Barcelona v Arsenal: In Conversation (Part Two)

Bibin from All About FC Barcelona kindly spent some more time ahead of tomorrow’s clash. For those who missed it or if you want to recap, our initial conversation is found here.

ACLF: For once a match lived up to its billing. A disappointing result from Barcelona’s point of view though, wasting a two-goal lead.

Bibin : Absolutely, every Barca fan were really disappointed to see the match end in draw after dominating for most of the time. But life is like that and we have a two precious away goal to play with at Camp Nou. The second leg also will live up to the hype.

Pep Guardiola said afterwards that the first half was the best football Barcelona has ever played in European competition away from home.

No doubt about that. It was not only about the way we played, but the way we dominated.

You were critical in your match report of the 4-2-3-1 formation Guardiola used, correctly noting it left the full backs exposed. But for an hour, everything was going to plan.

Barca was really pressing hard in the first half and that was the major reason why the formation did work well. But if you looked carefully, the attack through wings through Nasri was still happening. But they were really few and far between, because Barca players were pressing really hard.

In the second half, after the second goal we decided to defend the lead and that time that formation was really exposed. In the last interview I have highlighted why I believe Arshavin through the right wing would trouble Barca, but I think Wenger didn’t read that well. And one more thing such a formation takes out that wonderful partnership between Alves and Messi.

Things changed though once Eboue came into the midfield. Suddenly Barcelona had someone challenging them for possession, something Arsenal failed to do in the opening 30 minutes.

Eboue did well to regain possession. But one of the real reasons was the first goal. If you looked carefully, after the first goal Barca looked to have reduced the tempo and then out of blue the brilliance of Xavi created the second goal. So I thought Eboue came at the right time when Barca was reducing the tempo. In the first 20 minutes I firmly believed Eboue also would have struggled, if he was introduced.

Were you surprised at how easily Barcelona dominated the first half? Arsenal gave them too much room to play and did not pressurise the man on the ball. Barcelona did that and won the ball back too often.

It wasn’t a surprise for me. But I am pretty sure that many of the readers of your blog was surprised. Our entire game plan is depended on regaining possession. Actually last season we used to press a lot more.

Did Cesc convince you that Barcelona should sign him? Did he make you even more convinced that they shouldn’t. His booking was an appalling refereeing decision.

I am still holding on to my opinion. It is not because this interview is going to get posted on an Arsenal blog. He was great especially considering his fitness. But for the initial exchanges, Xavi made him look like an Amateur. It was after the introduction of Eboue, Fabregas started to come to his own. May be the fact that he will miss second leg helped in getting most out of him. I said that I preferred not to sign him because he will be under used at Barca, not because he lacks quality. And he could be very costly.

Both Barcelona goals came from long passes over the top of the defence – almost ‘un-Barcelona’ like in their creation.

It’s not a un-Barcelona goal. It’s very much a Barcelona style goal. If you look back to the goals in this season and last one, you will find many goals in the same way – long balls breaking the defense. It is not like the usual long balls used in EPL – long balls releases players on the wings and then they cross to centre. We don’t do that. Whenever Barca use long balls it will be to break defense. Xavi and Iniesta are geniuses in doing that.

Almunia was outstanding on the evening, aside from the first goal. Did that surprise you?

It surprised everyone! I was going through all the articles in the net and media station, everyone is surprised.

Valdes stopped Bendtner equalising with a good save but I think he should have done better with Walcott’s goal.

He should have definitely done better. But those kind of things happen with Valdes.

So to the second leg. Both sides will be missing key players – your entire first choice back four bar Dani Alves is missing. Is this a concern especially since Marques and Milito were together when Sevilla won at the Camp Nou recently.

Missing Pique and Puyol is definitely a concern. Milito is a good cover for both of them, but Marquez is a tad slow. It is really unfair to pin the blame of that defeat on Milito and Marquez. But in that match, it was Milito and Chygynskiy who were at the centre of defense. But we lost that match because Guardiola fielded a second string side – Alves, Chygrynskiy, Milito, Maxwell, Thiago Alcantara, Marquez, Iniesta, Messi, Bojan and Pedro; against a good team.

As far as second leg is concerned, Abidal should be back. So we will most probably have Alves, Marquez, Milito and Abidal in the defense, that is not a bad pairing.

Nasri will most likely replace Fabregas in the middle, a role he has been highly effective in playing in the Premier League. Rosicky would be likely to replace Arshavin. Walcott may come in on the right but it could also be Eboue.

I think Walcott will start on right and Nasri on left. Again it has to be seen whether how effective the midfield will be without Fabregas.

Iniesta may return. Who will make way for him? Should Toure start instead of Busquets, perhaps giving the defence more cover?

Iniesta may not start the match, so I think Guardiola will employ a midfield of Xavi, Busquets and Toure. Iniesta will be called upon if necessary.

Barcelona are favourites to go through but this Arsenal squad has won in The Bernabeu and San Siro in recent seasons. In fact, PSV Eindhoven were the last non-English side to knock Arsenal out, in 2007. Do you think they might repeat such victories?

I don’t think you can honestly compare those teams with this Barca side. To win at camp Nou is very difficult. I am not saying that it is impossible. It is easy to surprise Barca once like the way you did at Emirates, earning a draw. But this time Barca will be more focussed. I back FC barcelona to go through. But it will be another mouth watering contest.

It will be also interesting to see how your young players play at a huge arena like Camp Nou against a truly wonderful team and 97,000 fans. The readers of your blog may say that they don’t care about Camp Nou or 97,000 fans but it is definitely a factor. Not many teams have returned with a win from Camp Nou.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 5, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 435 Comments.

  1. As someone said last week, a d2-2 raw against the best team in the world in the first leg of a Champions League quarter final is not a bad result … for Barcelona.

    This one is difficult to call. We can’t really look to the form book for the answer. Heads or tails anyone?

  2. You’re right. I don’t care about the Camp Nou….it’s the kind of atmosphere that will bring out the best in our boys.

    Again, you’re slightly favoured but wouldn’t you fancy Bendtner in the air over Marquez with good delivery?

  3. Wednesday night was a great performance in coming back, bit we clearly need to impose ourselves much earlier in the game.

    I’d like to see Walcott starting as I think he can make breaks count, and ask questions of a weakened defence. But we really need the middle 3 to win the ball quicker.

  4. man, this guy is pretty arrogant, I hope Arsenal shut him and the other Barca fans up

  5. Fair play to the guy answering the questions. He managed to respond to the notion that we began getting possession thanks to Eboue’s introduction without pissing his pants it seems.

    Also the second goal was a lovely dinked ball, hardly un-Barcelona like.

    Good Q&A overall though.

  6. Let’s just hope the lads realize we’re already proud of them and whether they win lose or draw at the nou camp we’ll still be proud, they should enjoy the game and have some fun, the pressure is on Barcelona to win.

  7. Ideally, Arsenal should win but in the circumstance that the score at the Camp Nou is even, the gunners need two or three goals so I would recommend starting with Eboué at right back (leaving Sagna out – I think he’s great but less attacking than Eboué) play Denilson, Nasri, and Diaby in central midfield – start with Diaby in the more forward role; the latter two swapping depending on effectiveness. Put Walcott and Rosicky on the wings.

    Once we’re three-up bring Sagna on for a winger 😉

  8. I think a lot of people are forgetting that this is a cup game for both teams and we all know that in a one off cup game one decision can turn this tie on it’s head.
    We’ve all seen the giant killing acts in the FA cup for years and I think that this Barca blogger is making a big mistake in not factoring that into the equation for tomorrow night.

    If we’re realistic we’d fancy Barca to go through on the basis of our poor defensive stats this season coupled with the fact that Barca statistically are like every other team, more prolific at home.

    So for use to go through we have to stop them scoring even 1 goal tomorrow night. Is this possible, has this been done recently? I’m not too sure about the last time Barca were last held in the camp Nou but I tell you something I’ve seen them loose to a couple of games a season over the past 4-5 seasons to teams that we are definitely as good as if not better. So it’s not impossible.

    Yeah we have a lot of injuries.
    But the loss of Fab as big as that is allows the improving Nasri to step up and show what he can do. We’ll also be without Arshavin but Rosicky is experienced enough to step in and do a job for 90mins.
    Theo, Denilson & Eboube who although didn’t start have proved that they were more effective at counteracting the Barca style. I also realise that Gallas is out but was he ever there in the first leg?
    Almunia, although great in the first half gave them the first goal. If he can have one of those evenings where he maintains his focus I really believe if we get them to peno’s we could sneak it.

    So here’s to giant killing and the beauty of the cup competition. Let’s not forget 2005.

  9. Barca 2 – Gonners 3…

    The great Yoda has spoken.

  10. I really hope this thread doesn’t come down into an infantile recitation about whose Daddy is bigger than the other. Let’s come clean from the outset and admit that Barcelona has the upper hand going into this tie; 2 away goals, playing at home, defending champions etc. But this is a cup-tie with a motivated Arsenal team with proven spirit and determination. If we can get a foothold into the game very early and sustain at least 50:50 possession we can keep it tight and nick this by 1-goal. A shoot-out in the OK Corral will be playing into Barca’s hand.
    In that regard I suspect our 1st XI will be much like the team who started the second-half on Wednesday with the exception of Fabregas to be replaced by Rosicky.
    Walcott will be our impact sub, the ace in Wenger’s deck.
    My point is, we must start with a team that can retain as much possession by Barca. If we don’t, we run the risk of conceding very early and often.

  11. Big Bang of Arsenal in Camp Nou?
    Why not?

    Greetings from Buenos Aires
    Aro Geraldes
    http://www.arogeraldes.com

  12. I don’t know why but I get the strange feeling that we’re going to do the job in Barcelona. The reason being is because I think that we can compensate for our losses a lot better than they can. Don’t get me wrong, Arshavin and Cesc are huge losses but not as big as a centre back pairing, consisting of the captain, and a striker like Ibra. This and the fact that Arsene will tweak the tactics, speed on the wings from the beginning to counter their wingers, will put us in with a shot. I am certain of that.

    This dude is a bit over confident like most of the Barca supporters I’ve seen give their opinion since the last game. They’re under some strange assumption that our team is like any other run of the mill side that’s going to the Camp Nou. I mean, most of these kids have legitimate champions league experience since they were seventeen years old. The crap about them being intimidated of playing infront of ninety seven thousand people may work against the likes of Everton or Spurs but this is not this team’s first rodeo. On top of that they seem hugely optimistic bordering on over confident.

  13. It is a bit much to imply that being Real Madrid, Juventus (in their prime), and Milan in recent times, is not an achievement

  14. Thanks YW for interviewing Bibin again.
    Looking forward to another after the game( hope Bibin wont be 2 downhearted to respond)

    WE ARE THE ARSENAL

  15. Awesome posting YW

    As to the game well I see Arsenal winning 3-1

    I can see it being 0-0 at half time and then we both swap goals…on comes Theo in the 70 minute

    Barca tire and NB52 scores…

    Quickly followed by Theo…

    After that it is all Arsenal!!!

    Championeeees…Championeees…Are we…Are we…Are we!!

  16. California Gooner

    I disagree with the criticisms. I think the Barca blogger’s responses are really thoughtful, enlightening, and fairly convincing. The big question is whether the second game will look more like the first half or the second half. It is up to our boys to come up with a massive performance and turn all that on it’s head. I definitely think Nasri will be played centrally and Rosicky on the left, effectively adding another midfielder, creating a 4-2-2 depending on where Rosicky plays. Theo should start on the right with Eboue behind. Sagna was great against Wolves, but I favor Eboue at RB because his ball skills are better when pressured and because we really need to attack Barca.

  17. Almunia

    Eboue Song TV Clichy

    Denison Diaby

    Nasri

    Walcott Rosicky/Vela

    Bedtner

    with this line up… we can beat Barca…

  18. Almunia

    Eboue Campbell TV Clichy

    Song Diaby

    Nasri

    Walcott Rosicky

    Bendtner

    (On 70 mins bring on Eduardo for Rosicky and, possibly, Sagna for Walcott)

    A more solid and yet attacking team with more than enough to do the necessary tomorrow

    COYG

  19. Just a note on my selection. I said that the first leg would come down to possession and how well Diaby and Song performed in winning possession and distributing good ball. Well, shall we simply say they were not at their best last Wednesday!!?

    If they have half decent games and meet that role (also if Sol’s better defensive positional sense is brought to the table), I’m truly confident that the above formation will do the job

    COYG

  20. I really like the conversation with Mr.Bibin of Barcelona. Wish we had more like this, civil and interesting discussion with opponent’s support.

    Look, it’s a great game, and that frankly – is the most important thing. Let’s play football.

    Barcelona are overwhelming favourites, which – in this case, psychologicaly – is our advantage. Wenger will use this. Arsenal will be cautious, prepared, and also confident.

    Wenger will, I feel, look for the element of surprise. Eduardo? Could be.

    We will attack continuously for 90 mins, we have no choice, we must win and one must fancy Barca to score one goal, so we need two. But the emphasis will be on pressing, and I would guess the “all round game”. We have to stop them playing their game with freedom, give them a whiff of panic. Barca will probe for 90 mins, it is their advantage, they only need a goal. I suspect Messi will play a far bigger role this time round.

    Nasri is key, while Barca underestimate Arsenal without Cesc and AA. I hope Rosicky starts. We know what Barca dislike – fast, fit players running at them and for this reason, if he is fit, I would like to see Eboue start, and Diaby off the bench.

    Al
    Sagna Song Verm Clichy
    Eboue-Nasri-Den
    Walcott-Bendy-Rosicky

    Vela for Rosicky on 70 mins.
    Diaby for Eboue.
    Campbell for Rosicky if we are winning.

  21. The first game was fun to watch. What no one seems to mention is that as great Barca was in the first half in closing down our players they did get tired.

    Its happened to Liverpool vs Arsenal and other teams that try and close down arsenal all game. Generally by the 60th minute they are very tired.

    And as much as ppl say Barca slowed down the tempo, or tried to protect their lead, the fact is that they were tired. No team can play so great like that with that type of movemnet and defensive speed for an entire 90 minutes, not VS Arsenal.

