AVB Sacking: Good Or Bad For Arsenal?

The dust settles on the weekend with the sun shining in the Arsenal world, even into the darkest recesses inhabited by the creatures of the underworld, emitting an eye-piercing scream, “Curse you Wenger, I’m melting“, as a top three finish is now deemed achievable.

I am not sure what effect the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas will have. Ordinarily you would expect that to be a spark for the Chelsea season but their season is beset by such deep-rooted problems that beyond the initial feelgood factor, is there any substance? Appointing Roberto di Mateo is not being met with universal dread outside of Stamford Bridge with his spell at The Albion hardly a ringing endorsement of his managerial prowess. Yet different clubs, different times; the judgement will come at the end of the season.

It raises an interesting contrast in managerial philosophy; some would argue that Wenger would be long gone by now, evicted from his position in 2006 following defeat in Paris. If you are going to apply the Abramovich business model, I would observe that Arsène would have been dismissed no later than 2000 following on from the Manchester United treble of 1998-99 and a failure to win silverware the following season. Considering that, how much of the golden years of his reign would have happened under anyone else? To be honest, it is impossible to conceive of it. After all, Arsenal had little or no competition for Thierry Henry’s signature from Juventus.

The constant rotation of managers is interesting. There are few, if any, clubs who have sustained success from that policy. Real Madrid and Chelsea both prove that you might have a few years of silverware but when that well runs dry, the foundations that managerial stability bring to the youth set-up are not there. Looking at Chelsea, they spent some considerable time with Frank Arnesen, buying up the cream of European talent (as they saw it) and have not reaped any benefits so far; how many players are in the first team from their youth ranks? That and spending in excess of £70m buying managerial contracts and then settling them when the incumbent is sacked, signal that they have little intent on complying with Uefa’s FFP regulations. Will Uefa have the same lack of moral backbone in enforcing them?

Not that the manager has given up on silverware this season. Casting his eyes to European shores, Arsène‘s philosophy is clear,

We want to make the impossible possible. From the first leg it looks impossible but we have to have a real go, play with belief and think we can do it. You never know. Maybe I will change the structure of the team to go for it and see if we can put them under pressure and score some goals.

We have nothing to lose. For us to find the right balance between having to completely go forward and not concede a goal will be the difficulty for us because they have talented players.

I should imagine that Monsieur Wenger would be more than happy taking the match to a penalty shootout following Wojciech Szczesny‘s Anfield escapade. As implausible as it seems, the match is a ninety minute cup-tie for Arsenal. They know they have to score at least four which is a tall order even before you consider that Milan are top of Serie A. It is not impossible, the North London Derby proved anything can happen in the next ninety minutes to paraphrase Commander Shore.

We shall see. I still cannot decide whether it is more beneficial for Arsenal to rest key players such as van Persie ahead of the home match against Newcastle. Yet that is a week away being the Monday night fixture which allows plenty of scope for rest.

I do not subscribe to the view that defeat will damage morale. The squad seem well equipped to separate league and cup form; startling well equipped. My initial view was to rest the first team and let Chamakh and Park loose to wreak their own havoc but that was under the presumption that we would defeat Sunderland in the FA Cup. Without that fixture pressure, is there any need to be that cautious? I’m not sure but that’s too decide ahead of tomorrow’s post.

Enjoy the rest of your day, especially if it is matching the Dales sunshine we have. ’til Tomorrow.

 

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 168 Comments.

  1. good

  2. Chelsea…what a fukin joke of a club.

  3. the papers say roman wants pep or mou…LOL.

    what about ‘arry ..he will be available after june-july wont he ? …haha

  4. 6-0 to the Arsenal!

  5. given injuries, and the need to possible score every 15 minute, I can see us playing wolcott, vp, ge r v, chamberlain, thomas r, and song. song would have to sit deeper, and thomas r and chamberlain would have to explode up the middle. basically we need to run milan old legs ragged.

  6. YW – I am in the same 50/50 as yourself with regards to our approach to tomorrow. The sensible part of me thinks that realisitically the tie is dead, and we should rest as many players as is possible. The optomisitc fan in me says we can still progress and should go for it all guns blazing with a strong as an attacking side we can muster.

    What it is not worth doing is going half hearted and resting a few players. it really should be all or nothing. If we go for it something like:

    Szchzny

    Sagna
    Kos
    Song
    Tv5

    Theo
    Rosicky
    Arteta
    Gervihno

    RvP
    Chamakh

    May be the way to go.

  7. for the milan game, contrary to popular belief, i would advise that joke of a manager ..this french alsatian whatever ..this loser, this vengah fella to forget any hopes of progressing and do not risk the safety and form of the first team. field the under 18s ..all of them and let them surprise milan…youth with no fear..not the first teamers …i dont want to see van persie sagna and song stretching themselves for 90 minutes to achieve the impossible. let sanchez watt and yennaris do that.

    yes ok i understand that he has to say that cr@p for the fans and for players motivation and such but come on lets be serious ..this is ac milan not livorno. imagine our players giving it their all and then not making it. let the children play ..they dream of stuff like this …milan wont know what hit them.

  8. 1. fabianski
    2. yennaris
    3. hoyte ?
    3. miquel
    4. djourou
    5. eastmond
    6. ozzy
    7.henderson
    8.eisfeld
    9.watt
    10.joel
    11.afana

    🙂 hahaa….

  9. Hunter – Fielding 12 players may just work you know.

  10. yes and me the lucky 13th 🙂

  11. 3. hoyte/
    3 miquel

    step aside avb ……. ill show you how its done !

  12. and when i want to venture into the absurd i read williams on the guardian

    take this for an opening paragraph, stone and defoe are jealous!!

    “In Vietnam, they called it “fragging”: the deliberate killing of a commanding officer by his own men. It happens in all wars when experienced foot soldiers lose respect for their leader and put their own survival before loyalty. And now it has happened at Chelsea. Twice.”

    twice. 🙂

  13. but the best of all is of course martin samuel

    “It is not the job of forward players in English football to avoid the frantically outrushing Wojciech Szczesny in Arsenal’s goal. If a goalkeeper goes to ground, he has to get the ball cleanly and for the second week in succession Szczesny did not.”

    so the one attribute chesney is top at..coming out and dealing with one on ones samuel is trying to present it as a fault and as something chesney should be punished for. what a cunt?

