Orient Preview & Szczesny Wants To Stay In Pole Position

Arsenal travel to Brisbane Road this afternoon not having lost to Leyton Orient in nearly a century. If that 96 year run continues, it will be no surprise with the whole club bouyed by the midweek victory over Barcelona.

It is crucial that the players do not believe that stepping onto the turf is enough this afternoon. They had enough warnings against Leeds and to a lesser extent, Huddersfield, to know that is not enough. Orient have been beaten once in twenty games so have belief in themselves which makes Brisbane Road a trickier place to visit than perhaps it normally would be.

Even so, a much changed Arsenal side should win this tie. It would be a surprise if many from Wednesday started this afternoon. With Stoke visiting The Emirates next week, this is the opportunity for Arsène to completely rotate the squad.

Indeed, those such as Djourou and Fàbregas could probably do with a complete rest, omitted from the bench as well. That won’t happen; Wenger has proven this term that the first XI might be rotated but only down to the bench in a number of cases, just in case things don’t go to plan.

Or if the going gets a bit tough. One thing that can be expected is that Orient will not try to outpass Arsenal. That, as they admit, is going to result in a thrashing. Instead, Stephen Dawson has offered the previously unheard of thought that Arsenal ‘don’t like it up ’em’. It truly is an astonishing insight.

It gets better as Dawson believes the Arsenal players will be so preoccupied with Birmingham and Barcelona that they will opt out of 50:50 challenges. A shame Dawson cannot read as he might have worked out that few of the players involved in those two games will be playing today.

There are some question marks about the midfield. I cannot believe that Nasri is fit enough to start and with such a busy time upcoming, a hamstring injury requires a rest, precluding him from being on the bench. It means that Rosicky will probably start with Fàbregas held in reserve.

Talking of which, Miquel would have benefitted from a cup tie or two earlier in the season which would have given him the opportunity to play, resting Koscielny. The Frenchman will probably start given Djourou’s injury scare post-Barcelona but will no doubt be grateful for a rest in coming weeks.

The team I expect Wenger to go with:

Almunia; Eboué, Kosicelny, Squillaci, Gibbs; Rosický, Denilson, Wilshere; Bendtner, Chamakh, Arshavin

Personally, I would slot Sagna into the centre and rest Koscileny but that is not a path Wenger will follow.

Question marks about the squad are nothing new yet whatever the circumstances, the players have pulled through for the manager in this competition. None of the half a dozen clubs which has ended Arsenal’s interest in the FA Cup during Wenger’s reign has come from outside of the Premier League. Only Cardiff have even got a replay out of him, such is Wenger’s parsimony.

One man who won’t mind being rotated today is Wojciech Szczesny. Well, he might do but then knowing he will be back in goal on Wednesday night softens the blow somewhat. For deputy Manuel Almunia, it is a turnaround he would not have considered following the closure of the September transfer window and the non-arrival of Mark Schwarzer.

Szczesny has shown all of the right attributes so far in his short time as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper. He is not without making mistakes but his judgement is right more often than it is wrong, and he has a little luck on his side. The Pole might have taken Gary Player’s maxim to heart and is not leaving anything to chance,

If I am given the chance to stay the No 1 I would be very happy to [continue]. There is very good competition at the Club so I can’t say there is no threat. I know that I have to be at my very best because if there is any slip up or drop in my performance, other goalkeepers will be happy to take my place.

I can’t demand playing time at a Club like this being 20-year-old. I know that when my chance came I had to take it with both hands and try to take the No 1 spot.

His emergence highlights a bizarre goalkeeping season for Arsenal. Almunia had been more consistent than in previous seasons and was injured for a lengthy spell. Fabianski replaced him, performed better than was expected before being injured for a lengthy spell. Szczesny stepped up to the plate and has not disappointed.

Whether or not he is the long-term solution remains to be seen. His performance on Wednesday suggests that he might be. It was a continuation of those matches before but it is still too early to say for certain that he will be first choice next season. If, however, he is a member of a trophy winning side, it will surely be impossible for Wenger to drop him for the start of the next campaign?

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

Posted on February 20, 2011, in Arsenal, Champions League, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 427 Comments.

  1. Of course Szczesny is number one.He will be number one for the next decade.For too lng we have had great outfield layers but have neglect the most important position on the pitch.Seaman and Lehmann were world class Almunia and Fabianski were not.Szczesny has the potenial to be the worlds best.Just look how he twice outwitted the great Messi
    The difference between Szczesny and the other two is when they make mistakes they cost us goals and points

  2. Yogi looks like you haven’t read arsenal.com. Wenger says he’d rather rest Kozzer and would have Djourou start. Otherwise I’m looking for a good win!

  3. Today’s is exactly the sort of game where players – probably ours – could get hurt. If there is a serious injury as a result of reckless unbounded play then AFC should sue, given Dawson’s public statement of intent. It’s that same intent that has seen legs broken and careers threatened.

    For Orient, it’s a cup final and good luck to them. But we need the referee to do his job; these days that seems like a big ask …

  4. What a week! FA Cup, Prem and the Diddly Cup final, and I have the week off work. Ah it’s good to be me.

  5. Judith Le'Strange

    I just hope that Szczesny is in goal today and not Almunia as he will concede goals. We need Szczesny in goal for every game as he is definitely our numbr 1 keeper and hopefully will be for many a year to come. We need to keep our team together and not meddle too much with bringing in fringe players that are not so good, then we can go all the way in all cups and hopefully come away with something at the end of the season.

  6. Some chumps on here today.

  7. Just two to be exact

  8. Unbelievable isn’t it Gadget? A season like this and they still want to carry on slagging Almunia and Fabulanski – who was of course outstanding before his injury.
    Some people are an embarrassment to our club. Still there is hope for them; they might get run over for instance.

  9. thats what in saying Gadget. Chumps!
    I trust Almunia to do a job. All of a sudden he’s not good enough for FA cup. Puh-lease. Get a grip!
    I’ve seen talk of getting rid of Diaby since he is injured again. No damn sense.

  10. and ones chesney has a couple of bad games we all hate him or somehting? I can see the pattern coming…. pfft. You just wait, ones Chesney has one or two bad games the true arsenal fans will yell for his scalp and start asking for Akinfeeve or Lloris again…(cos the sun says they are the best in the world)

  11. Szczesny has shown more than once shown he’s got what it takes. He has that ‘aura’ of great goalkeepers, bossing his share of the 18-yard area, like no other keeper we have at present.

    Orient dont play rough usually but when it came to this match, their captain has come out and declared they gonna get dirty, coz Arsenal “dont like it up ’em”. How nice of em indeed.
    But how can we blame them, though. That is usually the only way they have any chance of holding on when they play against Arsenal.

  12. Does anybody know if Wellington played yesterday for Levante ?
    am concerned this work permit issue will significantly slow down his progress, seemed like one who would have benefited from direct AW guidance….

  13. If there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood…who you gonna call?

  14. RvP’s comments posted by Frank yesterday has found its way to Sky.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_6766741,00.html

  15. Anyone got a link for the Feyenord game? Interested to see if Ryu is playing…

  16. No start for Vela.

    Saw this on Keiththegooner’s Darth Persie post. Listen out for the MC/Chorus:

  17. My internet was down all day yesterday so I had to some catching up this morning and I was not disappointed by the unbelievably high quality of posts. Plus there was a dash of humor that had me rolling on the floor (cbob and co you are guilty). But the following quotes from RVP just warmed my heart (Thanks Frank):

    “I don’t have the inclination to go anywhere. This is the best team for me to be in. The bottom line is that I want to win trophies with Arsenal, not with anybody else. I know you can win trophies in many countries and in many ways, but I want to do that in our way and in an Arsenal shirt.

    “I’m sure I could win things at another team in another country, but would it feel like our trophy, my trophy? I’m not sure it would. Anything we win here will come from the heart and that’s what I want. It’s my dream and I see no point in speaking about other teams when I have these dreams. I think other people know that about me; I’m just hungry to win with Arsenal and that’s it.

    “It’s a massive game against Birmingham in the Carling Cup final, just massive. Going to Wembley in front of 90,000 fans, lifting that trophy, just imagine it!

    “I know what everyone’s feeling having not won anything for a few years — how I’m feeling, the fans, everybody connected with this place.

    “Making other people happy by winning the competition our way would make me so proud. We can make such a great number of people happy.”

    ….Robin Van Persie in the next Arsenal magazine.

  18. We have a solid keeper now in Szczesny, we need to bring in a keeper with a couple seasons left in him, for cover and for Szczesny to continue learning.

    For today’s match, I only see one winner in the Arsenal, our confidence will be through the roof after the barca result. We have the best squad in england, capable of winning trophies and I think today we’ll show exactly that.

  19. finsbury | February 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    That was some cover of the late great Gregory “Coll Ruler” Issacs. As a yard-man I am thrilled that someone could could find so much in common between a great tune and the great RVP.
    Now that is really “grit.”

  20. “…. we need to bring in a keeper with a couple seasons left in him, for cover and for Szczesny to continue learning.”
    – wtf? Take it easy shotta. Don’t raise your blood pressure.

  21. Hey guys, nice little win this week eeeh?!

    Broke Back Barca were bent over and taken without a smile…hahaha

  22. And they say RVP isn’t the new Mr. Arsenal!!

  23. Bloody hell Vela on the bench again! Old turkey neck Roy is getting on blasted nerves!!

  24. Szczesny definitely has that x-factor about him. But one thing I’d like to say is that both Fabby (this season) & him have benefited from playing behind a defence that actually likes to head the ball. In previous seasons we had Gallas & Toure who just couldn’t play together, not to mention Silvestre. Lot of people mentioned that Szczesny doesn’t come off his line as often now, that probably is down to the magnificent pairing of Djourou & Kos. I am not taking anything away from the kid, he’ll only get better and if he can wind up the oppo on the pitch, the way he does on twitter — Glory Days.
    @Maria -Just seems like Carlito’s luck. Could’ve gone to Bolton, probably have gotten games there, but his agent screwed it up. Di Matteo would’ve given him a chance, he gets sacked. For once if he was to get a run of games he could’ve shown what he really can do.

  25. http://younggunsblog.co.uk/2011/02/miquel-starts-against-leyton-orient/

    Young Guns is usually reliable, so I assume this is true. How exciting! I guess Kos is too tired and Djourou isn’t 100%. Miquel has been in fantastic form recently for the reserves. Naturally left-footed.

  26. Vela eventually got on the pitch.

    Has immediately shown his class.

