AC Milan Preview: San Siro IV

There is a feeling of a long running and hugely entertaining film franchise here. Arsenal return to the San Siro, the scene of some of the greatest riumphs in the club’s history. Memories of thrashing Internazionale and outplaying Milan are wonderful but they are just that; great memories. They are entirely irrelevant to this evening, as meaningful as Milan outplaying Arsenal in 1995.

Team selection was made a little ‘easier’ for Arsène – albeit not in a manner that he would like – with Per Mertesacker’s collapse at the Stadium of Light seemingly as serious as it looked at the time. Reports suggest that his injury is similar to that of Andre Santos suggesting that a four week absence is overly optimistic. 

There was better news although contradictory, about Jack Wilshere. The youngster is apparently making good progress and is aiming for a return at the end of March with a caveat of caution applied. Not that the media are worrying from an Arsenal perspective; no, the paucity of English talent means that young Wilshere will be one of the Three Lions; that there are eight pussycats making up the rest of the team highlights England’s problems.

Kieran Gibbs return makes life somewhat easier for the manager defensively with Vermaelen slotting in alongside Koscielny in the centre. That pairing is not the one originally thought of when the German initially signed for the club. Koscielny at the time was favourite to make way for Mertesacker but such as his form been this season, to me it is inconceivable that the Frenchman is not one of the first choice pairing.

Considering how damaging mentally the last minute at Wembley in February 2011 must have been for Koscielny, his improvement in form and the consistency is a tremendous advertisment for the dedication required to reach the top level of the game. Of course, he has to stay there now and in itself, that is perhaps where Mertesacker will be missed the most; his absence eases the pressure that depth in a squad brings albeit only slightly.

He can do no better than follow the example of Thierry Henry. As he plays his final Arsenal game for the second time in his career, Henry noted that he is never satisfied with his performances,

You can always do more. I was in the dressing room thinking I missed a chance against Aston Villa when I came on and should have put the ball in the back of the net. But if you had asked me if I would rather have scored against Villa or this one against Sunderland, I think I would have chosen this opportunity against Sunderland. You can always do better, that is always what I tell myself.

It is harsh on himself but underlines the attitude required to succeed at the top. The manager talks of a top three place being achievable; if that happens surely credit must be directed to Henry who Thomas Vermaelen believes, has had a massive impact.

That may be needed this evening. Rightly complimentary about the ability of Arsenal to recover deficits, Aaron Ramsey overlooked one key aspect. In the Champions League, defences at this stage and beyond are considerably better organised than those of Aston Villa and Sunderland. Better not to concede at all.

Crucial to this evening will be the width Arsenal have. Theo Walcott will be an automatic starter on the right. On the left is a different issue. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has done well in his recent run in the side but tonight is an altogether different and more unforgiving arena. He will be required to work harder defensively than in attack, which counts in his favour I think, when compared to Andrey Arshavin.

Yet his inexperience is a millstone. He cannot gain experience if he does not play in this type of match but can Arsenal afford to take the risk of him being exposed? I think not.

The rest of the line-up picks itself as far as I am concerned which means,

Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Ramsey, Song, Arteta; Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin

Arsenal defend a proud record this evening. The only Italian team that has beaten Arsenal in a two-legged tie is AC Milan in 1995’s European Super Cup Final. Roma, Torino, Lazio, Udinese, Juventus, AC Milan and Sampdoria have all fallen by the wayside. In those matches, single goal defeats in the away leg have been superceded by penalty shootout victories.

Tonight we will find out how deep this current recovery runs. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 15, 2012, in Arsenal, Champions League, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 618 Comments.

  1. Thank God Yogi you’re still with us. And yes you are right history counts for nowt in the here and now. However us footy fans are a fickle bunch. We can’t help associating Italy with success and Spain with failure.

  2. big game tonight! historic opponent. wont be easy. come on arsenal!!

  3. Consolbob – cont from yesterday’s post: It was his strength that surprised me looking back at that compilation. I remember his artistry, the way he seemed to be playing to a script that other players hadn’t read but the way defenders dissolved when they tried to out-muscle him was something to behold.

  4. all we need is one goal….just one goal…even if we concede…we need one..just one..just one gramm doctor..just one..help me…i need it…

  5. I always find it strange that general thinking it is preferable to have the home leg second. I prefer Arsenal to play away second; that way we know if the opposition has any away goals or not. For me I want us to get an away goal (at least) tonight. I always hate going into the home leg not having one, with the threat of the opposition being able to get one at any time.

  6. I think he may have pushed one or two over steww but who cares. Interesting that we’ve seen Robin do that a couple of times this sason and he’s got away with it as well.

  7. I know exactly which ones you mean. But he just does it in such a way, i don’t know it’s almost sleight of hand. Erm, arm.

  8. Morning YW…As is the norm a wonderful read…Alan Smith Interviews D Bergkamp… Very interesting to read what he to say about Arsenal…

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/9082469/Arsenal-are-predictable-weak-and-lacking-a-winning-mentality-says-Dennis-Bergkamp-ahead-of-Milan-clash.html

  9. mattgoonerknight

    Missed your write up yesterday YW – it was certainly conspicuous in it’s absence!

    GA – re the DB10

    Your right in regard to how only certain people are allowed to say certain things.

    It seems too often the “doomer cunt” or “fence sitter” label is bounded round: I wonder if anyone would be prepared to label the great DB10 such things for pointing out what he perceives to be a few weaknesses in the current set-up.

    However, the point Dennis makes regarding the way that Arsenal and Ajax are similar in how they both struggle to hold onto the top talent they develop does highlight the difficulty in building a squad which addresses his, and others, areas of concern.

    Take the players we lost in the summer for example. While it pains me say, Na$ri was a player that could single handedly change the state of a game in addition to shaping up to be the much coveted double-figure scoring midfielder; Cesc amongst his numerous other qualities, had become a real goal scorer and provider(2009/10 – 19 goals with 19 assists in all comps). The why’s and how’s to the reasons that we have been unable to hold onto such players are numerous, varied and arguably no ones fault per se.

    However, I feel that now, with the squad AW is building, we have a real opportunity to address some of the issues that DB10 has raised. It has a new energy, togetherness and ultimately a new nucleus to it, a team that is no longer struggling in the midsts of a post invincible hangover. The exit of Clichy, the last invincible, perhaps more than just symbolical signalled an end to both that era, and the subsequent reformation years.

    Will we ever see the likes of the class of 2002 or 2004 again? Probably not. As DB10 longingly remarks; it was kind special. Could some lessons be learnt and changes be made to bring us closer the original 97/98 Arsene template? Perhaps. It’s closer to where we are at this moment in time.

    I’m beginning to really relate to and enjoy this team for what it is. The new guys no longer feel a forced fit, but instead comfortable and worn in.

    We’ll do just fine tonight regardless of the actual score. Even if we lose (I don’t think we will, never do) I feel as long a it’s just by the one and we score, we’d still be in the box seat for the return at The Emirates.

    VCC!!!

  10. “Your right in regard to how only certain people are allowed to say certain things.” I think Dennis has earned the right, don’t you? In any event I wouldn’t get my knickers in a twist about anything filtered through the British press.

  11. Fully expected Rosicky to start, but his inclusion on Saturday and Ramsey starting on the bench would make it seem like your lineup is spot on. I do also think Arshavin will get the nod. The sounds coming out of the Milan camp aren’t entirely positive and we might need his canny play to unlock them. Allegri seems set for a tight defensive display, although when have we ever believed something a manager says PRE-game.

    “Last year we made one mistake late against Tottenham. On Wednesday, we need to have great patience and be careful, otherwise you complicate everything,” he said.

    “We need to have a game of great intensity, and we can’t give them chances to counterattack because that is their strength.”

    10 men behind the ball then…

  12. MGK – Yeah, I agree with all of that.

  13. mattgoonerknight

    Steww,

    Chomp 😉

  14. Markus – Yeah, I also think Milan will sit deep for much of the game. With that in mind, I wonder it having Theo on the bench may be a better idea? Start AA and AOC on the flanks as they are more “footballers” than Theo and are more likely to pick out a pass or shoot from distance. Once we score Milan will have to come forward which would then suit Theo down to the ground as they will leave space behind the defence.

  15. Maybe Henry will continue to have a postive impact on the dressing room from afar?
    Not like that born winner, Mourinho. He still talks to Chelsea players, some of them allegedly told off AVB. And Mourinho was recently told off by the Madrid players. That doesn’t seem like the way forward.

    Such a big game for on indvidual and collective level:

    Sir Szczesny: First game back in the CL knockout rounds after having to leave his last game injured around about this time last year.

    Sagna: Bac is back. He’ll be wanting to prove that he can play as well as Eboue did in that first leg last February.

    Vermaelan: Vermaelan vs. Ibrah. The re-match. C’mon Tommy.

    Koscielny: From chuckle brother to first choice! : )

    Gibbs: Gibbs! Gibbs! Gibbs!

    Song: 33 tackles, leading D**Mer* in the CL with that stat.

    RVP: First game back in the CL knockout rounds after having been ‘skanked’ in his last game.

    Henry: Legend.

    And the rest!

    *AS far as I understand it, a D**Mer was a term used to refer to someone who had their heads buried so far up their Arsenal’s that they had somehow missed out on the development of the CL’s leading D**M this season (in tackling) whilst stressing ot about Arsenal’s D-Fensive frailties. This insinuation that people are not allowed to criticise the team, when I think most on this forum wrote problems with the captaincy at the beginning of last season (just one example) seems like the wrong approach to take in this instance. YW once asked me stop writing about TV5’s blunders shortly after the last time he played against Ibrah., and he was right to do so.

    Come on Arsenal!

  16. < wrote about concerns with the…

  17. What is the saying, birds of the same feather fly together? You can tell that by how much they agree with each other here.

    Yogi’s line-up looks pretty solid but I hope Rosicky would start, wishful thinking on my part considering how many games he’s started lately.Anyway here is to a win or a draw with goals.

  18. Your right in regard to how only certain people are allowed to say certain things.

    It seems too often the “doomer cunt” or “fence sitter” label is bounded round: I wonder if anyone would be prepared to label the great DB10 such things for pointing out what he perceives to be a few weaknesses in the current set-up.

    first of all it is a bit different when dennis bergkamp speaks and totally different when a toothless alcoholic speaks.

    secondly , this winning mentality dennis talks about is of course correct, the arsenal youngsters lack it. Dennis knows of course that players with winning mentality either cost millions or you develop them.

    whether arsenal choses to compete.exist/survive/challenge with big name winners who cost 180k each per week or not, is a decission for the club;s owners and policy makers. not the manager.

    if the owners though tell the manager that ” listen coach we want to be self sustainable, we have a stadium to repay and we need to generate 25m per year for the loans …what choices do we have , how do we do it?” …and the manager gives his advise and recommendations….again its up to the big boss to decide.

    how else do you generate 25m surpluss per year, if you have to pay 11 first teamers 20 million in wages per month…lol…

    therefore…stadium and world class winners ..goes out the window..not workable.
    stadium and youngsters to develop and sell …hmmmm ….not a bad idea…it could work plus we have the most qualified for the job.

    for it to work though ….it needs faith, belief, positivity…not moaning and complaining and spoilt bratt behaviours…….

    whether arsenal spends on winning characters to win stuff or develops them with a view to win trophies in a decade or more, is a policy and decission decided by owners. they have the cake , they have the kinfe, they slice it as they want.

    when arsenal had to get up united; face they got the characters and winners and did it…they went through that phase, won titles and now they are plannign other things….wenger;s early success gave arsenal the time and credit to develop and build something very audacious and very very difficult. unfortunately it coincided with the arrival of two players who came and changed the scene. sorry but i cant blame the manager just because tony blair allowed foreign investors to come purchase epl clubs……..

    arsenal needs to grind it out..and wait for the next cycle……and while doing so wenger has to keep an eye on the academies and mix it with whatever his budget allows him to buy….

  19. Ironically this is probably a game where you’d have thought Mertesacker would be a definite starter. Can’t think of anyone I’d rather have man-mark Ibrahimovic. But we’ll be right.

  20. Great preview, YW. Was thinking Djourou might offer some brawn up against Ibrahimovic, but then again…

    I worked out that you must write around 315,000 words a year about Arsenal, so there’s no way I’m going to grumble about you missing a day. Just don’t let it happen again. LOL.

    Sick in bed and watching Big Trouble in Little China. That bit in the lift near the end is kind of how I’m feeling about tonight – maybe it’s the fever.

  21. Right, I’m off to walk the dogs and try out some new focussing techniques I’ve just read about.
    If the postman comes when I’m out sign for it someone please.

  22. Sick in bed and watching Big Trouble in Little China.

    epic

  23. cesc ara when you say toothless alcoholic i do hope your not talking about the legend that is Paul Merson.

  24. Oneofus feel better soon, as for Ibra dont worry,Koscielny will have him in his pocket you wait and see!

  25. mattgoonerknight

    “first of all it is a bit different when dennis bergkamp speaks and totally different when a toothless alcoholic speaks.”

    Of course, but who is a toothless alcoholic? Not sure what you’re getting at so please do explain.

    “for it to work though ….it needs faith, belief, positivity…not moaning and complaining and spoilt bratt behaviours…….”

    Who’s moaning and complaining? Was I?

    “arsenal needs to grind it out..and wait for the next cycle……and while doing so wenger has to keep an eye on the academies and mix it with whatever his budget allows him to buy….”

    Very similar to the overall point of my post.

    For what it’s worth I agree with the majority of what you have written.

  26. finsbury | February 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm
    “Henristic @ 5:28 am
    Eh? Calling a player ‘crap’ is not a direct, straightforward comment? It is obtuse, oblique, nay even obscure? Ok, if you like.
    Do you like Custard pies? Just asking.”

    Not surprisingly, you completely miss the point about G69 and the word ‘obtuse’.
    Where IS he anyways? Come back on you foul mouthed, obtuse bugger. Don’t let your ego get in the way.

    Not a fan of custard in any form. Why do you ask?

  27. Haha, I don’t doubt that, FL. Thanks.

  28. Great write-up Yogi.

    I’m absolutely psyched about tonight’s game. So much so that I’m going to have to tear myself away from the internet if I plan on getting anything done today!

    Hope everyone enjoys the game!

  29. mattgoonerknight

    “What is the saying, birds of the same feather fly together? You can tell that by how much they agree with each other here.”

    firstlady, who are you referring to?

  30. I recall Gains saying the other day that the San Siro pitch was awful. Can anyone back up the assertion? I’d never noticed it before?

  31. Massive few weeks for us, massive game tonight. It would be so fitting if Henry scored one at the San Siro, given his history, but the most important thing is that we get a result. Taiwo (article from last night) says “attack Milan” and even seems to be rooting for us a bit, which is good.
    I would quite like Rosicky to start as well, firstlady – he has CL written all over him, in my book. But perhaps Ramsey’s rediscovered scorey-ness and the confidence he has will see him preferred.

