Arsène’s Depleted Armada Sets Sail for Porto

After the seemingly endless winter break we finally have the chance to get back to the hunt for European glory. I will start today’s post with some stats about our opposition.

After 10 home games in Liga Sagres, Porto have yet to lose, averaging 2.4 goals per game. They lie 3rd, 9 points behind Benfica. With an 87% win rate in 19  games, they have conceded just 14 goals.

Captained by Bruno Alves, the tough tackling central defender is the current La Liga Player of the Year. Porto have two strong frontmen; Hulk, a 23 y.o. Brazilian who is reported to be a €20m target for Man Utd (and us!). Top scorer is Columbian Radamel Falcao, who has scored 20 goals in 26 games since signing for Porto in the summer.

Five years ago led by Mourinho, Porto became World Club Champions. In 2009 they won the Portugese League and Cup double and went out of the Champions League in the Quarter Finals to Man Utd, having drawn 2-2 at OT and very unluckily losing 1-0 at home.

Porto are a different club to the team that lost to MU having sold 7 of their 2008/9 first team squad including the sale of CF Lisandro Lopez to Lyon for a staggering €24m rising to €30m !

We played them in last season CL group stages losing 2-0 away and winning 4-0 at home in what was one of our best performaces of the season. However our away defeat should be put into perspective as we had already qualified and played a weakened team including Ramsey, Silvestre, Djourou and Vela.

This season Porto easily qualified for the CLQF’s coming second in their group, despite losing home and away to Chelsea (aggregate 2-0)

We go into the game with injuries to Song, Gallas, Almunia and Arshavin. Song will be a big miss as will Gallas. Both have been immense this season. The injury (finger?) to Almunia should allow Fabianski to get a run of games, develop some confidence and unity within the defence, and finally take the shirt from Coco. I am sure Almunia is a great chap, but he doesn’t inspire confidence, something we have seriously lacked since Mad Jens left. My guess is that Sol will partner TV, and it is here we may have problems. Porto do not play with one big striker to hold up play, Hulk and Falcao being pacy, skillful forwards, not the best style of striker for the ageing Sol. However, Campbell has enormous experience and looks very sharp. plus he is brilliant at marshalling his defence.

I expect Denilson to play ahead of Ramsey. Diaby is a central figure for us, he has started to impose himself upon the team, and with Porto’s stated intention of double marking Cesc, we will be looking to Diaby to create the space for Cesc. Wenger usually plays 4-5-1 away in the CL, so Bendtner will be asked to play the holding CF role, with Walcott joining him for the last 20 minutes.

We will undoubtedly struggle for goals and will look to our midfielders to link with Nik. We don’t have a TH14 to score the breakaway solo goal (who can forget that amazing goal against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu?) and as much as I like Bendtner, he doesn’t have it in his game. That said, we will attack, it is the Arsenal way, and of course we need the vital away goal.

My team would be:

Fabianski
Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
Denilson Cesc Diaby Rosicky
Nasri Bendtner

It is exactly 200 years (and 6 months) since the Duke of Wellington went over to Portugal and defeated a combined French and Portugese force at the battle of Duoro, just outside Porto. Porto was the beginning of his successful Peninsular campaign which ended with the vanquishing of Napoleon’s armies. Wellington’s rewards were the gold and silver plate that one can see at Apsley House , 1 Marble Arch. This time the French are on our side, and Wengers ultimate reward may be silver as well.

And as everyone knows The Duke was a renowned Gunner …..

By Big Raddy

143 Responses to Arsène’s Depleted Armada Sets Sail for Porto

  1. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Fine piece Raddy. A draw with an away goal will do just fine tonight. Sol will be comfortable in the defence and Fab in goal should not be a problem.

  2. London says:

    Morning BR

    A very interesting read with a couple of surprising facts: I am amazed to learn that Lyon ever got themselves in such a position where they thought they could afford to pay 24 million euros for one player, I don’t know the player but that is a lot of money for what is a provincial club really. The other thing is the Duke was a renowned gooner; although, I don’t know why that one shocks me, the man obviously had good taste.

