Shaktar Preview: Return Of The Ed Should Not Stop Arsenal Win

Champions League football returns this evening with the first of the double-header against Shaktar Donetsk. Eduardo dominates the proceedings as far as the media are concerned about the Ukranians, the fickle fates of the fixture list ensured even more attention than normal with the preceding match being a Premier League encounter with Birmingham City.

Wenger sounded the cautionary note and is aware that the immutable law of the -ex carries more threat tonight than Alexander Hleb’s return to The Emirates on Saturday did. According to Wenger,

He just had the class of an Arsenal player

The manager thought it difficult to quantify how good the player would have been for Arsenal had he not been injured. The answer lies in 12 goals in 22 games. At that rate, he would have become the club’s top scorer in another 300 matches, only about 50 more than Henry took to reach that point. That’s how good he could have been.

Shaktar are one of only two teams in the group phase who has yet to concede a goal; Arsenal are top scorers. Something has to give tonight. The win over Birmingham was much needed – the continued pathetic ramblings of their players bring discredit to their club and a disservice to the game as a whole – and that side is bolstered by the return of Cesc Fabregas. Personally, I would not risk starting him and I suspect, neither will Wenger, especially as Jack Wilshere is in good form and not available for three matches following this evening.

Half an eye must be cast towards Eastlands this weekend and having the captain fit for that match is as imperative as a win tonight (every match has the imperative of a win as far as I’m concerned before anyone asks). The mystery surrounding Robin van Persie deepened to the extent that Ivan Gazidis was seen leaving 221b Baker Street, Wenger noting that the Dutchman will not be playing for his country in November but available for his club in three weeks time. Which is 10th November, a week before the internationals. Not sure if Arsene has inside information – and he probably has – but I understood the rules to be that if he is fit and the Dutch want him, he can be called up.

Otherwise, there will be little scope for change from Saturday, a little tinkering around the edges if you like. The first ‘casualty’ is likely to be Andrey Arshavin. Wenger noted that he is often tired following international weeks. That being the case, the best he should hope for tonight is a place on the bench, lethargy evident in the Premier League encounter. Rosicky is a more than capable substitute and his performances have generally been sparkling this season.

The real bonus for Wenger has been the ease with which Marouane Chamakh has settled into the side, useful given the injury situations of Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner. It might be another hour long performance by the Moroccan as Wenger gently brings the Dane back to full match fitness. With his injury having been muscular, better to be slow and sure rather than hurried and see him disappear for weeks on end.

Otherwise, the likeliest change is in midfield with Diaby or Song making way for Denilson. I suspect the former although understand why some want the latter to make way and be ready for the weekend. Song though is using the ball better than ever whilst Diaby added a dynamic to the attack last weekend that if he could reproduce on a consistent basis, would see him take strides to occupying a place in the pantheon of great midfielders in Arsenal’s history.

The line-up I would expect to see is:

Fabianski; Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy; Denilson, Song, Wilshere; Rosicky, Chamakh, Nasri

Injuries permitting, it would be no surprise to see Song, Nasri and Chamakh replaced during the course of the game to give Fabregas, Walcott and Bendtner match time ahead of Manchester City.

The parochial nature of the media was highlighted in Arsene’s press conference yesterday. Unusurprisingly he offered no opinion on the reported decline in Wayne Rooney’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson – if Real Madrid want a sunburned English yob, it would be cheaper for them to go to Benidorm and sign someone off the street – but did anyone ask him about The Sunday Times allegations of corruption in the World Cup bidding process? Or corruption in football on a wider-scale? Alas no and another chance for some interesting copy was lost.

Anyway, enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on October 19, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 234 Comments.

  1. Great post, YW!

  2. I have nothing to say, but the desire for victory is strong, in both the post and the game

  3. Fabianski; Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs; Diaby, Denilson, Wilshere; Nasri, Chamakh, Rosicky

  4. Very excited for this evening’s game. Let’s hope they come out to play against us, and we might see the attacking verve that we all love Arsenal for.

  5. I think we are due a nice result. Shaktar will prove to be a tough opposition, but if our lads are in the mood, we could be blessed with another amazing evening of vintage Arsenal Champions League glory!

    Eduardo to get a MASSIVE reception too, which the guy deserves. 3 points is a must and going to their ground will be a much less pressured occasion if we do it.

  6. I think Gibbs may be in with a shout to start tonight, resting Clichy for City. Cesc starting on the bench, and Diaby or Song like YW said candidates for a rest with Denilson coming in. Rosicky or Vela dropping Arshavin to the bench.

    I really want to see Vela get a start, another season of a handful of substitute appearances and Carling Cup games ain’t going to do him no good.

    Especially when Arshavin is not firing, give the lad a chance.

  7. Anyone going to the game beware of severe delays on Victoria Line

  8. Chrisgooner I agree I think it’s time that Vela got a full game under his belt. Vela seems more comfortable on the wings- he can clearly finish but he is not one to lead the line.

  9. Rosicky, for me, is the best crosser of a ball we have. Given the height and aerial ability we have up front in Chamakh and Bendtner I’d start him on the left in place of Arshavin. We could probably get by without Arshavin’s ’30 seconds of genius’ tonight.

  10. If Mancini really said “I do not understand players drinking until they are drunk … I tell my players it is better that they go with a woman than drink.”, then Rooney would have found a club perfect for him, provided Colleen allows it.

