Shaktar Preview: Qualify And Give The Squad A Chance

A return to the scene of the crime, a chance to right a horrible wrong from the club’s European history, a chance to avenge their heaviest defeat on their travels, a three goal margin the last time Arsenal set foot in Donetsk. And they do so with a number of individuals missing. Diaby, Song, Fabregas and Arshavin have all missed the flight, presumably as precautions as opposed to having left their passports at home.

Diaby and Fabregas are of no surprise, which if we are honest applies to Arshavin bearing in mind Arsene’s recent comments about his slow recovery times following international duties. Song not making the flight though will give the midfield more of a ‘Carling Cup’ flavour.

Fabregas’ absence gives Wilshere the chance to take centre stage once more. The youngster’s progress is such that his insertion into the team in place of the captain brings feelings of calm as opposed to the concern which might have been aired last season. Arsene clearly has faith in the youngster,

I am very much surprised [by Wilshere’s development]. I didn’t expect that to happen so quickly. You have to be open-minded in our job and most of the time when it happens like that you are happy.

Content indeed. From the opening day of the season, Wilshere has shown he is not fazed by the level of opposition or the ‘occasion’. The impetuosity of youth needs to be curbed slightly with regard to handling his own frustration when he makes a mistake but this must not be dampened too much for fear of stifling the natural flair of his game.

Wenger dropped hints about the formation he plans to employ tonight,

If I play with two more defensive midfield players behind him he can play that role but if I use Jack deeper and for example Nasri or Rosicky in front of them he remains in the same position.

Playing Wilshere deeper is probably the path he will follow. Eboue could ‘beef up’ the midfield defensively but I am not sure Arsene will go down that route with the choices available. Denilson will probably slot into Song’s position, alongside Wilshere with Rosicky on the left, Nasri centrally and Walcott on the right. Whilst Eastmond and Lansbury could come into the team, I would be surprised if that happened. Arsenal does not have to win tonight. Avoiding defeat, depending on the outcome of the other group match, might see them through if Partizan beat SC Braga, neither would then be able to match Arsenal’s ten points.

The backdrop to the fixture is not that different to a couple of years ago when a Walcott-inspired Arsenal destroyed Sparta at The Emirates only to be frustrated in the return. Expectations of a cruise to victory have been dampened by Arsene who believes there will be much improvement from Shaktar tonight.

The pace of Walcott could be a useful outlet this evening. Certainly if he is as clinical with his finishes as he was at St James Park last week then the outcome could be straightforward. Like that fixture, Arsenal will be mostly counter-attacking in this fixture and this suits the England international’s pace. Whether he is as far down the line towards a central striking role, as the manager believes remains to be seen. We have not seen Walcott take that position with the massed ranks in front of him.

One thing is certain that Chris Waddle’s face is covered by a considerable number of eggs. In itself, that is a problem for parents – it is harder to warn children of pulling faces when the wind changes if something so hideous cannot be seen.

One further change I think we will see is leading the line. Chamakh has played in most fixtures this season and might be due a rest. Wenger has to weigh this up in conjunction with the desire to have Bendtner return to full fitness and match sharpness. Both are good in the air and offer the opportunity to hold the ball up in the event that such agricultural tactics are needed. The Dane is not shy of talking up his abilities and in fairness has produced the goods in his short time on the pitch this season.

The team I would expect Wenger to start with is:

Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Wilshere, Denilson; Walcott, Nasri, Rosicky; Bendtner

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it and let’s hope for the required result to qualify. That will allow Wenger to play the squad players in the remaining games, giving them the necessary experience in this competition. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on November 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 240 Comments.

  1. vote for nasri player of the month, hernandez is leading the chase don’t let him win it,,12306,00.html

  2. Errrm. I though on twitter yesterday Dennison did not travel? Arseblog puts him as suffering from whisper it (Hair)

  3. @GoonerJohn

    Didnt Nasri already win it yest?

  4. First !!

    Denilson has not travelled.. (courtesy Twitter and Cross from mirror).. and lets not put Eboue into a CM position.. remember WBA.. Even Eastmond was poor against Newcastle.. Worried about the balance.. too many attacking players in the squad.. Anyways COYRRG !!!

  5. All he has said is that he wants to know if he will get match time before he signs on. And fair enough, for it is his right to know where he stands in the Arsenal setup. What’s wrong with any player asking for gurantees to play? Fair play to the lad, for it seems, he isn’t motivated by money to move elsewhere or just sign on with us. He wants matches. He’s 20, sure, but he’s a player who wants to play, weather it be here or somewhere else. I really don’t see anything wrong with it. But I do agree, with Passenal that he could have kept this conversation private rather than coming out in the open about it. But then again, he hasn’t declared that he’s been having wet dreams for his boyhood club, has he?

  6. A win would be hugely advantageous as it would not only ensure qualification but provided the other group match is a draw, a win would give us top spot which would be a massive bonus.

    That would mean we can strike off 2 matches from our congested winter fixture list.Would that mean 2 matches for szexprghty? Let hope the lads get us the win tonight.


  7. bops,
    We can put Djourou in the midfield. He is no stranger to the DM position. He has played there when he was on loan at Birmingham.

    Personally, I would like to see Eastmond-Lil’ Jack partnership in the center with Nasri in front of them.