    So It was Barca who gambled on going all out early and putting us away early but lucky for Arsenal Almunia showed up (in the first half at least) or it may have been over by the 60th minute. But Arsenal Fought back as they have done all season. and if you notice Arsenal has a knack for scoring late and its b/c teams eventually get tired against Arsenal. Although Barca play better, they cant compete with Arsenal Stamina.

    Heres to hoping that will be the diffrence in the second leg.

    Go Gunners!

  22. If Campbell can last the entire game I would start with him in defence and Song in the holding position in midfield. I think our defence is much more organised with with Campbell in it. And Song being one of our most important players right now, I would prefer to start him in his most effective position.

  23. What the Spaniard says politely is that this this will be ‘Shock and Awe part II’. and this time they will not let go. Barca always lets go a bit when they feel they humbled the opposition sufficiently. not this time
    With our first team incl vPersie, a fit Arshavin and Fab this will have been a very very interesting contest with possible twists. Not on Tue I am afraid. The best one should hope for is a good even heroic showing that saves the club’s reputation. Anyone who believes that can go to the Camp with a makeshift D, without proper DM protection , and frighten them with Nick is more then a little delusional.Theo is a big game temperament guy, but Abidal will be a different proposition. Milito and Marques or possibly Yaya deputizing will be solid enough. Abidal’s return will give them solidity they did not have with Maxwell. the absence of Zlatan will make them even faster, Bojan will start and he is full with confidence after his brace this weekend. Henry is now an outcast in Barca, he is untrusted.Messi may have a little point to prove , Xavi, Keita.Bousquet… they are invincible at the moment in their homepitch, and by the end of the week they will have beaten Madrid as well.

  24. And yes Campbell must start this game, I would have prefered him on Zlat rather then a hobbit and he will give away a penalty probably, but the alternative will be worse, he is an experienced player and formidable and he will need to calm the kids AND we need Song in the middle, absolutely.
    unbelievable week for this young team

  25. What an ungracious piece of Barcelona propaganda. Absolute fucking bollocks. Fuck off Bibin.

  26. he can ‘fuck off’ but this will not frighten reality into submission.. lol..

  27. do hope I’m not blowing smoke up my own backside….but did you get the feeling on Wednesday, that Barca were very, very scared at the end? I wonder if the “best 45 minutes” turned into the most frightening 20 minutes at the end. Did we win a massive psychological victory which can carry on on Tuesday?

  28. Frankly Robespierre, I am surprised at how someone can be so cocksure about the outcome of a football match.

  29. Gf60, If we had Fabregas on both legs after the penalty, I think we would have nicked a winner.

  30. Robespierre

    ‘Makeshift defence without a DM?’ What have you drank this morning?

    I’ll prefer bringing Theo in the second half and playing Eboue there for first have to tire down Abidal. Sol should play to organise the defence because he could have denied them both goals if he had played with TV instead of moving Song there.

    I also pray that Arsene don’t play Denilson. He did well when he came on at a time when Barca were tired. His inability to run back and defend won’t help us at Nou Camp so i’ll suggest Nasri, Diaby and Song in the middle.

    We did badly because Diaby flopped in that game. If Diaby raises his game we can beat them. So my suggested line up is:

    The Spanish waiter

    Sagna Sol TV Clichy

    Nasri Song Diaby

    Eboue Nik Rosicky

    Sub. Silvestre Fabianski Traore Theo Vela Denilson Merida

  31. Yes ,we could have won that game, if not for Fab’s misfortune, we had incredible momentum, though I do not remember the last time Barca suffered a comeback AND reversal of that magnitude, they could have of course scored on the break as well. they often do when they need to in the last minutes.
    BUT having said that, Nuo Camp will very very different, Nobody dominates there, and out game is based on domination as well, we are not a counter attacking team like in the past which can soak pressure for an hour and strike. But we will need to have a goal relatively early to have any chance

  32. I am not sure they will beat the Madrid scum in Madrid, but I am quite sure that they are totally sure they will beat us handily in Nuo Camp. the fact that they spare Ibra and Iniesta for Madrid tells it all. of course I hope they are going to have a serious reality check by our never say die bunch , if that happens it will be the biggest upset since 94′ when Cruijff dream team lost 4:0 to a injury decimated and much inferior Milan team (with Capello..)… so…

  33. btw Milan on that day won in past due to an incrdible game of their Serbian right wing Savisevic, who made the first goal with a lob above the defence and keeper, and later scored one of the all time great goals scored all the way from the line. I see Theo doing something like that…

  34. Robespierre

    Is it not the same Barca that were beaten by a Russian team nobody knew? Rubin Karzan any one? They bragged that they were going to turn them over in the return game but they ended up with a draw. Why are you drank this morning?

  35. Why this nonsense talk about drinking? it is very late night where I am btw, that is why I am so inspired rather

  36. Rubin Kazan , indeed that is a game to be studied, Also the one they lost to Athletico.

  37. Oh Barcelona supporters…you are going to look so fucking ridiculous tomorrow night. We have already seen that you have accepted the populist press and media view of events last Wednesday night. You really are not discerning football supporters. Bibin, Robespierre…what sort of nasty little creatures spend time on another teams blog and behave so disresepctfully.

    ….Arsenal….

  38. I agree that Bibin is far too over confident. I think Wenger will put a surprise in the lineup which will totally change our style of play. An example would be putting diaby on the wing to tame Alves. I also believe we will get more possession this game. Our 5 man midfield of (left to right) Diaby Rosicky Denilson Nasri Eboue will be a different kettle of fish. Diaby will play out of his skin this match mark my words. I’m not saying we are the favourites but WE ARE ARSENAL.

  39. I believe that Arsene should start carlos vela on the left at least for the first hour.. he deserves it.. It might just work.. Eduardo’s just not in form and vela might just provide a bit of X Factor that barcelona wont be familiar with.. it might sound like a gamble but a gamble Wenger he needs to take..

    Carlos is quick, skilful and has a surprise or two under his sleeve. Vela has been short changed this year and undeservingly i might add.. I love dudu but he hasnt reached his peak yet thus far and would be wasteful to use him against such formiddable opponents.

    Any comments gooners??

  40. Well thank Christ for Frank this morning.

    I’m all for ‘respectful’ debate with opposing fans but a piece of propaganda is just that. Bibin thinks his team will win? Well, you’d expect that. Bibin thinks beating other top European sides does not ‘compare with beating Barcelona’? You might expect that too. I don’t accept either opinion, Barca are a very good side, obviously in danger of believing the views of the appallingly sycophantic media.

    As an Arsenal fan, I thought his views were pretty symplistic. Almost as much so as the views of Andy Gray on ‘The Last word’ last night, which was a truly cringeworthy performance. My Grandaughter of 8 could have done better.

    The first casualty of war is the plan.

    ARSENAL!

  41. Mr. Bibin has a right to be confident. He is not neutral. Neither are we. It is his views, as a Barcelona supporter, not as an objective analyst, that are of interest. He is basing his expectations on home advantage.

    The interest of this tie is the same as the first half. The world’s most accomplished passing team are taking on the young, and hungry pretenders to that accolade. There is mutual respect.

    Robespierre, playing ‘the neutral’, is the fool.

    I am personally delighted if Barca are outwardly over-confident. I hope that is the case amongst their players. It is best for Arsenal.

  42. 1 loose cannon

    BIBiN Long ball is a long ball don’t try and pretend the goals are not from long balls, I would be proud of them if we score them so admit it you do play long ball as well don’t try putting a twist on it.

    The best way to silence your fans is to score, once that’s done the pressure will be huge on Barcelona to come forward and we all know what Walcott can do. If we get 3 goals then it will be it and believe it is not impossible for our team to do that.

  43. It’s actually true, Barcelona frequently play the ball over the top this season, and it has been a common route to goal.

  44. The ‘talking; is done after the match, the rest is just an exchange of potential tactics, strengths, players and other interesting matters.

    I expect Bendtner to play a role in the outcome tomorrow. Diaby too. That Eboue will provide a more than a footnote in the story is certain.

    Of course, home advantage is the achilles heel. I expect Barca to face a more composed Arsenal. We have nothing at all to lose, or fear, and those are the most dangerous teams.

  45. Sol has to play, I would be worried if Song started at the back! He works much better breaking things up just in front of the back 4.

    Diaby was a bit of a passenger in the first game, if he plays to his best he is one of the most exciting midfielders around!

    The main difference between us and them in the first leg, was not just how well they played, we have to admit they were awesome, but how we allowed them to play whilst they shut us down really quickly.

    We have to reverse that as soon as the game starts.

    Walcott can tear Abidal a new Arsenal no worry there. No matter what the pundits say I thought he had a good game on Saturday and this myth about his final ball is bollocks. The amount of times his crosses are brilliant but we have nobody in the box, especially on the six yard line is incredible.

    It is going to be difficult, but flying our of the blocks and putting them on the back foot is essential and shutting that crowd up will be even more satisfying. The sound of 92,000 smug gits suddenly getting worried will be bliss to our boys ears!!

    Keep the faith!!

  46. The mentality of the tie will be totally different. We now know we can trouble them and so do they!!

    It is half time and everybody knows that if you come back from 2 down to be drawing 2-2 at half time then the momentum has swung in your favour!!

    Come on you rip-roaring REDS!!!

  47. I cannot blame Bibin. If I posted on the Barca blog Id probably say the same . They have earnt the bragging rights having won the trophies to justiify their style.The world and his aunt are hoping we get spanked in the Nou Camp waiting for the Arsenal implosion that will never come. Because the see us as an inferior copy of Barca….yes Barca Lite….because we have not won the trophies to justify this. Are we supposed to be frightened of their bigger pitch. Surely it will be more space to run in for our players.

    The fact that we have been to the biggest grounds in Europe and grabbed victories when we were overwhelming underdogs should earn us a semblence of respect surely. Then again it can all be about bravado from Barca. They are hardly going to say we are going to get beaten. Bibin forgets that Barca have failed to beat chelsea, Utd and Liverpool in the nou camp in recent games. What is certain is Barca will test us to the limit and Messi will give us the game of our life but this will not phase us.

    Arsenal is a team that is not frightened of reputaion. We will be going all out for this one and the away fans will be shouting down the Nou Camp. 3 – 2 or 3 – 3 will do it.

  48. I am not sure what is technically a long ball, and probably it is not important. What we rile against is long ball “tactics” where your entire game is based around punting balls upfield with no particular outcome in mind other than hoping that the tall fella will get his head to it post which something would happen. If you see that one of your front men has created space for himself then it would really be stupid to play 10 passes before getting the ball to him. In a period of 90 minutes there will be certain circumstances when a long ball will be a good option to attack, and in those cases there is no shame in playing a long ball, surely?

  49. I certainly blame Bibin. His knowledge of football is very poor.

  50. This is true of many populist fans who simply do not have eyes of their own.

    I also blame Bibin becuase he/she was invited to do a piece for this blog in good faith. He/she took the opportunity to spread the Barcelona propaganda.

    Shocking behaviour but then Barcelona have sunk so low these days.

  51. Bibin, great response. I don’t see how my fellow Arsenal fans can accuse you of overconfidence. If I were a Barca fan, I would be full of confidence at our prospects of winning on home turf given all that has happened thus far.

    The truth hurts a little bit. We gave Barca too much respect and space to play their game and just like Arsenal -if you let them play their game then we will be chasing shadows for much of the game.

    In the first 10 games of the current campaign: Arsenal off ball work was remarkable. Each time the opposition had the ball -they were surrounded and our players would hunt them down until we regained possession. We need to see the return of this effort and endeavour

    In my opinion, this tie is far from over and should we learn the lessons of the last game; I think we will.

    I have no reason to state this with such confidence but I have a feeling that Arsenal will return the favour in the return leg.

    Tomorrow, shall be an interesting day, indeed.

  52. Defending-Bibin

    Frank

    I can understand your statements if you’re a ten year old. How can any Barca supporter not be confident when clearly the odds are for them! We have four of our first team players injured and even with them in the side, in fairness, they would win 3-2 in a 5 match tie.

    As a Arsenal fan, we can sit back enjoy some great football and hope that we pull off a miracle in Nou Camp and make history because if any Arsenal team deserved it, this is the one.

  53. Compare and contrast Bibin’s comments, with our very own Geoff from Le moan:

    “So another day and we play Barcelona, another day to see if this team has what it takes after 13 years of Arsene Wenger’s patient management.”

    What a f****ing Pr*ck, that guy is. It’s the most embarrassing Arsenal blog, if one can call it that.

  54. Ten year old? You cunt.

  55. We will not be beaten by a team who only got behind our defence once in the first 45 minutes and twice in the whole game.

    Arsenal are far more incisive against teams like Barcelona than Barcelona are against Arsenal. We were playing in that game with a knacked centre-half, a knacked central midfield player and aknacked winger. This will not be the case in the Gnu Camp.

    ….Arsenal…

  56. “Karl Henry: you are the disgrace!”
    Great post by http://anotherarsenalblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/karl-henry-you-are-disgrace.html?

  57. Ateeb – I don’t care for Geoff and his usual sidekicks. They are anti-Wenger, plain and straight. Win, lose or draw it is Wenger’s fault. Wenger’s problem for people like Geoff is being a foreigner (French), doesn’t care for passports, is incorruptible, and will never risk the future of the club for short-term success. In essence Wenger is the antithesis of the heralded British managers like Ferguson and Rednapp. Hence I treat their posts as that of the enemy, to be tracked and and counter measures taken. Nothing less.

  58. I don’t really have a problem with Bibin, he is just backing his team, which you would expect a supporter to do. In fact some of our fairweather fans could learn something there too.

    Despite being overwhelming underdogs, we have a chance because this is a cup competition, our players are talented, have the spirit and character to never give up. Together with their growing belief in their qualities anything is possible.

  59. Defending-Bibin

    at least someone is taking sense.

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/5262480/

  60. We are certainly underdogs in the eyres of the press but then we always are, unless we are playing 90%of the teams in the premiership in which case we are underacheivers.