    @consolsbob/steww
    “outmuscling” or “showing his strength/experience” is what we call that kind of thing when a player is as good as Dennis!

    @ mgk/limestonegunner
    Anyone can take a view about how we should play, can’t they? Doesn’t mean everyone is right and it doesn’t mean they are a doomer. Equally, disagreeing with the substance of DB10’s (or anyone else’s) opinion is not the same thing thing as labelling him a doomer – it’s disagreeing with his opinion. Which anyone can do.
    finsbury is quite right, and Irishgray gave a very good definition of a doomer a while back. A doomer is a person who looks for negatives all the time and who has no perspective. Now, a closet doomer…that’s a whole different story!

    @ hunter13
    Well said.

    @ Dexter
    agree with most of what you said yesterday. Apart from the bit I picked you up on, obviously. 🙂

  32. mattgoonerknight

    Henristic

    The boss is describing it as “worrying” and “terrible”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/feb/14/arsene-wenger-arsenal-chelsea-champions-league?newsfeed=true

    Don’t think they show the away CL press conference on arsenal player, which is a shame.

  33. Henristic, they have had problems with their pitch over the years although I don’t know anything abotu the state of it right now.

    I’m much happier that we have a few players back and they can play in their proper positions. When is the last time we had a right-back, two centre halves and a left-back all fit at the same time? This should give us much better balance and an improved attacking platform as well as hopefully making us more sound defensively. I too would like to see Rosicky starting, we could get at least an hour out of him and Arshavin instead of Chamberlain was my thought too.

    I’m not sure that Milan will play as cautiously as many seem to think, they’re an experienced outfit and they know that taking a lead into the second leg would put us under a lot of pressure at home and leave them spaces to attack on the counter as we would have to push on. While I don’t expect a goal fest I would be surprised if they sat back and let us make the running.

  34. Three games on bad pitches in a row for us, then? Grrrrrrrrrr.

    Something must be done. It’s quite shocking that a club of AC Milan’s stature should allow a situation like that to develop.

  35. @mgk
    They do show the away press conference on Arsenal Player, but sometimes it’s very late in the day. Or even the next day!

  36. And as I say that – it’s on now. Both AC Milan’s and ours are available to view.

  37. YW – enjoyed your write up.

    Henristic

    I watched Inter’s match this past week end at the San Siro (on TV)…..it in no way looks as rought as Sunderlands, but it does have some patchy areas.

    Both flanks look like they have recently been relaid……vs. the center third of the pitch.

    I don’t feel Arsenal will find the pitch a distraction.

    Agree with others above……a goal for us is massive.

  38. And get well soon, OOU. Hope you’ve got someone looking after you?

  39. dukegoonem | February 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

    i include many people in that description not only merson..the general profile of the little englader who wants to pass judgement on a superior manager…the allerdyces, the rednapss the bartons etc etc …sure united fans consider keanne a legend too….but if they want to be taken seriously when they talk then they will have to admit and accept that the man is a thugg and had it not been for football he would rot in some prison…..

    and if you can allow me to say………i find it a bit difficult to accept such venomous and harsh criticism from a person who confessed in his book that his greatest pleasure is self satisfaction 🙂

    mattgoonerking

    you misunderstood me..i did not attack you or your words…all i said is that the words of a dennis carry more weight than any englishmans with a sinister agenda on arsenal and i said that because i happen to beleive that wright merson and a few others are releasing their personal complexities rather than being honest and objective. the comment i made for the moanings and complaints is not for you..its for who the cap fits..sorry if i angered you..not my intention…its just that im a bit fed up with all this criticism arsenal gets.

    in my opinion those who complain dont understand anything about company/organisation structures, hierarchy, budgets, margins etc….. in such organisations the policy comes from the very top…not the employees…an organistaon’s targets aims and objectives are set by the the man /men sitting at the very top of the hierarchy. then the manager has to make his decissions to reach those targets. and is given a budget to accomplish what the upper HIERARCHY expects……..

    people ciritise as if the pie called “arsenal” is wenger;s and cuts it with his own knife according to his personal needs…no that is a mistake…..its the wrong way to think about it..so no wonder people complain and cry.

  40. From the boss’s comments in that article matt, it would appear Mertesacker’s injury is due, in part at least, to the ankle reconstruction he had before he joined us. Fucking poor pitches. I’d take the team for running sessions on the beach. Nothing strengthens your ankles like running on loose sand. On second thought that might be a little risky…

  41. And, I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on Bergkamp’s criticism. He was obviously being led in the interview, which was suposed to be about Ajax, but they picked up on his minor criticism’s of Arsenal and went with that as the angle. It worked too, we all clicked on it.

  42. mattgoonerknight

    FG

    My somewhat churlish comparison to Dennis’s comments to those of some on here was just to illuminate how people can have different opinions but still be 100% onside both Arsene and Arsenal. The point I thought I clearly made was that a difference of opinion doesn’t necessarily equate to doomer cunt: which unfortunately, I find is often the default response of many who read anything that remotely deviates from their own highly tensioned party line.

    It was intentionally provocative and a cheap point, which on reflection needn’t have been made as Dennis’s words speak for themselves.

  43. mattgoonerking ..its nto difficult to see what is going on with arsenal

    a…..oh shit roman steps in the arena
    b….dein: ” right we need to pull a finger out and invest in first team, buy eto buffon pirlo etc etc..lets get kroenke in”
    c…pete ” lol you must be mad, get out of here i aint selling the club to americans”
    d..d: ” if we dont we will be left behind, unless we built a bigger stadium increase revenue blah blah”
    e …pete ” well id rather we do that than selling the club”
    f..dein ” youre mad pete..were gonna get left behind..we need to spend spend spend”
    g ..pete ” pi55 off you cretin…this club has tradition, we wont become whores just to win a trophy”
    h…dein ” right om off then and fuck you very much”
    i..pete ” good riddance, dont forget to write”

    ———–

    pete : OH ARSENE ….come here buddy…this is what were thinking ….”
    arsene ” it could work, but we will face war from fans media etc…will you cover me?”
    pete ” not a problem . just get on with it”

    ——–

    dein ” pete im gonna rip you effinf heads off mate..im selling to usmanov and were coming to kick you out”
    pete ” oh is that so david…oh well good luck weve just sold to kroenke”
    dein : you what?! why didnt you do that when i told you 6 years ago”
    pete : ” because back then we didnt know who the hell kroenke is ..you cant exspect us to let just anyone in the family”
    dein ” you massive massive cunts..you aint heard the last word from me”

    ——

    dein : my son..youre the agent of henry,cesc…we’ll show that old cunt
    dein : mr usmanov listen how we do it, we turn public sentiment against arsenal with a little help from my freinds (media , ex players connected to dein) but we have to be careful not to damage arsene cause without him forget it.”
    usmanov ” ah thats easy ..back home i was kgb and expert in propaganda, we will do this , this and that”

    —–

  44. so basically the whole jist of arsenals; last 7 year period is a dispute at higher level of arsenal club hierarchy about which method and route the club will follow to become big and huge like the milans and barcas of this world.

    the majority of them wanted to do it the safe way, the football way the hard way. whether they are right or wrong is something we will discover after 20 years ….lol….

    however it so happened that for the method they choose to put arsenal up there they had a very capable and perhaps the most qualified manager for the task.

  45. mattgoonerknight

    hunter13 | February 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    You didn’t anger me, I just wanted to ascertain who your remarks were directed towards – now I know so all is cool.

    By the way cunter13, I think you referred to me as mattgoonerking before? Ignored it previously but if you could use my actual name, that would be appreciated 😉

  46. @mgk
    And I was saying that this “I find (doomer cunt) is often the default response of many who read anything that remotely deviates from their own highly tensioned party line.” isn’t quite true. What people are responding to is the timing (in good times, or just after a big win), or perhaps the repetitiveness – that’s doomer behaviour (ie constantly looking for negatives; lacking perspective), it’s not necessarily the substance of the criticism itself.

  47. Arshavin with what sounds like a Russian version of “who dares, wins”:
    “If you take a risk, you drink champagne.”

  48. I think you referred to me as mattgoonerking before? Ignored it previously but if you could use my actual name, that would be appreciated

    ive lost you…what do you mean ? did i mix up the replies ? names?

  49. ahhhh lol…ok now i get it, its mattgoonerKNIGHT not KING…sorry about that…sometimes the eyes play tricks on you when youre in a hurry …i apologise if it offended you

  50. hunter13 (I’ll give you another chance)

    I fear you’re preaching to the converted.

    Read my posts today, yesterday, any other day for that matter.

    I’ve not once criticised AW and am fully aware of the finacial contrainst we have been operating under, the Abramovic effect, the Sheik up etc.

    Not sure how you’ve read my comments but your stance is perhaps indicative of the lack of pluralism that I’m referring to.

    I’m off to work.

    Will no doubt resume this this afternoon.

    Peace

  51. mattgoonerknight

    hunter13 (I’ll give you another chance)

    I fear you’re preaching to the converted.

    Read my posts today, yesterday, any other day for that matter.

    I’ve not once criticised AW and am fully aware of the finacial contrainst we have been operating under, the Abramovic effect, the Sheik up etc.

    Not sure how you’ve read my comments but your stance is perhaps indicative of the lack of pluralism that I’m referring to.

    I’m off to work.

    Will no doubt resume this this afternoon.

    Peace

  52. mattgoonerknight

    FG

    I agree with you on the most part so I’ll agree to slightly disagree : )

  53. mattgoonerknight i aint critisisng you mate…im using the points you raised to send messages to those who the cap fits …. 😉

  54. mattgoonerknight

    Hunter13

    No worries re. the name business

    Right, must be off!!

  55. Markus
    ” It worked too, we all clicked on it.” Speak for yourself i didnt click it. 😀

  56. Strong with you, the force is.

  57. Thanks mattgoonerknight and Block4.
    Bloody shame about their pitch. You would think a stadium that houses clubs of the stature of AC Milan and Inter would be of the best standards there is. I once heard that AC Milan’s medical facilities are up there with the best, so why can’t they get their pitch right?

    And mattgoonerknight, if you stick around long enough, you’d get used to the “lack of pluralism” that is on here. Some people are just tribal that way is how I figured it. In spite of that seeming intolerance, you can still get to read and partake in some really cool debates about arsenal and football in general. Heck even topics like world history, religion, and quantum physics, if you’re so disposed.

  58. Henristic,

    I’ve just checked my dictionary and thesaurus. Thank the football gods for the internet.
    G69’s descriptions of the Milan pitch, and the Milan squad, were certainly not ‘obtuse’. I can only read what is written. Although that’s not to say that WUMs can’t have opinions.
    The pitch is crap, Pato will not start, if not injured, would probably not starting anyway. Simple points, clearly articulated, and as they say…’spot on’.

  59. Thanks, FG. Yeah, my girlfriend even took the day off!

  60. Ah, outmuscling. That would be right Fun.

  61. I seem to remember that the state of the pitch was something to do with the design of the stadium which obivously began before the research into the interconnectedness of the two became so good as now. Essentially, the piutch doesn’t get enough light because of the steep-sided nature of the stands and the fact that it’s a bowl means no breeze goes across the ground (no gaps int he corners tolet the wind in). These things are built into much more modern stadia like or own.

  62. We have the quality, so let’s see. Should be a great match. Wonder if the flamster will start for them.

  63. Great chance today for the Arsenal’s young brigade to prove themselves. All the superstars are on the other side and the pressure on them to peform. So we have nothing to lose. The players need to give it a go, we can pull this one off.

  64. We will win 2-0.

  65. Walcott to steal the show. Ox or Arsh to show him how. vP to show them both. Aluta…

  66. Zim – I don’t think think will be a game for Theo as it goes. Milan will sit deep and there will be litle room for him to exploit behind their defence. I predict a frustrating night for him. AOC or AA certainly though. I really hope AA plays and has a good game, we need his mojo back.

  67. Yogi, it may be that AOC is young but given his rich vein of form I think it is near on impossible to consider him in the starting 11. I would like to think cometh the hour cometh the man, he has after all shown some maturity to date.

    AC Milan are not a young side so width is the real key to pushing them back and creating chances, we need to use our speed out wide.

  68. finsbury,
    You persisting with this matter? …and yet still miss the point.

    Ok, I’ll break it down for you. The whole obtuse thing is a long running joke, based on an argument that Gains and I had a long time ago about Barca. He believed that Barca were ‘on the rise’ before Guardiola got there. Since then we’ve used the word on each other on occasion. PG has also picked up on it and tends to use it a lot too.

    Now, calling someone obtuse does not mean that said person often gets his facts wrong. Words like ‘clueless’ would describe such a person better. Gains tends to get his facts right and comes across as a pretty knowledgeable person in terms of world football.

    You can clearly see that the discussion on Pato, or the state of Milan’s pitch, has no bearing on Gains ‘obtuseness’. So bringing up instances where he has been right is rather pointless.

    Hope you can let this rest now, jeez.

  69. “think it is near on impossible to consider him in the starting 11″… I meant it is near on impossible to not consider him in the starting 11.

  70. I also had an argument with gains once if anyones interested in which i called him a fool and he called me a c*nt.

  71. Andy,
    Theo caused them enough problems the last time we were there, remember? No reason why he can’t replicate that tonight.

    I don’t think it matters which of our deadly forwards start (apart from RvP, obviously). I think even Arsh would do a job on such a big stage. What matters is that we take our chances, and that we defend maturely and with tenacity.

    I also think its important that our midfield does a better job protecting the back four. They’ve got players like Boateng, Aquilani (is he fit?) and Ibra who can exploit that space if we let them.

  72. lol duke, serves me right for bringing all that up.

  73. i would go with arshavin and walcott. and make sure we don’t concede till we unleash the Ox on them. i think they won’t know much about Ox.

    i hope we know a bit about this player El shaaraway or something like that. a milan fan of mine has been raving about him.

    so i suppose it could be a battle between the two ‘unknowns’ ox and him.

  74. bendtnerb52 Nicklas Bendtner Big game tonight.. Hope for a good result to take back to london, and for the boys to come out on top..

    why is bendtner backing us? i thought he burned his bridges.

  75. Damn you guys are to confident for tonight’s tie, i hope y’all haven’t jinxed a victory for us

  76. if we don’t win tonight, I’m blaming y’all for being over confident

  77. Arsenal 1 – Milan 0. Goal by Rvp.

  78. Khorikage,

    Maybe NB52 has realized that he wouldn’t get better than the level he was when he was in Arsenal without Wenger.

    Bendtner anyone???

  79. Flamini is supposed to be out with a thigh injury. Robinho is one of their players that am not looking forward to playing . I still remember his goal at the stroke of halftime when we lost to mancity 2-0 afew years ago.

  80. I miss Gainsy. He was Arsenal through and through. OK he didn’t suffer fools but hey ho no one’s perfect.

  81. i say 1 – 1, goals from Sczeny and Abiatti

    Im just going to sit back and enjoy the spectacle

  82. Allegri made statements that some of his players are coming back from injury but he is not sure if they will start. I think his intention is keep the other man guessing, and on the night, he may start a few of them. You might remember Arsene also sending such feelers through media some times and then starting those players that are coming back from injury. We should not read too much in such speculations until we see the first XI being anounced by the clubs.

