A Partizan Crowd Will Help Towards Victory

Partizan arrive at The Emirates, cast as lambs to the slaughter but hoping to be party-poopers extraordinaire. Having lost all five of their matches in this season’s competition, the visitors pride is all that they have left to play for. Arsenal meanwhile know that if they match Braga’s result in Donetsk, they qulaify for the knockout phase. That this is the outcome of the group sums up the paucity of the last two performances in Europe.

Curiously enough, Shakhtar offer Arsenal a small ray of hope; they have never beaten a Portuguese side at home in any European club competition. Earlier this season such an outcome seemed unlikely; fourteen goals in the first three games swept the remainder of the group aside but defeat in the Ukraine followed by a subdued and listless performance in Braga has determined this outcome.

Finishing second in the group means a stronger opposition in the next round. Last night’s results and other standings mean that the pool of opponents is Barcelona, Schalke, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Wenger noted that the Catalans had set their stall out with the recent thrashing of Real. Yet Arsenal cannot be concerned by the next phase; qualifying is the only thing which matters this evening.

Indeed, of that quartet, Barcelona are the only ones to be concerned about. The remainder have their strengths and weaknesses, as do Barcelona. It is simply that theirs are more marked in attack whilst the weaknesses need a full strength Arsenal team to exploit. Crucially, meeting a strong team in the next round is merely bringing forward the inevitable. This season’s competition has seen the the gap between the top tier and next ranking group of sides become more noticeable.

For this evening, Laurent Koscielny has either a head made of lonsdaleite or his concussion was overstated at the weekend. He will be back in the side tonight at the expense of Johan Djourou, Wenger rotating the Swiss to ensure no ill-effects from his year on the sidelines. That applies to Robin van Persie as well, although Wenger dropped a big hint that the Dutchman might start. With the visit to Old Trafford on Monday night, resting players ahead of the next fixture is not as big an issue as it might ordinarily be. They have an extra 72 hours to recover so for once, TV companies are working in Arsenal’s favour.

Key to the side at the moment is Samir Nasri, all of a sudden being given the due respect in the media. He is, of course, no Gareth Bale, the Welshman will no doubt be World Player of the Year due to playing for Harry Redknapp. The club has offered him a new deal, the Frenchman’s form in not just this season, dictating that he is a leading member of the side.

Prior to this season, he was averaging a goal every six games or so; 11 in 20 appearances so far has seen that drop to 1 in 4. It is the sort of campaign that provided the basis for Cesc to take the leap from good player to one of the World’s best. Nasri will do the same if he keeps this up. Consistency is coming to the fore despite carrying the after-effects of injury. In Cesc’s absence, someone from the midfield needed to step forward and claim responsibility for directing creativity, Nasri did so.

Little changes should be expected to the side which beat Fulham at the weekend. Winning is always the outcome sought and to do so tonight keeps Arsenal in the competition, irrespective of results elsewhere. With that in mind, I would expect the line-up to be:

Fabianski; Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Arshavin, Chamakh, van Persie

If Wenger does make any changes, it is likely to see Denilson come into the midfield with Arshavin dropping out to make the team a more notional 4-4-2. Possibly Walcott may start with Bendtner to rest Chamakh a little but the Moroccan will no doubt be on the bench. Elsewhere injuries mean there is little scope for change with Eboue returning to the squad tonight but short of match fitness.

Win and the Round of 16 beckons. Lose and the Europa League may be on everyone’s fixture list for the rest of the season. It might mean Arsenal are favourites for a tournament once more but to be honest, the Champions League has a better class of opposition.

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

Posted on December 8, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 344 Comments.

  1. Europa, .. an option!!.. And spuds in champions league… Unthinkable.

  2. Mongolian Gooner

    Isn’t Kos injured? I was hoping Djourou would get a nod ahead of him.

  3. Morning goons, the game will be interesting should the Serbians somehow contrive to score an early goal, cant see it happening myslef but sure stranger things have happend. I agree the gap between the Top tier and the rest is noticeable the group stage was wonderfully fun for our lot, officially by CL reckoning we are one of the Top 8 teams in Europe which sounds and feels good, Im sure we will see you in that bracket after tonights game too then hopefully we both get through and meet in the quarters that would be fcking epic!!

    COYS

  4. Djourou has a minor injury, otherwise I think he would have played.

  5. As long as we’re at it from the off I can’t see too many problems. Looking at Partizan’s games so far they look slow and ponderous, this is a calss to high for them. I just hope that if we do get an early goal that we keep playing and not step off the gas like we’ve been prone to do recently.

  6. We are going to win this big and Braga will win by 4 goals too.
    We Table top and Shakhtar doesn’t qualify.

    Yeah, of course and then the WW 3 will kill 1/3rd of the World Population.

  7. qualification is all that matters now irrespective of the opponent we might face in the knock out round.

  8. Goon I agree with you 100%.Who we play in the knockout is neither here nor there, winning tonight is our first and only priority today.

    Yogi your line-up looks ok but i’d put Denilson instead of Wilshire in there.How about resting Song and instead playing Wilshire and Denny.

  9. The way to look at it is that if we’re second in the group – Barcelona, Bayern, Real Madrid and Schalke will be shit scare to meet us in the next round.

    Either way, the important thing is to focus on winning our game. Braga might surprise us by beating Shaktar, but we best not leave our fate elsewhere.

    I gather that what – with Chelsea having a wobbly, the Sp*ds have been annointed the ‘biggest’ and most powerful club in London. That alone will ensure that the plaudits don’t go to Samir Nasri but to Bale – so predictable.

  10. Barca shitting themselves , i dont think so somehow.

  11. Should be a great game tonight. Personally I don’t think it is such a big deal about coming 1st or 2nd in the group. In the knock out rounds all teams are tough and if you want to win this competition you have to beat whoever is in front of you, whether it’s Real, Barcelona or Lyon, it makes no difference. Has any one considered the fact that most of these so called big teams do not want to draw us either. We should fear no one, just play our game. I am appalled at the comments on LeMoan last night, people were actually stating that wanted us to lose tonight and save the embarrasment of drawing Real or Barcelona and loosing big…. how pathetic is that? These people actually call themselves Arsenal fans, sorry but these type of people disgust me.

  12. I’d have:

    Fab
    Sagna Kos Skillz Gibbs
    Den Jack
    Nasri
    RvP Arsh
    Chammers

    Want to see Gibbs getting more playing time. I think it’s almost time for him to take that left back role, but only he can prove he’s got what it takes. I must admit i feel more confident in his defending than Clichy’s at the mo. Not slating Clichy, just shows how much Gibbs has improved in the last year…

  13. DFG – those le grove retards aren’t even worth humouring. It’s pathetic and cowardly to be scared to play anyone. We can beat anyone including Barcelona on our day. They’ve been beaten by some very poor opponents in the league this year, they’re not superhuman (apart from Messi). A true Gooner would want us to be drawn against Barca or Real, so we can prove that we’re up there with the best. If not, at least it’ll be a good indication of how far we’ve got to go.

  14. A partisan crowd will indeed help tonight. Let’s get on our feet, sing our hearts out and get behind the team!! Up the Arsenal!!

  15. Me thinks getting Barca will be our best bet to progressing.They will underestimate us as they beat us comfortably last time and that will be playing in our hands as i think we learnt our lessons. I say lets win tonight and they can bring whoever in the next round, we will be ready.

  16. Geo | December 8, 2010 at 9:43 am |

    The Gibbs improvement thing is true but definitely overstated, as he has hardy played games this season. He is way off being world-class at the moment which Clichy definitely is. Clichy is one of the best LB in the world and certainly our best.
    A good win today, to set the ball rolling for Monday.

    COYG!!!

  17. GEO – Well said, I agree with you 100%. To be honest I would love to draw Real and stuff them over two legs just to make Mourinho shut his cheating mouth!

  18. Firstlady – word. Let’s do those diving scumbags.

    We need to beat the best if we want to win the competition, so whenever it comes it doesn’t matter. I’d love to knock the sp*ds out in the quarters though…

  19. First Lady – As I said earlier, I would like to get Real in order to shut up Mourinho and then Barcelona in the Final and after we beat them Cesc can present them all with Arsenal shirts, that’s what I would call pay back!