    I actually think that we have the edge in this tie. We’ve taken their best shot. They know that we can hurt them.

    As for those ‘supporters’ who follow the media line of the ‘Great Barca’ against ‘Little Arsenal’.

    Fuck ’em all.

  61. it looks like song is struggling to be fit,according to ssn

  62. I really had no desire to read the thoughts of a Barca fan as I am interested in what real Arsenal fans think. I decided to do so simply because of the debate that ensued. Frankly, I felt slightly insulted that such myopic thoughts appeared here. His comments reminded me of 1978 and Ally’s Army; the jokes also thought they would be unbeatable in Argentina. So, I agree with Frank; get lost Barca fans.
    Two other things intrigue me at the moment
    First is, why has there been no significant media coverage of Aaron Ramsey’s comments on Shawcross being out to “do” him?
    Second, why no video or photo coverage of the bleeding stud marks on Rosicky’s leg?

  63. That could just be scaremongering chamakh as Arsene seemed pretty confident that he would be fit.

  64. numberten, do you really need to ask those questions? The media has an agenda to push and they only publish the things that further that agenda, not the things that undermine it.

  65. “45 minutes of our best football”

    AND COULDN’T SCORE!

  66. Passenal,

    I ask the questions because I am aware of the media agenda.
    Our own fans, including myself, have become so turned off by the media that we passively accept it the fodder they publish.
    Journalism used to be ocassionally associated with the pursuit of the truth.
    My cynicism is gradually giving way to a slight idealism and more and more I feel the need to rail against it. Apologies but at least I got it out of my system on this blog

  67. I don’t think Barca can repeat that performance, not with Denilson back in the side. I reckon Denilson, will be the most important player tomorrow. Given how Denilson has performed in the last couple of matches, I can bet he will have a lot of say in the outcome.

    Reading Bibin’s comments, has filled me with more confidence. I hope the Barca player’s also think the same, because it will be easier to surprise them tomorrow. They only met the real Arsenal for the last 20 minutes, this time it will surely be different. Can imagine right now, Arsene watching Barca’s game, and coming up with tactics and strategies. I have a feeling that Guardiola, would be more cautious with his tactics this time. He will change his tactics, with Theo in his mind. It will be a different game this time.

  68. On the channel I was watching I had a close up of Rosicky’s leg, he definately had a huge stud mark (bloody hole) in the back of his calf. It looked very very painful. Maybe Henry should be sent a photo, and a letter asking for an apology the mug. How he can come out with those comments is a disgrace after going straight through the back of a player and potentially breaking his leg. I was very worried for Rosicky at the time, I feared greater damage, like the challenge on Cesc in the game at Birmingham.

    We must be getting 1 bad challenge every game lately!

    Anyway to Barca, I think its great they are so cocky, like someone said, “its half time”, we have the momentum with us, we know we can hurt them, and we know they cannot perform the way they did for long. I am extremely positive because they are so positive! If they come flying at us again, we will hurt them hard.. Nasri, Diaby, and I hope Song in the central 3 will win the midfield battle this time, and Eboue, Rosicky or Theo on the wings will be a handful and running at the full backs (if they get back in time).

    They confidence and constant attacking will be their downfall.. like ours has been in seasons gone by in the Champions League. The likes of Henry, Pires, Ljungberg, never knew how to play it patient. They went out to win no matter who, that is what Barcelona will do.. but they don’t realise how good a side they are up against.

  69. Frankly I lost interest in hearing the slightly smug opinions of a Barca fan after the first couple of paragraphs. Still..it was an attempt to get an opposing viewpoint. So fair enough.
    “Fuck ’em all” You know that’s almost become my mantra supporting the Arsenal….especially over the last few years.

    So……….fuck ’em all.

    ARSENAL.

  70. I can imagine the “PEP” talk today…

    Guardiola – “Ehhhh boyss, you have to watch out for young Theo, Nasri breaking through, and Bendtner in the air…”

    Barca players response – “Yess yess, don’t worry we are Barcelona, the best team to ever exist, let them worry about us”

    I really hope they are as arrogant as that Barca fans comments to think like this. They will not know what has hit them come 90th minute!

  71. Even if it is only one person’s opinion I think it’s a good thing that Bibin is so confident that his team will win. He has obviously been sucked into the media haze surrounding Barcelona and is forgetting we had them on the ropes last Wednesday after our fist goal and could easily have won the match. If I were him it would worry me greatly that the supposed ‘best team in Europe’ can go two goals up and not see the game out. Underestimate The Arsenal at your peril.

  72. Harry Flowers

    that is a great mantra!

    Every supporter is biassed, but when you come on the oppositions blog you expect a little bit of neutral perspective, problem is the neutral perspective on Arsenal is NOT that good. Everybody seems to write us off, even sitting 1 point, and 3 points behind Man Utd and Chelsea. Being the underdogs will help our cause, and I believe we will progress while everyone makes excuses to explain why Barcalona are out

  73. I wonder if we bagged a 3rd goal at the death (which we almost did) if they would be so confident? I suspect they would still count themselves as favourites, and I suspect the Barcelona mentality is a bit over cocky right now. This is summed up by all their players post match comments where none of them could understand what hit them at the end. A full Arsenal 11 will hit them from the start, but with so many injuries, even if we cause them poblems for 30mins, I believe we will do the damage to progress.

    It’s a great time to play them, they feel we have no players who can hurt them, and all our players our injured.

  74. Paulie Walnuts

    It`s obvious Barca (fans & team) believe they only have to turn up on Tuesday to go through. There may be the usual compliments about us beforehand but they`re already thinking of Inter in the SF & that is a very dangerous thing indeed

    Talk of how brilliant they were at the Ems is starting to get a tad boring now. Surely brilliant football should include finishing (something we are constantly accused of) & call me old fashioned, but actually winning the game.

    As for our team tomorrow, I hope Sol starts as I think we defend better as a unit when he`s around shouting & organising. I`d like to see Denilson included too as I think he`s our form midfielder of late & I`d keep Theo on the bench even though I thought the stick he got on Saturday was ridiculous.

  75. Wow Frank! You really re a fucking looser arnt you!

  76. I don’t like to predict anything. In fact, the main factor in this match (over two legs) is that nothing is predictable, not even how the teams will play tactically. Who could come close to inventing the script for that first leg? However, something interesting is taking place in the Arsenal team and I would simply point out we are an extremely dangerous side to play right about now. That’s all. Arsenal are the ‘unknown’. Barca are the ‘known’.

    We will be fielding a slightly stronger side than at the emirates. The psychological advantage has also shifted in our favour. But we are away.

  77. What’s actually worrying about the Henry incident is that, after all the furore following the Ramsey incident it happened at all.

    Never mind ‘Fuck ’em all’ Harry, it would seem that that is the attitude of much of the Premiership to Arsenal. Read Henry’s comments today for an insight.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wolverhampton_wanderers/8603406.stm

  78. It is extremely unlikely that serious fan or analyst at Barca thinks they will walk it that easily. Barca are not stupid. However, underestimating Arsenal is likely. So, it’s a question of degree. By the same token, let’s not get too cocky ourselves. Barca gave us a tremendous match at Emirates, and yes they played brilliantly in the first half.

    Call it what you like, it will be a tough match.

    I, like many who know, have reasons to believe Arsenal will overcome. That is why we say “tell no lies, claim no easy victories”, which is really Mr. Wenger’s philosophy.

  79. Harry Flowers

    It’s the McCarthy quote that is the most telling: “I felt bad for Karl, I ushered him off and congratulated him on his performance”.

    Absolutely disgraceful.

  80. I for one found the interview with Mr.Bibin to be a useful perspective of how a Barcelona fan sees the game. To call it propganda is nonsense. He’s giving his opinion as a Barcelona fan.

    Of course we’re the underdogs. I’m putting our chances at 30%, due to the away goals Barcelona have, the fact we’re missing 4 of our most influential players from last season (Gallas, Fabregas, Van Persie and Arshavin) and that Barcelona don’t exactly have the worst record in the world at the Nou Camp.

    30% is better odds than the bookies would give us, but like a few others on here, I have a sneaky feeling that if we can keep it tight for the first 60-70 minutes (no small task) then we can pick up a goal towards the end as Bacelona realize their vulnerability.

    They also have a few injuries too, although to compare with ours, they would need to be missing Xavi and Messi too.

    Perhaps the difference maker will be Thierry. Can just one of our fans run onto the pitch before the whistle goes and hand him an Arsenal shirt. I just know he wouldn’t leave it lying on the ground in front of him!

  81. And therein lies the problem for English football Harry.

    Win the World Cup? laugh, I nearly cried. (Yes, I know he’s Irish)

  82. Fuck me breaking news Songs out!!

  83. I think our players were taken in to some extent by the mystique that surrounds Barcelona at the moment. Perhaps that was not so from the outset; but when Barcelona started well, our players began to believe Barcelona are a better team. Denilson made a massive impact on the game last week, but it was Walcott who provided inspiration for our other players. He showed he could run past a Barcelona defender just the same as he can run past anyone else. Our players then recognised that Barcelona are excellent footballers, but no better than the ones they train with every day. As soon as Barcelona were reduced to their true stature, Arsenal gained the ascendancy. Only the injury to Fabregas prevented us from claiming victory.

  84. Proud of the boys for winning the Wolves game this weekend. Very tough match against a team that has had suprisingly good form and been very organized lately. Keeping a clean sheet in a game like that is critical and we did it. The line up that started that game for us was always going to have a very tough time scoring goals against Wolves.

    Injuries are hell again this year. Last year we lost most of our defense late in the season, this year we have lost the offense. We are missing our 3 best offensive players. Saturday’s starting 11 probably is one of the most offensively challenged in an important game in the Wenger era. However, full credit to the team for grinding out a result. Lets hope we can pull off the miracle at the Nou Camp. Just heard Song is out making it even harder.

    Almunia

    Sagna Campbell TV Clichy

    Denilson, Diaby Nasri

    Eboue NB TR7

    Sol will have to tough it out on Tues. Walcott impact sub at 60 min depending on the situation.

    COYG

  85. The fact of the matter is that Barcelona have the best attacking player in the world wth Messi! They have a midfield that is second to none! For much of the game at the Emiirates, Arsenal were reduced to chasing shadows! I have never seen an Arsenal team reduced to such a footballing level since Arsene has been in charge of the team. But for some extraordinary goal keeping, Barcelona could have have scored a shit load of goals.

    Still, I would love to see the Arsenal contrive something. I think, however, the reality of the matter is that this is one bridge too far. Our starting team is decimated wth injuries. We have players in pivotal positions who are frankly several years beyond their prime. Under these conditions Arsenal going to the Noucamp conjures up the fanciful knight who went out into the world to level his lance at windmills. It makes for a nice story but not much else.

  86. Losing Song will be a blow, but a bigger blow if he misses the next few league games.

    As unpopular as this may sound, a respectable loss will not be the worst thing in the world against Barcelona if we are to maximize our chances of winning the league.

    We really have a great chance to overcome Chelsea and Man U if we can keep our remaining healthy players fit and fresh. It’s a shame that Sol will likely be out or on the bench for Spurs if he has to play vs Barcelona, but protecting Song long-term is the only logical solution.

    Still, it’s amazing that with Arshavin, Fabregas, Ramsey and Song all out, that we can still field a midfield from Diaby, Nasri, Eboue, Walcott, Rosicky and Denilson.

    The Nasri/Diaby/Denilson combo will be critical in this game, as they will need to be at their best to protect Sol (or Silvestre if no Sol).

  87. Just saw Arsene’s comments about ‘going for it’ against Barcelona. I think he rationalizes that if we can get into a high-scoring game, the odds move into our favour more. There’ll be nothing more nerve-jangling than trying to protect a 1-0 lead knowing that an equalizer will knock us out. Much better to try to get a 2-1 lead by opening up the game.

  88. From arsenal.com – the squad. No Alex Song. At least he has 10 days to recover before Spurs where we will definitely need him

    Manuel Almunia
    Lukasz Fabianski
    Nicklas Bendtner
    Eduardo
    Abou Diaby
    Samir Nasri
    Denilson
    Fran Merida
    Theo Walcott
    Craig Eastmond
    Tomas Rosicky
    Armand Traore
    Emmanuel Eboue
    Gael Clichy
    Bacary Sagna
    Thomas Vermaelen
    Sol Campbell
    Mikael Silvestre

  89. Fuck right off with your “bridges too far” and “respectible losses”!!!

    We are missing 5 starters, but we can still go there and win this game.

    I do not see the point in writing obituaries BEFORE a ball has been kicked.

  90. No song 😦

    OMG.

    Lets hope for a great game by Denilson and Diaby.

  91. ManGoonian.

    You’re an idiot. The league is ours for the taking. That should be the priority based on the harder task ahead in the Champions League, which is why Arsene won’t be risking Song for the Barcelona game and will save him for our league run-in.

    Like everyone on here, I’ll be beyond thrilled if we can pull over an upset. I’ll also be able to live with us going out of the Champions League with the knowledge that our battered troops will need all the rest they can get in the Premier League run-in.

  92. pull off, not over!

  93. lagooner;

    I was going to apologise for jumpiong on your ealier comment, but you can fuck off now, you twat!

    You come out with bollocks like “a respectful loss” and I’m the idiot?

    Give me strength from “fans” like that.

  94. And Song is injured. He isnt being saved for anything. Unlike Nasri, Diaby, Bendtner and Clichy, who were “saved” for the piddly little inconsequential game tomorrow night somewhere in mainland Europe that escapes me…

  95. Do you enjoy not having any hope, Two Owls? Where’s the fun in that? Eh?

    I’m backing us to win. We are underdogs, but matches are not decided on reputation. This is the second half of Cup game and the momentum is with us. We could make our injury losses work for us in the sense that any of Nasri, Rosicky or Diaby could run the show and they can’t mark ALL of those players out of the game.

    Bicko, Song is not the crucial midfield player in this CL match that he would be in a PL game. Denilson and Rosicky are more what’s required. Also Campbell’s (or even Silvestre’s) experience at CB might serve us better than Song’s youthful energy.