  83. Dhruv, Arsene is well known for not really being that bothered about what the other team do, he generally picks his own team and lets the opposition worry about us.

  84. Big game for Ramsey tonight. He’ll have to run his soxs off. Song and Arteta have experience on their side.

  85. Great post yogi. I am not sure why TH12 couldn’t start tonight. It’s his last game and this is the type of stage that would be perfect for him. We really need an away goal and what better way to get it then with TH12. He has been training with us for over 2 months so fitness should not be an issue. The concern would be him tiring from tracking back on the wing. Perhaps he could come on at the half. If he can score in 20 minutes, think what he could do in 45. We need an away goal and no worse then a draw.

    Doomer and closet doomers, bad fans and good fans. YAWN. About as interesting as my aunt Mabel’s gallbladder. Sort of a self perpetuating string, The more you talk about it the more you talk about it, but I guess to each their own.

    Duke @ 1:14. You are awesome. Post of the day 😆

  86. Firstlady, Robinho had Gavin Hoyte marking him that day and he was a kid!

  87. Love The Way You Play

    Love that smile: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-my-concern-over-san-siro-pitch

    That doesnt bode well for Milan, does it. This one is similar to the one he gave before we played Barcelona last year.

  88. Right Block4, I am sure about that. I was referring to all the injury updates that are flying in from Milan.

  89. “Doomer and closet doomers, bad fans and good fans. YAWN.”

    i must say, the banter is what keeps me coming back to this blog 🙂

  90. Sure Dhruv, just making the point that it’s unlikely to keep Wenger guessing, Allegri could tell us his whole squad has gone down with cock rot and it would be unlikely to change our line up.

  91. Okay guys I am outta here, rest after the game.

  92. to be fair, our team pretty much picks itself now due to the injuries.

    we only have 3 questions to answer, and i don’t really think they will be determined by milan’s team.

    arshavin or the ox?
    the answer basically lies in the approach we want to take. both can hurt milan with their different strengths, whoever plays in the milan defence and midfield.

    ramsey or rosicky?
    again, it is more about rosicky’s physical condition, and whether we want to keep the ball(rosicky) or be more direct(ramsey). again, nothing really to do with milan.

    gibbs at leftback?
    the question is: is he ready physically and mentally? if he is, then yes he will play. if not, then maybe djourou will come into the middle and vermaelen stays left. or maybe coquelin on the left(iam more in favour of this)

    our team selection has nothing to do with milan at all.

  93. Arsenal fans are really positive today. I really like that. Hope we keep it going till the final whistle. Im watching out for the AC line up as Ibra will be a real pest tonight.

  94. korihikage – Arsene has already said that TV5 will play central, so it will be Gibbs or Le Coq. Happy either way really.

  95. goonerandy

    i am aware of that..

    but you never know 😉

  96. Block4

    Cock rot??? really,???? nothing else you could use???? 😀

  97. GA

    Dodgy pitch-Gibbs Return..I wonder how much of a part that will play on Wengers mind and Gibbs’s too?

  98. That is true. Le Coq has done well there though so I am not concerned if he plays although it will bring more balance to the team to have a proper left back in the side.

  99. I am more worried about how that will affect Gibbs frankly..cos everyone needs to be 100% focussed on the game and nothing else tonight..

    I am unusually nervy about this one..I cant seem to get the Bayern tie from a few seasons back out of my head, where we got battered in the away leg and were luck to come away with a 3-1, I hope that does not happen today..

    Nah it wont…5-1 to the Arsenal 😀

  100. Milan are good side and very experienced so it will be hard to break them down. I think our best bet is to play at a breakneck pace. We will be much fitter than Milan’s aging side, and we always play better at a fast tempo anyway. They will no doubt try to slow the game down as much as possible so hopefully we will press them high up the pitch. They don’t have massive pace up front so we can aford to do that.

  101. milan isnt as old as people think they are.. the team in 2008 was much older.

    i think they have gotten younger, while we have gotten older (with rvp, arteta, rosicky, arshavin)

  102. Kori,I attacks have looked more direct and we have been keeping the ball better the few games Rosicky has played but given how much he’s played lately Wenger might go with Ramsey.

  103. firstlady

    i think the difference between ramsey and rosicky is that ramsey is more energetic and dynamic, while rosicky is more measured and calm..

  104. i do think that ramsey will start tonight. and he should be given the licence to harass their midfield while arteta and song sit to cover the space and width.

  105. Good gad man, can this be true??????

    SamNasri19 Samir Nasri Official
    “@Charlieswilson: @JoleonLescott @VincentKompany @OfficialVieira Once a gooner, always a gooner!” «Same for me as well»

  106. who the hell is charlie wilson.

  107. @GA
    Actually, I think this is a game where Theo is going to shine. Last year Milan were VERY vulnerable to pace and I do not think that they are going to take a massively different approach this time around.

  108. Evil – Hopefully so. He will destroy Zambrotta if Milan don’t play deep. If they do play deep I think he will struggle. Zambrotta is a good defender and if the game is condensed will be right on top of Theo. If there is space behind him however, he will struggle to get anywhere near him.

  109. They don’t have great width either, so Theo won’t have a winger and a full back doubling up on him.

  110. DB10 Is not privy to Arsenes vision or the clubs finances.
    So he should keep his god like sneck out.
    Even if it makes sense from the outside.Which of course it does.

  111. Headline of article: “Arsenal boss Wenger admits using Tottenham lessons to plan for AC Milan”

    The quote from Arsene: “But at the start we will try to get out of our own half and try to get up there and play. Tottenham won the game when they were dominated, but that is football today.”

    Brilliance from Wenger.

  112. ohhhh. Another great preview. Thanks for the link Korihikage.

  113. http://www.sabotagetimes.com/football-sport/cesc-fabregas-arsenals-young-gun-is-now-barcelonas-second-best-player/?

    The bit towards the end made me chuckle bemoaning that his team are stuck with Henderson and Downing whilst we have Arteta and AOC.

  114. Haha, brilliant quote from Arsene, Fins.

    No Gervinho on the squad list. Get your ass back from Africa dude!

    Gonna take a lot to drag me away from youooooo…. There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever dooooooo…

    Too soon for music Thursday? Sorry.

  115. i cant wait, im counting down the hours

    COME ON ARSENAL!!

    oh and this quote here from robinho suggests that A certain van persie will be in for some rough treatment.

    Robinho revealed that Milan have singled out Robin van Persie for special treatment.

    “It is obvious how important the goals of RVP are but we need to attack them too,” he said.

    “But we do not fear the Dutchman, we have worked on a system to annul his performance.”

  116. Moe, that “system” goes by the name of Van Bomell. It’s quite a primitive one.

  117. Fortunately for us, it matters not whether they fear RVP when they are picking the ball out of their own net. If they focus on him too much he will come deep and be playmaker to release Walcott, AOC, or Arshavin. I have a good feeling about tonight.

  118. Moe they better not get in his face!!!!!!

    Kori you are right, Ramsey is more energetic, I remember Wenger saying if any of our players could run a marathon it would be Ramsey.

    Three hours to go,Come on Gunners!

  119. I see it being a close contest, but I have a sneaking feeling we are going to snatch 2 away goals and the final score will be Arsenal 2, Milan 1.

  120. I am so pissed that I have to record the game and watch it after work…damn this time zone difference! Living in California definitely has its disadvantages.

  121. i hope van bommel realises that rvp is going to play for his country.

    is the dutch coach still the father in law of van bommel? hope he tells van bommel somehting before the game.

  122. I’m in a similar boat viceologist, I have footy training tonight and will have to record and watch on delay. No doubt someone there will have to tell me if we concede (damn you smartphones!). If we score in the second half while I’m watching the first I’m likely to hear my next-door neighbour (also a Gooner) cheering through the wall!

  123. Block4,

    Nice…I go on a complete media blackout, including smart phone, on days that I have to record the games. I have to try to trick myself into thinking it is l a live match to really get the full enjoyment out of it. On weekends I just wake up at all hours of the morning to watch the matches live.

  124. I’m on media blackout myself, well I’ll be training, so I can’t watch or listen anyway, but there’s a lot of West Ham fans (West Ham for christ’s sake!!) in the team I play for who like to rub itr in when it’s not going well for Arsenal. I generally have the last laugh though 😀

  125. I have the luxury of being one of the lone footy fans out of everyone I know, so luckily I dont have anyone around to spoil it for me.

  126. Biggest pain in the ass while employing the media blackout for me is if you do avoid any mention of the match and you plan to watch on Arsenal player you cannot get to the match coverage without seeing the score. The website is designed to make it almost impossible.
    I did a train journey in December, 8 hours, it was Sunday morning and everyone had their papers out reading with sports headlines on the back page. Eight hours from Glasgow to Bath with my eyes closed and then Arsenal Player had the score on the same page as the match.

  127. Thanks to Stew’s wonderful Dennis compilation I have done no work this morning. The match will mean no work this afternoon either. Writing off the day then.
    AA to score tonight.

    Anyone want to buy a football club – Rangers going cheap?

  128. Happy to oblige MD, but in case the guy who put it together is reading, I only linked to it… And if your boss is reading it’s my fault, sack me.

  129. Steww, i have faced that problem before, it is a pain in the ass.

    c’mon gooners.

  130. I actually don’t agree with DB. This team has a strong character, they just got together too late and then injuries messed the business up when we were hitting our stride. We have won a few games that I think we would have lost in season’s past. I like what I see about the team.

    @ korihikage | February 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    who the hell is charlie wilson.

    R&B singer?

  131. I’m my own boss, Steww, and it’s a union shop, so no dismissals here.

  132. Fuck MD – I worked for that kind of boss for about 13 years. He was a fucking useless lazy tyrant.

  133. @steww
    Yeah, it’s just unconceivable why they don’t have a special landing page, I don’t know like “matchday.arsenal.com” where you get to the stream of the current match without having to squint at the screen trying to avoid reading the score.

  134. Evil I have emailed them begging them to think about it. The match in question was Everton at the Ems. I talked my wife through the process of navigating to the relevant page and when we thought we were safe I opened my eyes and there right next to the highlight options was the headline “Arsene Wenger reflects on his teams narrow 1 – 0 victory over Everton”

  135. Is it me or does it seem that Bergkamp hardly get’s mentioned when talking about the greatest player’s of all times.

    Watching the vid that Steww put up yesterday and like Mr. Bob, I was wondering who was scoring goals like his in today’s game. I would put him up against ANY player in today’s game.

  136. seems like trouble over in milan.. and if you believe milan sources on twitter, we started it.

  137. mattgoonerknight

    Henristic | February 15, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for heads up mate.

    Have stuck around here for a while now; received similar advice from Jonny a couple of months back after I too had referred to things as “fucking tribal” after inadvertently getting caught up in a feud regarding freedom of opinion and the right to hold more moderate views to that of the “ultra left” partisanship. Even this very post may cause ill feeling in some quarters so I best leave it at that.

    As I’m sure we all are, I’m really looking forward to tonight and this tantalizing run of games we have in front of us. I’m going to the Newcastle game do so I’m relying on the boys to keep things going so I can sing my heart out without getting distracted by any negative ninnies myopic moaning.

    Right, cup of tea and the press conference me thinks (cheers FG)

  138. hope it stops soon.. don’t want uefa to find an excuse to throw us out.

  139. @ OOU
    That’s good to hear. Make the most of it!

    @ korihikage | February 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    It was probably just hurt or petulance which caused Bendtner to say what he did. We’ll see next summer.

    @ korihikage and firstlady
    Regarding Ramsey vs rosicky, a commenter on another blog suggested using both, at the expense of AOC and AA. Ramsey central and Rosicky on the left. What do you think of that idea?

    (look, PG, see – we’re all still discussing stuff and offering different views)

    @ jeff
    I’m too superstitious to predict a win.

    @ Markus | February 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm
    ha ha!

    ****
    Free the ACLF One. I’ve smuggled in a file for him in one of my corn muffins, but no sign…

  140. That is terrible news, if true, abotu the fighting. Any serious injuries?

  141. FunGunner

    no, i think we should play with width.

    i think this is a game where how fast we change from defending to attacking will be key. we have the weapons to hurt milan real bad (ie our pace on the flanks) so we should exploit that.

    as long as our defenders and song and arteta can come up tops 1v1 against milan’S attackers, i think we have nothing to fear from them.

    no point playing both ramsey and rosicky, unless we want to see out a 2-0 lead.

  142. FunGun, great comments in response to MGK earlier. I agree.

  143. cheers Paul_N

    @ korihikage
    you’re probably right. If they play with no width, we’re better off maximising our width. I just thought it was an intriguing idea from this other person.

  144. FG

    what was the basis of his idea?

  145. mattgoonerknight

    steww | February 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    ARSENAL BLOODY ARSENAL!!!

    Great stuff!:)

  146. Probably to offset their midfield advantage since they play a lot in the middle. Thought about both Ramsey and Rosicky, but it would be a little negative on our part. Containing them instead of taking advantage of the width.

    Anyone else think it slightly dodgy that our biggest strength against them is probably our wide forwards and Milan have just relaid the wide areas of the pitch…

  147. Stirring stuff isn’t it matt. Still get goosebumps when I see that goal from TA against Everton. What a day.

  148. It was Phil Gregory on Untold Arsenal doing his preview. Here is the excerpt. Sorry it’s a bit long but you have to read the whole section to understand his reasoning. Essentially it’s a more cautious approach, emphasising keeping possession.

    “The midfield was a bit of a conundrum too. Rosicky has been performing very well in the middle, and I was torn between whether to select him or the rested Ramsey in that playmaker role. When I considered our forward options however, the choice became pretty clear. Van Persie and Walcott will both start, but the left side is much more open to debate. Chamberlain has held that position in recent games, but starting him away from home in Europe is a totally different kettle of fish, and his pace off the bench could be devastating. Similarly Arshavin, even though he looked much improved against Sunderland isn’t someone I’d want on the flank in a European away game. Unless I’m much mistaken, I don’t think Gervinho will come into the equation given the ACN only finished recently. Finally, I think the same logic that applies to Arshavin applies to Henry too, with the weekend’s match winner likely to be on the bench. Rosicky on the other hand, while lacking in the attacking penetration required in a wide forward – I much prefer him in central midfield – would help our possession game, which will be crucial away. Moreover he’s pretty solid defensively and if his ability to play the ninety after starting versus Sunderland is the issue, he could make way for Chamberlain/Henry on 60mins if needed.”

  149. That was for korihikage

  150. i think milan are scared of us, despite boateng’s boasts.

  151. I’m sorry but this ultra left smear is bollocks of the highest order. I’ll dismiss it right now:

    This arose from the Hitchens reference. Hitchens wassonce ultra left, he died ultra right. People referenced a quote from 7am that described extremists as annoying, whilst defending an individual like Hitchens. When you have such pardoxes, there is no longer any right or wrong, any ‘argument’ or debate, it’s all just rubbish, and not really that interesting.