  3. rene says:

    morning all oohh denilson playing than i will not watch the match

  4. London says:

    Morning Rasp

    I may be doing BR a disservice here but did you come up with the title?

  5. Rasputin says:

    Morning rene,

    Haha, yes you will 😉 Denilson will probably be OK in this type of game – who knows he may play Ramsey?

  6. Rasputin says:

    Morning London,

    Guilty 😳

  7. London says:

    Morning Rene

    Welcome to AA, it is at times like this Arsenal supporters should get behind the team and hope they do well, in Denilson’s case that should read pray.

  8. London says:

    Rasp

    There is a job at a newspaper somewhere with your name on it.

  9. London says:

    My guess at Wenger’s team is slightly more controversial.

    ———–Fabianski
    Sagna, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy
    Eboue, Denilson, Cesc, Diaby, Nasri
    ———–Bendtner

  10. Morning all

    Football – thank goodness 🙂

    Of course we have to have new injuries don’t we, I wonder when the last time was we played the same team in consecutive games. At least Denilson is fit 😉

    Thanks Raddy for the post, you know such interesting things.

    An away goal is crucial, a couple would be fantastic, they haven’t played for a week and they’ll have some lovely sunshine today hopefully.

    I’m looking forward to the game.

  11. Rasputin says:

    Morning peaches,

    A reporter on the radio before the manure game said we hadn’t started with the same team consecutively for 101 games? I can’t belive that is true, but if it is, it is a reflection of the injury merry-go-round that has blighted us for the last 4 years.

  12. Rasputin says:

    London,

    I wouldn’t call your team controversial at all. If EE doesn’t start, I’d like to see him come on to add some ‘direct energy’ to the attack. Poor old Denilson has taken all the ‘fan pressure’ off EE.

  13. any kind of score draw will more than suffice.

    i would maybe even take a 2-1 defeat.

    the away goal is just so important… as Real M will find to their cost this season.

  14. Rasputin says:

    Morning SH,

    Very true. AC will need to beat manure by a clear 2 goals at OT to go through … not gonna happen.

  15. Livers says:

    Like the look of the side London. Eboue brings power (when on his feet) rather than Walcott who sadly seems to be going backwards

  16. Big Raddy says:

    It was a toss up as to whether to include EE in place of TR. In the end I decided that without the natural attacking flair of Arshavin we need more bite than Eboue.

    However, Eboue’s natural defensive talents may be required tonight.

    Looking at Porto’s team it is hard to understand why they are struggling in La Liga. They have two very good forwards and an excellent tight defence.

    But I was happy when we drew them, and remain so.

  17. London says:

    Morning Livers

    Yeah, having Eboue there gives us a bit more defensive steel as well as having the advantage of his speed enabling him to get forward quickly to support Bendtner.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Livers.

    Give poor Theo a break, he has only started 4 games this season, of course he has gone backwards.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    London.

    I hate it when AW goes on the defensive before the game starts, it gives the initiative to the opponent and that we fear them.

    I like us to attack from the start and playing without a recognised scorer we need at least the potential to score!

    I wonder how many goals EE, NB, Nasri, TR have scored between them this season?

  20. London says:

    Walcott is still like a puppy with a ball, he runs too fast to meet it because of which can’t control it and is unable to take it with him as his excessive speed propels him past the ball.

    Still, if we are winning or drawing with twenty minutes to go, Porto will come onto us which will leave space and when there is space it is Theo time.

  21. Livers says:

    Hey Big Raddy, Theo’s been with us for 3 and a bit years and still hasn’t proved to be a starter for me. I’ll support him like I do all of the side. He must have been fit against Chelsea and was terrible.dom as he was at Anfield..

    Also BR I understand Porto have their star talisman fighting to be fit and Hulk hasn’t played since Dec

  22. London says:

    BR

    Wenger actually employs the same tactics in European away games as did Chelsea and Manu recently enabling them to beat us: defensive to start and hit us/them on the break. Wenger always does it.

    The best example of this is the game you mentioned above which I had the good fortune to attend, away in the Bernabeu. 4.5.1 again with Henry hitting them on the break. This game remains my all time favourite Euro away night.

