Europe – guess who is back?

14 years in the Champions League and counting!

 By TotalArsenal

 

 

– Udinese – Arsenal: 1-2 Match Report –

 Let’s open with a cliché: this was a game of two halves. The first half was ok, but possibly not good enough to qualify for this year’s CL. During the second half Arsenal found its identity again and deservedly beat a spirited, and at times attractively footballing, Udinese football team.

We started very well in the first half, which was incredibly important, given everything that happened to Arsenal over the last few months – on and off the pitch. It was a warm and humid night, and the pitch in the Stadio Friuli looked great (on TV). We started with Szczesny in goal, a back-four of Jenkinson- JD – TV – Sagna; Frimpong, Song and Ramsey in midfield; and Gervinho, Theo and RvP upfront. I had hoped we would play Frimpong and Song together in midfield, but had not expected Ramsey to be the advanced midfielder. I thought Arsene would put Rosicky there from the start, but he kept him on the bench instead – and what a clever move that turned out to be!

Jenkinson started ahead of Traore in our back-four and it is almost a football-fairytale story how the young ‘prince’ Jenkinson has made it to the first eleven of our team in such a short period; and what a prospect he is! Sagna was moved to the LB position, but it was there where we were at our weakest during the first half – and Udinese at their strongest.

Initially Udinese had no answer to our formation and we started to take some control over the game. It was great to see our attacking intentions from the start: Gervinho, Theo, Ramsey and RvP were all hungry and had shots on goal whenever possible. We were also happy to play the long ball on occasion, which gave us the necessary variety in our attacking strategy.

The beauty of winning 1-0 at home, is that an away goal counts double and that is such a psychological advantage during the second leg of a CL qualifier. It totally suited Arsenal who do not know anything else than go out there and attack. The pressure was with Udinese, who knew very well that scoring two goals could still not be enough, as Arsenal are always capable of scoring the all important away goal (or two!).

Gervinho was the most dangerous for us and what a gem Arsene has bought for us this summer. The Gerv just sticks to his role and does it diligently and oh-so effectively. It looks so simple what he does, but how good is it to have a player again who loves to attack space and take on defenders whenever possible for 90 minutes long. The partnership between him and RvP is already looking fantastic and they have only played together for two months.

Frimpong had a good first half, but Song did look a bit lost and rusty at times. Slowly but steadily, Udinese got more grip/dominance on the game during the last twenty minutes of the first half, and in Di Natale they have a player of great quality. He was a joy to watch throughout the game; such clever runs, such energy, such a good balance and body strength, and such lethality in front of goal.

Udinese started to put up two rows of four – very close together – in front of our attackers and we started to struggle a bit to get through. We were vulnerable for attacks from Udinese’s right wing, but luckily we escaped a couple of times. It was, however, during this period that Arsenal had their best chance to nick the all important away goal in the first half. Gervinho found his way into the box with a brilliant move and pulled the ball back perfectly for Theo. The latter hit the ball low and hard – and on target – but the impressive Udinese goalkeeper Handanovic made a great save. RvP received the rebound, but could also not find a hole in the Udinese defence, resulting in another good save by their goalie.

Finally, Udinese found the opening with a couple of quality moves:  Pinzi, with some quick thinking, found Di Natale with a good cross, who had positioned himself cleverly between Jenkinson and Djourou – who both should have been tighter on him. Di Natale – the ex-international – proved why he has been the Italian top scorer for the last two seasons, by scoring a classy header over our goalie, from only a half chance. Szczesny had no chance at all. All in all, Udinese deserved to be in front at the break.

In the second half, Rosicky came in for – the impressive  Frimpong. This was clearly no reflection on Frimpong’s performance but a tactical change. And what a difference it made. Arsenal started to look again like the Arsenal that we have come to know in recent seasons. Song, back in the DM position, became an absolute beast in the second period: what a transformation. Ramsey looked a lot more in his element, and chapeau to Rosicky who brought some well-needed freshness and directness to our attacking play again.

 

In the 55th minute, Gervinho’s efforts were rewarded. He made it relatively easy to the by-line and passed cleverly back to RvP: 1-1! With the all important away goal in the bag, it was important to stay calm, but we did the opposite by conceding a penalty, which seemed harsh to me at the time. Anyway, what came next is all that matters: a world-class save by Szczesny – one that we will remember for decades to come and provides us with the final proof that this man is ready for the big stage. Let’s hope that the strength Szczesny showed in his left arm is symbolic for the found again strength and belief within the entire team.

After that save, the Udinese players and their fans never believed in it again. And Arsenal dealt a final blow by a superb goal from the man who loves space as much as Na$ri likes oil-smeared cash. The always impressive Sagna combined cleverly with Theo and the latter finished coolly and professionally. Job done and we are once again, for the fourteenth time in a row, back in the Champions League!

Arsene Wenger has shown everyone again what really matters in football: a well-thought-through system and eleven talented players on the pitch, with hunger and desire to win, and who love to work for each other till the end. Forget about transfers today, just enjoy the moment.

Player ratings:

Szczesny: 8.5 – did not make a single mistake and made a world-class save tonight. Superb.

Jenkinson: 7 – confident, energetic, good awareness and calm under pressure: what a buy – he could well be the transfer of the season!

TV: 7 – solid, but gave a penalty away at a crucial time, which could have cost us dearly.

Djourou: 7 – also solid, but should have been putting pressure on Di Natale before he was able to score. Still a fine performance though.

Sagna: 7 – struggled in the first half quite a bit, but played out of position, and is of course not left footed. Combined very well Theo for 2nd goal.

Song: 8 – struggled quite a bit in first half, but what a second half! Once Song gets going, there is no stopping him.

Frimpong: 7.5 – fine first half –worked hard and broke up a lot of attacks. What a prospect!

Theo: 7.5 – good, solid performance. Aggressive from the start and scored a very important, and well taken, second goal.

Ramsey: 7 – still finding his way without either Cesc or Wilshere on the pitch, but improved considerably in the second half. Decent performance overall.

RvP: 7.5 – worked hard and scored the all important first goal.

Gervinho: 8.5Man of the Match for me. Song was my MotM in the 2nd half, but overall, Gervinho deserves it in my opinion. He is focussed, works hard for the team, unselfishly looks for the best attacking opportunity, and just added that bit of extra class which made the difference tonight.

Rosicky: 7 – helped Arsenal to find its identity/shape again and worked hard.

Traore & Arshavin – not enough playing time to make a judgement.

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265 Responses to Europe – guess who is back?

  1. WiganGooner says:

    Great Match-report Total, an excellent job.

    Last night was interesting because it showcased that Theo certainly is ready for a shot up front, his work on the shoulder of the last man was threatening all night and his first-touch was very good with the balls dropping over his shoulder.

    Frimpong was awesome in the first half, tidy, sharp and the hunter that we know he is.

    Jenkinson had an incredible night, another solid expressive performance and had a big part in the second Arsenal goal. I was very impressed with him last night – miles better than Ebooooue and a very good purchase at 1 million pounds.

    A final word for Sczcesny, a totally awesome save from a very well hit penalty. He has said he gave Di Natale some stick before the penalty and he’s not overly proud of it as Di Natale was a nice guy, but it’s great to hear Sczcesny isn’t intimidated by such stellar players and was in control of the situation. Very very impressed with the lad and I hope he is our number 1 for years to come.

    WG

  2. DM says:

    TA – been a while (from me anyway)!
    Completely agree with your MOTM in Gervinho, I thought he was immense last night – what a signing he could prove to be if he keeps that form up.

    Also thought Theo was excellent last night, made good runs and gave the defenders a nightmare – it did seem like he was playing as a srtiker at times, something he’s wanted for a long time, and I would love to see it happen even if just for a couple of games to see how it works out.

    Rosicky had the best game I’ve seen him play in a long, long time. I honestly moaned when he was brought on for Frimpong at half time, I wondered “what on Earth is Rosicky gonna do”. Well, Wenger showed me why seeing someone on TV once a week or so is not the same as every day in training – he was hard tackling, direct, I really felt for the first time in a LONG time that he was adding something to our team. Long may it continue.

    I do think we’re short of a few players. Just under one week now, let’s hope AW performs some magic.

  3. pat says:

    Great report to a great game!

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning Wiggy, hi DM, pat, good to have your company.

    Superb match report TA. I agree Jenkinson is a real find and a total bargain. We will have a lot of games this season, I just hope that players like Jenkinson and Ramsey will be able to get a rest once in a while because I can’t see how they can sustain this level of performance for a full season.

    The bad news is that TV may have picked up a knock, but Miguel looked good against pool so bring on the mancs.

  5. kelsey says:

    Great game, great night but for me it has to be Szczesny as man of the match.if he doesn’t save the penalty and we are 2-1 down and 30 minutes left anything could have happened.Courage and a bit of fortune for a very weakened team hopefully will be a turning point.

    God those pills came in handy last night ;)

  6. Illybongani says:

    Szchzeny’s penalty save must be the best save I’ve ever seen, given the context of the event AND the quality of the save.

    I was right behind a Dave Seaman save at Highbury in a 5-0 win (the one where David Platt went in goal for them). A shot form the little slap-head full back was going in the far corner, Safehands was going for it but it got deflected towards the centre of the goal. He changed direction in mid-air and palmed it over the bar. Amazing. Even slaphead applauded it. But…it wouldn’t have mattered that much if it had gone in as I think we were 4 or 5 up at the time.