    Here’s a quote from that frothing extremist, Noam Chomsky, courtesy of Alexander Cockburn:

    ‘I always liked Noam Chomsky’s crack to me when Christopher announded he was a Jew: “From Anti-semite to self-hating Jew, all in one day”‘.

    So, people have been using someone who is mocked from jumping from one extreme to another, as a reference whilst describing others as extremists. That does not srtike me as a very rational course. Best avoided as others have suggested.

    Thank the football gods for football.

  152. mattgoonerknight

    Paul-N | February 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    “FunGun, great comments in response to MGK earlier. I agree.”

    Shock horror Paul-N, but please, do keep up the originality up mate.

  153. FG

    thanks. that’s a fair point…i would play like that, but against a team that will sit back and defend, or a team that is dangerous and fast with the ball

    that is when i would want to slow down the game, control it abit more.

    but not against milan, i think. i think against them, we want to be fast.

  154. oh and i read the gazzetta report in italian, and translated it for myself.

    basically 4 milan fans and gooners traded insults at the Duomo square, then ran to hide, and were followed by the gooners. cans were thrown, and the police intervened, and all is well again.

    what i didnt like was that the tweet i saw from a milan guy claimed several hundreds of arsenal fans attacked milan fans. when it was 200. and i don’t think all 200 were involved in chasing those milan fans.

    this is the problem when you let facts get twisted.

  155. The Noam Chomsky quote was in honour of Polizano.

    Because he always agreed with me. Right?

  156. Yes, korihikage – let’s hope the temperature stays low in the stands. At least no-one has been hurt, let’s keep it that way.

  157. much as i disagree with the can throwing, i think the 4 idiots were asking for it, and arent free from blame.

  158. I am not sure what the problem is MGK?

    You guys were having a good discussion, some statement’s were made and I thought FunGun responded very well to what you were saying. That is not to say that I thought you were talking rubbish. It was nothing personal.

  159. Was it Polizano or Poliziano?

    Steww, you’re right – my useless boss forgot to remind me that I have a report due in one hour. I hate me sometimes.

  160. mattgoonerknight

    Finsbury

    Cluless about Hitchens but the guy sounds interesting; I have studied a little Chomsky in my time but have forgotten more than I learnt.

    My reference to “ultra left” was meant as follows: a supporter who pertains to the notion that Arsene, the players, the board and Arsenal F.C is/are always right and always beyond any reproach.

    Hence, those who actively constantly moan about the team, always criticise players, the board, the lack of trophies and call for AW’s head, in my mind, would be the “Ultra right”.

    I’m going to a have a little read up on the points you are making (yes, I’m not as cleaver as Fins before someone points it out) and if I feel that my use of the term is way out of line, or just plain wrong, I will retract my earlier comment and be sure to voice my opinion in another less politically charged and grandiose way in the future.

    Might take me a while though : )

  161. its almost time

    Wenger might decide to go a bit defensive and attempt to hit them on the counter. I remember in 06, we used to play 442 at home and 451 away, slightly defensive.
    This is San Siro, we cant go all gunz blazing there, a little caution is needed.
    Im more than happy to play a draw there and finish it off the Emirates.

    Rosicky starting out wide wont be a bad idea for this game imo

  162. FunGunner
    Free the ACLF One. I’ve smuggled in a file for him in one of my corn muffins, but no sign…
    ****
    Fun – as it’s a virtual sin bin shouldn’t you email the file…?

  163. Cesc Fabregas on Twitter:
    I cant wait 4 the big game 2nite, 2 historic teams in europe. Hopefully AFC can repeat what we did thr 4 years ago.

  164. @ MDGunner
    That’s true. That would explain why it hasn’t worked and why there is corn muffin smeared on my USB ports…

  165. Paul N ,Dennis Bergkamp is the greatest team player of all time.
    There is no debate required

  166. mattgoonerknight

    Paul-N

    It’s just not the first time I’ve been in a discussion with someone and then hours later your contribution to the discussion has been little more than “I disagree with MGK” or “good point whoever else is disagreeing with MGK”. Last week you even posted on a previous days write up and said “I disagree with Matt. ..I hope you see this because…”. As witnessed today, I love the differing of views, as for me it is just as interesting as always high-fiving each other in agreement.

    It just seems that your posts directed towards me are often more provocative than pro-active, that’s all.

    Apologies if I’m being over precious.

    On a less whiny note – kick off in less than two hours!!!!!!!!!!!

  167. Arteta must be so up for this game. He pointed out on Arsenal player that it was his CL debut in the San Siro some years ago. Fabulous. I think we’ll see a super game from him.

  168. Matt,Paul is never provocative.
    He is never anything other than a gentleman.

  169. Whatever Seedoorf thinks Milan are hardly setting the world on fire. The are going to get a right royal stuffing over the two legs. All that glitters is not gold where the rossenieri are concerned. Arsenal may lack the great european history and we may not be able to hold onto the ball as well as we could but this team is technically inferior excepting RVP but mentally stronger than previous reincarnations. Also we have Vermaelen the brussels beast and RVP one of the top 3 strikers in Europe at the moment. Oxlade to be unleashed in the last 65 and Thierry to score the winner. 3-1. COYG.

  170. I should note that the ACLF 1 was prescient about the San Siro pitch–it watched the Udinese-Milan match on replay in hopes of catching a glance but it was at Udinese. But AW has complained about it in the press conference. It’s been relaid on the flanks. Probably a measure to trip up our speedsters on the flanks. They’ve been watching the Ox and Theo, so hopefully they suffer no difficulties on the uneven ground.

  171. Team in full: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Walcott, Van Persie.

    Substitutes: Fabianski, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin, Benayoun, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henry.

  172. so rosicky and ramsey start

  173. Less than an hour
    *lets out involuntary little scream*

  174. Rosicky on the wing. Good for possession but a bit cautious. I’m a bit disappointed Arsh isn’t getting a start, but the boss knows best. The bench is interesting. Arshavin, Benayoun, Ox and Henry all can and do play in the same sort of position where Rosicky will be playing, so I think there are options for the front three. So while the starting lineup seems a bit cautious, the bench is stacked with attackers for the front three. No Chamakh though.

  175. FG, I haven’t been as excited for a match in a while–this is a huge tie.

  176. For one beautiful moment I thought we were setting up 4-4-2 and nearly exploded with joy.

  177. The interesting thing is LG, that we might play a 4-4-2 if we trail at any point during the game!

    Ramsey – Song – Mikel – Rosicky

    Theo – Robin

  178. @mj
    IIRC at points during the game against Sunderland we actually did play 4 – 4 – 2. But it was:

    Theo – Song – Mikel – Rosicky

    Henry – Robin.

  179. any guesses on the formation??

    i nipped into the bookies and theo was 225-1 to score and arsenal win 3-1..
    took a tiny punt..

  180. should have refeshed..
    sorry. ignore the formation question.. 😉
    i agree though…

  181. How come most football analysts speak shit?

  182. Good call, MJ. But only if we are trailing and haven’t scored, I think.

  183. Maybe Benayoun would have been a better option that Rosicky out wide, but as someone said above, Le Prof knows best!

  184. I’m certainly going to savour this. Historic tie. We are in a battle for 4th–if we don’t get back into the competition we’ll miss ties like this. (I have faith we will, but there is no sense taking big matches like this for granted). Very often we get the biggest, glamour matches, and we have again, so let’s enjoy it.

    COYG!!!!

  185. Rosicky has been playing really well, though MJ. Hasn’t scored, but maybe he’ll strike one in from distance. To be honest though, you’d fancy the Ox to do a Cesc and bang a thrilling one from 30 yards out. Love that Cesc goal. But Rosicky has been shooting more and one of these will go in. Hopefully tonight.

  186. What’s the story with playing the yellow shirts? Why not the blue/black away? I really dislike the new uniforms but it is odd we aren’t using them. Is it because of the black in AC Milan’s strip?

  187. Wow, Charlie George in the studio for Arsenal pre-match! Nice.

  188. mattgoonerknight

    Do think Rosicky is in to give Gibbs some extra protection on his first game back, or just his recent form merits his inclusion somewhere in the starting lineup?

    Don’t particularly care as it looks very good to me, just wondering : )

    COYG

    ARSENAL BLOODY ARSENAL

  189. Big game for Gibbs. Perhaps Rosicky is there to help him out as well?

  190. mgk

    nail on the head mate..

    rosicky and rambo will protect sagna and gibbs..

  191. Nah MGK, we had one disagreement but it was nothing more than that. We kool!

    Thanks George.

  192. Excellent point, there, FG. One good reason to put Rosicky there to protect Gibbs, just coming back into the side. Plus, he give more going forward in build up play than Vermaelen, so maybe more defensive consistency there is fine with Rosicky over the Ox or Arshavin.

  193. Yellow shirts with the 125th anniversary insignia. Looking sharp behind our glorious captain, RvP in the tunnel.

  194. Yellow shorts too, that’s interesting. We look like Villareal.

  195. No injuries to anyone, please, football gods.

  196. What if w bring on AA,AOC and TH at 60 minutes?
    They will shit bricks

  197. exactley george..

  198. I’d prefer it if they created and finished a couple of goals, PG.

  199. Hah! I got it right! Picked my yellow RVP shirt today and well, we are playing in yellow. If that ain’t a good omen, I don’t know what is!

  200. Pitch looks really weird.

  201. Rosicky with a shot–good confidence though not a great strike.

  202. Our internet playing up stuck with fucking ITV comms. Scummy clichéd bollocks.

  203. Still, c’mon you yellows

  204. links?

  205. Come on Arsenal!

  206. WTF is going on with the Milan Pitch honestly. its like f@ckin carpet.,,,even stoke has a better pitch

  207. Fuck they nearly let us in then

  208. Nice tackle, Gibbs

  209. One for the album – Arteta giving it away. Very unusual.

  210. Excellent work from Gibbs there!

  211. Pitch looks as bad as Saturday’s – heavy, leaden, unnaturally bouncy, unpredictable albeit less brown.

    It’s the same for both sides of course but one worries about injuries …

  212. They look like they’re playing with a medicine ball when it goes wide right. Ball holds up horribly.

  213. They’re used to it, so it’s not quite the same.

  214. Not much width yet on the left but playing lots along the right. Seedorf out–hopefully that weakens them in midfield and Ramsey, Arteta can create something through the middle as well.

  215. Wide right. Hmm…

  216. Fungunner – can’t believe that pitch is like it is tonight every week, surely?

  217. No links on here?

  218. Damn, that f’ing spud.

  219. The fuck? Where did that come from?

  220. sabatage,theyve clipped our wings..

    we’ll have to play thru the centre..maybe theo should play up top with robin..

  221. what shite clearance from chez

  222. It would be sodding Boateng.

  223. looks to me like he used his upper arm to control that ball.

  224. well what do you do about that..a cracking goal from Milan who didnt look like they were going to trouble us and from a spud.

  225. Lol we look shell shocked !

  226. @ arsenalandrew
    No, but they’ve played on it before.

  227. We do what the players do I guess. Ignore it and move on. (Grinds teeth)

  228. Wojo’s distribution is poor.
    He gave them that in our half

  229. Arteta hasn’t settled into the game yet, but it looks clogged in our central midfield. Rosicky, Ramsey, Arteta, and Song all in the same areas. Come on lads, let’s get one back.

  230. 160 minutes to go. Plenty of time.

  231. Well it looks a horror, either way FG; you’d think UEFA would insist on certain standards, for safety alone. Everyone’s falling over.

    Camera work shite ‘n’all.

    Plenty of time to come back tho …

  232. Well ATM we do struggle to establish a flow. Milan are on top of us and very aggressive. We look a bit not suprised but unsure about how to deal with a team that aggressive and determined and organised. How do we solve that?

  233. Sagna keeps having to boot the ball forward to clear. No our fluid buildup play, not the quick passing or runs using our pace.–either they are pressing us well or we just aren’t spacing ourselves too well. Not sure. We’re better than this, so hopefully the tide turns soon.

  234. They’re at home I’d be surprised if they weren’t at us a bit. We’ll come good I have no doubt.

  235. arsenalandrew
    agreed.

  236. Chezzer is not having a great start here. Come on, Arsenal! Let’s get some shots on goal and give them something to think about.

    Good set piece attempt.

  237. I trust u stews but ATM we look weid. And yes we are capable of so much n

  238. With Milan playing narrowly with a diamond formation, I think the relaying of the pitch wide is a deliberate tactic.

  239. The ball is bobbling all over the place. Horrible.

  240. Great tackle Kosser. Never a free kick.

  241. More I meant. Btw a chamakh in form is as aggressive bug and troublesome as Ibra. The way he holds up the ball etc…. I miss that ….

  242. Theo’s work rate seems considerably low from befre his injury//

  243. How hue hell did spurs beat this team?

  244. Just can’t seem to dig the ball out. Weird.

  245. very dissapointing, stop start passing,

    we seem to not want to take the risk of passing thorugh balls and watching runs, we are making the runs but no one seems to want to pick them out

  246. fucking hell we look nervous

    and the pitch is horrid

  247. ATM they win all the duels and all the 50/50s. Damn! We are better than this!!!

  248. walcott very very dissapointing, not forcing himself on the opponent

  249. too much playing back very cautiously but it actually is getting us into trouble. Gibbs looks fine and as the game wears on Milan will be happy to pack it in catenaccio style, which will take away the advantage of Theo’s pace. I do think, watching the game so far that Arshavin or the Ox could help us, running at the defence or unpicking the lock. Before we get there, I think we’ve got to find a way to unleash Theo –there has been lots of space on the flanks but only seen Sagna crossing in.

    Looks like AC Miln have read the Barca play acting book.

  250. It’s Sunderland all over again – players don’t trust the pitch to keep them upright let alone stable, and they don’t trust the way it’s affecting the flight of the ball along the deck or on the bounce.

    On Saturday they seemed to gain confidence as the game went on but it was never easy ..

  251. Horrible

  252. will anyone please tell me what Theo Walcott is doing on the pitch?

  253. Lol we look like a kindergarten team regardless of offside. We offer zip:-(

  254. At least the ref isnt falling for their nonsense.

  255. Lack of coordination at the back. Not keeping the ball in the middle. Big half time for Le Boss.

  256. Moe, can you get off of Walcott’s back? what the heck is your problem with the young man?The whole team is not playing well.

  257. Now Milan will be content to suffocate us and try to keep a clean sheet.

  258. getting what we fukin deserve…..we look lost and all over the shop.

  259. Ignore him Paul he’s on a wind up mate.

  260. That’s what direct football does to tippy tappy.

  261. Its over by the 39th? Anyway Theaz always next season.

  262. Kos limping. Lose him and even I will get pessimistic.

  263. More misery, Kos limping..

  264. Bugger. Kos injured?

  265. regardless of the score tonight, we look absolutely shite, no pressing, no offence to sagna but he didnt even try to track that player down, we look all over the place position wise. And we look lethargic, no energy in tracking back, huge spaces all over the pitch.