    I don’t underestimate Barca’s quality, and I certainly don’t underestimate Messi who WILL play better at home, but I think that we showed enough last Wednesday to suggest that the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

    ***

    @ lagooner
    I don’t think Song is being saved for the league, I think he is actually injured. The best way to prepare for our next league game is to win through in our CL encounter. So if Song was fit, I’m sure he would have gone to Spain instead of Eastmond.

  96. How can you call a man an idiot for posting in support of our club?

    I’ll echo shotta yesterday. Your support for Arsenal is very welcome here, as anywhere, ManGoonian.

  97. Confidence is one thing but to minimize the great accomplishments of what Arsenal has done by beating Real Madrid, Juventus and AC Milan away has nothing to do with confidence that is arrogance of the highest order.

    How can he say that you cannot compare them? is he saying for sure that this Barcelona team wouldve beaten them?

    He also makes it seem like anything Arsenal got from the game was due to Barca slowing down and trying to sit on the 2 goals. Funny, Puyol said they let in the two goals because they kept trying to push and people have said they shouldve sat back a little.

    He may say that Eboue was good and changed the game but that was all because of what Barca didnt do. The fact is Walcott and Eboue, scared teh crap out of Barca and maybe they sat back because they were a little afraid of the counter.

    Be confident all you want Bibin (I would be if I were you), but Arsenal pegged Barca back for the last of the game because they could not because Barca let them.

    Actually, disrespectful!!

    And what is this painting this Barca team teh greatest of all time based on one good half of football? a game that they didnt even win! thats not sensible, is it?

    Bibin himself said Barca were better last year but you didnt have all this beying said from what I remember.

  98. There’s a fine line between being injured and being saved. We saw it with Gallas who came back too quickly (and this is according to Arsene, who labelled it ‘a risk’).

    Song was a doubt for Barcelona. He clearly didn’t convince Arsene that he could play against Barcelona without risking a longer-term injury.

    Oh, and ManGoonian….thanks for the apology that never was or would have been! I will apologize for calling you an idiot in response to your ‘fuck off’ comment. No need to sink to your level if you can’t understand my larger reasons for wanting us to have every chance of winning the league.

  99. “can;t understand your larger reasons” Ha! You really are a pompous twit!

    Thanks ConsolsBob.

  100. Song is injured, your logic is over simplistic in the extreme and you obviously have an issue with admitting being wrong.

    Have I missed anything?

  101. I called him an idiot because like a few others on here I could mention, his first response to something he disagrees with is to say ‘fuck off’ rather than actually think about what’s being said.

    I take the point that we did rest players for the Barcelona game. That’s valid, but I think Arsene felt he had enough depth to both rest players and to win against Wolves.

    This is a different situation. Would he rather allow Song a chance to fully recover for Spurs or risk him in the Barcelona game and potentially lose him for the next 3 weeks? Clearly Arsene didn’t want to repeat the Gallas situation.

  102. i was waiting for the pompous accusation to be levelled at me for once…ouch, it stings!

  103. I must admit that I’ve been dropping bricks in worry since hearing of Song’s absence for tomorrow. I have to pray (and I’m definitely not religious!) that Denilson and Diaby have the games of their lives and that Denilson puts in a shift that includes tracking back and seeking to be “between” the ball and our goal mouth – not sauntering back behind it!

    Sweaty palms, cobbiwobbles and increasing anxiety. I hope we perform at our best (both the team and blessed away supporters) and pull off the win.

    COYG

  104. at least you didn’t tell me to fuck off again, ManGoonian. That’s progress.

    Have you missed anything? Only the point.

  105. Seems I was right, you are pompous and have a real problem admitting being wrong. have you been called pompous before then? ha!

    I never said fuck off to you, I said fuck off to the comments you and some other fella made. There is a difference. But I can say it to you, if you like?

    I have an issue with people suggesting we will lose, or accept a loss before a ball has been kicked. I aint apologising for that.

  106. We love to do things the hard way! No Song and possibly Campbell too. Even the football gods are trying to make it easy for Barca!

  107. Denilson will need to be energizer bunny times 10 on Tues.

    Carl Henry should get 6 month ban without pay.

  108. California Gooner

    I have to wonder if Diaby should be dropped for this tie. I wonder if a midfield of Denilson, Nasri and Rosicky — our great passers– might not be more effective, with Eboue on the right and Theo on the left (just try getting forward then, Dani Alvez, he he). If Diaby does play, then perhaps Eboue at Right Back and Rosicky up front. I just have a feeling that we will need the players who are best with the ball tomorrow, players who can hold the ball against pressure and get it moving again.

  109. Cali;

    I would imagine Rosicky playing further up with Bendy and either Theo or Eboue, with Nasri, Denilson and Diaby in midfield.

  110. Our players are going down like nine pins at the moment! Cesc, Gallas, Arshavin and now Song? Now if Campbell does not make it, we will have no centre halves on the reserve bench. Now that is a frightening thought, even for the greatest optimist.

  111. @ lagooner

    from arsenal.com:

    Arsène Wenger had a “bad surprise” on Monday morning – Alex Song has been ruled out of the Champions League trip to Barcelona.

    The Cameroon midfielder was substituted with 19 minutes remaining against Wolves on Saturday with a groin problem but his manager expected him to be OK for the Quarter-Final second leg at the Nou Camp. But Song’s injury is worse than first feared.

    “It was a bad surprise this morning because he had a scan yesterday afternoon on his knee and he has an inflamed cartilage,” said Wenger before leaving for Spain. “We have to wait and see how bad it is but he is completely out for the squad for tomorrow’s game.”

    Song is injured. He is not being saved or rested.

  112. Paulie Walnuts

    Hope Pat Rice takes his boots

  113. Fungunner;

    Surely Wenger is just messing with us???

  114. @ ManGoonian
    ha ha – if only!

    ***
    @ California Gooner
    I like your midfield, and I think we will have either Eboue or Walcott (not both, I don’t think) further up the field so that we have an outlet for long diagonal balls – that way we will have the option to bypass their midfield. Rosicky and Denilson will do the dirty work and Nasri will supply the killer passes.

    Thank goodness I have given myself the day off today because I could not concentrate on work.

  115. Traore in the squad ahead of Vela 😮

    pace off the bench in the shape of theo and armand?

  116. And yes, Passenal, you may have a few boxes of my consignment of Valium!

  117. He’s a sly one is Wenger. I’ve long suspected that RvP is just being rested for next seasons Carling Cup.

  118. Vela’s exclusion is puzzling, because we seem to have literally taken everybody who’s fit, including the total kids like Eastmond and Merida. Perhaps Vela isn’t fit?

  119. Puzzling because Vela is very quick, I should have said.

  120. Vela was training today, i saw him on the SSN clip.

    Shame.

  121. the fellas on Carlos Vela News are going to go ape 😆

  122. ManGooner-I said there would be a silver lining to the loss, much in the same way Chelsea have experienced in rebounding in the league after the Inter loss.

    Of course, I don’t want them to lose or would be happy if they lost. Jesus…

  123. FunGunner

    After reading that last quote, it’s clear he’s injured.
    Let’s hope he’s back for Spurs.

    Thanks.

  124. ManGoonian,

    No-I was joking, because I have called someone on this blog pompous before. That’s why it was amusing to me. Shoe on the other foot, etc…

  125. Denilson will cope fine. Diaby will do a good job. Song out changes little. The key players for this tie are in – left and right backs, Nasri, Bendtner, Eboue, Walcott.

    I presume the posts are reciprocal and an Arsenal viewpoint is being presented in Spain.

  126. jumping on the bandwagon now, pz? You don’t have to be indirect, you know.

    As I agreed with FunGunner earlier, it’s obviously an injury. Before reading that quote FunGunner provided, I was going by what Arsene most recently said:

    “Song had a groin problem and we will assess him ahead of Tuesday, but he should be OK” which seemed to indicate that as e was out on Tuesday then Song had come up short on the fitness test, or that Wenger didn’t want to rush him back too quickly.

    Unfortunately, the latest news is far more troubling.

  127. Vela is being rested for the 2013 season.

  128. Seriously though, something must be up because Vela is familiar with playing in Spain (and at the Nou Camp) and would be an asset.

  129. “Only the injury to Fabregas prevented us from claiming victory.”

    Agreed, the injury by Gardner!

    ( So, a bruised bone is, quite literally, a bruised bone…doh! )

    The beauty of all team sports like football, is that it’s a collective effort.

    Using some p(l)undit favourites:

    Denilson won AFC possession to ‘get them back in with a chance’.
    Almunia had ‘kept them in the game’.
    And Walcott came on to give his team-mates the inspiration that they could ‘go on to win the game’.

    No idea what the AFC team will be tomorrow.

    Barca’s team could be interesting.

    Alas those looking forward to a Yaya vs. Song showdown in CM will have to wait. Sniff.
    At least it should no longer be a mystery to so many AFC fans as to why their players ‘appear’ pick up more injuries then others. Maybe three broken legs in three years is a revealing statistic? Just a random guess, that.

    Back to Barca, will Yaya play, will he be asked to play at CB against NB52?

    Will a stiff Abidal be patched up and sent out against TW14, or did Maxwell impress Pep on the equivalent pitch dimensions of the TNHOF last week?

    No idea.

    All I know is, this current AFC team have always played well when they have nothing to loose.

    Especially Away, in the CL.

  130. FG – I believe Vela is just coming back from a groin injury and as Arsene has been quoted to say about Sol, you cannot play in this game unless you are fit. We all saw the consequences of playing when less than 100%. With all our injuries, Carlos will get more chances before the end of the season.

  131. I’m with Frank.

    This guy, Bibin, sure he is very nice, should be told, politely of course, to fuck off.

    We had injuries to our 4 best players, and we draw 2-2. We now have Song out. By my reckoning that’s our 5 best players injured – Gallas, VP, Fabregas, Arshavin and Song. Some may disagree about Song, but I think he has become very important to us.

    What is remarkable is that Wenger has not complained at all about injuries.

    What is unremarkable is that the hacks have credited us with nothing for coping without injuries. Granted Shaun Custis of the screws admitted that with Van Persie ever present, we would be romping the title. Andy Dunn tried to refute this, only because he is a manc and chav loving tosspot. Andy Dunn is like the majority of hacks who don’t give us due credit, because they fear their paymasters at ESPN and Sky.

    Let’s just say here and now that what we have achieved this season is magnificent. We have played exceptional football and have an exceptional chance of winning the premiership, against two financially doped up to their eyeballs clubs who are basically money launderers for suspect american and russian tycoons.

    What we hope for now is that the russian and yank franchise is crumbling. UEFA hopefully will bring out the directive that they can’t splurge £60 million every summer when they start to feel the heat. Their ageing players will not be able to replaced and a period of arsenal domination awaits.

  132. Muppet

    Other than telling Mr.B to fuck off, I completely agree with your analysis.

    Those 5 players are easily defended as our best 5, although Vermaelen and Nasri in particular have good claims to a Top 5 spot.

    It’s been a magnificent effort this season. I said a couple of weeks ago that anything from here is a bonus considering the obstacles we’ve faced.

    We’re locked in at no less than third, and have a chance to knock out the kings on their own turf. Let’s hope Arsene signs for another 3 years in the summer.

  133. Fuck off, lagooner

  134. Kinda sad, Muppet, since Frank really does come off like a whiny ten-year-old. How could you possibly be a Barca fan –coming off a) the most successful season in the history of football, b) humiliating a very good Wolfsburg team at the Nou Camp after an away draw — and not be confident going into this match with 2 away goals and the other team’s 5 most irreplaceable players out injured?

    I really think we can find a way to win this. I mean, I’m the one who went off on the childish doomer brats over in a post at Arsenalist. But putting your hands over your ears and closing your eyes and screaming “can’t hear you Barca fan!! Fuck off! We teh awesome” is just as childish.

    As I say, we can win, but it won’t be with talent on talent…not with the squad we’re being forced to field. We need them a little tight, more conservative to help the makeshift D, an eye ahead to the weekend classico, and we need to out work the hell out of them, knowing we have 8 days off. And yes, we’ll need a little luck. I fancy the 3-3 draw, with a goal from Eduardo as sub.

  135. Lagooner,

    I hope very much that he signs. I don’t think he has to extend in the summer, as he still has another year. But yes, the pressure is for him to resign to quash all the speculation that would arise if he does not.

    I think that the next generation of youth coming through is very exciting. It consists as you know, of the ones just breaking into the squad, like Merida, Eastmond, Wilshere, but also the players just behind them like Nordtveit, Szczesny, Coquelin, JET, Lansbury, Sunu and Barazite. And then, there are players behind them like Chuks Aneke, Martin Angha and Zak Ansah.

    It is a very exciting time indeed to be an arsenal supporter.

  136. You stay classy, Frank.

  137. “What is remarkable is that Wenger has not complained at all about injuries.”

    It is no longer remarkable because we know Wenger doesn’t complain about injuries, as such complaints generate negativity and say nothing about those soldiering on. Instead, it would be characteristic of him to talk about those players available and how he believes that they can deliver because they are quality, have the spirit for the fight, etc. and not about those missing. “We’re not a one man team”, if one key player is missing. That cliche is no longer appropriate given how many key players are out injured. Yet, he will tell the team to be brave and have a go for all they are worth and not give up. That’s how we have the late goals – another fact to use to motivate our exceptional team.

    That is the only way, otherwise, we might as well not turn up. Win or lose, I’m proud of our lads.

  138. You can fuck off as well, nolagunner.

  139. In my humble opinion, we should not be claiming that half the team that will represent us tomorrow are second-raters.

  140. You really just don’t get it do you, Nolagunner?

  141. Frank and PZ:

    Is it that really all you have?

  142. Frank and PZ:

    Is that really all you have?

  143. All I have is an abiding belief in the manager and this squad.

  144. red head it is Frank..

  145. Agreed Muppet.

    I hope that those who are impatient with Vela or have given up on Eduardo will understand how crucial both players can be for us next season.

    Add them to RVP, Chamakh, Arshavin, Walcott and Bendtner and we will be fully loaded in the next campaign.