  11. I foresee Rosicky having a fantastic night. He’ll set Chamakh up with one of those tasty outside-of-the-boot swerving crosses… can just imagine it now.

  12. I reckon we will see 10 of the starting 11 tonight as we saw on Saturday, the change being AA23 on the bench with Rosicky starting. Chamakh will get his customary and expected home goal, then have a rest for the final 30 mins or so. Im backing Jack to open his account tonight in a 2 nil win, then he can have a rest for 3 games (what a shame, but might actually work to his benefit). Then if all goes to plan we can hopefully rest Diaby (Denilson on in his place) and Nasri (Cesc to get 20 mins) for the game at Citae.
    Hopefully Fabianski can have little to do but done well sort of game too, because i reckon if he doesn’t fuck it up hes our No1 til at least January.

  13. The highlight for me in last years group stage was the fact that we were able to field a reserve side – half anyway – in the return leg against Olympiacos. And that came about because our qualification was guaranteed early. And that’s why I’d like us to win big today so that our stars of tomorrow can get a big day out.
    I agree with Chrisgoona and expect Gibbs to start over Clichy. Agree that Arshavin needs a break and should be benched at worst or totally rested at best.
    About the fifa scandal let me give you guys an African perspective. No doubt the fellow had his hand in the jar. That’s the way we run sports about here. Everything is a cash cow waiting to be milked! The dishonesty of the African leadership is deceptive but not surprising!

  14. Kenyan

    Even if we win tonight, we do not qualify. We need four more points to be sure of qualifying, six to top the group (in all likelihood).


  15. I am bored so drawn out my team preference for tonight! I would like to see the following ….

    – – – – – – – – – – – – Fabianski – – – – – – – – – – –
    Eboue – – Squilacci – – Djourou – – Gibbs
    – – – Rosicky – – Denilson – – Wilshire – – –
    Nasri – – – – – – – Chamakh – – – – – – – – Vela

    Preferrably would like us to rest Nasri, but with Arshavin likely to be rested we need Nasri to play. Hopefully taking him off after an hour for Cesc or Theo..

  16. some people think the game tonight will be a walk over. it won’t be. Shaktar are a very good team. e need a good balance tonigh.t I would stick with the best defencive line up we have.Playing Wilshere for Fabregas will make a lot of sense as he is suspended for the City game, ideally Cesc on thebench to come on in the last 20 minutes or so, Theo needs to start as he is fully fit.

  17. I dunno, CG, I’d say that Cesc needs to start and play as much of the match as possible in case he needs time to find his touch, especially with Man City coming up.

  18. I expect Wilshere to play. Also, I think Diaby will be vital against Man City so should probably be rested. For the same reason, perhaps Song could sit this one out as well. I reckon Walcott’s probably in the same boat as Cesc, and could do with minutes. The same might go for Denilson, as we’ll need him for upcoming fixtures with Wilshere out.

    Listening to AW, Arshavin probably needs a break, and Rosicky’s got to be the guy to take his place. And Before the weekend I’d have gone for Bendtner in this game to give Chamakh a rest, but he looked a tiny bit out of sorts when he came on against Brum.

  19. Denysov: In the Arsenal team every player can score a goal. It’s not only one or two stars it’s a team of stars. Arshavin is good at the moment.
    Surely this guy hasnt been watching Asharvin lately. If I the manager i’d definitely rest him tonight .Looking forward for a hard fought 3-1 win to us.
    My lineup for the game

    Bendtner, Rosicky,Song,Fabrigas, Gibbs, and a GK on the bench.

    Give Walcott a good rest so he can recover from his toe problem and terrorize mancity this wknd.

  20. I can’t wait to sit down and watch the match tonight. Going to be a good game. Looking forward to seeing who Arsene fields. Whoever it is, it’s going to be enjoyable to watch. That’s the beauty of this system. It’d be nice to see Cesc have some game time tonight, and I think it’d be good for him to get some match practice under his belt before the trip to Manchester, as some have already mentioned.
    Quite looking forward to seeing Eduardo gracing the Emirates pitch once more. I am absolutely confident the home support will give him a warm welcome. I wish he was still with us…

  21. Watching a little of the Sunderland-Blackburn game last night got me thinking a little. Well, there was no point in actually watching the game.

    The ‘co commentator’ was Kevin Phillips. He falls into the catagory of much loved old pro. No nonsense in his views. Nothing at all to say except peddle old cliches and the usual non incisive comment. The sort that you shout at for wasting some of your subscription/ licence fee.

    After much of the usual tosh that passes for ‘expert insight’, he commented on a prettty poor challenge, saying something like, ‘ intent to hurt there, just a bit late..’. You know, the usual rubbish. However it occurred to me that for mnay watching that was the definitive comment on that particular challenge by that particular player. If he had said the reverse then that player would have been labelled a thug.

    For most of us here that sort of stuff is filtered out as the noise that it is but for many, who see Sky and the BBC as ‘experts’, those comments matter. Those comments will set their views on players, cheating, diving, whinging and who should be the next England managers. These people are opinion formers. It doesn’t matter that they are banal, uninformed and sometimes malicious.

    Limpars ‘voxpop’ in action.

    Flicking back later to get the score I caught Robinson’s interview when he was asked about the sending off. I didn’t see the incident but I was enlightened by Robinson saying that he “…. understood the pressure referees were under at the moment so wouldn’t be blamimg him.”

    You see how ignorance spreads? How gangs form?