    Nice take of an aerial ball on his left foot with his first touch setting up a pearler of a bullet shot at goal with his right, forcing a save from the wolves keeper.

    All this lad needs is some game time, he’s some player!

  27. Come on Carlos!

  28. Maria | February 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    I feel your pain. After seeing Fortune in particular flail away like a draught horse and a player of Vela’s quality kept on the bench until the 71st minute is enough to make your blood boil. No wonder Liverpool had to let go of Hodgson in short order. He is a typical British/English coach – simply suspicious and afraid of giving free rein to technical players.

    PS: Vela and agent have only themselves to blame for this state of affairs. In their greed they chose West Brom over Bolton. At least Coyle has a history of giving players on loan a good run.

  29. VELA! GOAL!

  30. Vela just equalized for West Brom, 1-1

  31. Are you watching Maria??

  32. Just think of what Fortune would have done? While the play developed on the right Vela simply drifted in from the left to to seize his opportunity.

  33. The difference in close control shown by Vela compared to his team mates is astounding.

    If Woy gets his head out his arse and gives Carlos some pitch time we can hopefully see a similar situation to when young Jack returned.

  34. In a similar one-on-one situation Fortune, with his feet seemingly glued to the ground, simply faffed at a ball which he should have struck one-time. That is the difference in quality.
    (I still think Vela and his agent were more into the money than the chances the player had of playing. Just one man’s opinion.)

  35. VELA!!!

    The young man came on and was immediately the best player on the pitch.

    Love that kid!

  36. I think you lot are being a bit harsh on West Brom. Odemwingie and Fortune are to a certain extent proven PL players. But what usually happens when a new manager is bought in is that they give everyone a fair chance, and Roy’s done this by bringing on Vela.

    It looks to me as if Vela’s taken his chance.

  37. HB @ 2:09 pm – I am sorry but I emphatically disagree. Fortune, in particular, is useless. He is simply big and puts throws himself around amongst the defenders. If he was any good, why did Celtic not hang unto him? Let’s not give “Uncle Woy” a free pass either. According to the commentators on my feed , Vela only came on because of the injury to Dorrans. As they say” better born lucky than rich.” Hopefully the goal will put this usually cautious manager under pressure to start Vela in his next game. But Hodgson is not particularly brave as a coach as the Liverpool fans quickly found out.

  38. Carloooooooooooos SCOREEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS

  39. Zama,

    I missed it my connecton was out!!

  40. Great goal for Vela !!

    I have alwasys loved that kid ! He is going to be something out of the ordinary some day !

    Hopefully Arsené sees this as well, and doesn’t sell him !

    I must say aswell that I love Sczszzchezchzchny ! ( Have not learned the spelling just yet)

    Has anyone read his twitter last night about Cashley ?
    (Rats, I just saw now that he took it away)

    But it said:

    ” Is it a bird? Is it an aeroplane ? No, it was just Ashley kiking Chelsea out of the FA ”

    I love that Kid !!!!!

    jokes aside, He has been a massive contribution to the defence. The way he shouts and acts with the defence is something that I think Fabianski is missing.

    Have a great day !

  41. Thanks for the feedback guys, one think you can always rely on is the ACLF regulars will support ALL our boys not simply those in vogue.

    As Shotta said Roy is a ultra-defensive coach who won’t play 4-3-3 allowing Vela the chance to grow into the role nor is he likely to play 4-4-2 were Carlitos is expectional just behind a bigger striker partner.

    I will be VERY upset if the rumors about his agent turn out to be true. (Money over progress?)I am not sure though the manager and team would have suited Vela so I wasn’t to upset when he choose W.B.A – him going abck to Spain would have been a disappointing though.

    People need to remember Carl and Jack are different players and individuals.

  42. Wily ‘ol Woy will have no choice but to play Vela if he keeps scoring the goals when he gets a sniff.

    My only concern is that Woy will throw away Demateo’s football playing principles for a more ‘survival’ driven percentage football style. I know of some Liverpool defenders who threatened to leave because they were being forced not to play the ball out of defence by Woy and told to lump it out very quickly.

    If West Brom play football, they’ll create chances – and Vela will be more clinical than any of the West Brom strikers. Wenger has always said that Vela and Eduardo were probably Arsenal’s most clinical practitioners in front of goal. Vela needs the games to play himself into form because he definitely has the class. The thugs down the road broke Eduardo’s spirit when they broke his leg.

    Vela is the natural successor to Arshavin or Rosicky in the next few years and he just needs to keep the faith, and take his chances when they come.

  43. The thing with loan moves is that you never know how they are going to turn out. But with Bolton the managerial situation was much more stable Vis a Vis WBA. Besides we know Coyle will play the players on merit and not simply because of the players’ reputations earned at the club before he took over as manager. In fact Bolton & Coyle were in a similar situation last season as Woy finds himself in this season.
    Its sad really to see the agents screwing it up for our players. I hope Vela follows Arshavin’s example and boots his agent out.

  44. Talking about chumps.What about the four on “The Sunday Supplement”?
    They just cant give us any credit.
    Samuals actually said if Chelsea played Spurs they would be favourite ,as with United ,Arsenal ………50 50.
    I really despair at the media bias against us

  45. This could work out well for Vela – if he forces his way into a starting lineup for a manager who is not naturally inclined to play him, that will make him even stronger.

  46. Darius I think Vela’s more of a striker than an attacking midfielder ala Arsh and Rocky. Reminds me of a technical Michael Owen!

  47. Arsenal team released: Almunia, Sagna, Miquel, Squillaci, Gibbs, Song, Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh.

  48. Sorry – what did they say George Rodger ? Samuels said what ?

  49. Big day for Miguel as he makes his first team debut. Will Barca be whining after the match?

  50. Muppet,he said Chelsea and United would start as favourites to beat Spurs ,and it would be 50 50 between Arsenal and Spurs.
    In other words Chelsea are still better than us

  51. One notable observation about Uncle Woy – He has already thrown out the novelty of two inverted wingers. Jerome Thomas was back on the right in a withdrawn role and Odemwinge on the left. Kind of 4-4-2 with Fortune faffing around up top. If Vela can force himself into this team, it will be a great learning experience but I am not convinced WBA will escape the drop with Woy’s ultra caution.

  52. And 50 50 means they are on a par with Arsenal.
    Now if that does not tell us he knows fuck all about football,then I don’t know what does.

  53. I have a new photo thingamabob I usually post as Dennis.

  54. Sorry – george rodger – in what competition do you mean.. and when you say start, do you mean from August ?

  55. I’d back that sides to win most games whoever were the opponents.

    The issue for them is can they deliver? We have seen the ‘second’ eleven struggle before this season. If they can deliver now with individuals pushing hard for a starting place then we really do have the potential to do great things this season. Really great things.

  56. Pffft those fucking clapped out smug ignorant twats on sunday supplement HAVE to keep peddling their wares. They have written us off from day one of the season and even before and still wont give us any due or respect.

    But as soon as we prevail they will simply say they knew it was bound to happen and offer excuses for why the likes of united, chavs and spuds failed.

    As for todaus game, I had Miguel in my team lineup last night. Hope he has a great game. The fact its away from home might actually be a good thing today.

  57. Great anticipation for the goal by our carlos there. Good or him

  58. Sorry muppet.He was saying that should the teams meet in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

  59. What´s the prestige in being the first one to make a comment, containing nothing of value?

  60. I’d fancy Crawley to beat the chavs at the monent and Notts County would’ve turned over united last night.

  61. Thanks George Rodger.

    Well – Richardson, Samuel, Woolnough and Beasley ? Words fail me.

  62. Miquel? Yay!

  63. Dexter,
    Agree with your last sentence. But if we can have an atmosphere like the one against Farca, I would prefer our home rather than away even though I love our away support..

  64. Here is a selection of opinion from Twitter about the Sunday Supplement, from what I think are mainly arsenal fans, but some others too, including mancs:

    michaelsawh – Rob Beasley you can’t compare Torres to Suarez. He is new to the PL. You don’t pay 50m for a player to sit on the bench

    Stoychers – Rob Beasley is awful. David Luiz as holding midfielder for Chelsea apparently. “His best position for Chelsea”. LOL!

    mazherabidi – Ah he’s Rob Beasley. Good enough to write for…the News Of The World. His opinions are automatically worthless.

    Stoychers – Martin Samuel excelling in bullshit this morning. Apparently fans trained to think like accountants.

    fac_23 – Little known #fact Rob Beasley is the only thing on the planet earth that is more bitter than a cubic tone of Lemons..

    RayVerschoyle – can someone call the men in the white coats please. Spurs v Milan was a better game than #aft vs #barca

    harris_AFC – Complete travesty Rob Beasley, Martin Samuel, Brian Woolnough and John cunting Richardson..a disgrace to journalism

    harris_AFC – Fucking cunts (excuse the french)

    Elsdog498 – Rob Beasley is such a conceited, smug prick, listen to the utter crap he spouts, what a cock, knows nowt, lol

    harris_AFC – im done with it! load of bollocks

    Tollemache_Boy – And today’s knob of the day is: Mr Rob Beasley of #notw. Complete Bellend.

    themiznissdj – WTF is the guy on #sundaysupplement on about by saying if you Try to play Chelsea at a game of football they will beat you? They aint

  65. Robbie Savage,fuck me things just keep getting worse.

  66. Muppet

    Those comments are bang on the money! Nice to see the arrogant twats get the treatmnt their idiotic herd mentality nonsense deserves.

  67. Savage is “astounded”that Arsenal have not bought a goalkeeper and a centre half.
    Well I am astounded that someone has not done the world a favour and stabbed him in the head with a sharpened scaffolding pole,or its like.

  68. Ha! What the hell is that all about on ESPN? Robbie Savage, Stubbs and some other dude sat around a bontempi organ! I hope they do “Roll out the barrell.”

  69. Nice goal from Vela.
    Makes sense in bringing in Miquel, we want our best defenders sharp and ready for Stoke on Wednesday. Chamakh, Rosicky & Denilson need more time on the pitch.

  70. Thank you Bob, always looking after me!

    Just listened to Parry and Savage on the 606 podcast LMAO!!!

    The BBC really has down now the drain.

  71. Savage also said earlier this week, after Flamini became tabloid football’s public enemy number one, that he was always the weak link when he played Arsenal. Obviously there was no irony intended in that comment.