  146. Frank-so do I. I just don’t tell everyone who doesn’t subscribe to my every thought to fuck off.

  147. This is England

    Anyone else on here going to the match

  148. Let’s just say here and now that what we have achieved this season is magnificent. We have played exceptional football and have an exceptional chance of winning the premiership, against two financially doped up to their eyeballs clubs who are basically money launderers for suspect american and russian tycoons.

    Agree with that 100%, Muppet. The boys have done us proud.

  149. “With all our injuries, Carlos will get more chances before the end of the season.”

    That’s a relief all round. I think Maria and the military wing of Carlos Vela News were preparing to march on the Emirates in protest at his lack of appearances.

    Seriously though, he seemed to do OK when he came on on Saturday so if he can get back to his best, like, REALLY REALLY soon (no pressure, Carlitos!) he would make a great impact sub.

  150. we are in a win win sit..if we lose its coz all our players are injured and if we win..well fuk about that would be one of the greatest wins ever.

    who has upset Poliziano then. must be pissed to give the old f*ck off and not some witty remark.

  151. Henry attacks moaning Arsenal

    Wolves captain Karl Henry has responded in outrage after his unfair dismissal during his team’s unlucky defeat at the Emirates on Saturday.

    Henry, who learned many of his footballing skills earlier in his career at Stoke City under Tony Pulis, received a straight red card for a routine tackle on midfielder Tomas Rosicky.

    “It was never a red card, it is an absolute disgrace” said the 28-year-old midfielder, referring to his three-match ban – a cruelly harsh punishment for an honest tackle which left his opponent’s leg unbroken. The chunks of flesh gouged out of Rosicky were believed to have been lost in an incident involving a stray dog prior to the match.

    “Arsenal moan a lot.” Henry added: “It makes you not want to see them do so well. Thomas Vermaelen has come flying in and whoever else, trying to get me sent off.”

    Vermaelen was one of the Arsenal players who saw team-mate Aaron Ramsey break his leg in two places in a challenge with Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross in February. Shawcross is still recovering after being traumatised by the incident.

    Wolves boss Mick McCarthy believes referee Andre Marriner’s 10th red card of the season was crucial to Arsenal’s success. His team were desperately unfortunate to lose after notching up three attempts on goal during the match.

    “If Arsenal had scored one of their many chances in the first half then I would have taken it on the chin,” said McCarthy in frustration after the deadlock was fortuitously broken by Arsenal’s twenty-third strike on goal.

    But McCarthy believes the red-card decision may have been the work of a sinister Satanist cult. “It was a diabolical joke”, he commented.

    The Irishman applauded his captain as he walked off the pitch. “I felt bad for Karl, I ushered him off and congratulated him on his performance,” added McCarthy.

    The Wolves defender is said to be distressed that he has not yet received a message of condolence from Manchester United manager Sir Rudolph Ferguson. His mother was unavailable for comment.

  152. Good to be a GOONAH!!

    I think we will score first and scare the shit out them. Some of Alves comments suggest that Barce are ever so slightly complacent.

    However, as well as Barcelona played, AFC also contributed to the first 60 minutes by playing very poorly. We won’t make that mistake again.

  153. FG @ 5:46.

    I agree 100%!

    But I’d describe the Americans actions as ‘Grand Theft Larceny’.

    Portsmouth FC?

    Now that’s how one should go about washing the dirty linen.
    Four owners in a month? I lost count.

    Avram is shifty as ****. He was there before, he’s there now…in between a little jaunt with his NKVD buddies down on the Tsar’s Road. What fun.

    Irishgrey,

    AW doesn’t have to say anything,
    yet the hacks are still churning the presses with their usual cheese.
    Very predictable.
    Doesn’t matter what anyone else says about the KH incident, he speaks for himself!

  154. Neither do I, lagooner. I tell certain people to fuck off. If you were a little more discerning you might have spotted.

    But just for the record… you fit the bill.

    Fuck off.

  155. FG @ 5:46.

    I agree 100%.

    I’d describe the Americans actions as ‘Grand Theft Larceny’.

    Portsmouth FC?

    Now that’s how one should go about washing the dirty linen.
    Four owners in a month? I lost count.

    Avram is shifty . He was there before, he’s there now…in between a little jaunt with his NKVD buddies down on the Tsar’s Road. What fun.

    Irishgrey,

    AW doesn’t have to say anything,
    yet the hacks are still churning the presses with their usual cheese.

  156. That is not true, Good to be a Goonah. You need to watch the game again without listening to the pro-Barcelona pundits. We actually nearly scored several times in the first sixty minutes. Barcelona only totally dominated the game in minutes 2-18.

  157. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Hah!

    ManGoonian – I know you had it in you. Why the hell should we write an obituary before the game is played? Why?

    Screw the p(l)undits and the sceptics. We are going to make a game of this.

    Earlier I was going to post something questioning those who were quick to write-off Denilson from our 1st XI. It may be a moot point given Song’s injury as most now admit he will play tomorrow. However I still see some expressing doubt about his work rate.

    Are you guys for real? Denilson in 50 minutes last Wednesday had more successful passes and interceptions than any of our midfielders. This is a young man who puts himself about in the middle of the park, never hides from the pressure, always makes himself available to receive a pass and the ability to make the simple yet effective pass to the more advanced players. Yet, I see posters ,who should know better, questioning his desire to work for the team and do everything to win. Granted he is not perfect, but at 22 the “yute” is a Master Technician.

    He was always going to start because, as was obvious last Wednesday, in Europe he gets more protection from the refs, unlike the EPL where cloggers, like Karl Henry, batter him, typically pushing him to the ground from behind when he is in possession. Now he is recovered from his bad back he is returning to his best.

  158. I agree with shotta-gunna

  159. Merlot,
    Which paper was that in?

  160. Wow, you ARE a 10-year old Frank! After the last match I wrote this:
    http://arsenalist.com/2010/04/02/nolagunner-responds-to-keegs-we-are-championship-caliber/
    This time, I back Arsenal to win, owing to their character in overcoming adversity. And Frank’s response? “Fuck off.”

    Yes, Frank, you are very discerning. Anyone who admits that half our first choice being down to injury presents a significant (but not insurmountable) obstacle is told to fuck off. It sounds to me like you’re the one who lacks belief in the team.

  161. Actually that is a deliberate misinterpretation of the facts, nolagunner. You were told to fuck off because of the friends you keep.

  162. “All I have is an abiding belief in the manager and this squad.”(Frank @ 5:34 pm)

    The most important statement made here today. I think this is really the difference between ACLFers and most other blogs. Our belief in Arsene Wenger and the project his started is well founded. We should never loose sight of that fact.

    Unto the Nou Camp we come! Come On You F*cking Gunners! Come On!

    (On that note, where the hell is Zap and his rallying cry?)

  163. anyone think silvester will start at cb?

  164. Who, Bibin? Being hospitable to an invited guest who is very polite and answers the questions asked is not the same as fraternizing with the enemy. It is, once again, childish to think otherwise.

    And I think, to be consistent, you owe Yogi a big “fuck off” — maybe a “you cunt” for good measure — for the friends he keeps. He’s the one who invited Bibin, after all.

  165. Sorry, I may not be a veteran poster, and indeed post very infrequently, but I have followed this blog for quite some time. Sadly, this seems to be becoming a mirror image of le-grove. Same thing, just inverted!

    Now I don’t know if this comment warrants a fuck off 😦

  166. Song’s absence is really a big blow. I like Denilson but his problem is he doesn’t track back when we lose the ball while he likes moving forward. Against Wolves, instead of staying put he ran with Nasri and others upfield and was given the ball, shot and got blocked and lost the ball; while Nasri and others ran to cover to prevent Wolves counterattack he jogged. If he can’t run to cover why does he chose to move forward all the time and leaves gabs behind? Against Barca, we can be penalised.

    I hope AW will advise him to stay put behind the centre line.

  167. Fuck off Moda.

    aka.. Howard.. James.. William.. Nolagooner.. Baxter Wall… Arse21

  168. PZ

    Slightly adapted (all quotes verbatim) from BBC Sport news website – and covered by Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Star, Birmingham Mail and, of course the Shropshire Star.

    There may be others.

  169. To clarify, by a mirror image of le-grove I did not mean the spirit of this blog, which is positive and opposite of le-grive and which is very good. What I meant is, just as the le-grovers I can see extreme reactions to things which at least to me is acceptable. Like Denilson does can have an off game every now and then and that does not warrant us to pounce on him as a pack, similarly someone can air a view different from you every now and then, it does not warrant the sort of vicious over reaction that is sometimes on display here.

  170. No, Nolagunner…your friend was lagunner.

    As for Bibin, I think he is a disgrace and I think that YW made a big mistake in inviting him to post. He was superficial and let YW down.

    Mirror image of the LeGrove? Yes I like that. Thanks

  171. Thanks shotta!

  172. The posts and comments are really a reversal of the crap found on LeGrove. Unequivocal support as opposed to anti-support. Thing is Bibin’s responses to YW’s questions would have been better suited to LeGrove.

  173. Agree with Moda and shotta…Denilson is key. I think he is better suited to a UEFA reffed match than Song…Song is better at physically winning the ball, Denilson at straight interception. But he must keep his defensive discipline. The UEFA ref is also why i’ve tipped Eduardo for a goal…I think mentally he will be stronger knowing that no one’s about to break his leg.

  174. “Mirror image of the LeGrove? Yes I like that. Thanks”

    And that’s all that needs to be said. Happy to be knee-jerk, rude, and childish, so long as it’s in support of Arsenal.

    Could you at least quiet down while the grownups talk about the actual facts and challenges facing Arsenal for this very important match? We’ll just take it as read that you want us all to fuck off for wanting to have an adult conversation.

  175. How sadly predictable you are, Frank.

  176. hillarious goings on 😆

  177. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I agree with Passenal. You’d expect a Barca blogger to come out and back his squad. You’d just hope they could do that without disrespecting our team. As was pointed out above, Barca are not infallible. No doubt Barca will be a tough customer. But don’t count Wenger and his squad out yet. They played their best 60 minutes of their life and failed to kill us off. That fact will be lingering in the back of the Barca players heads. We realized our mistake from the first leg, now it’s up to the boys to go out and execute.

  178. La Grieve – LMAO

  179. I don’t even know nolagunner, Frank.

    But you haven’t answered why you aren’t telling YW to fuck off as he invited Mr.Bibin? Fortunately, he’s more tolerant of other opinions than you’ll ever be, and another conflict with YW would probably just result in you throwing your toys out of the pram and sulking for a few weeks

  180. Fuck off YW for inviting Bibin

  181. well, at least you’re consistent, Frank.

  182. Bibin had a real opportunity to creat something interesting. A Barcelona supporter on an Arsenal blog. We could have enjoyed some really interesting and perhaps alternative insights. But we didn’t. We got the same ld superficial press and media inspired shit.

  183. I have always been consistent. You just need to read a little more and perhaps think before you post, lagooner.

  184. THE HACKS

    ed: Hack… I want a story about the title race.

    hack: Yes ed ?

    ed: Yes.. but I want an angle on this story

    hack: Yes ?

    ed: Yes… the angle is… it’s 2 horse race…. no mention of arsenal

    hack: but ed.. but ?!

    ed: no…it’s a 2 horse race.. we mention Chelsea and Manchester United. I want Ancelloti in there. I want Ferguson. I want the psychological profiles. I want the Rooney factor. I want the Drogba factor. I want each squad examined. I want the full details of how Chelsea came back after the Blackburn game. I want the low down. I want all the fixtures and your predictions.

    hack: but but but

    ed: yes hack

    hack: can I follow Manchester United or Chelsea press conferences next year. Because I love them so much.

    ed: Anything for you hack. Anything.

  185. If we could attract at least 500 ardent, eloquent supporters of Arsene and his squad on a daily basis rather than 500 moaning anti-supporters on that other site who generally make no bones about their dislike and scorn for Arsene and his players, then I’ll be happy if ACLF is the mirror-image of le-groan.

    As it stands, better quality than quantity. Some of us would be better-off if we understood where Frank is coming from rather than trying to straddle the fences.

  186. The fact is, generally speaking, the anti-support and the straddlers far outnumber the ardent, uncompromising supporters of Arsene. Too many Arsenal are willing to imbibe the b.s. of the mediaand recite it word-for-word in public without any recourse to the facts.

    Yes we are underdogs, but Barca under-estimate us at their peril. We have many ways of hurting them as was evident last Wednesday.

  187. Arsene

    “”We’ve won away everywhere in Europe,” he said, speaking of the task his side faces after the 2-2 first-leg draw.

    “Barcelona is a place where we haven’t done it, so there is no better opportunity than Tuesday,”

    I agree with that!!! lets do it!!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8603858.stm

  188. I’m increasingly convinced that Frank, while he loves Arsenal, doesn’t understand or particularly love football. Bibin talks about Barca’s willingness to play over the top centrally, the weakness of their 4-2-3-1, admits that it was exposed even in the first half, talks about the strengths and weaknesses of the replacement CBs. Overall solid pro-Barca analysis from a Barca fan, a great counterpoint for an Arsenal fan’s pro-Arsenal analysis.

    Brilliantly done having Bibin on again, YW. There will be more interesting things to look for tomorrow because of it.

  189. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You gotta love Frank’s support. He backs his squad to the death. Anyone slighting us and showing disrespect to the Arsenal should be told to f*ck off, imo. There’s too many softies on this blog that try and play the moral card. A bunch of Reverend Lovejoys. Anyone that has a problem with Frank has it ass backwards. Get behind the f*cking team. F*ck all the premature grieving and fear.

  190. I agree with Ateeb, Denilson is the interception master and will be invaluable to us when we play tomorrow night. Barca’s back line must be having kittens at the prospect of playing both EBoue and Walcott again.

    1-3, 2-3 if Barca get lucky

  191. What a test this is going to be for Arsene Wenger. No other manager in the world could handle the injury situation he finds himself in. But I think he will do it.

    ….Arsenal….