  20. GEO – I thought you could only draw a team from the same country once you reached the semi’s, am I wrong?

  21. DFG – Hmmmm, yeah knocking the stuffing out of Maureenyo would be almost as satisfying as knocking out the sp*ds…! I’d love to see that fucking cheating bastard Busquets crying into the turf as we knock them out too…

    1coolsteve – Fair enough, Clichy is world class, but this season his form has dropped slightly, meaning that teams are openly targetting our ‘weak link’ (so they call him). Don’t get me wrong, I love Clichy and hope he returns to the form of a year or 2 ago, but I think the freshness and determination of Gibbs is enough to warrant rotating the 2 a lot more… Games like tonights should be perfect for Gibbs to show his stuff…

    Am I being harsh on Clichy? Or just over excited about Gibbs? Maybe both…

  22. I think it’s quarters DFG… Can someone confirm??

  23. January is going to be a crazy month. 8 games, plus we have a game on 27th December followed by one on 29th December! Crazy!

  24. DFG it is the quarters (I remember us going out to liverpool afew seasons back at that stage)
    Geo Clichy has been performing pretty well inthe last 3 or four games,Gibbs may be knocking but he is not there yet.

  25. DFG

    I also would like to get Real so that Wenger can b*tch slap him and see the whinging Ronaldo cry like a sissi.
    Anyway First we need to win tonight with no injury so we can be ready to stake a claim on the EPL on Monday. Therefore I would go for a mixed line-up:
    —-Fabianski
    Sagna Squil Kosc Gibbs
    Song Denilson
    Wilshere
    Rosicky RVP Vela

  26. Typical Arsenal to need to win on the last day to ensure qualification. This was a poor group and yet after a bright start we managed to put ourselves in a position where we are still likely to go through but only as group runners up. We should have wrapped this group up as winners ages ago and then we could have rested players. Sperz finished top of a tougher group. Nothing less than a convincing win is good enough tonight.

  27. AIC – qualification is all that matters. Does it matter when we play Barca/Real/Bayern etc? We’ll have to beat one or 2 of them to win it anyway…

    Firstlady – you’re right he has been good recently. I’m just impatient and want to see the youngsters coming into the first team a la Jack..!

  28. 27th and 29th?Damn!!!that’s carzy

  29. “Sperz finished top of a tougher group.”

    …on paper. But in Werder and Inter they drew two teams in crisis. No gruelling trips to Eastern Europe either for the spuds.

  30. Gunneluc that line-up doesnt fill me with much confidence.Not enough goals in them and this being a must win game to be on the safer side,we need either of Arsha or Chamakh or Nasri thrown in there somewhere.

    Ice Spurs were on a tougher group according to whom? Inter, bremen havent been lighting studiums on fire but i’ll admit grudgingly they have done well for first timers in the CL, way more than i expected but am still waiting for someone who will poop their party sooner rather than later.

  31. I feel the same about Chesney, but if anyone knows when to bring the younger players through without putting too much pressure on them etc, it’s Wenger.

  32. Barce fans and players may not be fussed about facing us, but Pep knows better. He won’t want to get us again. Denny changed the game at Emirates, and our decimated squad got beaten at Camp Nou, but not without drawing first blood.

    This time the potential match up is so very different. A more experienced fully fit Arsenal with Denilson starting with Song will trouble Barcelona, this is a very possible outcome. Last year, when we drew them I was apprehensive, but this year, the thought of drawing them again, I feel little, more a quiet confidence whispering, “we can do them”.

    Beat Partizan tonight my men, for greatness beckons. Onwards and up, we are the Arsenal.

  33. I agree with Gadget. A much more capable and (relatively) injury free squad now. And we’re top of the league, all adds to the mind games.

  34. AIC, I say this with as little respect as possible, but fuck off troll: you’re a whinging tosser who brings nothing but bad vibes.

    With detritus like you, who needs chavs

  35. That’s a very strong squad prediction – I just think Wenger will rotate much more given (his opinion of) the strength in depth of our squad.

    Also… if we win and Shakhtar lose then we will go top of the group coz our goal difference is much better. We can’t rely on other results, but all we can do is go out and tonk this lot.

    I’ll be there tonight in the freezing cold, and only hope Arsenal want it more!

  36. Gunnerluc – Firstlady; Personally I feel we need to go with the strongest line up possible and only rest players if they have a knock or something. I believe we need to win this game convincingly and give us a good moral boost going into the crunch game with the Mancs on Monday. Maybe RVP should start and play the whole 90 minutes and show he is ready for Monday.

    AIC – As for you there is a great site called LeGrove that is exactly for people like you.

  37. Typical AIC half arsed non support lilly livered cowardly moaning at his own club.

  38. This will get the big boys looking over their shoulders:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/9267960.stm

    Champions League beckons now.

    You know, St James’s Park away was looking like a tricky game until this week.

  39. Geo,
    Certainly, we’ll have to meet one of the tougher sides to win the CL but surely you agree avoiding the toughest opponents significantly improves the chances of progressing in the competition? Not that I support AIC’s post that were responding to….

  40. Henristic, we can cry over what we cant change at the moment.All we can do tonight is go out and win, the rest will take of itself.

  41. Henristic –I’d agree that avoiding the stronger teams would make life easier, but if we were to get one of the early and beat them it would be a huge fillip for the rest of the season.

    If we did lose early then concentrate on the league, not a huge difference going out in the first knockout rounds and the quarters.

  42. we can’t

  43. I don’t care who we play in the next round. On our day we can beat anybody. By the same token we have proved that we are also capable of being beaten by anybody.

  44. By the same token we have proved that we are also capable of being beaten by ourselves.

    Fixed that one for you GA. No need to thank me

  45. Gadget – Yup.

  46. What a massive Winter programme we have in the Premier League this year! Really exciting time of the season. The top 3 all play eachother! We were in sparkling form this time last year… and we go into these head to heads as strong as we have been in a while. I think it’s about time we make a massive assault on the title race and take six points off our rivals and leave them and the football media both floundering about on the ropes together. Prove what we all know – AFC are the best team in the country.

    I’m with Geo… reckon Gibbs will play tonight, leaving Clichy wound-up like a spring to sock it to Rafael at the theatre of insufferable glory-hunting wankers.

    ARSENAL!

  47. Speaking Vulcan, if you don’t reach the ultimate goal in a knock-out tournament, then all other progress beyond the reaching the final is irrelevant. Therefore, if you get knocked out of the tournament the when doesn’t matter.

    Emotion says otherwise, especially when there’s spuds involved.

  48. Henristic – I hear what you are trying to say but just because a team finishes 2nd in the group you cannot say that they are not a tough team. We will most likely finish 2nd are you saying that other teams would not consider us as a tough draw? I said it before, 1st or 2nd, it does not matter as in my opinion there are no easy games at this stage and over two legs anyone can beat anyone.

  49. Limpar,

    Did you see the recent BBC4 documentary of Cohen’s 1972 European and middle east tour ? Superb.

  50. lets hope we make it through and that all that matters at this stage, group winners or not is not a concern. Who we play is a matter we will deal with . There is no hiding place we will play a top side be it next round or the latter stages. You simply have to beat the best to win the CL.

  51. Like I said, we’re the bogey team that Barcelona, Bayern, Schalke or Real Madrid don’t want to meet in the next round.

    But first, we have to get there. The rest will take care of itself.

    Just seen Twitchy on Sly Sports News proclaiming how the Sp*ds are now as big as Barcelona…LOL!

  52. Gadget@12:14 —true, except for the tiny matter of prize money gained or lost.

    €3 million for participating in the last 16, €3.3 million for reaching the quarter finals, €4 million for getting to the semi-finals, €5.2 for reaching the final.

    Then Gate recipts at the Emirates £3m p/game. Plus £800,000/£400,000 bonus for win/draw and tv money £11.3m last season.

    1 extra round would gain Arsenal about £8m extra. So in those terms it does matter.

