Braga to test the strength of Arsenal’s squad

Further to yesterday’s interesting discussion about squad strength we have an opportunity tonight to evaluate  Mr Wenger’s statement. For tonight the squad players travel to Portugal for a Champions League game which despite not being a win or bust fixture is contextually important, if only to sweeten what has been a difficult week.

Clichy, Van Persie, and Arshavin are not travelling, Fabregas may well be rested to help his ailing hamstring and AW could rest any of the others who have played so many games over the past two weeks. Whichever team is played we are strong. In my opinion Mr Wenger is right in his assertion that this is his strongest squad. In every position we have a quality (and almost always an International) backúp. As Kelsey pointed out, the only position in with a doubtful substitute is in goal and Chesney has all the attributes to become a fine GK.

Tonight we could play the following team and reasonably expect a positive result:

Chesney/almunia

Eboue  JD  Kos  Gibbs

Rosicky Denilson Eastmond Wilshere

Theo Bendtner

This is without the injured and likely starters of Vermaelen, Diaby and  Ramsey.

I wrote in the comments about the absence of Diaby who has become a forgotten man, In my opinion he would start ahead of Wilshere and would certainly have played against Spurs. His loss is considerable as he is developing into a fine player with pace, power, skill and developing awareness (clearly his weak point). His recent performances for France are evidence of his growing influence. I realise that he is not everyone’s cup of tea but I like him!

Braga, despite winning their previous CL game, are in a poor run of form and we know how easliy they were brushed aside at the Grove, but this is a very important game in their season (in financial terms) and Braga will be looking for revenge.

Arsenal have not won in Portugal in 5 attempts and a Braga victory would bring them level with us on 9 points. This is not a game we can afford to take lightly

My team:

Fabianski

Sagna  Squillaci  Koscileny  Gibbs

Song  Denilson  Wilshere  Rosicky

Walcott Bendtner.

Could we be creative enough without Nasri or Fabregas in the starting 11? Perhaps not.

Not much to tell you about Braga which is in the very North of Portugal, except Marie Miriam who won the 1977 Eurovision song contest was born there, and Braga has a Quidditch team!

COYRRG

Written by BigRaddy

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153 Responses to Braga to test the strength of Arsenal’s squad

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Could this be todays only Arsenal post on the net which makes no mention of Saturday´s debacle?

    Time to move on …..

  2. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning Radders, your previews always offer an alternative view and are appreciated.
    You have brought up the question of Diaby and it has reminded me he is one of the players in our squad who typifies the “Switch off at critical times” mentality and over elaborating an attack.
    I ,for one, would be happy to see him sold in January and a proper DM brought in as back-up/competition to Song. We have a glut of attacking midfielders and not enough midfielders who are ball winners and like staying back during counter attacks to protect our defence.
    All our midget midfielders go swarming forwards at the faintest whiff of an attack and they all find the dirty work of defending, and marking oppo attackers as a task that’s beneath them.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Once again we must disagree!!

    We do not get outfought anymore. Just ask Ratboy Neville. Sure we play pretty football and certainly focus upon the finer skills of the game, but we have learned to put our foot in. I understand your frustrations but don’t share them, size is not what makes a warrior.

    It is true that we make positional mistakes as regard to our defensive midfield, but I believe it is a policy of AW’s to promote Song’s attacking instincts, were it not so then Song would be dropped. We have the cover for him -Diaby, Denilson and Ramsey.

    The only players I would like to see sold are Vela and Almunia

  4. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m being a little Raspers-like in playing devil’s advocate but I still think we need a back-up DM; Denilson is not good enough and Rambo I see as a box to box midfielder rather than primarily a DM.
    I won’t deny that we have added a touch of steel to the ugly side of our game but to make the one supposed defensive midfielder we have into a marauding goal scoring midfielder unbalances our side. The DM doesn’t even necessarily have to be that old cliché “a midfield monster” just a tenacious and dogged tackler, for example Flamini.
    While we are on players we would like to see go I agree your 2 added to Diaby will make a trio I won’t be sad to see go in January.

  5. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR

    By not picking Johan in your team, I would say you are taking them lightly ;)

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. I listened to your radio debut. Very good – you hide your undoubted talents, the description of the Wembley experience brought memories flooding back.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    GG. OK then let’s put in JD for Squillaci

  8. Red Arse says:

    Morning BR,

    I thought AW would put out a weaker team, but then after Saturday what is a strong team?