  192. Passenal,
    For info. only
    Even on a BH I don’t seem to have time to follow a blog; so, in relation to much earlier posts I just wanted to say how I first came across this blog. I was thinking about and discussing it with a friend a few days ago.
    It was at the time of the Newsnight “expose” on Arsenals trading links with Beveren. YW via this site took on the BBC producer. He did a good job too ! At that time there were a few us interested defending AFC by exposing media propaganda and poorly researched “news”.
    Alas it never came to anything.

  193. Fuck off, nolagunner

  194. Nolagunner is a tosser though. You really don’t need Frank to tell you that.

    However, it seems that many do.

  195. Do you have rabies or something, Frank? All this frothing at the mouth is more the behaviour of a sick pitbull than an actual Arsenal supporter.

    Arsene Wenger: “”Can you believe that? That’s eight players. Any injury now can hit us very hard.”

    Frank: “Fuck off Wenger, you negative doomer”

  196. Actually any fool can see that Barca’s replacement full-backs are half decent players. Their real weakness is in the ability of their full-backs to defend. We have several players who can turn them inside out, including Theo and Emmanuel. I wonder if Armand Traore might get a crack at some stage in front of Gael Clichy.

  197. You are pissing in the wind, lagunner, you creep.

  198. Change the name of Arsene Wenger for anyone posting on this site with that comment, and you would tell them to ‘Fuck Off’ (and you know that’s true).

  199. You please fuck off frank you really bring this blog down to your gutter level. I’m guessing you were the fat kid every one made fun of at school. Ever tried therapy?

  200. “If we could attract at least 500 ardent, eloquent supporters of Arsene and his squad on a daily basis”

    But we won’t, and here’s why. I’ve always been consisten that: 1) Arsene is a wizard 2) We have the talent equal to anyone anywhere, 3) a true supporter should back our squad unswervingly, 4) never slagging our players, 5) Thinking we are going to win every match at kick-off, and 6) That RvP, Cesc, Arsh, Song and Gallas are WORLD CLASS players, and thus 7) replacing them against top teams presents challenges that, while difficult, can be overcome because of the squad’s character.

    Something in those 7 causes a half-dozen people here to resort to childish name calling, over and over. How do you think that will attract ardent, eloquent supporters?

  201. I have to admit that its been tough to understand Frank. Am I being over confident? I will say I am confident in the position we are in now. You guys made a serious comeback and that gave the confidence for you guys to believe Arsenal will win. Is it a sin for me to believe that our team has it to win the leg, after a great display at Emirates and two away goals. I know very clearly that may actually amount to nothing, but still at this moment we have a slight upper hand.

    As for YW making a mistake of inviting me for the interview, that’s something he has to decide. You can’t decide on his behalf, Frank.

    Franks, really sorry to say this – Grow up, Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and you have to start admitting that. Constructive criticism is good but you are way beyond that.

  202. YW, the link to site in the post is not working. Please correct that if it is possible.

  203. *

  204. We have shown we can hurt barca and score against them…. I watched their game vs a very average Bilbao and the away team created enough chances to score at least 4 goals and that was with barca’s 1st choice CBs..

    Even if he doesnt do anything straight away, having Theo on from the start will give the barca defence real concerns about being caught on the counter and with Diaby Rosicky and nasri we have the players to exploit their worries…

    Add to that mix, Eboue and Denilson, not to mention Bendy and the set piece threats from Sol and Vermealen! We have a very good chance!

  205. To whom Stringfellow? You are as suspect as always.

  206. 😆 and you as paranoid as always, take a chill pill.

    i look forward to the responses to barca bibin.

  207. barca bibin – who does the media out there believe to be the starting back four? for barca that it…

  208. I believe it would be Alves, Marquez, Milito and Abidal in the defense. By the way, Iniesta has been given the green signal by the medical staff and is included in the squad. He may not play.

  209. You cannot be a supporter of Barca and not be confident, what one must do though is give a team that was looked upon as thouroughly beaten and give them total credit. Not only what you didnt do but what we did and caused you to do.

    I dont even see this Barca sat back arguement, it was more like Arsenal started pushing back.

    You also dont look at the accomplishments of a team beating real madrid, juventus and AC Milan at their home in the CL and behave as if you cannot make a comparison, what on earth is that?
    In every single match, Arsenal were treated in the exact same way as we are being treated now, “ARSENAL ARE GONNA GET KILLED”, is what we read and heard but it turned out differently.

    I for one hope that Barca will be on that list after tomorrow, so we can compare.

  210. abidal will be fit to play 90 minutes?

  211. Must be strange to have people creeping around your arse today, YW. You fucked up right royally by allowing that cunt on the site. As it happens it is not for YW to decide. It is down to the people who read his blog.

    You have offered nothing new at all, Bibin. Nothing at all. You really should have done a little research regarding the blog you were invited to post on. I sincerely hope you are invited again, for entertainment value.

    What a fucking rotter!

  212. Yes he looked good in the match against Bilbao.

  213. what do you think the Barca line-up will be, Bibin?

    Where am I wrong?

    Valdes
    Alves
    Marquez
    Milito
    Abidal
    Xavi
    Busqets
    Keita
    Messi
    Henry
    Pedro

  214. Fuck off consol bob you old fool. Don’t worry Biben not all us arsenal fans as narrow minded as that. Ilook forward to our teams having it out tomorow, who ever may win.

  215. numberten, I was not questioning your comment earlier, my response was a rhetorical one, which was actually supporting your point. It’s hard to get the nuances across in writing sometimes!

    I’m not sure why an Arsenal supporter should be questioned for supporting his team however vehemently at a time when the world and his wife are lining up to write us off. A passionate, take no prisoners approach to supporting the team is welcome in my book as an antidote to some of the weak kneed, grudging support, which too often characterizes a significant minority on the internet.

  216. bojan instead of henry, JO

  217. Frank:

    That was enlightening. I should research about the blog, why? I was asked to give opinion on Arsenal vs Barca match. And that I did. I didn’t come here to give your opinion. If that was the case, YW should have send the questions to you.

  218. Mostly Toure and Bojan will start in place of Keita and Henry. As you said Jo, Let the best team on the night win.

  219. We need to exploit the makeshift CBs as well as Abidal too… He has only just returned from injury hasn’t he?

  220. You English, Bibin?

  221. yup, mangoon

    out since early feb

  222. Paulie Walnuts

    Bibin,

    Are Barca in the habit of eating lasagne the night before a big game ?

  223. The football played tomorrow will be so amazing that everyone in the stadium will collectively jizz, causing the level of jizz on the pitch to rise to a height of 6’3”. As a result, only Bendner will be able to see anything, and he’ll get a hattrick.

  224. Lagooner, I just had dinner, but reading your posts I almost wanted to throw up. It’s football you idiot.

    Frank what a star you are.

    COYG!

  225. ‘Mostly Toure and Bojan will start in place of Keita and Henry’…I can read that in any paper, newsnow, media outlet.

    You come across, if you forgive the colloquialism, as English, Bibin.

  226. On a (slightly) more serious note, Walcott should skin Abidal and Marquez collectively.

  227. I agree Aaditya…Eboue and Traore too…and that is just down the flanks.

  228. So here we have an English Barcelona supporter…is that correct?

  229. Nasri should be able to dribble past the entire Barca team in one move. And we’ll score a rare route 1 goal so that Almunia can have his assist.

  230. what exactly made you throw up, notlager. Please be more specific. My guess is that you’re just blindly supporting Frank here.

  231. abidal is very fast, much faster than maxwell

    the centre backs are very slow

    this is going to be some game… if abidal starts at left back… this may lead to walcott starting on the bench and coming on to rape a tiring, out for 2 months, left back.

  232. Oh Frank-are you getting jingoistic again?

  233. India and England are the same thing. The Indian papers just regurgitate what the Sun says, and their equivalent of MOTD is bollocks, and totally Manc loving.

  234. You from Kerala, Bibin?

  235. Really, Bibin, you were born in India and went straight to live in Spain? Or was that via Goa and Portugal? Or is there an England link?….Now you have said something interesting.

    Important ,you see, that we understand your Barcelona ‘supporter’ background.

  236. Eboue will give Dani Alvez a lesson on how to play right back by pegging him down from the left-wing.

  237. The Indian football press just creams themselves on Manchester Untidy and whoever wins the Champions League. This guy probably started watching in 2006.

  238. What the hell does nationality have to do with who you support? (and who you play for, manage etc).

    All true Arsenal supporters had different paths to finding this team. Why question Bibin’s motivation for supporting his?

  239. The English connection comes from Football Focus or whatever that rubbish is that they sprout about Arsenal’s supposed lack of grit.

  240. Aaditya, you form India?

  241. You really are out of your depth, lagooner.

  242. What Frank is questioning is Bibin’s idea of research and givign reasoned opinions. I am providing the answers.

  243. @ SH
    Yep, though I live in the middle east

  244. cool, which part of India?

  245. Frank questioning someone’s idea of reasoned opinions, Aaditya?

    Funniest line of the day!

  246. When did I started following Barca? In the 1999-2000 season. Things were not that bright at those times Aaditya. Indian Press may have a sure liking for ManU. What are you trying to say Adi – ManU is a shit club because you don’t like them?

  247. Frank

    If I say ”fuck off”, will I no longer be out of my depth?

  248. So why did you choose Barcelona in 1999-2000, Bibin?

  249. Out of the game, lagooner, go on piss off.

  250. Bibin,

    You need a reality check. Barcelona are a good side, but you cannot deny that you have had a little bit of luck on the way. You cannot also deny that you play in a league which, although strong technically, has not matched the premier league in recent years.

    You were extremely fortunate to get through to the final last year, where basically, Chelsea played you off the pitch. The referee put you through on that night. You lost to Liverpool in the Nou Camp, and you got a huge slice of luck to win against 2006 against arsenal, when Lehmann was sent off. Overall, that arsenal team was superior to Barcelona, on the night and in general. We should have won the champions league, and it is one of the biggest travesties that we did not.

    The beautiful football that is played by Barcelona is matched by Arsenal. Anything that you have done in La Liga is matched by us in the premiership. Messi has scored goals from the half way line. Arshavin, Fabregas, Henry have done that us well. You have put together a 50 pass move to score. So have we.

    You forget that Arsenal will be going to the Nou Camp without our 5 best players. With our 5 best players we would not be going there at 2-2. We would not be talking about you having an advantage. I don’t think you realise how good this arsenal team is, and what it’s potential is. You insult Milan and Real Madrid by saying that you would be a different proposition. What you don’t understand is that up to the point that arsenal beat AC Milan, a european powerhouse, they had not lost in the San Siro, to an english team, ever.

    You insult Fabregas by saying that Xavi made him look like an amateur. That statement alone says it all. The fact that you come from India also means that you lose all credibility. Indians understand cricket, not football. I would stick to cricket if I was you.

  251. Mostly due to the majority of dutch stars and the way they played. I like the Dutch National team of that time.

  252. Shut up Frank you nonce case, you are becoming a bore

    You question gooners not coming from these shores?

    Where are consol bob and your other yank gooners?

    you fucking hypocrite, you shame true gooners.

    Bibin and others, apologies.

    FUCK OFF FRANK

  253. @ SH
    I’m from West Bengal

    @ Bibin
    I’m trying to say that John Dykes and Steve Mcmahon cream themselves over ManU because they are a predominantly British side with a British manager. Plus, they all wanted to get homosexual with Ronaldo. I’m assuming you also love ManU, like pretty much everyone else in India

  254. lets see if we can coax them out now, as they have not come out in defence of the brainless wonder to date…

    lets start the clock…

  255. wow, you’re showing some real variety in your comments, Frank. Now you’ve shown you’re certainly not out of your depth by smoothly transitioning from ‘fuck off’ to ‘piss off’, what can we possibly hope for next?

  256. Frank, lagooner just wants to be politcally correct and neutral. Well more than being a Gooner.

    Oh Stringfellow, was that you who said f*ck off to all American Arsenal supporters not long ago?

  257. If Barca ever had to go to The Britannia Stadium, St. Andrews and Ewood Park twice a year, their 23 man squad would be pissed all over

  258. Aaaah, Stringfellow, you finally cracked. I am not questioning his nationality you fool. I am questioning his depth of knowledge and credibility. His post demonstrated nothing other than an ability to read the press and watch/listen to the media. What really concerns me is that someone with such a superficial understanding of football and thin connection to Barcelona should come on here and dictate/advise us on the game tomorrow from an opposition perspective.

    Either YW is a sadist or he got it wrong. I would like to think that it was the former and that he delivered a toy to play with, but I suspect it was the latter.

  259. @ Muppet
    You’ll find that many Indians now have an in-depth understanding of the beautiful game. At least those who haven’t been brought up to hear that Cristiano Ronaldo and “Sir” Alex Ferguson are Gods.

  260. Who are you to question YW?

    If you don’t like it, fuck off 🙂

  261. Frank, your perceptiveness is exceptional.

  262. Aaditya;

    Haha! I think you have hit on something there…. The way the barca fella went all defensive when you dared to mention ManU in a not too positive light!

  263. Does anybody here miss William? I think we were finally starting to convert him, he seemed quite positive after a while and you know this

  264. ….Arsenal….

  265. When all else fails 😆

    Some try far toooooo hard to prove they are fans of the club.

    Give it a break.

  266. Aaditya,

    I’m sorry. But Bibin’s comment that going to AC Milan is a different proposition to that of Barcelona, shows his massive ignorance. If you did not know that AC Milan were one of the top 3 teams in the world, and dominant at the San Siro, then every other word that flows from your tongue henceforth, lacks any credibility.

    The game is up.

  267. Paulie Walnuts

    Does Theo`s mum know he`s going to `skin` & `rape` people tomorrow ?

  268. The Indian football press wants everyone to love ManU and “Sir” Hardly Anyone. It’s a little shocking, I thought we gained independance to avoid ending up exactly like the British.

  269. I apologise to all Arsenal fans for Stringfellow.

  270. Muppet:

    I agree with the Xavi/Fabregas comment. That one hit the wrong note from Bibin.

    However, let’s be honest here. Barcelona are the best team in the world right now. Yes, they got lucky against Chelsea last season, but everyone needs luck. I agree that this Barcelona team is a different proposition to beating an aging and dysfunctional Real Madrid team, but our magnificent and historical AC Milan away victory came against some great players, including Kaka, Pirlo, Pato etc.

