Braga Preview: Arsene Hopes For A Sporting Encounter

It is only six miles to Wembley. But unfortunately it is a long way!

Sporting Braga arrive at The Emirates this evening as Arsenal look to show their English counterparts how to win a match in this season’s Champions League. Manchester United were criticised for rotating their squad last night and paid the price as an obdurate Rangers side took a share of the points. Wenger is likely to use to rotate as well but bringing back Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby is not an option, the Belgian may return for Sunderland whilst the French international is out for at least two more games.

Little wonder following the tackle which injured Diaby that Arsene had plenty to offer on the subject of refereeing in European ties:

It’s not superior to English refereeing – it’s different. I would say even the English referees are different when they have matches in Europe. There is less permissive on goalkeepers, on commitment.

He clarified his inference about the English game:

The one restriction has to be full commitment with the intention of going for the ball and only for the ball. Then, I prefer English football ten times as much to the European game. The English game becomes dangerous when the players go to hurt each other. You need intention aligned with the type of game you play in England.

The differences between the various domestic leagues around the continent has led to wide gaps in the interpretations of the rules, not always beneficial to the game. However, a foul under the Laws of the Game is a foul irrespective of the language of football. Interpreting those actions is subjective to an extent and depends upon the spirit of the national game.

It also leads to inconsistencies in decision-making by the officials, a global problem which is seen week in, week out in any league in any country. This aspect is the most infuriating but with human beings involved, leads to fouls being called in one match that are waved away the following week. Do the cards shown previously in a game influence officials?

They deny this but there seems little other plausible explanation for failing to penalise properly when a red card has already been brandished. Reducing a team to nine is still unusual yet last weekend, Bolton could quite easily have been down to eight whilst Arsenal should have seen Gibbs in the changing room for two yellow cards. If officials were more consistent in their decisions, much of the criticism would disappear. Until that happens, the referee will nine times out ten, be subjected to a welter of comments that a red should only have been a yellow, etc. Thankfully, the FA saw the light with Bolton’s appeal against Cahill’s dismissal although how they deemed it not to be spurious is open to question.

Back to this evening. Braga arrive having finished runners-up in Portugal last season and have accounted for Celtic and Sevilla so far in the qualifying. Whilst the former are no European powerhouse, the latter are a good side suggesting that the Portuguese should not be taken lightly. Yet the expectation is of a comfortable home win; Braga have drawn and lost their two domestic away fixtures whilst losing at Parkhead as well.

Whilst the squad was maturing and learning their trade in the past three seasons, rarely have they been troubled at home in the group phases of this competition. Tonight should be no different but Wenger will have half an eye on the trip to Sunderland at the weekend. Denilson’s return suits him with Diaby’s absence and it would be a surprise if he did not return to occupy one of the midfield berths. Equally, Nasri’s recovery allows Wenger to rest Rosicky for the start at least. Both Nasri and Denilson could do with decent outings tonight ahead of the upcoming matches. In defence, I would expect both Sagna and Clichy to return.

The line-up I would expect to see is:

Almunia; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Fabregas, Song, Denilson; Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin

Eboue could start ahead of Nasri which would allow rotation of Arshavin in the second half, keeping him fresh for the weekend. That said, Wenger observed that he does not prioritise the Champions or Premier League fixtures ahead of each other but at least he has options despite a growing injury list.

Whatever team plays, it is hard to see beyond an Arsenal win tonight, no matter what opinions the visitors may hold. A good start to the competition helps in the latter matches, assuring progress quickly allows for exactly the prioritisation that Wenger denies.

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

Posted on September 14, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 456 Comments.

  1. I must admit, I’m slightly concerned about that Lima fellow. He’s in scintillating form and he scored an absolute cracker vs Porto last week…the man has got enough talent to cause some damage it seems

  2. We need to strengthen our team and I am happy Wenger has finally been blinded by the light.

    Apparently, this chap Vermillion or something,a Belgian international, good reputation but a bit young for a CB (the usual!) comes in soon. Then there’s this tall fella, Diablo, did well for the French (also young … ha!), he’s quite good going forward I’m told. We’re in the hunt for the dutch striker too, Roger van der Persil, I’m told he’s got a lethal left foot. They say October plus it seems Wenger has also confirmed a quick young english player, virtually a teenager (yep, what did you expect); but my mates rate him, Willcote something. They say he’s a dead cert for Capello (at least he’s English). As if we needed another centre forward, we are likely to announce this Danish chap as well, Knutner, he’s a big fella (Wenger’s learning, maybe he reads the blogs) and some young Welsh wizard, Rummsey, they say is “the new Cesc” (heard that one before ha ha). Anyway, at least Wenger is doing something at last with our money and not sitting on his hands. So that’s a centre back, two midfielders, two centre forwards, and a wing. At last .. at last!

    Can’t wait for Sky to announce it and tell me mates down the pub.

  3. Arshavin hat trick tonight, two by Chamakh and another cherry on the cake by Vela. You heard it here first! 6-0 to the Arsenal!

  4. Braga had a hard game this weekend a 3-2 loss against Porto.
    They’ll be likely to have a good start but they won’t be able to sustain a high tempo for too long especially if we are able to retain possession. If we can get early goals then Caxter’s 6-0 might not be out of the question.

  5. 7-0
    Chamakh 4
    Fabrigas 2
    Nasri 1
    “they are good against Porto”
    is Arsenal Porto?
    or they just don’t like Arsenal? any ways today is 7goals to Braga or more but not less,

  6. I have to admit Chamakh is starting to grow on me. I still feel he doesn’t play the main striker role as well as RVP as he’s not as good at controlling the ball while changing the direction of attack, nor as good as putting other players through. However, he’s done very well so far. He’s scored 2 goals in 4, and the Reina own goal might well have been credited to him.

    Here’s an interesting interview:

    It’s very refreshing because it doesn’t trade in the usual football interview questions.

    Chamakh was asked;

    Q. Which player has surprised you the most since you arrived at Arsenal?

    A. I’d have to say Abou Diaby. We all know about the quality of [Cesc] Fabregas and [Samir] Nasri but Abou has really surprised me. He’s pretty laid-back and reserved but on the pitch he doesn’t hold back at all. He’s got fantastic technique for a big guy and he can really get his foot around the ball. He’s an exceptional player.

  7. Had a conversation with a Pool fan and an Arsenal fan the other day regarding the roughness and injuries in the Premiership. Not so surprisngly the the Pool fan stuck up for the good sliding tackles – taking the player out at the same time, while the Arsenal fan and I backed fair play and going for the ball…

    Just shows what mentality is floating around, something which will be very hard to get out of the game. Aggression is good, don’t get me wrong, but it must be controlled, and with the attempt to win the ball and play football, not dirty tactics.

  8. You can go for the ball and still “take a man out” CG.

    If the player keeps the studs down and controls his feet, I think it’s a beautiful thing when a tackler ends up with the ball and still sends the other guy flying.

  9. Roger Van der Persil’s got a turn on him that spins like a washing machine.

    I’m not sure but I think Arshavin may be rested for this game. He worked his socks off against Bolton. That being the case I’d expect the wings to be occupied by two of King Eboue, Nasri, and/or Vela

  10. i very much doubt we spank 6-7 to 0 Braga.They are very much a good team as show on the week-end against porto.
    My team for tonight
    Big Al
    Eboue Squillaci Kos Gibbs
    Denilson Song cecs
    TR7 Chamakh Vela
    Nasri and super JET to come in second half
    score :arsenal 4-1 braga start brighter but run out of steam and the gunner to win easy in the second …the usual

  11. I miss Nasri, will be good to see him running around again. What is that lizard they call jesus lizard, the one that can run on water? A basilisk I think. Nasri is like that when getting tackled, he just seems to walk on air and run out of it with the ball still at his feet. It’s so much fun watching people trying to take the ball from him.

    I think Cesc has learned a bit from him about that too, I’m starting to see it in Cesc’s game as well.

    Anyways, enjoy the game everyone, I’ll be working so can’t watch it but will sneak and check the score. Time for bed now.

    Wenger or bust.

  12. Funny how Arsene is getting kind of morbid about the injuries:

    “… and with Diaby there are always bad surprises on the scan … ”

    Thankfully he looks to only miss 2-3 games though. Thats kind of a surprise to me considering how nasty that challenge was.

  13. JET won’t play he played a full 90 minutes last night against the Man City “Elite development squad”. He scored an absoultely wonderful goal to level the game. It ended 1-1.

  14. Paul Robinson is a twat of the highest order, a totally generic footballer.

    Get well soon Diaby.

  15. Could a match EVER have been as dull boring as Willing Rangers v. Rednose United 0-0 last night? Match report: Rangers defended, Rednose could not get through. Chete chete. (ie that’s it).

    I didna see Villaincia ge’ hammmm’red ba’ ah thor’ Rengerrrrs hud a gudd gem tho’ an duhfendud wail. Tha’ buoy Rrrrooooney kin railly no’ huv ainee kormpleants allthor he rrrun arrround a lo’ (can I do a Scots accent or what?)

  16. uh oh, my wife begs me, please “no more accents”.

  17. sorry, that’s kormplairnts … Miss Spelling.

  18. Zimpaul,

    Thats why Spurs are good for the champions league, at least we play to win. We should get an automatic place every season dont you reckon?

  19. wengerball on September 15, 2010
    at 10:13 am

    Is that Man City’s version of the VSO or peace corps?

  20. Spurs do try to play, are not a dirty team at all, pass very well, and I think are entertaining, and 2 really excellent players – Palacios and Bale.

    I really hope Spurs finish ahead of every team in Manchester.