  22. Good Grief. I am in moderation.

    How come Limpar can come on here and say really naughty words and all I do is mention ‘Blackburn’ and get moderated?

    A mystery.

  23. consolsbob,
    makes perfect sense to me. shame on you.

  24. Flint McCullough

    It must have been the way you said it, cbob!!

  25. Eduardo indeed had class. In a 4-4-2 was a natural goalscorer. The type that scores goals from their thighs, hips and shoulders. You cant teach that.

  26. Like a Filippo Inzaghi but better.

  27. I swear that I was polite. I didn’t even say ‘Fat Sam’!

  28. Bob, that’s a nasty swear word. You know how derogative it is when we say “the Blackburns of this world”.

  29. Did I just type derogative when I meant derogatory?

  30. I did mention Limpar though.

  31. I didn’t know that you could speak American, Ole.

  32. Vela is playing for the reserves right now.

  33. Naughty words? I’ve been nothing but sweetness and light for hours, if not days now. Give a boy a fucking chance.

  34. Oh ffs..

  35. Talking of proper names that double as pejoratives; Sir Alex F-word has confirmed Rooney wants out of the Manc kingdom.

    Question is; is he being pushed.

    Feggerson acts surprised but it all rings very hollow

  36. YW’s most recent moderation masterstroke was to blacklist the words ‘ch*esy’ and ‘ch*ps’, in order to deter northern people from joining the discussion. I can only assume that he has now added ‘Bl*ckb*rn’ for the same reason. Next will be ‘gravy’ and ‘Pulis’, and it won’t come soon enough.

  37. I’ll recommend adding “black cap” and “naked headbutts” to the sin list

  38. Watching Pool being beaten by Everton on Sunday with my possible son-in-law-to-be and he is a diehard Liverpool fanatic. Ouch! I showed empathy in abundance, but this Liverpool team – littered with a few fine players – is quite broken, especially weak on the wings and pondeorous in midfield.

    We had a laugh about Scrooney tho’. How I hope it’s true, and the lad turns out for Citeh from January. It’ll be fun watching it all unravel from the sidelines, that’s for sure.

    Come on Arsenal!

    Cesc might start tonight, game time, perhaps alongside Denilson, Rosicky or Wilshere. I also think Bendtner might just start, with Chamakh on the left, Nasri right – which allows Nasri and Eboue to cross to both the big guys. So many options. Who knows? So much depends on form in the practices, and thinking of the Saturday game. Diaby might start; if he’s on form keep him going type thinking, but I would rest him. Arshavin, I hope, does not start for once. A little rest is due.

    Interviewed on Sky Sports, Wenger says, in answer to the stupid question about the Rooney move rumours bla bla … “No, I have no idea. I think I might have enough problems without adding others to my list”.

  39. I have to admit I’m baffled Vela is playing for the reserves and so probably not tonight. This game was earmarked for him! An European game so less physical, a team that plays on the floor he would have been great to see him and I wonder when we will see him except the CC and maybe FA cup. He will not be able toimprove if he doesn’t play for the first team.

    Well with that in mind here is my updated prediction from yesterday’s one:


    With, as Yogi said Bendtner, Walcott and Cesc to have more or less 30 min of runout to get ready for City’s game.

  40. Ole,

    I haven’t been following Rooney: the Retarded Years. Have I got this right…

    1) Rooney boinks hooker in his Caribbean marital bed.
    2) Press create month-long puritanical whirlwind around Rooney’s Range Rover.
    3) Ferguson benches Rooney (definitely not because he’s scored only twice in his last 31 appearences; one penalty, one tap-in)
    5) Press fabricate Man City link because Ferguson won’t talk to them.
    6) Rooney reads the papers (or has an aide read them out aloud to him) and decides, hey, that’s not a bad idea. “Eh, tha lot pay Yaya Tourrrrray £250, 000 a week. Imagine what they’d pay Wayne Rooney…”

  41. Pulis is already banned, normally referred to as c*nt. Fat Sam follows the same format. I’ve no idea why your comment was moderated Bob. Maybe Akismet thought it was too intellectual for the D&G brigade to comprehend?

  42. black p*dding and ferr*ts are sure to be added.
    That’s probably a Lancashire delicacy, actually.

  43. gunnerluc, Vela starting for the Reserves is about him not having played 90 minutes for a long time. He didn’t have either of the last two international break remember. It’s not a step backwards or anything… he just needs the minutes to keep his fitness up – and tonight is too important to give a player who hasn’t played in a while a run-out.

  44. But YW, um, once you reach 9 points in the group stage of the CL, it is possible but unlikely you can finish lower than second.

  45. Oh, I missed out no.4. Er… No.4 can be…

    4) Arsenal glide graceful and unnoticed up past United in the league.

  46. “it is possible but unlikely you can finish lower than second”

    But not IMpossible. So let’s not count our chickens…

  47. Aneke scores for the reserves just before half-time. 1-0 to the Arsenal…

  48. So neither Limpar nor Blackburn are banned words then Yogi?


    I watched an interview with Henry Winter at the weekend, apparently he’s a bit of a manu insider, which I didn’t know, and his take on the Rooney story was interesting.

    He felt that manu were in trouble, couldn’t afford to sign big stars. Rooney is their only one with no more on the horizon. Trouble was the salaries as much as the fees.