    What can you tell me about Braga? :-)

    I don’t want to start the Diaby debate again, but, for what it is worth, we are in broad agreement, I think he is one of the most talented players on Arsenal’s books, (also according to every Arsenal player who has been asked) and he is big!!

    Pity about the consistency! :-(

    I suspect it will be more of a struggle tonight than the 6:0 home win would indicate, but I would be more than happy with a “1 Nil” to the Arsenal!

  9. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah thanks Radders, I will point out that was totally unscripted so I’ve made my excuses for a lack of a flowing speaking style !
    I believe you will be at the Fulham game?
    I’ll be going also so perhaps a few Peroni’s at the Arsenal Tavern beforehand will aid the match experience.

  10. Steve Palmer says:

    I read just recently that Scott Parker was looking to move, i think we should pull all the stops out and install him in our side, i could’nt care if we have to sell whoever to fit him in,he is in my opinion quality and a step in the right direction, quality in all he does.

  11. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Actually I’d have dropped Kos for JD20 :) But anyway, moving right along.

  12. tommystout says:

    Good Post BR , interesting facts about Braga, their stadium is nicknamed “the quarry” take a look

  13. RockyLives says:

    BR’s team should have enough to beat Braga (with any two out of Squid, JD or Kozzer at the back).
    I would like to see Wilshere in the team tonight.
    As for Diaby – I just can’t join the love-in because he is so frustrating and inconsistent. He clearly has something (because at times he looks world class) and I certainly don’t want to sell him. I suppose part of the problem is I don’t actually know what his position is or what his job is in the team.

    Steve: great shout – I’d take Parker in a heartbeat.

  14. tommystout says:

    anyway i’m up for some arsenal tonic so that the weekends hurt can go away, i fully expect our B team to go and get all 3 points.

  15. RockyLives says:

    I see Adebarndoor now claims that Juventus wants him. Leopards and spots and all that.

  16. tommystout says:

    he can claim what he likes, i bet he is now one of the growing army of player who are regretting leaving THOF

  17. Yidster says:

    12 11 = ?

  18. Red Arse says:

    12 09 = (x-y2) – (5n * 6x)

  19. RockyLives says:

    Redders :)

  20. Carlito11 says:

    What’s going on here? I can’t do maths so you’ll have to explain that last exchange to me :-D
    Hopefully tonight will be a battling performance with a tight defence and I’ll be able to rejoin the conversation without this horrible feeling in my gut! Jack tweeted last night that all the players understand how we feel and feel just as bad themselves- hopefully they can prove it over the next few games…

  21. Carlito11 says:

    Actually- while I’m at it I have other questions! Why are some people’s names in black and others in blue? And when you lot mysteriously refer to “the other blog” is that LG perchance?

  22. Red Arse says:

    Carlito, BR and Tommy are posh and privileged!

    I suspect Yidster is a Spud, and I answered nonsense, in kind, so f*cked if I know! :-)

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi Carlito,

    The maths thing was some deluded spud fan thinking he would get to us by putting up the date of saturday’s game. The retort was a witticism from RA :P

    The names that are in blue are those of us who are registered with WordPress and have chosen to link our name to a site. If you click on any name in blue, it will take you to that blogger’s site, or a site they wish to promote.

  24. Rasp says:

    I wasn’t logged in for my last comment, but I am now = in blue, n’est-ce pas?

  25. Big Raddy says:

    I am getting pee’d off with the silly talk on the AFC websites … should I wait for rant Friday or express my frustrations now?

    Friday will be better when I have had a few more days to stew!!

    TS. What a brilliant picture. Not as classy as Highbury is it? We put up a mural :-)

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Thanks for today’s post. I think it followed on nicely from yesterday’s theme and is taking a balanced view on our current state.

    Please join feel free to rant to your heart’s content, either today or Friday. What are all the knee-jerk critics going to say if we are top of the league at 7:30 next Saturday?

  27. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Afternoon all,
    Chary and Raddy meeting up before Fulham? Would love to meet up with you both. How about it?