  72. Maria – well done to Carlos!! Am delighted he scored, should give him that boost he needs

    As for Miguel starting, I think that is awesome news!! We will need cover at CB eventually and this is the perfect opportunity to see if he can hack it. I know he has the skill.

    Can’t watch the game today as I am out and about on business but will be having dinner with a Spud fan later, should be an interesting conversation. In fairness to him he thought they where shit against Milan who just happened to be worse but thought we plYed brilliant against the best team around. Enjoy the game guys COYG!!!

  73. Wasn’t Miquel playing when we recently lost a record 10 something?

  74. Football journalists. Quite possibly the most useless profession ever. How is it they get paid to do what they do? They offer baseless opinions, zero analysis, and you can often find better on twitter and many blogs. They have no credentials whatsoever and increasingly zero value.

    C’est la vie.

    Come on Arsenal!

    Wednesday was Wednesday, today is today,
    A beast we must slay, do it the Arsenal way!

  75. If we win we’re playing united at Old trafford

  76. John Richardson of the Sunday Express is a lazy arrogant burk, adamant that Barcelona ‘should’ have won by several goals on account of Messi missing a couple of chances. Because, clearly Arsenal only had two chances and we took them both didn’t we? Twat.

    So if we get past Orient it’s Manure away in the next round!

  77. Let’s hope so Irish, but turkey Roy was already shouting for them to come back and defend before Carlos finished his celebration. Yuck!

  78. I see that my complaint about Savage to the BBC impressed the media tycoons so much that he now works for ESPN as well.

    It’s a good job that decency has a voice in the game.

    Oh, and if we win it’s manu in the next round.

  79. United away why thank you – the draw. First Barca then United…so so kind!

  80. winners get United in quarters

  81. Man u away if we win today!

  82. United it is then! Even more incentive today boys! beating those twats at OT, with Webb as ref will be even sweeter than stuffing Barca for me.

  83. Savage literaaly dribbling into his beard as he tries to construct a coherent sentence.

    Fucking hell.

  84. ‘Literaaly’ is the old Devonian spelling of ‘literally’. Literally.

  85. It had to be United didnt it. Theres karma for you. Another opportunity for us to sink another media favourite into the ether. First to dispatching the best team in Leyton. Them to stuffing united at Old trafford.

  86. We must win this now.
    We beat United away and it will shoot their confidence to pieces

  87. haha I think it’s the teeth Bob, there is something wolfish about them. With all that money you would think he would fix them. But no.

  88. Maria, Miquel didn’t play that game. He was with the senior team against Leeds and Ipswich.

  89. Parry working with Savage for Radio 5?

    I’m henceforth refusing to pay licence fees.

  90. Nice easy draw for the quarter final then. Lucky for us Crawley didn’t get through.

  91. ESPN cant employ someone how can even speak clearly

  92. Maria, when the universe tries to shit on you it’s also offering you a great opportunity to shine! We navigate our way by Orient then we get to dump United and the refs out the FA cup. Sounds good and the men are up to the challenge

  93. Fuck united. Hoped for some other team. Would have loved a final against united!

  94. Consolsbob,

    Isn’t savage Cro-Magnon man ? Drinking from a skull somewhere near cheddar gorge ?

    Apparently, Cro Magnon men were:

    “hunter-gatherers living on their wits and, it seems, eating human flesh when the need and opportunity arose.”

    Sounds like Savage to me.

  95. Hoping for an uneventful 1-1 draw now. COME ON YOU REDSSSSSS

  96. Gooner Andy: “We have a solid keeper now in Szczesny, we need to bring in a keeper with a couple seasons left in him, for cover and for Szczesny to continue learning.”

    Shut up.

    Maria, where have you been lately?

  97. Darius,

    It’s true.

    Mentalist,

    Thanks didn’t know that.

    Gadget,

    Back to back trips to the Camp Nou and OT in four days is something our boys could do without. Hoping for a draw now.

  98. Kenyan – have some faith.

    United are the ones who are shit scared of meeting us. If we’re to win the FA cup, we’ll have to get rid of them. I’d rather in their own backyard than at Wembley.

  99. I listened to some of it Darius. If ever you wanted to prove that the BBC no longer cared about anything but sensation and lowest common denominator scheduling, this was it.

    They shouldn’t get way with this sort of stuff. I used to enjoy 606.

  100. Savage and Macca having a go at B52.Like he is supposed to usurp Rvp and be our main striker.Someone pass me a scaffolding pole ,I will do the job myself.

  101. “united have have Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Marseille in that order. bring um on” From a United fan interesting.

  102. Bring in another keeper? did i read that right or was i imagining things? We have Fabianski, Chezzer(that name really is difficult to write) Manuel and Manonne, why the fuck would we need another keeper??

    Our B team is playing, lets hope they deliver. Who is on the bench?

    Go gunners!!

  103. We’re due a win at Old Trafford.

  104. Parry ? Is that Mike Parry or some other ?

  105. Living on his wits? Well Muppet, he seems to be very good at making a new career out of zero talent as he was making a career as a footballer the same way.

    Cro Magnon man couldn’t actually articulate words though..oh, wait a minute…

  106. The most interesting thing about Savage is his poncy jacket which looks a serious fire hazard to me …

    Agree with Gadget – a FANTASTIC opportunity for us to rock Old Trafford to its foundations, and with it, Manure’s poxy uninspiring season.

    COYGS

  107. Mike Parry.

  108. Hey Maria – I was worried you might be a West Brom fan these days…

  109. It’s MiQuel – not exactly hard to spell, is it?

  110. the bbc have to employ savage, its all part of their fair rights campaign, they cant be seen to be discriminating against the old or the mentally handicapped.

    And Fegie will av to put out his strongest team to have any chance of beating us.

  111. dont know the excuse as to why sky have that awful sunday bloody supplement though.

  112. Mike Parry and Savage on the BBC? The Beeb is dying on its arse and thefact I have to pay for that privilige too, jeeez.

  113. Check this load of garbage out from the chagv fan beasley;

    The Sun’s Sports Correspondent Rob Beasley knows Cesc Fabregas well and wonders whether the moment has gone for the Arsenal midfielder to complete a dream return to Barcelona.

    Beasley told the Sunday Supplement that Fabregas is unlikely to be joining Pep Guardiola’s side on a permanent basis this summer – and that will be difficult for him to take.

    “I think the Barcelona thing’s dead, I honestly do,” he said.

    “I know he desperately wanted to go in the summer. I spoke to him numerous times in the summer and wrote stories about it numerous times and he was absolutely gutted when the dream move didn’t come off.

    “In life you get setbacks and it’s how you deal with them. Do you keep dwelling on something that may be lost and gone forever? Do you spend your life looking over your shoulder thinking hopefully that will come back?

    “He’s just got to push on. There’s no doubt Jose Mourinho will take him to Real Madrid if he’s still there in the summer. He won’t be short of big clubs because Chelsea have been linked with him.

    “He’s not going to be short of options, but I just worry about the Barcelona thing for him. That’s where he started, that’s where 90% of his heart is.

    “It was there for him, it was denied him. Will it ever come back?”

  114. Cesc wanted to go to barca LAST SUMMER??? Really Rob? Thats a scoop anda half there. Move over Woodward & Bernstein.

  115. haha – Never that Steww but have been following our boys everwhere this season more than ever. Feyernood, Cardiff, Norwich, Leeds even dare I say – Hull before I realised we had in fact sold Jay Simpson haha

  116. Wanted to watch Ryu this morning but couldn’t find a link.

  117. Well played Ignasi

  118. Anybody know o f a good stream PLEASE???

  119. I’ll tell you what, when AA is in form his anticipation and interruption of the opposition defenders is almost unreal. He has already put himself in the way of two of their passes, reminds me of one of his 4 at Anfield.

  120. Steww his amazing. Didn’t have his best game today was decent, the fans have already made a complilation for him already his been that good. For school boy to defenders nightmare in the dutch league. Love Ryo!!

  121. Not a ground for passing the ball this one.Ball bobbling all over the place. A ground for leathering and hoofs into the box. Orient keeping it interesting. COYG.

  122. He is going to be a sensation Maria – assuming he can near our team which is pretty sensational already!

  123. Brilliant play between Gibbs and Arsh.

  124. Chamakh should have leathered it.

  125. Miquel looking good so far. Buy buy buy brigade might end up disappointed. Anybody up for some humble pie baking?

  126. Less brilliant from Squilly!!!

  127. Haha Ignasi beating three players to start an attacking move.

  128. That’s what I love to see – a string of instant one touch passes creating space and turning defence to attack. Beautiful, shame the cross was a little strong.

  129. Mr Friend is the ref! Friend to Orientthere!

  130. You see Arsh control that while having a nap?? And pick a back heeled pass whilst picking his teeth??

  131. FYI I haven’t watched a properly game in months now I think have some sort of jinx over the team. Recently, tried watching the second half against the barcodes and you can see what happened there too. So will be back half time and I am not reading messages till then!

  132. We’re turning up the heat….

  133. Chamakh needs a goal, any type of goal to get his mojo back. Come on Marouane!

  134. A shame Ramsey is ot here, he would be good in this game…

  135. The Ramsay of last season yes, not the one who is still rehabilitating. I’m afraid it might be next season before we see that player again.

  136. The ref is a friend to Orient no doubt

  137. Dont want to jonx him, although whatever happens today wnt decide his Arsenal future, but young Miquel is playing really well. Very composed too.

  138. That was the chance Chamakh!!!

  139. Arshavin is having a good game.

  140. Poor chammy, he really needs that goal does he not?

  141. Ha! Really bad finishing so far!

  142. This is a game we have to be patient. Just keep on plugging.

  143. Yawn – game needs a goal really.

  144. 35mins already?? This game is certainly going at a fast pace..

    Everyone is playing well even at the back… Not the disjointed performance…

  145. Pfft, commentators suggesting bendtner should go for hospital balls now. Wankers

  146. Biggest problem for us fans is the massive emotional difference between Barca in the CL and Orient in the FA. I was so tense midweek I was biting chunks out of the furniture, today I’m picking my nose and examining the results.

  147. Darius with all disrepect to Mancity don’t you think the Old Trafford match would be the two favourites?

  148. 67% possession to us, seems more. Also seems like more Orient fans are watching from outside the ground.

  149. I think we should recall vela back from WBA for the last 20 minutes.!

  150. @steww for the Orient players this is like playing Barca im sure…

  151. ahh wondered how long it would take the 2 spuds, Champion and Pleat to mention that shitbag of a club.