  8. How on earth Valdes did not get a red card for this assault! (Music is crap, be aware!)

    I like your team prediction yogi, it looks strong but give a rest to the players who need it! So what is the situation with Denilson is he with the squad or not?

    I’m hoping for a good victory tonight, so we are assured of 1st place so we can give some experience to the young players and fringe player in the last two match.

  9. Spot on team selection YW, I would go with the same.

    If Denilson has indeed not travelled I would stick in Eastmond.

  10. A good game to assess Fabianski again?

  11. I quite like the idea of Jack behind Rosicky and Nasri. Pretty damn creative… But it will probably be as YW said (with Eastmond in for Den if he’s not available).

    I think they’re going to be undone by their want to attack us and regain some pride. We’ve got one of the quickest players on the planet to catch them on the break, something any team must be shit scared of… And of course a team consisting of some of the quickest thinking, accurate passing, and fluid moving players around.

    Up the Arse!

  12. Erichero

    How about the last 5 games, whats your assessment on him?

  13. He should field Eastmond, Lansbury, JET,Wilshere and Szczesny. My reasons? let me think about that!

  14. Geo … couldn’t agree more. Theo can be deadly in these kind of ties, with Nasri, Wilshire and Rosicky to feed him.. I am very confident for tonight.

    Saying that Shaktar are a good team, and we saw in the last 15 mins at the Emirates that they can play football, and technically they ain’t a bad team. We have to be careful I think, and be strong defensively because they will be no doubt up for this one.

  15. he should ask the manager, not the press Ateeb…. that’s the issue… Do we know what all the the players ask before the sign up? Whether they can have more than one shower after training for all we know? Exactly we don’t know, cos they don’t tell the press!

  16. @ GoonerJohn 10-27am. Have just voted. You’re right it is a close run thing!!!!

  17. Yep, very true Chris. We need to be solid for sure as they’re gonna come at us tonight. Well, i’d be very surprised if they didn’t anyway… I think the Kosmeister and Skillachee will be able to handle themselves, and with Rosicky in there helping out tracking back and making his trademark sliding challenges, we should be ok.

    I’d quite like to see Vela getting a run out as well, when the game’s stretched and they won’t want to come up against another speed demon…

    You reckon JET will get some game time tonight? A taste of European footie?

  18. I agree with Ateeb.

    As it happens, Silvestre revealed that he was allowed two showers after each match – because he always stank.

  19. I’m hoping for Vela to get minutes personally, I think he will become a top player for us. Down the left in a 4-3-3 I think he can offer a lot to this team, and when Arshavin is off sorts we should use him more IMO.

    With JET, I ain’t seen too much of the guy. But from what I have seen of him I have been very impressed, he should get a chance off the bench at some point.

  20. Delia----Block112

    I sincerely hope Eastmond does not play tonight, he was the weak link against Newcastle. It will be extremely cold in Donesk and the crowd will be hostile. Shaktar will be a different proposition at home, so we should not count our chickens just yet! Although I expect a narrow Arsenal win it will not be an easy watch. A couple of glasses of “Red” might be necessary and that is a lot for me!

  21. LOL @ PZ

    Although I hear from AWs press conference that most of the quotes are likely to have been taken out of context so its always nice to be cautious in reacting and as much as possible, not abusive

  22. chris,

    I like Fabianski and I believe that he can be the long-term solution. He has had a tough start but has been excellent in the games that he has started, particularly against City. I like the way that he is positive in his decision making such as always looking to dominate his area. Woocash has also shown strength of character to come back from quite a mauling to show that with a run of games he can be a great keeper. Its early days but I think he can be the answer.

  23. Surprised by the negativity in more than one post re Eastmond. He has looked so calm and assured since his promotion to the first team last year. Plays a similar game to Deni, vital, understated lubrication to the wengerball machine.

  24. Everybody VOTE FOR NASRI FOR THE PLAYER OF THE MONTH,,12306,00.html


    forward please to others

  25. This will be my team lineup
    Sagna – Squid – Kos – Clichy
    Wilshere – Nasri – Rosicky
    Walcott – B52 – Vela

  26. Agree with steww..

    And people who are worried about Eastmond’s performance against Newcastle, lets not forget that was his first game in quite some time..

  27. A great chance for Theo & Wilshere to prove that we haven’t been weakened by leaving song, denilson & arsahvin at home. Nasri’s turn to pull the strings. visit for free gifts such as PS3, Wii, iPad, iPhone, XBox, Cash. It works, I just got a £100 Amazon voucher

  28. Big Nic’s attitude is spot on.

    “It brings the best out of all of us,” said the 22-year-old. “You want competition and at a big team like Arsenal there will always be competition for each place.
    “As a player you want to play every game and it’s up to the manager to pick the starting eleven. All I can do is give my best to get into the team.
    “The way we have played has been fantastic and if we can keep that up it will be great.
    “It is going well, we are where we want to be. We like to play together and we like to win games, that is what we try to do.”

  29. Eastmond isn’t a worry for me. He has great stamina, energy, and his decision making is very good for such a young player. Pyhsically he doesn’t look like he should dominate the midfield, but more often than not he does well in commanding the midfield. I think he deserves the chance if he gets it, going by last seasons performances when he was played in vital matches.