    Advice: get rid of Keane and Stretch (Crouch) before it’s too late.

    More advice: promote Rednapp to kit-duty, he’s wasted as a manager.

    Best advice: Speedy to do something about the railway tracks across his head, it’s not helping

    Go spurrrrrrrrrzzzzza. Don’t you love St. T’s Day?

  21. Come on guys none of that 7-0 score line, I hope the players are not thinking like you lot here. They need to commit for this game and give 100% we cannot underestimate Braga. Maybe not 7 but 2 nil will do just fine. The home games are must win anything away will be a bonus.

  22. @ole,

    It must be some kind of sick joke. The commentator had to mention it every 30 seconds, forced me to hit the mute button.

    Couple thinks about the last night’s game.

    JET is way too good for this level, he needs to be playing in and around the first team. I had my doubts about him, but he’s convinced me that he’s ready for the 1st team.

    Djourou is a worry, that’s his second reserve game and he looks far away from the first team. Unless something changes quickly don’t expect to see him any time soon.

    Arsenal need to up their online offering. The overall quality of City’s website puts all other team websites to shade. The stream they provided was top quality, ATVO needs to learn a thing or two from MCTV.

  23. couple thinks? that should be thoughts.

  24. Braga will play fast, polished, stylish ground football, and a move or two to really worry about. Ironically, maybe, the way to overcome them without stress is probably to focus on a ‘direct’ game, quite defensive (a ‘little’ English infuence let’s say) but very fast as well as the usual 25 passes and then Vela chips one in (for variety).


  25. Furious

    As long as it is a genuine attempt to win the ball, thats all that counts for me.

    More and more I am seeing fouls where studs are up, and you can see that players are instructed to actually cause damage. Then you have about 20-30 other fouls per game where the opponents deliberately make the foul to stop the player.

    Shawcross, Robinson, Taylor and countless others, plus close calls is just what we Arsenal fans have witnessed first hand.

    We have seen how far many players will go to bring down a player, it is unacceptable and it is killing the game, and players literally

  26. The decision is whether Rosicky or Nasri start. Metinks Nasri. And what role Arsh, Vela. Metinks Vela. I hear Maria croon all the way from here.

  27. Zimpaul- A glimpse into Arry’s hodgepodge Market stall business down the lane. “Oi Amigo you were supposed to be in tu casa”

    What a laugh a player he is not even in the 25 man squad turn up at the airport to travel to Germany.

  28. Wengerball

    Arsenal may be in the top flight financially but compared to most of the top clubs, our broadcasting ventures are definitely Championship material.

    They got into bed with Setanta – a mistake with an unproven broadcaster in the UK – and have failed to reboot their TV channel with Sky or anyone else. Streaming? I’ve given up on watching anything ATVO show ‘live’ as it is generally hopeless.

    I swapped emails a while back with AFC and there are no plans to reintroduce the TV channel so they definitely need to up the ante on the streaming.


  29. OK, I owe I owe, it’s off to work I go.


  30. For some reason, I can see Spurs beating BenInter. Not in Italy, but at the toilet, definately.

    Pinksnooze’s face is definately not made for television. I saw his post-match. He’s had a haircut which really emphasises his slug-like folds. I think he was trying to impress the Europeans, but I’m certain seismologist have picked up the shudder as much of Europe leapt away from their screens in revulsion.

    He really looks like that guy from Robocop, the one who drove into toxic waste.

    I think us as fan’s of the Arsenal, we should do our neighbour’s and the television watching public a favour. We must hold a charity event to raise money for Pinksnooze’s nip, tuck, & botox.

  31. Agree, Redknapp looks like a saggy dumpling

  32. Spurs beating Inter?…. I know Benitiez is pretty useless, but the players have the experience to at least hand them a relatively embarassing spanking.

  33. Hey Alex,

    He sent you a signed shirt?! That is class. To be fair you deserved it. If he hadn’t then some of us here would have had a whip around and got you a medal. Sterling work. And I like rock! In fact, a Diaby video set to Slayer – Reign in Blood would be excellent. I loved the end of the Rosicky vs. Blackburn/Bolton vid with all the celebrations. I look forward to the next installment, as always!

    I know he’s played a lot lately but he’s in such fine form I quite fancy him to start again tonight.

    3-0 to The Arsenal

  34. For tonight;


    Sagna Toto Squillaci Kos Clichy

    Cesc Song Denilson

    Rosicky Chamakh Arshavin

    Bench: Fab, Nordtveit, Eboue, Nasri, Vela, Gibbs, Jack

  35. I’m telling you Chris, at the drain Inter will go down like a turd. It’s just a feeling I have.

    Perhaps you’re right. Maybe it’s the part of me which want’s the underdogs to do well, even when said underdog is filth

  36. Gadget you could be right, the Italian teams have struggled against Premiership teams for a while now.. At the Lane they could have a chance. Spurs being spurs though, they will try play their passing game, and certainly in Italy they could be taught a very harsh Euroepan footballing lesson if Inter perform anything like they did last season.

    Schneider alone can put the game to bed, who does Spurs have that comes anywhere near Schneider, or Lucio and Etoo even ?

  37. Ole

    I think that is my most likely team as well… I have a sneaky feeling that Arsh or Rosicky will be benched for either Vela or Nasri.

    Either way it is a strong lineup, and we can only be confident.. however we win, 3 points is vital at home in any champions league group game.

  38. ‘who does Spurs have that comes anywhere near Schneider, or Lucio and Etoo even?’

    Chris, I have one word for you –


  39. I agree with Ole’s lineup @ 11am.

    The only change could be Rosicky if the ‘Medical Team’ decides He isn’t ready to play 3 games in 9 days. He played the whole game last tuesday for Czech and against Bolton on sat..

  40. Nice article on fans leaving early from games..

  41. Eto’ … and, um … Jenas … same universe?

    Eto is still a superclass act.

    Jenas is OK.

  42. Personally, I wouldn’t mind spurs reaching the knock out stages of the CL, after a 50 year wait.

    And probably they can, with a couple of results.

    The thing is, the thing is … the TV cameras, camera-men, increasingly frightening close-ups of Mr. Rednapp, the whole world watching … children being sent to bed early … I am however encouraged by the fact that the tallguy does not do his robot-dance goal celebration thingy.

  43. Chris goona

    Spurs beating Inter.That would be the same Spurs who beat Chelsea Arsenal Man City and Liverpool at home last season.Spurs are such a funny team they could beat Barcelona one game and lose to Blackpool the next.

  44. For some reason James, I read that as Jesus!!

    That would have been blasphemy, cause we all know God (should he/she/it exist) is a gunner, and if you say differently, I’ll lead a crusade/jihad over that and call it the Gunnish Inquisition

  45. 3-1 tonight scorers Sagna,Clichy and Squillaci

  46. Thanks Ole for linking that article about Chamakh. Very refreshing.

    James, Jena close to Schneider.u must really be having a laugh.

    4-2 is my prediction for tonight with the team lined up by Ole out playing but Nasri in for Rosicky.

    Who is toto?

  47. Zimpaul, When I saw Jenas on the team sheet I panicked. Luckily he had one of his good days. Since Palacios lost his brother in the most messed up fashion he hasnt neen the same player, maybe he needs a break.

  48. Gadget, I heard that God supports Mk Dons

  49. Spurs are out of their league, as much as their fans are deluded to thinking they have a chance in the Champs League at the same time as maintaining a good league position, its a big ask, and their squad will be asked a lot of questions when games are coming 3-4 days after each other.

    Any team can pull a one off and go well in the Champs Leauge: Porto, Monaco, Leverkusen.. but to sustain top flight results, and be consistently in champions league final rounds, only a few times from each league boast this. Does anyone seriously think Spurs can match their league position last year while playing in Europes top competiton? James what do you think?

  50. Zimpaul, I can only put that down to the morbidly curious nature of humanity: the train wreck effect.

    Consider this: you’re a camera man and you whizz your camera by some obscenity, but no matter how much your brain and gut wish to escape the confines of your body just to flee from the presence of such a foul thing, your eyes and a small but overwhelming part of your mind can’t help but study the nightmarish creature in all its glory.

  51. Although, I am reminded that Keane STILL does his cartwheel heels-over-head punch the air super-hero I-am-smug routine that makes adults around the world physically sick, and sends good young footballers running to the nearest cricket pavilion pleading for a chance to play that sport rather, even if it means only as scorer.

  52. You mis-heard James. A god des indeed support MK Dons and his name be Hades.

  53. I disagree, I thought Palacios was excellent last night for example. His passing is exceptional.

    Tragedy about his brother. I heard.


    very amusing read…

    This bit is even funnier.. “Spurs have an embarrassment of riches in central midfield, with Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Jamie O’Hara and Palacios all competing with Sandro for two or three available places.”

    This is the same press that claims that we have a weak squad?!…

    Compare them players to Song, Cesc, Nasri, Rosicky, Ramsey, Denilson, Diaby, Wilshire.. hmmmm

  55. ChrisGoona,

    I think we’ll give it our best shot, luckily for us Man City and Liverpool are just as Inconsistent as we are, and god knows whats hapening at Villa. If we can snatch fourth again and Harry signs Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Alonso and Cannevaro, I think then we would win the league next season.

    On a serious note though Harry is better manager then people give him credit for.

  56. Gadget, on my station, interviews with Mr. Rednapp are always preceded by one of those sombre warnings to ‘people of nervous disposition’. But somehow everyone wants to watch, rather than Little House on the Prairie on the other channel. The room goes quiet, apart from the rustling of people shaking their heads. Afterwards, we usually put on some happy music, tell a few bad jokes, anything really. You do not want such images in your thoughts at bed time.