  53. we will win tonight , i would like us to get an easy ride in the draw if there is one, we have the prem, fa cup and leage cup as well, why make things harder just out of bravado. in barca we have a team that are ther best in the world, course that doesnt make them unbeatable but personaly i would prefer them in the final when we have everyone back, this spurs talk continues to make me laugh, i heard crouchy saying that they go out just to score more than opposition so they dont mind conceading, ha. these words will come back to haunt. team news
    fabby, sanny, kozer, squilly, clicky, songy, jacky, sammy, wally, rvp, arshy.
    2:0

  54. Idiot.

  55. AIC been on the gloom juice again I see.

    Let’s not worry who we may get in the last 16, let’s just qualify first.

  56. The run to the final in ’06 was a toughie.

    The Sp*ds could easily get knocked out by any of Lyon, Valencia, AC Milan or others. Do any Arsenal fans really care?
    I think the ‘Arry for ‘Ngland Campaign (see Bleeb WC coverage in the Summer) PR gurus meant to express the news that FC BBB’s (accounts) are almost as big (a mystery) as (those of) the Tiny Totts.
    Lost in traslation. Or summfink.

    Also lost in translation:
    Arsenal win and let in a goal = D**M
    Tinies draw and let in three, against Twente = Glory
    Must be because they are so tiny?
    Or, some AFC fans feel the need to ‘hit’ themselves? (Nice post by Mean Lean on the D**Ming)
    I’ll get me coat.
    COYG!

  57. Limestonegunner

    Win tonight, defeat RM next, Spuds in quarters, Bayern in semis and Barca in the finals. Revenge for 2004!! Now that would be epic.

  58. People seem to be surprised by the Christmas programme?? Putting the Chelsea game back a day has made sure I’m going to miss it though, I’d booked my travel plans to see my family around the game 😦

    I like all the optimism on here for tonight, at least it seems to be warming up a bit, maybe no need for the long johns!

  59. Finsbury – just think that Arsenal doomers are just bastards – the whole f*cking lot of them.

    Instead of supporting the team they bitch and moan – and they wonder why the team prefers to play away from home.

  60. This should be as close to a home banker as we get all year.

  61. Anyone read this – http://timhi.wordpress.com/

    I’ve been trying to find a blog by someone who appreciates tactics but also values entertaining football. This one’s a decent read in places. The tactics talk might not be quite rigourous enough for some people, but he’s enthusiastic about stylish teams, so that sort of meets my criteria.

  62. 2006 limestone or better still for last year hen they made us look like blackburn at camp nou.Am not sure the spuds will get to the quarters, all this glory maybe their downfall as it will get in their tiny heads!

  63. Wenger, I believe my Vulcan to be… incomplete.

    We play well tonight, we may win magnificently, we play badly, we may lose shamefully. We must focus upon playing well and do what we can to influence the future to our benefit

  64. No I didn’t, Muppet. That sounds great – I will try to track it down. I did catch the BBC showing a gig of his in London from a recent tour, which was excellent.

    My Dad saw Leonard once, on the King’s Road, going into a telephone box. My Dad was leant up against the front of a pub with a friend and Leonard and the telephone box were on the opposite side of the road. My Dad and his friend agreed that the phonecall was most likely being placed to a beautiful women – probably naked other than her dark flowing hair, and probably still in bed – and that they were witnessing the workings of a Leonard Cohen love affair right there in front of them. They probably were to.

  65. We must play full strength tonight. It is very important that we play our natural game & without the ‘handbrake on’.

    ————-Lukasz—————
    Sagna——Squilly—-Kos—-Clichy
    ——-Song——-Denilson———-
    ————-Rosicky—————–
    TW/AA——RVP——–Nasri

    AA, MC, JW, NB to freshen things up in the 2nd half, if required.
    3-1 to the Red & Whites.

  66. Darius,

    I get the impression some people go to watch the game wearing their SkySportz 3D shades. They’d look cooler wearing red goggles. At least, it would match up with the replica shirts.

    Exciting last round of fixtures, anything can happen. And some say the CL group stage is boring. Only because they’ve been spoilt by fourteen consecutive years!

  67. Limpar,

    I caught it on BBC Iplayer.

    Ha Ha. What a geezer. He was definitely propositioned a few times backstage by some very delectable women.

  68. Leonard Cohen, hey? Was he the one who was in Take That?

  69. good post YW.. although I’m still trying to figure out what “lonsdaleite” is without googling it. Sounds like some sort of sweet to me. Warm your holiday season with a Lons Daleite..

    COYGs!!!!!!!!!

  70. Delia---Block 112

    I shall be wearing my Nasri shirt , have my 3 scarves draped around the sofa , tuned into AOL , watching the TV with the sound turned down and with a glass of red at hand. This is the best I can do living in darkest ,snowy North Norfolk, (no late mid-week trains to my neck of the woods). This is one of the many must win games facing us in the next month, so there is no better time to show the media and our opponents what AFC is all about.
    As always COYRs.

  71. Has anyone heard his 80s efforts?

    Nick Cave meets Prince!

  72. I’ll try to embed:

  73. Bloody hell. That was a lot of wasted effort for such a dodgy tune!

  74. On paper should be one of our easiest games of the year. Just need to qualify and worry about who we draw later. Hope the boss plays our best 11 and worries about the Manc’s tomorrow. Plenty of time before next Monday to rest. Would like to see RVP get some minutes and may be even start against the Manc’s. How we will line up when RVP is fit will be very interesting. IMO Chamakh needs to stay in our line up. His threat in the air, his work on defensive set pieces and his work rate up front are something no else matches on our squad. Besides all the intangibles he is scoring goals.

  75. So Delia, what your saying is that if I jump on a plane, I can use your ticket and make it for the 2nd half?

  76. Is Dickov fit?

  77. Limestonegunner

    Firstlady, thanks–typed that one too fast! Yes, revenge for last year too, of course, but it would be nice to reverse it in the final–all the drama and expectation. Spuds top their group so they might play someone they can handle this next round: Lyon, Roma, Marseille, Valencia, Copenhagen, AC Milan? They could beat several of these teams, conceivably–esp. on away goals. Then we could stuff them.

  78. Delia---Block 112

    NJG
    You would be better off sharing a bottle or two of red.

  79. Couple of interesting quotes that I copied and pasted from Arseblog:

    Andrey Arshavin said:

    “We struggle all the time in defence. Of course we try to improve, but we can’t. We don’t blame just the defenders. Sometimes I can’t run and I let defenders cross so the forwards score a goal. So it doesn’t always depend on defenders. As a team we need to improve defensively.”

    Honest as always.

    Arsene Wenger said:

    “We are a team with an offensive philosophy and maybe at home we go overboard with that but I still feel that in the last games we were punished every time we made a single mistake defensively, that will not always be the case.”

    Agree with his concerns regarding us going overboard. I guess the way to improve is for all of us to hope that after 5 years of problems our luck is finally going to change.

  80. Dont worry there is no way you can possibly lose tonight, it is inconcievable. Get the cigars out, there is zero chance of you making mistakes and losing. I promise you this.

  81. It is interesting that lots of our trouble comes from our left hand side. Clichy bombs forward more than Sagna, and by AA’s own admission he can’t always (be bothered) to track back.

    I wonder if AA were deployed on the right, how would the team dynamic alter?

  82. What are you on about, OOU?! That one’s a tune! Synths and all.

    Lots of little scrotes coming out the woodwork round my way with the famous cock on a ball insignia hastily sewn onto their bobble hats. Shifty looking types, won’t look you in the eye. Either malnourished or obese. Nothing in between.

    Strange times. Ah well. Arsenal tonight. True London Heroes. Total Football. None of this kick and rush down the wings rubbish. Keep it on the deck thank you. If God intended football played in the air etc etc etc 49 years, Fuck off spurs.

  83. Goonrandy, I am sure the manager would have thought of that, but of what i have seen, Arshavin finds space on the left to shoot, not sure if it would work well from the right.
    Also, Clichy bombing forward is no more than a perception, since he has so much room in from of him. Altough, I agree ( & have pointed this out earlier) that he allows the other team to cross much more easily than Sagna does.

  84. I actually hope the Spuds get a good run in the comp, only to get absolutely hammered in the latter stages. It will make their disappointment all the more crushing.