    “Last week Gareth Bale was branded a cheat for clipping Szczesny with his trailing leg, but the Arsenal goalkeeper’s challenge was rash, designed to affect the forward’s stride as much as secure the ball.”

    ahahahha ..ok martin …we will tell chesney next time to move out of the way and let bale get in the goal together with the ball

    and he continues …

    “It was the same against Luis Suarez of Liverpool on Saturday. Szczesny looked to have made some contact with Suarez but, even if it was slight, why should any forward have to vault a long barrier coming at him like a logged tree trunk loose from its mooring? All sympathy should be with the attacker here.”

    tell me arsenal fans ….are we gonna sit and tolerate all these wankers in the english media talking shit like that? ..burn them all !!!

    all sympathy should be with the attackers …who both dived by the way …..i would love to see martins take when robin or theo does it … 🙂 🙂 ..what sympathy will he give i wonder ? …

    ” the keeper has every right to defend his area , van persie/walcott clearly dived”

    🙂

  14. Who the f*ck is that Samuel c*nt and why is he paid do what he does? Clearly, he should be barred from writing about football ever again.

  15. i know evil ..hahaha this guy has been voted as best sports journalist pmsl…aghahahha

  16. and in both occasions ..chsney pulls out of the challenge …samuels interpretation of football events is comical. with bale schesney pulls his arms to his chest ..and with suarez while he is going with his legs spread like a scissor he knees them backwards…. samuel you are a fat useless pub caricature

  17. Did anyone see ‘The Four Year Plan’ last night about QPR?

    OMG – You could not have made that up, Paldini and Briatore, what a couple of total nutters to have in charge of your club!!!

    I didnt really care for Neil Warnock but my respect for him as increased ten fold with the shit he had to put up with – totally incredible!

  18. aaaaaaa ..49 …and 54 ….hehehe …they will committ mass suicide if we get past them …heheh

  19. The thing about both recent penalty decisions which have gone against us is that both looked pends in real time. I can understand why the ref gave them in both cases (provided they saw the actualy incident and were not guessing), but there is no doubt that both were dives.

    As Arseblogger pointed out Suarez always hold his shin when “fouled”. And he did so again yesterday when contact with Szchezny was negligable to say the least. Plus he was already airbourne.

  20. isnt ecclestone also part owner with briatore at qpr ?

  21. Lets recap:

    Who cares about AVB? Chelsea have been a shambles, run by the owner since they sacked Mourinho. That is hard to come back from. Abramovich is being outspent by Man-Sour (shrivelled dick syndrome) and he is being outplayed by Wenger, Fergie and Aunty ‘Arry. They cannot get better until he: a) leaves running the football and footballers to the manager b) grows a bigger dick – a lot more money please.

    Two weekends ago we heard the same old chirps about Wenger starting to echo again around the ‘girls’ changing rooms while the Tottenhots could do no wrong and were ‘awe inspiring’.

    STOP.

    The best season the Tottenhots have had, since I can remember, involves their manager stating that his goal for the season is finishing third – read above Arsenal. Well fucking done.

    The worst season Arsenal have had in 15 is being 4 points from the Tottenhots who happen to be having their best season with the new Messiah as manager.

    ………and some think Wenger should go.

    Twats

  22. I think we need to start with Theo and the Ox on either flank, they can’t use any of their bullshit ‘selective pitch re-laying’ tactics at our place so we can really get at them from out wide. I want RVP and SuperTom7 flying into the area and getting on the end of EVERYTHING. If we weren’t playing against a team with such experienced attacking players I’d almost be temped to go with Corporal Jenkinson ahead of Bac, just for the sheer quality of his crosses (not that Sagna had a problem there on Saturday!).

  23. “anything can happen in the next ninety minutes ”

    Yogi,Was it not Troy Tempest ,the legendary Captain of Stingray who said that?

  24. The thing about both recent penalty decisions which have gone against us is that both looked pends in real time. I can understand why the ref gave them in both cases

    yes ok but still….the ref has to make a decission on intent ..he sees chesney pulling his knees away …so why give it? ..

    i mean the keeper might intend to scare the striker by making it look as if he is coming to get him so that the striker panics a bit …its not illegal …

    samuel is basically saying to chesney to let the goal in and not even dare challenge or make it difficult for the striker unless he gets the ball when he goes to ground. thats stupid.

    i as a keeper may pretend that im coming out to punch your jaw to space or smash your legs and in last minute i pull away and the striker has crapped his pants so much he doesnt go near the ball ..it is in game “mind games” ..for the keeper to put fear in the striker and not come near.

    ” No chesney you cant do that ..only van de sar reina and czech can do it ..not you” 🙂

  25. GA, I don’t totally agree on the penalties, Bale’s one looked a penalty in real time to me, but Suarez’s didn’t. Could be that I was at the ground for one and watching on TV for the other giving me different perspectives. I still think neither was an actual penalty after watching the replays. The common factor in both is that the referees didn’t look in any position to give either one.

    As for Mr. Samuels claims, does that mean a defender cannot stand his ground, is he obliged to get out of the way of an attacker? Moron.

    I think the team selection for tomorrow night will have to be dictated mainly by fitness, those of the first-teamers who are 100% should play and be surrounded by the back-up players. I would go 4-4-2 with van Persie (if 100%) playing off Chamakh. Two wingers (Theo and Gervinho/AOC) with two in central midfield (Song and Rosicky), normal back four and Sczsezny in goal. That gets plenty of attacking threat on the field, it leaves us a little weaker at the back, but we need to score goals so that’s understandable. Anyone not absolutely 100% fit should be rested and kept for upcoming league games given the unlikeliness of overturning a four goal deficit.

  26. Interesting post – its similar to Wolves, how much better do they think the current No 2 will do? AVB was never given a chance, wasnt allowed to bring his own backroom in, and had to deal with a club full of the biggest scumbags known to man. I’m sure he will succeed in his next role.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow night. Just had a fiver on Arsenal progressing at 16’s.

    Early goal, and a cracking atmosphere then at least we can fight on in glorious failure should we come up short on what will be the greatest European comeback ever?

  27. In normal time it looked like Tech9 had come out legs first and twat face had gone over them. Difficult for the ref to see Szchezny had pulled his legs back at the last.

    Love Szchezny shouting abuse at Kyut as he was getting ready to take the pen.

  28. The Ref guessed.That is bad

    Hunter,if you make to punch someone ,and they believe that you are going too,that is an assault.
    even if you don’t intend it.

    Samuals is very wrong however

  29. Thanks Yogi. Nice one.

    The referee should never be giving penalties if he’s not 100% certain that it was a foul. Any doubt, and nothing can be given. It seem this rule goes the opposite way when Arsenal are concerned. Anyway, we’re used to overcoming this bullshit every year, and we’re doing it again. Nice.

    Haven’t been on here the last few days so not sure if you’ve all been over this, but I wanted to say how impressed i was with Oxlade’s central midfield play against the Pool. He looked at home in the middle, the quick passing in both directions, battling for the ball, changes of pace and direction, great reading of the play and an almost spectacular fist time shot curling away from the top corner. Lovely to watch.