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Great post, thanks. Agree with your comment on flogging Al and Vela, although as I hve stated here before, one more injury between now and jan and I would lob RVP into the sale. We urgently need a top quality striker and to my mind, if we atay as we are, then his fitness will determine our chances of some kind of success this term.

  29. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In fact, would love to meet up with any AA bloggers who are around for the Fulham game. It will be my Christmas Arsenal hoorah!

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I know we are no longer looking backwards at certain bad home performances, but does anyone else think we lack the 12th man syndrome ie the noisy home support. I realize there was a post along those lines, but here’s my suggestion. An allocated area right behind the North Bank goal with free tickets for all members of Arsenal’s travelling away fans. Don’t care about the how’s right now, but hey the noise of keeping those guys together, who no doubt are otherwise spread around the ground. It would also create a little vocal competition between themselves as the other regular Noth Bankers.

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Great Micky. I will arrange it with Peaches.

    What the hell is going on with RvP. Why isn’t he travelling?

    I would give Nasri 45 mins and then Fabregas the second half. AA clearly needed the rest – HIddink played him the full 90 mins midweek and it showed on Saturday. The meerkat hasn’t played 90+ mins for years!!

  32. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    You will have to wear a spare pair of Peaches knickers ….. obviously!! :-)

    Aaron Ramsey and Big Al are currently playing for the Reserves at the moment.

  33. Big Raddy says:

    Rant No. 1.

    Someone said that if Arsenal played like their supporters support we would be at best mid-table. They expect the team to galvanise when under pressure but refuse to act as the 12th man. What did the so called Gooners do when Spurs came back? – they got nervous which transferred onto the pitch. Where was the fighting spirit in the stands?

    Has it always been so? My alcohol addled brain cannot remember, but I am sure that when the opposition got on top the fans would gear up. Nowadays they boo the teams leaving the pitch at half-time!!

    It sickens me to think of the Chavs last weekend. Here is a team that is top of the League, won the Double last year in a spectacular fashion scoring a record number of games and yet they are booed off because they are 1 down to Sunderland. If I had been Abramovich (and I wish I had his money), I would have advised to stewards to take photos of the guys booing and then banned the miscreants. They are not supporters – they are fans, and there is a huge difference.

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m up for that MDi89, I tend to go to the Arsenal Tavern purely for convenience as I get off at Arsenal tube, as it’s a 3pm kick off I’d aim to get there 1.30-1.45pm.
    Going by past experience Peachy will arrive in a train into Drayton Park at 2.35pm !

  35. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Is there a stream?

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    You really do not want to know about mu “lucky” head attire!
    BR,
    Fantastic. Really look forward to meeting you. Oh, and I’m delighted you have gone back to 4-4-2. On saturday, you opted for a strange looking 4-4-.5-1.5, so I know who I blame. (Where is the 1/2 thing on the keyboard anyway?)

  37. Red Arse says:

    BR,

    Not as far as i know, but AFC have a text update service.

    This was one of the reasons I cancelled my ATVO subscription; that cheapskate Kroenke!!

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chary,
    This gets better and better. Likewise, it will great to meet you as well.
    I will let you all know what time I will make it. Its a family weekend in the smoke. I have an army type brother-in-law who is taking my son to the Royal Tournament, wife taking daughter to some musical, and oddly enough, that leaves me at a loose end while the Arsenal are at home! Grabbed a ticket this morning, so am all set.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. I always go 4-4-2. It is Rasp who adds the graphics to my posts and takes full responsibility for any changes in formation.

    Normally I would go 1-2-5-2-1 changing to 1-2-2-4-2 !!

  40. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    I gather RVP has been left behind to work on his fitness, as AW is not happy with it. Kind of goes back to a point I made a while ago about “what ever happened to playing in the reserves?”.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    RA. I did the same. I only joined up to get the reserve games. I wonder what percentage of fans cancelled

  42. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Not giving away anything about my age at all, but when I started playing football, the standard format was 2-3-5, which naturally has given me a brilliant idea….

  43. charybdis1966 says:

    MDi89, I won’t have Chary Major and Chary Minor with me so I can get properly p***ed up to join in the chanting/singing near the red action block in the north bank(I’m in block 4 so that’s fairly close to Red Action I think?)

    At least your first remembered formation is not the “W” “M” one.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Really Micky? When I was a lad we played the Two W’s formation!!