    In that context, at this stage in Ferguson’s career, he thought that Rooney might win this one at the expense of Fergie. If push came to shove at OT then it might be Fergie heading for the exit. Rooney is too important to them.

  49. Theo!

  50. There is a suggestion that at his current rate, and after his adoption of Ricky Hatton’s training routines, as a footballer Rooney might ‘burn out’ quicker then Robbie Fowler.

  51. surprised at everyone’s team selection..everybody wants to see the best 11, when are Rosicky, Vela, Gibbs, Denilson gonna get a chance? or even JET for that matter??

  52. Is that a picture of Theo stubbing his toe in training yesterday, Finsbury? If that wasn’t our 06/07 – 07/08 home kit he’s wearing then one might be forgiven for thinking so.

    I don’t think toe-knack will keep Theo out. Straight out the traps, Shaktar pinned back right from the off. C’mon Arsenal!

  53. Limpar

    I hope you are right about Vela! I just find it so frustrating that such a talented player, who always has been faultless in his outings would get so little playing time. He’s 21 so still has time but I’m scared that he might want to go elsewhere to get more playing time if we do not offer him enough opportunity.

    Arsha and him are for me the two first choice for the left wing position and I would just like a bit more rotation. This is not an attack on Andreï, just think that genuine competition for places will always bring the best out of the players competing for the spot so it would improve both arsha and Vela.

    Anyway looking forward to a solid performance defensively and a great attacking display up front! 3-0 to the Arsenal will do it for me!

  54. btw before someone pick it up, in my line up, I meant Squillaci and not Koscielny.

  55. @gunnerluc,
    do not think the manager sees him as a left sided player, all the games he’s featured in, he’s played as lone striker..
    We might see him starting against Newcastle next week

  56. There’s more to this story than they’re letting off. Sure, maybe Rooney wants money, but Ferguson’s actions surely must also have been a factor.

  57. Limestonegunner

    Very nice match preview, YW. I think I go with your team, with only one possible change of Gibbs for Clichy, as Shakhtar have not yet given up a goal and Gibbs is very clever in the attacking third and a good crosser. I like the substitutions you suggest as well.

    As far as Wenger’s press conference–he was genius. I couldn’t hear all the questions very clearly, but several “reporters” were really trying to draw him into a comment about the Rooney situation or bait him about Wilshere and Eboue’s tackles and his responses, while smiling and friendly, really roasted them. One reporter came back to the tackles issue, asking if it embarrassed him that his own players were committing these bad fouls after his previous comments and he turned it back on her by noting that what she was really saying was that he should shut up but that he wouldn’t because he was defending football no matter whether his players make mistakes or not.

    Right after the game he had seemed annoyed with the questions, but this time he was utterly composed and completely in control. They must have left quite frustrated that he made them look small, petty, and intellectually quite limited. It is astonishing that they are still making this a line of questioning before a CL game that has nothing to do with Birmingham–ridiculous. There were hardly any questions about the match up with Shakhtar–they were just running after tabloid garbage.

  58. mj
    That’s true but with his speed and technique him on the left and theo on the right could cause havoc in any defence!

  59. Apparently JET is putting the West Ham reserves to the sword

  60. I know Gunnerluc but… what do we know!

  61. Limestonegunner

    What is the best scenario for Arsenal in this Rooney situation? Rooney stays but it festers bringing ManU down with a distracting saga that affects team unity and morale? Rooney is shipped to ManCity to join the menagerie and leads City to continue to try to find a workable team while Adebayor throws a fit because he gets no playing time? Rooney leaves for Real Madrid and none of our rivals are strengthened?

    I don’t want Rooney to go to Chelsea–that would bolster a thin and aging squad and help keep them at the top.

  62. Zimpaul

    If you don’t get more than 10 points, head to head results come into it. With our record in the former Soviet Union I’d rather not put that method to the test.

    Too many people think this is a walkover. Not going to be in all likelihood but Arsenal are good enough to win and win well.


  63. Alex F-word is not know for selling his players to any rival clubs, unless its a Silvestre of course…

  64. JET has got a hat trick against Wet Spam.

  65. HAHAHA it is now confirmed Shrek doesn’t want to play for fergie anymore!

  66. This may be a stupid q, but why does people call Fabregas for Fabrigs? Is there something i am missing here? is it written differentley in Spanish? Or is there alot of countries with miss E in their Keyboard? I know its not a nic so i just wonder why Fabrigas and not Fabregas? If his name is rightly Fabregas surly we should write that no?

  67. Limpar,
    No stubs or scrubs. Just a goal celebration.
    I remember Theo Walcott’s first goal for Arsenal, in the CL at Home. Great response in the stadium. Lots of great performances from Walcott in the CL, but my favourite is the fifteen minutes or so when Henry and Walcott were on the pitch at the same time. Not sure if Henry played for FC BBB again, his comments praising Arsenal didn’t help. He should have, especially in the final.


  68. @YW
    socalled “walkover” matches are for loosers, winners always take every single match serious. That is why they are winners. If they loose their momentum they loose. The margins are so so so small bewtween sucess and failure at this level. And we should all know that a team wich can afford to have Eduardon on the bench is a good team, as Ed is a good player.

    THey may not be as good as Chelsea but they are not worse than W.B.A neither.

  69. Gulp, just a minor thing… and I’m sorry, it’s just one of my MAJOR gripes. It’s “lose” not “loose”.

    Eduardo won’t want to LOSE against Arsenal.