  57. James

    Really? So the stories about Redknapp becoming manager of England, I find them extremely flattering to old Arry who ditched Portsmouth twice I believe, and has always failed to achieve at a club who doesn’t give him 50m a year on transfers…

  58. On a lighter note, that ex-spurs manager with the well-spoken voice is my favourite commentator. He’s intelligent without being smug, makes some good technical points. He likes good players.

  59. Chris, Harry should be manager of England, he’d be Englands greatest manager for a long time. I’d be gutted if it happened but come the world cup I wouldn’t be gutted. I’m a massive England fan, especially now the ‘Golden Age’ are getting old and will finally be dropped

  60. Hes a shite manager, if he was made manager at Arsenal a lot of fans would be ready to kill someone (or him!)

    Every press conference, interview after a game… his comments are always extremely cliched and add no extra insight to the game. Its annoying, and you just wonder how people like him get such a high profile job.. Maybe its a case of having a way with words.. look at Phil Brown, Pulis.. other top notch managers right?

  61. I’ve got Portsmouth supporting mates who admit to not minding Sp*rs in the past but are desperate for them to be relegated this season.
    Harry leaves desolation in his wake. Can’t wait.

  62. rednapp is an OK manager, not especially distingished, but a relief from the worst. Spurs needsa bit more of a cerebral type though.

  63. Chris, come on, how many other managers tell the interviewer to f*** off? If nothing else Harry’s a great character in the game

  64. “Chris, come on, how many other managers tell the interviewer to f*** off? If nothing else Harry’s a great character in the game”

    Strange how the media reported little of that interview.

  65. I must say i liked the look of Marin for Bremen last night. I saw him a couple of years ago and he looked pretty raw and all pace but nothing else… He looked awesome last night, a combination (but obviously not as good) of Arsh and Messi i thought. Seemed to be able to stumble through tackles in the same way and always come out with the ball at his feet, and had a pretty damn good shot on him too…

    I thought Sp*rs did pretty well in the first half and it looked like they were going to rinse them out. But the goal before half time really sorted Bremen’s heads out. Was a great game – especially in comparison to that bollocks on the other sky channel. Utd are looking pretty shakey this year – great stuff…

  66. dups

    Some might call it character, others such as myself just think it is arrogance, egotistical and downright rude.


  67. dups, bollox to the meeja mate, they are playa haters and you know this…

  68. New pecking order announced in english football:

    Spurs is the new ManC
    ManC is the new Chelsea
    Chelsea is the new ManU
    ManU is the new Liverpool
    Liverpool is the new Villa
    Villa is the new Everton
    Everton is the old Everton

    Arsenal is Arsenal

  69. lol @ Rinseout

  70. I’m agree with you YW. Just like SAF not talking to the Beeb. Pure arrogance.

  71. sorry, Everton is in fact the new Spurs

  72. Karl Henry: This animal must be outlawed. Not even Joey Barton deserves to be attacked in this manner. Toon in:

  73. ZP
    Stoke the new Wimbledon

  74. Yogi, Dups,

    Wengers had his moments bad mouthing other teams, refs and players after matches, you’ll argue that he had a good reason to do so, to which i’ll say that so did Redknap, its all about points of view.

  75. I’d prefer it if that turkey neck looking scumbag and his alky mate kept their phizzogs out of ours. We know they are arrogant scumbags, why do you want to damage the BP by watching them chat shit on MoTD? The presenters’ “analysis” does enough to promote our sense of righteous indignation without those kankerhoers adding to it.

  76. first lady
    Toto is the nickname of sebastian squillaci because he share the same name as italian star Salvatore Squillaci who was called toto

    I hope we play vela tonight we need to give him some playing time and him breathing down arshavin’s neck would be the best way to get the best out of the russian magician.

    my team

    with rosicky, wilshere and arsha or gibbs to come in.

    3-0 to the Arsenal

  77. Did anyone see the Valencia injury? I flicked back and the commentators were talking about how horrific it was and that the players just needed to get it out of their heads until the match is over… Sounded real bad. was it just him going over on his ankle rather than a bad tackle?

  78. looked for vids of it last night but couldnt find any…

  79. nasri next to cesc for me, tricky on the right. spurs are really crap in they

  80. Cheers Rinseout – doesn’t look good… You can always tell by the other players’ reactions. Feel sorry for him as one of the only Manure players that i actually like… But as far as their right wing goes, Park for most of the season? Not too worried about that.

  81. I don’t like to see anybody get serious injuries, even our opponents.

  82. Valencia can (could??) cross the ball well, leading to quite a few assists for the spud-faced nipper last season. To be cold, at least that line of supply has been cut off. Hope he recovers though, good luck to the lad.

  83. And doesn’t that Gibson look like a horrible little gremiln cunt? I hate that kind of player, who can only do long shots and set pieces. A bit like a shitter version of VanderVaart…

  84. Rosicky is familiar with this animal’s recklessness and use of excessive force:

  85. Agreed dups and rinseout. Wouldnt wish that on anyone.

  86. That was him too SG? Jesus, he’s racking up quite a few notches on his perverse bedpost…

  87. Shotta,

    Everytime I watch that clip of MotD I feel a little bit more rage. If Barton smacked the ref, any one of the Wolves players, or McCarthy at the end of that game, I would have cheered, not blame him.

    If Wolves go down hard, it will be somewhat ironic and fitting

  88. Rinseout,

    Kudos for the link to the Valencia break. That’s the first time I’ve seen it, but can’t help but think: of all the breaks we’ve witnessed recently, that’s the only one that can honestly be said to be unlucky.

    The Ranger’s player made a good, clean challenge. Wish him a speedy recovery.

  89. Shotta, it was a good job Rosicky saw him coming or it could have been a lot worse. There is no place for players like Shawdross, Robinson and Karl Henry in the PL.

  90. Was just listening to the radio on my way back home.

    Paddy Barclay took on two Chelski supporting cunts who are spreading their venom on radio – Messrs Cundy and Jacobs – on this very issue of neolithic and agricultural football violence masked as commitment. Well done Mr. Barclay.

    You could hear the disdain, contempt, poison and sheer disgust that the presenters had for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger despite their veiled attempts at journalistic impartiality.

    Sometimes it’s really sad to see how some people hate Arsenal for the simple reason that our football is different. But the views of these 2 presenters and their disdain and disgust for Arsenal is unfortunately representative across the media and pundit circles.

    I might just invest some time writing up about this very issue for this week’s Stone Cold Friday.

    Barclay specifically said that if English football and the ethos that encourages players like Martin Taylor, Shawcross, Kahill et al to engage in tackles that only combine harvesters would carry, then teams like Arsenal will no longer be part of the landscape of football because no player wants to play under the duress of knowing their leg is going to be pbrokenby savages who can’t play football.

    They tried to argue that it was the “English” brand of football, but Barclay was strong in differentiating committed football from outright thuggery and violence that is the ethos of the English game.

  91. Barton is an horrible guy his cigar incident and assault on his man shitty teammate, dabo I think, was just disgrateful but seeing this MOTM clip prison seems to have done him a lot of good! After the first two tackle I thought he would loose his temper and break a leg or punch someone but he didn’t fairplay to him.

    This clip just show what is going wrong in english football, target a player in order to hurt him or in this game to make him lose his temper is just not football. Look at the spnish league messi and the skillfull players are well protected by the refs and it seems there are a lot less horrific injuries over there for that reason.

    The FA should give straight reds to those thugs (shawcross, taylor, henry, et al I am looking at you!) and long bans for dangerous, malicious tackles and Allardyce and the likes would soon drop those dirty tactics.

  92. ** combine harvesters would carry out **

  93. @Consolsbob and other UK residents who submitted complaints to BBC yesterday for scraping the barrel with Robbie Savage – just to confirm that I did my bit today, both online and by calling 03700 100222.

    If they don’t do anything I’ll consider refusing to pay my TV licence until they do.

  94. The Grunts’ hacks are equally happy to completely distort the issue.
    Today, Robinson’s tackle is compared to Gallas’ on Mark Davies.
    I can’t find any youtube clips of that, but it reminds me of the two fouls by Wilshire, in the Liverpool game, and on his England debut.

    Yes they were fouls, but he was completely in control of himself.
    If you watch the replays, the leading foot’s position, in both instances, is adjusted at the right moments to guarantee that there is no, or minimal, danger that he will splinter his opponents shin. His only intent is to ‘play the ball’, no doubt about it.

    Foul, yes. Late? Maybe. Cowardly, no.

    If every club that ‘Appy ‘Arry has worked for, had not been forced to declare bankruptcy (unpaid St.John’s ambulance crews etc.), there is a remote chance that he might already be England manager.

    El Tel Venables was given his p45 for less.

  95. If ‘Arry got the England job – I’m just curious about how long he would survive considering he can’t actually buy the one or two extra players he always needs to strenthen his squad.

  96. ACLFers – Arsene’s statement yesterday that he cannot change English football and his plea for help by supporters, administrators and referees to help end the scourge of violent tackling in English football should be a wake-up cry to us who truly love the beautiful game and love the passion of English football.

    Every time Arsene validly protests the savagery of a Tiny Taylor, Shawcross or a Dan Smith, the immediate reaction is xenophobia; that whingeing French and foreign players who cannot take it up them. His recent and pointed comments on the rugby tackles by Stoke players on Gomes of the Spuds was used by the scoundrels to stir up natinalistic hatred.

    It is interesting that the only occasion there was universal condemnation of this savagery was when Ramsey, a Brit, had his legs in splinters because of Shawcross recklessness and use of excessive force, bóth of which are outlawed in the rules of football.