  152. Fuck off John Champion you sad bitter spud cunt! Askin Pleat if Chamakh gaveup too easily there..? Idiot. The ball was nowherenear him.

  153. poodle – it’s worse than that, for them it’s like playing Arsenal!

  154. Orient must be damn happy with themselves!

  155. I dont see Orient keeping up with us for 90mins…

  156. Well, my Danish commentators have been very fair. They get incredibly excited whenever Big Nic gets near the ball and faire play to them for that.

  157. pah with our luck we will end up beating Barca and meeting United there too, meaning we have zillion game against United this spring all being of equal importance.

  158. On Twitter:
    Miquel has won a trophy every year since joining Arsenal. Good omen?

  159. They were already tiring IG, sure they’ll burn out soon enough. Totally different from Crawley utterly dominating those vile shitbags yesterday.

  160. Had been hoping that Wilshere, Fabregas or Nasri wouldn’t have to play. But looks like one of them will have to comeon now!

  161. Talk about a let down after Wednesday…Bendtner and Chamakh look completely out of sorts…If they are in the game we need to get the ball to Gibbs on the wing and send in some crosses to those two trees we have in there.

    I think Arshavin is going to be the one to open up the scoring….he looks the most up for it.

  162. Expect Song to go off – only fellow to start against Barca!

  163. If Pleat makes one more asinine comment….. Well, I’ll be even more crosss than I am now.

    I do have a problem teling him and Taylor apart.

    They both whine in the same pitch.

  164. steww,
    Maybe this is Arsene’s new stratergy… Tire out the opposition first and they hit them hard…. It worked out well against Farca..

  165. WE would’ve scored 2 goals easy. Bendtner and Chamakh been unlucky with their finishing. If we take anyone off, I hope its Song. He could do with a breather.

  166. I think people are right saying Leyton will tire…it is just frustrating to watch right now…Come On You Gunners put this one to bed early in the second half please!

  167. Half-time observations: We lack creativity. Period. Rosicky has been a good servant but at this stage of his career he can no longer orchestrate a game from central midfield. It is not today’s game only; every time he has been asked to do that role this season the offense is dire. On top of that we are playing two defensive minded midfielders (Song and Denilson) whom I both love but they are never going to consistently cut open teams with their passes.
    The boss might persist with this combination for another 15 minutes but if this doesn’t change by the 60 minue mark then we will see Fabregas or Nasri.

  168. Would love to see Rosicky get off the mark after his epic drought in goal scoring…hard to imagine he hasn’t scored in so long…he used to have some great strikes on goal.

  169. Bendtner looks a bit bored imo. i think he sufferes Barca backlash. i think he finds this dull and gray compared to the grand matches worldbeaters like him are suppose to play in. Im sure we will see a totally different bendtner in the quarterfinal(would not suprise me if he scored today too though).

  170. The South African analysts on my channel are all Gaga about Leyton Orient. Nitwits!

  171. Unfortunately I do agree with Shotta on this one…Rosicky just doesn’t seem to be the player that I remember the last few times I have seen him…hopefully that changes in teh second half…if he can find form he is a very useful player in the cup runs. This would be a perfect game for Diaby if he were available for selection…

  172. vice, I thought Big Nic had a decent first half..

    10 of the 13 team yet in the FA cup are from the premier league..

  173. Harry's twitch doctor

    Robbie savage…..what a CUNT.

  174. We need goals.come ön chamakh,arsh,bendy an the rest of the team.

  175. Kenyan,
    I’ve switched off the commentary for the same reason.. I hate the Supersport commentators…

  176. Agree with Shotta….hope we’ll score before Fab or Nasri have to come on…AA seems the one that could unlock their defense.

  177. oh and is it me or does Bebe have really tiny leggs? I saw the game yesterday and thought the boy just looked unfit.

  178. Is it just me, or does Chamakh seem way to quick to look for the layoff in and around the box when he should be looking to create something for himself…seems really reluctant…afraid to pull the trigger…he is another one we need to find form for the cup and to rest Van Persie when he needs it…at this point a result is all we need…this second squad has shown several times this season that they have yet to find that creative spark.

  179. Indian,

    Bendtner looked really interested and lively, but it is the decision making that is off the mark at the moment

  180. As soon as te ref blew for half time, teTV chanel got changed! Not a chance I am listening to Savage as well as Pleat and Champion! Not a fucking chance

  181. Rosicky Newcastle CC anyone?

  182. With Rosicky it’s similar to what happened with Gilberto. He can’t get in the team because others have stepped up and kept him out. Without a run of games every player looks rusty. He’s still a great player I’m sure, but how can he show it with such sporadic starts?

  183. No Doc, they are useful, Robbie Savage ain’t

  184. we will win 1-0 just like United. Not convincing anyone but who cares. United will get trashing in next match anyway muahaha!

  185. The team are playing fine. I dont have a problem with anyone out there. Just a bit of tweaking and patience and we’ll have a goal or 3 soon enough! Although maybe we ARE playing for that replay to avoid having to play Barca, then United a few days apart!

  186. Tomas!!!!!!

  187. Super Tom!!!!

  188. Haha Rosicky with a header. Awesome!

  189. TR7 scores… From a header…

    1-0…

  190. Must be his first goal since he missed that penalty?

  191. TR7 lovely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  192. Beautiful goal! Great set up by bendtner, finished with a plum, an apricot and a tangerine by Super Tom!

  193. Rosicky legs might be gone but he can still use his head. The build-up was very laboured but it is good enough for a League One team. I am not complaining.

  194. @ viceologist

    Chamakh is lacking confidence, is all. It must be scary to see RvP close-up in training!

  195. Tomas shuts us all up. Nice!

  196. The joy on TR7’s face was priceless.. Now for Chamakh to break his drought..

  197. Who said he wanted Rocky to score? That’s good karma!

  198. Laboured? Careful, patient, considered, unhurried, confident….

  199. Yeah. This has opened the game up a bit, Orient will have to try now and we will hit them on the counter

  200. Shotta

    What on earth are you on about? His legs aint gone and it wasnt a laboured goal in any way. Jesus wept

  201. Is it because there aint any doomersabout you feel the need to improvise shotta? 😀

  202. Did Denilson not use to be more creative and play further forward before? I seem to remember him scoring goals and doing his samba far more frequent.

  203. Heh heh Dexter I wondered if Shotta had a bad hangover or something!

  204. Denilson booked for that? Pathetic. These 2 commentators are incompetent!

  205. Song trying to be a passer is certainly an interesting experience.

  206. Deni took one for the team, there.

  207. Haha! Steww.

  208. Goal, Rosicky!!!!

  209. The sub for Orient looks more like a wrestler than a footballer…

  210. Song can pass as well as anyone – has someone broken into Shottas pc? Posting using his id?

  211. I so wish Diaby had been fit and unsuspended – he would have been perfect for this game.

  212. Fukin el my stream is late.

  213. The only things that culd undo us, is if the game gets too comfortble or th ref gets involved

  214. Dexter | February 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    Just one man’s opinion. I may not be toeing the party line but it is my observation.

  215. Kenyan,
    most people here on ACLF wanted TR7 to score a goal very soon…

  216. Duke – made me laugh.

  217. Steww I assumed that comment by shotta was him being ironical!

  218. But Shotta – you are the party, we look to you for the line.

  219. its fun to watch when Aarsharvin is in the mood, hes a very exciting player indeed!

  220. shotta

    Your observations seem a tad askew today though my friend!

  221. Good move.

  222. TR7 on fire – how the fuck did they stay out?????????

  223. PLeat; “He was inches away there.” Leyton Orient player shot 2 metres wide FFS!

  224. The goal is bringing out the Mozart in TR7 we all knew existed but was hiding somewhere…

  225. Tomas isplaying really really well, but I do wonder if his old legs will last the pace!! 😉

  226. Very happy with Miquel’s début so far. He has the Kosser calm.

  227. @ IG
    That’s so good to hear about TR7 – I’m not watching, listening on ATVO and you don’t get all the details.

  228. Wow, we got a decision by the ref.

  229. @ Dexter
    Tomas hasn’t played since Newcastle, has he?

  230. Agree with steww RE rosicky. On his day he is still my favorite midfielder to watch, a majestic player who just had too many set backs to fully intergrate himself into the team and into wengers long term plans. Im sure his influence around the training camp is hugely beneficial and I think he still has a useful if not entirely crucial role to play in games like this. He may not have the engine to be perfectly competitve over 90mins in high intensity games but he simply oozes class and lesser opponents will feel that keenly when they they have to go toe to toe with him.

    With ramsey and lansbury coming over the hill however it will be entirely logical for us to let him go this summer if we feel his wages are a burden. I would imagine though that he will have a say in his own destiny and I for one would be happy to keep him should he wish to ride out his career with us.

    I dont think theres a strong enough arguement to get on his back.

  231. Ha! A brilliant 70 yard cross field pass from Miquel there!

  232. FunG,
    He is definitely on his way back.. The energy, running, one-touch passing looks very sharp..

  233. FG;

    Newcastle in the CC you mean? I think he has played since then. In the CC vs Ipswich and in the FA Cup games too.

  234. @ IG
    Yay

  235. Wouldn’t say no to another goal, though.

  236. Just a quick FUCK YEA ROSICKY!! From my I-Phone, now back to business but with a big smile on my face 🙂

  237. @ Dexter
    No, I meant the 4-4 PL draw, which I see you have expunged from your memory! 🙂

  238. FG;

    I was at that game! Please dont make me go there again!!! 😀

  239. Great block

  240. jesus, look at the state of whing…

  241. Wankers! Screaming for a penalty, then calling us cheats! That shot would’vegone sailing ovr the bar anyways.

  242. Squilly got hit on his face… He is back on the field though..

  243. AA’s shot off the far post..

  244. Oooooooooooooooooh so close.

  245. Orient score… Ball goes thru Almunia…

    1-1.

  246. Tut tut. We are gonna do it all the hard way it seems!

  247. 650+ passes, including 20 up to TR7’s goal

  248. Goal: I am not surprised. We took a risk with the XI with no subs but we needed that 2nd goal.

  249. That Miquel looks sharpe, crisp, light, and refreshing.

  250. oh damn, here we go…

  251. Good finish mind wasn’t it?

  252. oh well now the Orient lads get a trip to Vegas anyway, and we get to play an extra game instead of rest.

  253. Well if we play Orient in a rplay and its on the weekend where we should’ve been playing manU, then so be it.

    Almunia didnt cover himself in glory for he goal.