    Eduardo wears his football shirt LOOSE.

    Okay, maybe bad examples, but you get the idea.

  70. I’m ill at ease when some people write like the game’s already won.
    Remember Shaktar are yet to concede any goals in the CL.

  71. I do hope that Trevor Francis finds the time to do the colour commentary on the game tonight!

  72. Wayne Rooney plays fast and LOOSE with his marital vows.
    Wayne Rooney LOSES no time at all whoring himself out to the highest bidder.
    Wayne Rooney is soon to appear on LOOSE Women.
    Wayne Rooney has already been caught appearing in LOOSE women.
    Wayne Rooney is a striker in the LOOSEST possible sense of the word.

  73. That is very loose indeed! He has no respect for the institution of marriage. The loose scum!

  74. Far better examples LA… and far more topical and amusing!

  75. It says it all, really, about the class of Arsenal that they have a special section of photographs of Eduardo training at the Emirates with Shaktar. A class club, a class player, I would have it no other way. Arsenal are a bright shining light in a footballing world filled with unintelligent scum who lack imagination and class.

  76. Limestonegunner

    LA, nice riff on Shrek. I can’t understand why on some other forums Arsenal supporters are talking about how we should get Rooney! Disgusting.

  77. Who needs Rooney…we have JET
    A hat trick for the kid in the reserves today – one of the goals thats looking like becoming his trademark – cut in from the right, skip past a few defenders and rifle one into the top left of the goal

  78. Where did you see that DG? Would love to see highlights somewhere.

    Rooney can fall off the edge of the world for all I care. Just another overpaid, overhyped English player. I would never have him in the Arsenal team.

  79. If he’s going to clean his act up, and take reasonable wages I’d take Rooney. What a massive if though

  80. I didnt see it avaris15 but it was described on live text commentary – they will have highlights on the arsenal tv online soon enough id imagine – i have seen a few shots/goals now from Jet as they described – if he applies himself he can be a special player i reckon

  81. Ole,

    That’s the sad reality though isn’t it? I can’t ever imagine him cleaning up his act. Plus, the damage is done now. It pains me to think that Ashley Cole was ever a part of our great club Arsenal. Couldn’t bear to think about having Rooney at Arsenal. It’s irrelevant anyway, he’d never come to us.


    Good to know. Will keep an eye out for the highlights. Agree that JET will be a huge player for us…

  82. Not sure where ‘This is England’ got his info. from earlier in the day – Victoria line is listed as good service on the Transport for London website – just thought I would let you all know!

    Rooney at Arsenal?

    I am sure he would love to play for us, no offence to our Northern chums, but I am sure the class of Escort is far higher in the big smoke!

  83. I’m having a hard time absorbing all this Rooney business. Part of me cant believe it. Thanks for posting that video whoever that was!


  84. My money is on Rooney joining Real Madrid and getting a divorce soon after.

  85. NJGooner:

    Cliff Lee is damn good!! Tonight a must win for the Yanks. This one could be a high scoring game and it will probably come down to whose bullpen pitches better. Doubt we will get more then 5, at most 6 innings out of Tommy Hunter. Burnett will be a real wild card.

    Hope Eduardo plays well tonight but does not score. Predict Arsenal win 2- 0. Win this one and draw the next one at Shaktar and we are through.

  86. Limestonegunner

    Good call Gainsbourg. But I do, like Ole, wonder if there is more going on here. Why would Fergie give such a seemingly full, open, and honest account of this relationship with Rooney and his unwillingness to sign an extension? It doesn’t sit right. He recorded something earlier that is now released on MUTV apparently. There is a lot of calculation involved here–to what end?

    I wonder if either 1) he needs to sell a big player to pay Glazers’ big PIK loans and he is manufacturing a way of sending Rooney out without backlash against him and the club and the Glazers–putting the onus on Rooney or 2) he is using this as a ploy to bring Rooney to heel, if possible, by putting pressure on him to “respect the club” while they negotiate and Rooney decides what he wants to do about career and family that are both degenerating at the same time.

    It just isn’t in Fergie’s nature to come clean unless there is some purpose behind it.

  87. Bill,

    Your boy blew my mind last night. They had the little strike zone tracker going for each pitch, and I’ve never seen someone hit the exact corners of the tracker so many times. Unreal.

    The series can only be decided in your favor tonight. If you guys win, I will struggle to see the Yankees coming back, especially requiring a win against Lee down the road.

    I’m just hoping Burnett lasts at least 5.

    Enjoy Bill!!

  88. jerkoff had to score in russia.

  89. the new big 4

  90. Rooney & McLeach are much celebrated in the Evolutionists quarters.

  91. Slightly random and off thread, back to dodgy WC bids:

    Had a look at the designs for the Qatari WC bid. All new stadiums designed by Albert Speer Jnr. It ‘s silly to condemn someone for the sins of the father, so I won’t, but there are many better (German/C.European) stadium designers.
    Fufa give me the heebie jeebies.

    Heebie Jeebies-Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five

  92. Mate,
    are the responses here for a sekect few? Posted a decent comment almost 2 hours ago and yet to see it come up??

  93. Wayne Rooney to Arsenal? Yuck. No, thanks.

  94. amen FG

  95. someone commented on sky not sports –

    ”Spurs are a Wayne Rooney off challenging the league. I hope he can see that”

    I almost fell off my chair

  96. alright everyone, enjoy the match. im about to embark on an arsenal media blackout before watching the match around 5 here in the states!