    WOW, just wow

    miracle at half time

  266. I bet all you gloating about this had given up against Villa and Sunderland too.

  267. Well we are not good even on the parts of the pitch that is OK

  268. Long way to go. We score next and the whole thing changes.,

  269. Did that stem from a chezzer clearance as well?

    Oh fuck … now Kozzer! Deja vu

  270. Come on everyone get your heads up. This team is incredibly resilient, great spirit, how often they got to prove that?

  271. I am sorry, ladies & gentlemen, but this is absolutely pathetic…

  272. Where is the midfield???

  273. Its that time of the season again..

  274. Long, long way to go in this tie. Long, long way.

  275. Oh dear we have just lost our best player

  276. Totally new back four now.

  277. Simply cannot believe our luck with injuries at the back.

  278. We’ve been utterly dreadful so far today. Not playing the Ox or Arshavin ‘s been a real error so far. We need a King Henry masterclass in the 2nd half, I’d bring on him and the Ox for Walcott and Ramsey.

  279. Paul-N

    im sorry but it seems im not the only one disspointed in walcott. My opiinion, u dont like it, well tough.

    Steww

    im not on wind up, i like theo but sometimes he really dissapears.

  280. Come on Arsenal–get a goal next half and at least we come back with an away goal.

  281. It will end 3 – 1. To Milan . My wife called it and she is 90 % of the time right. Down to 2 fit centre backs, you really could not make it up if you tried could you. Our injury list is fucking ridiculous !

  282. MORE misery, out your hands together for Muga3 ladies & gentlemen

    Yeah Paul, he’s not contributing anything out there tonight..

  283. Phew! Come on Arsenal!

  284. Give me a break Moe. What kind of person jumps on one player when the whole team is playing poorly? Get off of the kid’s back.

  285. We need a change of something or the tie at home will be a dead rubber

  286. mj, and who is? you guys are ridiculous.

  287. ugh the passing is looking truly pedestrian. Lets have a better 2nd half. let us see what andrei, the ox, and henry can do.

  288. What went wrong with Kos?

  289. We’ll just have to turn it around in the second half.

  290. Paul-N

    errr i actually dont do that. And theres alot of people with the same opinion on here. But whatever man i cant be bothered to start an arguement.

  291. The offside trap today is a hazard exploited by Milan with ease.

    The midfield is not bothered with protecting the back four either.

    Oh, well… Another prove that since 2008 we’ve been deteriorating every season.

    Hope for more speed in the attack in the second half. Not that it will be easy with Milan behind the ball.

  292. I fully expect a different side in the 2nd half.

  293. Seriously Paul, I am not blaming him for our lack of chances. He’s not working hard enough IMO tracking back. I have noticed that since he came back from injury.

    Lets keep the judgement for after the game, I still believe we will score a goal..

  294. Hey at least muga3 is happy. It’s nice to know someone is happy.
    Never say die, never give up. Trust the great man to do what needs doing. He’s been here before, the players have fight in them we know that. Total new defence? Away from home? In Milan? 2 – 0 down? Fucking bring it on.

  295. The whole tam hasn’t played well. What should we change?

  296. It’s not a criticism of the way we do things as a club but when as a side you are used to training and then playing for 50% of the time on surfaces flatter than a cricket pitch it’s hardly surprising we struggle on anything less than perfect.

    Also suspect the rigors of the weekend are taking their toil …

    Did anyone see what caused Kos to go off?

  297. happy?

    words fail me…

  298. Its only quarter time.
    We need to score next and not concede another.
    I know that sounds a bit simplistic and a big ask at the moment.

  299. we have been way to defensive in this game not a single chance all game,. We have been ball watching all game and we cannot blame the pitch. Whats going on out there. Rocket in the locker room i think and a 3 2 vict6ory for Arsenal when we wake up.. Otherwise the players badly letting Wenger down.

  300. SV so everything that’s gone right since then can be ignored. One half of football goes wrong and that’s some kind of proof? You can’t wait to see us fail can you, God man you sound like your drooling.

  301. this team plays a poor imitation of passing football, lethargic off the ball movement, routine passes, all milan has to do is sit back, get the ball and dink it over our defenders, the pitch is really a poor excuse at this time, we have two cup ties this week we’ve got to do more than just blame the pitch.smh

  302. Well whatever we did we did not do it very well. Milan push and fight and work. We look confused. Non of those crosses will hit rvp as they are on him. Goals have to come from midfield tonite if we are to win. Goals from midfield!

  303. That’s right Fun. Possesion isn’t bad, we are just second best to a very good team.
    One flash of skill can turn this, if not? Well maybe we have just met our match this season.

    I never thought we’d win the thing this year. It would be nice but I don’t think so.

  304. Sagna’s crosses have just been swallowed up by their defence, too tight in the middle to thread passes through, so we need someone to run at their defence, perhaps crying for AA or AOC, I know that’s a lot to ask, but we can regroup and tighten up. We have to remember it’s over two legs.

  305. Just once admit it muga – you’d rather we got thrashed so you can gloat all over the net. Not my kind of supporter at all. Get behind the team, believe in ultimate victory. Where’s your spirit man?

  306. Ibrahimovic looks offside for the 2nd goal..

  307. I know a tie is not decided in the first half of the first game, but this has been a truly dreadful performance so far.

    The best way to play these Italian team’s is to play with pace, and we have tried to contain and play a defensive line up, which is not our strength at all – it makes no sense.

    Playing Rosicky and Ramsey has been a mistake, we need to apply some pace.

    Defensively we have been woeful – Terrible decision making, poor passing, and where is TV5 tonight??

    And offside or not – Sagna should not have assumed that he was.

    Terrible so far – the one positive is that surely we can’t be that bad in the second half.

    Come on boys – show some fighting spirit.

  308. oh well, hope we will at least give it more of a go in the 2nd…

  309. Suga do me a favour you are creaming yourself.
    Aye

  310. Mind you, these people who write us off so quickly? Well.

    They don’t know football and they are immature to say the least.

  311. We can still go through but we need to wake up and to not loose with more than one goal. A draw would be nice.

  312. Ugly first half. We may miss BFG more then we thought. Hope for TH at half time and a much better performance in the second half. Desperately need at least one away goal. Fingers crossed for the Kos

  313. Come on Arsenal! Just need to nick a goal and everything turns around.

  314. So all of you saying the pitch isn’t relevant. Care to explain how? Obviously we’ve been outplayed as well but you can’t pretend a ploughed pitch doesn’t hurt a passing side like ours. Or are you so desperate to kick your own team you can’t bear to accept any mitigation?

  315. The Ox for Ramsey seems to be the sensible choice right now

  316. i dont know whats wrong, maybe we will change things enough to create a few chnces in the 2nd half, fingers crossed COYR

  317. Bill we miss stability and familiarity as much as the individual.

  318. See how it goes for 20 minutes, one goal and we are back in

  319. I thought it would be a laboured draw, but we looked very, very poor in the first…

  320. rahl

    in some ways i agree but the problem is the speed of passing and the imagination and u have to risk picking out the runs.

    We are doing none of these things. This style of play requires risk and imagination and speed, when these things arent there then it all falls apart

  321. Have we had a shot yet ?

    We need a miracle, Arsene needs to change it and quickly.

  322. 2-1 away would not be a bad result, just need to make sure we don’t open ourselves up further at the back

  323. steww,

    does not seem to bother them one bit, does it?

  324. I think it’s crying for AA. He is perfect for this kind of game….

  325. Just watched the highlights of Zenit v. Benfica; if we think the San Siro pitch is bad, wow!

  326. mattgoonerknight

    RIGHT, WE’RE PLAYING SHOCKING – NO DOUBT
    IT COULD HAVE BEEN 3 OR 4 – NO DOUBT
    WOULD A GOAL IN THE 2ND HALF CHANGE THE COMPLEXITY OF TIE MASSIVELY? –
    NO FUCKING DOUBT!!!!

    SO LET’S STOP SHITTING ON THE TEAM AND CROSS OUR FINGERS, TOES AND BITCHING TONGUES AND GET BEHIND THE FUCKING TEAM!!!!!

    SUGA3 | February 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    When was your last post? Do you actually only post when we’re losing? I used to think people just exaggerated when they said you literally only post during our bad times but you do, don’t you?.

    We’ve beat Villa, Blackburn, Sunderland – not a whisper (if I’m wrong on that front you’ve been fucking quiet because I’ve posted everyday.)

    Today, before the kick-off, not a whisper?
    What is the deal?

    What is your agenda?

    Come Arsenal, next goal wins, let’s get it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  327. SUGA3 | February 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm
    oh well, hope we will at least give it more of a go in the 2nd…
    ****
    That’s the spirit SUGA3 – bit of positivity, get behind the team.

  328. Come fucking on you Gunners!

  329. You youngsters would do well to heed old C’bob. He’s been there seen it and done it. One dead swallow doesn’t mean the summer never comes.

  330. We need a goal to take back to the Ems. Just tighten up defensively, close em down and move the ball faster. Warm up Ox.

  331. I dislike some of our own fans more than I dislike John Terry

  332. Dare I say Ox an AA if things don’t change

  333. The pitch is a factor Steww – but both teams are playing on the same one, and Milan have passed it OK.

    Can’t use that to excuse the fact we have been very poor.

    We can only get better in the second half though, and it is not over yet.

    2-1 will be fine – can’t afford to play that badly and concede another though.

  334. there is no agenda, the fact of the matter is that I was in moderation, today was a pot shot, really…

  335. I would like to see if the Ox can create something but I fear that they will be packing their defence now. So AA makes more sense. And Henry.

  336. mattgoonerknight

    Henry on for the whole half!!!!!!!!!!!

  337. Oh Lord, we’ll play 4-4-2! Thierry is on, just keep it tight at the back lads!

  338. I would like us to go for it in the second half. Nothing to lose, just attack. Nobody will blame the manager for that.

  339. If the pitch wasn’t relevant then they’d have re-laid the whole thing and not just the middle of it. Of course it’s relevant.

  340. Henry for Walcott?

    I really don’t get that… we have removed any real pace we had now.

    Strange decision, but let’s hope Thierry comes up with the goods again.

  341. COME ON ARSENAL!!!

    we just need to risk more and play faster

    Henry is on

  342. We need a goal to take back to the Ems. Just tighten up defensively, close em down and move the ball faster. Warm up Ox n titi.

  343. Theo is off!?

  344. of course it is relevant Vince – but both teams are playing on it, so shouldn’t use it as an excuse.

  345. mattgoonerknight

    4-4-2 as some of you called it if we were down.

    Henry up top with RVP behind.

    Come on!!!!!!!!!

  346. Milan wont pack the defence, they sense blood and they’re going for it

    And is it me or is the milan pitch slightly bigger, or are they strecthing us which makes it look wider?

  347. “One dead swallow doesn’t mean the summer never comes.”

    Very nice steww. Very niice indeed.

    ‘I wish I had said that.’

  348. Thierry on to write another chapter in history. COYG

  349. We CAN turn this around. Its not like its the 1st time we are playing on a poor pitch.

    Come on Arsenal!!!!

  350. Djourou is looking solid

  351. Pace has been nullified by the ploughing. Guile required.

  352. Unbelievable.

  353. Well..

  354. Fuck me. This is going to be a hell of a come back. When we win this tie it’ll be the stuff of legend. Remember Anderlecht?

  355. when it rains it pours they say.

  356. Steww at 8:46. Hopefully you are right. TH for the second half is a good move.

  357. Oh well we send out reserve team in 2nd leg and concentrate on 4th place and FA cup. No point forcing this tbh. We got enough on outle plate with 4th place…

  358. Suga, you are silly for a grown man.

  359. Gonna be a long night this!

  360. When you think it could not get worse…

    Come on, we need a goal now!

  361. Anyway I don’t want to spoil all the flagellation and wailing by staying positive so I’ll shut up now and leave people to wallow.

  362. if you are still optimistic, i bow before your unflinchinng faith.

    I am but a mere human

    sighs……….

  363. Well, 3-1 would at least preserve some hope. Hope we don’t lose our heads but create a couople of chances for our guileful players up front.

  364. We are all over the place – come on boys!!! fucking sort it out!!!

    We are better than this!!!

  365. Not quite the start we intended. A goal from Arsenal is still needed.COYG

  366. Poodle

    i agree

  367. Vermaelen having a very tough game. Song has to watch it, that was pretty flagrant, though it is nice to see the spud on the turf clutching his face.

  368. I had no idea Suga is a grown man.

    They immature earlier and earlier these days, don’t they?

  369. Second glance and it looks like Boateng made much too much of it, unsurprisingly, the scum.

  370. Moe,
    I get you, but it says more about a player that he would risk losing possession by playing “safely” than risk a through ball. Ramsey great engine he’s got but that counts for nothing when you need inventiveness and technique in that advanced midfield role.

  371. 2 central midfielders playing out on the wing..sigh..

  372. Suga3 thinks its clever to tell racist jokes – calling him childlike is an insult to children.

  373. Poodle, so we should give up?

    wow!

  374. ‘They immature earlier and earlier these days, don’t they?’

    I wish I had said that too.

  375. Well we are having a bad night.
    Shit happens

  376. how is a joke about Suarez being a racist a ‘racist joke’, you poor likkle PC bleeding heart?

  377. You just have to laugh at this. We either get a draw here or loose 5-0.

  378. Don’t see Liverpool laughing too much about Suarez right now.

  379. Hope this doesn’t have a negative effect on our FA cup and league performances. That’s why getting a goal back keeps us in the tie even if we’re facing a big two goal deficit. At home a 2-0 victory would see us through.

  380. of course we should, fuck CL, we can win the FA Cup and get 4th to have more of a chance to regroup in the summer…

  381. Maybe this is a master stroke by Wenger to get us deliberately kicked out of champions league so that we can concentrate on the league and cup.

    No, oh ok, well im tryin to be optimistic, silver lining and all.

  382. AA should be in for Aaron now

  383. Ramsey off….ox on. He has been very ineffective this game

  384. Milan showing signs of complacency …

  385. This is what happens if you press! Come on boys!! FFS!

  386. Almost!

  387. Oh, RvP, brilliant shot, alas it doesn’t go in. But Henry with a lovely touch.

  388. well, that’s more like it…

  389. Just realized its a Fly Emirates derby.

  390. Looks like the Ox on for Gibbs. Come on Ox!

  391. Suga – I don’t think it was the Suarez bit that I found offensive mate, it was the David N’gog bit and the use of a certain word that you used!

    Surely you can see that that sort of language is racist and offensive. Don’t ‘play’ dumb with me. Worst kind of fan.

  392. Paul N. we got tO be smart and pick our fights. If we loose say 3-1 and win against Sunderland. Where should we put in most of our effort until seson end? Realisticlly that should be FA cup and league. It would be stupid to not do so. We need4 th and we need silver. Where will we have the best shoot I wonder. We got to be cynical to get anything at all IMO. But all depends on the result tonite ofc.