    Maybe it has given Wenger confidence in playing a more attacking player in the ‘number 10’ role? I think the Ox could do a very good job there, it just seemed more natural than him being constrained to the wings.. I may be wrong as i’ve only seen TV coverage, but he did look very assured in there. Anyone go to the game who can shed more light on this?

  30. yes but you dont punch anyone ..you make it look as you are so that the keeper thinks twice of showing any commitment..lehman was very good at this. of course if you make it too obvious they might catch you but you must use intelligence …its like when the keeper grabs ball high in the air but still keeps his knee in 90 minutes degree in case anyone wants to come near him… .its like putting your legs/studs out first when collecting ball with chest/arms when sliding. and last but not least …in the six yard box the keeper is the king ..not the striker …as samuel likes to present it…

  31. Neither of the penalties were the correct decision. I can understand more why, in real time, Bales’ was given – however, Suarez’s was a ludacrous decision – should never have been awarded. Lets hope that we get some luck our way on the roundabout of piss poor decisions soon.

  32. @GA
    I would argue that it was impossible for the ref to actually see what happened between Suarez and Tech9 because there were several players right in his way. So it doesn’t matter what it looked like in real time, because it all comes down to a bit of guess work.

    In the end that Szcz didn’t get a yellow this or last week just tells the whole story. In both cases the referees were anything but a 100% sure, and in both cases they decided to still award a penalty regardless.

    @Geo
    As far as I remember Ox is a central midfielder at heart or Wenger at least said that he thinks that that’s where Ox will end up.

  33. spectacular fist time shot curling away from the top corner.

    if that had gone it would have rivalled bobby;s …

  34. PG

    I thought it was Commander Shore’s sonorous tones that were the opening gambit of Stingray. One of us has a memory that plays tricks. Not Big Al, one of us. Forget it…!

  35. hunter13

    No, Briatore and Ecclestone sold out to Tony Fernandes.

  36. Lol, not sure what ‘fist time’ is, sorry! Wrong blog… 😉

    I agree hunter13. opposite curl, but inches away from being just as sweet…

  37. Nando

    given injuries, and the need to possible
    score every 15 minute, I can see us playing
    wolcott, vp, ge r v, chamberlain, thomas r,
    and song. song would have to sit deeper,
    and thomas r and chamberlain would have
    to explode up the middle. basically we need
    to run milan old legs ragged.

    No, we don’t have to score every 15 minutes. We can score 5 in 28 mins…ask 5pur2!! 😀

    I hope the installing of Di Matteo backfires horribly. Isn’t the manager and his assistant on the same agenda? I wonder what change he can produce. Wolves new manager doesn’t inspire confidence either.

  38. “I think the team selection for tomorrow night will have to be dictated mainly by fitness, those of the first-teamers who are 100% should play and be surrounded by the back-up players.

    Totally agree with this, the best available team should play and going by what Wenger has been saying, he just might field that team.

    Still buzzing form Saturday, may our winning form continue!

  39. Both penalty calls seemed ridiculous real time or not!!They should never have been given. Refs are very quick to point to the spot when it is on the opposite end but takes them forever to award us any which is quite often!!!

  40. I know its a big big big ask to turn around a 4 goal deficit, especially as AC Milan are currently on a run of really good form and Ibra and Robinho are in the form of their seasons right now BUT we have to give it a shot. We have to come out of the tunnel and bulldoze into them right from the off and hope to get a goal inside 10-15 mins. We have to try get Milan worried about our attack, we didnt at all in the first leg. But we also have to be more controlled and controlling in midfield. To that end we have to play our strongest available team. So any first teamer who is fit needs to play. Sure the league position is the priority but we owe Milan a proper game and at least beat them in this game, even if we dont go through. Treat this as a cup final, just win it on the day.

  41. Should be great fun against Milan. Wenger has to tell the players, as if they didn’t already know, with nothing to lose just go and have as much fun as possible, treat it almost as an important practice match, plus he will make changes designed to attack and destablise. Chamakh might start then with RvP operating behind him, Gervinho on the left and Walcott on the right. In the middle I would place Song and Ox. Ben?

    The thing for Chelsea is that even without management issues the team is slipping and was always going to go into transition: Drogba doesn’t need an injury so will play 80%, Torres days are strictly numbered, Terry seems knackered mentally and physically, the likes of Malouda and Kalou are on the slippery slope, Essien still excellent but not as dominating, Alex missed, Cech not all he once was, Lampard looks OK but feeds off an effective team. And the new lot just don’t seem to have come together with joy. It’s unlikely much will improve with an interim manager, it rarely happens except for the initial burst of energy.

  42. According to the latest Economist, the Arab world is simultaneously suffering from malnutrition and obesity. In the UAE, close to 40 % of the adults are obese, and over 15 % of the children are stunted.

    Anyone else who thinks that Sheikh Mansour spending zillions on his new toy is obscene?

  43. @ FinnGunn
    Absolutely right. Disgraceful.

  44. Last week, I thought we had to give it our best shot and try to win even if we ended up going out of the competition. I had a wobble at the end of the week when so many of our players seemed to be injured or tired. But now I think, for all sorts of reasons, let’s go for it. My only reservation would be playing unfit players. But we have six days to recover from this, then over a week until the Everton game.
    Who dares wins, l’audace, toujours l’audace, you can’t win the Lottery unless you buy a ticket, and other similar maxims.

    No question about what AW is going to do!

  45. you can’t win the Lottery unless you buy a ticket,

    HAHAH …take a bow son

    😉

  46. I would like to see RVP playing the number 10 role against Milan and playing 2 players infront of him – I would go the OX and Walcott. With RVPs vision and ability and the pace of Walcott and the Ox I think we could score 5 against them.
    The only problem that playing this way we could also concede 5, but we need to take a gamble.

  47. I know this might sound crazy because I thought it was a crazy thought in my head but i wouldn’t be opposed to a type of 3-5-2 that allows Song to play deep enough so that if necessary he drop next to Kos as a CB.

    Sczny
    Sagna—-Kos—–Verm
    ——-Song———-
    Theo—Rosicky—-Ox—Gervinho
    ——-RVP—–Chamakh

    I know absolutely crazy thinking and thinking outside the box but I have watched Italian football and understand it to the point that many times away from home ecspecially in CL they will flood the midfield and park the bus and play the ultimate counterattacking football but allow us to control tempo and the ball if we have the players necessary.

  48. Surely it was ‘..the next half hour’?

    Of course I suppose there is artistic license in play.

  49. I am really excited about tomorrow. A couple of days ago I was cautious, but now I think we should just throw all the caution to the wind. I believe we have a genuine chance, if we just try. This team certainly has the ability to score goals, lots of goals and maybe, just maybe, we can complete one of the greatest comebacks in football history.

  50. I say put the strongest team possible out. As our Captain Mayhem said “we want to make the impossible, possible”. We can do this because we have the players to bang in 5 and the speed to not let them have a sniff.