  85. That quote was from AA’s own website.
    AA is not the ‘fittest’ player in the PL? I’d never noticed.

    Speculative thought:
    Going into the second half of the season, I’m hoping to see more ‘switching’, like we have done at times already. Walcott & Nasri on ‘the left’ etc. The need to rest & rotate, injuries, a couple of silly defeats and new defenders, have meant a tiny dealy in that part of the teams progression and evolution, but, I feel, it’s coming!

    A request:
    If Arsenal win the tiny cup (with a mixed/non-first eleven team), can we use the cheap bauble to bludgeon the ‘5 years without a trophy’ trolls?

  86. delay > dealy

  87. mj – I am not of the mind that we should do that. Like you, I recognise the benefit of AA being able to cut inside. I was just musing that he offers Clichy very little protection, whilst Clichy for all his assets is not the best at stopping crosses (he seems to catch up with his man, only to stand a little too far off sometimes).

  88. It’s rickets Limpar. Spud fans who have never dared go out before because of a deep seated inferiority complex deprived of sunlight.

    They will likely die in the sunlight.

  89. Finsbury – I think Nasri would word well on the left. Similar to AA. I would not want to see Theo there though; his main asset is driving pace. Playing him on the left would cause him to cut back on himself quite often i would think. It would be fine on the coutner of course, but I mean in general play.

  90. ”he seems to catch up with his man, only to stand a little too far off sometimes”
    If he works that out, he becomes the best left back in the world.

  91. Unfortunately a number of the doomers have infiltrated the stadium, and the noises of mumbling and grumbling are audible to all, including the players.

    I am sure this has a bearing on our home form this season.

    I don’t remember so many moans and groans eminating around the stadium at Highbury, or maybe I remember the old place with rose tinted ears.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if our ‘supporters’ actually supported, and made some noise and got behind the team.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to scrape away all the hype and analysis offered by Sky, ITV and the BBC, and go back to just going to the game and supporting your team through thick and thin.

    Maybe I am getting too sentimental in my middle age…..

  92. What is it with talk shite. are they contracted to just do the wancs and the chav games. fukin chelsea are already guaranteed top spot and it is a no nothing games whilst Arsenal are up against it backs to the walls pising in the wind mountain to climb with the fear danger and horror of going out or finishing second and all they get is some updates. poor.

  93. GA,

    Walcott made a nice run from the left hand side against Shaktar 🙂
    Not for the first time. Neat finish too. Yum.
    A contender for best ‘one-two’ of the season with Wilshere, up against Song & Clichy and & Wilshere & Song (the backheel flick: in the Arse-annals of D**M, they write: ‘Song can’t pass’!).

  94. I actually feel, Theo could do wonders from the left, he has worked a lot on bending the ball; has a decent left foot too.

  95. Finsbury – He did, and it was an excellent finish. With space like that he will do it all day long. I just think on the left with his “head down” tendcies when dribbling he would run into too many blind alleys from the left.

  96. Bllody ‘ell Duke! What are you complaining about? It sounds right up your street.

    The only thing more guarenteed to bring a smile to my face than watching an interview with Ricky Ponting at the moment is stuffing a win down all those twatty ‘fans’, pundits and ‘experts’ throats.

    Come on the Arsenal!

  97. Bill:
    That is a rather frank admission of the team’s defensive frailties. But, Arshavin is not the only one who is remiss regarding the issue of being behind the ball. However, when Arshavin is behind the ball his efforts are rather half-hearted and at times uncoordinated with the fullback. One can go down the lineup and identify midfield players who are short of a coordinated defensive understanding. Arsene has to get this matter sorted out if that is possible with this squad of players. Good defending is a necessity these days if a team is going to win league championships.

    It is a testament to Arsene’s understanding of his players and the game that he is consistently in a position to challenge for a cup. His love for the attacking side of football may be overstated to his undoing.

  98. Limestonegunner

    Matt, the home support against Fulham sounded very good this last weekend from my stream–I could hear lots of chanting, cheering, singing even, indeed, especially, after Fulham drew level. Not always the case, I know, but was this impression wrong?

  99. GA,

    Whoops, missed the second part of your above post. Wasn’t Super Fred happy either side? I can’t remember. I don’t know, but I get the impression that once Walcott’s into a proper ‘run of games’, he does the head down stuff less frequently. Like at the beginning of the season! The old fast bowler metaphor works for me.
    Tonights game & formation is going to be exciting, I’m off to wrap up nice and warm, and finish some work!

    COYG

  100. Limestone,

    Hmmm – I did hear a lot of moaning and groaning, but maybe it is just the folk around me – The guy directly behind me is a total moron, and has been shouted down on several occasions.

    There does seem to be a lot of negativity and nervousness around when games are tight, which must effect the players.

    I just don’t remember it being so bad at Highbury – but as I said, maybe it is just me being a bit sentimental.

  101. I said dont worry chaps, there is simply no chance of you going out at the group stage tonight. You are playing Partizan at home, even chelsea could beat them. You might as well kick back and enjoy it cos theres no way in hell you could possible lose this game. Its a gaurenteed victory.

  102. But you never can tell, James. I thought Tottenham were certain to win against FC Twente. When they went ahead after twelve minutes, I would have bet my house on it; but somehow they contrived to let Twente back into the match three times, and in the end only managed a humiliating draw.

  103. Limestonegunner

    James, your attempts to jinx us are both transparent and pathetic. We, and I believe the players, are neither nervous nor arrogant going into this encounter. We are confident and focused on playing well in an important game. Simple as that. It is a product of having qualified for so many years.

    Good luck to your Spurs–if you make it past the second place finishers and into the next round, I hope we meet. Then we will have something to talk about.

  104. Limestone, just so you know, they were supposed to be transparent and pathetic, just a bit of fun, you only have yourselves to blame.

    Poliziano, No team can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory quite like we can

  105. http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Robin+Van+Persie/Arsenal+v+Wigan+Athletic+Carling+Cup+Quarter/2cvnYfQErHr

    A great example of how Robin naturally has his ankle in a vulnerable position..poor guy can’t help it, look at the picture. The leg is at almost full stretch, any pressure put upson the ankle and the consequence would be horrible and another few months out for him.

  106. LOL I can’t believe james is still on here..

  107. Limestonegunner

    James, I know and you can justifiably sit back and gloat a bit on your team’s achievements against what looked like a strong group until lady luck/officials helped you in both Twente games and Rafa Benitez/injuries dismantled last year’s champions. But we haven’t gone out yet, so we don’t have anything serious to blame ourselves over. Nevertheless, I agree with you that we ought to have done better in our last two games when we were up a goal, but it gives us an exciting late stage group game, which hasn’t happened in good while.

    Matt, certainly would help if at home the crowd could lift itself psychologically after the team has conceded goals and keep up a positive atmosphere of energetic and vocal support. Can’t argue with that. It seems too many people come to be entertained rather than to cheer. But I did think the overall home support came across quite strongly in the Fulham game and I was glad about it. Perhaps it helped. But the team was nervous when we when down to Spurs and again it seemed like there was lots of singing from gooners during the derby. Were you at that match? What was that like?

  108. Zap, donut.

  109. See you haven’t changed then james you saddo, still on here talking shit and annoying every one..

  110. Zap, I’m a firm believer that people should stick to what there good at………

  111. Why Arseblog and too many others are wrong about Alex Song:

    http://olegunnersays.soup.io/post/92757537/Why-Arseblog-and-too-many-others-are

  112. I think it’s kinda cosy to have James as a house troll. Sorta like Harry Potter and the whaddayacallit or Casper the Friendly Ghost

  113. Yep – Was at the Spurs game, there is always a good atmosphere for that one.

    It’s a shame we can recreate that more often…

  114. great read OG. glad you posted the link. As I was reading the first part of your refutations of the claims, i was screaming at the computer “EVERY PLAYER MAKES MORE INCOMPLETE PASSES IN THE FINAL 3RD ITS THE NATURE OF THE GAME!!!” So I was glad you explained that with such vitriol for its original authors..

  115. LA, it’s the backing vocals , which are usually something I like about his songs. That awful bridge-type thing, as well – the synths in that part remind me of one of the songs from Labyrinth.