  393. Song-Henry-RvP combination. Nice.

  394. He is a cunt isnt he, Boateng

  395. Boss is really throwing everything into this now. Hope we don’t concede another but that is the gamble.

  396. mattyboy,

    N’Gog? I thought he meant Reo-Coker? 😆

  397. need to score in the next ten minutes to have any chance

  398. Two in the last 20 would be nice
    For us that is

  399. No Poodle, what you are saying is not smart. Comeback’s happen in sports all the time.

  400. One goal, just one goal please!!

  401. this game has died out

    come on inject some energy arsenal

  402. We’re going out.FA cup, here we come!

  403. Just as we were getting better!

  404. pretty soft penalty, for my money. But it’s that kind of night.

  405. A nothing penalty; the wrong guy got booked. Jeez.

  406. Rosicky gave away the ball there in midfield..

  407. 2 goals in 10 minutes?

  408. Now that is a mountain to climb. One goal could still do it hough. COYG, WTF

  409. i warned y’all not to the jinx the result, but you were all to confident.

    damn

  410. I did not think that with my 3:0 forecast I was too optimistic.

  411. Well that’s that then….. Another goal coming from a mistake.

    Only have ourselves to blame tonight.

    Let’s hope we can recover for Saturday – that is massive now

  412. Fucking shambolic!

  413. RvP deserved a penalty if Ibra got one.

  414. Should have been a pen to Arsenal. The ref bottled it.

  415. Well i guess we can concentrate on the important things now. No point risking our best men in the home tie tbh…

  416. Its going to be a hell of a game back at the Grove now, because we have to really go for it from the off. Just giving a better account of ourselves will be a start!

  417. Rosicky just summed the night up with that effort!

  418. People make sure to not read any newspapers, some blogs and anything arsenal related tomorow, we will get slaughtered for this by the media

    i can already imagine the headlines

    “Hapless Wenger’s woe” or something like that, im not very good at the whole journalism thing

  419. ooh,close

  420. How good is Henry?! So smart… lovely player. The Ox has been bright.

  421. Come on reds, 1 goal to keep it alive..

  422. Definitely Mugabe media lockdown time. Worst result since the 8-2, really. The knives will be out.

  423. Unless, we can get a goal back. Come on, lads, we are getting some shots.

  424. Don’t worry about what the media thinks! Its us, the fans that matter.

    When we win, try to be more cheerful and when we lose? Well, be optimistic. (YW)

  425. 1st 11 for Saturday please!

  426. RVP will go now. We will lose on Saturday

    We are the worst team in England

    Just thought I would start the ball rolling

  427. Well outplayed, oh dear onwards and upwards

  428. I’ll need to avoid reading the comments for while. I really don’t need to hear how Arsene Wenger is the worst thing since polio.

  429. Awful night. We just weren’t ourselves. But it’s not over till the fat lady sings.

  430. I am sure we’ll make sure an implosion like last year doesn’t happen. We need to respond now against Sunderland.

  431. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!. Very bad day at the office and our flat performance flattered this Milan side. We are definitely not going to beat barca playing like this, Midfield absolutely awful and havent turned up all night with any decent service to RVP. Not to worry lads this Milan team will leak goals at the Emirates and we will go through 6-1 , Gervinho hastrick. Mark my words.5 goals like a sieve. For London Pride,. Unitl then to the bunker!Over to you doomers.

  432. @ pedantic george | February 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm
    thanks for making me laugh, at least.

  433. just when i thought things were bad enough i see suga has decided to pop in and give us his pearls of wisdom.

  434. I hope Kos is all right 😦

  435. We got lashed. Have to pick ourselves up for Saturday!

    Looking back I would have played my most experienced side from the start. That would have included Arshavin, RVP, Henry and Rosicky, Arteta and Song.

  436. if i was married, my wife wouldn’t love me so much this night

  437. honestly, is it worth using alot of energy on the second leg if we win against Sunderland? would we not be better served by concentrating on sunderland and 4th? after all that is our bread and butter, CL is just a bonus.

    It will cost alot more than it tastes to go to the quarter finalsi think.

  438. Yeah, I agree with FG, George..

  439. @Moe 9.30pm …. “San Zero” ……..you can just see the headlines now. but we will be back.We always will.

  440. That was about as entertaining as cutting off ones own testicles with a blunt gardening implement!

  441. Gotta go to work in 4 hours, ‘nite all. Be nice to Muga..

  442. we played like they were up all night….i ‘m convinced there were a shit load of italian mummy’s boys riding around the Arsenal hotel at 1am tooting their honks,…the only explanation for that horror showing.

  443. What I liked: We never gave up, our heads never dropped.

    What I disliked: That a club in the most corrupt league in the world can be allowed to relay just half the pitch mere days before their most important game of the year; what next? Goalposts made out of balsa wood?

    What I hated: With the precision of an atomic clock and a goal conceded, the re-appearance of that most predictable element in nature – the Gloomers. Let joy be unconfined.

    On the upside, should be a quiet night on the celebrity/megla-maniac death front.

  444. Hope we get Kos back. We are one injury away from squillac. CL we’ll see you next season on to the next one.

  445. it just shows you just how important Mertesacker has been to the team

  446. “On the upside, should be a quiet night on the celebrity/megla-maniac death front.”

    ha ha ha ha!
    This is cathartic. Laughter the healer.

  447. I blame all of ACLF that were overconfident, you jinxed our performance

  448. On nights like these you need an Eboue that will run at the defence. They were content with us passing the ball around in front of them. damn it!

  449. Wow, definitely didn’t see that coming. We just couldn’t get going and our defending was poor, even before Kos went off. Hope he’s ok.

    This can’t be good for confidence, but we’ll be finding out what Arsene and the boys are made up of in coming weeks as we see how they react to this loss.

  450. Remember. A team in transition.

    This was never going to be our year for glory.

    What did we learn though?

    That’s what was important.

  451. The Invincible’s would never have lost like that.

    (I am getting quite good at this moaning lark,Its not hard ,some of you should try it)

  452. @ Paul_N
    JW or Diaby, or even Song in one of his moods would have done it.

    What was so weird was that we started ok. Not fantastically, but OK. The first goal seemed to affect us.

    Can I have some more gags please, PG or arsenalandrew? Anyone? The first two are wearing off.

  453. mattgoonerknight

    Right.

    That was a horror show.

    Should we now play an unadulterated absolute second string for the return league and now concentrate and the league and F.A Cup?

    Milan were very good and Arsenal were very poor = 4 – 0

    It has no wider reflection on the rest of the of season, the remainder of the season, and we can bounce back, although I think we should put the CL campaign to bed.

    We lost 8-2 to Man U

    United lost 6-1 to Citeh

    Sp*rs lost 5-1 to Citeh

    Man U lost 3 – 0 to Newcastle

    Newcastle lost 5 – 0 to sp*rs

    Big defeats happen and are not the all and end all of a team or a season.

    Lets put this one in a box, wrap a chain round that box, lock it, put that box in another box, chain and lock that and drop it down something very deep (the combination of beer and disappointment has robbed me of anything more imaginative).

    COG!!!! Sob, sob

  454. agree our heads never dropped….coz they were never up!!! that has to go down as one of the worst performances under wenger. like i say something must have happened coz we looked utter shite… no beleif, no ideas, no nowt. at least it wasnt barca.

  455. Oh fuck ITV pouring out all the cliches.
    We are that bad we are in the last 16.Cant see many Manchester teams in the draw

  456. @ pedantic george | February 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    The Invincible’s would never have lost like that.

    That’ll do. Cheers. Nice touch with the greengrocer’s apostrophe, too.

    @ consolsbob
    Good point. Main thing now is to pick ourselves up and get right back on that winning horse.

  457. Just heard Ibra and Robinho haven’t been speaking to each other. Make of that what you will.

  458. You know what…. you guys are right….Its not so bad… ….we are usually brilliant and really dynamic and wonderful to watch….Arsene is right to be frugal because we have exceptional quality through out the squad ….though the results prove otherwise…I dont actually know his reasons for being tight fisted it but he deserves my trust…He is worth every penny….He should be given as much time to continue whatever it is he is doing which as near as i could tell was very egotistical until I read some of your comments standing by him…In Arsene we Trust because he clearly is a genius…I hope for 10 more years of this.
    KEEP THE FAITH Gooners even against 6 years of reality proving otherwise.

  459. Was not counting on a win, but was not expecting that. I hope the FA cup takes on a lot more importance in our minds.

  460. We got further then both Manc clubs and you have to be in competitions to win them. And lose games 4-0!

  461. That’s what happens when you effectively have a squad of less than 20 players.

    Hope everyone enjoyed that, because it’ll be our last CL away game for a good while.

    May as well go for the cup now.

  462. Right. I’m off now to have a little cry. Then I will have a nice cup of tea and watch a DVD of Mongrels. Then I’ll start looking forward to the Sunderland game. See ya.

  463. PG; Last two posts very funny, excellent.

    CB: What do you think we should we have learnt ? When might we expect the transition to stop ?

  464. A poor performance against a very good team. One offside goal and a very dodgy penalty, together with a clearer penalty not given.

    Scezney actually made no saves at all, whilst their goalie made at least 3 really good ones..

    Nevertheless, I have been more disappointed before and am not downhearted.

    I feel that AW got the tactics wrong from the start, by not playing a winger on both sides, whether Ox or AA. A econd winger would have been better, especially as our extra midfielder was totally inaeffective.

    We have seen so many times before that when we change our normal game and try to play not to our strengths, we get punished. That is what happened tonight.

    I wonder if Milan will play as good as that again for some time.

  465. @ JamesM you know as well as us that if we go out of the CL now we will deffo clinch a 4th spot and thus play CL next year. its one of those facts of life…

  466. i dont know what it was but we didnt look like we were hungry.

    the most significant thing that summed up the match was sagna simply refusing to RUN back to stop ibrahimovic delivering the cross. Unbeilivable but oh well.

    The past is the past now, and we must look to the future because those that are always looking to the past are doomed to a life of popping anti-depressents and darkened rooms.

  467. Damn I blame Denilson! 🙂

  468. @moe maybe we take all our bad mood out on Sunderland and we really whip them like the puppies they are (thats what i hope anywya)

  469. jjgsol ,I disagree.I think we should have forgotten about the wings.
    They were unplayable.
    We should have flooded the midfield and given them the tracker lane.

  470. Patrick Viera has Tweeted lack of leadership…

    It is a scandal that a mach of this magnitude was allowed to go on a pitch like that..it’s terrible..

  471. Poodle

    i hope so too, because optimism (however ridiculuously backward it seems at the moment) is the only sensible thing to do right now.

    Why subject your self to the agony of remembering the game?

    Those who wallow in it will be sad and slightly angry.

  472. @ras well it effectivley stopped us from playing wide and running, and doing anything. Kinda sais alot about us i guess if we get that intimidated by a pitch…..

  473. mattgoonerknight

    Hands up who hasn’t posted anything in the last few weeks.

    Are your hands up high and straight? Good.

    Now fuck you, fuck you and fuck you too; who’s next?

  474. im in a dark mood now so i dont know what to do now watch a gory horror film listen to some radiohead or go visit le groan.

  475. Everything was bad about that performance.
    But what are we to do?
    Moan and bitch?
    What good will that do anyone ? Apart from the Suga’s and Jabba’s of this world.
    It was a shit game and a terrible result.End of,move on

  476. 5-0, or 4-0 on penalties. Yep we can do that. Especially as we will not be playing on a ploughed field. Midfield need to sort themselves out but they can do that. I will be there. Will you?

  477. Blessing in disguise maybe? Now we can concentrate on the 4th spot in the premier league.

    So long King Thierry Henry, sorry this had to be your last game.

    This is not about doom, gloom, or over optimistic but we didn’t show up for this game. I can’t just blame the defense for this result because they played with invisible midfield in front of them, and as a consequence of that, there was not attack either.

    We win great games like 2-1 against Barca, 5-3 against Chelsea and we lose horrible games like this or 8-2 to United.

    Consistency is our worst enemy….

  478. “@ JamesM you know as well as us that if we go out of the CL now we will deffo clinch a 4th spot and thus play CL next year. its one of those facts of life…”

    Oh! That’s almost as good as the person who stated that we would have overhauled Sp*rs by the end of January.

    Let’s hope we defend better all over the pitch in out last 13 league games…

  479. lOl Frank…All AC Milan have to do now is park the proverbial bus and let’s face it, they can do that very well.

    Will we be there?…the answer should always be YES.

  480. Their fourth goal sets it up nicely for the second leg

  481. The only minor, minor crumb of comfort is that we all know that Mexes is shit. He just wasn’t given the chance to prove it tonight.

    Unfortunately I don’t see an Italian side fucking up a 4 goal head start.

  482. Quotes from Wenger on Sky Italia

    Wenger: “It was a shocking result and a shocking performance. It’s our worst night in Europe, mistake after mistake”

    Wenger: “It wouldn’t be fair for me to blame the pitch, even if it was disastrous. Our performance was the same level as the pitch”

    Wenger: “We were shocking tonight. Out of shape, no unity defensively/offensively. Massive mistake on first goal.”

  483. This result has been coming beating Blackburn 7-1 was just papering over the cracks.remember before that we won 1 game out of 4.
    Tactically we were clueless
    To bring on Henry and put RVP our best striker behind him was madness.It was only 2-0 at HT.Damage limitation in the 2nd half.Keep the score down to 2-0.But we committed football suicide,Another Old Trafford

  484. Well AW said in his post match interview he was “very shocked and worried over the preformance”. That “we did not read the game very well, that we had poor preformances both defencivley and offencivley”.

    he must be very pissed off as he rarley comes out public and says so..

  485. Yeh FunGun! we needed some drive from the mid.

    Such is life, time to move on.

  486. Well I love this team ,manager and club.
    In the end that is all that matters to me.

  487. Cbob, also wondering what you think we can learn from this game. I for one am at a bit of a loss, since we didn’t have a makeshift team at the start. Not really anyway, not at the back. It was Kos, Vermaelen and Sagna who were off the usual standard, not young Gibbs back from injury.This was a partnership we were all looking forward to. We’ll just have to score a great deal at home. Lots of goals. I am sure AW will try.

  488. Nothing to say. Awful performance and a result to match. We need to put his behind us sharpish. Some of the players let he manager down big time tonight.

  489. May I suggest you lay down in a darkened room and put on some good Ol’ Leonard Cohen

  490. From: @7amkickoff

    “It had to be, 229 is a prime number proving that there is only one Thierry Henry.”

    Hahahahaha..

  491. Wenger: “We don’t live in a dream world. There may be 2% or 5% chance statistically, but realistically we are out of this competition”

  492. @ goonerandy i think you can say all of them Andy, non played even 50% of what they are capable of.
    This defeat hurts more because we know that a sharp and prepared Arsenal team would atlest have got a draw.