    Simply put, they are favourites. We have a good chance to win because our squad has depth to overcome injuries and Wenger knows how to win big European games away (let’s not forget the crushing of Inter Milan away too).

    The Indian comment was out of bounds, though!

  271. @ Muppet

    Bibin is not one of those Indians. You can generally tell them apart. The perceptive ones usually sport some sort of Arsenal merchandise and show a strong dislike for the English national team.

  272. oh shut up, and get that beak out of his arse.

    you apologise for nobody but your boyfriend, you are a disgrace to mankind.

    Bibin – enjoy the game, hope barca get stuffed.

  273. We beat AC Milan when they were defending champions of the CL. I think we’ll do the same here. 2-0 anyone?

  274. @Paulie Walnuts:

    “Does Theo`s mum know he`s going to `skin` & ‘rape` people tomorrow ?”

    She doesn’t, but her boy will do it in the most polite way possible.

  275. Aaditya,

    Moreover, when arsenal went to AC Milan in 2008, not only were they the reigning champions at the time, but they were totally outclassed.

  276. There is no doubt that Frank is right in my mind, Bibin didnt show Arsenal any respect, actually until his response later to the onjections.

    “You guys made a serious comeback and that gave the confidence for you guys to believe Arsenal will win”

    This is absent from the interview, when there is no way that you could have seen a game like this and not have maximum respect for the team who clawed back into it. Even moreso than the team that played the more attractive football for about 20 minutes or so.

  277. The last time i went to the Nou Camp a few years back it was quite depressing!

    Its just a breeze block monstrosity, a much larger version of Sh*te hart Lane if you will! – Not a patch on our fantastic pleasure palace.

    Anyway the point about playing in front of 90,000 wont bother us, when i went it was like everyone was either in a business meeting, having a casual night out with a few chums whilst a football game went on in the background!- the whole crowd seemed pretty bored about being there!

    2-1 to us!

  278. @ Muppet

    On a side note, I don’t think too many Indians actually understand the intricacies of cricket, thanks to the IPL

  279. Tomorrow is all about the 11 piss-poor, second-rate, not-in-our-best-five players who could gain a great victory and set us on the way to winning the Champions League.

  280. Stringfellow you’re too soft.

  281. Aaditya,

    My indian friend loves the IPL. He’s got me watching it ! At least the other night. I’m heading for a divorce at this stage for watching too much football anyway.

  282. @ Remi

    Spot on about the atmosphere in Camp Nou. I had the fortune to watch them play Malaga a month ago while on a school trip and the fans came just short of booing Ibrahimovic

  283. and you are a ranting raving bender 😆

  284. Sort of painted yourself into a corner here, Stringfellow, old son.

  285. what? hillarious

    says the lemon, who throws shit at the man who put a blog together….

    that he spends all his life on

    qualitee

  286. @ Muppet,

    The IPL is a good tournament for what it is, but it’s killing test cricket, which is the true form of the sport for measuring real ability

  287. Lagooner,

    I agree. Bibin’s comments showed a lack of respect. He needs to be reminded that although Barcelona are doing very well at the moment, they do not have the same history as Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

  288. Frank, Stringfellow has a history for being the village idiot of this blog. Don’t be too hard on him.

  289. I think Frank’s criticism is more of the constructive kind, in the sense “Don’t bring this joke for another review again….ever” And I think most of us agree with that sentiment as well.

  290. there you go again, notlager

    you didn’t even hide your love this time 😆

  291. Muppet :

    Ok, I will try to explain my AC Milan comment. You may not get it. What I simply mean is that in 2007-08 AC Milan was fading seriously. They finished fifth overall in the league, may be because of the match fixing scandal the previous season. That don’t take any shine off your victory there. What I said is that it was a team which is inferior to the previous Milan team. And hence you can compare them with Barca.

    And for English teams struggling at Milan, that’s not my mistake or problem. Barca defeated Milan at San Siro in 2005-06 season.

  292. Aaaah, a familiar trick, Stringfellow. Appeal to the blog site owner, you fucking creep. About time you got your priorities right, son. Stop pandering to Barcelona ‘sort of supporters’ and get behind your team.

    ….Arsenal….

  293. How Arsene Wenger has managed Nasri, Rosicky and Fabregas to stay in a league where they are going to keep getting kicked is beyond me, the man’s a genius. Because any of these players would be the movers and shakers of any other league in the world. Well, Nasri is still on his way, but he’ll be there in a couple of years.

  294. Frank i am more behind my team than you.

    Difference being, i don’t need to prove it.

    You do… constantly.

    I wonder why ❓

  295. Never did, stringboy.

  296. Naaaah, Stringfellow. I see no evidence of that at all, young man.

  297. Who cares what a simple simon like you thinks?

    Do i need to belittle Barca supporters to prove my Arsenal-ness?

    you pathetic little man… you have been shown up on this comments section

    who the fuck do you think you are?

    why you blogging here if you detest the YW’s work?

    you are a pointless, aimless individual.

    and you know it.

  298. What we are beginning to see from Tomas is vision and freedom of movement. I would not be surprised to see several of his famous diagonal runs from the left tomorrow. I doubt whether the Barcelona midfield or defence will even see him coming.

    ….Arsenal…..

  299. Barca too is fading. They’ve already failed to retain one of their trophies, and the league is nowhere near as clear cut this season. Lose tomorrow, and they’ll fail to retain 2 more of the their trophies.

  300. Barca? fucking shit, they were lucky last week

    we played them off the park

    we will kill them 13 nil tommorow

    ARSENAL

    by Frank, aged 8.

  301. I also think that Cesc’s absence, love him as I do, will free up certain players. Notably Abou Diaby. Abou is often constrained by Cesc because they occupy similar attacking spaces on the pitch.

    ….Arsenal….

  302. My there is a lot of love on this site tonight!

  303. What else are you going to research Bibin, before coming up with one of your so-called counterclaims? If you really understood football, you wouldn’t be frantically looking for other facts to support your claims.

  304. There certainly is remi!

  305. Oh village idiot you forgot the smili at the end.

  306. Emmanuel Eboue and Tomas Rosicky crossing will have Barca on their knees.

    I would also like to see Theo take on the centre-halfs occasionally.

    I think we will see a very dynamic Arsenal team tomorrow.

  307. Aaditya : We won six trophies last season, from there it can only go down. You are saying that we are fading because we lost out from one cup. There is no doubt that we are playing at a level much lower than last season. But we still are in contention for La Liga title and UCL. Now if that is fading, then I can’t help you.

  308. I would love to see Sol scoring from a corner…. Preferably in the 89th minute with the scores at 0-0!

  309. Diaby, Denilson and Nasri. Even though it’s slightly patched up, this trio will rule the pitch tomorrow.

    @ Most other posters,

    Calling people any age sub 18 as a way of insulting them or their opinions doesn’t really hold water.

  310. Stringfellow Hawke,

    Hold on…! LOL… I can see why you are getting upset by Frank’s comments, but do not take him 100% seriously. He is totally optimistic and will take the most pro arsenal view. That means that anybody to the left of the most extreme right point of the arsenal political spectrum will be slaughtered ! It is only bravado on a blog, he knows about the shades of gray, but will come out with staunchest defence of a player who he has keenly observed, which is contrary to a lot of standard opinion.

    He’s a nut. But you will not find a more pro arsenal supporter, in every sense, anywhere. Do not take offence !

  311. a midfield trio of den, diaby and nasri is very complimentary

    traore has taken the place of vela for a reason in the squad

    could the wenger masterplan be to peg back the barca full backs… by pressing them high up the pitch with our pocket rockets theo and armand?

  312. Fantastic experience for Fran Merida and Craig Eastmond. Imagine a goal from Fran in the Gnu Camp.

    I would also like everyone to spare a thought for Aaron Ramsey tomorrow. The game would have been the pinnacle of his career so far.

    If Barcelona had to play against some of these EPL players we would be playing their third team tomorrow.

    But we can do this….

    ….Arsenal…..

  313. You admit yourself that your team is playing at a lower level than before. That’s fading. The cup-loss is just the result of the fading.

  314. Aaditya : You are absolutely stunning. You first said I did no research and now when I am producing facts to support my views, you have a problem with that too.

  315. Tomas, is rated as 50-50 for the game Frank!

  316. Very late with that comment, Stringvest, we said that fucking hours ago. Why did you not just agree with it?

    What a fucking tosser you are, son…

  317. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Go on, Frank. You’re a legend.

  318. Barca don’t have a 3rd team. Their squad has only 23 players. Imagine going to Stoke, Birmingham Blackburn, and Hull in the space of 9 months. Their team won’t be able to take it. Arsene is just trying to make the impossible possible, i.e. playing fluid football in England. So far, he’s already converted it to improbable. Soon, it will be reality.

  319. hahaha, Frank i believe you

    you are the greatest gooner in the world, go on son

  320. You provide the facts as an afterthought. You could have done the research and put this in the original interview. Not hurriedly cooking up some facts after you are faced with opposition.

  321. Tomas would be a loss. We have the EPL to thank. I hope he makes it. But if not, even then I am not phased, QoS.

    This is the best Arsenal squad I have ever seen.

    ….Arsenal….

  322. Wenger does not seem to see Sagna as an option in central defence, particularly when teh squad is decimated and down to the bones in terms of CBs- particularly when Eboue can slot in commendably at RB

    How about

    Almunia
    Eboue Sagna Vermaelen Clichy

    A good balance – a right and left sided CB??

  323. Aaditya @9.11pm

    “I think Frank’s criticism is more of the constructive kind”

    Brilliant-you keep getting funnier, Aaditya!

  324. This is so sad to watch. Frank questions Bibin’s motives and asks what country he’s from, supposedly to question his depth of knowledge. Frank is apparently unaware of the internet and game-streaming. How the hell could where Bibin lives have anything to do with anything? If you want to know his depth of knowledge, you could read the hundreds of posts on his blog. But you can’t be bothered.

    Just a rude, self-indulgent old man who apparently thinks this is his blog.

  325. Fuck me.

    I’ve just got in from a weekend at the seaside. I could have saved myself a fiver on the Punch & Judy, let the kids read this instead.

    That’s the way to do it…

    YW

    PS And I’ve only got to comment 98…

  326. At least buy me dinner and a movie first Yogi.

  327. of course, the irony is that Aaditya is his biggest supporter.

  328. I am pretty confident that Tomas will be fit for tomorrow….

  329. Interesting note Stringfellow hawke about teh addition of Traore

    Wenger does not set out to nullify the opposition but Alves had the run of the pitch last week as Messi came inside and was followed it left acres for him to run into

    Putting Traore up against him and pushing him back would not be a bad ploy but I don’t think Wenger thinks like that

  330. Aaditya;

    You look like an idiot. In an interview you answer the questions asked. If you are pressed, you provide further information. That’s what happened. He has a blog you can check if you don’t believe he knows his stuff.

    Bibin, What do you think are the dangers of the club looking ahead to the weekend match and losing a little focus?

  331. Bibin,

    I’m sorry. But I can’t take you seriously. You are from India. It’s as simple as that. I have a lot of indian friends, from India, and when they talk about football, I can’t take them seriously as well. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of the world cup, yeah yeah yeah, can talk about players in ’82 and ’86. But do they really know f*ck all ? I doubt it.

    You probably like Barcelona because they are a successful team. You could be a glory hunter for all we know. Why not support a more modest team ? A local team in india, or a german team, or a russian team ? You choose to support Barcelona. That makes me suspicious.

    Not once in your comments have you said what a fantastic team arsenal are. Only Guardiola has come out and said that it is a one-off. Why does he say that ? Because he knows how good arsenal are. Teams that have played arsenal have often remarked how fantastic we are, even those who have beaten us. The respect that we have been shown by opponents, both players and managers of teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, is a million miles away from the comments that you have made. You stand a much better chance of beating arsenal tomorrow. This is true. Must punditry gives you an 80% chance. Still, this is only because of our injuries. Remember that.

  332. Not really, I’m only 5’6”

  333. QoS

    What sort of movie?

    YW

  334. Debbie does Hertfordshire.

  335. Hunks like Yogi’s Warrior are not accustomed to indulging in such wasteful preliminaries.

  336. You are too late, nola/lagooner. The moments gone. We are all sipping brandy and smoking cigarettes. You missed it all chums. Another time perhaps…

    Actually from your comments…you might try Bibins blog in future. I hear he has one. Probably summarises Newsnow Barcelona items quite nicely for you. You won’t get bothered by nasty old men like me then will you.

    Btw …there is a lot of evidence in your comments to show that you don’t read comments carefully before commenting yourselves. Shoddy behaviour.

  337. Frank hit the right note – this Arsenal side if not teh performance must be far more dybamic

    wenger rested clichy and Diaby in particular to charge their turbos for a all or nothing night

    I wasnt confident after the first game but I am starting to believe – it’s an all or nothing game and Arsenal have nothing to lose

    barca will be annoyed that they did not kill Arsenal off as they should have – this could niggle at them

    The goals conceded will also have made them think – hey some of these guys can hurt us – we gotta be careful here

  338. Barazite scores again for the reserves, but they only manage a 1 – 1 draw. They really needed to win to be in with a chance of winning the reserve league. Still, good effort by the youngsters.

  339. What part of Hertfordshire?

  340. It looks like we will go with our Youth team if these injury news keep coming.

  341. @ Muppet

    You must know a lot of Bengalis, many of them are obsessed with Brazil and Argentina from the 80s. Since I was not yet born in the 80s, I can only gues as to how those teams played. But a lot of the younger generation understands football as it is today.
    Cut Bibin a bit of slack on why he chose Barca. It’s what the satellite used to show us, only the English and Spanish leagues. You inevitably end up supporting one of the clubs you see.

    @ nolagunner

    He could have mentioned why he thinks Barca are different to all the other teams Arsenal have beaten in their prime. It was definitely what Yogi wanted to know at any rate, even if the question wasn’t phrased that way

  342. Frank-what are you babbling on about now?

  343. Pz

    You underplay my strengths. Whilst the muscular youthful good looks get my ‘foot in the door’, it is the appreciation of the finer things in life that gets me everywhere.