    It’s just our f-ups in defence that could let us down but, we will score a bag full.

    very sad that Diaby, will not feature. I had him off because he’s not played for so long but, his little cameo on the weekend showed us all and the critics that this guy is pure quality and if not for the injuries he would already be in the world class bracket. He’s goal v pool last season (i think) was truly world class and he bossed that game if I remember correctly.

    It will be a completely different Arsenal v milan tomorrow that’s for sure.

  51. Cbob

    They hadn’t allowed for the added minutes from the referee at the end.

  52. C – I like that idea. It is a good game to try a different approach, and why not go for your suggestion… We have the players to play that system, i just doubt it will happen unfortunately. Worth having a go in pre-season training though i reckon. With Jack in the middle for Rosicky (as well as he’s played) that’s a very nice lineup indeed. Jack would more likely move into song’s position if he were to drop into CB…

  53. We have the ability to score goals and score goals in bunches. We have scored 5 goals and if it wasnt for 1 flukey goal and a diving c***t named Baled we would have held a clean sheet but thus is football. We have the opportunity to show European football that we are still Arsenal and a force to be reckoned with. RVP Captain our Captain will say come on lads follow me and I’ll lead by example and just play fast and free and we can score and run circles around those old legs of Milan.

    Arsenal 6-1 we win in penalty shootout with Penalty Dominator Szczesny coming up with a huge save or 2

  54. “his little cameo on the weekend showed us all and the critics that this guy is pure quality and if not for the injuries he would already be in the world class bracket.”

    Very true goonerton. He looked like the player we’ve all (well, some of us!) have missed. It was so great to see him jinking his way past tackls and zipping fast accurate balls to teammates again. A couple of nice interceptions too. I love that guy. I also feel so sorry for him. I saw some twat commenting about Ryo and his willingness to play/impress, followed by ‘If only Diaby showed the same desire’. Great support for our most unlucky player ever.

  55. Billy's Boots

    A Monday riddle: when is Emirates Stadium not Emirates Stadium?

  56. BB – When we’ve paid for it in full and can all live happily ever after?

  57. @Geo

    Yea i would love to see this at the Emirates and watch us play fast beautiful free flowing football and thrash Milan. I agree about trying it in preseason because we do have versatile players and i like your idea about Jack. Also in teh formation Santos would be able to play were i have Gervinho and he could be more of a wing back similar to the position he plays for the Brazilian National team.

    just a thought but if the whole Podolski thing is actually fact, RVP and Podolski could easily play in this formation and it would be a beautiful thing to watch.

  58. If Arteta and Diaby are out along with Ramsey I’d just play Song on his own in central midfield and absolutely pack the wings against Milan. Play VP deeper to link the play and put Chamakh up top.Gervinho and Park on the left, Walcott and Ox on the right.

    Sagna, Koscielny and Vermaelen at the back.

    May as well.

  59. Bit of great news for everyone especially hunter, Lil jack should be fit for the Euro’s!!

  60. Billy's Boots

    @ Geo, good answer – but not the answer I’m looking for!

  61. I really was hoping to see Diaby in the 1st XI for Milan and watching him help Song and Rosicky boss the midfield and show all the doomers and “commentators” that he is truly world class just happens to have a body that gives out on him.

  62. 2 wingers on each side eh Markus? It’s original, I’ll give you that!

  63. hmmm, I’m intrigued BB…!

  64. @C
    And the only reason for that is that c*nt Dan Smith.

  65. duke – id prefer jack no not feature this season and missout on going to the euros so hes all ours for the new season with no unreasonable pressure to drag that sorry ass england midfield through the euros

    greedy and selfish i know but Jack for Arsenal not Jack for Ingerland is my though

  66. @Evil
    Yea he’s most definetly a doomer c**t if I’ve ever seen 1.

    @DeiseGooner

    I completely agree with you, no point in Jack going to Euros with no coach and a poor midfield.

  67. Deise – I’m sure Duke, as well as most here, wholeheartedly agree with you! Ingerland can fark orf as far as I’m concerned.

  68. guys it wont be easy ..just because we may want it dont mean the others are gonna roll over …if we score pretty quick you can bet your houses the italians will start the kicking…and the italians are scientists in the art of kicking , they dont make it obvious….but clinical.. van basten and ronaldo were treated really well there … 🙂

  69. even seedorf will start kicking us if he sees arsenal mounting a mutiny against their 4-0 of first leg … lol..

  70. As for the game

    Szcz
    Bac Kos Verm Gibbs
    Rosicky Song Ox
    Theo RVP Gervinho

  71. @hunter

    not saying its going to be easy but if we play our best i truly do feel like we can hoenstly make a run at it if not make a complete turn around in 90 mins. Yea they will park the bus and pack the midfield but there true weaknesses just happen to be our strengths which is on the flanks. There LB and RB are decent but are slow have loads of trouble against wing players who are quick by italian standards let alone the pure pace that we have in the likes of Gervinho, Ox, Theo. Not only that we wont be playing on a shit field. We must also remember that we have had a couple games with proper fullbacks now and you can definetly see the difference in our play with Sagna and Gibbs and Jenks back.

  72. AVB – we all knew it was coming.
    That Samuel is one of a moronic league they call themselves pundits, It would be interesting to see his reaction when Arsenal are given a penalty.

    My preferred line up against Milan :
    Szchezny
    Sagna Vermaelen Koscielny(my fav Def) Gibbs
    Song

    Arteta
    Rosicky

    Walcot Ox

    Robin Hood

  73. oh c …dont get me wrong..im also a believer..its just that this has already happened to milan ..twice i think …i dont think they are idiots enough to allow it for the third time…who knows…

    i just dont want to see the key first teamers giving it their all and it backfiring for the remainder of the league games ….

  74. check out this simpleton:

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/1031238/arsenal-must-%27buy-big-to-win-big%27—milan-boss-allegri

    how about Milan must desist from cheating by maintaining a pitch to match their big-team status, Allegri??

    twat like Ibrahimobitch

  75. Wojo
    Sagna,Kos,TV,Gibbs
    Song, Rosicky
    Theo,RVP,3Gs
    Park

    And sadly it was not in fact Troy.Wrong again George 😦

  76. @hunter

    yea i know but 1 thing I do happen to see in Italian football is that there extremely stubborn and borderline arrogance that they way they play and their tactics are the greatest thing and the only way to play. Idiots, they very might well be.

    I do agree about it backfiring but the good thing is that the next match is a week away so they will have a week to recover.

  77. @PG
    I like the Park move and actually its a stroke of genius, damn i should of thought of that since i actually think Park is a good footballer who has goals in him.

  78. Park would certainly help us when we have a free kick in a good position and need a right-footer to take it. He knows how to score them.