    But they all just fluffed when it mattered. And thats what dissapoints…

  493. Jabba's delights

    George

    Fine draw a line under it but the fact is we aren’t good enough and haven’t been for a while. The club was try something better to arrest that.

    That ac Milan team isn’t vastly richer than us, and has been completely reinvented in the last 2 years. Ambition the ability to take a risk. That was a shambles tonight and makes it worse is that we were completely out worked.

    Don’t get me started on their ability at exposing our weaknesses. It’s almost like they had a coach who looked at there opposition and put out a team with the aim to win by exposing our weaknesses and negating our strengths…….wait is that tactical coaching.

  494. mattgoonerknight

    I repeat

    Hands up who hasn’t posted anything in the last few weeks

    Are your hands up high and straight? Good.

    Now fuck you, fuck you and fuck you too; who’s next?

    I’m all for everyone having an opinion (I’m constantly championing it) and not just looking through Arsenal rose tinted glasses but to come on here after days, weeks or months of absence to put the boot in is just ridicu-fucking-lous.

  495. I’d like to think we can pick ourselves up after this one. We have done it to varying degrees of success this season. But i fear we wont recover from this one. To me the players looked disheartened and disinterested tonight 😦

  496. jabba, if you think so then think so. but why do we always have to read your thoughts? why do you always feel you have to share them with us? we hate you.. honestly…

  497. I could not believe how shapeless the side looked.

  498. @DeiseGooner well AW looked like a man with no hope.. rarly you see him like that….

  499. we can put it behind us but i dont think wenger will, i bet he has them all stilli n the dressing room whipping their bottoms for letting him down big stylie. they let him down badly today…

  500. Poodle – True. 😦

  501. And what was even worse was that le Boss looked and sounded just as disheartened…..

  502. ah poodle …. SNAP

  503. Wow, wenger’s really letting the players have it. Never heard him condemn the team in such strong terms.

    He has conceded the tie also. Unless he changes his mind in next couple of weeks, Poodle might get his reserve team after all for the 2nd leg.

    Wenger: ‘We don’t play in dream world. We may have 2 per cent or 5 per cent chance. But realistically, we are out.”

  504. Exposing our weaknesses?

    How would their coach have considered it possible that Ver should have such a poor match?

    Or that he would slip at the crucial moment before their second goal.

    It was simply that they played very very well and our players simply were not good enough under those circumstances.

    If it is anything, it is our coach who decided that we should not play to our strengths and play right into their hands.

    Its Barca away again, but with a worse result.

    However, its not the end of the world and no disgrace to be beaten by a team playing much better on their home ground..

  505. Borrowing from the words of a famous ACLFer, “I like the cut of your jib, mattgoonerknight”.

  506. Jabba's delights

    Hating someone for seeing the truth and telling you about it

    You call me a cunt most of the time as you disagree with what I say but in reality when is it that far off base. You say it’s an “I told you” so attitude but in gods honest truth I did fucking tell you so and maybe you should start coming round to thinking that this team hasn’t been improving in years in fact it’s been getting worse despite good resources.

    That wasn’t a well coached team I saw there today in there biggest game of the season

  507. @hen well we got bigger fish to frie. Atlest bigger realistic fish. We need that 4th or its game over i think….i just cannot see AW staying if we dont get 4th. he wants to play with the best and have plenty of offers from other clubs.

  508. Quote of the night from that c##t Barton on FSC “Wenger doesn’t seem to trust his English boys, he always takes Walcott and Gibbs off first.” and he dismissed the RVP probable penalty, when it was clear that his shirt was nearly being ripped off his back.

    Not wanting to blame the pitch, as both sides had to play on it, but it seemed very noticeable that Milan did not want to play the ball on the wings, most of the time one of their players got the ball on the ploughed furrow, the immediately cut inside, which was more likely when you are counter attacking.

    Anyway, another day, another game to play…

  509. and then “dread” to save money maybe the board hires Bruce or what is that ex wolves manager called? aah i get chills down my spine just thinking about it…lol

  510. @MDgunner, Barton is about to get his beloved QPR relegated though…

  511. Well, I can understand AW’s feelings. He’s embarrassed by this result. Probably our worst in his era. Hopefully we redeem this season by winning the FA cup and getting 4th or 3rd. In the past, disappointing results in Europe or the cup have affected our league form. And that must be avoided. Gut check time. Come on Arsenal!

  512. “It’s a constant reminder of how Arsene Wenger, for whatever reason, has allowed his side to fall behind the rest. Cut-price options, sub-standard or over-pressured youngsters and stop-gaps make up much of the Arsenal side these days. Wenger may go on about spirit and quality, but it just is not good enough.”

    http://www.football365.com/faves/7524202/F365-Says

  513. Let’s march on the Emirates, demand Wenger’s head and insist the Fat Russian takes over.

  514. Spy.I think it requires more of a stroll,in bin bag attire.
    I will come.
    Can I boo Arshavin whilst I am there?

  515. Jabba's delights

    The club needs a manager who is going to be ruthless with getting us back to being a challenger again.

  516. its easy to mark someone when they stand still, thats what we did. Realist view has to be to take each minute next time as it comes. From the players point of view it is important to believe they can do it, the alternative is not acceptable, especially from us the fans. When we turn up for the next game, wherever we watch it we have to let them know we believe too. I understand why people are angry, but I know those same people will be there to cheer on the team. Lets focus on the team and not whos the best supporter

  517. @lewl1234…. the irony is that those who want AW gone now will cry to get him back once his gone. These may i add are the same people that now moan because we sold Adebayor…

  518. Jabba

    youre wasting your time.We got battered tonight but the blinkered fans still refuse to see the faults in our team.The likes of Walcott Rosicky and Song are not good enough.Its time for everyone to stop living in the past
    I actually read on ACLF that Kos and TV were the best two CB’s in the prem.Dream on

  519. Well well well. What excuses will the AKb give this time?

  520. Jabba please fuck off with your anti Arsene shit.
    We don’t want to hear it.

  521. Ted .
    Where have you been you cheery chap ,oh and Scott ,you too?

  522. We played badly against a team who played well.
    It happens ,you miserable fucks.

  523. Jabba you muppet, if the board dont wanna spend money on playes now what makes you think they will spend money on a socalled “top manager?”
    Top managers need war chests to preform, they wont get warchests at arsenal.
    When Wenger goes we will get Big Sam or something like that… you should know that.

    No arsenal board will ever appoint murino or any of your favourits. Never. Its all a matter of money…

  524. Ask yourself this is Kroenke hurting as much as we are in Colorado tonight..He didnt even travel to Milan for the game.Arsenal are just a cash cow for him.He will sell the club for a profit in the next two years.And the fans like us had to pay a 6.5% rise in ticket prices.Thanks Stan.

  525. ah ahah george hit me over the head. i just bloody fed jabba the troll!!! :O

  526. George your same old posts are boring
    Do you ever go to matches?
    #boreoff

  527. people are so immature. This can happen to any team. We have seen good team’s get thrashed this season. We have seen Man City get beaten by Napoli, we have seen United get beaten by FC Basel for crying out loud. We got beaten by a team that was on top of their game. It is embarrasing but it proves nothing.

    Jabba and GT, grow up.

  528. Three things I have learnt tonight:
    1. Boateng has a face you could never tire of hitting
    2. I love this club more with every passing game: win, lose or draw
    3. I have no idea how to refresh comments on an iphone
    4. I wouldn’t really hit him, but you know what i mean
    5. Itv should not be allowed near live sport

  529. scott your new posts are boring, do you evever go to matche?#boreoff

  530. mattgoonerknight

    I’m just going to keep posting this so those concerned don’t have to waste their time scrolling.

    I repeat

    Hands up who hasn’t posted anything in the last few weeks

    Are your hands up high and straight? Good.

    Now fuck you, fuck you and fuck you too; who’s next?

    I’m all for everyone having an opinion (I’m constantly championing it) and not just looking through Arsenal rose tinted glasses but to come on here after days, weeks or months of absence to put the boot in is just ridicu-fucking-lous.

  531. god im geting boring too now, thansk to scott.. i think i have to go to bed before i catch his bore disease…

  532. Arsenal this season against rest of EPL top 7 (in all comps) plus AC Milan: P9 W1 D1 L7 GF9 GA23

  533. Poodle: At the end Adebayer was shit awful for us, he was shit awful for Real, and once the novelty has worn off, he’ll be shit awful for Spurs – assuming they can afford to keep him without having his wages paid by someone else. I for one don’t moan about him going.

  534. Bradys right foot

    Very poor, some marginal calls didn’t help us but the performances of some players really wasn’t good enough. The entire performance however was off kilter every touch and every pass executed poorly across the team and how long are we going to have to suffer TV5s doppleganger, a giant facepalm for our Belgium. As good as Ibrahimavic was and as poor as our own performance was the pitch really hampered us, if we don’t move the ball quickly we become impotent its a fundamental tenant of our game. I see Shoogs and Jibber are getting aroused, a perversion of support but at least someone got something out of tonight. Any word on Kozzer?

  535. Jabba's delights

    Ha who is talking about Jose. Why not someone like lambert 2 successive promotions got them 8th in our league. What about rogers. Let’s be honest this project isn’t proressing. I sat there tonight and thought right this is it arsene, the team will vindicate you in this massive game. Final quarter of the season players coming back 3 good targets to aim at. The team failed again to raise there game. We must respond to save our seasons but one thing we no with arsene teams is that they take set backs awfully badly. It can’t continue this summer changes MUST be made

  536. i just had the horrible thought of imagining if we had played barca tonight instead of Ac milan. Total destruction?

  537. I was a bit disappointed by Chesney’s distribution.
    So good to see Kieran Gibbs back
    We do miss Jack’s guile.

  538. Lew1234
    What an utterly stupid post.
    You are an absolute fuckwit.
    Beneath contempt

    Yogi can we have moderation back on?

  539. MGK @ 6.10

    Sorry about the delay, I had to run and watch a game of of football!
    I should clarify, I didn’t mean to criticise you, but those who have been stating repetitively that there is never any critique within this forum. Anyone reading the comments from 6.10 onwards, talking about formations, during the game, after the game, can see that is not the case. Hope that’s clear.
    If you want me to criticise right now, I could, but, you watched the game too so I don’t think I really need to.

  540. Jabba's delights

    Gradus

    The eternal question, “but what to do about it”

    Want my club to be as successful as it possibly can…..do you?

  541. Ok Jabba.
    Owen Coyle it is then .
    You we pushing him in the summer were you not ?

  542. Shall I mention that that was the same ref from the Braga away game last year? Thanks to 7am for the tip off. No need. Didn’t blame him then, though I put my observations of his performance on record. He was iffy again. Should’ve been 2-1. : )

  543. Jabba's delights

    Telling though George isn’t it. Cold hard stats have always been your likes biggest enemy.

  544. Owen Coyle? Pffffft.
    It’s got to be Martin O’Neill.

  545. Well George I’m going to stroll to bed,
    Can’t take ‘ This flock of Ravens’

  546. A defeat and Jabba/Muga come crawling out of the cave.

    True gr*t.

  547. Jabber… There are not many setbacks bigger than an 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford. I doubt that there is one doomer alive who would have predicted that on 15th Feb we’d be playing in the San Siro having risen to 4th in the Premiership. So, perhaps there’s a glimmer of hope for a positive response.

  548. Mick McCarthy is free.

  549. AVB????

  550. Jabba's delights

    George

    Judging lambert on the last 3 years I think he looks like a wonderful manager, 3 years of excelling with smaller resources. Look where we are at look at mate stop bullshitting. The team is getting worrse even with different personal in any other walk other club or walk of life the manager goes. Your points get weaker and weaker week by week as what has been the case for a year becomes clearer. We need a change a new focus.

  551. Jabba's delights

    Fins bury I haven’t posted in a day……idiot

  552. Bradys right foot

    Any word on Kozzer?

  553. Usmanov’s BArch: You haven’t posted after any recent victories.
    That’d because you are an internet troll.

  554. Paul Lambert?

  555. Wait. In the summer I was calling for AVB, now for Lambert.
    Fuck. Confused?
    This trolling is hard work.

  556. Jabba's delights

    Out celebrating old boy that’s what one does when you go and your happy. Is anything thts said wrong though, that’s the point that you always fail to answer.

  557. Don’t bite.
    Just yank the chain.

  558. Dear Reader, the Arsenal blog troll always gets some tickles. It’ll troll on, and on, and on. Call it out if you must, but don’t feed it.

  559. What a day. Time for a song, this one might be relevant in the next few days. I’m off for some chilled out MML:

  560. Awful Arsenal, people calling for Wenger’s head?? BULLSHIT!!
    I call for Kronke’s head!
    We basically signed mata, the board did not want to pay his wages, so he went to chelsea, how can you blame Wenger?
    Really AVB? Mc Mcarthy?? Are you serious???

    The Arsenal boardroom no longer cares about their fans, the definition of a fan has changed. They don’t care about feelings and tears shed for the club! Anyone who contributes financially to their gains is by definition the Arsenal fan.

    The club has become a premier investment, the people who have the money are either lucky or extremely shrewd to be where they are. Why should we expect Kronke to put his heart into the club, he is all about the business.

  561. mattgoonerknight

    fins

    Not that I want to disagree with you, especially as it seems as if you’ve let me off of the hook, but I’m bit confused, as I think I might be one of those that feels there is often a lack of critique on here hence my comment to Henristic as follows:

    “I too had referred to things as “fucking tribal” after inadvertently getting caught up in a feud regarding freedom of opinion and the right to hold more moderate views to that of the “ultra left” partisanship.

    Which, in part, you responded (possibly indirectly):

    “I’m sorry but this ultra left smear is bollocks of the highest order. I’ll dismiss it right now:”

    Should I start reading up on my Hitchens and Chomsky tomorrow or jut take it that we’re cool?

  562. I can’t say I am too pleased with tonight. Of course, we were terribly unlucky on several occasions. Ibrahomvic offside for the 2nd, Verm slipping for the third, debatable penalty for the fourth. Every situation in itself a point that might have turned the match on it’s head if it had gone our way. But on the other hand, it’s also hard to deny that we were comprehensively outplayed by them. In the first half a tame Koscielny header was all we had, in the second we did more, but at the cost of opening up at the back, something that AC luckily failed to punish as excessively as they could’ve done.
    I am not sure why this happened. Maybe we got our tactics wrong? I don’t think that starting Rosicky was necessarily wrong, but I think that by not having a proper winger on the right, we sacrificed a lot. We couldn’t really pin them back on that flank. Also some of our players just had a proper night off. Sagna is still recovering, a fact underlined by his performance, often struggling on the flank. Vermaelen made uncharacteristic mistakes and Arteta, rightly praised for his ability to pick out the right pass in tight spots and being able to hold onto the ball even when properly harassed, gave it away a tad too often. Out of the 4 midfielders we had out on the field, Rosicky was the only one showing proper intent going forward. At least he tried to make something happen, even though his attempted through balls more often than not found then feet of the Milan defence.
    I don’t think that the scoreline reflects the game in itself. There is no doubt that AC are deserving victors, but I feel that a 3 – 1 would’ve probably been a fairer result to both teams. But they had a certain clinicality, sending 4 out of their 5 shots on goals straight into the net that we sorely missed, not scoring even once though we had the same amount on target.
    Despite being an optimist at heart, I don’t really see a way back for us. I think that we can launch a fight back at home, but in the end I feel that the lack of away goals combined with the state our defence might be in when we have a clearer picture on Koscielny’s situation will cost us.
    Nevertheless, now is not the time to display a defeatist attitude. Sunderland’s rugby pitch is probably being ploughed as we speak, in preparation for Saturday’s match, and we have to show that we have learned lessons from last season, that at least some of that often coveted winning mentality can be found in this squad. We can’t let this result dishearten us and allow it to lead into another implosion, a victory against Sunderland imperative.