  254. Not over yet Pood.

  255. Were are you getting that Man U thing from? replay is before the sunderland game 2nd of march.

  256. Seaman, Lehman and Bob Wilson lined up together wouldn’t have stopped that…

  257. I know, not over until the fat lady sings, could i be so bold as to suggest Almunia was tonites fat lady?

  258. Fair play to Orient. They took their one chance while we had half a dozen which we did not convert. Still, not too annoyed with the performance. We played very well and Miquel impressed. Rosicky finally scored a goal but Chamakh’s form is a bit worrying. I hope he can find his feet soon enough.

  259. Rosicky has been immense today and the replay, although unneeded obviously will mean he and others get some more playing time. And Vermealen could well be availble for that replay too.

  260. We have struggled with the so-called B-team not because they are technically incompetent but because they lack the creativity to open up these lower league teams. I am sticking to my half-time observations.

  261. anyone know when this replay will be put into to the schedule ?

  262. Fair play to Orient, they didn’t kick us and they never gave up. Thickness of the post stopped us.
    Our unbeaten run continues.

  263. Orient are playing for the replay.. Makes sense..

    I’m more happy to play a replay against Orient at Home instead of ManUre away at OT after the away leg against Farca… Even if it means playing an extra game…

  264. Argh, that was a bit frustrating. Still, we’ll take them at home all the same.

    And I can understand why we didn’t use any subs, with Stoke coming up in a couple of days.

  265. its like watching United at times, boring sturdy midfield with no creativity.

  266. viceologist is the jinx,

    “I think people are right saying Leyton will tire”

    Was that before or after the equaliser?

  267. 2nd of march? Really? Thats a fucking joke!

  268. Word –

    The game should be played when everyone else is playing the enext round like the Chelsea V Everton replay yesterday. Am I wrong? Then I mad be drew otherwise it will push the Mancs game back.

  269. @Shotta
    But we did open them up and we did have at least half a dozen shots on goal, didn’t we? We just did not convert them. Rosicky had at least two glorious opportunities to score another goal, Chamakh had a clear tap in that he somehow struck past the post and Arshavin’s shot was less than an inch wide from going inside.

  270. Here we go again: Blame Almunia. Why do you think Djourou and Kos work on preventing shots on goal? Because if they are taken point blank in the vicinity of the penalty spot the chances for the goalie are between slim and none.
    – We needed the 2nd goal.

  271. Ah Well – we do it the hard way I guess.

    I don’t think the replay will be scheduled for 1st or 2nd. It’s only 2 days after the Carling Cup final.

    It may have to be the same weekend as the quarter finals.

  272. And some of our second string players could do with another match to find some form. I though the performance was OK, but we could have done with a bit more bite up front. Chamakh’s better than this I’m sure.

  273. Just seen it on te BBC, 2nd of march it is then. Well, for once I am hoping the TV twats put the game back a day or 2 vs United. Thats if we get past LO!

  274. Bradys right foot

    Wonder if Arsenes thinking about recalling Ramsey Landsbury and Vela we could do with the numbers, given the fixtures were facing.

  275. if you are targeting lack of creativity shotta I think denilson is more to blame than rosicky or song… but then you may as well widen the net to the whole team then. NB was over ambitious sometimes and Chamakh was pretty toothless. wenger should have probably made some sort of sub also but hell at least we can field a decent B team unlike chelsea and least they are not as shit and Man u’s extremely expensive ‘up and comings’.

  276. For some reason a draw does not bother me in the least, mainly cos I was planning on getting wasted anyway 🙂 have recorded the game is it worth watching or should I just watch the Barca one again for the 5th time?

  277. My bad.. The replay is on the 2nd March… After the Carling Cup final… So the 6th round game against ManUre stands on the 12th.

  278. Bad luck for Ignasi. Had a near flawless game and then misses a tackle which leads to a goal. All in all I was impressed with him.

    Not too worried about the replay. Arsene should have these same players right their wrong at home without relying on any first teamers.

  279. “Rosicky has been immense today and the replay, although unneeded obviously will mean he and others get some more playing time. And Vermealen could well be availble for that replay too.”

    I’m taking that attitude, too, Dexter. I’m not sure about TV being available, but Diaby and Ramsey will both be back to provide the extra creativity. We will be using the “first choice” 11 for the previous game and the game after, so it’s just practice.

  280. It would be really great if Vermaelen would be ready by 2nd of March. As far as I remember Ramsey is just on a month long loan, isn’t he? So he could be very well back by then as well.

  281. Evil | February 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    Those shots on goal are flattering statistics. They were mostly difficult chances and yes we expect Arshavin and Rosicky to bang in at least one. But they are not Van Persie or Nasri. That is why those players are no longer considered A-team. Usually our creative players create point blank chances. That is the difference.

  282. How on earth can they expect us to play a final at webley on the Sunday, then a replay a couple of days later? The FA were happy enough to give the chavs a week off for their replay.

  283. Replay is Wed 2nd March so we avoid a week rest which would have been very very risky….we hate being rested

  284. Oh well Maria, get’s her 1-1 draw (good shout) but my, didn’t the boy take that goal well, getting past both Gibbs and Miquel in a few swift movements and lacing it by Big Al.

    Congrats to the Orient, but how anyone’s can blame Al for the goal is beyond me. The Al hate is something obscene.

    MotM was probably Bendy for me, but I feel the team could have been a little bit more direct at times, but c’est la, we’ll do em at the Ems.

    However, I thought Squilly and Miquel looked pretty good playing together, and kudos to the former for sticking his head in like that.

  285. Arsenal match calender says 2nd march possible replay of 5th round…

    @shotta.. i dont blame almuna i just say he was the fat lady that did sing and once he did we lost, not cos he was crap but because the team did not manage to score more than 1 goal the entire game. Almunia just happed to be the last person between the Orient and the goal(the fat lady is always the last person in the last minute, fair or not).
    If the players had done their job we would have killed the match earlier. Midfield and strikers got to take the blame for tonites 1-1.

  286. As far as I’m concerned we dominated the game, created the chances and didn’t put it to bed. End of story. No need to get too upset.
    The FA Cup squad generate the replay & they have to play the extra game. Maybe they did it on purpose to get the playing time….

  287. IG – good point. will have to check the calender but it would be preferable to let the b team do orient at home (decent surface for a start) whilst the rest enjoy Las vegas after their 3-1 rout of barca away…

  288. BTW: I am not slating the team that played. But there is a recurring pattern which, if we are truly honest, should not be ignored. Leyton Orient does not merit two defensive midfielders; even when we play superior teams we don’t.

  289. Agree again with Shotta….similar pattern for some games now

  290. PS: The recurring pattern is lack of creativity until we haul Fabregas or Nasri from off the bench.

  291. just ignore that last post then…
    B team against barca should be fine anyway!

  292. “B” team games i mean

  293. I was non plussed after the Leeds game at home, but this result is not giving me any kind of jip whatsoever! In fact I am completely free of jip of any sort!

    Ramsey, Diaby will be back and it will give us an earlier than planned opportunity to parade the Beer Mug! 😉

  294. then again, we are the Arsenal, we always take the long way, the hard way and win. An extra game?pah ! who cares! Orient boys will get a well deserved trip to Vegas and get to play on the fablulouse Emirates! Where the real Arsenal will step up. the b- string will get another match and play better, Diaby is back and so is Verminator. Us fans will have another match to watch, and that altest is good as watching Arsenal matches is always fun.

  295. steww, Arsene wouldn’t like it if that is the case…

    But the 2nd string needs some more playing time.. They have improved well in the last couple of games.. And will continue so.. We need all of them for the heavy schedule for the next 4 weeks where we play 7 games…

  296. Do we not got any other creative midfielders than Nasri and Cesc? Surley Ramsey must be counted in that?

  297. The team really played well. But as long as we didn’t score the 2nd, we were always in a dangerous situation.

    The only thing bothers me the most was that the commentators were over the moon when Orient scored.
    One of them gave advice to Orient players ‘getting in their faces!’

    I suppose commentators should have neutral point of view, not favor one team over the other

  298. Lovely pretty patterns, recurring. Lovely.

    We created more than enough today, Chamakh and bendtner were prety anonymous 2nd half though. In the route to the FA Cup in 98 we struggled a fair few times before we got there.

  299. Personally, I thought Song wasn’t that great going forwards. Both he and Denny did their thing defensively but offensively, his touches were poorer than usual. I thought too many of our attacks came down the right wing and Gibbs could have played a bit more offensively attacking the left hand channels, but I’m not that fussed.

    We played good possession football, but lacked the movement and sharpness with this team. These players all need more game time, and so I disagree with Shotta in that I believe the players we put out today do have the creativity needed, but they just need to gain match sharpness as a unit.

    It’s a shame the reserve league is in such piss poor shape, because that would have been an awesome tool to keeping all the players as sharp as possible

  300. i despair with almunia..
    you dont get beat from a shot more than 12 yards away through your legs…
    its worse than being nutmegged from the penalty spot
    that was a very professional perfomance….very tidy, very composed, very dominant…
    and that clown gets asked to do one thing all game and hes gazing at fucking stars….agian….
    not a biggy we’ll do them in the replay…with the same team…it wont affect our other comps but jesus christ leave manny at home…

  301. Well, I think shotta’s bang on with his analysis.

    This ‘second’ team does lack the speeed, sharpness and creativity of the ‘first’. That’s a shame because if we could rely on the likes of Bendy, Tomas and Chamakh to be sharp then the rest of the season would be a lot more comfortable.

    I’don’t mind a replay though, I get to watch another Arsenal match.

  302. Jon jon, with all due respect, you talk a lot of shit at times! Mind you that’s true enough of most really, myself included.

  303. @shottagunna: tonight I don’t think song was playing DM

    I see no problem with the result, and Neither should Arsene.

    1. Extra home – More money (Gate receipt + TV)

    2. More opportunities for fringe players and those back from injury (TV + Diaby) to get a run out.

    3. We avoid a potential double whammy should we dropout of the CL! (TV??)

    Other than the joy it gives the media in the new found opportunity to label us inconsistent, I’m only seeing positives here.

  304. kind of goes without saying that the b team is not as good but it is disappointing to see the width of the gap. I guess my expectations have been lowered after braga, ipswich, leeds and huddersfield but at least this performance was IMO better than some of them. that certainly goes to support the playing time arguement.

    no other club in the country can do this and get away with it.