  45. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chary,
    I’m normally upper orange, just to your right. About 18 yard line, so I will be able to keep my eye on you!

  46. Red Arse says:

    When I was a lad, the ball was oval! :-)

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Strewth BR, that was Herbert Chapman pre war era!!

  48. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    You have my sympathy.

  49. Rasp says:

    Raddy,

    I am always unsure when I do the pitch gaphic as you usualy present it as 4:4:2, but I know you don’t expect that to be the formation. There is no point in putting Song as the HM any more, that is for sure. I think we generally line up as 4:5:1 morphing into a 4:3:3 when attacking. If you can give an idea of the formation you expect I can try to reflect that in the graphic.

  50. Red Arse says:

    Reserves are beating Wolves 2:1 after 80 mins. Ramsey played 45 as scheduled.

  51. Red Arse says:

    It doesn’t take Arsene long to re-write history. He is reported as having said the defense (CB’s) played well on Saturday. Kosser and Clichy? Really?

    By next Saturday all parts of the team will have played well and we were unlucky.

    Arsene, please don’t say it. That makes things far worse. Just wear the defeat and move on.

  52. Red Arse says:

    Reserves beat Wolves 2:1.

  53. charybdis1966 says:

    Our manager is quite the revisionist, RedA.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp 2.46

    No need, the team play with such an amorphous formation the 4-4-2 is as good as any!

  55. Red Arse says:

    BR,

    For amorphous, please read amphibious. Well at the moment they all seem to be treading water! :-)

  56. Carlito11 says:

    Hi guys- thanks for the clarification on earlier questions Rasp/ RA- much obliged! With respect to the 12th man debate- the crowd did a good job for a change and were in full voice as far as I could tell (I was singing/ shouting the whole time!). I do agree that something needs to be done for the games that have a bit less history behind them but for me, the experience on Saturday showed that it’s not just the lack of support that’s leading to poor home form this season… sadly :-(

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Carlito. You were there and I wasn’t. It is good to get first hand info and not the stuff I read on the net.

  58. gunnern5 says:

    Carlito: These days I only get to watch the games on TV, albeit HD and surround sound, and frankly the main voices to be heard in the 2nd half were the crazed Spurs fans. My son remarked at how quiet 55000 Arsenal supporters were – which started a long discussion on how important the 12th man is and how their energy (or lack of) transfers to the players.

    Frankly our home supporters are a disjointed, fragmented, disgrace and small pockets of support simply does fit the bill.
    I can only imagine that you were in one of the small sectors of positive supporters. If your group were making a lot of noise it would be difficult to know what is happening elsewhere in the ground.

  59. Carlito11 says:

    That may well be the case- I have to say the shandy had had an effect by the second half ;-) you’re right that the board definitely still need to look at the issue

  60. Big Raddy says:

    An hour to kick off and I haven’t anything approaching pre match tension and judging by the action on the blogs neither has anyone else.
    This is the Champions League !!

    Something the Spuds fans went mental over achieving.

    We are truly spoilt

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bon Soir,
    I am ready. Bring it on. Lets just win.

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I would like to see Theodore down the middle, but that means 4-4-2 with Bendy and I cannot see it happening.

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s my wishful thinking:

    ……Fab
    Ebo JD Kos Gibbs
    Ros Den JW Nas
    …Bendy Theo

  64. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all…..

    I’ve hardly read a thing since THAT DAY, whenever it was. It was my older boys 10th birthday on Sunday, so that really helped my recovery.

    Rocky – ” (anyone remember Gavin McGowan?)”. Yeah I do, he used to coach my son locally. He’s a bit of a pal of mine now.

    Last I heard he was doing some junior leagues football scouting for West Ham.

  65. SharkeySure says:

    Team:
    Arsenal: Fabianski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Denilson, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Bendtner. Subs: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Nasri, Vela, Song, Chamakh.

    Link: http://www.atdhe.net – it can be a little hit and miss. If its miss then grab one from ‘the other site’

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sharkey,
    Try having TWO ten year old’s. Kind of takes your mind off everything!

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Eboue and Fabregas to start. As will Theo NB TR JW

  68. SharkeySure says:

    Does Squillaci ever get a rest..???