    What is at stake here is not just Arsenal but English football. Let us put aside our deeply held tribal football instincts and regrdless of the victim (Joey Barton or Alex Diaby) get as many supporters of various teams together to pressure the FA, the refs and the media to stamp out this scourge within the game.

  97. ‘Appy ‘Arry’s charming smile seems to made him the anointed messiah of the clogged up hacks.

    With a transfer outlay that dwarfs the budget of some economies, one experts at the Telegraph, who must have been bleeding out of his eyeballs at the time, wrote:

    “That they responded with two goals and four more at home (against YB) highlighted further Redknapp’s managerial skills: the ability to win lost causes.”


  98. Is it only me, or is anyone else underwhelmed that ITV are the broadcaster responsible for today’s game?

    Can’t stand Andy Townsend and his sofa chums.

  99. In the past three days, I’ve commented on Man U and Fulham sites to express sympathy at the injuries suffered, so what the hey. I’m with Shotta.

    Darius what station were you listening to? The hope of hearing Barclay is the only reason I wake up for Sunday Supplement.

  100. Darius – what are you talking about? Townsend’s a fountain of impartial knowledge – hadn’t you noticed?!

    To be honest, i have been so underwhelmed by all the so called broadcasters recently, it doesn’t make much difference. Whether it be ‘arry’s retard offspring, alan ‘i’m a deformed cunt’ hansen, or townsend, i’m not that fussed. Just can’t wait to see us in action again…

  101. Finsbury.

    I think the problem is that most of the folks who pass themselves as sports journalists have the intelligence of a fence post. Don’t blame the telegraph writer – he’s just trying to make an honest living as best as he knows.

    Look at the BBC, out of all the observers they could have selected for a highly charged show like 606, they go and come up with Robbie Savage.

  102. ITV’s coverage is the worst. Townsend is a clueless muppet and that’s me being diplomatic.

    Tyldesley displays the intelligence of detritus which has just found sentience.

    ITV punditry is the sole reason for the mute button

  103. forgot to mention the legend that is Tyldesley… thatnks for reminding me Gadget. Ok i can see where you’re coming from now Darius!

  104. LOL Geo. I usually turn down the volume and listen to Dan Roebuck on ATVO – if only he can commentate more and stop reading Triple A e-mails during the game.

    Gadget, I must hold my head in shame when I confess that the car radio had Talk Shite on. My defence is that they were the only ones with sports news bulletins at the time and they mentioned Paddy Barclay is coming on.

  105. Did I hear it correctly,one of the pundits calling Karl Henry’s tackles a great tackle. Jesus christ!!

    Surely if the ref had issued a red to this bloke during this game Zamora wouldnt have a broken leg now.

  106. hmmmm – i’ve never done that DS, might give it a go tonight.

    I hope the lads don’t go into this as complacently as some of the earlier posters today have been. I think we’re going to be surprised by their quality, but will crumble under our superiority in the end… I’m thinking 3 or 4 – 1 with Chamakh, Cesc and Arsh on the scorsheet.

  107. “Did I hear it correctly,one of the pundits calling Karl Henry’s tackles a great tackle. Jesus christ!!”

    If that’s true, then all the more reason for all of us to complain. They can’t continue to ignore us all surely…

  108. Gadget @ 2:28 pm – Posting at Fulham, sites etc. -I need to a bit of that myself.
    From what I read, many of these fans need a bit of education to what is recklessness and excessive force.

  109. Darius.

    I didn’t mean to sound overly critical, but it’s just the complete ignorance of the ‘game’ that I don’t understand.
    I’ve had more interesting conversations about what constitutes a ‘fair tackle’ in the park (usually I was the ‘defender’…) at the age of thirteen, then some of these hacks seem able to do, so Im not sure if it’s an issue of intelligence.

    The Beeb, with it’s army of Football ‘experts’, is appalling.
    Especially when compared to the coverage of other sports that they carry.

    I’ve always like Zamora as a player. I saw the game at Craven Cottage as a ‘Duel’ between him and RVP. Yes, footy’s a team game, Mannone was inspired, but RVP gave the Fulham ‘keeper no chance. There’s no shame in being not quite as awesome as RVP.
    Zamora should be playing for England at this stage of his career.

  110. Geo – try it out. There might be a time delay of about 5 seconds with the internet broadcast from ATVO, but if you’re anal about it and have Sky Plus, you can delay the TV feed by rewinding it for 5 seconds and then synchronizing the pictures with ATVO commentary.

    At least with ATVO there is never going to be shameless bias and propaganda against Arsenal and I think Roebuck is a very good commentator.

  111. Pundits, Alan Hansen, talking heads on football shows. Interesting stuff. You guys call me boring for talking about defending. To each his own I guess.

  112. Geo – The scissors tackle is one of the most egregious forms of inflicting hurt to a player football. Years ago when I played a bit, but mostly watching the major teams in Jamaica (yes, I know the standards were not particularly high) we use to chuckle, guffaw is more like it, at the cunning of a player who could execute that tackle very well. Now that I am older and know better, I understand how dangerous it is and feel particularly grieved, even more than a Fulham fan, for what Henry did to Zamora.

  113. @Geo – Also, I’ve hooked the laptop onto one of the surround sound channels and believe me, the atmosphere and crowd reaction and vocal support is more alive than it is on the satellite broadcast – you can even hear some conversations around the commentary box. A much better feel than the usual punks like Parry and Skip to my Loo McIdiot.

  114. Hey Bill…how are you my friend. Hope all is well in Texas.

    I hope you have a bit more faith in our defensive personnel so far…know it’s a long way to go, but they look better than last season – don’t you think?

    I particularly like Koscielny – there’s a silkiness about him and I think once he settles down, he’ll be a force to reckon with in the EPL>

  115. I will Darius, and unfortunately dont have sky plus but i can handle a bit of time delay if it means not having to listen to the usual moronic ramblings…

    Back to this tackling malarky –
    I used to be a fairly ‘hefty’ tackler and although i went in accurately in getting the ball, I often made sure the player felt it. The difference was that i never caused any bad injuries.

    A referee that knew me from matches spoke to me before kickoff once and told me he didnt like the way i tackled and although i always got the ball, i always got the player too. I didnt realise how much i did it until he spoke to me. I removed that foolish, macho bullshit from my game instantly – there’s no need (I was a short teenager at the time with a chip on my little shoulder). Also, most of my injuries were caused by my challenges rather than being challenged.

    Anyway, it’s so much more satisfying getting the ball of someone without even touching them, with interceptions or nicking the ball away from their feet – in Denilson’s style for example.

  116. can I get these radio channels online as I am not in the UK?

  117. Correction: Scissors tackle…inflicting pain and certainly bring your opponent to the ground.

  118. I do not want to see Karl Henry play against us …

  119. I feel ya Shotta. And if someone’s ankle can snap like Valencia’s the other day from a relatively clean tackle, it’s a miracle that Diaby etc survive such horror tackles unscathed. There’s a huge element of luck in every match to avoid these injuries, but the more these scissor tackles etc are clamped down on, the less that element of luck will have to come in.

  120. mj_gunner

    If you subscribe to Arsenal TV then you can get all the Arsenal matches live with commentators employed by Arsenal and they have a sunny disposition about Arsenal. In honesty, they also criticize when it’s called for – but they are Arsenal through and through.

    You will not be able to view the video feeds for Premiership and Champions League matches live because of broadcasting rights, but they’re usually available after midnight on match day. But the radio commentary for the live matches are good enough to get a very good feel of how the game is transpiring.

    The only problem I have with the live commentary is that they spend a lot of time reading e-mails from listeners as opposed to narrating ball by ball as you would expect from radio.

  121. Darius:

    So far go good. Love the KOS. Hopefully the odd mistake will go away with a little more experience. I think he will be a superb CB for many years to come.

    Almunia has been excellent. I am a little surprised but very happy. Its very early but I am trolling the internet for recipes for humble pie.

    The most pleasing thing is that we seem to be more organized and disciplined in the back. To early to claim victory but that is the biggest development to date. With our attacking talent, always expected the goals to come.

    This weekend will be a big test. Saturday game after Wed CL, easy to be a little jaded going forward especially away from home. These are the type of games where it can be really important to keep a clean sheet to get 3 points, something we have not been good at in the past. These type of games and the games with the Chavs, Mancs, and may be ManCity and Spurs will define our season I suspect.

  122. “These type of games and the games with the Chavs, Mancs, and may be ManCity and Spurs will define our season I suspect.”

    I agree Bill. Looking forward to seeing how we get on against the ‘bigger boys’…

  123. Geo @3:09,

    I used to do the same thing.

    The adjustment I made forced me to me rely upon superior speed and fitness to be able to get in a position to cleanly slide in and take away a football that was fractionally ahead of the opposing player. (I didn’t play against many that could dribble like Messi or Nasri. A few, but not many).
    As soon as my fitness levels went down (ahem), or an opponent was faster then me, I had to rely on techniques other then the ‘slide’, which are just as much fun.
    I love Kos’ and Vermaelan’s ability to step in front of their attackers.
    It’s one reason I’m such a fan of pacy defenders like the Kobra (tm Mean Lean).
    Growing up, Des Walker at his peak in Italia ’90 was a favourite player.

  124. Bill.

    I concur about our organisation and ability to stay disciplined. Even though it’s only been 4 or 5 games, it’s enough to appreciate that some lessons have been learnt – but we need to do more to keep the consistency.

    The key will be balancing our attack (including managing the profligacy that sees our chances go begging) and defensive discipline.