    And the way he says,”tha monkey”!

  116. James, despite your obvious poor taste in all things sporting, you’ve given me a good laugh today and played your role to perfection. Cheers.

    I would be astonished if Wenger did not play his absolute strongest XI today. There is absolutely no reason not to when qualification depends on the outcome. The very first comment of the post sums it up for me…

    COYG! Let’s put this tie to bed early. It is massively important.

  117. I don’t mind James. He is a much more pleasant character than Suga and the whole lot.

  118. OK, OOU… Labyrinth is a little below the belt but OK.
    His backing singers are always seriously cool.

    If it’s the latest installment you refer to, FinnGun, then it was Harry Potter And The Flogged Dead Horse.

  119. I guess it makes sense to rest Djourou today. We need someone aerially strong against Utd who will be firing in crosses all game long.

  120. A very interesting statisitic from Martin Tyler’s article on Sky –
    Since the 2004-05 season, Arsenal have never won a premier league game against the ‘big 4’, without Cesc Fabregas…

  121. We’ve been without a lot more than just Cesc in a lot of those games, mj.

    I like the one that shows Arsenal have been in the semi-finals of a major competition 14 times in the last 13 years (something like that anyway). Think about that consistency. It goes a way to explaining the cornucopia of cunts we have amongst us. Spoilt for far too long. Gone bad in the sun.

    If I didn’t want so badly for this group of players to have the success their football deserves… and Arsene too…. then I’d welcome 5 more years of ‘drought’ because the rats might finally find the exit and fuck off.

  122. to be honest I wouldnt mind if we get knocked out, are we really going to win the champions league? I think not. Other teams are just too strong. You might say its about status and the fact that arsenal are with the elite. But at the end of the day we’re just fans, we watch the team play, and whatever will be for fun for all of us will be best, and imo I think the europa league could be very exciting. I dont fancy us coming second then going out in the KO round in the CL by barcelona..

  123. If you don’t think we can beat Barcelona, Zap, then you clearly haven’t been watching closely enough.

  124. james is showing better form than you Zap, shape up..

  125. Thanks Limpar, my memory’s playing tricks. Thought it was something along the lines of ‘arry the Twitch and the Tiny Cock. Or something

  126. cmon guys..he’s kidding

  127. Biggest game of the season yet..

    lets show our class, I have a good feeling about this CL we haven’t started it well unlike our other shots at it.. but I think we can pick up momentum as the cup goes on and peak at the right time (like other teams have done in big cups at other times)..

    KAMAAAN YOU REDS

    ___arsenal___

  128. Haha smack it mean lean..

  129. Manny Eboue will soon have some tough competition on his hands as club entertainer.

  130. Wellington does seem to be a bit of a laugh.

  131. hahaha he’s gonna be a menace to defenders in the league very soon.

  132. Arsenal.com

    Van Persie starts and captains the side; Denilson in for Wilshere, Gibbs in for Clichy. More to follow…

  133. Looking forward to tonight. Shame it’s on ITV but I’ll do the old trick of ATVO commentary and TV pictures. Just a bit of a bugger getting them in sync.
    Excited to see RVP in the Cesc role (if that happens) as I’ve wondered how Chamackattack and RVP would be accommodated in the same starting line up and this could be the answer.

  134. This just in…
    TEAM NEWS: Van Persie starts (and captains the side), Gibbs replaces Clichy, Denilson replaces Wilshere.

  135. Here’s that Arsenal team in full then: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Gibbs, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Van Persie, Chamakh, Arshavin. Subs: Szczesny, Rosicky, Vela, Walcott, Wilshere, Eboue, Bendtner

  136. Limestonegunner

    The Europa league would be a disaster from the club’s perspective–lots of ties and little payout financially–it is like the Carling Cup for several months during the second half of the season! Yikes!

  137. Lol I actually don’t care what you think. The players don’t even know you exist so at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how we support the club it doesn’t actually affect the players on the pitch u can keep James and I’m gonna leave..some of you lot can fuck off, I support the team exactly the same as you do, probably not for longer but you are so opinionated and protective over something you have no control of that it really gets annoying..
    Were all the same just watching ffs.. Agh!

  138. Crikey hope our match is as exciting as Corrie.

  139. Mongolian Gooner

    Anyone got a stream?

  140. Just wondering if someone needs any streams…

    sop://broker.sopcast.com:3912/82153
    http://www.veetle.com/index.php/channel/view#4cffd3c9a63e5

  141. come on you gunners!!!

  142. deni new haircut lol

  143. gibbs down

  144. Mongolian Gooner

    Gibbs…? injured?

  145. Doesn’t look good for Keiron

  146. got his boot stuck in the turf

  147. no he’s ok

  148. brilliant from samir

  149. Mongolian Gooner

    cool skills by Nasri.

  150. Nice patient build up play, keep this up and we’ll wear them down. Ah President Eboue has joined the party.

  151. They really are shit – what is Martin Hayes chatting about?

  152. these commentators are driving me nuts…bit of a soft pk, we need to be patient

  153. RVP cannot miss a penalty

  154. best pk taker in this arsenal squad rvp

  155. magical left foot of RvP!!! How much did we miss that…

  156. Mongolian Gooner

    Nice to see him scoring.

  157. He once said he could tell the keeper where he was going to put it and would still score every time.
    I love that arrogant confidence.
    oooh what a ball from Eboue

  158. Mongolian Gooner

    Looked like Cristiano Ronaldo there hehehe

  159. Colney,updates!it’s raining here and everytime it does it interferes with my satellite,am so pissed at the moment coz i only watched the first 3 mins of the game.

  160. Firstlady
    1-0 with 35min gone partizan are giving a good account of themselves. 0-0 between shaktar and braga

  161. Eboue came on for Gibbs who i think has an ankle injury

  162. we are being to frenetic need to calm down

  163. is it just me or Chamakh looking slower than usual…

  164. bayern up 2-0 if anyone is interested, one of the possible opponents should we finish second

  165. Had to switch to tv commentary as atvo keep telling me how dangerous the opposition are despite them obviously being clueless. Also they will read out terrible doomer emails that could be written by spurs fans.
    Even our own club website can’t get behind the fucking team.

  166. we are on the back foot a bit need HT to talk things over and be calm

  167. kos mopping up any lame threat they pose each time. Chamack a little inhibited or just not used to playing with rvp?

  168. ooh good chance rvp’s pass was slightly behind chamakh

  169. We are entirely in a different class from this shower. No problems at all.

  170. shaktar v braga half time still stands at 0-0.

  171. steww,

    i think its the cold weather..

  172. Firstlady,
    overall we started brightly, pressed them up the pitch but the Gibbs injury broke the fluency a little bit. the goal i thought would kill partizan’s resolve but credit to them they’ve played well and are forcing us back.

    we need to be a bit patient, arshavin hasn’t been involved as much as i would like.

  173. roma up 1-0 so toss up between who tops their group

  174. good to be 1-0 up. ought to kill it off early in the 2nd in order to avoid the usual nervy endings when they shouldnt be.

    keeping posession all right, but honestly dont look threatening.. no fluency and a lot of misplaced passes. turn it up a notch boys!

  175. I take it we are 1-up.when the players were in the tunnel i dint recognize denny coz of the haircut.zap chill.

  176. koscielny showing no effects from his concussion he’s mopped up quite well

  177. what a through ball from Deni..

  178. Arsene very angry at the missed chance there. Calm down Arsene!!

  179. the side is waking up

  180. Mongolian Gooner

    Nasriiii ayayayayayayyy

  181. looking better already, keep at it

  182. Denilson has come out on fire! Another close shave for Partisan

  183. partizan are playing well but if we score again the floodgates could open

  184. Again kick and rush and our defence laps it up.

  185. there it is.. jesus christ!

  186. Fluke deflection. Nothing to worry about whatever this moron commentator says.

  187. we need some composure

  188. not again… 1-1..

  189. I think if we have a problem, and seriously we are totally in control, it is that rvp is off the pace after his injury. We’ll be fine I’m sure.

  190. Come On Arsenal!!!!

  191. Genius from rvp to put chamack in – I take it back robin, sorry. Twat commentator says there is anxiety about the place. Come on be honest is anyone watching even a tiny bit in doubt that we’ll win? Jesus.