  30. The Bleeb states that Denilson has a groin injury.

    Re: The slightly boring Wojciech Szczesny thread.

    As revealed in the Gospel of Saint Bob Wilson, Ivan Gazidis issue megaphone attatched, during the Summer AFC made a £large£ bid for an unknown*coughs* ‘keeper . Most likely, before the WC. A long time before the Curse of the Shirt was unleashed, I’d imagine. Is their any relevvance to that story coming out at the same time as WS’s contract seems to be up for debate?
    The manager did not seem too stressed by this WS ‘news’. As with the Cesc story, the tedium, the predictability (nice goal by Eto!) and the aftermath, I think I’ll leave the club’s staff to worry about such details.
    It was a shame to see Merida go. After Song & Theo he was the player who’s development I was attempting to understand and to follow. But, the club are not short of amazing players in that area. Possibly more then just one of the very young Gunners will get the opportunity to play tonight.
    If Merida’s departure has helped to accelerate the inclusion of his peers into the first team squad, was it the right move for all concerned?

  31. Jason that team is too attacking and is not balanced defensively. I expect Eastmond will be in the starting line up as a defensive midfielder. I also think Djourou will be in the starting line up in defensive perhaps in place Squilly!
    Spot on ChrisGooner- Eastmond though not physical in appearance is a very tenacious player- and he can only get better with match practice and it does not come bigger than CL. He will bulk up with time but he has the making of a very good player with great engine !

  32. @geo and @Chrisgoona,

    I like the idea of a Wilshere, Nasri, Rosicky midfield, with Walcott and Vela (or J.E-T) out wide.
    We all know about Theo’s pace, but I heard that Vela is second to Walcott in the speed stakes.
    Although it looks light defensively, Rosicky, and Wilshere, are not players who shirk their defensive responsibilities.

  33. Ts,

    ” I have enough money to live and I can’t complain about that, but I will only be happy if I play. Everything depends on how many games I play. I admit that I want to play at Arsenal as long as they want me.

    ” If I can earn my place in goal I won’t even consider any other offers.”

    Could anyone just point to the line where he comes off as an ego-maniac, psycho player, holding the club for ransom?

    It’s pretty simple, he wants to play, asks for assurances if any. And if there are little for him here, he wants to move elsewhere to PLAY. BUT his first priority lies with Arsenal. I am actually impressed by his level of maturity with that statement. As for coming out in the open about his desires, blame it to the football culture. That’s how things are done these days. Its reciprocal, I mean the club too comes out in the open with statements pressurizing players to extend their contracts, e.t.c, all the fucking time. So why is one set of moral values are reserved for the players and a completely different for the club? It’s not a fucking charity show that we’re running are we? We will get rid of players who we deem not good enough to play for us. Aren’t the players to lookout for their self interests as well? Whats wrong with that?

  34. Tough to call the team tonight, but I suppose we can expect NB, Theo, Rosicky, Wilshere and Clichy to start. After that it’s anyone’s guess though.

    As ever I’d like to see JET given a chance from the beginning, but Vela’s probably likely to start ahead of him. I’m guessing that the third midfielder will be Eastmond again, with Eboue giving Sagna a rest at right back.

    Out of our three fit CBs, I’d say that Koscielny could use a breather with Newcastle coming up.

    It’s going to be a really difficult match; they’ll be desperate to get back at us after that caning – a bit Slavia Prague after we mauled them at home a few years back. The crucial difference being that Donetsk are actually a good team. Still think we’ll win though.

  35. So, one option would be to start with Vela or JET at LW. That might be unlikely Away to Shaktar, with Eastmond or Diaby (if fit) to start instead?
    JET thrown on at the Bus Stop was a surprise, but after watching those reserve goals (thanks Paul N!), and the cameo last week, I can undertand.
    Being a speed freak, I’d be more then happy with the sight of both Vela and Walcott starting.

    Decisions decisions…

  36. Ateeb at 12:16pm,

    Spot on.. He wants to play at the top level. I don’t think he is a kind of a guy who likes to sit on the bench.. Hope Arsene works out a way to get Chesney sign a new long-term contract at the club..

  37. wengerball

    I have to agree, I like Rosicky when he is playing central. A midfield 3 of Nasri, Wilshire and Rosicky will win their fair share of tackles and interceptions, and collectively they would dominate the midfield. They are all very intelligent on and off the ball, and all play with purpose.

    I think Nasri should be due a little rest tonight, bringing in Eastmond to sit next to Wilshire. While perhaps Rosicky hovers just in front of them, springing passes out to Vela and Walcott.

    but.. more likely YW’s lineup will be what AW selects.

  38. @ChrisGoona, YW’s lineup includes Denilson who did not travel along with Song and Diaby. So the choice is between Rosický, Eastmond, and maybe Eboue.

    I can’t see Rosický or Walcott being left out, unless Wenger plays Rosický on the left of the front 3 he’ll probably be in the middle 3.

  39. i just hope Song, Cesc, Deni, Arsha come back soon & their injuries don’t turn out to be more serious than they appear. It was this time last season that we starting losing one player after another to injuries.
    Fingers crossed..1-2 to us tonight!

  40. wengerball..