  305. Is there a Leyton Occident, by the way?

  306. Agree with Gadget and Sixtay. And with CBob. I get to watch another game of the Arsenal.

  307. for the 1st time Sixtay I agree with you..

  308. @ word
    The quality of the “B” team is fine. It was the balance that wasn’t there. Put Diaby or Ramsey in the midfield instead of either Denilson or Song and we are more incisive and we attack more quickly. Chamakh, Bendtner and Arshavin (from the sound of it) did have chances anyway, but weren’t always clinical enough.
    ***
    @ sixtay
    thanks for the info about the CL squad the other day, by the way.

  309. and its not to say we cant rely on a couple of individuals to fill roles in the first team when required (NB, eboue, rosicky, deni, MC… and the rest), you are just always going to have consistancy issues if you make wholesale changes.

  310. But I hear we are going to play the replay on the 2/3 March is that true??

  311. I would be upset about the replay if we had a squad decimated by injuries. But we have a large squad if which some players are just not getting enough games. It isn’t the worst thing that could have happened – we’re still in the Cup.

  312. http://www.marca.com/2011/02/20/futbol/equipos/barcelona/1298196568.html

    Hmm..let’s hope this is true if Valdes doesn’t play in the second leg, we have GOT to really fancy our chances, I mean as if we didn’t already. Victoria perpetuum

  313. anytime FG

    It did look though, like song was completely knackered in the 2nd half! He needs a rest IMO

  314. arsenal.com thinks we are, Maria.
    But we will be fielding two totally different teams, though. Unless something disastrous happens on the injury front in the meantime!

  315. gadget..
    so he had a good game then really..
    other than the fact he had pretty much naff all to do all game and he made three basic errors??
    yeah mannys great lets play him every game just for the crack…
    i like him…u gotta like a guy that cuts short his honey moon to sign the dotted line on an arsenal contract but as far as football is concerned even the bench is too good for him…
    if fab wasnt injured he would have gone january…
    he’ll defo be gone summer…

  316. An extra game but not a problem. Wenger should field the same line up or even change the entire team and we should go through . the fact that the game was around the corner and did not involve traveling it will make you feel like a training session. Extra cash for both clubs , leyton in particular so no problem.

  317. Yes, sixtay – thought that against Barca, actually.

  318. It should be interesting to see how barca bounce back from wednesday (aaah just thinking about it puts a smile on my face :D..) against atletic bilbao, 8.00 ss if any of y’all are interested.

  319. FG – agree

    Chamakh’s performance does raise a bit of the question mark for me though, overall game play is great but surprisingly little goal threat.

  320. The most familiar pattern is that these players have not played regularly so expectations need to be realistic. It matters not the quality of the players if they are not cohesive and confident.

    Give these same players a good run of matches together and they would kill Orient.

    Thats my view!

  321. word, the width of the gap between both sets of players exists because the B team doesn’t play together that often. Also, you can’t expect a carbon copy of the A-team when we’re playing Bendtner out wide and Chamakh up top. Other than that we moved the ball around well and kept our back line tight bar one instance when Miquel and Gibbs failed to tackle Tehoue.

  322. @Zak:

    I just read the article. Unfortunate for them though…but who care eh!

    BTW…who’s their sub keeper?

  323. I met mr. chamakh this week, very nice guy and it sure doesn’t seem like his performances are affecting him at all..I’m sure his wage bills don’t harm him..

  324. http://www.marca.com/2010/10/18/futbol/equipos/barcelona/1287399919.html

    Shouldn’t we be employing this methods? Or is it some kind of doping?

  325. Their sub ‘keeper is Pinto..he’s not bad at all but if he does end up between the posts in a fortnight we’ve really gotta go for it, along with them missing Puyol..or is it pique?

  326. Nice post Yogi. Chezzer looks like long term #1. Feel bad for Fabianski. He rescued his reputation this year and was playing really well before his injury. Did not deserve to lose his spot as #1 but sometimes the football Gods are just not on your side. Wookash will make an excellent back up next year if he is willing. Almunia is an adequate keeper but I can not see him coming back as 3rd choice. Hopefully he can find a good spot. Vito or Shea can be 3rd choice.

    Result today was unfortunate. Certainly can not blame Almunia for the goal. It would have taken a great save to stop a shot from that close with that much pace. Miquel looked OK most of the game but playing him and Gibbs on the left was always going to be a risk and it almost worked. We should win the replay easily. Agree with Shotta’s analysis and hope we play more of a hybrid team in the replay. Hopefully TV5 will be back. Would like to see at least one of Nasri Fab and/or RVP in the line up.

  327. I guess it could have been worse, we could have lost! But I’m well p*ssed off. I thought we were past this routine – countless chances not ruthless enough, lack of concentration for a second and last minute goal for the opposition?

    Looking on the bright side maybe another outing for the ‘B’ team will help them play themselves into better form.

  328. Yes, G69, they do not have the confidence and instinctive understanding that the regular starters have.
    With Chamakh, the way he is playing now is the way he was described last season by a French reporter on ATVO. He works hard, links play and holds up the ball, and makes space and chances for his teammates, but was not particularly prolific, so his early season scoring stats were atypical for him. He may come back to that, of course.

  329. we didnt need to kill orient..
    we just needed to get the job done
    second string team..resting the first team…go to a lower league banana skin side on a dodgy pitch…no injuries…no subs…keep it tidy and do the job professionally…
    which is exactly what we were doing..everything was going to plan perfectly until the curse of almunia struck again….

  330. Bob,

    “This ‘second’ team does lack the speeed, sharpness and creativity of the ‘first’. ”

    More so because they don’t play as regularly as the ‘first’ team, then anything else. Give them a good number of games, and they will be sharper and surely more creative e.t.c.

    Good game, I had a bad feeling about this match, but glad it ended with a draw.

  331. Disappointed we didnt finish them off especially since we will play on 2nd and not when we would have played barca. ooh well, we always do things the hard way.
    Shotta you dissapoint me, that comment about Rosicky was so uncalled for and so unlike you. Our problem today wasnt so much creativeness as not taking the chances that came our way.

    Miquel-one word OMG. We have got ourselves a defender, reminded me so much of Koscielny.

  332. You’re on a roll with the shit Jon Jon. Seriously, Almunia’s problem was never with stopping shots, far from it, he’s always been a great shot stopper. If he’d been able to save the shot it would have been a good save considering, and somehow I doubt you would have given him any credit for it.

    The goal was well taken. Simple as, no blame need be assigned, so stop looking for a goat.

  333. As far as Rosicky, he was brilliant at the beginning of the season then he got injured. I think thats the problem and not that he lacks creativity, again a run of matches would solve that but I doubt he will get it.

  334. @JonJon | February 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm |

    Give it a rest, will ya?

    How motivated would you be at your job, if the rookie who was coming to you for tips at the beginning of the fiscal year, was handing you documents to have ‘xerox’ed by the end of the day?

    Manny’s in a tough position at the moment. If reactive, ‘flip-flop’ing fans like you can’t let the man see our his stint at arsenal in peace, then there really isn’t much I have to say to you.

    Please give him a break

  335. jon-jon; Didn’t your golden boy Scezzny (sp) get nutmegged by Villa Wednesday night at similar range? Or your memory doesn’t go that far back.
    Thought as much. (I am really trying hard not to get off on you. So please cut the nonsense out. I know you know better. )

  336. Shotta @ 6.37 pm – I don’t think Arsene was playing Song and Denilson as 2 DM’s as we don’t play that style. Both are capable of defence and creativity but they are not as skilled at the latter as Cesc and Nasri. Remember we are a bit light in midfield at the moment with Diaby and Ramsey missing. Either one or both of those two would have played if available and the game would probably have been very different. In the absence of those players, it was Rosicky and Arshavin who Arsene would have expected to provide the creative spark today.

  337. Firstlady | February 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    – I might have been too hard on Rosicky butIMO we need to face the facts. It is not the 1st time we have asked him to be the spearhead of midfield in the absence of Cesc or Nasri and it seems he doesn’t have the legs. This game, for example, too often Song was the one trying to make the “big passes.” It sure worked out well didn’t it?

  338. what a game ! so ManU-like…
    Lacking creativity, speed and urgency… I guess that’s why they are called the second string. No worries then. They get the chance to redeem themselves on 2nd March, by the time we will have Ramsey and Diaby back, I think.+ Vermaelan maybe.

    OptaJoe
    “Arsenal attempted 801 passes in their FA Cup match against Leyton Orient, with Denilson their most prolific on 133. Metronome.”

  339. shotta
    look at the two goals
    ches was about 2 inch away from closing villa down…
    well it wasnt that close but you know what i mean…
    manny was megged by a good 12 yards..he was hardly off his line…it wasnt the same range at all…nowhere near…or you need glasses

  340. There was plent of creativity out there today. The forwards werent in the form required to finish the chances which meant Rosicky, Song and Arshavin had to try and do that job too!

    Changing a whole team is bound to mean they team is not as fluid and in-sync as the ones who play week in, week out. Thats natural. I completely understand Wenger making all those changes too with our games against Stoke and Brum s on the horizon.

  341. oh and chesney isnt just my golden boy..hes everyones golden boy..including AW’s
    thats why he played v barca and manny played v orient

  342. Good to see some things never change. Denny and Al are getting the blame for this draw, even though I heard Gibbs and Miquel were at fault.

  343. shotta

    You give jonjon a load of stick for his remarks about Almuia while you slate Rosicky! Again with the legs thing? He was excellent today and got better as the game wore on. Hardly what one would expect from someone sans legs now!

  344. Well done to Leyton Orient today. Outplayed, outpassed but scored from their only real chance. Thats what the FA cup is all about, and now I get to see the mighty O’s at Ashburton Grove. Amazingly excited.

    North, North, East London!

  345. Shotta, be careful that you are dealing with Rosicky in the same way many were dealing with Arshavin, I dont see a difference.

  346. We were piss poor today how many saves did there keeper actually make?
    What we did learn though was if Szczesny Kos/Djourou or RVP gets injured we are fucked.Almunia makes an error surprise surprise
    I feel sorry for our fans who have to fork out premiership prices again for the privilege of watching our B team play a first division side

  347. @ Dexter

    Maybe we needed more drive, then? I keep coming back to Diaby’s and Ramsey as the missing ingredient.

  348. dexter
    totally agree..
    changes were essential..the squad is big enough and good enough to deal with these games..
    AW got his selection spot on and cant be critisised…its just certain players cant cut out the basic errors

  349. we werent piss poor today
    we were tidy and professional and we were doing a job..
    but almunia did make an error and yeah the fans deserve better…
    the way the players run off without applauding the away end is fucking criminal sometimes…that is piss poor….