  23. Livers says:

    London, unless Walcott plays I fail to see the pace to hit them on the break.

    I agree Wenger played 1 up top that year but not after however..

  24. London says:

    Livers

    My guess is that Wenger will try and use the pace of Eboue.

  25. tommystout says:

    Hello everyone
    Nervous about tonight, i think londons spot on with the team.
    Just hope bendtner has his clinical boots on, and fab2 is man enough to command his box.
    A pet hate of mine is big grins for criminally missed chances, so i don’t want to see any happy faces til we’ve stuck that ball in the net, thank you (3 times!)

  26. London says:

    Hello Tommystout

    That would make Bendtner, Nikki Clinical boots instead of Nikki Pink boots.

    On a more serious note, Fabainski is a better goal keeper than he showed in his last outing, I think what was forgotten that night was that he was coming back from injury and that was his first game in a while; I expect a more solid performance this evening.

  27. tommystout says:

    me too, i like fabianski, i just think with his last game he let the nerves and pressure get to him. In my opinion he got very close to getting the no1 jersey when he last had that decent stretch of games… not getting almunias spot knocked his confidence.
    I like the way (bar chelsea) he comes for the ball and usually looks to catch.
    I hope he does well.

  28. Rasputin says:

    Hi tommystout,

    You must’ve hated Ade as much as me then. He’d beam from ear to ear every time he missed a sitter – I’d much prefer a Drogba-type scowl that means I’ll nail you next time you b’stard.

  29. Rasputin says:

    According to the Arsenal site, Almunia has been playing with injuries for weeks and has had to be patched up and given injections to make games …. FFS why????

  30. London says:

    That Almunia story beggars belief

  31. tommystout says:

    yeah adebayor drove me up the wall with it, and especially 6 or 7 chances to score…
    Vela is a bit of a grinner too!
    Yeah well if thts true about wenger then i don’t think he can think much of almunias under studys.

  32. Rasputin says:

    I think the story has a large slice of PR in it …. It’s bigging up Almunia and saying …..”He’s not been dropped and he’s been a real trooper playing through the pain”

  33. Rasputin says:

    I do think away games in the CL allow players who are not having the best of times in the domestic league to exonerate themselves. I remember Diaby giving a storming performance when he couldn’t pass wind at home.

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Ras. It would be strange to drop Almunia after what was probably his best game for us this season .

    “he couldn’t pass wind” LOL

  35. Rasputin says:

    Good point Raddy, it would be churlish to criticise Al on the basis of his last game. He’s always had the ability to pull off incredible saves. It’s his lack of bravery and presence that deep down stems from his personality that stops him being the archetypal ‘mad keeper.

    Goalies should be like rock drummers – scarily fearless and manic 😉

  36. tommystout says:

    yeah cozy powell go yeah….
    rick allen a no no though with his disability!

  37. Rasputin says:

    Keith Moon, John Bonham – now you’re talking 😛

  38. Rasputin says:

    Rooney was good last night 🙄 I particularly liked the way he kneed and then trod on their defender’s head?

  39. I don’t understand the Almunia story at all – why was he playing through pain when we have 2 goalkeepers that could step up – hes been dropped but as you say Raddy why drop him when he just played a good game.

  40. tommystout says:

    The goalkeeping story has been difficult to comprehend all season, so i wouldn’t try to work out whats happening with this latest spoke in the saga.

  41. Rasputin says:

    The last time Sol played in the CL was the 2006 final and he scored …… no, it couldn’t happen ……

  42. tommystout says:

    That vermaelan leap must be a photoshop…. is that real?

  43. Livers says:

    Or tinchy stryder was marking him..

  44. London says:

    Ohh please let it happen, let Sol score; it will make writing the report so easy. My concern at the moment with the team formation that I anticipate is that the game could be duller than the first half against Liverpool and that was really dull.

  45. London says:

    My score prediction for tonight is 1-1 and yes I accept all criticism that comes with such a woosy prediction.

  46. Big Raddy says:

    No prediction from me. Iput a curse on the boys whenever I predict a win.

    But I will be bedecked in lucky clothing this evening

  47. Rasputin says:

    tommystout,

    The TV leap is undoctored I promise you. I love the look of awe on the other players face.