    Like I mentioned before, Eastmond in for Denilson on YW’s lineup.It will be an interesting game tonight that is for sure, I think there will be a few goals. Shaktar will attack us wanting some pride back, and we are going to

    attack or counter attack them at every opportunity.

  41. It’s Shakhtar.

  42. Fabianski
    Sagna – Squid – Kos – Clichy
    Eastmond – Wilshere
    Walcott – Rosicky – Vela

    I think we’ll have a version of the 4-3-3, more of a 4-2-3-1 where Eastmond will be DM, Wilshere the box-to-box player. We can expect Shakhtar to come out with all guns blazing and having Walcott and Vela as 2 very pacy wide players as outlets as well as NB52 as the big tower up front may be the solution. Rosicky and Wilshere can both feed excellent balls to Walcott, Vela, Bendtner. Resting Nasri for the 45-60 minutes and having the option to bring him on if we need to score could be a solution.
    I would also start with the strongest possible back 4. I’m tempting to put on Eboue for Sagna – what a challenge that would be for Shakhtar down their left side…

  43. Don’t forget to vote Nasri for player of the month. Last time Scholes won over Theo, we can’t let the manc win again, they’re voting in droves for Hernandez

  44. wengerball,
    Nasri is leading now with 38.7% to Hernandez’s 33%.. When I voted, it was Hernandez who was leading..

  45. Keep up the votes guys..!!

    Super Samir Nasri !!!!!!!!!!!

  46. It’s more than 10% difference now, good!

  47. Nasri!!!!!!

  48. I got Nani in my dream team, hes a pretty talented player. Always going to be one of the star players at United this year I felt. Its hard to find much creativity elsewhere in their squad though, Obertan and Bebe look a bit ameteur right now at the top level, even though they put in an ok display last night.

    Then you have the likes of Park, Fletcher, O’shea, Scholes who are limited due to varying reasons of a lack of youth, class, and technique!

    I still believe they are likely to finish 3rd this season at best, possibly 4th. Most of their supporters are coming to terms with it now too

  49. Man United may have to be content to finish outside the top for this season. I can see both spurs and man shitty finishing above them.

  50. Chris, Jo –
    & they are still unbeaten…

  51. That is of little concern to me at this stage mj,, if they are still unbeaten come April then Ill be getting really nervous.
    Dont get me wrong they are still a force, but I watched them yesterday and I dont think they could have rolled Inter Milan like the spuds did.
    It sickens me to say this but the spuds are making me nervous.

  52. Not sure what the issue with Eastmond is? He had a good game against New Castle, not great, but good enough for a young player who didn’t play that much this season.

    It’s very deceiving and unfair trying to evaluate a young player on a game by game basis. The most important thing is that the ingredients of a good player is there, with time to develop on his side, he just needs playing time at the highest level which is the hard thing to accomplish seeing how many players we have in midfield.

  53. Delia @ 11:42

    I agree about eastmond being the weak link against newcastle. He kept trying to do too much and would lose possession. I was actually quite frustrated with him. It wasnt just that he was playing sloppily, but it seemed that he had lost the plot, at least in terms of wengerball.

  54. G4E

    I’m not overly critical of our players really ever. But I was quite disappointed by Eastmond. He looked, passing wise, like he had just started training with the team. Like he didn’t know what our game plan was, he was banging the ball all over the pitch.

    I should also say that i think defensively, he is quite skilled in positioning himself to maximize his break-up play. Similar to Denilson in that neither are the biggest players.

  55. Nasri’s gaining speed in the player of the month battle, going to win it now for sure. Nice one guys (and well done Samir!!) 🙂

  56. Eastmond’s going to be great i’m sure. He has been prone to a few sloppy passes, and compared to the rest of the team he does look a bit off the mark at times. But the rest of the team have played a lot more football (or wengerball i should say) so it’s going to take him a while before he’s pinging it about like the rest of them. As others have said, he’s deceptively tough and his positioning is pretty mature for someone of his age…

  57. Eastmond’s performance was pretty much what I expected from a young player at this stage in his career. His performance although not exceptional was good enough on the day. He is a young lad with lots of potential and I am exited to see how his development goes.

  58. “It sickens me to say this but the spuds are making me nervous.”

    ‘Murder She Wrote’:
    (tm goonerholic)

    Could Lansbury play? Please?
    Decisions decisions…

  59. Geo, Jo

    What was frustrating was that he seemed to have backtracked from what I remember from last season. Hopefully AW gave him a talking to about keeping a cool head, not banging long balls around, taking the available pass, etc.

  60. “Gareth Bale proved Maicon isnt the world’s best right back. Ascend your throne now, Mr Sagna”

    Ole Gunner tweets. Worth sharing on ACLF I thought.

  61. This is from Jack Wilshere’s Twitter last night:

    @Lneal88_x erghhh i hate spurs
    about 17 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

    now thats an arsenal player

  62. NJ
    Any one can have an off day at the office, but if he was this bad at New Castle he wouldn’t play the full 90 minutes, don’t you think?

    If we are comparing Eastmond to Rosicky or Denilson, then yes maybe he was not that good at New Castle. It surly is not a fair comparison though.

  63. @ Jo –
    I was just stating the irony. I hate them more than any team in the world, they have been playing the most irritating football since Ronaldo & Tevez left. But the fact that 2 seasons back, they won the title playing piss poor mostly, concerns me. Unfortunately, you can never rule them out.