  350. if cardiff dont extend rambos loan i think he’ll be back in time for the replay…
    extra legs we will need…

  351. @ JonJon
    “we werent piss poor today
    we were tidy and professional and we were doing a job..”

    That’s certainly the impression I got. Just lacking a little oomph in attack.

  352. A plus is we have seen a bright perfomance from a previously untried centre back,wo, for me, seems completely unflappable! I hope he gets another chance in the replay.

    And FG, yeah, having Diaby/Ramsey in the mix will add some zip too.

  353. I think Song played because Arsene thought the Os were going to be more physical than what many said they were today, and to maybe get his bad game against Barca of his mind.

    On Rosicky I have a feeling he maybe be of to Aston Villa this summer. Our little mozart needs games after losing so much time to injuries I think bench warming duties won’t cut it with him. On form one of my favs at the Arsenal.

    So twice a week every week till the end of the season if we stay in all competitions. Yaaay

  354. yeah, greater passing range, more variety, more driving runs etc is what I was thinking there, Dexter.

  355. Given the choice of winning today and drawing, or worse on WEdnesday, or drawing today and beating Stoke what would y’all take?

    This all just seems like typical Arsenal to me! Doing it the hard way, beating barca and drawing with a league one outfit! Classic Gunners!

  356. we do everything the hard way…
    as long as we win the next two games i dont care
    i dont even care about drawing this one…we’ll just use the squad players again and do em at home…no impact wahtsoever on the other comps… but we shouldnt need replays to beat teams like leeds and orient and we shouldnt struggle against teams like ipswich and hudds…
    the young guns are playing for better teams than orient and if some of the squad players dont pull their sox up they could be in for a shock next season..

  357. Its football it happens n a draw aint too bad gives a chance for fringe plays to get match fit.on the plus side miguel was really good,hard to tell with the quality of orient but overall he showed excellent composure and positioning sense. Expect the usual almunia bashing.

  358. ‘Tired’ to read the Valdes article but it didn’t quite work out. What excatly is wrong with him?

  359. he plays for barca. maria thats whats wrong with him but if hes injured for the second leg then its shoot on sight…

  360. Some double standards in here today, if rosicky has lost his legs then Almunia has lost his shot stopping capabilities, just saying.

    We didnt do any subs today, why?

  361. Something different to think about the replay.

    Leyton Orient in 2 games, get a combined revenue of £1.5 million minimum from TV rights – and in the space of a couple of weeks, they get to wipe out their debts. Barry Hearne even offered the entire Orient squad a trip to Las Vegas if they got a draw because he knew he would wipe out the club’s long-time debts in one swoop.

    Regardless of our disappointment, it can’t be bad if a decent club like Orient get the rub of the green and get back into the black after such a long time operating in debt with crowds of only 2 to 3,000 a game for I don’t know how long. Some of the fans in that game today (younger ones) probably haven’t ever seen the stadium full to capacity in their entire lifetime, even if it was only 10,000 people.

    We fight for a way of life in football that is fair and just, and I get a good feeling for Orient and all concerned with them. Today was their cup final and lets not take it away from them.

    I’m confident each and every single Arsenal player who started the game today will want to get back onto the snooker table that is the Emirates pitch to finish this job that they started come the 2nd of March.

    My only disappointment is that we’ve handed the lazy hacks classic headline and tripe writing fodder ala ‘Arsenal can beat Barca, but can’t beat Orient – ergo Orient is a better team than Barca’.

  362. Can’t fault the performance, loads of positives to take from the game.

    Arshavin is looking like he is coming back into form for the end if the season, another game fir Rosicky to get back to form and fitness, more game time for Gibbs and miquel looked impressive.

    Chamakh looks like he needs a goal though, although his work rate and attitude are impressive – nic could learn from that!

    Fair play to orient, we totally outplayed them, but they took their chance.

    Annoying to have to play another game, but you can’t help but feel please for them to get the chance to play at our gaff, seem like a decent team, manager and club, they showed us nothing but respect from the build up to the game and onwards.

  363. That article about Valdez is in Spanish – what does it actually say in English? Translations?

  364. I’m really not fussed about this result. Orient get some extra cash and we don’t have to play United away at OT straight after we play Barca at the Nou camp. It could all work out rather well… IMHO the guys out there today need games. Chamakh has to find some form as we are going to need him down the stretch. The same goes for Squillaci, Bendtner and Gibbs. And with Ramsey due to return pretty soon an extra match may not be the burden that commentators make out… PROVIDED WE WIN THE REPLAY.

    I actually thought that we played quite well considering the number of changes we made… we passed it well and linked up well in midfield and Miquel and Squillaci looked good as a CB pair. I know it’s only Orient but Miquel looked really good… he hit one long range pass that had me clapping like a madman. Upfront we weren’t sharp enough TBH but give Orient some credit as they did keep their defensive shape fairly well. Chamakh is really off his game at the moment and as I said earlier an extra game will do him no harm at all.

    I know that some people are all hung up on this first team/ second team dichotomy… for me it is all a bit of a nonsense. Gibbs isn’t a worse player than Clichy, he is younger, less experienced and hasn’t played all that regularly due, in part, to injury. Squillaci is struggling to adapt to a new league a bit like Dzeko and any number of players one would care to mention so writing him off is a bit premature to say the least. Rosicky is a classy footballer IMHO and Arshavin isn’t a second teamer and neither are Song and Sagna. The problem these player have is a psychological one because in strongly hierarchical system like football it is difficult for those who didn’t play against Barca, say, not to feel just that bit inferior. It’s Wenger’s problem and he has to deal with it… and one way of dealing with is to play the exact same team in the replay.

    Finally… I have to say that it takes a particularly clueless individual to actually blame Almunia for the goal we conceded today. No one who has ever played the game at even Primary school level would blame Almunia for tonight’s goal…. any shot taken with sufficient power within the 18 yard box that is on target is liable to beat even the best of keepers… that’s why any coach worth his salt would tell his defenders not allow the shooting chance in that area. If there’s blame to be apportioned it would be to Miquel and Gibbs for letting the Orient player slip between them but the problem with folks who like scapegoats is that never have the courage to blame the popular players . Almunia’s reputation is mud so it’s easy to blame him even when no fair minded person would really do so… there’s something I find frankly distasteful in this scape-goating of players… but that’s me.

    Good night all.

  365. “the young guns are playing for better teams than orient and if some of the squad players dont pull their sox up they could be in for a shock next season”

    Spot on JonJon

    More amazing is the fact that players like Aneke are still yet to get a sniff!

    The way I see it, we could be making 10 million yearly from selling our deadwoods and players who don’t look like making it at the top level

  366. Seems to me that we annhilated Orient today and they got lucky at the end, No problem with the result and particularly happy that there were no injuries. Ignassi looks good and it was nice to see Kieran Gibbs fit and well. We will put out the same team in the replay which will be no problem. Quite nice really. Orient have their day in the sun and we get a bit more match practice at home for several players. Bring on the Mancs.

  367. MU played at home to 70k with 2 first teamers (Anderson and Rafael), played poorly and brought on 3 first teamers early in the 2nd (Rooney, Fletcher, Smalling) and still you weren’t always sure who the non league team was.

    Arsenal played away on Leyton’s best cabbage patch with 2 first teamers (Song, Sagna) and kept all the the first team on the bench. No question who played the football either.

    MU first team is still heavily dependent on Scholes and Giggs. No question where the future lies….

    The 2nd team needs more games and a couple of million more in revenue is no bad thing.

  368. darius
    thats a fair point..a pal of mine on another blog said the same thing
    orient will get a massive payout for this..and barry hearn even said it will help pay for the lawyers when they take on west ham for the olympic stadia…
    its one for the conspiracy theorists i suppose..
    good ol AW…helping the little clubs out in a fight against the bigger clubs…
    if west ham move theres a good chance orient will go bust…
    im not convinced myself like…i just think certain squad players cant cut it but i wont knock the idea of a ‘hand out’

  369. PS…
    Congratulations to Orient. They played with commitment and effort but their players were very fair. I was expecting a match full of X-rated challenges but there was none of that and for that I will not begrudge them a replay. And their goal was classy TBH… I’d rather have Orient’s goal lead to a replay than stomach the kind of goal that Ipswich scored against us in the Carling Cup.

  370. I think its wrong to say taht the way Chamakh plays now is how we should eexpect him to play because he played like that before. The reason Chamakh can not produce now is cos hes dependent on a good midfield. As in a creative midfield that can play him to chances. If they can do that he scores. But he needs a cesc or a nasri to feed him.

  371. Just thinking of today’s game and in particular the performance of Ignasi Miquel.

    With Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou only at an average age of 25, and Squallaci being the elderly statesman at the home of football; I get a good vibe that we are well equipped for years to come.

    Ignasi should be ready to deputize by the time Squillaci retires or his contract finishes and with a central defensive team of Vermaelen, Koscielny, Djouurou and Miquel playing together for at least the next 8 years – it feels really good, really really good.

    Wenger and Gazidis have always said the first priority (even before buying new players or bringing new players through from the academy) is to keep this squad together. They’ve managed to keep Cesc, and my sense is that Barcelona won’t be able to afford him – if you think that Andy Carroll cost more in transfer fees than David Villa. If we can hold on to Cesc, I don’t think an act of parliament will make us sell any of our stars until they’ve reached the point of diminishing returns.

    Cesc can now also see the club at the cusp of something really great and it will have been pointed out to him that he can be the fulcrum and inspiration around which a special team of our generation can be built. Broke Back Barca clearly don’t value him enough and want to pay the price of a fish and chips portion for a 7 star 7 course meal.

  372. Ah I see the arseholes are coming out to play

  373. just a question, has anyone actually blamed Almunia tonite? cos i have not seen that at all.

  374. sixtay
    wengers philosphy is bearing fruit..we have too many good young players now…the competition for places will be heavy next season..somethings gotta give the squad players need to take their chances when they get them…
    almunia’s gone from 1st to third in the space of six months..denilson gone from playing 40 games a season to just playing in the cups..4 starts all season in the PL not one in 2011..
    AW’s getting ruthless again..he can afford to be and with the amount of talent we have coming thru (16 on loan) there is no room for complacency anymore from anyone…
    step up or step off…cos theres not just one player knocking for your position…in the summer they’ll be 3 or 4…

  375. poodle
    almunia should have saved it yes..i think that..