    Enjoy and Come on you Gunners!!!!!!!!

  97. Limestonegunner

    MJ-wtf? I hope he does go to Spurs–his character fits in perfectly and he can keep up their tradition of fielding underperforming and overhyped England players.

  98. Mancs are crying today. They’re talking about longterm this, future that and questioning the fact that they’re a selling club now. I can’t wait until that ship sinks as well.

  99. Whoever ends up with Rooney will need to find £160k plus a week in wages.

    His ego will accept no less because that is what all this is about.


  100. Cogito ergo sum.

  101. Limestone
    I would say the 1st option is a likely reason. When you see the financial situation they are in and with owners that are only interested in getting money from the club, it could be a ploy to sell Rooney without loose their fans trust.
    I can see Man U doing a Liverpool in the near future.

  102. Have to admit its fun to see the Mancs suffer a little. Best place for Rooney would be Italy or Germany. Hate to see him at Man City or Chelsea. Would also hate to see him at Real or Barca. Can not believe he would even think about Spurs. I agree with Ole @ 4:40PM but can never see that happening.

  103. *loosing

  104. *losing

  105. Cesc starting. Arsenal team:
    Fabianski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Fabregas, Rosicky, Nasri, Chamakh

  106. Is theo on bech?
    I m at work..

  107. I would be really frustrated if I was Denilson

  108. Oh my, my, my!!!! Look at us AKB profets. We all said MU, Pool, Chelsea and other big spenders would have their day of reckoning, but we didn’t think it would happen so soon. Two down and two to go. Going five years without a trophy doesn’t look so bad all of a sudden does it you dooming bastards? Wayne Rooney is being sold to pay off the bills and they’ll be left with an average to bad squad. Can’t fly too close to the sun if you’re wearing wax wings, beyotch.

  109. Chamakh my bitch up!!

  110. Yes mj.

  111. return of Chamakh!

  112. Come on you Gorgeous Gunners! Eduardo, we love you, but fgs don’t score, OK?

  113. any streaming links

  114. any special comments (which I won’t find on a live text link) would be much appreciated..

  115. Is that VDS in goal…?!

  116. LOL Song rocks a RABONA

  117. what the F did song just do?

  118. What’s going on guys & Gals?

  119. Song scores via keeper spilling. 1-0 to the Arsenal

  120. Rosicky must be one of the best tacklers in the game.

  121. Evil, best player on the pitch so far for me…

  122. Quality finish…

  123. Super Samir!!!

  124. I agree, Supercod.

    Goal by Nasri, nice!

  125. @ateeb … if you have sopcast

    Great cross by Song to set it up!

  126. A Thumper from Nasri !!!!

  127. Thanks FunGunner…

  128. Wow, again at Rosicky. Runs half the pitch just to get the ball back. Great attitude.

  129. Link!!!!!! anyone?

  130. Sixtay, the one I posted is working nice at the moment.

  131. I’m glad he played Fabregas today. He’s a bit rusty with his passes.
    Should be back to ins best against City.

  132. This is nice.

  133. @Gavin
    Exactly my thoughts. Cesc’s passes haven’t come off so far and he seems well frustrated. However playing in this game will hopefully give him enough of a boost so that he can tear City apart at the weekend.

  134. we can make the changes now surely

  135. Awesome Paul N!! COYG!!!

  136. I’d like to see Bendtner score against city, run the whole length of the pitch and celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans. 🙂

  137. Ignore the name of the link, it’s the arsenal game.

  138. A confident Fabianski is a great asset to the team !

  139. Well done Fabby. Phew!

  140. lol thats the thing about being foregin.loose and los seems so similar. I ones went into a shop asking for a “brown chocolat muff” not knowint that muff was something totally different than the muffin i was after… :p

  141. Well done ref….

  142. Cesc thanks his mom!

  143. Well done skip…

  144. what a game Song’s having!
    an assist, penalty & goal!

  145. hows the reception for Eddy?

  146. Superb….,!

  147. Goal of the season ???

  148. its turning out to be a wlak in the park, YW!

  149. its turning out to be a walk in the park, YW!

  150. Bloody hell! And to think I was quite anxious about this game!

  151. Wilshere opens his account! Passing between Rosicky and Wilshere a benchmark for the footballing world.

  152. Rosicky mystery play against City. He has been superb

  153. Great reception for Eduardo…nice touch….

  154. 5 and counting ….

  155. Theeeeeeeeooooo……

  156. I think Arshavin is coming on instead of Bendy because he wants Arshavin to be confident for the City game.

  157. Great try by Walcott.

  158. If we can get two more goals without reply that will be a record. Has Djourou been absolutely immense tonight? That’s the impression I get from ATVO commentary.

  159. Thanks FG, I was going to ask about our defensive performance today..I guess its turning out to be a routine, this routing of teams at Emirates..

  160. Nobody will begrudge him that…

  161. I knew Eduardo would score.

  162. icing on the cake !


  164. wish i was there to cheer that one

  165. Most Applause for an away team goal ever !!

  166. Happy about that goal, it was simply a great goal. No blame for our players, simply a great goal scored.

    this must have been the best reception one goal scored AGAINST us has ever got?

  167. any celebrations?

  168. Love the way the crowd clapped the goal.

    Absolute CLASS!!!