    Safehands II, thank you for rescuing us from the dark days of Almunia (so good no one wants him for free)

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Super report TA. Agree with almost all you write.

    Aaron Ramsey …. 71 passes, most of any player, 92% accuracy, highest of any player.

    Lose one Denilson, gain another? Or did he actually have a fine game?

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Illy. Brilliant save , yes, but best ever , No…… this is

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey, yes, that was a £25m save – even though the penalty shuld have been retaken.

    I hope we have plans to give Sz a long term contract and pay him what he deserves.

  10. Illybongani says:

    @BR – my work browser doesn’t allow me to access Youtube (amongst others) which one was it?

  11. Patlow71 says:

    I think people are getting a little carried away here. It was a good second half in difficult circumstances, but at times in the first our defence still look shambolic!!!

    Yes we have got players with lots of potential but do you really think there are going to be strong enough for an entire season, we still need some quality signings.

    Some of the comments here are laughable ‘cmon the Mancs’ do you really think this team will get anything at Old Trafford.

    Song “when he gets going there’s no stopping him” really!!!!

    Time for a bit of a reality check, but still a very good result, let’s just hope our manager is responsible and brings in the reinforcements needed then we could actually have a very decent squad.

  12. Red Arse says:

    TA, what can I say? An excellent report allowing me to relive the match in my imagination. :-)

    Reading various reports in the media, I found they were all pretty upbeat about individual performances and even about poor old Arsene, altho’ heavily laden with caveats concerning the need to buy etc, etc.
    (The same advice they were spouting about the need to get a decent goal keeper?)

    But none, that I read, have made any reference to the obvious but essential point that the team were playing excellent passing Wengerball again. The game was open – well all Arsenal teams play that way – but the passing was crisp, clean and fast and I was yelling “Ole” for large parts of what was still a nerve shredding game! :-)

    Ole, Ole, Ole …….. :-)

    Kids like Szczeny, Jenks, Pingpong, Rambo are going to be immense, joining our Jack at the top of the pile.

    Ohh! I forgot ….. as someone who watched an amazing kid called Walcott, years ago, and has been disappointed ever since …. he was excellent too last night, and that goal was taken brilliantly, —- that’s the Theo I have longed to see. Well done that man!! :-)

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Patlow, nobody is getting carried away, but just for once, try to enjoy the moment. If you cannot see how good and important Song’s second half performance was, then you simply cannot be helped.

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you back DM. You are so right about Rosicky!

  15. Big Raddy says:

    Illy. It was the Sheffield Utd Semi-final 2003 save. I was lucky enough (?- dreadful game) to be sitting right above the goal and am still in awe.

  16. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rasper, :-)

    Technically, Chezzer did move forward during Di Natale’s penalty kick. But if refs called for every pen kick to be re-taken for this, games would never finish.

    I think you have mentioned it at least twice this morning, but let’s enjoy the feeling and leave the serious nit picking to others …. there are a lot of them coming out of the woodwork. You know the ” Yeah, but, no, but ……. you’ve got to get real ….. reality check ….. could’ve been 3 down by half time, blah dee bloody blah”.

    As an Arsenal man I want to savour this moment!! :-)

  17. goonerguy says:

    I have to say, I’m a bit unsure about Theo. I mean he played ok yesterday, but it just makes me think, is he only good in the champions league?

    The penalty was extremeley harsh but the save by WS was outstanding. All in all, WS had an outstanding game. I can’t blame him for the goal, JD should’ve been marking Di Natale.

    Gervinho showed that he can be a tremendous player for us this season, he was outstanding yesterday. It’s just a shame that there is scruff like Joey Barton which means that he cannot play against manure.

    Song seemed quiet in the first half, but showed his true colours in the second half. Frimpong, I should add had a good first half. It seemed unfair to take him off the first half but TR had a good game. Had TR had a poor game, there would’ve been serious questions asked at AW, however, AW stuck by his risk & it paid off.

    I was really pleased with the defence especially CJ as you have to remember, a year ago, he was playing non league football.

    All in all, it was a nervous & at times, a worrying night, but at the end of it, a good night for AFC. But lets not get naive, one win against a weakened Udinese team (lets be fair, with all their high profile departures, they were weakened) doesn’t mean we can challenge for the PL or CL, we still need to buy some reinforcements. We have the thinnest squad of all the possible CL contenders. It is inevitable that some of our squad will get injured over the course of the next few weeks. Personally, all these names we are linked with (Kaka, jaigelka, Samba, Hazard, Cahill, Mertesacker, Zarate), I don’t believe AW will go for any of these names. I think he will get a relatively unknown player alongside a player that a few people have heard of. I could see him buying M’via however, as we have been recently linked with him, I’m unsure about him.

  18. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, don’t get me wrong, I see no negatives from the game. I’m ecstatic about the result and the performance. You make a very good point about the quality of the passing. If the departure of Cesc and Nasr means we are a little less tippy tappy, then that can only be a good thing in my book.

    I expect Nasri will experience exactly how vocal our support can be when he comes to the Emirates – he shouldn’t have said anything. I’m beginning to think the problem between him and Gallas may have been more to do with his attitude.

  19. Illybongani says:

    BR – yeah I know the one, but I’m sticking with last night’s save. It was it with power and accuracy. The one in the semi Big Dave could’ve thrown his hat on…almost ;0)

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, agreed on Wengerball being played again last night. That is what I meant with finding our identity again.

    If anyone would have said at the end of last season: we are going to qualify for the CL against the Italian nr 4, without Cesc, N$$$i, Cli$$y and Wilshere, but with the likes of Jenkinson, Frimmpong, Theo and Rambo in our starting 11, he/she would have been declared stark raven mad. I guess that is the beauty about football, and why we love it so much.

  21. gunnern5 says:

    Nice report TA.

    I watched the game with my son and grandson, he’s only 34 months old but was decked out in his Arsenal
    kit and kicking his own Arsenal football.

    There was a time during the second half when I thought we were going to lose. After a great opening 10 minutes, they changed their shape and we lost our way. During that spell they hit the post twice, so for once lady luck preferred the Arsenal (maybe she was confused and thought we were Man U).

    For my money it was AW who changed the game by introducing Rosciky at half time – a very rare move by our (so called stubborn) Manager.

    I’m not in the group that is unconcerned if we lose at the Theatre of Dreamers, as I think that even a single point will be a huge booster for the team and may just silence the media – some hope I guess.

  22. Illybongani says:

    I’m not sure if you guys have debated this or not but a few figures on gross transfer expenditure from ina and outs (1992 – 2010);
    Arsenal £15,216,000 (£760,800 per season)
    Spuds £191,332,500 (£9,500,000 per season)
    We come 15th in the league table for expenditure per season behind the likes of Bolton, Stoke, WBA and Wolves.
    Depending on whether your cup is half full or half empty today, is this good or bad?
    I’ve not metioned the financially doped teams because it’s Monopoly money and has no bearing on what we do.

  23. Red Arse says:

    TA,

    Quite right. Forecasting we would get thru’ without $$$$$ and $$$$$$, a year ago, against a very good team would have seemed ludicrous.

    (Dollar signs, or strings, seem to be growing on Nasti’s and Clichy’s names, so as I do not want to offend anyone I went the whole hog!) :-)

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi G5, fully agreed on Wenger’s call re Rosicky. I did not believe it would pay off, but it did :P

    The game against the Mancs is such cruel timing for us. They’ve had two relatively easy games, and we had four heavy weights. On top of that we have so many injuries and suspension (3!!) in key positions. But with our spirit and new-found confidence we shall give them a game no matter what.

  25. Brigham says:

    I thought we did enough last night, but I must add that defensively, we still looked a tad naive at times, with some panic clearances now and then (several balls headed up in the air and into our own box in the second half). Still some work to be done on the training ground in that deparment. A big plus for me was CJ adapting to this level of football very well and it can only have done his self-confidence some good.

    Some good work in midfield by Ramsey, Song and Rosicky when he came on, who turned it around for us I thought.

    I am not getting carried away by it though and the need remains for some fresh blood to come in and SOON.

    Walcott through the middle, as many others have stated, would be a good move and would bring us more goals and also give us other options. He does love running onto through balls so much and we all know that he struggles to actually beat a man through trickery.

    Mancs on Sunday will be a whole new game and I will settle for a point up there.

  26. Danny says:

    Not much to add to this write up by TA but…..Gervinho is great but too selfish – Wenger will have to work on him. Rosicky – why can’t he always play like that? Finally the ref – I was hoping for a “normal” match and he then gives a penalty that no one in the stadium knew why. I know football ain’t cricket but none of the Udinese appealed for handball – terrible decision that could’ve cost us, and latter the idiot booked Jenkinson for a foul that Rosicky did. Bring on Man.U!

  27. Danny says:

    Oh and I forgot that they hit the post in the first half……whatever…..

  28. Illybongani says:

    The figure I was originally searching for since the 08/09 season we have made a profit on transfer fees of £75,650,000. That’s from Adebaywhore up to Na$ri.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    WG – you made a fine comment about Theo’s first touch last night. With Theo and Gervinho we have a nice variety of attacking options, which seems to suit RvP very well too.

