I dislike injuries to other teams players, we’ve dealt with the worst season after season and I hope United will be without Rooney for a while. That should help Chelsea this weekend.

  364. Edit: (if Chelsea wins we’ll be one behind United because they have 72, not 71 points)

  365. Rooney’s injury is not to serious according to the purple nosed one.

  366. That was a great interview with Barca fan YW. He’s an honest sort, and I didn’t find him cocky at all. Fascinating just see how things look from their perspective.

    And and well done Bayern.


    Bout time these fuckers admitted Rooney was carrying the team.

  368. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wow, that article is hilarious, Piresaholic. I couldn’t read past his description of Rooney’s opener. What an exaggeration. DiMichelis slipped and fell, ffs. What an idiot that Harry Harris.

  369. The various games by the top 3 against against Tottenham, Liverpool and ManCity take on special meaning in the run-in, since all those 3 all have fair to good chance to take 4th – and with it massive success to their season, something like a cup final – and the matches will be entirely unpredictable, as with any ‘cup final’.

    Saturday 17 April is a big, big day. ManU away to ManC, and Chelsea away to Spurs – respectively in pole position to take 4th.

    I suspect Chelsea are current favourites, taking all into account. We need Manu to drop 5 -draw and lose, and Chelsea to drop 4 – draw twice, while we win. Man City can beat Man United. Spurs can hold Chelsea. Liverpool could also hold Chelsea. Let’s see what happens this weekend, but with a draw, we are back – once again – 2 points off the top.

  370. We should be very proud that Arsenal tops the EPL fair play table, but some distance. Spuds are second, and that reflects quite well on them.

  371. Rooney out is a massive blow for them. Even for a short period, since a week off means 2 weeks back to best form. I would be happy with a Chel-ManU draw this weekend, since it is plausible that ManC – hugely motivated by the prospect of 4th – can beat ManU at home, and I think Spuds and/or Pool can hold Chelsea at home.

    It’s a long shot, but so is everything. We need to beat Spuds away, and that was never going to be a simple matter, but in its own way easier than the Birmingham pitch + referee + awful luck.

  372. Zimpaul, exactly, if theres one team thats gets worse luck, its the spuds

  373. Bayern Munich were excellent last evening. I was very impressed by Franck Ribery. It will be interesting to see how they perform in the away leg. On this sort of form they are real contenders for the Eurothingy. Luckily we will only meet them in the final.

  374. Bordeaux folded last evening. Although with the away goal they are still in it. Maroune Chamakh looked like a very earnest young man. Determined, talented and loyal. The sort of intelligent player AW really goes for. Excellent.

  375. Bibin,
    Nobody could say the things you said better than you said them. one thinks that you are saying one’s thoughts. Thanks for that mate. As a football loving person, I feel a bit sad that FCB meets with Arsenal at this stage. It´s because The London elegant team could heavily lose, should they play their way of football and FCB get a good day.

  376. Frank, will you be booing Henry tonight?

  377. I don’t boo any player. Certainly not an ex-Arsenal player. Not even Ashley Cole though I despise his lack of loyalty and downright stupidity.

    I enjoyed watching Thierry Henry, and he was great for the club. The club was great for him too. He has never been anything other than supportive since he left.

    I still think that DB10 was our best ever player.

  378. Besides I have handed over the tickets to my son and my nephew….I am grateful to my great friend for providing the latter ticket. True Arsenal supporters they deserve to see Arsenal-Barcelona.

    After all I will probably get to see us in the final against the great Bayern Munich, who I respect more than Barcelona.

  379. Bayern Munich and Ajax were always my favourite ‘other’ teams. Barcelona always seemed a bit of a celebrity club to me. Though they play great football these days.

  380. Real are the worst, the whole Galactico bullshit, at least Barca give there young players a chance

  381. James 8.22

    You’d know being one of them!

  382. The current player recruitment policy of other clubs is of no interest to me.

  383. Ohhh Rocky Rocky! Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocky Rocastle!

  384. Anyone else having a fever? I’m so excited and really looking forward to tonight’s game.

  385. Luke, forget fever, Jeffs been sectioned, I just visited him this morning, he keeps mumbling ‘Its gonna get messi, its gonna get messi’

  386. @FL re: your earlier query.

    yes there is an Arsenal Suporters club in Kenya

    In Nairobi West, go to Taidys. you will get details to the Arsenal club there

  387. Kabisa..thanks man. Hooters used to be like Emirates II. I wonder if it still rocks.

  388. F. Frederick Skitty

    Last!!!!!!!! ….in ya face!

  389. is thiery henry returning back to his previous club,arsenal?

  390. F. Frederick Skitty


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