  169. None whatsoever. as he promised in the interview.

  170. Eduardo is the man!

  171. Mongolian Gooner

    I didn’t expect to see a gooner say ‘icing on the cake’ upon conceding a goal. I suppose our little Crozilian scored a consolation.

  172. If i can complee the two returns, tonight I was in tears watching Eddy come back, especially the way he talked about his incredible life journey to the Arsenal.

    With Hleb all smirked all day long with Jack running the show.

  173. OK, Dudu, one’s enough, mate. And no assists, either, please.


    I hope they meet it through with us.

  175. *make
    Predictive texting is just annoying!!!

  176. I’m sure they will, Maria, tonight’s showing notwithstanding.

  177. perfect preparation for City

  178. Hartson clip on ArsenalOnline on his cancer battle.

  179. Emphatic. Bring on city!

  180. @Fungunner:

    Yes, thought Djourou was immense and that Eduardo goal was definitely the most cheered goal against us at an Arsenal stadium, by Arsenal fans.

  181. That was Magic

  182. I wonder if Adebayor will watch the clips of this game and sulk, thinking what could have been, had he not followed the money to bench city. Adebayor won’t even be part of the 25 next year @ ManCity and nobody likes him.

  183. Thanks Eduardo, ourDudu, for sticking a goal up the arse of the neanderthals in the English football establishment. Long live Arsenal FC!Long live Eduardo!

  184. Isn’t Jack just wonderful. I am really beginning to look forward to all his performances in midfield. What a talent.

    Arsene knows.

  185. Feels like we won 6-0.

    Gwaan Euardo!

  186. Couldn’t have said it any better G69. I have been walking around with a smug look on my face this week as ManIOU go to the wall. Started smiking when I read of their gargantum losses at the beginning of the month. Two years ago most of us were ridiculed by the doomers when we said the road travelled by L/pool, ManIOU and KGB-Fulham was unsustainable. Look at how stronger Arsenal is getting under the Professors’s wise leadership and foresight.
    I Gainsbourg69 | October 19, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
    Oh my, my, my!!!! Look at us AKB profets. We all said MU, Pool, Chelsea and other big spenders would have their day of reckoning, but we didn’t think it would happen so soon. Two down and two to go. Going five years without a trophy doesn’t look so bad all of a sudden does it you dooming bastards? Wayne Rooney is being sold to pay off the bills and they’ll be left with an average to bad squad. Can’t fly too close to the sun if you’re wearing wax wings, beyotch

  187. Eduardo that is

  188. Same here PaulN.

  189. I reckon Squillaci was just about to put in a decent block on the Edu shot when ten red shirts screamed “NO SEB, LET HIM HAVE IT!”
    How composed is Djouorou!? The guy is just zen!

  190. ha ha ha, Vince

  191. Good night, all! Well done you lovely boys in red.

  192. and white.

  193. +60 odd thousand methinks Vince!!

  194. Our reserves win 4-1 and our 1st team win 5-1. Not a bad days work for the Arsenal.

    I also agree with the Rosicky and Djourou comments above.

  195. Fabregas and Wilshire a midfield marriage made in heaven
    our best midfield 4 is Cesc,Song,Jack and Nasri.Please Wenger no more Diaby

  196. Nothing wrong with Diaby, he was excellent against the brummies on Saturday.

  197. One more bloody win to complain about.

  198. That was a perfect night of football and so emotional when Eduardo scored. I could not be happier.

  199. Yeah, sure. But one of our goals was a penalty. If we keep getting awarded penalties, soon we won’t be awarded any penalties…

  200. Where are those people who were bitching about Song not sitting and holding? A goal, an assist and a penalty. What more could you ask for from a DM? I love watching our midfield and the way they all take turns to play the different roles. It really keeps the opposition on their toes because they never know where they will pop up next!

  201. You’re right Poliziano, we must be cheating to ‘win’ all these penalties. The fact that Song was knocked over in the box is immaterial, he should have asked the referee not to award the penalty in case we get a reputation!

  202. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Limpar with the Lush reference. Nice. Sweetness and Light is a shoegaze masterpiece.

  203. it was a bit strange to see the Arsenal fans aplauding Eduardo for scoring but he deserved the generous reception from the fans. the build up to Wilshere’s goal was brilliant and the finish was delighful. according Shaktar’s captain Srna we are better than Barcelona .
    “They (Arsenal) are a very quick squad whose offensive players are really strong and aggressive,” . “I would say they are performing even better than FC Barcelona now.

  204. I’ve just seen the penalty incident again, and it was Djourou, not Song who was fouled!

  205. Shotta:
    “Couldn’t have said it any better G69. I have been walking around with a smug look on my face this week as ManIOU go to the wall. Started smiking when I read of their gargantum losses at the beginning of the month. Two years ago most of us were ridiculed by the doomers when we said the road travelled by L/pool, ManIOU and KGB-Fulham was unsustainable. Look at how stronger Arsenal is getting under the Professors’s wise leadership and foresight.”

    I think KGB-Fulham is next. If we win the league this season I have a feeling Roman is going to do a re-think and point his club toward a youth policy. The problem is that Arsene has been at that game for over twenty years and they won’t be able to compete against him in that department either. And with the new anti-financial doping UEFA rules, forget about it.

  206. I think Wenger might have created a genius strategy? If our midfield adepts to the fact they are all switching roles and every one of our midfielders learns all three roles perfectly — this might be some tactic nobody ever applied before? We all know about fluid teams that have a Winger switch sides on ocassion, but a rotationg midfield where the DM can become an attacking midfielder in an instant of a second while at the same time one of the attacking midfielders falls back — and that rotation going on the whole 90 minutes. THis surely must be something new, right?