    Rasp – any news on the seriousness of TV’s knock – and are you sure it was not a gnocchi he suffered from?

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    Danny – did you really mean: ‘Gervinho is great but too selfish’? Or did you mean not selfish enough :?

  31. evonne says:

    TA – blimey, you must have stayed all night writing! What a fab report! Congrats and thank you!!

    Danny must have been listening to the commentary last night, someone did say that Gervinho is often selfish. Bulls if you ask me. He is the next legend, well he and Frimpong.

  32. evonne says:

    Kelsey – I was too high to sleep last night too :)

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Evonne. Yes it was most of last night – my wife declared me insane. But it is all for the cause!

  34. evonne says:

    Na$ri has changed his tune already! Perhaps he has heard the fans chanting his name last night as shown in Irishgunners’ clip
    The boy had better get used to the new chant.

    California – I didn’t make up the story about Citeh first approaching Na$ri back in January. I have heard it on the radio, which could be rubbish, but I think it is very plausible. Citeh knew that Arsenal had started contract negotiations with Na$ri last year so they had to get in quickly to prevent their target from singing a new contract, as that in turn would result in S$N’s transfer price going up considerably. We had to accept £25mil now, or let him go for nothing next year.

  35. London says:

    Too selfish? Nonsense, he will even better when he realises how good he is.

  36. evonne says:

    TA – bless you!! You are a star!! Please thank you wife from all of us for putting up with you :) The report is superb though, one of the best I have read here

  37. London says:

    TA

    In the world of match reports that is as good as Szcezney was last night in the world of great saves.

    Chapeau.

  38. evonne says:

    Just one more chore before I go – I owe Theo an apology – sorry mate for ever saying a bad word about you. The goal was brilliant!! The pose reminded me so much of TH14. I admit to being one of those of little faith. Sorry.

  39. kelsey says:

    Who knows maybe it was a relief for the players that Na$ri was finally gone and that without Cesc the team can play.
    I was amazed at Rosicky, the best 45 minutes he has played since I don’t know when.
    Same for Theo, if only he was involved a bit more he does drift in and out of games, and let’s see if he can be a bit more consistent.
    No comment that I can see about the elbow in theo’s face which was directly in front of th fifth referee and .how anyone can claim that verm,aelen handled in that melee surprised me.
    Not all teams will play like udinese against us but how can anyone dare say we didn’t perform well.just look at the key players missing, and as i said earlier this morning I am sure Arshavin got his minute on the field to quash any rumours or suggestions that he was leaving, as I have read several.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks London and Evonne :)

    Evonne did you feel a bit extra proud when Szczesny made that supersave, or are you immune to national sentiments now? I mean did you say someting like that was f****** brilliant in Polish?

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Kelsey, good point re Arshavin. I hope he gets inspired by Gervinho’s performance and we start getting the best out of him again.

  42. evonne says:

    TA – course I did :) My polish friends and family are aware of my obsession/passion for Arsenal and kept sending me congrats all night, as if I had won the game :)

    Szczesny is becoming very popular in Warsaw (his and my town) and some of the old posters of Dudek are being replaced with his face, lovely :) there will be lost of new Arsenal supporters in Polska on the back of Szczesny’s success

  43. Barry says:

    Great result last night. I thought Chezzny was great, as was gervinho and frimpong was very good defensively. He needs to inmprove alot on the ball however. Rosicky’s been getting nothing but stick lately, but he was excellent when he came on. Jenkinson looks like a very good, decisive player defensively, may not be great on the ball, but i’d rather that than a daft attacking FB.

    Theo took a good breakaway goal, BUT he is so ineffective when denied oceans of space. He sidefoot shot/passed 2 shots at their keeper from 25-odd yards out. It was just plain silly stuff. He’s been here 5/6 years now, he needs to improve technichally an awful lot. Ramsey and song didn’t control in the middle enough for me and up front RVP isn’t sharp yet. When he gets match sharp his hold-up play and influence on games will come along alot.

    At the back, Djourou is too ‘nice’ and doesn’t react fast enough to danger. TV5 can be outmuscled at times and sagna was unsure of himself on the left. As a unit they were caught out alot in the 1st half but were good after the break.

    Sorry for the long post…wanted to get it off my chest. I’d love if we got a LB, a CB, a midfield 10 and maybe an out-and-out no.9.

  44. Double98 says:

    I had a revelation at half time last night.
    I was certain that we would win through.

    My revelation was in two visions:
    In the first it is mid march 2012 and the location is the neu camp – it is 89 minutes on the clock and Frimpong is standing over a prostrate and writhing fabregas, Frimpong is shouting Deeeench in his face and Arsenal are on there way to the quarter finals.

    in the next vision
    It is the Final, a battle of britain, Nasri is being sent off for a nasty retalitation and Jack Wilshere is slow hand clapping his departure. Wenger goes to console Samir but is shrugged away – Mancini won’t even look at him and he goes straight to the shower to think about his decision. Arsenal go on to beat a deflated Merc City and Wenger is held aloft by his young proteges.

    It could happen right?

  45. WiganGooner says:

    @Barry

    I think you are being very harsh on Sagna, I thought her performed admirably out of position on the left (please consider he is right-footed and at a disadvantage down the outside).

    He tackled well, fought for every ball and linked up well with the attacking play. A super display from the ever-reliable, super player.

    WG

  46. evonne says:

    Barry – and I would like us to win CL, EPL, CC and FA cup :) but that aint going to happen either

  47. Wonderman says:

    Morning All, great report Total

    @ Danny. Every top team has a ball carrier, whose purpose is to create space for others by attracting more than one player Gervinho appears to be doing that job for us ( which Na$ri also used to do) . He ran offensively and defensively for the whole 90 mins and provided the assist for Van P’s goal and you call that selfish ????? also Jenky was booked for kicking the ball away

    I am amazed about some of the negative comments this morning but not surprised. I came across an ironic post this morning about arsenal bloggers ‘ not having the winning mentality’ very good I thought

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/13888

  48. Barry says:

    @WiganGonner

    I know ya, he’s the best RB in the league, but last night he left Isla in behind him a few times. I think we need a defender or two cos our defending has a cat-amongst-the-pigeons look to it still, even with chezzny bossing the 6-yard box.

    I also didn’t get why we were bombing forward so much in the first half when were 1-0 up on aggregate??? Very naive, especially when were coughing up chances.

  49. gunnern5 says:

    It appears that Parick Vieira was one of the main influences behind Nasri`s move to City.

    To me his halo has now fallen down around his neck, shows no loyalty at all to the Manager and club that made him famous.

    Guess I expect to much – loyalty at Arsenal disappeared with the Adams era, management being the exception to the rule.

  50. gunnern5 says:

    WG: Sagna also made an incredible pass for Walcott to run on to for our crucial second goal – that killed the game off. Just for that single pass he was a star in my reckoning.

  51. Danny says:

    @Kelsey Yeah the elbow in Theo’s face – clear penalty. I thought Theo would definitely go after the player afterwards but instead got booked for fouling someone else!
    By the way that name “Kelsey” – I used to love seeing Jack in the Arsenal shop – well more of a “counter” back in the late 60s – early 70s at Highbury – he always had time for everyone however crowded it could be.

  52. Barry says:

    Lads how good is miguel? Is he good enough to step up to 1st team cover this year? I know he’s 6’4, 18 and spanish and that’s about it. Do we need a CB or could this guy step up to the mark. 18 is really young for that position.

  53. London says:

    GN5

    That was a good pass, I’m glad you highlighted it.

  54. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, nice to know you share your home town with mr ‘Lucky’. Maybe we will come to know him as the ‘Wizard of Warsaw’ :P

  55. TotalArsenal says:

    D98 – excellent stuff; that double vision revelation I mean :P

  56. Rasp says:

    Hi Barry,

    Miguel is potentially top class. I presume you didn’t see the pool game, he was a little nervy when he first came on but settled down well. His footballing/passing skills are already very good.

    He is 6ft 4in but at 18 he still has a fair bit of filling out to do, I’d hate to see him have to deal with a ‘Drogba’ at this stage of his development.

    Having said that, I’d rather see him, given first team action than Squillaci.

  57. Wonderman says:

    @ Barry Tony Adams was 17 when he made his league debut, I wouldnt worry about age

  58. Illybongani says:

    Saturday 7th April…home game versus Man City. Put it in your diaries. 90 mins of singing about Na$ri sitting on the bench – how’s this for starters (to the tune of we’re on the march…)
    “You’re on the bench you’re $amir Na$ri,
    We forgot you wasn’t here,
    And you won’t get on the pitch,
    Cos you’re David Silva’s bitch,
    You’ll be loaned to QPR,
    Cos you’re a whore”

    Last line needs a bit of work so feel free!

  59. Red Arse says:

    I have had the most wonderful morning, as a result of last night.

    Of course I found it was ‘essential’ to speak to my ‘non-Arsenal supporting’ friends on business matters, and then surreptitiously slip in the odd “did you catch the match last night?”. :-)

    Oddly enough, even from Spud and Manure fans there was grudging praise for a surprising result (from their viewpoint) and a very good game. :-) Lovely! :-)

    And then, back online, you read the Arsenal blogs, and it is simply amazing that among the guys expressing their delight and relief and optimism for the future, there are those choosing to dump their morbid angst and misgivings on top of those of us who don’t want to hear it.