  79. ehmmm well c it is ac milan ..they do have 7 big ones so i think they are entitled to believe whatever the fuck they want about their tactics,style etc as for arrogance..lol if they aint arrogant then who should be ? .. i dont know maybe im at fault for respecting them too much . we should go for the throat.

    however allegri isnt wrong in what he is saying ..the thing is that wenger knows it 7 years ago as the clever fans do ..allegri hasnt said anything new..in fact he is supportive of arsene just acknowledging a universal truth for top sports …big cojones win the titles …so if in thiese modern times the cojones cost a lot then you must be prepared to pay for them if you want the titles….or else..you build them cojones and go for the long run waiting and waiting.till the peas turn into melons…. 🙂 ..

  80. Refreshing to see fellow gooners on a solid ground of optimism.

    Geo, C, Markus…….excellent remarks about players and formations.

    Not sure who will be available for Milan 2.0……but I’m banking on the updated version of Arsenal to set them straight.

    Can’t see Arsene making a system change, but must trust his observations and instincts.

    For me……
    If Arteta can walk, I cannot see him allowing Arsene to rest him. He came to Arsenal
    to play CL matches and I would not be surprised to see him start.

  81. Nice post yogi. No way to know what the AVB sacking will mean to us. With regards to the CL game I suspect we will give it all we have got and play the strongest team that is fit. Imagine what would happen if we could somehow pull it off. We can start rotating players out if it becomes obvious that we are not going to make it. Fingers crossed for a miracle.

    Last 2 weeks show what this team can do when they are in good form. Superb result at Anfield and the beat down we gave the Spuds was epic. Lets hope we can carry it thru the end of this season and show some consistency under pressure.

  82. YW

    have been along time follower of AFC and your post for the past year or more.. it is the first thing i read in the morning even before the news…and an excellent post as always!

    solution for AFC and chelsea

    maybe RA can sell chelsea to Usmanov and U can sell his shares to arsenal fan share.. solves a lot of problems I think

  83. @hunter

    The problem for me with Milan is that while they are a very good team their weaknesses are our strengths not to mention that, that game was the 1st game that that particular back 4 played together and as you see they have grown more confident and have defended a whole lot better since then due to communication and better understanding. Also as has been noted worldwide they knew that the flanks would be to our advantage and instead of IMO showing a CL field and class to go along with it they gave us Sunderland’s pitch in a CL knockout 1st leg. Do I have respect for them, yes. Do i think Ibra and Robinho are world class footballers who would be a weelcomed addition to any strike force, yes. Do i think there defence and goalkeeper are shit(from watching both CL and Serie A matches), yes and can be exploided with pure pace. I also think that we can boss the midfield with the likes of Song(his reemgerence is refreshing after a 4 match run of medicracy), Lil Mozart, and Ox, or if we play the formation i hoped and have said i wouldnt be surprised to see above. I am seeing a resurgent Arsenal with teh likes of the best captain we have had since Viera tell the lads to follow me and i will not only lead through words but through play.

    We were at the bottom of the table and now we are realistically fighting for 3rd, now we have Milan down 4-0 and playing at the Emirates. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us pull this out.

  84. @hunter

    I truly do like our chances against Milan, even with the respect that i do have for them and the likes of Ibra and Robinho. There true weaknesses are on the flanks and the greatest part about that is that happens to be 1 of our main strengths. If Song can keep playing up to the level that he has played most of the season(outside of a 4 match medicore run) and Lil Mozart and whoever else plays in the midfield can continue to excell we can run their old legs.

  85. That Liverhoof player,Henderson, assaulted Arteta.
    It was a deliberate strike and he should have been shown red and banned for maximum possible.
    Seriously ,this is something I do know about.He could have killed him.

  86. Just Another Luke

    I’m very clear now why Wenger came out with those fighting words to overturn a 4-0 deficit. It’s very important that every match be approached with a positive attitude to build the mental strength and character of the team for the rest of this season. Even if we manage only a 1-0 win, it will do us a world of good than to go down without even a fight by stepping onto the pitch with a team of 2nd stringers that has accepted defeat even before a ball is kicked. No way will a team from Arsenal FC do that.

    COYG!

  87. Just Another Luke

    I am hoping that the media doesn’t lay siege on Chelsea and give them a platform to unite and bounce back. Maybe we should kill them with kindness instead?

  88. How much do you think Torres is worth now?
    Seriously.Dont say two bob and a pickled egg.

  89. Ever since King Kenny joined L’Pool have bought half a team worth way over 100 million (Suarez, Downing, Carroll, Henderson etc.) and they managed to score 25 goals in total(+ 5 own goals). RVP alone has scored 25 goals!

  90. Geo it’s been said before.

    Two wingers on both sides and watch the position of Song

    Today in fact on yesterday’s post.

    …………………………………Cheesy

    La Sagna………………………………….Kos Lettuce…………..Vermicelli noodles

    …………………. Song Yong Gai Soup

    Lobster Theo’madore………Sticky Tomato……………Vinho

    Ox’tail steww……………..Coq au Vin……………..ChaMacerone

    Not quite Arsene’s feast of 6 strikers!

  91. My daughter says that should be Bakery LaSagna…..Fresh pasta….mmmmmm

  92. Ah, not so original then Markus…!

    That looks very mouthwatering SA. Scrumptious in fact. Mmmmm.

  93. I said it after the 4-0 defeat for God’s sake. Haven’t been on here since Friday either. Hurt now.

  94. haha! Don’t worry Markus, I feel your pain. That’s what you get for being a Mon-Fri 9-5 commenter like me…

  95. Sticky Tomato?

  96. Aaaah~ Rosicky!

  97. I think that’s meant to be our Little Mozart

  98. Sticky Tomato = Rosicky?

    I do think we will start with 4-3-3, same team that started at Liverpool except for Gervinho on for Benayoun probably. But we could well end up with 3-1-6! It’ll be great to watch, especially if we get an early goal and wobble them 🙂

  99. Can’t see us going to 3 at the back. And I hope we don’t either. Getting that system to work takes a lot of practice, and having so many players unsure of their roles would be dangerous against a team as good as Milan.

    I expect us to either play 442 or maybe stick with our normal formation and drop RvP slightly deeper and play Chamakh ahead of him. Also take a gamble with the wide men at absolve them of tracking their full back too much.

  100. I agree with all of that GA. It would be good to have a play around with some other formations like the ones mentioned above in pre-season though, see what happens… I think we’ll start as Markus says, and could well end up as Markus says too..!

  101. If we really do it, if we really make it tomorrow, I am going to make sure my neighbours will be very aware of that. They probably won’t be too happy, being yelled out of their sleep at 11pm, but I won’t really care

  102. Just read that we have a raft of midfielders mssing tomorrow as well. Arteta, Diaby, Benayoun, Ramsey, all out. Rosicky doubtful. Makes even more sense to go 442 now.