  207. Yes the pen was on Djourou not Song.

    I’ve watched the highlights of the Braga game and it was a bit strange watching a team wearing the Arsenal kit and their fans still wearing the Braga- Arsenal scarfs around their necks. What was the the record we broke tonight? I heard something but not sure what it was.

  208. I believe the record was for the number of goals scored in the first 3 group games.

  209. i would have miss this match for all gold in the world.I think we have sung more about Eduardo than any of own player 🙂 .And the whole stadium (the 60000+)cheering about Eduardo goal was the icing of the cake.No other stadium would have done the same.
    Great atmosphere tonight,one of the best (outside the big match)i have been.I hope we can keep like that.I ve no voice left singing red army (clock end lower)for nearly 10mn was too much ;).
    And having cpt cecs,theo back feel so great.Man city we are coming to get you

  210. Great team effort from our boys today, proud to be a Gunner.
    Some of you need to hang on to your I told you so’s a little longer. Apart from Liverpool no one has gone bust or been relegated yet. Man U will not fall in the manner some of you would like them to. I hate them with ever inch of my being but they are a part of what makes the prem so exiting. Id much rather beat Man U at old trafford to seal the title than Man Shitty at their crap stadium.

  211. What a night!
    Joyous and surreal,
    the perfect result.
    Thank-you Arsenal.

  212. Paul N:

    “Feels like we won 6-0.

    Gwaan Euardo!”

    That statement pretty much sums up Arsenal. We like to see good players and we’ll applaud them even if they’re not our own. The Arsenal supporter is a bon vivant. We’re fucking football snobs. Players like Eduardo afford us such snobbery. It’s not our fault

  213. I love Militant Passenal.

  214. They’re not going to fall like Leeds did. But it’s good to remind them where they’re headed. At worse they’ll drop to fourth. But then they have to compete with our stubborn, stingy, tight wad of a manager at his own game. Can you at least afford us that little gloat? Arsene is the best at running an organization on a tight budget.

    In “le Prof” I trust.

  215. Forgot to add; in the age of austerity we have the most austere club in the land. We are an example of living within one’s means. We are the example of all that’s good.

  216. Really disappointed with a rapidly emptying Emirates with 10 minutes to go. It smacks of spoilt brats.
    Great to lose my voice bellowing EDDDWARDOOOOO EDWARDOOOOO. Song was our Patriarchal African elephant at the back today, and i think Squillachi deserve far my column inches.
    Same again please against City

  217. “it was a bit strange to see the Arsenal fans aplauding Eduardo for scoring”

    How so 1lc? Losing Eduardo because of that thug Taylor and the Celtic whingers was a human tragedy. He is a great player and I’m sure the vast majority were really sad to see him go. He’s still an honorary Arsenal player as far as I am concerned.

  218. The Royal Arsenal

    Morning guys.

  219. “Paul N | October 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    Feels like we won 6-0.

    Gwaan Euardo!” – Yes, Paul! What a perfect match…

    Hey NJN!

    Loving Wavves new album, King of the Beach. Not so much shoegaze but a lot of fun. Kind of like a cross between Dinosaur Jr, Pavement and Beach Boys. Are they from round your way, or have I got that completely wrong?

  220. Passenal,

    I don’t know why Alex Song can’t just do what he’s bloody well told and sit in front of the back four ‘mopping up’. Why can’t we be static and lifeless and without adventure? Why can’t we be like Chelsea? This Totaal Votebal lark is going to cause us more trouble than it’s worth. *Shakes fist at beautiful football*

  221. The team will be fired up for man shity and I hope we can show all those commentators that we are in the title race and that we must be taken seriously.

    I’m sure people will say oh but Arsenal have an easy group,… but Shaktar are UEFA cup champion in 2009 so they are no push overs. Braga and partizan are weak, just as zilina for Chelsea, the turks for Man U and the spuds for Inter, but Shaktar have proven over the years that they are a strong team so this is a great result.

    As for Eduardo’s reception, I was telling my colleagues this morning, that is one of the reason Arsenal is so special, no other club could be so respectful of ex-players to give them standing ovation and cheer when they score! no wonder ex players loves the club that much! Henry, Pires, Viera, Eduardo, Toure all received great cheer when they came back! I do hope Cashley, Shittybayor and Flamoney will see that! I do hope we will see ade’s face sitting on the bench or in the stands when we score against Man city!

  222. the buying ticket online bullshit is gettting on my nerve.Why they say limited ticket only if it s sold out

  223. Arséne has had a word with Chamakh about his dramatic style of falling when fouled

  224. lordgunner, I think it’s when there’s very few left, singles only probably, and fans are putting them in their basket, holding them for a bit, but maybe not all going through to checkout, because they don’t like the seats for whatever reason. And until the last single is sold out it’ll still say limited.

    There seemed a lot of empty seats last night. Improvements for ticket resale are supposed to be being made but I’d like to know exactly how if anyone knows.

  225. So what I mean is keep trying and some tickets will free up.

  226. Well, we made that look a whole lot easier than i thought it would be. Good solid performances all round with Jack and Chamakh particularly shining through. Good performance to bring to the Citae game, where hopefully we can continue to build some momentum.

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