    My score prediction is even more woosy than London’s – an edgy nil – nil. Everything to play for in the second leg.

  48. Rasputin says:

    London,

    Do you write your posts in drafts or paste them from word/similar? The only reason I ask is that if I can get an idea of your theme, I can add some pics for you to consider. As always, the final decision lies with the author.

  49. Lots of pics of Sol – rasp – thats all you have to worry about 🙂

  50. Rasputin says:

    On that subject, isn’t the Porto logo the worst? I can’t see how they can reproduce that on shirts etc. It looks like a schoolboy designed it.

    Like many, I wasn’t that enamoured with the new Arsenal badge at first, but now I think it is great – it has a classy modern feel, simple yet tasteful.

  51. Rasputin says:

    Anyone who wants cheering up ahead of the game – have a look at the ‘arry clip in the Video Library … what a norf ‘n souf? 😆

  52. Big Raddy says:

    I disagree Rasp. I think the “new”logo is crap.

    There was absolutely nothing wrong with the old one. It had tradition, history and style. Once again Corporate Arsenal besmirch our past for commercial reasons – they couldn’t copyright the old logo.

  53. Rasputin says:

    OK Raddy, my thinking is ….new ground ‘The Emirates’, state of the art training facility, new style of football, new logo …. follow my drift.

    I’m sure you’ve read ‘Arsenal, the Making of a Modern Football Club’ I agree tradition is important. Purely for graphical reasons, the new logo is more ‘useable’ but you can’t please all the people etc etc

  54. Big Raddy says:

    True Rasp.

    Quiet around the blogs today.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Nik came good tonight? If he doesn’t it will not be for lack of effort.

  55. Rasputin says:

    Pre-match tension Raddy – I hate it. I just want the next 2 hours to evaporate.

    I agree. Nik has been a much more hard working and creative player this season and continues to improve IMO.

    I know you are a fan and I remember you remarked a while back when I said he could be one of the pivotal players that decides our propspects for the rest of the season that I was expecting too much of him.

    I think that when he believes he will bury every chance that arises … he will! His finishing is the only key factor missing. Similarly, I watched Huntelaar last night and he had several half chances and fluffed them all, but he will be a top striker too.

  56. Big Raddy says:

    I agree on all counts., particularly the time factor!

    To judge a player on one or two poor performances is so short term.

    I know Denilson is the doubters flavour of the month, but he is a fine player. He has shown that at the tender age of 21, he can compete in the EPL. I would prefer to see him continue his development from the bench, but having a couple of stinkers does not make him “shite”. And we need a squad, of which he will be a valuable element – maybe not an automatic first choice but all teams need a water carrier

  57. Rasputin says:

    George Graham has said that we will be lucky to get a draw. These games often produce unexpected heroes – a brace for EE, what’d be the odds?

  58. Rasputin says:

    It’s a shame that Denilson didn’t get to learn alongside someone like Vieira – and Theo didn’t have more time with TH14, you couldn’t get better role models for their respective positions.

  59. Hi guys

    Agree about Theo spending time with Thierry not only to help him with his ball skills but to teach him how to use his pace effectively – he doesn’t really have much idea other than go………………

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Give poor Theo a break. If he gets a run of games – he will show us why Capello & AW rate him so highly.

    If he has been waiting 75 minutes to get on and is told “burn the FB, he is exhausted”, then of course Theo is going out there like a blue arsed fly

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Whose fault is it that PV or GS & TH are not around to teach the kids?

    IMO selling Silva was a stupid move.

  62. Alfa says:

    Hi all, nice piece BR. As a student of the Napoleonic wars you’ll know that the Duke essentially adopted a defensive, counter-attacking strategy in that campaign, just like Arsene is claiming to. He let the French box him into a corner, using up all their energy and supplies then counter-attacked and didn’t stop until he got to Paris.

    So that’s a 3-0 win for us then.

    He did also build 3 huge defensive trenches first and without Song that might be what we need.