  64. Does anyone have a link to the full Newcastle game, if there is one? or even detailed highlites?

  65. Anyone taking bets on who makes our starting line-up?

  66. Is it an early start in Ukraine?

  67. Seems that the Dutch have given Arsene a great big “Yah Boo Sucks”

    So that’s RvP knacked before he returns to the Arsenal first team then.

  68. Kenyan

    My guess is probably William Hill, Ladbrokes or Paddy Power will take any bets you wish.



  69. Indian:
    “And people who are worried about Eastmond’s performance against Newcastle, lets not forget that was his first game in quite some time..”

    And let’s not forget that we pounded the crap out of Newcastle 4-0. Eastmond was good in that game. I don’t get how some people saw it as a bad performance.

  70. What time is the game starting? Usual 7:45 our time?

  71. Qui, Madame!

  72. WTF , I really hope RVP has learnt some thing from his previous outings with the Dutch National side. He owes arsenal now, to go and get crocked playing for Holland again will be a kick in the shorts.
    mjgunner, I agree on Man U, I dont write them off at all. Just from what I have seen I would not be surprised to see them drop out of the top 4. I know Fergie has a way to get average player to rise up to the challenge, they also always get a helping hand from the referees.
    I do think in Manshitty and the spuds are very very hungry, the spuds have a settled squad with a good vibe and a half decent manager. City may implode with all the egos , and Mancini seems to be losing the respect of his player. They still have more talent than Man U.
    Either way its going to be one of the more interesting season we have had in a while.

  73. Thanks Evil.

    Who would you guys back Kompany or Ade-pay-more in a fight???

    Personally I would go for alien head. That upper body muscle is not serious!!

  74. The intent of the Dutch Manager is to fly in the face of what seems reasonable. He will encounter a considerable amount of ire from a number of sources having called up so many injured players. I really do not get it!!! I would imagine that the bulk of that ire will be directed at the football governing body with the intention of confirming a law that will avoid this nonsense in the future. They are already skating on thin ice.

  75. All this media hype over Bale is making me feel queezy.

  76. Id go for alien head, I can see Ade a bye hore swinging with his eyes closed. Balotelli and Richards, now that would be a good fight! The last of the Mohhawks.

  77. Eastmond had a bad game? news to me!

    Looking forward to the match tonight. Its a great feeling to be confident even though so many of our top players are out.

    What a team!!!

  78. does is mean we have to send Robin, can we not appeal against it?

  79. I dunno….Ade’s pretty bandy looking and alien head has problems with mobility. Ade could whip him into unconsciousness with his long limbs.

  80. It just makes no sense as well… why call up so many injured players for a friendly?

    Jo – in regards the spuds, I don’t think they’ll be doing all that much in the league unless they have an early exit from the CL. They’ve been dropping a lot of points following champions league matches and their squad just is not good enough to compete on multiple fronts at once. They are also just an injury or two away from disaster. Yes, they’ve got a decent team this year, but as we Arsenal fans know, competing in the CL, 2 cups and the league wears you thin in a hurry, and you are likely to drop points in the league.

    United being unbeaten is hardly surprising given they’ve had only 2 tricky games so far, which were ‘pool and spuds, and both of those were at old trafford. The real story is the 5 draws against clubs like WBA, Fulham and Bolton. They have won 1 game out of 5 on the road (stoke), taking 7 points from 15, having yet to play any of the top 6 or so clubs away. Not too worried about them myself.

    I’m more interested in whether the chavs can continue staying uninjured.

  81. But Ade has no heart!!

  82. Hahaha all the Bale hype. He’s undoubtedly a decent enough player, but it’s all so hilarious how the British media always need someone to build up into a god. Seeing as mr. potato head is out of fashion now, it was only a matter of time before the next hype machine was found. At least they are off of Wilshere’s back for the present.

    So I just wonder whether it will be City, United or Chelsea where Bale ends up after a 30m transfer this coming January. Maybe the spuds will trade him for rooney (get all the spuds together and all that).

  83. Yogi, appears you don’t have a betting licence. Anyway it’s gunnertime!

  84. Kenyan gunner wat time is the game?

  85. Bale did well last night but I bet not even he believes all the smoke they’re blowing up his arse. Let’s just say Spuds got lucky that Inter were without Cambiasso and other key starters. I refuse to believe that Rafael, who had Bale well covered last week-end, is better than bleeding Maicon.

  86. 2 very articulate pundits and Jamie Redknapp…? You’re out of your depth Mr Nerding…..

  87. Mad Jens on Sky was asked “So, are you all talking about Bale in Germany?

    Jens, “No”.

  88. Does the game starts now or is it in another hour?

  89. I hate this day light saving crap, we Arizonans never change the clock.

  90. Jens is a true legend. He knows the deal. Let’s win it all. This is ARSENAL

  91. 45mins for the game to start… COYG and Edu…

  92. saw this on bbc.

    Theo Walcott, compared to Thierry Henry this week by Arsene Wenger, starts along with Jack Wilshere. Marouane Chamakh is on the bench

  93. @G4E
    Yeah, my timezone is EST and for some reason we do not change the clock until next week. Weird but I am happy that only one match is affected by it.