  192. composure where is it

  193. COME ON ARSENAL!!!

  194. arshavin has been a bit off

  195. They are hanging by a thread surely one of these chances will go in soon. How lucky was their keeper then??

  196. We are giving away possession way too much….
    But i agree with Steww we’ll win 3-0 at the end

  197. Theo stripping off. Must be warm

  198. OOooh – another close one. It’s coming.

  199. What game are you watching Tok?

  200. Another chance.

  201. will these commentators shut up the united game is on momday for christ’s sake

  202. Desperate foul our pressure really starting to tell.

  203. Eh,Tokala, a little late for 3-nil, no?

  204. They’re looking more and more ragged.

  205. Boooo m Walcottttttttttttttttt

  206. theodore! well done

  207. theo theo theo

  208. Hate to say I told you so but we squeezed them until they cracked.

  209. Theo……. 2-1……

  210. bendtner to come on

  211. What do we think RVP to get a rest?

  212. Big Nic for Chamakh???

  213. You’re right IG it’s MC. What about the pass from Fab to Deni just then? How cool was that?

  214. Nasriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  215. Nasriiiii… 3-1.. Can finally relax…

  216. We are Arsenal we are just the best. Fucking doubters can fuck off.

  217. credit to alex song who said he’s a dm

  218. great footwork on the edge of the box by song

  219. shaktar up 1-0

  220. it was cool, steww. but not good for my heart bcoz of the situation.. they can do whatever they want now except conceding a goal…

  221. “Given what Arsenal have been through tonight they’ll settle for second” says dumb fuck commentator.
    What have we been through? Total control of a football match. Patient control building to the necessary goals. One fluke moment has no bearing at all.

  222. thanks for the update, colney..

  223. “given the way arsenal have played manchester united at home would be rubbing their hands” – says commentator in 1st half.

    these guys are idiots

  224. We all get tense but you’re not a doubter though IG – I know you were quietly confident really!!

  225. NP Indiangooner

  226. I must be Arsenal’s lucky charm. Within minutes of getting home and sitting in front of my tv; 2 goals to the Gunners.

  227. Unselfish Theo, bad luck.

  228. should be 4 walcott was trying to be unselfish

  229. shaktar up 2 goals now

  230. Nasri looks quicker to me this season. Scum losing in Marseille!!

  231. How funny would it be if the Sp*ds drew Shaktar only for Eduardo to knock them out 🙂

  232. red card for sagna

  233. Brilliant tackle I thought. Ref sends off Bac after not giving a blatant pen against them on Deni?

  234. wtf… red card for Bac…

  235. great save fabianksi from ensuing fk

  236. Once again Fabulanski pulls off a good un.

  237. Mongolian Gooner

    thanks for coming home shotta 😀

  238. what a save from Fabulouski…

  239. how stupid was that ?! well without Sagna the next round will be less one-sided

  240. Bad luck Bac!
    Huge save by my new No. 1, Fabulous Wookash.

  241. Shaktar will be a tough ask for anybody going forward

  242. steww, confidence is always high.. no matter what the score line may..

    Deni looks to be physically ready…

  243. Bendy just robbed RVP!!

  244. These commentators are getting under my skin really stupid

  245. game in ukraine just ended shaktar 2-0

  246. IG – a lot of the youngsters are getting physically stronger which I guess is just natural delopment. Deni as you say looks strong, Theo too, Song is a beast, li’l Jack uses what he has very cleverly – we’re all round tougher.

  247. Job done. Upward and onwards.

  248. milan are losing madrid will top that group, roma dre and bayern won i think bayern tops that group too

  249. Song is my MOTM.

  250. Song was immense today

  251. How many games for Bac ?

  252. exactly the scoreline I predicted 😀

  253. I think Shaolin Denny gets my MOTM. He was he consistent bright patch through the whole 90 winning some balls quite beautifully.

    Theo’s finish was finger-licking

  254. It’s early and form can change between now and february but i don’t think teams would want to draw us.

  255. Sad about Gibbsy though. His rotten luck continues…

    Bac Sagna would only miss the first leg, right???

  256. A R S E N A L

  257. The 3rd goal was a peach well worked and well taken by nasri.

  258. The Partizan fans are just awesome. I think we should mimic the jumping up and down they do. 50k+ feet hitting concrete in a thunderous pulsating rhythm, that would be awesome and intimidating

  259. Sagna will miss the first leg yes

  260. The good thing about streams is that you can choose commentary in a language you don’t understand. Portuguese is my personal favourite.

    Expect more Moanin’ When Winnin’ tomorrow. It seems to be a new Arsenal tradition.

  261. UEFA need to change the rules they need to wipe the slate clean for players who are on yellows and players who pick up reds. That way you won’t have the shenanigans that real madrid players resorted to.

  262. Credit to Partizan they played well, their passing was really good.

  263. I bet we spank United on monday mark my words

  264. Chelsea put out a full-strength team in a meaningless match in the hope of regaining some confidence. Instead, they lost again!

  265. lovely goals.

    Bring on Madrid or Barca.

    I really do not get the emphasis on avoiding these teams. It’s silly.

  266. With this unfortunate red for Bac and Real’s unpunished 2 “tactical” reds ($ fine hahaha) I have a feel we may meet them next round

  267. Of all the things in the world I’d hate to be, one of Arsene’s water bottles has to rank pretty highly

  268. I liked the look of our new midfield hardman.

  269. It’s the CL i don’t care who we play, seems the injury hoodoo is finally beginning to ease(touch wood).

  270. Do you really think madrid and barca can play at the highest level all season? a lot can change between now and february

  271. We will get Schalke in the next round, i just got an email from my source in the voting room 🙂

  272. Line up for United will be interesting. Only things certain up front are Song, Nasri, Arshavin.

    Wilshere or Denilson? I had wished for Chamakh and RVP together but we were not at our best with that line up. Chamakh somewhat jaded today. Expect TR7 in the Cesc role. RVP or Chamakh or both?

    Squillaci will probably play. Djourou or The KOS?

  273. Mongolian Gooner

    Good result.

    I won’t bother to worry who we got until we face them. One game at a time, my friends, one game at a time.

    ok. gotta sleep. its six in the morning in Mongolian time. have three hours till work.

  274. I want Real Madrid or Shalke. I’ve never been to Schalke so I’d love to make the trip. Otherwise I’d love to play Real Madrid and shoot down Mourinho

  275. What is all this whining and glooming by the multitude of glory hunters? Were they expecting us to gungho vs Partizan with so much at stake?
    I am getting to hate a significant minority of fans. This whining, self-indulgent sense of football entitlement is a cancer at the Emirates and the blogshere.
    What has happened to the committed partisanship that is the calling card of any credible supporter?

  276. How do you fancy our chances Ole ?

  277. It’s not until Feb Moopay! Who knows what our form and other teams’ form would be like then.

    On current form, only Barca would scare me after their demolition of Real Mad.

  278. The result was never in doubt. The only thing in doubt was the identity of the man playing on our left wing.

    Another thing that isn’t in doubt anymore, is our need for another goalkeeper.

    Great performance, good 90 mins for the team to play with RVP and Chamakh together. Eboue was immense. I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing that we lost Sagna, no offence to Sagna. Just that it would be interesting to see how Eboue and Nasri can dominate the right side of our flank, together.

    We suffered in the midfield due to the extra forward upfront. Don’t expect the same lineup at OT. Rosicky or Wilshere will probably step up and make room for RVP.

  279. Partizan played really well, kept the ball well, good distribution.

    I agree with RVP.

  280. Ole,

    Yeah – fair comment.

    As usual I’m an optimist. As long as we have something like our best XI, then we can beat anybody.

    Shotta,

    I think it’s just unbelievable. I know with some fans it’s just the culture, but when the commentators start moaning instead of commentating on the game, it gets too much. Alan Green and Lawrenson were on the Radio 5 (BBC) earlier, and it was just the usual whingefest.

    Sometimes I wish we (UK) were more integrated with europe. I would like to hear the comments of european media, particularly from pundits in Spain, France and places like Serbia, you know, sporting countries with a good emphasis on technique. A lot of our commentators and pundits have very dubious basis to pass judgement it seems to me.