    Tommy, Rene, Livers, you’ll get used to my predictions if you hang around, often they attract the same comments as my financial analyses 🙂

  63. Big Raddy says:

    The Duke had the advantage of Napoleon fighting on two fronts, but I couldn’t figure out how to include that with no Arshavin !

  64. Rasputin says:

    3 midfielders gone (GS, MF, AH) and not one added to the squad in one summer was what forced me to turn to blogging to vent my spleen.

    Hi Alfa, thanks for your expertise in setting up the NN link 😛

  65. London says:

    Rasp

    It takes me about three hours to write a report as I have said many times I am a very slow writer. After the game I write for about an hour, although, all I usually amass is a collection of thoughts and by that time I am too tired to put it into a cohesive piece of writing; so, I get up at seven in morning and write for a further two hours. This supporting Arsenal malarkey takes dedication.
    I never read anyone else’s report until I have posted my own, then I become curious. Yogi is obviously a writer of some quality; I can only assume that he was or still is a professional writer but his reports lack something for me, it is bit like reading a report in one of the broad sheets: a bit soulless. At the opposite end of the soul spectrum, I like Jonjon’s passion. I used to like Pedro’s reports but he has changed his formula; he now describes passages of play which is easier to write but a bit dull, I used to like his reports when they were opinion, that is, when they were his own opinion rather than when he was so clearly having to toe the party line which has the same effect on me as Adebayor used to have on you. I like Gunnerblog’s reports; he obviously goes to most of the games but lacks humour. At the opposite end of that scale there is Arseblog whose match reports I have just started reading again; he hardly ever goes to a game but he is usually quite funny. I do however have a personal favourite: there is one person who spots things that no one else does — our very own Kelsey, his match summary’s are superb.
    Still to answer your question, I use word and copy and paste it in when I am ready. If you want to add some photos maybe put them in a draft, titled Porto and if I like them I will put them in, if you want to adjust them later be my guest ahh and while we are on the subject of adjustments there is another thing: if you see a spelling mistake or notice a syntax error, please correct it.

  66. London says:

    Hi Alfa

    That was hilarious, I know a good bit of Barnet humour when I see it 😉

  67. Rasputin says:

    Blimey London, how long did it take you to write that? 😆

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Interesting read London.

    It took me about 2 hours to write the above including an hour of research.

    I have fave blogs (obviously), and have read our Irish friend almost every day since inception. – he can really make me laugh.

  69. Paul says:

    I like your sight and points, but la liga is the spanish league. The Portuguese is Liga Sagres or the Portuguese Liga

  70. Rasputin says:

    Arseblog is my favourite too. He invents the best insults of anybody I’ve ever read. He also manages to report accurately, criticise without malice and praise without hysteria (our players that is). After I’ve read his post, I always feel even when things aren’t going well that with gooners like him around, I’m not alone 😉

  71. Big Raddy says:

    Thanks Paul…. you are the first to mention it. I took the title of the league from other sources … must check first!

  72. London says:

    Welcome Paul

    Come back after the game and give us some thoughts

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Well said Ras. He has a wonderfully imaginative use of swear words!!

  74. London says:

    I have favourite bloggers as well, I know that Frank is not to everyones liking but he makes me howl with laughter. Sometimes I go on that site and just read his comments from start to finish, I find it difficult to dislike someone that won’t have a bad word said about Arsenal; although, that said, I’m not sure I would want to blog with him. I also like SharkeySure, a very clever man, not forgetting all the regulars on here, of course, and if I’m honest a couple of estranged cousins but hey ho……..I either get aggressive or mushy before games I have obviously gone for the latter today.
    Male PMT……Pre Match Tension.

  75. London says:

    Come on you rip roaring, goal scoring, glory grabbing Gunners.

  76. Rasputin says:

    As if by magic, Raddy’s post now lists ‘Liga Sagres’ – mistake, what mistake?

    Thanks for the info Paul. I assume you are a gooner! where did you come by you’re knowledge of Portuguese football?

    London, have you been partaking of the firewater already?

  77. Big Raddy says:

    Just off to fix the wife some dinner…. firewater…. mmmm ….. good idea

  78. London says:

    No fire water = Mushy…..fire water = defensive.

  79. London says:

    Or if we lose, aggresive.