    I mentioned earlier on in the week that what I liked most about our games against Blackburn and Bolton is that we fought fire with fire – brute force with brute force, before we earned the right to play Wengerball and win convincingly.

    The sight of Chamakh all over a 6 ft 4 Chris Samba is a sight worth the Arsenal poster for the year – it shows desire and determination and it shows nous.

    Almunia has done well so far, and as I mentioned yesterday, if he performs at the same level and is consistent, it’s hard to see Wenger buying another keeper until Tech 9 is ready. Almunia has 2 years left on his contract and a stellar performance from him will see him spend more time between the sticks as Tech 9 is blooded. But like with our defence, it’s only 4 games – so far so good, let’s throw our weight behind him and hope the consistency is forth-coming.

    What was it for the humble pie? With or without cream – I know a good recipe either way….LOL!

  125. Longswords and rapiers, brawn and agility.
    I’m wondering if there is any merit to mere pondering; that the finesse (or lack of) in our antiquated methods of warfare may be spilling over into the combative elements of our sports today.

    More research will be needed

  126. Thanks Darius, but we do get broadcasts of most of the matches here in India. I just wanted to try the stuff on radio, esp on non match-days & in my free time.

  127. Darius at 3:34pm,

    Arsenal poster of the season should be lil Jack bringing down Samba.. That moment was priceless…

  128. IG – you do have a point there. Li’l Jack’s conquest is illustrative of many things, not least that size really doesn’t matter.

  129. Surely, i don’t want that ugly b*tch to be on our poster of the year

  130. Gadget,

    Hope I didn’t bore you to death.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s game.
    Braga seem to have strong fast players with ‘good technique’. I think the defending on both sides, the contrast between the away and home teams, will be interesting to watch.

  131. Darius,

    That moment showed that this team will not get intimated physically. The signs were there last season but this season, they have taken it to a new level. The matches against Blackburn and Bolton have showed that improvement.

  132. hello fellow gooners, a quick question. i’m going for dinner by essex road rail station and want to go watch the match at a pub afterwards. live in south london so every time i watch the arsenal i’m either on my own if its a small game, or outnumbered 100-1 by chelsea/man utd/liverpool fans, so quite want to go somewhere with a good atmosphere surrounded by fellow gooners. any suggestions? holloway road is just round the corner and so anywhere between there and the emirates would be wicked. thanks!

  133. Darius:

    Agree completely about about the physical stuff. I think Robinson should be banned for 1/2 year for the tackle of Diaby, but I was very pleased with the way Diaby handled it with the media. Would have been much easier and justified for him to complain, but he did not. That and our actions on the pitch against Bolton says a lot about our what appears to be a growing pragmatism and maturity.

    I was ecstatic that we dealt so well with the 2nd ball after Davis headed the first long ball against Bolton. In the past we would get caught ball watching or lose our marking. That to me shows organization and discipline. Long may it live. I really hope we can eliminate the 1 brain cramp per match that seems to cost us a goal. We will still have plenty of games where the goals will be tough to come by and we will need to concentrate for 90 minutes.

  134. I agree with Bill! Let’s see if any Bolton or Blackburn players come out and say we cry like babies.

  135. @Gadget – I’d like to see Chris Samba complain that Li’l Jack Willy bitchhes and complains like a baby.

  136. jabberwocky,

    Go to the Big Red on Holloway Rd. Its full of gooners. I should warn you though, its not your average pub – have you ever heard of the Blue Oyster Bar?

  137. The most pleasing thing is that we seem to be more organized and disciplined in the back. To early to claim victory but that is the biggest development to date.

    I expect it’s all the more pleasing to you, Bill, for being a spontaneous, overnight development. After all, it’s not as if the coaching staff and the players could have been working at it for months or anything like that, because of course as we know they don’t do defensive training and have no defensive strategy, right?

  138. Does anyone have any information about Nordtveit? Some blogs do say he be in ye CL squad (sorry Gadget, but it’s catching) and others do tell of injury. Which be the truth?

  139. FunGunner:

    My theory is that things are now being done a little differently. The boss said often and loudly that he would fix things after last year. Still keeping fingers crossed since only 4 games played. Old habits do not always die quickly or easily. No matter what the reason things do seem to be better so far.

  140. cmon the arsenal

  141. quite excited for the match today! God I love this time of the season, having to wait a full week for matches can be such a drag. Nothing like a wednesday CL match to satisfy the mid-week blues.

    Here in the states, all the CL games are shown on one station. So i have to wait till 6pm to watch the match “as live”. This will involve an intense media blackout and I will have to restrain myself from coming on here to comment, using my Arsenal apps on my iPhone, etc.

    But for once, I get to watch the match at a proper time of day. Which also means i’ll be able to enjoy some adult-themed beverages. For some reason it makes me feel like im following the team like you lot when i have to wait till 6 to watch. Not waking up early in the morning for arsenal is a welcome change!


  142. enjoying the discussion on rough tackles.

    Those of you pushing for others to lodge formal complaints to the BBC, you are true gooners.

  143. How strange. A Man U player gets a serious injury last evening and today Slysports are asking if there are to many dangerous tackles in the PL.

  144. aaaaaa

  145. That’s really strange, dups.

  146. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Seeing Valencia’s ankle folded over like that was gruesome. It’s a real shame it took a United player getting done for the cunt faces in the media to finally take a look at the career threatening tackles that are so prevalent in the Prem.

  147. sagna kos squil ckichy

    wilshere fab song denilson

    nasri chamakh arshavin

  148. Might need to drop maybe one outfield player…

  149. Hey all,

    Really great segment on this issue, and regarding anti-Arsenal tactics specifically on the most recent Gaurdian Football Weekly segment. Almost prescient considering what happened this weekend, and last night. Valencia, Zamora, Diaby – very nearly – It’s a joke.

    And in all seriousness, we all know the difference…this has nothing to do with the kind of hard tackles being discussed above. Hard tackles that take the man versus hard tackles that only take the ball…this is not what is happening. Scissors tackles, over-the-ball, studs up tackles…the goal is to savage the player. This is what’s at issue. I refuse to accept that there is any other purpose. Broadfoot last night did not need to scissor through Valencia, and now a great player is out. Same with Zamora. Scissor-tackles are bound to injure. Karl Henry and the rest have been doing a job on players for years. It’s a disgrace. Why don’t they just bring the brass-knuckles to the pitch. Frankly it’s cowardice to hide behind the refs and the “letter-of-the-law” like they do. Declare yourselves openly, fucking cowards…it disgust me to no end to see Robinson obviously take Diaby out and then hop around as if it was some “nasty coming together” and then actually try to claim that Diaby dived. At least have the courage of your convictions. Foul and take your yellow/red card like a man. Doing what they do, then claiming I goth the ball, or acting hurt as well to escape the ref wrath…it’s a disgrace to thuggery!

  150. @ dups
    Really? What, no stressing the all-round loveliness and niceness of the tackler, no mention of his mum? No implication that Valencia was in some way to blame? How extraordinary, as you say!

    Sarcasm aside, if it means the issue is finally taken seriously, at least some good can come of a horrible situation. best wishes to both Valencia and Bobby Zamora for a speedy recovery. Interestingly, even before this happened (to Valencia), AW’s pleas on the subject seemed to be having a fairer and more sympathetic hearing, didn’t you think?

    @ Bill
    Actually, I wasn’t talking to or about you.
    I meant this other guy, also called Bill, the one who didn’t believe the boss when he said “often and loudly” that he was working on our defensive stability, and who was adamant that Arsenal had no defensive strategy and did no defensive training. THAT Bill must be thrilled that serendipitously, out of the blue, we seem to have made the improvements in that area that you have remarked upon, and all without signing up Martin Keown or Stewart Robson (I forget which the other Bill favoured) as our defensive coach!
    Sorry for any confusion.

  151. Brilliant FG,
    Unlike you I’ve lost patience with either Bill. I only care about those who believe, always back the team and stay positive.
    Can’t share my joy with Johnny come lately fence sitters who suddenly talk of humble pie and being won round.

  152. Dups, the media is so very predictable, isn’t it? It took an England international and a MU player to break their legs in order for there to even be a discussion about violent tackles.

    By the way, Broadfoot’s response to Valencia’s leg break was admiranble. The difference between him, Taylor and Shawcross is night and day.

  153. No Denilson in the starting line-up… But Happy to see Nasri back in the lineup…

  154. Samiiiiiir Nusri

  155. Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs

  156. I’ll grant that Valencia’s injury is down to poor technique and that Broadfoot is a far different type than Taylor or Shawcross…but from Valencia’s recovery bed I imagine the difference is little more than academic.

  157. Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs

  158. Team
    Almunia; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Song, Fabregas, Wilshere; Nasri, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs

    Bit surprised Denilson is on the bench – perhaps he’ll start an away match. Great to see Jack and Nasri starting, though.

    As a hors d’oeuvre, I’ve just watched the highlights of the Reserves match v Man City. Djourou played – better performance according to the text commentary, which is encouraging. Fantastic JET goal. No Nordtveit there either. Please someone tell me he is not injured…

  159. Damn. Arsenal game not live on FSC but is on at 7.00 EST. Why Chelski live?

  160. ATVO’s audio quality is 10 times better than the video quality…

  161. ATVO have just said Diaby is on the bench! That can’t be right, surely?

  162. Axis, I disagree. The injury was unlucky. Broadfoot, unlike Shawcross, Taylor and Robinson, didn’t set out to hurt Valencia.

  163. It’s on Fox Soccer Plus, MDGunner.

  164. Fun,

    Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Vela, Denilson, Djourou, Eboue, Gibbs.