  281. I agree with Ateeb.

  282. Moopay – The media I agree has a lot to do with it. The journos and plundits (print and electronic) have maintained a continued tirade of sniping and dooming of Arsene and the Arsenal, it would suggest we just crashed out of the champions league rather than just finish statistically as the joint top team. A lucky deflection off Kos for the Partizan goal is evidence for continued dooming of our central defenders. You would be forgiven for thinking that they are seasone PL pros rather than two strangers signed from Europe who have been playing together for barely four months.
    I suggest they are just bitter and bad-minded because with the passage of time Arsene proves them wrong at every count.

    PS: Ole – just remind the dumb-asses who was the defensive midfielder, totally unmarked, storming into the edge of the penalty area to assist Nasri for that goal. Song must be pretending he is Kaka!

  283. Yep im an optimist aswell, if we get barca madrid or bayern were out!!!! 4 to 1 shot. i am a gambler though. obviously having a sly joke, we could outscore anyone, but we could outconceed anyone aswell. tough draw. whateverway you look at it.

  284. Shotta,

    Absolutely. One swallow does not make a summer. The defence is castigated and as you say, any lapse is magnified as evidence of continued weaknesses.
    We are top of the table, but hey, would you know it ? If there were marks for sentiment, or artistic impression… I suspect we would be placed somewhere in the mid table. The plundits fully expect us to fail. Never mind that the chavs implosion was never predicted, and would never happen. Of course, you hear the odd attack on the chavs, but this is all with the wonder benefit of hindsight. Nobody in the mainstream press predicted they would have a blip quite as bad as they are at the moment.

    The other thing I don’t understand about the press, is they don’t seem to understand the word “sustainable”. Talk Shite were on the radio earlier, quizzing Ray Wilkins and asking why abramovich is not spending money, and intimating that’s what he needs to do, to ensure continued success. Wilkins gave some diplomatic answer along the lines of .. well we now invest in the youth, and that is still an investment in monetary terms. But these guys just don’t get it. Abramovich basically bought 6 trophies.. and he spent £800 million. Abramovich has said – right – I’m not going to spend any more, I have the money, but I am not doing this anymore. Everybody knows this, except, it seems, for Talk Shite, who pursue a banal line of questioning. Why don’t these people get into the real world. The chavs and the mancs spent way beyond what was cricket and they have got away with it. The fair play rules will come in soon, and they won’t be able to get away with it for any longer.

  285. Bradys right foot

    Nervy performance tonight but we had too much for a workmanlike Partizan. Conceded a poor goal Kozzers just a bit too eager at times and left Squillach 2 on 1. Roll on Monday night and an away win, it’s going to happen, simple karma, we owe them a good beating on their patch.

  286. Have to say, I truly believe that the home ‘support’ is a big reason for our poor form at home. As a crowd we are just so nervous and negative, and there’s no question that it makes it harder for our boys to relax into their game.

    Colneyblog – “given the way arsenal have played manchester united at home would be rubbing their hands” – says commentator in 1st half.

    What’s particularly ridiculous about that is how average Man U were at home yesterday. Why shouldn’t we be rubbing our hands!?

  287. @Albo
    exactly united should be the ones who should be scared of us, we played well today i thought our pressing was excellent. We hurried them but partizan showed no fear they played well and kept the ball well. I have a sneaky feeling we are going to do to united what we did to city. Then we’ll see what the pundits have to say then.
    According to most pundits arsenal are only top of the league by default because united and chelsea are stuttering. Watch us play them off the park on monday night. And if we win they would still find an excuse.

  288. Bradys right foot

    The media narrative surrounding Arsenal has for some idiots become a reality, but you have to admire their stubborn stupidity and that displayed by the bloggers and fans who swallow it and rehash it. Weve played one more league game than Man Utd and conceded two more goalse, surely the defensive questions put against Arsenal are as relevant to Utd or is that too logical.

    As Spurs bask in the glow of a benevolent media despite being 5th in the league and trying to set some sort of world record for goals conceded in all competitions you’d be forgiven in thinking they were doing better than us.

    Personally i’m just glad to see the back of a November which for a change has us still in contention lol, now if we can come on strong as we usually do in the latter half of most seasons we may well win the title this year. I feel for the doomers they sem to get more upset when we win now than when we loose such is their hatred of Wenger, I really couldn’t support a club if I had such a twisted mindset.

  289. Has anyone read Drogba’s comments were he claimed he was disgusted with having to sign for Chelsea because they weren’t s*** in France! Never laughed so hard in my life, hearing that, classic, his said it before but this guy is defo a gooner and we were his dream club. Shame for him he wasn’t as lucky as Chamack. Take that Chavs!

  290. “Wouldn’t it be nice to scrape away all the hype and analysis offered by Sky, ITV and the BBC, and go back to just going to the game and supporting your team through thick and thin.”

    That would be a dream come true Matt!

    With so much at stake, it was never going to be a fluent, free-flowing game. Partizan deserve credit for being well organised and hard to break down. They got a lucky goal, which made things more nervy than they needed to be, but our superior quality showed in the end and we could have scored a few more even with 10 men on the pitch. I still cannot see what Bac got sent off for? I’m just glad a penalty was awarded to add insult to injury.

  291. We will build on this win and I am fine with the fact that we are being written off. I have three words ‘shock and awe’, most of the teams won’t know what has hit them before its too late. Roll on Man U – we are Gunning for them!

    Ole – good write up about Song by the way.
    Chris Gooner – where are you? I enjoy reading your comments.

  292. Did anyone see Diaby’s reaction as Eboue was stretching on the bench? it’s classic. 22nd minute

  293. Koscielny is a class CB, I’m watching the game again and he’s making a lot of interceptions could have otherwise been costly.

  294. Is it OK to hate? Because I detest the dumb f**ks who commentate on Fox Soccer Channel. I only saw up to the Partizan goal which prompted aforementioned df’s to say something like “there’s the goal deserved or has been on the cards…” I don’t think they really troubled us in the first half. Hate them.

  295. props to the partizan fans, who kept singing even though their team was down three goals. I wish we could have that same atmosphere at the emirates instead of groans at every misplaced pass.

    I think that weighs on the players minds as well, they are trying too hard at home, whereas on the road they play freely.

  296. Colney/Steww thanks for the updates during the game. I felt really bad I didnt watch the game but your comments kept me updated.

  297. Was the game ever in doubt the minute his excellency stepped on the pitch after showing the people how warm ups are done by royalty?

    Innit nice to see RvP too?

  298. he’s back in training…

  299. People, few realise the mute button was created around 20 years from now by the once renowned Arsenal fan Dr Sam Beckett. Although it was a sheer accident made perfect by fate’s seemingly fickle hand, we’ve had this miraculous little button that for so long that it appear to lack any real purpose until now.

    Thank Dr. Beckett; push that mute button.

    I’ve been on rectum lock-down (constipation perhaps, without the disadvantages) since the spud game, and I’m not coming out of it for quite a while yet

  300. Gadget, Sam Beckett? Didn’t he also invent time travelling?

  301. you have to hand it to Mike Ashley, he does have a good sense of humour.

  302. oh yeah i forgot Mike Ashley is a spud isnt he. explains the sense of humour then.

  303. Albo- I agree. The home support is directly responsible for the teams hiccups at home. i belive all it will take to change the teams fortunes at home is for the fans to being lily livered maony weakling and sing for your team.
    I really dont like the majority of arsenal fans, cant stand their guts. Thats why i come to this site. positive.

  304. Gadget,

    I mute the commentatory when it gets to Arsenal-bashing unless I get the option of other languages which I don’t understand.. I love to hear the crowd during the games.. If only there was an option of just listening to the crowd instead of the plundits..

    goonerwife,
    I too agree.. I was disgusted with the moans and groans from the crowd yesterday. The partizan’s support was 20 times better than the home ones.. Our away support too is lot better than the home support..

  305. Where does Arsene get his Americanisms from? Can anyone remember whether he used phrases like “super-favourite” before Gazidis arrived? Is Arsenal Headquarters witness to conversations like:

    Gazidis: Yo, Wenger! Buy a new goalkeeper already.