  80. Rasputin says:

    London, have you seen the vid of ‘arry in the video library?

  81. London says:

    It’s a good idea the video library, arry is such a car dealer. I liked the Arshavin one though. Right game time, later.

  82. Rasputin says:

    Enjoy the game London. The video library is just a comment box, anyone can add a video if they choose.

  83. Just back from the Emirates… was lucky enough to get an invite to ask Tony Adams a question for a new ATVO show… an audience with

    WOW – an afternoon all those who attended will never forget.. and an afternoon full of startlingly honest and expansive chat from TA6

    i assure you, a lot of what he spoke will not make the final edit!!

    i am still gobsmacked with the underlying anti arsene stance he took

    going to settle down and watch the porto game.. but i will put up a full report of this afternoon on my blog later tonight.

    amazed with some of the stuff Big tone came out with… he certainly loves the club.. but he has 100% lost faith in wenger!!

    FACT!!!

  84. Rasputin says:

    Told you he’d score London 😛

  85. Rasputin says:

    Why are we playing the game at this break-neck pace?

  86. it’s good to play at this pace

    3-3 will do us fine

  87. away goals away goals away goals

  88. Big Raddy says:

    Settling down after a dreadful start. Poor Fab2.

    We look much the better team

  89. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to your report SH.

    I have met TA socially a number of times. Top bloke but scarily intensive

  90. Rasputin says:

    Sorry to say that Denilson is currently the weakest link

  91. one of the stories big tone told was about a funeral of an arsenal staff member 2 years ago…

    wenger and george graham had to be pulled apart!!!

    arguing about tactics 😆

    brilliant afternoon, tone is just TOO honest.

  92. BR – first time i have met him, he is immense.. my god the passion for this club the man has.

    unreal… he feels left out by arsene.. made that abundantly clear.

  93. Big Raddy says:

    I didn’t notice Den was playing !!

  94. Rasputin says:

    I wish Rosicky would shoot more often.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Fab getting kicked every time he gets the ball. Come on Ref

  96. Rasputin says:

    Clichy still making silly mistakes.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    Great play Sol

  98. Sols a Gooner – what a player, I love him.

    Another before half time would be wonderful

  99. totally PMSL 😆

    traore smirking… kung fu kid loves a bit of violence

  100. good half, we dominated.

    diaby is just a monster for us now, we miss him more than cesc when he does not play.

  101. London says:

    Watch closely, Denilson is doing a good job.

  102. Rasputin says:

    Sorry, don’t agree, the analysis on Sky is currently proving that he is not…….

  103. Rasputin says:

    Sol & Cesc my men of the match so far.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Porto are dirty. This ref needs to start giving out some yellow.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Lovely play from Sagna

  106. Big Raddy says:

    That was a clear penalty on TR

  107. this is just not right

    100% pen to tom, then that 😦

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Apalling refereeing. We were playing to the whistle. Sol wasn’t 10 yards away. It was a rolling ball when the free kick was taken

  109. that sequence of events will leave a mighty bitter taste.

  110. Big Raddy says:

    We will hammer this lot at THOF assuming we get a decent ref, and that this clown doesn’t give them another

  111. horrible!!!

    finally they replay the TR pen shout…

    100000% pen, no question. 😦

  112. Big Raddy says:

    I absolutely detest homer Refs, and this guy is appalling.

  113. Rasputin says:

    Denilson having a much better second half.

  114. Big Radhttps://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/arsenes-depleted-armada-sets-sail-for-porto/#comment-1474dy says:

    Come on boys, we need to up the tempo again

  115. Rasputin says:

    Theo showing the midfield how to track back……

  116. Big Radhttps://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/arsenes-depleted-armada-sets-sail-for-porto/#comment-1474dy says:

    Good call bringing on Vela. Nik was tiring

  117. Big Radhttps://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/arsenes-depleted-armada-sets-sail-for-porto/#comment-1474dy says:

    Poor Fab. He has taken a beating this evening

  118. Rasputin says:

    Diaby is back to his old worst self in this second half.