    Well they are not going to spoil my happiness (move over London) :-)

  60. DM says:

    TA – I can assure you I never went anywhere, I’m here every day, just I haven’t usually been able to check until about midday by which point there’s not much I feel I can add to the excellent selection of comments already up :)

  61. Barry says:

    Ok, so he sounds like a top prospect. Just get him in the gym and then set him loose. I didn’t see pool game, no sky (not paying those fools) so I didn’t see him play. I’ve only got to grips with live stream the last 2-3 days….what a godsend!!! As negative as my comments seem…it’s the whole doom and gloom vibe around the club. It’s hard to look past. However, we do have some young players like miguel(going off what ye just said), frimpong, ryo, oxo-cube(um, gravy) and maybe young Mr. Campbell who could conceivably come into the team and do well.

  62. gunnern5 says:

    I took the liberty of cutting and pasting this from Fooball365.com

    In a summer during which they have sold their two best midfielders and, with a week left of the transfer window, have yet to replace them, there hasn’t been a great deal positive to say about Arsenal.

    However, they are now through to the Champions League group stages, so let’s take a minute to be nice about Arsene Wenger and his boys.

    Here are ten positives that Arsenal can take from their Champions League win over Udinese:

    * That penalty save. They say hitting a fastball in baseball is the hardest thing to do in professional sport, but saving a well-struck penalty must be up there. While it was at a decent saving height, Wojciech Szczesny’s quite brilliant save from Antonio di Natale was the sort of moment that saves a season, and sets up a career. While it may be because there are other, bigger problems in their squad, it’s noticeable that nobody is suggesting Arsenal need a goalkeeper anymore. Aside from strikers, confidence is arguably most important in keepers, and Szczesny is not short of that (he once told a linesman not to bother checking his net, as nothing would be going in it). That save can only help.

    * It was interesting to note that in the second half in general, and more specifically after the penalty, Udinese rather crumbled. Arsenal did not. And this was a team in which the 22-year-old Theo Walcott was their second-longest serving player. It might not tell us that the old mental fragilities are gone and those problems are solved, but it is at least promising.

    * As this is an article about positive things, a plus from the sales of Nasri and Fabregas might be that Aaron Ramsey will be forced to mature even quicker. The extra responsibility placed on the young Welshman could either make or break him, but on current evidence it looks as if the former is more likely. Against Udinese he was quietly composed, probing the Italian defence with careful passes, and generally playing in a manner more composed than is normal for a 20-year-old. With Jack Wilshere out until lord knows when, Arsenal will need his creativity and level head.

    * In the second half at least, Alex Song was hugely impressive. As mentioned before, Udinese faded badly, but part of this was down to the way Song imposed himself on the midfield.

    * Every now and then, Theo Walcott provides some evidence to his argument that he’s a striker, not a winger. A bit more of that, and he might get his wish.

    * A front three of Gervinho, Walcott and Robin van Persie looks like it could be very lively indeed. They interchanged nicely, they provided pace and guile when required, and they switched positions seamlessly. If all three can stay fit (a huge caveat, we know), they could be a big threat.

    * Last December Carl Jenkinson played four times in the Conference for Eastbourne Borough. Now, he’s a Champions League player. And you know what? He didn’t look out of place. Sure, his positioning is naive on occasion, but what else do you expect from a kid? Arsenal fans might be sick of hearing about prospects, and ‘ones for the future’, but they should be optimistic about this one.

    * Recruiting the players they so clearly need will be a good deal easier now. Part of the reason for their lack of action in the transfer market might have been because their Champions League fate was unclear – potential purchases would want to wait until that’s resolved, while the club will have two different budgets prepared. The win should not mask the deficiencies in their squad, so hopefully it will inspire a busy last week of the transfer window.

    * Despite what Arsene Wenger may have said, this might suggest that Arsenal are indeed a ‘big club’. Small clubs do not make the Champions League group stages 14 years in a row.

    * Arsene Wenger might get a little relief now. He looks tired.

  63. harry says:

    Apologies—–Long one……….

    Great night, solid performance overall and some players who had been lambasted by many and by some on here, played their parts in a great win…….

    Firstly absolutely cracking match report from Total, superb……………..

    My pointers as usual…………

    1. We all see things differently and sometimes we actually query, was that the same match? Good example for last night, on yesterday thread someone said Ramsey had a poor game, I defended him as I though that was his best game this season……Radders has since supplied some great stats that showed Ramsey was indeed a key element…..

    2. What makes me laugh is the amount of people saying that Rosicky had his best game in ages, for me he has been our outstanding player this SEASON……his first 60mins against Newcastle and Udinese last week and then add the 2nd half last night, he has excelled……..The only issue is how long he can last and be effective and perhaps that’s maybe why some people haven’t seen what he has done in the other matches as he went off as he had visibly tired……… Rosicky is key in terms of experience and his role within the team…..He is not a direct replacement for Fabregas, but he can do a job for now when needed……

    3. Another who needs support and people believing in him is theo, I have defended him staunchly and will continue to do so. We hardly play to his strengths and there is a tendency for him to drift wide and get no balls where he needs them, The team needs to support him and give him the service that he can thrive on, last night he did drift in more central, play on the last man and make the right runs, and people were beginning to pick him out. As I said the other there is a responsibility now on theo to tell people what and where he wants the ball, rather than a 5yd ball to his feet with two defenders on him, expecting miracles…….. The goal he scored was theo at his best and if we continue to use him like this it will get even better…….Most of the offside decisions against him were incorrect, so he has to learn to believe even more in his pace, like he did for the goal……….

    4. Szczesny will be the premiership keeper of the season and eventually the best in the world, which is an ambition of his!! His aura is immense and confidence flows, as I mentioned last night the penalty save reminded me of seaman v sampdoria…..He had no chance with their goal…..

    5. Patlow and others, we are not getting carried anymore than others who have charted our doom and demise, yes we have issues, not as bad as some make out, but we do have a structure to build on…….I agree we need reinforcements and quick, I would like at least one in prior to Friday lunchtime to bolster Sundays squad…….Where invariably IF we lose, the crisis will be back on in many eyes, yes they will be 8 points clear of us, but it wont be over and I will not fully judge until that TW is shut…….

    6. I think the one point many have missed on here and in the press, Udinese are no mugs and they would have put many teams out, so with a depleted morale and limited squad we have done very well……

    7. Barry, Miquel is excellent and is a very good prospect, but we do need another CB in, if we were guaranteed that Vermaelen would stay injury free then I could live with what we have, but as we cant we need one more strong leader, as Kosser, Dj and Miquel are not that character type, yet. Squillaci will leave or just not play…The other youngster of note that you mentioned is Joel Campbell who will probably go on loan till xmas, hopefully in the premiership…….All the others will supplement the squad including Miquel……..

    8. Gervinho is not selfish, he actually gives us what we have lacked, Na$$ri occasionally did it and also Arshavin, but not enough……G Man dribbles with the ball, takes players on and applies pressure, putting the opposition on the back foot…He is good on both sides and the ball seems to stick with him. Thought he had a great game night….

    9. I was so happy to see wenger make a half time substitution and it was exactly spot on, Frimpong had done well as had song but both were positionally opposing at times ie neither seem to know the others thoughts, once Frimpong went off, song’s mandate seemed clearer and I though he was a rock in the 2nd half….

    10. MotM is so hard to pick as they all had moments and each displayed elements of what is really good about them………Rosicky was MotM in 2nd Half and made a visible difference to our effectiveness…….. But for me, Szczesny is the man, knew he save it, ask my boy next to me as I said……

    “ Reece, this is where Szczesny proves he is going to be the best, he’ll save it, come on the Szcz’er” ………….As his arm went up and the ball spun over……….I went mad round my lounge…….

    A chorus of you’ll never beat the “Szczesny” rang out……………Arsenal’s No1……..

  64. chas says:

    Lovely report , TA. Well done.

    Was the chapeau awarded to Rosicky belonging to London because, I’m afraid, it’s already been digested.

    Really like “stark raven mad” too. Perhaps the ravens have returned to the home of football. :)

    I struggle with those that cannot enjoy the moment and assume that anyone that happens to have an optimistic thought, must be deluded or told to be realistic. If you can’t enjoy the warm glow that last night brings, there really is no point in being an Arsenal supporter.

  65. chas says:

    Illy,

    “Cos you’re David Silva’s bitch”
    hahahaha

    harry,

    I think I saw the same game as you this time!

  66. harry says:

    Chas, lol………

    and as you say, what is the point if you dont enjoy the moment..

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Harry, you are firing on all cylinders again! Great comment, and I love your love for Rosicky – it is not my view but it is good to see somebody so positive about the little maestro :)

    Thanks Chas. It never stops amazing me either how so many people – by default – are drawn to the cold and dark side of life. What goes up, must come down it seems. Ah well….

  68. London says:

    It’s interesting that Barry asked how Miguel is. I had never really seen him before Saturday but there was an element that made me laugh.