    Wenger: Whatever.

    Gazidis: I’ve got a man-crush on Mark Schwarzer.

    Wenger: Talk to the hand!

    Gazidis: Well, why don’t you strengthen the offence already?

    Wenger: I’ll only buy if a super top quality offender becomes available.

    Gazidis: Whatever, man. What’s your problem?

  306. I didnt watch the game but i have just seen the highlights, I could hear the crowd’s every groan for a bad pass or when our players lost the ball. Anyone has a link to Eboue’s warm up?I need a laugh

  307. There weren’t many groans when Sagna was sent off – all the home fans had left.

  308. Quantum leaping to be precise James. I shall be rooting for Spurs this weekend only because a 22 -man brawl is unlikely. I reckon Anceloti would give Harry a most vicious haymaker, POW!

    I have nothing but bile for most of our fans. This and a few other blogs are a haven of good Arsenal loving, but my general viewpoint is Arsenal have predominantly a really poor group of fans. Hate them; love the Arsenal

  309. Poliziano at 10.27 am ha, ha!

  310. They gave him a 5-year contract. That whole club is on crack.

    It’s not really related to the Americanism thing, but has anyone noticed how a lot of people now write “ludacris” when they mean “ludicrous”?

  311. Good win, and credit to Partizan. If they played like this against Shaktar and Braga we might’ve been top of the group. Crowd support wasn’t that good. Coverage kept showing pics of the Partizan fans jumping and dancing and singing and I was like WTF why aren’t our fans doing that?!

    This was another one of those matches where you can see our team was tensed. Arshavin’s and Chamakh’s movement wasn’t that good in the first half which resulted in our midfielders just passing the ball back many times. In these sort of tense games we need a player with a positive attitude and Walcott provided just that. As soon as he came on we looked really dangerous and his movement and pace caused the Partizan defence problems. His finish was magnificent.

    Chamakh should really improve on being able to run and score on through balls. I know he did this against Villa but I also remember against the Spuds Fabregas put him through 2-3 times and he either hesitated or let the defender catch up to him. Maybe he was tired I dunno. Anyways if he scored we would’ve won that game 4-3 or 5-3.

    Kos was good, but there’s still room for improvement. Sometimes he was too rash in trying to close down someonee and left Squillaci with no help. Denilson was my MOTM. Always looked calm and composed on the ball.

  312. I am with Firstlady. I need to see that Eboue warm-up. Come on Deano, Kitchen Sink, OOU, Maria, et al. You are the video techies. Wasting time.

  313. Ain’t a thang but Southern Hospitality OOU!

  314. What the video doesn’t show so well is Diaby’s “this mofo’s crazy” smirk right after the King handed him the Crown Jewels!

  315. I’ve just seen the highlights but the groan on the misplaced passes was not good, the team espacially when young like ours need to feel the crowd behind them not putting them unnecessary pressure.
    As for the draw obviously the two german teams would be the easiest draw but I do want to face RM so that wanker Mourihno can be put back in his place.
    For Monday, althought I am exited to see the Dutch master back on the pitch I don’t think him and Chamakh should be associated, at least not with RVP in midfield. We need to have three real midfielders in the center to control the game. Therefore I would see them better associated with Chamakh up front and RVP on the side.

    my strongest line out would be:
    —Fabianski
    Sagna Squil (Kosc) Djourou Clichy
    —–Song –Denilson
    ——-Rosicky
    Nasri Chamakh Arshavin (RVP)

  316. I love the people here criticising the fans at the ground, if you pay £1,000+ for a season ticket you are perfectly entitled to register your displeasure at poor performances, collectively or individually. The fact is that those fans who went last night did so at great expense and in the feezing cold and to have a performance like the first half just isn’t on, especially when a win was necessary to guarantee qualification. While I don’t go in for booing the team myself, I can see where people are coming from sometimes.

  317. I would have thought last night was too cold to get the crown jewels out.

  318. What a twat.

  319. @Block4

    I think you should reserve your criticisms of the teams performance to after the game.

  320. Here’s what I don’t understand. We had to win to ensure qualification, we did that with a 3-1 win over Partizan and yet when you look around the various blogs all you see is a majority of negative remarks, why? Granted we did not perform to the best of our ability but so what, we did the job that was required of us. It was a difficult game for us as we were under pressure to win. Partizan had nothing to lose and I am sure we also had the Mancs game in the back of our minds, therefore, job done? Just because we did not win 6-0 there is no point to the negativism. I am sick to death of some of these posters who post absolute rubbish.

  321. Gadget thanks for the vid, I bet my colleagues think am a crazy woman, laughing out loud like that at nothing in particular, if only they knew what i just watched. Ebuoe could have caught Diaby on the chin with his long limbs,that was really funny.

  322. Block4. First off not everyone is paying a 1,000 pounds plus for a season ticket. Most of the empty spaces were from these so called season ticket holders not bothering to show up! We won 3-1 what more do you want?

  323. “perfectly entitled to register your displeasure at poor performances, collectively or individually. ”

    Block our home record speaks for itself, as long as the fans continue doing this i doubt our home form is going to get better anytime soon.

  324. Booing has become part of modern day culture, it doesnt actully mean that much anymore, I blame Big Brother

  325. I think block4 is just jealous of the likes of Joe, AIC and Suga – he wants some attention that’s why he writes such utter drivel. It’s just to provoke a reaction so probably best pat him on the head and hope he walks under a bus one day.

  326. £1,000 twat.

  327. Why are people blaming fans? We won the game yesterday didn’t we? or am I missing something? Why is the mood so sallow on here?

  328. We’re having a sallow period to improve fertility, Henristic.

  329. The Grauniad went with “Big guns lie in wait for Arsenal”. Not “Theo Slays Belgrade”, not “Arsenal March On Europe”… just the pathetic implication that the most successful club in London is some lamb on it’s way to slaughter. This from a rag just up the road. What a f*cking disgrace. The media hate us, but we don’t care. Some of our fans are just as f*cking useless. F*ck em all we’re The Arsenal.

    …Arsenal…

  330. Spurs are “Europe’s Greatest Entertainers” drawing against Twente and qualifying with less points than us, and we are some lame duck who ‘almost’ f*cked it up. Ridiculous. What a suprise they’ve all got coming.

  331. LA,
    Agree with the statement “F*ck em all, we’re The Arsenal”.

  332. Lol Limpar…

    Re the game, whilst it was kinda boring compared to what we normally serve up, I thought the team played quite well considering the lack of a third, creative midfielder. I’m not sure VP can fill that role well quite yet.

    Arsene has been talking about how much he likes to take risks lately and was probably experimenting with the formation. He certainly would have known the risks involved in leaving us a man short in midfield.

    All said, I’m a very happy gooner today. We needed to win, and we did.

    Manu are a different kettle of fish and I’d be very surprised if he uses the same tactics against them.

  333. I’m really pissed off after last nights game.

    Isn’t it obvious that the anti support inside the Emirates is counter-productive? Apperently not. I too sat in the ferezing cold watching a pretty average 1st half last night, but thats football i’m afraid. It simply made me want to shout louder and more passionately in the second half. That’s how I get my ‘moneys worth’.

    I mean how embarassing for the bloke behind me shouting out ‘your fucking shit Denilson’ after one misplaced pass in the second half, when he was probably our best player in the first! It takes all sorts, it really does. It was the same bloke who was calling Theo a C*nt at the Fulham game too! It makes me feel like jacking it in but the joke is is him isn’t it, and always will be.

  334. there you go. Block4 and co and their stupid money. Its always money this money that. FFS!!
    What is your point. Lift the team then you might get great performances. We would be better with fewer people in the stadium than all these money moaners.
    You choose to spend your £1000. How about you all man up and support.

  335. As I said (if anyone bothered to read my post) that I don’t go in for the booing myself, but people who go to the games are perfectly entitled to voice their displeasure at what they see if they don’t like it. As are people who support from afar via contacting the club, expressing their views on blogs etc. If people who do support the club aren’t happy with what’s going on they are entitled to protest aren’t they? Blind loyalty gets you where Newcastle are.

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