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Arsenal ought to employ Tony Adams for half time motivational speeches. What we used to call a right old bollocking!

  70. Big Raddy says:

    They ought to employ him as CB and Captain

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Something along the lines of: “Pull your fucking fingers out or you lot are coming into the showers with me after the game, and THIS bar of soap”.

  72. SharkeySure says:

    I hear ya Mickey. Double the trouble !! I’ve also got a 7yr old girl and a 3 yr old boy in the house, so we might have to call it a draw ;-)

    No worries Mr Radders, respectfully*. Lol

    * We started that about two full years ago over on the other site – of all places !!!

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Impossible. 2 years????

    I was but a pup

  74. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo err, team news. Thanks Sharkey.
    I like the look of that. So, no day off for Cesc. Good, looks like we are going to try and put this to bed.

  75. Big Raddy says:

    It’s not on here despite Nik starting.

    And it is snowing like …. well I don’t know what like, but it is coming down deep and thick and even

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sharkey,
    Hard earned away draw!!

  77. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    COYRRR

    I just love the footy season. The weather is so balmy & hot here :cool:

    Now go & qualify for the knockout stage Gooners :)

  78. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    The world is still in love with The Arsenal. Its live on ESPN here.

  79. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Aren’t you still with onlinefootie BR?

  80. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GG,
    We hate hot and balmy!

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, off to get a cool, wet and yellow one. Back for KO.

  82. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    MDI89

    Hot & balmy is so much better than the cold & wet we had up untill last week :P

    Anyway, off to the tele, will be back soon.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    Spent a hot hour and a half in the kitchen cooking up a CL feast and the bloody thing tasted terrible. Hope the match cheers me up!!

    GG. You are up early

  84. gunnern5 says:

    Cold and very wet here in Canada. We are lucky if it’s not on a Canadian feed then we can pick up a US feed.

    Let’s see if young Nic can loosen up his lead feet.

    Game on…………

  85. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Quite like the Braga strip!

  86. gunnern5 says:

    Their supporters are making a continuous noise – put’s our home support to shame…

  87. gunnern5 says:

    The ground capacity is 30000- sounds like 60,000 should sound.The ground is open at both ends; so not the ideal acoustical model but when you have so much noise it works.

    27 minutes and we have not had a shot on goal- their goalie needs a rocking chair and a good book.

    Wishere and Walcott seem to give the ball away at every chance they get.

  88. ShakinSwedens says:

    Hows the defence doing? I see J and the squid as our best CB pairing this season so far- doesn’t look so good on paper but they seem to understand each other as a pairing at the back.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    G5,
    Part of the problem is that I have not seen either Ros or Bendy make one intelligent run into space.

  90. gunnern5 says:

    Bendtners best moment was heading the ball out for a corner from our near post.

    The defense has looked solid – no serious chances for either team.

  91. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    :)

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shakin,
    Defence all looking good. Ros and Bendy utterly pointless from a goal threat point of view.
    Chelsea goal down.

  93. gunnern5 says:

    Fabregas looks lack luster, very poor 1st half he took 2 free kicks from inside 25 yards and both were powder puffs.

    You’re right MD Rosicky is not finding the holes.

    Overall a very ordinary 1st half.

  94. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I mean’t ;)

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Dull. Our passing is too slow and not accurate enough and so we are not creating any chances.

    JD the starman of the first half

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cham and Nasri on for Ros and Bendy I say. Or even Sagna on, push Eboue up and Theo down the middle.

  97. SharkeySure says:

    I like Bendtner, but I often struggle to watch and support him. He really seems to lack that cut and thrust to be a top striker.

    He’s a decent enough finisher of chances, I just fear that he doesn’t often really show that he knows how to create one. When he drops deep or wide he really takes an eternity to get back to the penalty spot. So having drawn a CB out of position, he then lets the CB jog back to his berth. He needs to show more desire and energy to keep getting to the ball first by using a higher tempo to keep himself in good starting positions. I too often see him on his heels as situations are developing.

  98. Rasp says:

    I don’t knw what position Bendtner thinks he’s playing but it’s not CF. I hate the way he just trots forward when everyone else can see that the ball is about to be delivered into the box. JD has been excellent. Theo continues to demonstrate his complete lack of ability to get past players when he can’t use his speed.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In fairness, neither Cesc, JW or Theo have anything to aim the passes at. The running from Ros and Bendy is pathetic.