  94. Theo will be a great Central Striker.

  95. I thought Evil can be everywhere at the same time? 🙂

    Which state Evil?

  96. The northern one. Canada. 😦

  97. I’m reading between the lines here, but it seems to me that Ronaldo wants to play for Arsenal in a few years

  98. G4E – daylight savings time in the US doesn’t kick off for another week or two anyway. Always screws me up when I’m used to -5 hours for Arsenal games and then for a couple weeks a year, it’s -4 and I sit around twiddling my thumbs for an hour :(. Arizona (and Indiana too I think) have the right idea with ignoring the whole stupid clock-changing thing.

    Gainsbourg… keep in mind also that Inter now have Benitez, who is the master of shockingly poor results and getting the very best under-performance from his prima donnas.

  99. Team news

    Fabianski, Eboue, Clichy, Djourou, Squillaci, Wilshere, Eastmond, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner subs: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Vela, Chamakh, Lansbury, Emmanuel-Thomas

  100. Canada is cool Evil 🙂

    Taeryn: That’s exactly what i’m doing now, twiddling my thumbs for an hour. I thought the game will start at 11:45, but it’s going to be 12:45.

  101. lehman performing admirably on sky sports. not bad punditry for once with leonardo on board also.

    3-1 to us I feel bendtner brace


  102. True. Why Inter allowed themselves to be Benitezised is beyond comprehension. I mean, it’s not like they lack quality coaches in Italy or anything.

  103. I’m used to 20:45 meaning 2:45 our time. Now all the stuff I have to do after the game will be backed up by an hour.

  104. On the bright side I can just about finish up my work day before the game starts this time.

  105. 3:33 pm here in Florida. And Im self employed so all good this side.

  106. Mongolian Gooner

    any decent streams???

  107. Richard Keyes is such a cunt.

    Jamie Redknapp aspires to be.

  108. Jo, I’m not self-employed but I work for a very small software company which allows me to work flexible hours and requires no dress code. So I’m sat here in my van Persie shirt, with my Arsenal mug full of coffee prominently displayed on my desk, with my feet up waiting for the match to start. A win would do quite nicely now :D.

  109. I might move across to the westcoast for a month for work related reasons. I am already looking forward to kick offs at 5am or something.

  110. I leave home for a couple of days and Gareth Bale becomes the best player in the world??? What’s this world coming to.

    Li’l Jack Willy is back – and I hope Theo gets a goal to keep his run going. COYG!

  111. Bleedin’ eyed plundit: “Do Arsenal have a’ Goalkeeper’?”

    Jens: “Of course.”

  112. Good strong team from Shakhtar… nice to see Eduardo starting.

  113. guys any links for Mad Jens interview?

  114. Mongolian Gooner

    cool. thanks

  115. We have not started very well, need to get into our stride.

  116. Should have been a penalty, you’d think.

  117. damnnnn! right where he left off!!!!!!

  118. THEEEEOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! 1-0

  119. Mongolian Gooner

    Theeoooooo. Goal…

  120. Walcott is faster with the ball than other players without the ball.

  121. His finishing is so fantastic now, unbelievable.

  122. I wonder if the Shaktar manager will blame the ref for that goal also?

  123. Btw. that shot was PERFECT. Looked slow, but is was perfectly aimed.

  124. That was Thierry Henriesque

  125. Counter-attacking at its best..

  126. Theo just skinned them

  127. Theo 14: the epitome of swagger

  128. Thank god Walcott is so one-dimensional. It’s like the only thing he can do is score?

  129. As soon as he was played through I knew he would score, he just doesn’t seem to miss these days. Theo has really matured in the last year or so.

  130. woooooookash

  131. Wowowowow that is nervy stuff. Defence seemed to go to sleep for a second. Thank god we have such a fantastic keeper 😛

  132. WOW Fabianski with some great saves!

  133. Stream has gone down. Someone help!!

  134. The defence is being a little lethargic. They need to close down a quicker, but nothing to difficult to fix.

  135. Have you not got sopcast yet Maria? channel 6816

  136. Id like to thank Mr Crapello for getting Theo pissed.

  137. No I don’t, Duke!

    Paul that stream isn’t working!!

    Come on people…….!

  138. Damn it!

  139. Eastmond!

  140. Of course it’s Eastmond 🙂

  141. Terrible defending, I think we got a little comfortable after the goal.

  142. That was unfortunate by eastmond, good header though!

  143. sloppy.

  144. I think it’s been 10 shots to 2. We are lucky to be level, honestly. I think the boss will have some words at halftime.

  145. They are making us look terrible!

  146. What happened to fair play? You kick the ball out, not keep it for another minute and do nothing.

  147. We need some decent hold up play from Benny.

    I would be happy with a draw!!

  148. Unfortunately our defense is looking really shaky. Only Clichy really seems up to his normal standard while Djourou/Squillaci have given away easy balls and Eboue needs to use his pace and not let William beat him like that. Come on you Gunners, show them why we are the best team in Europe. Fight!

  149. hyperbole time!