    The game started with the good guys being more dominant than I was expecting, remember this is when we had to deal with “Arsenal supporters” coming on here every day telling us how Arsenal’s world was going to end when we were knocked out of the CL blah, blah, blah anyway as you know Koscielny got injured and on came the inexperienced Miguel.

    Liverpool sensed fear, momentum swung in their favour as they started to come onto us. Szczesny rolled the ball out ot Miguel who looked tentative, he played it cautiously to Vermaelen. The ball found it’s way to Szczesny who rolled it to Miguel, Liverpool pressed harder looking for a mistake; Miguel played a short pass to Ramsey. Again the ball found it’s way to Szczesny, I remember thinking is it a good idea to roll it to Miguel but that is exactly what he did, sensing blood Liverpool were pressed way up the field now.

    This time Miguel sent a pin point Exocet missile of a pass 40 yards across the field, with the accuracy of some other Catalan whose name escapes me, for Walcott to run onto.

    It was a special moment and from there I understood exactly why Szczesny who has obviously played with him a hundred times in the reserves had so much confidence in him.

    Miguel grew in confidence from then on putting in an excellent performance marred only by the result.

  69. Big Raddy says:

    One thing overlooked last night ….

    Was the quality of the comments on AA.

    I would like to thank all who have put in time and effort to create this blog which is such a fantastic platform for us.

    We happy few, we Band of Brothers who set up this site hoped that we could create a forum which was polite, educated and educational. It should also have humour and allow differing points of view without criticism or abuse, It should be a place where we can share our fears for the team and celebrate our victories; there should be a place for non-football banter. In essence, your local pub in your living room.

    In the short time (well, it feels like it :-) ) since AA was established we have had over a million hits. have contributors from all over the world and have done so without any rancour. So much so that we hardly need to moderate the site which is a huge testament to all who blog here.

    Last night there was a felling of comraderie that unites us all in our love of the Arsenal.

    If there is to be a Chapeau, it should be to Arsenal Arsenal.

    p.s.. I considered making this a post, but felt it would be too self-congratulary!!

  70. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic report RA. I’m feeling positively positive now. I was veerong towards the dark side last week. What a difference a win makes. I really like Jenkinson. If he’d been wearing a manc shirt and cost 20m the press would have been having orgasms. I’d have Gervinho over the $$lag any day.

  71. kelsey says:

    Harry,

    it was me.i said

    “Only player i thought was below average was Ramsey.”

    which is not exactly a poor game.I was assessing that compared to some raw novices such as Jenkinson and Frimpong performances.

  72. chas says:

    Hear hear, BR.

    Some nice new photos on Stuart MacFarlane’s stream.
    Arshavin in goal, hahahaha.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/27453474@N02/show/

  73. kelsey says:

    Well said BR,

    where else could you find an arsenal site were posters are betting each other’s houses or items of clothing including underwear just before the club’s biggest game since the CL final, at least in financial terms.

  74. WiganGooner says:

    @Harry

    Great points about Rosicky, I wrote an article last year about Tomas (http://www.wigangooner.co.uk/?p=76) and it’s great to see him getting game-time and showing fans what he is all about once again.

    It is easy to forget that he was regarded as one of the best creative midfield players in Europe and I’m delighted his form appears to be returning.

    WG

  75. TotalArsenal says:

    So true Big Doggy…I mean, I mean Raddy :P

    Chas, thanks for pics – good stuff for future posts!

  76. harry says:

    Hi Kelsey, each to their own, but for me he was never below average…….I just think in the first half which a very good udinese side made us work and our lack of shape with song / frimpong aided this….. it was hard for all of them, but as an overall assessment he was never below average………..

    I thought in the 2nd half ramsey was actually very good…..put it this way, no player got less than 7 from me last night……..and thats in a way I want to remember and enjoy the game, so many positives……

  77. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking write up TA, absolutely cracking.

  78. goonermichael says:

    Ferguson has agreed to start talking to the bbc. Now I have to start using the mute button again.

  79. Brigham says:

    GM, imagine a post match interview with him and Dalglish following a Mancs v BinDippers match. Interpreters would have to be brought in.

  80. Red Arse says:

    GM, at 1:46, it was just a typo, of course, but Total wrote the report – not I. :-)

  81. Barry says:

    did ye hear what Mr Nasri’s been saying? The guys spewing s**t from every orphus…excellent player, good for us and all that BUT, what a prick!!!

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ahoy,
    Not yanking your thingies, but Gazzetta dello Sport claiming today that we’re in for Wesley Sneijder on the back of CL Qualification.
    Can you imagine Rasp having to eat his shed!

  83. Camberwell Gooner says:

    Barry, Na$ri has instantly shown us what an utterly classless twat he is.

    Still, 6 good months out of 36 isn’t THAT bad I suppose…

  84. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Camberwell,
    Why did you write COYRRR the other day and not COYRRG? You are dead right.

  85. goonermichael says:

    Sorry TA Great report

  86. neamman says:

    It appears that Parick Vieira was one of the main influences behind Nasri`s move to City.

    To me his halo has now fallen down around his neck, shows no loyalty at all to the Manager and club that made him famous.
    >>>>>>>>>>

    PV is a professional. I am sure he loves Arsenal but MC pay his wages and he has to do his best for them. If he worked for us he would be doing the same Im sure.
    What a game, we got our Mojo back!! Loved seeing Theo wandering across the park instead of being confined to the right. Rosicky was a revalation, Jenkinson and Frimpong made me confident about the future. I am sure we will lose sunday.. but if we can keep it close [1-0/2-1] with a weakened team then it will almost be as good as a draw for our confidence.. I mean the team and the fans. A good result may make some fans [we know who they are] damn well SUPPORT the team instead of carping!!

  87. Barry says:

    Marvin Martin would be a good attacking midfielder for us – they say about 10m wood be enough to get him. Sebastian Coates would be a class signing for less than 20m aswell if we went for him. Oh and aly Cissokho of Lyon for 12-15m too. That would really improve our squad.

    Oh and also…ya I know it won’t happen, but still it’s good to be able to dream

  88. Danny says:

    …..and I reckon Vieira got his cut/bonus for bringing Na$ri.

  89. Rasp says:

    I hope to see this lad on the pitch for us sometime soon…..

  90. Wonderman says:

    @neamman

    ‘I am sure we will lose sunday.. but if we can keep it close [1-0/2-1] with a weakened team then it will almost be as good as a draw for our confidence..’

    what makes you so sure ??? you could be right , but I just dont get you fans who have us losing before a ball is even kicked. If the players go out trying to win every game , the LEAST you could do as a fan is adopt a winning support mentality

  91. Red Arse says:

    True, Wondergooner, :-)

    I think we will sneak it 0:1, and shock the cheeky gits!

    No, sod it, why set my sights so low? lets make that 1:3 :-)

  92. kelsey says:

    All these players that are leaving Arsenal and they all say they love Arsenal.

    Someone define that for me please.

  93. goonermichael says:

    We’ll be up against it on Sunday. They may just play like they have nothing to lose and batter the dirty mancs. I would have liked to have had Frimpong playing. I also hope that Ryo gets on.

  94. goonermichael says:

    They are two faced sluts Kelsey :)

  95. Wonderman says:

    Kelsey, I sat there and watched/ listen to Nasri give it the ‘ Wenger is the man for arsenal and we should have faith…blah blah blah’ …….after he refuses to believe himself….I really hope Van P can lift a trophy this season and stick two very large fingers up to those idiots

  96. kelsey says:

    Anyone know who is available and who is not for Sunday ?

  97. London says:

    Rasp

    You know how people have been criticising Wenger for not making earlier signings in view that he must have known that Fabregas and Nasri were leaving for some time.

    What if he did, that’s to say what if he thinks he has made all the new signings he needs.

    GK Szczney, Fab

    RB Sags, Jenks

    LB Gibbs, Traore.

    CB Verm, Koz, Johann, Miguel, Squig

    DM Song Pong

    CM, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Diaby

    Wings, The Gerv, Walcott, Arshavin, Rhyo, Ox

    CF RvP, Cham, Campbell.

    So why does he need to buy?

  98. Illybongani says:

    @London
    Basically because we are weaker than last year, and last year we weren’t good enough

  99. London says:

    Doesn’t answer the question Illy

  100. London says:

    I probably should have said at the end; So why would Wenger think he needs to buy?

  101. Rasp says:

    London,

    I believe that IS what AW thinks – he has alluded to it a couple of times recently. I do not expect any big name signings and I certainly don’t expect to feast on your underpants (ongoing tag line for those not keeping up with the debate)

  102. Rasp says:

    To qualify that – big name signings means anyone over £15m

  103. goonermichael says:

    To improve the team London. Is it a trick question? :)

  104. RockyLives says:

    TA
    What a great match report – one of the best I’ve read on AA (which is high praise).

    I want to comment briefly on our “luck”. Someone mentioned earlier that perhaps the luck had shifted our way last night because Udinese hit the post twice in the first half.

    I beg to differ. If that counts as two piece of good luck, it is still far outweighed by the BAD luck we had: two certain penalties ignored (elbow on Theo and trip on Aaron); a non-penalty given to Udinese (Verm was shoved in the back and even so, had his hands by his sides so it was definitely not ‘hand to ball’); at least two occasions when Theo was wrongly flagged for offside when he would have been one-on-one with the ‘keeper (and we saw later what he can do in that position).