    Didn’t Djorou play the full 90mins yesterday against ManC’s Elite Development Squad??

  165. @ Indian gooner
    Djourou did, indeed.

    I now realise I mUST have been hearing the subs list for the Bolton game, of which the highlights are beign shown on ATVO.


  167. ITV commentators already driving me mad. I will have to switch them off for the game commentary.

  168. FunGunner – you took the exact words out of my mouth. I just hit mute then went to type.
    Cliché after boring cliché and the footage of Chamack from Bordeaux???

  169. Arsenal.

  170. I need a working link…please! please! please!

  171. I was so sure that Denilson would play that I changed one of the basic rules of the game.

    ITV really employ a bunch of twats.

  172. pretty please?

  173. Thanks G69. It seems FSC+ is not part of my Verizon Fios Bundle, yet sonny boy just made me pay out $100 for Red Zone for that other football game.

  174. oh thank you indian gooner!…thank you sir!

  175. @ steww

    It’s not that they don’t rate us or back us that annoys me, that’s their prerogative. It’s that they can’t get their sodding facts right! Saying that for years we had no-one to provide an aeriel threat until Chamakh came – Adebayor. Bendtner. Campbell. Aaaaargh!

  176. Sound muted, ATVO commentary on. Even with the delay.

  177. C’bob – I just assumed you were so confident that you felt we wouldn’t need a keeper.
    FG – precisely, it’s so lazy.

  178. No can do FG – on my Linux laptop and ATVO won’t play.
    Oh and that was a pen.

  179. Six officials…and they are all twats.

    How could they miss that?

  180. Impressive referee!

  181. looking forward to some quality link up between nasri and chamakh tonight. they seem to have bonded over pre season and cham the man speak highly of him in the recent interview. tru bromance

  182. FunGunner:

    The boss said after last year that his major priority was to fix the defense. Clearly that has been the biggest problem for at least the last 2 years. Even the boss said that.The fact that we are defending better would suggest whatever he has done differently probably is helping. A defensive coach may have helped even more, it certainly would not hurt, no way to know for sure. Not sure why we argue since what is happening is good.

    Looking forward to the game today and this Saturday. Saturday will be tough but hopefully the team will not look ahead the way United did yesterday. United look like they are in trouble. May be a 2 team race for the top.

  183. Really bright start – Sqill looked fast too on that Braga break.

  184. Cesc Fabulous!!!!!!!!

  185. Captain goal!

  186. 1 nil to The ARSENAL

  187. continually impressed by chamakhs hold up play and clever changes of direction into space. won us that goal no probs

  188. Great, we got 1-nil up so soon.. Now Braga can’t play their sit-back-and-wait game…\

    Goal scored by Cesc from a penalty..

  189. No argument with you, Bill. Like I said, I was talking to the other Bill.

  190. Arshavin looks like he’s wearing the wrong boots sometimes. Still, class will out.

  191. I’d love JW to score his first european goal.

  192. Have Cesc and Lil Jack switched places??

  193. Looks like he wants it too FG

  194. That’s how you tackle….

  195. How about that first time ball from Jack?

  196. Almunia is alert.

  197. like the algeria flag there…nice

  198. Hope AA gets into this.

  199. can see why wilshire is being picked more and more. with song protecting his ‘work in progress’ positional sense wilshire has a free reign to float around and nip at the heels of the opposition. his awareness is brilliant and his technique is majestic but the pressure he applies through his always willing engine is just priceless.

  200. links anyone??

  201. Andrei the Giant!

  202. Arshavin!!! Yes! That’s how you come back after a game like that against Bolton!

  203. he would have been in big touble if he had missed that!

  204. great finish

  205. Not making the easy ones, but being one on one with several players in the way, he scores. That’s our Arsh!

  206. thanks steww, andre what a clever finish, I have no doubts Cescy is gonna lead the assists charts this season

  207. not that easy actually… clever finish

  208. That’s what I was hoping for.

  209. AA has found his shooting boots…!!!

  210. we shud now bench arsha, song & chamack

  211. I know, I know, but I just love watching Arshavin. He does bring something different to us, just as Chamakh does.

  212. the pressing today & overall this season has been really effective, hope it lasts

  213. Chamakh attac k!

  214. What a beautiful goal!

  215. Easy peasy…!!!!

  216. oh man, why cant all wednesday evenings be like this?? really breaks my week up

  217. o boy o boy o boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  218. mj,

    lets get a 4-goal lead before we sub them..

    And as I type, Chamakh scores his first competitve goal with his foot for Arsenal…

  219. We are on fire with our passing

  220. What a touch by Jack.

  221. Omfg, why are we so awesome?

  222. Some of this football defies belief.

  223. unbefuckingleavable

  224. And big up to Toto and the Kos.

  225. Loving the Kos-Squid pairing… Great understanding between them…

  226. IG u r happy now, haf time 3 changes!

  227. What a special talent Wilshere is.

  228. great understanding between CHmakh\Cesc\AA…

  229. Chamack has utterly won me over too. I liked the look of him but now, well.

  230. He is wonderful Steww.

    We have replaced Adebayor and then some.

  231. mj,

    lets score couple more… Really enjoy’g the game..

  232. look at jack suck up the pain there and jump straight up… the fans will really get behind him for all these little things. hopefully overall successes this year will help shake off ‘the libary’ tag.

  233. Agreee 110% with Steww at 8-25pm.

    who is Ade??

  234. kos is owning, fo sure.

  235. He has it all doesn’t he deano? Pace, control, no little skill, scores with his head, hold up lay and clubbed away that goal with disdain.

  236. Word,

    The atmosphere has been awesome… We should sell some of the season ticket holders and buy some of the CL game crowd…

  237. arsenal and Chelsea provide 6 out of 9 goals scored across Europe so far tonight!

    # AC Milan0-0Auxerre
    # Arsenal3-0Braga
    # Bayern Munich0-0Roma
    # CFR Cluj-Napoca2-0Basle
    # Marseille0-0Spartak Moscow
    # MSK Zilina0-3ChelseaL
    # Real Madrid1-0Ajax
    # S. Donetsk0-0Partizan Belgrade

  238. awesome. absolutely awesome.

  239. mj,

    Maybe we can take-off AA for Vela.. AA looks tired..

  240. Not often I look forward to going to work but I sit with two scousers and a manc……roll on 8:30….!!!

  241. IG – we pay a small price in support for all the corporate seats and club level peeps but we also get paid a very good price. the balance is certainly acceptable for a big stadium, cant win em all I guess.

  242. i was backing Vela to start (along with Deni), arsha desperately needed some rest..lets bring him on now..anyways, AKB

  243. I think we sometimes underestimate what Arshavin brings to this team. He is our indulgence player. I love it.

  244. Bob – I just think he’s in a little rut searching for form. I think the goal should help – jesus I certainly don’t knock him, even the great DB10 went through the odd lean patch.

  245. Apparently we’re flat track bullies, according to Adrian Chiles.

  246. Word,

    I guess so.. But i wish the PL crowd would get behind the team like this. This crowd has the same intensity as our away support.

    cbob, AA is different to any other player in the squad. He can do thing which some can’t. His has done his bid for this game. We need him against Sunderland. Taking him off now will give him some much needed rest and give Vela some valuable time on the pith.

  247. FG – they set us up before kick off. “Oh we all know Arsenal can get out of the group” like there’s nothing to it and thereby detract from any victory. Scum.

  248. @ steww
    As consolsbob likes to say, We are the Arsenal – f*ck everyone else!

  249. this is so beautiful

  250. I’m looking for a ruthless second half – another coupld of goals and a clean sheet, please.

  251. @Fun…if we’re flat track bullies, what does that make Chelsea.

    They’ve played relegation material this far…nothing more.

  252. That’s the spirit Fun!

    Seriously, who wouldn’t find Adrian Chiles funny?

    He is just such an obvious twat. Fucking hilarious.

  253. Oh and since when did being ‘easy on the eye’ get twisted to sound like an insult?

  254. bit of JOE COLE did he say???

  255. Stat from opta:

    Marouane Chamakh has completed all 28 attempted passes for Arsenal in the first half of their Champions League game v Braga. Precise.

    This is outstanding stat for a striker playing up front on his own..

  256. Gosh, IG
    *applause* for MC.

  257. Kos is really solid in the tackle too.

  258. poor from Samir

  259. Why oh why is the emphasis always on what the opposition are doing wrong as opposed to what we are doing so right?

    When Manchester United do it they are irresistable, Majestic. When Arsenal do it we’re flat track bullies.

  260. Cesc!!!!

  261. Priceless! A Cesc header

  262. A masterclass….

  263. Cesc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cap fab scores his 2nd..

  264. Heading it in like a captain!

  265. He is the complete player.

  266. fine fine cross

  267. wow great stat!

    yeah that was a genuine lol when southgate said jack back heel had a touch of ‘joe cole’ to it!

    I would like to pick this apart further but its just so absurd it stands alone

  268. This is why we told the Barca scum to fook-off.

  269. Fuck me Chamack missed a pass.

  270. ha ha ha ha

  271. I wonder if Cesc’s mind is with Barca? I don’t think they would have lost AT HOME against Hercules if they had a player of Cesc’s class in their team.

  272. This is why I love CL more than others..

    People who say ‘Cesc’s heart is not at Arsenal’ can fuck off now..

  273. A wonderful game and the ITV commentary team are doing their very best to spoil it. Piss poor. Mute button yet again I’m afraid.

  274. very gud save from the gk that one

  275. Almost a hattrick for our captain. Hattrick of assists on the weekend, now one of goals in the CL?

  276. What a chip by the best offensive midfielder in the world.

  277. How was that offside?

  278. That would have been 5. No offside.

  279. 6 blind officials… what are the odds

  280. ref feeling sorry for Braga.