  150. we look to have settled again

  151. What the heck was that from Wilshere? lol

  152. Talk me through that Clichy….

  153. oof gael. just clear it next time eh

  154. Shocking from Clichy!!

  155. That was a damn shame from Clichy!

  156. Clichy, not again!

  157. We were gaining a little bit of control again and then this absolute studpidity?!

  158. poor clichy

  159. Mongolian Gooner

    As far as I can recall Eduardo is scoring everytime he plays against us. Isn’t he?

  160. It’s a disjointed performance. The boys need to settle down, play keep ball and be patient. We’re giving the ball away too easily.

  161. Pretty much the score the game deserves at this point. Shockingly poor “defending”, not just from Clichy either.

  162. What was that you were saying about Glichy Evil?……….

  163. I can’t believe eduardo has scored twice against us already in less than 70 mins of football.

  164. @Ras
    I know, I know. It’s like I was jinxing him.

    Better second half, please.

  165. Clichy you fukin donut..schoolboy stuff again what has happened to him.

  166. I must say Benny and Theo have added very little to the game. They both have to relieve pressure from the defence, yet haven’t done so, neither are they aren’t helping the young boys in middle.

    I hope Cham comes on as the defence are having their annual lack of focus day.

  167. Mongolian Gooner

    I feel strangely confident despite the scoreline. We are going to win it.

  168. We seem to be too easy to get at tonight, not sure what the problem is.

    The fullbacks seem a little exposed, although that is a shocker from Clichy, a player of his experience should just be clearing the ball, very poor.

    Complacent from the goal onwards, we need Bendtner to hold the ball up and get the it moving around there box, they can’t live with us when we do.

  169. Very soft goals to concede. one of the basic defensive rule is to put the ball out if you have no one behind you to cover for you in case you lose the ball. Clichy lost a bit of concentration. Some changes will be made in the second half. We will turn it around. We will have to deal with their cut backs better.

  170. Eddie and co are pressing well, but I’m not seeing anything from them that makes me think they can beat us, this is a case of us beating ourselves.

    We’re not playing like a team, no one seems to be on the same page, there’s no assuredness, and we seem flat. The King is having a pretty lazy game. I would have been expecting some runs from him, but he doesn’t seem up for this game, so I imagine if he continues like this, we’ll see Sagna at some point.

    Need to get some teamwork going. Play with patience, efficiency, and smarts.

    There 2nd gets worse everytime you see it though, blimey Gael! Wenger must have expressed his disappointment

  171. why did we let Eds go!!! natural clinical predator.

  172. Matt, i think complacency is the word. Its like the goal came too early and too easy!

  173. Come on people. Do you really think we will lose this one?

  174. Poor crossing and giving the ball away by Clichy…

  175. There is a temporary loss of gravatar while I change internet providers.

    Thank you.

  176. @consolbob…HELL NO

  177. unlucky jack

  178. we will win 4-2!

  179. WOW – what a chance and what a miss. Vela coming on.

  180. That was one of the worst dives

  181. you diving c*nt.

  182. Better play and better patience being shown.

  183. another unpunished dive

  184. We are getting closer

  185. Its just that final ball is not good enough. we had 3 or 4 very good chances. we need a very scrappy goal soon.

  186. Vela looking good

  187. Shaktar have parked the bus and our final ball in’t good enough. Let’s keep pressing though.

  188. Srna has to be one of the biggest cheats in world football.

  189. Make yourself a hero JET….

  190. Vela has been class, proud of the young man!

  191. When did Alan Smith turn into a c*nt?

  192. i think we could be ere all night and still not score. they have parked the stagecoach.

  193. Wow, Srna and Adriano are playing very … Italian, if I dare say.

  194. hmmmm we haven’t been bad tonight. 2 silly goals to concede. Makes me worry a bit..

  195. I think that for the sake of causing any further embrarasment we shouldn’t cross the ball any more…LOL

  196. It has to be said though that Vela’s crossing has not been half bad.

  197. I am not sure about psychological tests, they should check some of our players with IQ tests.

    Horrible performance and some shocking decision making by our so called mature players.

    Got to feel sorry for anyone who made there way out there.

    So avoidable and so unecessary.

  198. Disappointed with our performance in the last 5 mins..

  199. Well deserved win for Shaktar!

    terrible, terrible display!

  200. Some odd decisions, but I thought we should have scored at least once in the second half. A bunch of guys had decent chances.

    This was always going to be the toughest match, but I thought we did OK, even with a load of players out.

  201. we really threw away this game. Everything was below par today. we desrved at least a draw from this game. Small errors and few chances not taken cost us the game but we run them close without our top players and that a positive.

  202. Carling Cup team not yet ready to beat tough teams away in Europe…was a little wishful thinking

  203. deano, I dont know, for me this was crap or maybe I am just responding to Clichy’s foolish mistake? possible.

  204. yeah Paul N,

    We didn’t get the basics right. We do seem to have a penchant for giving cheap goals away in europe……Porto’s, all of Barcellonas 5…..ect…

  205. Mongolian Gooner

    I hope Eduardo doesn’t get a stick from our fans for his winner. Nice to see him not celebrating the goal.

    I think this defeat will be a lesson for the guys to overcome the complacency, if there was any. Did slightly hurt our chance of qualifying earlier. But as we know, Arsenal always tries to do things the hard way. It just delayed the inevitable a bit longer.

    Chin up. It’s only a group stage match.