    Song + 1 in the middle. The rest of the side picks itself really. Rosicky could partnter him if fit; if not our only other decent option is AOC although asking him to play central midfield for the first time against Milan would be a big ask. Still, needs must and all that.

  103. I think Song Rosicky and AOC will make up the midfield, with RvP, Gerv & Theo in the front line… I’d love a bit of that action.

  104. AW presser: Benayoun, Diaby and Arteta (has to rest as a precaution for a week) all out, Rosicky doubtful, Gibbs carrying a knock.

  105. Rosicky & Gibbs will play me thinks. Don’t know why, just a feelin’ in me bones…

  106. If Rosicky is fit play a 442 with Park up top to take advantage of his movement and goal scoring ability. With our midfield now taking the place of our LB/RB situation on the injury list a change to a 442 is a must.Even though i said play a 352 earlier, that was under the assupmtion that Benny, Rosicky and maybe Arteta would be fit enough to atleast make the bench but as goonerandy has pointed out to us that isnt possible, so.

    SCZNY
    Sagna—Kos—-Verm—-Gibbs
    Theo—Song—-Ox—–Gervinho
    ——-RVP—-Park———-

    While it would be alot to ask of Ox in the middle, thus the Captain playing in the hole to help ease some of the burden and as we have seen we can not underestimate the Ox on any stage. Then tell Song that he will have to defend the width of the pitch and free up Theo and Gervinho of alot of their tracking back thus allowing them to attack with pace everytime they get the ball

  107. Just Another Luke

    A real football pitch… 🙂

    “Two things that can change: if they can score four then we can as well, why not? We will try. We know we can put a better performance in and you can tell Milan that tomorrow we will play on a football pitch, a real football pitch.”

  108. ahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaha

  109. We played Milan in the San Siro(crap pitch) and Sunderland on their pitch(crap pitch), we score 3 goals. We play Spuds and Chavs on real pitches we score 10 goals. When we play on real pitches against good teams(Chavs and Spuds as much as i hate both must admit their decent) and we play great and score plenty of goals

  110. Mikel Arteta would like to say a few words:

    ‘After my accident on the pitch, the Arsenal medical staff did a great job, together with everyone at Liverpool Football Club. From Anfield, I was taken straight to the Aintree University Hospital, where they checked me, just as a precaution.

    Showing concern: Arteta has praised the fans and players
    ‘Everything was fine and I was able to travel from the hospital and join up with my team-mates for the train journey back to London.
    ‘I’ve since looked back at the TV images of when I was being taken off and just want to show my appreciation to the Liverpool fans at Anfield.
    ‘It is touching to receive that response from the fans of a great club when I am leaving the pitch injured. Thank you.
    ‘I also want to thank Pepe Reina and the Liverpool players who have sent me messages of support and friendship, this again is really touching and just shows class from a great football club.
    ‘And very importantly, a message to all the fantastic Arsenal fans, not only all those at Anfield on Saturday who were brilliant, but also those who have sent me many messages since Saturday.
    ‘It is hugely appreciated. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. It must have looked very serious to everyone as I left the pitch on a stretcher, but I’m pleased to say that I’m fine now and hope to be back on the pitch very soon. Thank you everyone.’

  111. 4-4-1-1 with Chamakh or Park up top and Robin behind him.

  112. Arsenal’s record Champions League home win came in the 2007/2008 group stages when Slavia Prague were thrashed 7-0, while three seasons ago Porto were beaten 5-0 in the second leg of the knockout stages, having won the first leg 2-1.
    Wenger said: ‘I know my players well, I know they have been hurt by the first result, and I know they have their pride. They will come out tomorrow and give a performance.
    ‘We lost 4-0 at Milan, but they had five shots on target and we had 55% possession there and we didn’t play well at all. If they can score four we can as well, why not?
    ‘It is important that we believe we can do it.

    And just for the record, Milan have thrown away a 4-1 lead before, going on to lose their second leg 4-0 to Deportivo La Coruna in 2003/04. If they repeat that result I think we all will agree that we will have the edge in a PK shootout 🙂

  113. Well, whatever the formation and line-up, it’ll be attack all the way. If we can manage to get a breakthrough earlyish and find a second with at least 40 minutes to go, it will start to get very nervy for them. The problem for all teams in this position is not knowing whether to attack or defend. A third and it gets scary. Milan will play keep ball.

  114. Is it wrong that I am more excited about tomorrows game than I was about the first leg? Actually if I am honest I never got a chance to watch the first leg in it’s entirety as I only caught the second half. And from what I had heard there was no point watching the first half.

    Later Gooners!!! 🙂

  115. Arsenal Reserves beat Chelsea Reserves 2-0. Aneke and Bellerin with the goals. Don’t you just love any kind of victory over the chavs.

    I think we may finally see a 4-4-2 tomorrow with RvP dropping in centrally to support the midfield and Theo spearheading the attack. Injuries will force AW’s hand. Whatever the personnel, our intensity and pressing must not drop. Sure we can do it.

  116. if we attack and attack quickly and get an early goal or 2 they will come out of their defensive shell and have a go at us. We need to attack with as much pace and free flowing as we can and maximize our width.

  117. I am so glad that Arsene is going for it. I also cannot believe that anyone would suggest that we should all but throw the game. If you suggest we play a weakened team, that is what you are saying.

    Gibbs said

    “But we have shown fantastic mentality to come back in the last couple of games and have created a momentum now and would like to continue that. We have to believe otherwise there is no point in being here. If they can beat us 4-0 then why can’t we do the same?

    To quote Herm Edwards (ex NFL coach), “You play to win the game”

  118. BB,in response to your monday teaser,the Emirates Staduim is not called that for European games because UEFA don’t allow it.I believe they just call it Arsenal Stadium.BTW Martin Samuel is a fat bastard who doesn’t know what he is talking about.I bet he gave Eduardo pelters and all.fucking hypocrite.

  119. the reserves games against chelsea will be on arsenal tv “tuesday pm”.

    why can’t they use some young, passionate fans to shoot and edit? the highlights etc would be up and running an hour after the game.

  120. Limestonegunner

    Finn Gun @12:06, indeed. The numbers for Russia are even more disturbing when you see the decline in life expectancy after the collapse of Communism and the looting of public resources under Yeltsin, when Abramovitch made his ill gotten gains. Truly the Oiligarchic clubs, ManCity and Chelsea, are examples of horrific priorities and injustices globally.

  121. Limestonegunner

    Incredible number of midfielders out injured: Ramsey, Arteta, Coquelin, Diaby, Wilshere, Frimpong, Benayoun, and Rosicky doubtful.

    Never seen such a thing!