  281. Commentators favourite player goes off…

  282. Certain goal taken from Chamakh.

  283. if we are not to win anything this season, it would be due to injuries

  284. @mj_gunner

    Yeah. No question. Only reason.

  285. clean sheet or more goals? oh wait this isn’t mourinho-ball… we’ll take both

  286. Deni and Vela on!!! Is that for Lil Jack and AA???

  287. We definitely need more officials. I mean, the extra two have made such a difference, what might four more acheive?

  288. word, word.

  289. Give us a smile Carlos

  290. Vela for Chamakh. Song off for Denilson.

  291. Chamakh, I am standing up and applauding you in my sitting room.

  292. Excellent subs. Looking forward to Sat.

  293. LOL…it’s the pygmy attack up front. Can see Chamakh and Song being rested for Saturday’s game.

  294. That is obviously what I foresaw earlier steww. Just a bit premature.

  295. Chamakh and Song off!!!!

    AW must be thinking about Sunderland at the weekend then.. I hoped he would have taken AA off too…

  296. Bob – you think if Arsene drank more cider he could gain your foresight?

  297. Well Darius the President is ready to take power from Sagna.

  298. Arsh and Cesc will play every minute this season you mark my words.

  299. cbob, for more officials would fit in nicely..

  300. Eboue even has a comedy warm-up routine.

  301. Ooooh!

  302. “A little bit too Arsenal” Fucking kill me now.

  303. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  304. Vela!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  305. chip it babyyyy

  306. Chippy ‘lil VELA!

  307. I just fucking love this team.

  308. Vela Vela Vela.

    Where the fuck is Maria when you want to hug her….

  309. What a beautiful goal. What a beautiful team.

    Another chip by Vela.

  310. What a special night.

  311. @consols
    And I just f*cking agree. In a couple of years when people check the Webster dictionary for “beautiful attacking football” the definition will be one word: Arsenal.

  312. ha ha ha
    God forbid we should attempt to entertain, steww!

  313. The President has arrived.

  314. King Eboue on for AA who had a decent game with a goal and 2 assists..

  315. CBs are dominant.

  316. a vela chip? pull the other one

    seriously enjoy these wednesday nights cloaked by the comfort of dim lights on my sofa, fine ales and food stoking the fire of red and white.

    I fear they flatter us a little but even if the english press dont get it you can rest assured the rest of europe will notice

  317. Great crowd tonight too.

  318. shotta, He is the King now.. After his latest comments, He has been promoted to the King..

  319. Definitely steww. More cider always helps in my experience.

    Granted It rather limits my movement but then I stopped playing seriously a long time ago. Cerebrally, I’m all over it.

    I can still manage a good stint as an all rounder in the bat and ball game. Kids are crap.

  320. Just to imagine, we are without Walcott, Van Persie and Bendtner.

  321. Are you watching T@tt*nh$m?

    Of course they fucking are, they spend most of their time obsessing with us. I can see them now, hiding behind their sofa’s. Half of them in tears and the other half trying to clap but missing.

    I’m not sure if this has ever been said but: We are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  322. Another stat:

    Infostrada Sports tell me that Arsenal have now scored 16 goals and conceded none in four home matches against Portuguese clubs in the Champions League.

  323. IG – I defer to his royalty Emmanuel Eboue 🙂

  324. lol at “A little bit too Arsenal”
    yeah casue we’re so good we cant score… (6)

  325. Love to see His Highness the Mighty Lord Eboue Dada the 1st score tonight.

  326. Steww – We only come to see Eboue!!!!

  327. It’s as if Cesc has a forcefield around him.

  328. Do you guys notice that when the pass-master is on the field how better we hold the ball.

  329. Great take, Almunia.

  330. How good is Kos? I mean seriously? Verm last season and the Kos this.
    Oh hang on Arsene can’t sign defenders.

  331. We’ve never scored more than 6 goals at the Emirates. Hope we break that record tonight.

  332. Jack W – been watching TR7?

  333. Darius, Didn’t we score 7 against Praha couple of seasons back??

  334. Jack, the lad is learning. What a pass?

  335. IG – wasn’t that an away game?

  336. Carlos, my man!

  337. am i dreaming?

  338. How unselfish by Cesc. What a pass from Jack what a finish.
    A little too Arsenal.

  339. Oh captain, my captain! What an assist. What a goal. Where is Maria?

  340. 6:0 … AWESOME!!!!

  341. Darius,

    I think it was at home..

  342. I feel spoilt, privileged and immensely proud. We definitely need a new keeper though 🙂

  343. I didn’t know who braga were before this game and im still none the wiser after 85mins. all i have seen is a series of miscellaneous shadows in our wake, occasionally getting in the way.

  344. Poor Braga. They are KNACKERED.

  345. Darius,

    checked it on dotCom. It was a Home game against Slavia Prague where we won 7-0.

  346. Don’t ever want this to stop.

  347. Arsene is past it. Can’t he see we only have a good 1st XI (compliments of SUGA). Can’t he see we need strength in depth.

  348. I feel sorry for Braga, they came here and tried to play football but have encountered a superior team who are bang in form.

    I don’t have a favourite Portuguese team but with all their Arsenal connections, Braga are the ones I would choose.

  349. Ditto, Matty Boy.

  350. Just two minutes of added time 😦 Where is Fergie time when we need it? I want to see us score more goals!

  351. Steww,

    agree… Have had a miserable day until now..

  352. People leaving? WTF. C*nts.

  353. Another stat:


    6-0 – Arsenal have recorded the best winning margin for an opening Group Stage match in Champions League history. Comfortable.

  354. Sorry to hear that IG – hope the boys put you in a better place.

  355. where can i find some stats on this game?

    chalk board in the morning?

  356. The 7-0 was awesome too, Hleb and Wallcott were as unplayable that night as Fab was tonight. Oh and Barca, that’s why 30 million wouldn’t buy his fucking jockstrap…..

  357. They did.. Love the team dearly… Had fun watching the game and the conversation here….

  358. Every goal he scores places him farther out of their reach too.

  359. lol at optajoes use of single word sentances!

  360. word,

    those are the twitter statuses..

    Highlights courtesy Arsenalist:

    Vela’s first goal consisted for 17 passes..

  361. Someone just texted in to say that if Wilshere was Brazilian, they’ll build the national team around him.

    And btw, watch the hacks and pundits wax lyrical about Chelsea’s awesome power to win 4-1, yet it will be that Arsenal got past a hapless Braga team who were woeful.

  362. Darius, The Plundits drool over Chelsh*t and ManUre.. I take them as jokes.

    Today’s peformance must be up there with the best..

  363. And Braga are a poor team, apparently. Why do I listen to these idiots.

  364. @Darius
    Too true… though some media outlets are actually not that biased. EUrosport for example wrote: “There you have it, Chelsea with another impressive win – on paper only though, as they were shaky and Zilina should have scored more. ”

    And their headline for our game is: “Majestic Arsenal put six past Braga” I don’t think it can be worded much better. We truly were majestic tonight.

  365. I think also – to be fair…tonights performance was only possible because of the solidity and absolute performance from Koscielny, Squillaci and Almunia – let’s not forget them and lets put our hands together for these unsung heroes tonight.

  366. What a feast waiting for me to watch tonight at home. I can’t wait.

  367. Yes, DS. We were rock solid for 99% of the game.

  368. Kos and Squid had their forward in their pockets…

  369. Almunia did great. Even against high balls and those tricky crosses.
    Wenger once again knew when he decided not to splash the cash on Schwarzer.

  370. Pundits have lost their credibility long time ago…they’re just puppets for the newspapers & TV Networks they work for, their Masters tell them the direction they want them to go and they heel.

    I’ve lost the interest even to debunk them.

  371. I think AW has a headache of choosing between Vermaelen, Koscielny and Squillaci and also Djourou. Damn good headache to have though.

    For the Carling cup game against the Spuds – I would like to see a back 4 of His Highness King Eboue Dada, Koscielny, Squillaci and Gibbs

  372. One Arsene Wenger!!!!

    What a talented group of players he has got and they love to play the beautiful game with each other…

    As Frank used to say, this is the best Arsenal squad by a country mile…

  373. Thats how football is supposed to be played.


  374. What time are the highlights on Sky or ITV being shown again? I would like to see this game again before they are uploaded on ATVO.

    It’s been pure ecstasy.

  375. Darius,

    I would like to play Djourou for the Carling Cup. He needs the playing time to get back to his best. Last season’s injury has really set him back by a year or 2..

  376. I have said it before and I will say it again: Andy Townsend = No nothing cunt.

  377. Wenger: “It’s difficult to compare (Jack and Cesc), but whats key for Jack is he can play and learn with somebody like Fabregas”

  378. Squill and JD for me too. Give him some game time and preserve the Kos. How does Kos tackle so cleanly while being all over his man. He was massive tonight.

  379. Kos is really growing into a great CB. He reads the game sooo welll that He must be one of the best at reading the game..

  380. Andy Townsend asks: “Can Arsenal play like this and beat the likes of Inter Milan? In previous years the answer has to be no”.

    It’s his job to know ffs. What a class prick that man is.

  381. Andy Townsend is a big punk for real

  382. IG, Kos is a great CB, just getting better.

  383. Andy Townsend: “It will be nice if we get our teams through.”

    I believe you played for Ireland Andy, don’t try to put yourself in our camp now you useless excuse of a man. That cunt is not fit to comment on Arsenal, save him for the Spuds ITV, they deserve each other.