    So, in summary, we had two pieces of ‘good luck’ and five pieces of ‘bad luck.’

  105. goonermichael says:

    Rasp
    That was just wrong

  106. gunnern5 says:

    |Great point London!

    Now if it were AW making that point there would be a chorus of, same ole, same, ole, his head is stuck in the sand and all he wants to do is not spend money and continue his “kiddy project”

    That said (IMHO) although we have the numbers we don’t have the experience to win trophies this season. I for one would not be upset if we did not buy any more players as it would give those you have highlighted an opportunity to gel as a team for years to come.

  107. goonermichael says:

    I wonder if there is any truth in us trying to get Kaka on loan.

  108. RockyLives says:

    GM
    You are not the most verbose poster here on AA, but your pithy comments never fail to make me laugh. Today, particularly, the reference to ‘the $$lag’ and to having to now start using the mute button given that Old Purple Nose has agreed to talk to the Beeb again.

    Please keep taking the pith.

  109. goonermichael says:

    Robin was adamant that he wanted new players last night.

  110. Illybongani says:

    I think it does – we’ve lost our two most creative players. I’m all for giving the kids a chance but who? I think all the cream that is going to come to the top is already there.

  111. RockyLives says:

    London
    I loved your comment about the Szczesny/Miguel relationship – very insightful.

  112. RockyLives says:

    I feel very confident about our squad, but a couple of good signings could really lift them even higher. Particularly if we make a “statement’ signing like Sneijder or Hazzard.

    A couple of older heads would not go amiss and would help our brilliant young ‘uns to get even better. Just look how the introduction of TR7 changed things last night. (By the way, I have also been a fan of his abilities. My only reservation is that he started really well for us last season – I even wrote a post about him – then tailed off when Cesc came back and he lost his place).

  113. goonermichael says:

    Thanks RA (I googled verbose) :)

  114. RockyLives says:

    GM
    I fall in the verbose camp – I’ve always suffered from the old verbal diarrhea…

  115. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Rocky, thanks indeed :)

    How did the house move go i.e. still happily married? :P

  116. RockyLives says:

    Hello TA :)
    It’s been quite a protracted move. About four weeks ago we moved out of our long term rental into a friend’s house (who was away for a few weeks). Then last Thurs we finally moved into our own house that we’ve been doing up seemingly for ever. Getting settled, but still way too many boxes to empty.
    Wife still there last time I looked…

    Anyway, back to the Arse – didn’t Theo look deadly hanging off the last defender? When JW is back to play those defence-splitting balls he was showing in pre-season, all will be good with our much-maligned speedster.

    I can’t believe people are still slagging him off for getting shots on target. No striker scores every time he shoots – the main thing is to keep pinging away until one goes in.

  117. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to hear that RL. They do say that moving house in one the most stressful things in life :(

    Theo looked great. But there was a lot of space for him to play in (very un-Italian!). Against MU he will never get that sort of space, unless we go 1-0 up and they have to press us more and higher up the pitch. With Gervinho out he will probably get a start, and I am looking forward to seeing how he will perform.

  118. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky Hi,
    They don’t half pad out the draw.
    About Theo. At half time I commented that Theo and Gerv should switch flanks, and last season I also said Theo should play down the left. He is deadly cutting in onto his right foot with the goal opening up in front of him.
    Ooo, I think they are going to start plucking balls.

  119. Rasp says:

    Huh, typical, last ball out and group F – I can just see the headlines :lol:

  120. Big Raddy says:

    Marseilles. That is OK. Nice and warm

  121. RockyLives says:

    What headlines Rasp: “Best to last, and F-ing excellent”?

  122. Red Arse says:

    Hi GM, :-)

    The comment about your lack of verbosity ’twas not I ….. ’twere Rocky at 4:30.

    I’m getting worried about you!! :-)

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    It’s all balls to me

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    Even warmer BR :)

  125. RockyLives says:

    Redders
    Interesting that GM lumped both you and I (even subconsciously) in the verbose department. I cannot for the very life of me comprehend why the rapscallion coiffeur should have arrived at such a discombobulatory conclusion…

  126. RockyLives says:

    So we have the Greek champs and the French runners-up so far…

  127. Red Arse says:

    Manure, have the luck of the devil. What an easy group!!

  128. Big Raddy says:

    Started well but I think that is a very difficult group – Dortmund in particular will be tough opposition

  129. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, :-)

    I can understand GM describing you as verbose, of course.
    But I am sure you will agree, of course, that I am the epitome of breathless brevity and exquisite circumspection! :-)

  130. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Yikes.
    Both Barca and Utd get groups with two comedy outfits. At least nowhere nasty on our travels, but a tough group for sure.

  131. chas says:

    I’m really pleased we drew Dortmund.
    Good attractive opposition at the Emirates.
    Who wants to go and see Otelul Galati?

  132. TotalArsenal says:

    I am happy with that draw. Some good football to look forward to and all teams can be beaten. Good to see that Citeh have the hardest group. Seems that money cannot buy you everything :P

  133. MickyDidIt89 says:

    BR,
    Don’t know about you but I definately look at teams in pots that we could draw and think of my stomach . For example Pot 2 had some very tasty looking destinations for a night away. Marseilles = Bouillabaisse whereas my heart sank at the the thought of Greek food (might still be warm though).

  134. chas says:

    Micky,

    Are you going to organise an AA away trip?

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Do Red Members ever get access to European away games?

  136. Red Arse says:

    My predictions?

    A) Bayern Munich and Manshitty

    B) Inter and CSKA

    C) Manure and Benfica (jammy b’stards

    D) Real and Ajax

    E) Chelsea and Valencia

    F) Arsenal and B. Dortmund

    G) Porto and Shaktar

    H) Barca and Milan

  137. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    “Who wants to go and see Otelul Galati?”
    Maybe people in Otelul?
    Or is it Galati?

  138. RockyLives says:

    ManUre and ManChavs obviously got their bribes in on time.

  139. chas says:

    Don’t know, but there’s always a way to get your hands on a ticket.

    Anyway, who needs to watch football when you’re searching for the bouillabaisse? :)

  140. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thinking about a gourmet (and a drink!) AA night away.
    Just wiki’d the Greek lot:
    The club’s stadium is the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus. Olympiacos is the most popular Greek club with around two and a half million fans in Greece and was placed ninth on the list with the most paid up members in the world in 2006, having 83,000 registered members as of April 2006. They share a great and long-standing rivalry with Panathinaikos, with whom they contest in the derby of the eternal enemies.
    Love the last bit about “Derby of the Eternal Enemies”

  141. chas says:

    I see your point, Rocky. I was thinking more of Arsenal fans going to the Emirates.

  142. RockyLives says:

    I know Chas – I was just having fun at the expense of a team I’ve never heard of. I don’t even know what country they’re from – Turkey?

  143. MickyDidIt89 says:

    CHAS,
    Just saw your question. Too right, I’m at the planning stage as we speak. Greece or Marseilles lads? I say Greece on account of the fact that I’ve never been to Piraeus.
    Easy Jet goes to Greece.

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. Athens has some fine eateries. Get away from the souvlaki and koftes and kebabs and there is some fine fare, certainly better than frankfurter, sauerkraut and curryworst.

    Marseilles is more poulet tagine than bouillabaisse these days

  145. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is Piraeus a stag/hen/english wrecked dive?

  146. Big Raddy says:

    Think it will easier to get a ticket in Marseilles

  147. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. No it isn’t but it is a transit town which gives access to the Islands. Lots of cheap hotels and mad taxi drivers

  148. RockyLives says:

    When do the fixtures come out?

    (I mean, our ECL games. It wasn’t a question about dentistry).

  149. goonermichael says:

    Theres nothin in Pireaus except a port for the islands. Spetse and Poros are quite nice.

  150. London says:

    Which group are spuds in?

  151. RockyLives says:

    London :D :D

  152. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Very good London.
    Them of the “Derby of Eternal Enemies”

  153. goonermichael says:

    They are in the root vegetable group.

  154. kelsey says:

    Marseilles is a mafia stronghold..if you go watch out at night.Wear clean pants.

  155. goonermichael says:

    Who cares as long as were in it.

  156. Herb'sArmy says:

    HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO BE A GOONER RIGHT NOW!!!
    Cracking match report TA, the boys became lions in Italy last night, absolutely immense!
    I had Szczesny as my MotM, only because of his world-class penalty save at 1-1, and his 2 other saves from Di Natale at crucial moments.
    Jenkinson was superb. Conference last christmas, CL 8 months later, “demanding the ball from Rosicky…”, does’nt get much better does it.
    Arsene Wenger for a Knighthood, anyone?

  157. goonermichael says:

    Frimpong has been called up to the England under 21s. Has he decided to play for England?

  158. goonermichael says:

    Arise sir Arsene

  159. London says:

    The thing about Marseilles is that you can eat, drink and generally hang out around the picturesque port area and it is pretty safe, there is a metro from the port that stops right outside the ground which once again is as safe as any other football ground.

    The city is only dangerous if you go to the equivalent of Peckham, apologies to those from Peckham.