  376. Darius

    According to Sport, he is likely to be out for a fortnight which means he will be back for Arsenal or the league match before at the latest.

    YW

  377. @JonJon would you have said the same if that happend to Chesney?

  378. Allo JJ!!! where have you been.

  379. good to get a dodgy result out the way, always going to be one after beating arselona coz everyone would have bendy type ego’s.

    the earth sure is hard when you crash into it.

  380. it hasnt happened to chesny though poodle..
    sure chesney will make the odd mistake but everyone can see why hes number one…
    mannys spent the last 2-3 years getting beat from 40 yards, at his near post, letting balls slip thru his fingers and getting megged from 12 yards..
    hes 33..not like hes still learning is it or like its nothing new..

    allo duke..just been out and about this weekend..

  381. good point duke
    lets crash back down to earth in the games we can..
    we didnt lose..which is the main thing..

  382. Thanks YW.

    You think it’s punishment? Or is it a genuine injury…

  383. arselona still dazed and confused from there encounter with us.

  384. is it still 1-1

  385. Fucking Online Gooner is a disgrace. They d nothing but bitch and whine. As if teams had never suffered shock results before in the FA cup.

    Thing is, with the editor of that rag, its all aimed at Wenger, like a witch hunt, hiding behind a poor result is snide in the extreme.

  386. 75 mins and 1-1 at the camp Nou

  387. 2-1 barca now

  388. @Darius

    Regarding the marca piece, use Google Chrome’s translate feature. It’s not perfect but you get the Gestalt. It says he’ injury should keep him out for at least a month, but an unconventional procedure for speeding up regeneration used by barcelona should see him heal in time.

    It involves drawing blood from him, placing it in a centrifuge, extracting the red blood cells, and injecting them back into the troubled region.

    More cells = Faster regeneration. Brilliant!!

    See awfully like doping to me though!

  389. Eerily quiet at the catalonian gaff. The arrogance of barca fans ismidnboggling considering the years they were in Real’s shade for so long. I hope our fans dont get like them when its our turn again!

  390. barca are beginning to faulter..
    everyteam has a patch where they have to grind out results i hope theirs goes on for a few more weeks…
    they are knackered and ready to be picked off..
    if we have the cc in the bag and real are up their backsides by the time they play us we’ll have em again..

    lets just see who weve got left to pick after the stoke game… 😉
    thats arguabley the key game of the season for us.. we need to beat them and go into the cc full of confidence as well as players to choose from..

  391. Darius

    Possibly he got hit by the bus that followed the ball into the net, so wide was the gap between keeper and near post.

    YW

  392. Optimism aside…is it really too much to ask to see arsenal complete a demolition job against minnow teams like these?

    I would think players were only to happy to hand out life lessons to teams of considerably less quality. Whatever happened to the days when we bullied teams in the last 10 mins, scoring 3 goals to turn a 2 -nil into a 5 -0 drubbing, or a 3 – 1 into a 6 – 1.

    All of a sudden we seem a little to eager to see out matches after we’ve secured a 2 goal lead, sometimes even less (like today).

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to drop the tempo of the game when we can, to keep the team from fatiguing, but a few 5 – 0 results, in games where the performance DID merit that scoreline (Wigan, Wolves, West ham), would go a long way to showing a genuine intent.

  393. no sixtay its not too much to ask
    the odd giant killing or shock result will happen in the cups…the little teams will always raise their game but to struggle against 4 of them on the trot is just taking the piss…

  394. just seen the AW interview and he didnt seem too happy about it anyway..

  395. Great Twitter comment from Jack – he understands the nature of the FA cup!
    “Classic cup game that..we will have to beat them at home! Great crowd aswell.well done to Miquel.great debut and who said we need a new CB!”

  396. JonJon, I didn’t think Wenger sounded that upset

    On being in control before the late equaliser…
    “That’s what football is about. I believe we have played the game with the right attitude and I cannot fault our fighting spirit. You have to give credit to Leyton Orient. They never gave up and, as long as you don’t score the second goal, these kind of things can happen. It is a disappointment of course but we are still in the competition and the most important thing is that we go through, that’s what the Cup is all about. Today you had fighting spirit against a team who were technically superior, but in a Cup game fighting spirit has a chance.”

  397. miquel had a massive debut
    very impressed…but id like to see him in a few games at a higher level to make a concrete judgement…
    but he does look the part..composed and quick…strength maybe an issue but that can be worked on quickly…

  398. Of course it would be just grand to win every game 4 nil. maybe if we played Cesc, nasri, Theo, van Persie etc in every game we’d win a fair few by that score. Then when they got injured, knackered, banned etc we could all say, ah well, we almostwon something, but Wenger over used our best players and injuries did for us yet again. Then again, we could try and use the full squad, eek out results and see where it gets us.

    Passenal

    Jack has the attitude that a fair few of the club’s supporters could do with having

  399. What happened to the good old days of getting knocked out to the likes of Wrexam and Sheffield Utd!

  400. Dexter, football is not predictable, which is why we love it so much. Like BBB on Weds, we had all the possession and passing, but without penetration and accuracy in the final third, unexpected results can happen. But we are not out of this competition and the first team got a well deserved rest. We live to fight another day.

  401. Miquellooks a good prospect and given that we have Kyle Bartley on loan at Rangers and further along in his development, we look set in the CB area for a fair few seasons.

  402. Watching the goal again, I think rosicky has to take the blame for not closing down the player earlier. Any pressure on him and he probably would’ve surrendered possession.

    well, c’est la vie!

  403. Unfortunately, I remember that loss to Wrexham only too well duke!

  404. Just looking at the fixtures and our 1st team basically get a well deserved rest from tasting silverware at wembley on the 27th Feb for 6 days.

    2nd March – B team take down orient on the flat surface at home.

    5th march is sunderland at home which should be a good warm up before facing a shook BBB on the 8th. Barca will be without their suspened best CB and quite possibly be without their generation long talisman leader Puyol. Their 1st choice goalie is most probably out but even if the latter 2 start they will be risks. Crucially they fear us and we know it. There is no better time to take on our biggest threat. A win puts us as very strong contenders to win the competetion.

    Now you may think ManU away in the FA cup is a tough draw and too quick to trot but again it turns out that it could be the best time to face our (again) biggest remaining rivals in the competition. A competition which they will regard as less priority than the league and the CL.

    Their fixtures fall like this:

    1st Mar – Chelsea away
    6th Mar – Liverpool away
    12th Mar- Arsenal home
    15th Mar- Marseille home

    Now imagine which manager has less headaches tonight?

  405. miquel or gibbs could have hacked him down too i suppose but still..
    almunia to get megged from that distance is just wrong

  406. Just watched their goal again and it did go straight under Al. he should have saved it no doubt at all.

  407. this is a cruel world and we have no time for sentiment. Looks like Al has lost his confidence completely now.

  408. David Villa’s goal went straight under Szczesny too, should he have saved that as well duke? Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition forward. There is no shame in that, however lowly the team.

  409. “The most negative side of our result today is one more fixture and in fairness that is not what we needed.

    “We have had problems in the cups against teams from the lower divisions to finish them off, but also we have given a lot.

    “Sometimes, mentally, a breather would not be bad.

  410. passanel
    i said this to shotta earlier but the two goals are uncomparable
    chesney came well off his line and was only yards away from closing villa down..he was megged from only a few yards…which is where you normally get megged from as you dont get the time to react…
    manny might as well of been megged from a penalty…it was easily 12 yards away..you dont get megged from 12 yards…you just dont…
    the two goals where totally different manny shouldnt have been beat…

  411. a ha but there is one big difference between the two and that is time…Villa was so close it was quick as a flash, impossible to reract but today it was so far out the keeper should have had time to get down to it. look im not going to slag off A;l but going on the incident that happened it was a bad error. where’s ches’s it was so quick it was skill on the striker. all about time.

  412. I concur with jj.

  413. night all, im sure this debate will rage on tommorow.

  414. i watched bartley play today in the old firm…
    apart from a crunching tackle which knocked brown 10 feet in the air after only a few secs he didnt do much else…and rangers lost 3-0..
    smiths playing him as a midfielder though so….

  415. anyone on here?

  416. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Wow. ESPN PFA has Joey Barton up on February’s short list for player of the month. What a joke. ESPN are taking the piss.

  417. JonJon is still banging on about Almunia; well, each to their own. For me only a totally clueless individual will blame Almunia for that goal. In fact I’ll goal further and say that Tehoue’s goal was tougher shot to save than a goal like Giggs’ one against Seaman in that infamous semi-final we really ought to have won at Villa Park as Seaman was falling backwards as Giggs struck the ball at the end of his run and it was from an angle. No one blames Seaman do they?

    It is even more irritating to hear people talk about the ball going under him… basic physics tells you that a well struck ball from that range is travelling faster than any human can react… to make a save from that range requires that the striker either not make a good enough connection or it actually hits the keeper. Almunia did what he could and no blame lies with him IMHO.

    I honestly feel that if more people got out from behind their keyboards, bought themselves a pair of boots and joined a Sunday League club you won’t get half as many misguided comments on the net…. if you ever get on a pitch with even a half decent semi-pro and understand what their skill levels are you’d understand why you cannot allow a shot at your goal keeper from the range that Tehoue had his shot. To expect any goalkeeper to save a shot taken at that pace from that distance as a matter of course explains why you get fans who’d call a player like Denilson rubbish and player like Clichy sh*t… it is down to simply not having a clue. A well struck ball can go through even the best keepers… ask David Seaman.

  418. I’ve only seen the highlights on BBC last night but I thought that Vela looked the class player in his time on the pitch for West Brom against Wolves and he took his goal well. I’m really glad that he didn’t bottle it and go to Spain where, I’m sure, he’d have found it much, much easier to settle and play. This loan deal could be the making of him… I even fancy Hodgson to add the polish and sparkle to his game. Early days yet but it is looking good.

    BTW whatever happened to Giovanni Dos Santos? Anyone know if he is still at Spurs? The guy just seems to have vanished…

  419. I haven’t thought about Dos Santos for a while–good question. He made a real impact during the WC. Since then, Hernandez has been the one from Mexico making an impact this season. Hopefully this loan spell will give Vela the games to get his career back on track with Arsenal next season.

  420. https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/arsenal-held-by-spirit-of-the-fa-cup/

    I know, I know, it’s Monday and you were expecting the post later. But it’s here. Well, there. Where the link says.

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