  100. SharkeySure says:

    Having said all that about Nik, the whole team seems to lack movement tonight, bar Gibbs on the left side. We have shown practically zero penetration.

    Respectfully agreed re JD Mr Radders, he’s been strength and composure personified. ‘Eh?? Maybe he’s a pair of twins !

  101. Carlito11 says:

    Username malfunction again! Sorry fellas! Sounds like we’re back where we were 3 weeks ago eh? Lack of cohesion and attacking intent?

  102. gunnern5 says:

    Chamakh and Vela warming up – but what we really need is somebody to get HOT.

  103. gunnern5 says:

    gnarley: Yellow Tail Shiraz must have a very high evaporation rate – it’s only the 55th minute and a bottle has just emptied?

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Imagine having paid to see this dross

  105. gunnern5 says:

    Shakar Partizan leading 1-0 – puts us in 2nd place……..

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Strange G5, Same thing happened with my bottle of Dolcetta D’Alba!

    On the grappa now

  107. gunnern5 says:

    Raddy: Imagine having to watch it????

  108. MickyDidIt89 says:

    G5 Evaporation rate :-)

  109. gunnern5 says:

    Oh Christ we almost gave them a goal – lucky they can’t shoot.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    45 mins of Grappering!!!!Wow

  111. Big Raddy says:

    Dreadful performance from Bendtner. But then they are all poor tonight.

  112. Big Raddy says:

    I’m hard Micky. Though I won’t think so tomorrow morning

  113. gunnern5 says:

    Fuck Fabregas has just done his hamstring and is coming off – 67 minutes.

  114. Rasp says:

    Bendtner has been shockingly bad, slow, weak in the tackle, out of position and clueless. Now fabregas has done his hamstring. I said 3 weeks ago he needs to be rested. This is a chronic injury, he hasn’t been fit all season.

  115. gunnern5 says:

    Nasri replacing Fabregas – well that gamble back fired.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    This is not turning out to be a good night

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Nik or Theo for Chamakh – makes no difference they have both been rubbish

  118. gunnern5 says:

    Braga are geting all the free kicks – but frankly they are the better team – Wilshere just gave the ball away for the umpteenth time.

  119. gunnern5 says:

    Raddy:

    Chamakh for both Walcott and Bendtner would be appropriate.

  120. Rasp says:

    EE and Denilson are one tackle away from a red card. I agree Walcott has been as useless as Bendtner.

  121. gunnern5 says:

    Bendtner was absolute crap and needs to get his ego in check and realize that he is just a pedestrian football player.

  122. Rasp says:

    Well at least Arsene has replaced our two weakest players – but 10 minutes too late.

  123. gunnern5 says:

    Vela replacing the road runner – who couldn’t find the road..

  124. Rasp says:

    Well done ref,clear penalty denied

  125. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp it was 80 minutes too late!

  126. Big Raddy says:

    That is one of the worst ref decisions I have ever seen. This ref is dreadful. Eboue & JD bookings were a joke but that was a clear penalty

  127. Rasp says:

    Let’s see if we’ve learnt anything from Saturday. We need to demonstrate a sense of urgency and pummel their keeper with shots.

  128. Rasp says:

    …. OK we’ve learnt nothing from saturday. We are a poor side that flatters to deceive.

  129. gunnern5 says:

    82 minutes Braga 1 Arsenal 0.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    crap crap crap crap crap

  131. Big Raddy says:

    Now TR booked for doing nothing

  132. gunnern5 says:

    Possesion 64% Arsenal 36 % Braga. Goals 100% Braga 0% Arsenal.

    This a a farce,,,,,,,,,,

  133. gunnern5 says:

    2-0 Braga???????????????

    2 shots on goal = 2 goals.

    Decisions went against us but we were total crap!!!!!!!

    Game over = thank goodness.

  134. Big Raddy says:

    One of the worst weeks ever to be a Gooner.

    I am speechless.

    OK We should have had a penalty and then closed the game but that was an awful performance

  135. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Cesc playing with a suspect strain. Where’s Robin van Glassankles, probably sunning himself on some tropical island. What a great team man he is :evil: NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    yuk

  137. gunnern5 says:

    Yea Micky yuk is close to how I feel F……………K

    At least the wine has had the desired effect.