  206. Poor display today…but I believe we’ll still top the group

  207. paul N- Clichy is normally reliable but he has those moment when he loses concentration. they are not frequent 1 or 2 a season.

  208. With the personnel we had, we should have won this game. There seemed to be a lack of desire and complacency is the only suitable description. We only got going in the last 20 mins, and we were missing sharpness.

    Utterly disappointed, especially in Clichy and Eboue, and it hurts quite a bit because those guys should and can do better & Shakhtar didn’t even play that well to win.

    Still, the Boss will get them back on track. It’s November people, let’s finish it better.

  209. Mongolian Gooner

    OK. gotta sleep. Have a nice day/evening/morning.

  210. 1lc, I know, Clichy is a good player but that was foolish. Looking at the replay though, there was a lack of defenders in the box.

    Not good, not good at all.

  211. Wenger has it right, the team believed they could win by just turning up.

  212. Limestonegunner

    Paul N, where did you see his comments?

  213. just watched his interview, he spoke about the team not being totally focused.

  214. Bloomin’ tripe, how did we contrive to lose that game?

  215. Why would they believe that? That sort of thinking was punished in the WBA match. This match was against a better team than WBA, seeking revenge for pride, and playing at home where they are undefeated. Also, many of our players were competing for positions, so they shouldn’t have been complacent; even if they were confident of victory, they should have been trying to impress Wenger to push for playing time. Very strange if that is the issue.

  216. Who was the interview with? Sky? I was watching on a stream and listening to ATVO audio commentary, so I’d like to track down the interview if the video is available.

  217. I’m not looking forward to the idiots analysis and how Arsenal are falling apart and the power is shifting to the Spuds. I can’t believe the idiots on the radio saying The Spuds are more capable of winning the C.league than Arsenal, I know its a wind up for the Arsenal fans to listen to their show. Honestly this defeat does not do any harm to our chances at all. If we were beaten playing Sagna,Vermaelen Song, fabregas, Chamakh,RVP then i will be concerned. this is a good run for the players coming from injuries like Walcott , Bendtner and few youngster like Eastmond, Wilshere and JET. We are more than capable of topping the group.

  218. Paul N- Yes when there is no one to cover for you you simply boot the ball to row Z that is a basic rule in football. But like I said Clichy had one of those moment and they are rare in a season.

  219. 1 loose, I am sure we will ultimately top the group. I was expecting that Spud victory would lead to extreme hype. Unfortunately, our loss puts us in the frame for a false comparison. We are both topping our groups on goal difference, but the Spuds and the media hype machine can seize on their defeat of last year’s winners at home and a supposedly good showing to come back from 4-0. I still think they probably won’t even qualify for the CL next year.

    But getting out of the group or topping it isn’t really the issue, I think. It is failing to perform with the consistency Wenger has been talking about.

  220. Imagin being Eastmond now. og that makes your team loose 😦 well it really was Eboues stupid mistake and Clichys stupid mistake that made us loose today however im sure that is no comfort to young Eastmond. His careers has started off amog the big boys about as horrible as Fabianskis.

    However Fab came back so its still hope for Eastmond too 🙂

  221. LSG- the difference on the night was a small margin. If Clichy clears the ball for a throw and Wilshere kept his shot sligthly low it would’ve been 1-2 to us that how small the difference was on the night but with a full strength side you would expect us to put those chances away and win the game.
    As for the Spuds I can’t see them finishning fourth this year or going beyond the next stage of C.league. The hype about the Spuds will calm down after few reality checks. It is normal when a small team win a game against the european champions that the media will hype it. If it was us beating Inter it would’ve been a normal thing. as we have beaten many many top teams in europe in the past so they are not fussed when we do it . is expected of us.

  222. Too many changes and a long trip to the Ukraine seems to have undone our team. It would have been good to have qualified tonight, but at least we still have 2 more games to go to get the points we need and one of those is at home.

  223. Sad- Eastmond had a reasonable game. Not brilliant and not bad, that OG was very unfortunate, so stop making it sound like it was his fault that we lost the game. Clichy I can’t defend him for his error but he is like that once in a long while and I still rate him as one of the best in europe.

  224. I am just glad we’re over one howler from Clichy, in an insignificant match like today’s. One more to go?

  225. Only english team to lose in Europe this week. The medja will be all over us tomorrow! To be honest though thought we deserved a draw, even with the below par performance. Playing in a hostile atmosphere with 6 first team players out and some rested I would have taken a draw before hand and if someone was to score the winner am glad it was Eddy. Upwards and onwards we have to more games to top the group let’s get it done!!

  226. It did have shades of Sevilla two years ago though!

  227. Clichy is so lucky if Gibbs wasnt so injury prone he would be starting.Both full backs were shocking last night

  228. I see the post-match scapegoating is in full swing! One or two individuals may have made obvious mistakes in the game, but it’s a team sport and if the whole team had been playing well it would not have mattered.

  229. It’s so easily forgotten that Spurs were tonked at ‘Young Boys’ a few weeks back.

  230. Bloody Englishman bring on our fake Brazilian!!

    Yep, and Newcastle scored four goals at the home of the stomach bulging, tracksuit and Argos gold wearing Chavs!!

  231. test

  232. Ah, I’m back.

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