  384. And so far, no-one injured.

  385. A R S E N A L

  386. Paul N, He is. I love his game.. Not a lot tackles but lots of interceptions. He reads the game very well and anticipates the moves well.

    With him at the back and Deni in the middle, We’ll have a pair who read the game like noone else…

  387. Exactly. With players like that playing a flat through ball on the ground against our defense is almost impossible. Teams playing against us basically have no other choice but to hoof it to the flanks. Anything else will be intercepted.

  388. keep ur mouth taped FG!

  389. Sorry, mj – I forgot about my jinxing propensity!

  390. Earlier in the day I thought people were being optomistic forecasting 6-0 or 7-0, and Braga are not a bad team but we just ran the whole show. And CBob you are right about Arshavin, he might be a luxury but his skills are exquisite, and why shouldn’t we spoil ourselves sometimes:-)

  391. I’m staying up for Passenal or Delia or someone else who was there…


  393. Agreed IG.

    What a classy team!!!

    Fab will look back after this season and thank The LORD that he stayed.

  394. i missed the start of the game, what did clichy do wrong??

  395. Can watch this one over and over again! Pure class, we turned on the style.

  396. Arshavin tried 8 passes during the second half. Completed 6 of them. 2 of them were assists.

  397. Paul N,

    By the end of this season, this team will have achieved something and with style. And by then, I don’t think Cesc would like to leave. I feel He would be staying for more than 1 season.

  398. Just got back from the game. One thing I really noticed was how the crowd loves Chamakh. A real find- the ball sticks to him like glue, totally unselfish and unwilling to waste the ball, and clearly such a threat in the penalty box the opposition can’t help but give away pens

  399. It should be noted: when the keeper takes down Chamakh, Chamakh is still in control of the ball. So it’S a fair penalty. Nothing like the “Kick it in the stands and then fall down” penalty RooRoo and Lumpey win.

  400. Two words Cesc Fabregas…and to all the doubting pundits we are going to shove Barca Lite right up your @r%es. Chelsea,Inter, Barca, Madrid, Utd, Milan, beware!

  401. mj_gunner – Eboue’s warm up has brought a warmth to my heart on a memorable night, thanks.

  402. How sad it must be for fans of other teams watching the game tonight knowing that their team will never be as good.

    What a beautiful spectacle of football.

  403. Guys I am here!!!!

    I am in Vela heaven.

    How selfless was Cesc though?

    Silky smooth performance from our captain. Absolutely FABOLOUS!!!

  404. Matty, sometimes I wonder his highness does this on purpose!!

    Good Post, Evil

  405. were you at the game Maria?

  406. Were you at the game, Maria?

  407. see we’re all too curious to know!!

  408. it was poo pooed by cetain pundits that i would not bother to mention their name claiming Braga were poor.Also offered some hints to Sunderland on how to stop Arsenal. All the fabulous work that was on show somehow is meaningless. A little praise for such wonderful display is hard for some people.

  409. do we really need praises from such mouthpieces, 1lc? they will see themselves what we are all about at the weekend

  410. I was bloody late getting home I missed the first 15 my phone died I was sweating like a pig. Enjoyed the rest with the family and boy did we enjoy. That was sensational football. The back four were impressive so their forwards were living on scraps. Clichy was on top form tonight.

  411. Maria,

    Clichy had couple of risky moments in those first 15mins of the game.. After that he held on his own..

  412. Silky smooth indeed Maria 🙂

  413. Tsk. Men sweat, ladies “glow”, Maria. You were
    * glowing * like a pig.

    Clichy did look to be back to his best. Everybody was excellent today. Absolutely everybody.

  414. Well then FG, I was glowing for all to see while ‘skipping’ home.

  415. “I’m not sure if this has ever been said but: We are by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.”

    I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight as I don’t see myself coming down from 7th Heaven in a hurry.

    Darius, I was there for that 7 – 0 home win against Prague a few seasons ago, but tonight was even better. Before the game there was plenty of ‘Braga are a good team, they beat Sevilla home and away’. We absolutely mullered them tonight and suddenly it’s because they are rubbish.

    They were completely shell-shocked. They have obviously never come across a team with the quality of Arsenal. We were on a completely different level and they had no answer whatsoever. I’ve run out of superlatives for Cesc Fabregas and I thank God every day that he still plays for us. I’m just stunned by the all round brilliance of this squad. Every player from front to back was outstanding tonight. Kos is amazing, Chamakh is absolutely fantastic, Jack is a marvel! I could go on and on. Oh and the crowd were brilliant.

    We love you Arsenal, we do! One Arsene Wenger, there’s only one Arsene Wenger! We’ve got Cesc Fabregas! One Song, we’ve only got one Song! Emmanuel Eboue, Emmanuel Eboue! etc etc!

  416. On having sterner tests ahead…

    “I know you are impatient but let’s enjoy the victory tonight..”


  417. Passenal,

    I’m not able to sleep now even though the time is 12:45am here in South Africa and I need to go to work 2moro.. Delayed telecast of the game starts in 15mins and I’m planning to watch it again..

    And this has been one of the best team performance in a while. Everyone was upto it and did their job perfectly…

  418. mj @ 11:44,

    that was a class response from Arsene..

  419. “football teaches you one thing – be open-minded and never have a definite opinion. You need to have opinions sometimes but you always have to have an open mind on players because you can never predict how quickly they develop.”

    This was an even better response IG and could have been directed towards the D&G’s who are so quick to write off young players before they’ve even had a chance to establish themselves!

  420. When I saw the Braga coach all I could think of was; young Arsene Wenger.

    I would love to hear what the Special one has to say about our victory over Braga. I would love it if we got his RM in the second round.

  421. Passenal,

    That comment was also directed at the Plundits too.

    He had responses directed at almost everyone today. The comments are the best from him in a long time.. Loved it to bits..

    My personal favorite:

    On putting in an impressive performance with a number of players out injured…
    “It’s fantastic because it shows we have a style at the Club that everybody knows and no matter who comes in the football is played the same way. I have always said that we have a big squad where everybody can play a part and that shows when you look at who was out tonight. Some quality players were sitting behind me.”

    In short, Wengerball runs deep in the club..

  422. Watching the delayed telecast now… Just can’t stop watching the game..

  423. GB69, Maureen would be saying that Arsenal can’t carry on playing like this till the final. Teams should play to just win and not play to entertain and win.

    I saw RM’s game too and wasn’t very impressed with them. Ajax gave them a good fight at the Bernebau.

  424. awesome post match interview with arsene there. first of many this season i hope

  425. Fab asked if Jack was better now than he was at 18, Cesc had the grace to say yes instead of the wtf I was shouting at the t.v, what a captain, what a man.

  426. “Braga” in Spanish means knickers – well, singular, more like knicker.

  427. IG,

    I miss supersport!!! Especially Soccer Africa and monday night, how is our gooner pastor?

  428. Well manager knickers was rather dashing Arsene mark 2 indeed.

  429. On a less surreal note – in Cesc Fabregas we’ve got one of the all time great playmakers. We’re not a one man team by any means, but he’s absolutely pivotal to our chances this season. That said, he’s got to be rested occasionally. AW’s got a tough decision on his hands as far as when and against whom…

  430. Haha – it’s great fun with shoddy, web-based translators. This is from Sport:

    “ARSENAL, 6 – PANTIES, 0
    Cesc contributes with two morning calls to the made goals one of the Arsenal in front of the Panties”

  431. “If I pay £50 to go to a football game, what do you want to see? Do you want to see Fabregas who plays football or the guy who kicks you from behind?”

    Great comment by Arsene, and I have to agree fully. I want value for my money — and by value I don’t mean players that cost upwards of 50 million dollars. By value I mean what is presented on the pitch and I honestly believe that no other team offers the same bang for the buck as Arsenal does.

  432. I am so jealous. I am desperate to watch the match again.

  433. I totally agree, Evil. The Prem could have the prettiest football anywhere but its directors are letting it down by somehow encouraging the rough and tumble stuff. Personally, I believe that the Murdoch’s are making violence the nearrative because it makes money. If they don’t cut that shit out, they’ll end up getting knocked off their perch.

  434. IndianGooner, I think Madrid was a bit poor against Ajax because they’re just starting out with one another. Oezil was a bit off the pace. DeMaria surprised me. I thought he was horrible at the world cup. Khedira and Xavi were alright. Their defense is tight. Carvalho was a coup of the highest order.

    The big question is whether Mourinho will cope with having to produce elegant, free flowing football or not. The madrileños will not put up with anti-football. They’d sooner see him off than put up with a gaudy, drab football. I think Pep Guardiola will put him in his place this season. And I would be extremely happy if we drew them in the second round so Arsene could bitch slap him a bit.

  435. Denilson is back on twitter!!!

  436. On his webcam I mean.

  437. Nasri was outstanding last night.

    Then Eboue lost the ball with a quick pass way down the left wing and ran 80 metres finally shoving it out for a throw at right back position.


    Fabregas was unplayable.

    Kos the Skilly-the-Magnificent did not lose a single ball all night.

    Wilshere was amazing, his speed of decision/pass is already phenomenal.

    Unsung Sagna was however my MOTM, nothing got down our right, and his possession. crossing and intelligence was stunning.

    Who else. Chamakh. Arsh. Denilson. Almunia outstanding. Chamakh. Too good. Do you also get the feeling Arsh, and Arsenal generally are just warming up?

  438. Zim – I know what you mean. We’ve flown out of the blocks in previous season then been crippled by the timing and nature of our injuries. This season we’re cruising early on with some players to come back and some just starting to move up through the gears.
    Strap on tight folks it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

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