  160. TotalArsenal says:

    RA, you are probably right re your predictions of who will go through, but I don’t think you should include Citeh. Bayern are too big for them at the moment. That leaves Napoli and Villareal: both never easy away and the latter has got some good recent CL experience. More importantly, Napoli and Villareal play in tough competitions and I reckon that Villareal are better than Citeh at the moment.

    I am just so hoping they get knocked out.

  161. London says:

    HI TA

    That’s an interesting comment, up to recently I didn’t really care one way or another about City in fact it made me chuckle to see how they were eating into their neighbours, but that all changed when $$ decided to go there.
    Now, like you, I really want them to get knocked out in the group stages.

  162. Red Arse says:

    Well said TA. :-)

    I am not being biased here, or anything, but I would buy you a Danish pint if Shitty, Manure and the Chavers all went out ….. immediately!! :-)

  163. London says:

    RA

    Why Danish?

  164. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all – not the easiest group but more than manageable and no long treks to the East.

    I’m ever so proud of my man Rosicky – see, told y’all he was worth keeping, and not just cos he’s sexy :oops:

  165. Red Arse says:

    Hi London,

    Could be because TA is ……. Danish. (Not the pastry!). :-)

  166. Red Arse says:

    Irish, :-)

    I think you got the words in the wrong order, I am sure you meant;

    — just cos he’s not sexy — a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur! :-)

  167. SharkeySure says:

    “with the accuracy of some other Catalan whose name escapes me, for Walcott to run onto”

    Agreed London…that was some pass. I was in complete awe at the time.

  168. Irishgunner says:

    RA – He is too sexy, and his hair is better than last year’s cut, that wasn’t a good moment :lol:

  169. London says:

    RA

    Well, I obviously haven’t been paying attention I thought Holland was the country of association.

  170. London says:

    Thanks Sharkey.

    If you want a laugh go and read Keyser in debate with the, well, I just don’t know how to describe him.

  171. London says:

    Got it, The Pied Pipper lol

  172. Irishgunner says:

    “We are delighted to announce the signing of Emmanuel Adebayor on a season-long loan from Manchester City.” – Spuds
    :lol:

  173. Irishgunner says:

    Unusual number choice for Nasri at Citeh – although a given I suppose.

    photo/1/large

  174. Irishgunner says:

    Ye need to click on the link above to see pic

  175. evonne says:

    Irish – sorry, but I have to agree with RA, Rosicky aint sexy

    Our group isn’t the easiest, as usual, but not more difficult than Chavs’ and Citeh’s. Only bloody manure get all the luck, as usual.

    I thought TA was Dutch not Dannish, oi TA where is you from?

  176. evonne says:

    Actually, chavs’ is much easier

  177. goonermichael says:

    Thanks for the link Irish. That made me smile and I’m going to post it on my FB

  178. London says:

    Irish

    Can you make it easier for us, I can’t open the link, I think there is a lock on it that won’t allow access to people over a certain age.

  179. RockyLives says:

    An afterthought about yesterday’s game…

    I thought we looked so much more secure when Song limited himself to defensive midfield duties in the second half. He was immense in the role and I really hope that when we have everyone fit, that’s where he stays.

  180. Evening all – well I have to admit to scoffing a portion of humble pie as I feared the worst last night.

    My faint hope was that we’d lose 2-1 and go through on away goals, my worst fear was an extra time elimination to leave us in shocking shape for the trip to Old Toilet.

    Seems like our team found some heart at last.

  181. RockyLives says:

    chary
    actually, they found some heart against Liverpool last weekend, despite losing.

  182. California Gooner says:

    Joel Che, over at Arsenal-Mania, is one of my favorite Arsenal bloggers. His posts are incredibly thoughtful and thought-provoking. I don’t agree with everything he says, but if you want to read something interesting about Arsenal, you might check this out.

    http://arsenal-mania.com/articles/3110420/An-essay-Seven-ideas-for-Arsenal.html

  183. Irishgunner says:

    Presuming you’ve all seen this :lol:

  184. I was away in Sweden last weekend Rocky and only knew the result when I got back to Blighty on Wednesday.

    The bare facts of a 2 nil home loss and a sending off didn’t suggest to me much good had come, but as I say I didn’t see the game.

    I saw all of last night’s game and it felt like ages since I’d had a feel good factor, however fleeting, from AFC.

    Something to build on, IMHO.

  185. gunnern5 says:

    Just heard that Harry Redknapp offered to take the Spurs team on an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii and they turned him down.

    Instead they wanted to go to Blackpool and ride on an open top bus – to find out what it felt like.

  186. London says:

    Rocky

    And following on, I rate Song’s performance in the second half as one of his career bests, I was asking myself why? The best I could come up with was that he had, for the first time in a while, some genuine competition for his place; the fact of just how well Frimpong was received on Saturday I am sure would not have gone unnoticed. It was a big ask to have him play as far up the field as he did in the first half but to criticise would be as wrong as finding fault in Sagna while playing LB.

    As for Song staying back when Wilshere is in the team, this surely must be viewed on a game by game basis. Last season home against manu Song stuck to the role given to him of rigidly staying back with great success but this would make little sense against a lesser team that parked the bus; he would be wasted just sitting there ahead of the half way line. In these situations he has to alternate with Jack in the hope of finding a way of break the opposition down.

    I am still not happy that I have found a way of explaining myself as well as I would like.

  187. MickyDidIt89 says:

    £92 tax incl. per person British Airways Economy
    Wed 19/10 13:20 1h50 London Gatwick – Marseille
    Thu 20/10 16:50 1h45 Marseille – London Gatwick
    .
    Come on, you know you want to. Be there in good time for a steak frittes and plenty of red to set us up for the evening and a bloody great Bouillabaisse for a celebration lunch port side before home.

  188. MickyDidIt89 says:

    ’71 tops only and no snoring!

  189. gunnern5 says:

    How do you make a Spurs supporter run fast?

    Build a job center.

  190. London says:

    Hi Chary

    Good to hear from you, there have been a couple of times when Arsenal supporters have started to speak just a little bit too fondly of the achievements of manu and I thought to myself there is one man who could sort this out.

    It’s a bit like that bible story, I forget which one, you go away for a while and when you come back people are worshipping a golden bull.

  191. gunnern5 says:

    Just heard that the inland revenue have started an investigation into Spurs expense claims.

    Apparently they have been showing silver polish as an ongoing annual expense.

  192. London says:

    Good one GN5

  193. gunnern5 says:

    Whats the difference between a Spurs supporter and a broken clock?

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  194. Irishgunner says:

    We played Partizan Belgrade last year in CL didn’t we?

    Were they any good? I can’t quite remember, I know they had that bloke Cleo who was okay, but he’s gone now.

  195. gunnern5 says:

    How do you change a Spurs supporters mind?

    Blow in his ear.

  196. gunnern5 says:

    Irishgunner we beat them 3-1 both home and away.

  197. Exactly London, old maroon conk has too often bedazzled the slavering, phone hacking journos to the extent that whatever he does is a stroke of genius, even if anyone else had done the same they would have been belittled.
    Incidentally has anyone seen his Royal Whiskiness has, out of a spirit of benevolent magnaminity lifted his ban on speaking to the BBC now ?

    How gracious of him.

  198. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks gunnern5

    Shamrock Rovers (Liam Brady’s first club) are playing them for a spot in the Europa League. 1-1 (2-2) – gone into extra time. Rovers are part-timers as far as I know.

  199. gunnern5 says:

    What do you do if you see a Spurs supporter buried up to his neck in sand?

    Add another bucket.

  200. gunnern5 says:

    British Rail have decided to sponsor Spurs.
    Due to their regular “points” failure.

  201. gunnern5 says:

    What does one do when they run out of Spurs jokes?

    Don’t think it’s possible.

  202. Gooner In Exile says:

    Good evening all, the wife left me outside when the “bring out your dead cart” came past but luckily I got better.

    Cracking report TA, to add a couple of observations.

    a) Gerv doesn’t play like a winger and moves all across the front line which in turn encourages Theo and RvP to move around too. This gives us a very fluid front three, worryingly it still required the full backs to give width which sometimes can be our biggest weakness.

    b) both Frimpong and Jenkinson are not afraid to put laces through the ball and clear the opposition midfield to relieve pressure. With Jenks he would have learned this in the lower leagues but is sonething we were guilty of not doing on so many occasions last year.

    As for Chessers save it gives the Lombardo save by Seaman a run for it’s money but doesn’t touch that FA Cup Semi Final one, as soon as that one happened I was on the phone to my Dad in wonderment. But like Seaman Chessers performance wasn’t all about saves it was about calmness, commanding presence and confidence.

    Everything else has been covered I think. A solid platform to build on with players to return and maybe sone new additions. I’ll happily take another couple of Jenkinson-esque bargains.

  203. Irishgunner says:

    Shamrock Rovers just knocked out Partizan Belgrade O_O Massive for the League of Ireland. First time in the group stage of a major European competition.

  204. Irishgunner says:

    Arsene, Arsene sign him up :lol:

  205. evonne says:

    Chary – you are back!! lovely xx

    Just heard it – Arsenal have a season defining game on Sunday! FFS, will they ever stop?? Is every bloody game we play going to be season defining??

    Clock ticking…tick..tick…only 5 days left Mr Wenger, please, please hurry up

  206. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, London, you are right of course – I think this is one of RA’s cheeky games :)

    GiE, good observations: our front three made us look a lot less predictable last night.