  119. Rasputin says:

    The worst refereeing performance I’ve seen this season. He took the ball out of Fab2’s hands to set them up for the quick free kick. He’s supposed to hold up his whistle so that the players all know to wait for him to blow.

  120. diaby tired badly in that 2nd half

  121. tommystout says:

    poor fab2
    i’m glad it wasn’t worse than 2.1, we’ll do’em at home!

  122. strong words from young cesc

    he is losing heart 😦

  123. Rasputin says:

    Cesc’s TV interview sounded like a man who sees his future with a team that does not indulge in ‘schoolboy defending’

  124. Rasputin says:

    We need a world class keeper, end of.

  125. man.. supporting arsenal is heart breaking stuff.

  126. Paul says:

    Raddy and London thanks for your earlier welcome! We badly need a top class keeper, our best seems to be the youngster at Brentford (on loan). Shame we didn’t pull out al the stops and sign Given when he was available. I didn’t think Denilson played that bad. I felt we left Clichy on his own too much, as in no back up.

    We should beat them at home comfortably! Hulk to get sent off!

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Paul. I agre, we will beat them at home with a decent Referee.

    The catalogue of errors he made for their second goal is ….. gggrrrrr

    & the Porto player who scored was offside!!

  128. Big Raddy says:

    If Cesc goes we will survive. He wasn’t at his best this evening though his energy level was immense ,,, he was everywhere.

    MOM…. Sol. Just fantastic and a brilliant signing …… I was wrong.

  129. the difference in luck between us and manure during the wenger/fergie years is simply amazing.

    the last 24 hours epitomise it perfectly.

    viz-a-vis scholes goal, portos 2nd following blatant pen not given to us.

    sickening, so sickening.

  130. Big Raddy says:

    Come on SH. We bossed the game IMO. Two stupid mistakes cost us.

    But would you play Fabianski again v Sunderland? Or ever?

    Poor AW is getting an absolute slating on the other sites …. thank goodness I can blog here on a site that doesn’t just work on a knee jerk basis.

    We are in the hunt for the EPL, and have a great chance of progressing in the CL. Nothing has changed.

    Keep the Faith

  131. i feel for the team and AW badly tonight

    we got done by a seriously poor ref!

    i feel for fabinski aswell, young lad has awesome talent.. but like a lot of young talent… try too hard to prove themselves able.. and the opposite comes true.

    i like fabinski, he recovered from the early goal, and made some smart smaves later on.

    if i had to back any goalie at the club to save a pen for my life… he would be my selection easily.

    just needs to build up some confidence and he will fly.

  132. going to get a hot drink on the go and console myself with by writing up the report from this afternoon, TA6 told some corking stories filled with humour.

    should bring the smile back.

  133. Big Raddy says:

    I agree but one more mistake and his career is over at THOF. The fans will not allow a talent to develop.

  134. I can’t believe how arrogant and rude Jamie Rednapp was talking over David Platt – is there history between those two – it was embarrassing to watch

  135. Big Raddy says:

    Looking forward to London’s post.

    The Ref last night has a record of appalling decision making – he was the ref who missed the TH handball ( you must love him Irish!)

  136. Alfa says:

    SH, I enjoyed your post, sounds like TA was speaking his mind more than you might expect at such an event.

  137. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    I’d like to apologise to you all in advance for the things I’m likely to be saying today 😦

  138. London says:

    New Post

  139. tommystout says:

    i was bigging up fabianski all day yesterday, gutted for the lad! i think he’ll be a great keeper one day but not for us unfortunately. Maybe wengers policy with bringing through the ranks don’t work for keepers. maybe you have to buy worldclass in that department as any bad mistake generally leads to a goal, where as an outfield starlet generally gets a little more leaway. Should have got Given when we had the chance.
    Gutted for Sol too, i thought he was a monsta last night. Unfortunately he wont be remembered for the solid performance.

  140. Panic Attack says:

    lol a few of the remarks bloggers post are a bit spacey, every so often i think whether they realistically read the pieces of article and posts before placing a comment or whether they simply gloss over the content title and write the very first ideas that pops into their brain. anyway, it is actually useful to read intelligent commentary occasionally in contrast to the identical, old opinion which i sometimes notice on the net.

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