  122. “the reserves games against chelsea will be on arsenal tv “tuesday pm”.”

    It was live on ChelseaTV. We used to show reserve matches live when we had a TV channel. Now just that useless ATVO rubbish.

  123. I notice Arteta did not mention Henderson, or particularly say he was blameless and it was an accident.
    I believe it is condemnation by omission.

  124. Limestonegunner

    I noticed that too, PG. Especially since he went out of his way to thank LFC, several players, and their fans for their concern etc… Quite a glaring omission, I’d say. Especially since he says he watched those parts of the match over again. Professionals know what’s and accident and what isn’t.

  125. @PG
    Same I was thinking. If Arteta thought that Henderson was blameless, he would’ve surely mentioned him.

  126. And to be honest, it has just happened too often to us. Opposition players “announcing” themselves by fouling or just being plain stupid. Henderson wanted to “announce” himself to Arteta by bumping into him and could’ve seriously injured him. And I really don’t believe that the bump was accidental. He is walking in a straight line towards him and he can see him all the way. He just didn’t expect Arteta to turn around. But we can’t blame Arteta for moving around on the pitch (though I am sure some pundit might go with that angle!), but we can blame Henderson for just not having a brain in his 20 million head.

  127. pedantic george | March 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    That Liverhoof player,Henderson, assaulted Arteta.
    It was a deliberate strike and he should have been shown red and banned for maximum possible.
    Seriously ,this is something I do know about.He could have killed him.

    I now feel Arteta agrees
    Had Henderson,when running into Arteta(not walking)dropped his shoulder and turned it away from Arteta ,instead of raising it and turning into him,They would simply have brushed past each other.
    The moment before it happened Henderson made a choice to give some pain to Arteta.I am sure he did not mean to spark him out ,But that is always the result of a strike like that.Any martial artist would have been proud of that hit.
    It was intentionally violent,reckless and dangerous .Enough for three red cards .

  128. Henderson isn’t worth not even a quarter of the money paid for him and even worse is the fact that people believe in him because he made himself famous over a youtube video.

  129. Billy's Boots

    @ Basil | March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    BB,in response to your monday teaser,the Emirates Staduim is not called that for European games because UEFA don’t allow it. I believe they just call it Arsenal Stadium.

    You are correct, sir. Well done! Match-goers may also notice that the Nike branding next to the big screens is covered up, the “Ebel” next to the clock on the half-way line is replaced by a picture of a cannon, and the advertising on the upper tiers (betsson, etc) is covered up by Champions League branding. Why? None of these companies are official Champions League sponsors.

    You may have thought that this year’s Champions League final was being played at the Allianz Arena? Not so; according to UEFA, it is actually being played at “Fußball Arena München”.

  130. @BB
    But what about the “Emirates Stadium” writing outside the stadium? Does it stay? Or are they just avoiding showing any outside views of our stadium?

  131. Billy's Boots

    Evil, good question. The signs are definitely still up outside. I wasn’t 100% sure if they are illuminated, but in checking some images posted on Arsenal.com (eg before the Barcelona match), they are. I think if the stadium is shown on television, it tends to be from a distance (or from above). UEFA gets a lot of money for the branding rights, so they are keen to make sure other brands don’t sneak into view in the playing area. I guess outside the stadium, they are less concerned.

  132. Billy's Boots

    @ PG re Henderson

    I defer to your greater knowledge of martial arts and physical contact-related injury, but, to me, from the link Passenal posted, the sequence seemed to show Henderson’s path was intended to meet up with Song who was dribbling past. It appeared that Henderson was running in a line, realised that Arteta was in that line, and adjusted at the last minute to try to get around him. I expected it to be more nasty than it looked. If Henderson was really trying to cause injury, I would have expected him to have set himself more than he appeared to. Is there something in that clip that makes you think it was deliberate?

  133. Henderson got away with assault. Fuck him and the english media covering up for him.

  134. mattgoonerknight

    PG having a right go about Henderson and the obligatory pop at John Cross Fan’s Forum.

    Tom’s now picking up the baton and ranting about the difference of treatment of Eduardo and Bale and Suarez…great stuff!!

    It’s funny, when I first started posting on ACLF I imagined George to sound the complete opposite to what he does – Funny stuff 🙂

    Keep it up PG

  135. mattgoonerknight

    Correction – John Cross on Fan’s Forum

  136. “is there something in that clip that makes you think it was deliberate?”

    In short Yes ,there is.I repeat,
    The moment before it happened Henderson made a choice to give some pain to Arteta.Had Henderson,when running into Arteta(not walking)dropped his shoulder and turned it away from Arteta ,instead of raising it and turning into him,They would simply have brushed past each other.

  137. nice one c. you are very committed in the upset we will cause ..so i will join you, you have convinced me…lets destroy them …..today as a right back i scored an own goal in the first 6 minutes…everyone looked at me as if i were a squilachi, it pissed me off..we won 1-5 i scored the 4th…the opposition were having goes at each other hahaha….football is a beautiful sport , even at this poor level…if we can do it ( a bunch of overaged overweight stoners and drunks) ..then they can too !!!

    UEFA gets a lot of money for the branding rights, ..hehe thats what they live for

    Basil | March 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    BTW Martin Samuel is a fat bastard who doesn’t know what he is talking about.I bet he gave Eduardo pelters and all.fucking hypocrite.

    😉

  138. george is right ..and thats a standard policy against arsenal many many years now. ferguson started it. arteta could have been paralysed if his neck had snapped from the unexpected elbow/shoulder

  139. @hunter

    You should of told them to f*** off cause even Kos put one in our net against Pool this past weekend so. See if yall can make a come back sans RVP then we should be in good shape. Football the most beautiful game in the world. Damn you put the 4th goal in, damn good work damn good work.

  140. hehe cheers c. tomorrow we celebrate progress in last 8 of europe !!! i would like the match to start right NOW !

    no work tommorow thats for sure..all day thinking about the match…preparing…placing the lucky charms corrrectly …VOODOO !

  141. That was a foul with intent, that clown targeted Arteta. There was no reason for him to run straight into Arteta, none at all.

    One of the best comments regarding RVP that I have read.

    Madridista174(Real Madrid)21

    “I think Van Persie should be spoken of in the same breath as Ronaldo and Messi. He is an absolute animal. When that ball floated up to him, I knew he would lash it in. It is not normal to think that”

  142. i have found another martin who is equally ridiculous to smuel…martin lipton

  143. Bradys right foot

    hunter 13 | March 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    VOODOO !

    At last someone with a bit of mojo, hunter get cracking son contact Mr Lewin and get our effing injury curse sorted.

  144. Bradys right foot

    mattgoonerknight | March 5, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Correction – John Cross on Fan’s Forum

    George will be getting a restraining order lol, go get em PG.