  138. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Nite all. That was awful. Zero goal threat.

  139. gunnern5 says:

    I’ve got no cats to throw out of the window, no dogs to kick- they all ran away.
    The wife’s gone shopping and I’ve got no wine left.

    Just one thing left to do – go and buy some more wine and slowly drift into oblivion.

    Oops; just remembered I’m cooking rack of lamb tonight – with the sort of week we’re having I’ll probably miss the barbecue and drop it on the deck.

    Bye for now – here’s to oblivion.

  140. SharkeySure says:

    That game was absolutely crying out for a half time sub. Did anyone really expect any better from the same 11 in the 2nd half..??

    I’m absolutely astonished that a hungry young forward like JET is completely and repeatedly overlooked for this sort of game.

    Whilst I accept that rotation is necessary, I also know that resting some, can deflate a few others. Therefore you should be looking to your hungry young players who you know are at least guaranteed to show you a bit of desire and energy.

    Fair do’s Vela should have won a pen…but what else did he give us..?? I never expect anything from him anymore, unless the games already won, and tonight he didn’t let me down, if you know what I mean.

    JET for Vela is a no-brainer. Vela simply has to go on loan in January, he simply has to.

    Wellington arrives in Jan, is it the same for Galindo..??

  141. RockyLives says:

    Too depressed to comment.

  142. pat says:

    agree – its time JET got a run. The referee was totally woeful for this game.

    Some added stuff about Cesc – a sense of getting on his back seems to be coming through but ESPN guys were going on about him not being 100% fit due to the hammy for some time and then we saw him go off… the critiscm levelled at him seemed to imply that his mind was elswhere / not happy etc etc, but appears he has been playing with an injury?

    Maybe this gives Nasri the chance to play in the hole through the center – best player this year.

    Walcott didnt look flash but probably needs some more match time. Gibbs looked solid I thought.

    What exactly happened when Eboue went off injured – were we having to play with 10 at that stage? the arsenal pretenders should have had more yellow cards as well as us getting a penalty – hope you are enjoying your payoff ref..

    Oh well will have to pick ourselves up and look forward to the next game.

    I like Scott Parker as a player – he is in the Wilshire mold. He should be getting more England caps IMO, and could be good for the gunners, could be a good mid season signing?

    We really need to start shooting outside/on the edge of the box, to easy for teams to sit back and wait for the pass that is going to come into the area.. If we start belting it at them from longer range then it will force opposition to come out and close those shots down

  143. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Go & have another drink sir alex :lol:

    Who let the old plonko on here anyway :P

  144. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    By the way, I won’t be about much once the cricket starts tomorrow.

    And just a word for those on here who will be taking an interest in the most enjoyable/meaningful form of the game, The Ashes.

    England are being referred to as The Invisibles here coz they are hiding under some shroud of secrecy like MI6 or something. They’ve played the 2 worst states in WA & SA (Tas is Top of The League), & a bunch of try hards called Australia A. Albiet, they have done all they can do to impress, but tomorrow, as will be the case with the other 4 Tests, & as it was in Blighty last year, the toss will decide it.

    Tasmania will have 3 starters, including a debutant Xavier Doherty.

    Be warned, We won’t lay down, its not in our DNA.

    Bye for now, GG9

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GG,
    Some of us need a lie down. Its a DNA thing!

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Micky has moved to DEFCON 3 in the nned-a-striker stakes. Any superstar strikers going out at first stage of CL, who might fancy a january sales trip to London?

  147. Big Raddy says:

    How do I feel this morning…. apart from hungover?

    Depressed.

    Not to take away from dreadful performance but the referee had a nightmare. Undoubtedly bribed, some of his decisions were bewildering. Of the 5 yellows we got, I cannot remember a single dirty tackle, yet Braga who only got 2 yellows were fouling throughout the game, the tackle of Eboue was IMO a straight red, being a scissor tackle from the side.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    A Grappa head. Sadly, I remember those!!
    I wouldn’t mind blaming the ref, but I won’t. For me, it is down to a blunt attack. New edge required.

  149. [...] Braga to test the strength of Arsenal’s squad [...]

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