    And a few slaps across the face. Or it used to. Before Mrs YW and I met, of course.

    YW

  344. “I’m sorry. But I can’t take you seriously. You are from India. It’s as simple as that.”

    And just when I thought they couldn’t sink any lower…

  345. You never cease to attr…amaze me, Passenal. You have been watching Arsenal players instead of commenting on this blog. I don’t know what to say…

  346. “It looks like we will go with our Youth team if these injury news keep coming.”

    If only! I bet Wenger will stick with the same useless f*ckers who have been winning games for us for the last two seasons.

  347. YW, whether intended or not, you certainly provided a source of entertainment for a dull bank holiday Monday!

  348. Muppet:

    I can’t change the way you think about we Indian. You yourself has to be changed. Arsenal is a great team. Just go back and read the first interview about what I think about Arsenal.

    From your assessment only Londoners are supposed to support Arsenal. Otherwise you are again going to be suspicious about their nature. How many non-londoners are there reading this blog?

  349. Frank, I was only folowing the text commentary on ATVO in between the entertainment on this site!

  350. “It is the appreciation of the finer things in life that gets me everywhere.”

    Right then, it’s off to Macdonalds for a happy meal, then back home in time for the latest Steven Seagal movie.

  351. I can’t bear the thought that you had a dull Easter Monday, Passenal.

  352. Bibin,
    With the greatest respect, I think you’ve had your say now.

  353. Muppet:

    You have got me thinking on this one now.

    Binbin-unless my browser is playing tricks on me, it doesn’t seem that you have a particularly robust comments section. Not that this should be the only hallmark of credibility (ie. Le-Grove has more comments than most) but I don’t see anyone posting on your site other than you.

    I have this sinking feeling that Frank might have been right all along…

  354. I’d love to see Barazite make an appearance soon.

    Unfortunately we don’t have any dead rubbers coming up and there would be way too much pressure on his shoulders.

  355. Aaditya,

    Bibin is a nice guy. I’m just pointing out that you have to respect all teams, that’s all. Barcelona are an exceptional team, totally fantastic. If I did a review about arsenal in this situation, I would drool on about a lot of the Barcelona players and play, absolutely no doubt about it. You have to give credit where it is due. However, I think he is not giving us enough credit. We just seem to be a team that was not only inferior on the night, but is inferior in general. The reality of arsenal is that we are in transition, and we also have had diabolical injuries for the last 3 seasons. We should have won the premiership in 2007-2008. We were the best team in the country by a mile in that season, and 3 key players all sustained season ending fixtures. In 2008-2009 we reached the semi finals of both the FA Cup and Champions league and then sustained diabolical injuries to key players again, where it can be argued that our squad depth was in question. Sure, Barcelona have more depth and their youth project has come off, but for 5 years they didn’t win anything whilst their youth factory was in progress. We are hopefully at the same point in the cycle.

  356. Oneofus;

    The Fulham game will be one for the likes of barazite to get a run out in…. The league will have been won by then…

  357. Bibin’s got great expectations for his Barcelona team.

  358. Nacer will make his Premier League debut very soon.

  359. Good thinking, MG.

  360. He has broad, strong shoulders.

  361. “Btw …there is a lot of evidence in your comments to show that you don’t read comments carefully before commenting yourselves. Shoddy behaviour.”

    Shoddy behavior is vaguely saying “there is a lot of evidence for…”, and then not providing any evidence. So: swearing at people, calling the “suspect” like fascist, lame adopting of a high tone, etc., everything but offering arguments or analysis.

    Seriously Frank, we have many different player playing, and so do they. Do you think we should switch to a 442 given the personnel available? Start Theo or impact sub? Should we aim to exploit the fullbacks, or ball control through the middle and targeting the CBs? What tactics change if Iniesta starts? And why?

    You offer nothing. And I’m starting to “suspect” that it’s bc you don’t have it to offer.

  362. Brings us on to a good point… are there any players who are yet to play their 10 league games (subs apps count)

    as they won’t get their title winning medals otherwise..

    young aaron jsut makes it

  363. …not as strong as YW’s, but still strong.

  364. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    lagooner’s freudian slip at 9:54 is hilarious. Binbin! You couldn’t have drawn it up any better.

  365. Bibin,

    Well. If you did praise Arsenal then accept my apologies.

    Otherwise, enjoy the match tomorrow. Hope you don’t have to stay up to late !

  366. big sol still needs 4 more league appearance to get his medal

  367. Segal? I think i know the plot…Sensei gets killed/maimed by bad guy, Stevie seeks revenge, hits people, gets revenge. The End.

  368. I think Sol and Silvestre will both the cut then for appearances…

  369. amazingly enough.. only one keeper will pick up a medal

    vito is 5 apps short

    fab 10

  370. Come on, QoS. You’ll have to be more specific. That could be any American film made in the last 30 years.

  371. Pz

    Personally, I cannot stand McDonald’s. As for Mr Seagal, let’s just say nothing about his movies. It’s probably the kindest thing to do.

    YW

  372. A lot of Bengali’s in F.Park, in London near Arsenal.
    Love their football.

    Some of the best footballers in the area when I grew up there were of Bengali/Pakistani/Indian/Irish/West Indian/ Cypriot/Turkish etc… descent.

    Heh.

    I taught them all how to play cricket.

    Cesc looked like an ‘amateur’ compared to Xavi?

    I hope that was said with Bibin’s tounge firmly resting upon the other side of a threshold leading into a gunpowder strewn Arsenal.

    Plenty of debris.

    An unfit immobile Cesc led his team back from the brink of humiliation, and scores a goal that gives his ‘brothers’ in Catalonia the chills.

    Xavi did manage to get an assist for himself in Barca’s ‘best ever away performance’.

    So, without Iniesta, he wasn’t completely useless then.

  373. That was an error not a freudian slip, Nasir Jones-Nutsack

  374. I was just joking, YW.

    I’ve always taken you for a Van Damme and Burger King man.

  375. Pz

    Many women have been impressed by a double whopper…Oh blimey, too many Carry On films this weekend….

    YW

  376. Good lord

  377. “I can’t bear the thought that you had a dull Easter Monday, Passenal.”

    It wasn’t that bad Frank, just that I had plans, which were cancelled due to my friend having a migraine so I ended up with time on my hands to waste online!

  378. Ooh Matron

  379. QoS, I recall, is a big Chuck Norris fan; and her old-fashioned insistance on having dinner and a movie before going to bed with a man suggests that she might not like fast food.

  380. Rosicky 50:50 ‘cos of the Henry tackle v Wolves.

  381. Finsbury, Barca could only wish to have a player with the character of Cesc Fabregas, oh wait, they do! Cesc was clearly unfit but even on one leg he managed to do enough to give his team hope for the next game in the Nou Camp. And he will be there backing his team to get through to the semi-final. Yes, he learnt a thing or two at Barca in his formative years, but it is Arsenal and the PL that has made him the great man he is today.

  382. I suppose Sid James what have known what to make of a camp gnu.

  383. would

  384. Mingus, do you have a link for that Rosicky news? I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    As for TR7, he probably got that injury from rolling around trying to get an ‘honest pro’ like Henry sent off. Dirty, cheating foreigner, it’s no more than he deserves!

  385. Thanks guys, I’ve seen it now

    “Apparently there are four visible stud marks and, as a result, he is rated as 50:50 for the Champions League Quarter-Final second leg at the Nou Camp.

    “We will see about him tomorrow,” said Wenger on the eve of the game. “When you look at his calf, you can see the tackle of Henry was not as innocent as it looked.”

    How Henry, McCarthy and Hansen et al can say the tackle was not a red card offense under these circumstances is beyond me!

  386. Passenal,

    Cesc is a Special One,
    One of many at AFC.

    A real shame Gallas can’t play. He’s been amazing this year, and it’s a real shame so many others are out.
    I’ve been waiting for Song to play in this game for years!

    But we know Nasri’s not shy, TR7 is hopefully OK, ditto Sol, Denilson will still be buzzing off his game last week, Eboue is experienced…

    Come On Arsenal!

  387. I would really like it if Traore gets a shot at left midfield if we’re ahead by a goal or two. I think we’d be impermeable if we had Eboue and Sagna on one side and Traore and Clichy on the other.

    I’m with Frank. That Bibin guy is just as arrogant as the rest of the Barcelona supporters. In solidarity I will say; Fuck off Bibin and fuck off anyone else standing up for him.

  388. “When you look at his calf, you can see the tackle of Henry was not as innocent as it looked.”

    I just have to emphasize this point again for the benefit of Irishgray who was trying to justify the tackle after the match.

  389. – one real shame.

  390. Sh*t – I missed all this good stuff since my last post at 6:22 pm. BTW – I was on doomer patrol at le moan where even the posters were drawing the line between those who support the team vs Barca and those who are kicking the club long before the game has started. H’mm – those two notorious buffoons and thier clique seem like a minority even on their own discussion board.

    Yes sirree – there is a fight for the heart and soul of supporters and I love it. ACLF is no exception. It is interesting to see who came out of this with any honour and those who once again compromised themselves as charlatans or middle of the roaders trying to straddle both sides of the fence. Now we all know who they are.

    But Bibin really dissappointed me – I thought he was made of sterner stuff. He just started sucking on the Barca teet since 1999-2000. IMO he is in no position to be disrespecting the Arsenal on a supporters site, no less. Much less on the eve of our biggest match for 2009-2010. Thank god for Frank initially and later Aaditya for doing this expose.

  391. 1 loose cannon

    I would like Karl Henry to receive a kick until his leg bleeds and see if would walk straight.
    You can clearly see he went throgh his leg first

  392. If you try to straddle both sides of the fence, beware the double whopper.

  393. Well, for what its worth, I agree with Frank!

    YW: it is a deriliction of duty to hand your blog over to someone with no provenance.
    whilst you are at the seaside. Up against the wall,
    Hand the site over I say!!!

  394. Gooners from all over the world: unite!

    let’s send all the positive energy we can – I know it’s hard to believe, I know it’s against all odds, but hey, we can do this shit!

    ‘Pilka jest okragla a bramki sa dwie’ – ‘The ball is round and there are two goals’

    K. Gorski

  395. Whoops, in my 10.09 comment I simply meant ‘tongue in cheek’, regarding Xavi and amateur Cesc.

    doh.

  396. ‘The ball is round and there are two goals’

    Two goals?

    0-2?

    1-2?

    2-2?

    2-3?

    COYG!

  397. or

    0-1 to The Arsenal?

  398. Regardless of my concerns over Bibin, this almost gang-like mentality of having to prove yourself the most fanatical Arsenal fan out there is really quite sad.

    There are plenty of us here who are simply loyal Arsenal fans who don’t have to bulldoze their way through every conversation with ‘fuck off’ and ”piss off’.

    I would bet Arsene would be disturbed by the neanderthal behaviour exhibited by a few of the people on here.

    All disputes aside, here’s to pulling as hard as we can from every corner of the globe for an Arsenal win or high-scoring draw.

  399. Numberten

    So you’ll be up at 6am tomorrow writing a post then? Great another day off a week!

    YW

  400. “Sol has a hamstring problem and is doubtful for the Champions League Quarter-Final second leg against Barcelona. “Sol has a stiff hamstring and if that is still there tomorrow, he cannot play,” said Wenger on Monday. “You cannot go into a game with a stiff hamstring. You need to be fit.””

  401. ‘The ball is round and there are two goals’

    these are the only two certain things in football, like death and taxes in life…

    the above quote is by the great late Kazimierz Gorski – legendary Polish football coach, the most successful PL national team boss so far:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazimierz_Gorski

  402. YW-you are way to civil with some of these people.

  403. Cesc, Song, Sol, Djourou, RVP, Arshavin, Rosicky, Gallas, Ramsey & Gibbs. All we need is a keeper and we have a full team out.

  404. that team doesn’t need a keeper.

  405. Thanks SUGA3.

    I tried a quick search but couldn’t read any of the sites!

  406. It’s a great quote. I also liked:

    “If football was ruled by money, the UAE would win the World Cup”

  407. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You could probably say this a gang. But that would be a bit much. It’s just a group of for the most part like minded Arsenal supporters who aren’t interested in seeing the game played out on paper a day before the match. It’s quite simple. As an Arsenal supporter, you’re used to outsiders writing off our chances. We don’t need our own supporters writing us off, too. This is going to be the biggest game of the season, and you better believe Wenger and his squad are going to be right up for this one.

  408. no worries, Finsbury 😉

    it’s today already!!!

    COME ON YOU RED & WHITE BEAUTIES!!!

    tonight, there is no ACLF, there is no LG, there’s just one massive Gooner heart pounding…

  409. LG, Let people have their fun. No one needs the polite police right now. Especially on the eve of one of the biggest games in the club’s history.

  410. The news just gets better with Song out and Campbell, Rosicky doubtful, eh?

    We’re slowly forming the best team in the world comprising of injured players. We can play 3-5-2.

    Think about it, Gallas, Djourou, Campbell at the back, Song, Fabregas, Ramsey, Gibbs, Rocky,Arshavin in midfield.

    Led by van Persie up front. So…we ARE short of one striker!

    somehow i think we’ll scrape a win though. 2-1 to the Arsenal.

  411. And Fox SC are not even showing the game live, preferring to screen Bolton v ManU

    Well they can F*ck right off too!

  412. This quote was made before Dubai World:

    “If football was ruled by money, the UAE would win the World Cup””

  413. I get it now.

    Bibin could be quite lonely writing an English blog in support of a Spanish club.

    Most of his recent blog articles have zero comments.

  414. Hilarious shit on this blog tonight.

    Only one thing counts…

    ARSENAL

  415. Fox is showing it on the HD sport channels. If you have basic cable you’re fucked, though.

  416. The time is come to big victory at Camp Nou…
    Greetings from Argentina
    http://www.arogeraldes.com

  417. AbbeyC- that preview was posted on April 6. Does this blogger know that Song didn’t make the trip?

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