    Irish, congratulations – that is a major achievement for the Irish.

  207. Hiya Evonne darling xx

    I’m an evening person mainly now, so I’ll be flitting on and off after dinner time, and more often if our fortunes continue this upswing we’ve started.

    You’re right, the hacks can’t wait to bury us on sunday, win lose or draw we can do no right in their eyes.

    And yeah, the state of our squad come 11pm on wednesday will be season defining as well, lol.

  208. Irishgunner says:

    TA – it is massive. I’m not a Rovers fan myself, Limerick FC hovering midtable in the 1st division are my home club and who I support, but the whole League will be shouting them on.

    First time since 1964 an Irish club will be involved in Europe in the winter.

  209. TotalArsenal says:

    Season defining game my Arse, Evonne. You are right. We defined our season yesterday. I just hope we give our all against the Mancs, and I take any outcome. Who or who will be our DM on Sunday?

  210. Irishgunner says:

    vieirasboots Neil Kirk
    by swanny_83
    Nasri: Vieira told me Man City is “place to be” translated paddy said this place is full o cunts you’ll fit in
    :lol: Y’all need to get on Twitter

  211. chas says:

    Twitter conspiracy theory….

    photo/1

  212. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow Irish, first time since 1964, almost 50 years! And the Irish national team has done quite well over the years – bizarre!?

    Limerick FC sounds like a fairytale. That must be one of the most poetic football club names around. Aah, just realised again a limerick is in fact a form of poetry :P

  213. TotalArsenal says:

    The anagram of ‘Otelul Galate’ is ‘A Legal Outlet’. Sounds dodgy to me :?

  214. Irishgunner says:

    TA – that’s because most of the players would rather play lower league England, that stay in Ireland. Shamrock Rovers a worth a read if ever bored, the club was bust just a few years back, looked like they would be no more until the fans stepped in to save the day, raised the cash and saved the club.

    Not much of a fairytale for Limerick FC I’m afraid, looking like missing out on a promotion play off spot yet again.

  215. TotalArsenal says:

    Irish, and yet it is such a beautiful country… Shame really.

  216. TotalArsenal says:

    Herb, Arsene for a knighthood :) Great idea and he would deserve it too!

    I considered Czszesny for MoTM, but just felt that Gervinho had been brilliant throughout the game: his unselfish and quality passes to Theo and RvP made the difference in the end. He could have had a go himself several times, but just opted for the best solution when it really mattered. I felt the away goal counted for two goals and Wojciech unbelievable save counted for one goal – however important it was. They were both brilliant though – oh to be a gooner :P

  217. RockyLives says:

    Chas
    Can you copy the conspiracy thing into a post as I can’t open the link (I think it’s a conspiracy).

  218. harry says:

    I was thinking that it seemed dodgy and it was……….

    Trabzonspor could have gone in our pot, i was saying this with my boys as we watched and i couldnt understand why they just placed them in the other group and left dortmund for us, farce as usual…..

  219. RockyLives says:

    London
    Fair points about Song. I was not criticizing him – last night in the first half he had to play a different role.
    I just think that he has his best games when he plays in a more conservative way (or, more accurately, is asked to play that way).
    I agree that against weaker opposition he can push forward more – but not at the risk of leaving us exposed. It was against the ‘weaker’ teams that we messed up in last season’s run-in.

  220. London says:

    Rocky

    Poor wording on my behalf I didn’t mean to imply that you were criticising Song.

  221. RockyLives says:

    I didn’t really think you were implying that London – but I wanted to make my comment about Song clearer.

    Whenever he has played with a progressive remit I have no doubt that that was how he was instructed to play by AW.

  222. Illybongani says:

    Morning all – special big up to Emmanual Adebayor this morning. If my dad had been racially abused and my mother had had her integrity (and her day job) brought into question, I don’t think I could have forgiven those that did so. I really for the life of me can’t figure out how he is a big enough man to cope with it…

    Welcome back to North London Emmanual, you and the Spuds are a match made in heaven.

  223. evonne says:

    Morning Illy – Ade shouldn’t have to put up with such abuse. As much as I dislike him, he should not be abused. Boo him, call him a couple of names, but don’t bring his family or race into it.

  224. Illybongani says:

    hopefully, we’ll show a little bit more class when he comes to the Emirates

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas,
    I can’t be bothered with conspiracy theories/blame the ref/everyone hates us stuff, but the draw was mighty odd at the end.
    Three of us huddled over my computer. Two balls left and we’re all saying not Dortmund, give us Trebor and suddenly out pop Trebor and woosh there in the other group. There was a simultaneous trio of “eh?”‘s.

  226. evonne says:

    Illy – yeah, we will. I liked it when the fans turned up at the bridge few years ago with huge £50 notes, waving them at Cashley. That was classy :)

    On the other hand no Spurs player deserves good treatment :)

  227. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Let’s pretend stories are true of our increased bid for Hazard. Lets also pretend stories are true and that he does not want to leave Lille. What do we make of the fleet footed wizard?
    Do we respect his loyalty or do we think “how dare you not want to join the Mighty Gunners you small minded unambitious village idiot”.

  228. evonne says:

    Micky – well, if he is such a half-wit, that he doesn’t realise WHO we are, then we don’t want him anyway, defo

  229. Rasp says:

    Bad news, I have just read that today’s intended post has been withdrawn and so we have no offering for today at this time – anyone fancy penning an emergency post?

  230. evonne says:

    Plus we probably would do better with a EPL player, so that he can hit the ground instantly, like on Sunday :)
    All the foreign players need time to settle down, 5 years in some cases

  231. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Naturally I agree, but what an arrogant bunch of blinkered hypocritical sods we football fans are :-)

  232. evonne says:

    Micky – speak for yourself :) I am lovely, well balanced and unbiased, ask Red Arse

  233. Rasp says:

    Panic over, we have another gem from Rocky in the bank although it’s a shame to wste it on a friday.

  234. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    If you are really bored then write a satyrical piece laced with links, sources and some say’s etc of a plethora of signings. Naturally the headline could include words such as Modric, Yaya and Vidic set to join, and we could all spend the day behind London’s sofa with the mini bar open having upset all rival fans.

  235. London says:

    Modric, Yaya and Vidic………my sofas not that big.

  236. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    Excuses, excuses!
    You just don’t want us round fouling your thick carpets.

  237. London says:

    Or emptying my mini bar

  238. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    I fail to see how any Rocky post could ever be a waste. What’s wrong with a Friday. Sounds like pure dayism to me.

  239. MickyDidIt89 says:

    London,
    You have a bicycle and powerful legs,and it would be but a short trip to Lidgates to secure pies for the lads and there’s a very respectable offie next door.
    We would be prepared to chip in.

  240. evonne says:

    Forget Hazard, Jagielka and Samba, but how about Lucho Gonzalez and Marvin Martin? Ever heard of them? Me neither

  241. evonne says:

    Micky – lads?

  242. Red Arse says:

    Hi London, :-)

    I was trying to smoke Total out yesterday, without success!

    All Dutch people, including the footie messiah Bergy, love dogs. Fact!!

    You have probably heard that fantastic story of the dog who saved Holland from disastrous flooding by sticking his paw in a hole in the dyke.

    It became Dutch law afterwards that everybody must love dogs.

    TA is a self confessed dogdisliker and hence he is clearly an imposter and a Danish agent provocateur! :-)

    Simples. :-)

  243. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I bet whoever withdrew his Post, on Wednesday, is relieved it won’t be wasted on a Friday either.

  244. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    You are one of the lads in my own version of pc speak.

  245. evonne says:

    Micky – fantastic, I always wanted to be one of the boys

  246. Rasp says:

    Morning RA, Mickey,

    Its tough doing the admin, I’m quite happy to step back if anyone else wants the chore. Having said that Wiggy has been brilliant and helped out immensely lately.

    Some posts are time sensitive and others are feelgood or nostalgic and those are the ones that are saved for the low traffic days. Rocky’s is time sensitive but will have to go out on a low traffic day or we may not be able to use it again – get my drift :)

  247. evonne says:

    So, does anyone know anything about Lucho Gonzalez or Marvin Martin?

  248. Rasp says:

    WG, I have just seen the pic you have added to the post – I had photoshopped a more punchy image, but I guess yours shows more class :?

  249. evonne says:

    yeah, morning to you too Rasp :(

  250. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    I always had you down as a fully signed up Lad. There is a downside. I am organising my AA Away Day Roadtrip to Marseille, and it appears there are limitied single rooms, and it also appears that you and Peaches have fallen into the pool marked “must share”. I can’t honestly say the draw was not rigged.

  251. evonne says:

    Micky – I am to share with Peaches or with someone else?

    Seriously, I recon the draw was fixed?

  252. evonne says:

    micky – sorry, ‘I recon’ should be ‘you recon’

  253. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evonne,
    Ah ha, the results of the draw need to remain confidential at this point, however, if its of any comfort, RA was in a Pot on his own marked “Totally Incompatible”.

  254. Rasp says:

    New post ……..

  255. Rasp says:

    Morning evonne,

    I didn’t greet you earlier because I was addressing points made by Micky and RA regarding the timing of posts.

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