  145. Watching fox soccer channel on saturday and this was a question they asked Barton.

    Who is the better player right now, Dempsey or RVP?

    Now I rate Dempsey highly and wouldn’t mind him at Arsenal but that has to be the dumbest question ever!

  146. At last someone with a bit of mojo, hunter get cracking son contact Mr Lewin and get our effing injury curse sorted.

    whats his telephone number?…no hang on i can visualise it..i see it… im on it ..

    “Gary”

    ” Huh,?!”

    “Its me Gary, its Hunter”

    ” Ehmmm, Im not Gary mate, Im his little brother Colin”

    ” Oh?! My bad. …Is that why they re all injured? where is your brother?”

    ” They took him in england national team now..it was ages ago…”

    ” Oh bollocks….make a switch.you go to england and do your thing on arry;s players and tell your brother to come back …saves me the voodoo and shit…”

    🙂

  147. Billy's Boots

    @ PG

    Thank you, George. I understand now. You may not believe me, but not so long ago, I saw someone do that exact thing (raise shoulder and cause pain as opposed to drop shoulder and avoid) three times in a minute in a crowded station in London!

  148. Clerkenwell Gooner

    Would it be too much to expect 8-3 victory over Milan, to assuage pain of the 8-2 defeat elsewhere earlier in season? Zlatan hat-trick, of course, for them, he is on fire right now.

    Hope the kids get a go, Theo and the Ox, I’m sure they’d enjoy trying to knock ’em in.

    Not sure why Park and Chamakh would get a look-in tomorrow night. That does not speak of “going for it” to me. Although with our midfield so decimated (strategically, who knows?), we may only be able to achieve a restrained kind of “going for it” after all.

  149. Chelsea are a scummy set of shitbags..
    From the owner right into the players..

    I watched the Chelsea game the other night and those players werent playing for him anymore..I dont think Roman really wanted to fire AVB but he had to because they are about to fall down the table..Player power gone mad..It would be nice if he had been given a fortnight longer so we could have opened up a much bigger lead, but I agree it remains to be seen whether Di Matteo can steady the ship… As long as we keep winning it doesnt matter if he does..3 points ahead with the chance to make it 6 when we play them at home..We’ve got Chelsea under control still..

    I think spurs should be more worried about us than what we should be about chelsea..

  150. And yeah i watched what happened with Arteta a few times and i think he was intentionally done..

    I remember a while back, I think it was after the Liverpool v Spurs game and i thought that Liverpool are a set of dirty fuckers, they play for draws at home, they cant finish, they bore the shit out of you and kick you in the air all game…bale got targetted in that one and spurs caved in..

    I wasnt sure about going to anfield and they were true to form and they tried to beat us up..Spearing got off with one on rosicky i think and the little fucker knew it as well..

    you cant polish a turd though..

    Theyve got Kuyt, weve got Van persie..

  151. “I would like them to get behind the team and not think about the first leg,” he said. “Getting behind the team will give us a chance.

    “[Negative supporters] didn’t affect the players against Tottenham. They just kept going. A big part of the support was positive. You always have a small part that are not happy. You have to accept that.

    “In fairness as well, in the media when you have 60,000 people, 1,000 people shout against the team then the media reports on the 1,000. That’s the perverse side of the democracy today. The excessive people get more publicity than the normal people.”

    The optimism is great and just what the team need ahead of and during the game. But if it doesn’t work out, I just hope people remember it’s a long shot and don’t turn against the players. Just be proud of the effort whatever the outcome.

  152. Can’t wait for the game tomorrow. Time to teach the cheating Basterds a footballing lesson. On how to win with honor and not by doing dirty pitch work. My expectations are that we will give it a right go. Run them to the ground so much so that they will be dead legs at the end of the game. AC will not come out attacking, even if they go down by a few goals. They will park the bus and hang on for dear life, alma. Shitty from last year. We have to show patience and try hard to unlock the defance. Or maybe bait them out and then hit them on the counter. I can see this game to penalties at the end and in that case my money. Is on WOJO. they will miss one or two due to tired legs.
    As for SPEARING AND HENDERSON THUGS, you might have gotten away with it from the ref. And. Fa point of view. But all is not forgotten you Basterds. Till we meet again. You will be chopped down in half , fucking dirtbags.

    UP THE. GUNS!!!!!!;!!

  153. Sticky Tomato = Tomas Rosicky Also my daughter’s but it made me chuckle

  154. Agree with George: Henderson has an opportunistic go at him. Some morons don’t know their own strength and how dangerous it is to cause that kind of rotation to the head.

  155. Not knowing the reserves and other possibles well, is it that we will see a fresh face tonight? Not to broadcast my ignorance but before Miguel made his appearance at the start of this season (Liverpool I think) I was not much aware of him, except as a name. Ditto Yennaris. Any ideas? I still see the only option as a 4-4-1-1, with Song and Ox in the middle, between Gervinho and Theo, and Robin sitting behind Chamakh, which is a strong attacking line-up. If Rosicky is OK, then it reverts to 4-3-3, or perhaps Rosicky will be used for the first half only. Or is it conceivable that Wenger will do something weird, place Jenks at left back and Gibbs in front of him to feed Gervinho?

  156. Morning troops, today we go over the top. And not just in the title of the post,

    https://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/milan-preview/

  157. Looking at the potential midfield injury list our plan for a veritable feast of attacking football looks more likely by the minute, (brought to you direct from the Kevin Keegan school of ‘we will score 5 more than you’)

    I like the idea that Song Young Gai ‘drops in’ to make up the fourth man in the defence when necessary, but Arsene was very specific about 6 strikers, the only one to replace can be Sticky Tomato, but I can’t think of anything delicious to replace Park’s name with!

    It looks like Artete’choke might make a come back for hors d’oeuvres.

    Sorry to keep serving this up.

  158. yah, let it go SA. don’t beat a dead horse.

  159. Zim at 6.57am

    Would that San Miguel?

  160. Goonerkam,

    Dead horse? Add some garlic and oil and that would be a French appetiser.

  161. Hahaha, you and MD GOONER should get together and bake them horse meat pasties. I’ll pass though. Never was much of fan of French cuisine. Can’t stand the thought of Escargot even. Nah, not for me tnx.

  162. Please, please, please, Arsene! Forget the CL and just focus on EPL. CL is a lost cause as we don’t have a chance to win it all even if we could have got past Milan. I for one was happy we lost the first leg as our focus this year must be for a top 4 finish. If we can beat Newcastle next fixture that gives us a little breathing room as we would have vanquished most of our closest competition for the position. Playing up the CL risks injury to key players and tired legs for a highly improbable victory. My strategy would be to lose on purpose so we can concentrate all our efforts on catching those fakers just ahead of us. Go Arsenal!!

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