  563. shocking.
    terrible.
    awful.

    verm = stepanovs
    arteta = kitten
    song = cub
    rosicky = rabbit

    milan d!ckslapped us tonight….schooled us…..like they did to manure 4 years ago..miserable night….a night to forget….pity for the travelling fans….

    the more you hurt me the more i want you. arsene …hair dryer…..dont let them get away with it.

    jabba i have a black ban big full of vomit if you want to come and collect for your gay parade/march/protest whatever you call it :))

  564. From an akb’s perspective it was a shitty game.everybody bar walcott was shit. Tw14 was beyond shit.gradually lord wenger would realise that to avoid nights like this,consistently beyond shit players have to lose their first eleven status.by the way, TR7 covered himself in glory, relatively.

  565. MGK I never had you on a hook. That doesn’t sound very nice!

    That ultra left rubbish referred to a pre-Xmas thread, that led to some indirect arguments that had nothing to with anything.
    Hitchens? My recommendation: Don’t bother! Unless you are intrigued by sociopaths.
    If I wanted to recommend some texts on the same topic I’d recommend, I dunno, Bill Hicks? Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by Dr. HUlme, (from about 1750 AD). Anything else basically. Chomsky? Up to you. I haven’t read much of him tbh, but I have heard him talk, and been to some lectures in the past. I should add, I’m not clever. The spelling and typing should be a clue!

  566. sunderland will pay for this for sure….but still…

    mind u boatengs was a beauty…and abiatti saved a big one…damn!.

  567. Indirect arguments that didn’t involve me I should add.They were very boring.

  568. Evil, can’t disagree with your account except that the mistakes by Vermaelen aren’t so uncharacteristic. He’s a wonderful player but he has been prone to some mistakes this season; I’m sure playing LB hasn’t helped either. It shows how important Merts has been because this was supposed to be the partnership we were all looking forward to.

  569. I was most surprised by Arteta’s performance. I was sure he would come out with a strong game. I agree Rosicky was our best midfielder, but he was playing on the left wing. I think AA or the Ox could have helped us.

    Oh well. It’s done and we have to live with an embarrassingly bad performance and result. This is the second time this season we have had a historically bad result and I am sure the boss is concerned. His post match comments seem to indicate that he can’t spare the players this time.

  570. I blame my choice of pub…

  571. @LG
    You are obviously right! There is probably a bit of optimism in my words, hoping that the mistakes that he has been prone to making in recent times are really just side-effects of him not having a constant run in central defence and not something that will become a part of his game. That I can think of 3 or 4 games in recent times where he has either been at fault for a goal or made mistakes that put us unnecessarily under grave pressure is really not a good sign. I hope that he is ready to step up, because he will be required to. If worst comes to worst and Kos is out for a prolonged period, he will have to be the anchor and the calm leader at the back, and we can’t afford for him to make such mistakes on a regular basis. I am however still hoping that after he has settled back into the middle he will play more like he did in 2009/2010 and less like this season.

  572. I was telling GoonerAndy earlier about the fact that I was unusually nervous and we could see a munich like performance from us..we got exactly that, we were lucky enough that night to escape with a 3-1, not so lucky tonight and got exactly what we deserved…

    The problem with a defeat is that the quality of posts drops with exponential quickness…

    Anyway as always..up the Arsenal!!! Chin up…

    And Wenger was pissed off with a capital P..I would think there would be a response come saturday..

  573. I fervently share those hopes, Evil. He is a quality player. Now he will have to be an anchor. Djourou has also been shaky and played a great deal out of position. Now these two have to settle in and form a good partnership, having almost never played together, for the next several games or more, depending on the severity of Kos’ knee knock.

  574. A very good read Evil. Unlike our performance.

    But there is clearly no creative force within our midfield. Which is obvious because we sold the best creative midfielder in the world. And anyone trying to fill those boots will find it very difficult. But that still doesn’t mean that our midfield is that bad at creating things. I don’t if Wilshere could have changed that. But surely, this midfield of Ramsey, Arteta, and Song will always be lacking in creativity. We need another player in that position, if Wilshere can fill that creative role, well and good, if he can’t we need a new player, and a very good one in that position, because that is how we play. Can you imagine Barca playing the passing game without Xavi and Cesc? Of course not. They did that over the weekend and they got hammered. And we’ve been doing that all season now andt if you consider the matches against top teams, we’ve had a poor run, perhaps quite embarrassing at times as well. It’s a team that can only challenge for third or fourth place for now. But I am not sure buying 3-4 players would change that, I think we would have to wait to see how Wilshere, Ramey and the OX are playing in a year’s time. But we can surely bring in another creative player during that time to keep us consistent and challenge in whatever way we can.

    Tactically it was quite easy for them to exploit our weaknesses by squeezing our wingers out of the game, which meant our midfield could neither hold the ball nor create a single fucking chance which was painful to watch. Even Arsene pointed out that we were worse in offence than defence. Djorou rarely ever fills anyone with confidence, he is 4th choice at best and he played like one. But both Vermalean and Koscielny were pretty awful today. Both lacked maturity as well as ability to read each other’s game, Which you can argue has a lot to do with Vermalean playing as LB for last few games, but regardless they both need more games together and stable full backs. I think whatever the injury situation within a week’s time we should really focus on the league now. Screw the FA cup as well.

  575. mattgoonerknight

    Fins

    I think people call it suspension or body modification: agreed, not very nice 😉

    Bill Hicks the stand-up? Mr socialist / sceptic / anti-consumerist. Seen a few clips and he has long been on my list to watch as I love stand-up (the videos /dvds – he’s dead right?)

    I teach at secondary and I for one wouldn’t dream of measuring anyone’s intellect by their spelling or word processing capabilities as my own spelling is pretty atrocious. You don’t have to be coy about being “clever” as it’s abundantly obvious that you are.

    Cool, well I’ll refrain from the “ultra left” talk regardless, as its ACLF use clearly pre-dates my understanding.

    Right, media black out until Saturday 5 o’clockish then!

    COYG

  576. @Ateeb
    Thinking back, I feel that not having a winger on the left was really something that played in their hands. As I said, I believe having Rosicky start wasn’t a bad idea — but he should’ve played through the middle with Arshavin/AOC on the left. But the way it was, just because the grandfather of his grandmother might haveve played on the wing in the Czech School Kickabout League, it doesn’t make Rosicky a wide player and it showed. I can’t remember him ever really getting into the space between box and corner flag, most of the times he was looking to cut into the middle. Nothing wrong with that in itself, but when we are playing against a narrow team and our biggest strength is our ability to use the full width of the pitch, it’s not what we need.

  577. I agree, perhaps the lack of creativity in the midfield could have been made better if Rosicky was playing. And having the Ox or Arshavin on the wing would have been a better idea. I didn’t understand bring on Henry though. The problem was getting the ball to our strikers which need creative impulse on either the wing or midfield. Henry was just Arsene getting too desperate to turn things around. And RVP didn’t help either today, he wasn’t sharp enough to receive the ball today as one would have liked, got out muscled and beaten tactically.

    But they were lucky today as well, most of the times those shots wouldn’t have gone in. Sadly each one went inside today.

  578. get david dean back immediately!!!!!

  579. I’d also like to muse a bit about our incredible luck with injuries. Tonight was probably the first time we had two recognised full backs playing for us since somewhen in November/December … but in the space of 4 days we lose our central defence partnership. I am not going to be one bit surprised if either Djourou or Vermaelen end their season early on Saturday.

  580. Need a good nights rest to prevent my immediate emotions from interfering with clear thought.

  581. Well can’t say I am not disappointed but expecting us to get a win at San Siro was very very optimistic one.

    Did anyone see Zenith – Benfica game? Zenith’s second goal was a beauty.

  582. it’s not a crisis, it’s a result…

  583. @ateeb they were not lucky. But chensey for the first goal gave away the ball and for the second was just wrongly placed. Milans keeper did save the only two really good chances we had though with top class savings, that he did form RvPs shoots. They were decent those few chances he had. Non of our matchwinners did very well last night.
    All our playaers from the goalkeeper to the striker were poor. we deserved to loose.
    the front three of AC milan is not the best in the world. AC Milan wont win the CL. basically we messed up . simple as. BUT it may mean we can concentrate on our bread and butter, namly the all important 4th spot.

  584. It might be a weird thing to say but nights like these make me realise even more how much I love the club. It is one thing being happy as a fan after a massive victory, but it’s an altogether different story going through a painful loss and still come out thinking “I wouldn’t want to support any other club, no matter what.”. For me, this has been the worst loss of the season. OT was an abomination — early in the league, we had a lot of major players out — while Swansea and Blackburn were pretty disgraceful, but seeing everyone else around us make the same mistakes took the sting out of it for me. But going to the San Siro when you are having a realistic chance on paper and then turn in a performance like we did yesterday, that truly hurt. I know that it’ll be any moment now that the Gloaters will come marching in, revelling in the fact that we lost so comprehensively, so I’ll be off for a couple of days, licking my wounds and avoiding the papers. Looking forward to the game on Saturday, I hope that Wenger is going to prepare whatever ranks even higher than the good old hair dryer treatment. The performance yesterday by a majority of the players deserves it.
    I want to see a hungry team on the pitch on Saturday, a team out for blood, a team that won’t be happy until Sunderland wish that they had drawn any other team but us. Gooner till I die!

  585. i really don’t understand why some “so called” fans only post here when we loose. Really its strange, if you can’t marvel at our victory and only bitch when we loose, do we really call you fans??

    i really don’t get it

  586. You let your hate for Wenger affect your love for Arsenal and that my friends is really pathetic.

  587. Whilst we are all saynig “it is a game to forget”, Arsene quite right stated that “this is a game never to forget”. Last last will have told him a lot about some players.

    The likes of Arteta and TV5 are usually reliable but had bad games. Nobody in the back 4 seemed to be communicating at all, but I thought Kos had a decent game actually. Nobody performed at all but Theo and Ramsey were really really bad.

    We really are a schitzophrenic team. We ran riot on 10 games ago. I noticed at one point that whenever we got to the final 3rd our play slowed down to almost walking pace, and we rarely got any men apart from RvP ahead of the ball. Very strange.

  588. I meant 10 days ago. God knows what we were doing 10 games ago.

  589. Our midfield just looked exhausted, and the fact that neither of Rosicky or Ramsey have had a rest doesn’t bode well for the weekend. I’d like to see Le Coq in the DM role and give Song a break against Sunderland, maybe Miguel and Yennaris at full back.

    Losing Mertesacker and Kos in consecutive games is just typical of our luck this time of year.

  590. Vince – I would say we need to play our first chice back 4 together as often as possible now, not carry on switching around. They need to build up some understanding together. Arsene needs to field that back 4 as often as possible.

  591. I am not going to analise every players’ performance as we were taken to the cleaners by a very very good Milan side on the night.Shit happens.

    In fact it was embarrassing how they carved through our midfield and defence,time and time again.

    The only positive was Wenger’s post match comments. he pulled no punches and said it like it is, so he obviously did see everything
    .
    Now i am concerned having lost Kos and Mert and Fab probably in goal on Saturday, our ever changing formation might come under the cosh .

    The knee jerk reaction from so called supporters and most of the media, will increase after last night and I advise everyone who truly supports our club to concentrate on anything except football until Saturday teatime,be it knitting,cycling,walking,making love, having a new hair do or in my case playing bowls.

  592. The pain I felt last night was indescribable.
    Way worse than the 8-2
    Everything was off

    Every player bar RvP, TR7 & AOC was off

    I missed BFG

    Verm looked confused as a CB but was unlucky with that 3rd goal slip

    Arteta played with an inferority complex

    Ramsey was the absolute worst…his inclusion for me instead of AA or AOC was the virus
    that poisoned morale…it became most glaring in the latter stages of the 2nd half

    Kos was bushwacked by Ibrahimobitch + that crappy pitch and is now injured

    Theo could do nothing on that crappy pitch

    That crappy pitch killed the potency of our style of play & we just could not adjust

    Milan live on that crappy pitch & play a style that suits it

    We made Robinho, Boateng & Ibrabitchovic look way better than they actually are

    One (or 2) of their goals was offside

    AA SHOULD HAVE STARTED!!!!

    The flaws in AW’s game plan fell in perfectly with Milan’s style

    I tip us to beat them @ the Emirates but 3-0 will not be enough

    Our CL dream looks over.

    but I STILL LOVE THIS TEAM & AW!!!!!!!

    We march on
    We are The ARSENAL
    RASERS!

  593. “it’s not a crisis, it’s a result…”

    So you have learnt something Suga.

    We should have learnt that this team is not the finished article. It will continue to lose games as well as win them. There will be good perfprmances, a few outstanding ones and the occasional shocker.

    That’s where we are at the moment.

    Ateeb has pinpointed the need for more creativity in midfield. I think he is right. That was the key missing ingredient at the start of the season. More grit, less guile.

    Works most of the time in the Premiership but won’t in Europe.

    It’s OK. Let’s see what the summer brings.

  594. Bob – Yeah, all very true. The strange thing is this team was build around having a world class player as an advanced midfielder. That was the fulcrum of this side. We are now playing the same system, but really don’t have a top notch player to fill that role.

    It was intersting that when Henry came on last night RvP moved into that role. personally I believe he could fill that role very well if he had a decent striker ahead of him.

  595. I hoped Rosicky and Ramsey would be able to fill up that creative role in the absence of Cesc or even Wilshere, but it just doesn’t seem like they have the presence required to dictate play, whilst being able to consistently find defence splitting passes. Its something Cesc has proven he can do. Wilshere has played less but few can doubt he’s got that talent. From that POV he has been a big, big miss for us this season. It also explain wenger’s reluctance to overhaul our system. He may have been anticipating Wilshere’s return, and hoped like the rest of us that Ramsey and Rosicky would be able to fill in.

    We can still get that 4th place though, so long as we don’t keep playing like we did yesterday.

  596. Wenger should step down. He has taken this team as far as it can go and the fans are tired of being humiliated. Most of us knew this was coming, how can you lose Cesc and Nasri and expect to mount a serious challenge this season? Why doesn’t the club spend money on big name players.

    Sick of this now.

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