O’Porto’Unity Knocks ….. I mean that most sincerely folks

Big game tonight and a very interesting situation. We all know how our hapless Pole ruined what would have been a comfortable victory, and how we are capable of making a similar mistake at home.

To me this is the crux of the game. I am certain we have “enough in the locker” to score the goals to go through – even without Fabregas. The combination of Diaby and Nasri was very creative at the weekend and with Song replacing our Invisible Brazilian, we will be very strong in midfield.

Upfront we have a wealth of talent. I would start with Arshavin, Bendtner and Walcott. A mixture of pace, guile and stature. Surely Nik cannot go through another 90 minutes spurning chances again?  If I were a betting man I would put a few kroner on AA and NB to score. Plus a brace from Diaby……. I am that confident. Diaby looked very good on Saturday and plays very well just behind the strikers.  Nasri played excellently without Cesc, and looks as though he wants the role as “The Man”

However, it is the  defence that will decide this tie. Should Sol and TV perform as we know they can we should be OK. Almunia has looked slightly less shaky (AW. Please, pretty please, sign a quality GK in summer). Clichy is returning to the form we know he is capable of, Gael retains the ability to make the wrong decision when to venture forward, but has grown incrementally over the past month.  The Right Back position is not so obvious, and it is with considerable surprise that I find myself hesitating about Sagna. – not because of his form, but due to Eboue’s. His combination play with Walcott galvanised  both players. Eboue defended better and Walcott found the space that on other occasions has been occupied by Sagna. Eboue crosses better than Sagna, is a more potent attacking threat but Sagna remains the better defender

My solution is to start with Eboue and  if when we are  ahead after 75 minutes, replace Theo with Sagna , pushing Eboue into midfield.

Tactically, I expect AW to be circumspect at the off, relying once again on our better technique and ball-retention to frustrate Porto. Porto have a poor away record, but as we have seen, quick thinking and fleet footed forwards. We must not forget to defend in the quest for goals ….. they will come. Arsenal are the team with the highest percentage of goals scored in the last 5 minutes, we get stronger through the game – a mixture of conditioning and spirit.

The loss of Fabregas is not just the loss of the best player in World football at the moment, it is also the loss of our Leader, and Cesc has really shown in the last few weeks that his fighting spirit can drive us onwards through adversity. However, the Stoke game exposed other leaders in the team, Sol, Clichy, TV, TR are all men who lead from the front. Should we go out it will not be because of lack of spirit.

Many pundits have expressed doubts about our European potential and fully expect Arsenal to go out tonight. To these chaps  (to a man Northerners with an axe to grind and ex-players who wouldn’t have got a game in our U-18’s , let alone our reserves)  I say, look away tonight, for we shall win comfortably. How do I know? Well, last night I had a vision. – I was lying in verdant fields under a warming sun, when a chap with a brylcreemed head sporting the Arsenal kit of the 1930’s – baggy shorts, proper cotton shirt, striped woollen socks and a hefty pair of boots – sat down next to me. He introduced himself saying in a broad Scottish accent ” I am the late, great Alex James, and I have a message for all Arsenal fans, we shall win 4-1 tonight. We will do it for Aaron Ramsey”

Trouble is , can one trust the words of a dead Scot?

185 Responses to O’Porto’Unity Knocks ….. I mean that most sincerely folks

  1. Morning again all

    Oh no, the first related post generated by wordpress is Denial 😦

    Great post Raddy

    I’m up for it, I think the way the team played without Cesc on Saturday was exactly how we would have wanted it and I agree with Raddy that the defence has to be really focussed tonight.

    Sol’s a gooner 😉

  2. tommystout says:

    i would be very happy with 4.1 tonight….. spooky arsenal!
    Morning Raddy, excellent post.

  3. Rasputin says:

    Top drawer post Raddy!

    4:1 would be fantastic – but you know we always have to make it hard for ourselves. Spare a thought for those of us who are going tonight and will be suffering when we’re 1 nil up with 10 minmutes to go and we have to defend a succession of corners 😳

  4. tommystout says:

    morning peaches, defense is gonna be main point for the rest of the season im sure, everyone must have heard of the gallas setback this morning, gutted. How long is djourou out for?

  5. Alfa says:

    BR, cracker of a post, I love the title. Agree a sound defence is key. Nasri was great on Saturday and I hope he continues in that vein. Burnley played with the back four very high up the pitch which really squashed the play. Last season we would have struggled to break through, this time it was good to see the chips and longer cross field balls mixed in with the one-twos.

    If Porto try the same thing we will win by miles but I expect them to be more adaptable. Like you say BR, we should be able to keep the ball, frustrate them and open them up. We have to take our chances though. ‘Up a bit, left a bit, right a bit, fire!’

    Can’t wait to see Sol back in a red shirt.

  6. Alfa says:

    Forgot my prediction; 2-0, Nik to score.

  7. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all and a quality preview there Radders. I had a vision last night also, but nothing to do with football so I won’t repeat it here.
    Anyhoo, because we need to score early maybe it could be worth reverting to a 4-4-2 tonight.
    My back 4 (the Tapas waiter is all we have) is Sagna, Sol, the Verminator and Clichy. My midfield would be, from left to right, would be Nasri, Diaby, Song and Theo with Bendy up top with the meerkat playing just off him.
    I’m also aware of the risk of changing formation for an important game and I am also in two minds about whether to start Theo or have him on as an impact sub in the second half(to replace Eboue.)
    However – Denilson’s next game should be against Barnet in July.

  8. London says:

    Morning again everyone in AA

    Another fine read BR. I like the way you leave us with a smile at the end.

  9. Alfa says:

    Chary, after Saturday, don’t you think it’s worth giving Theo a run from the start?

  10. Rasputin says:

    This is bad news about Gallas. If Sol can only play one game a week, I’d rather rest him tonight and risk tweety and play Sol against Hull at the weekend. We should be mindful of what Wigan did to pool last night – Hull are in the same mould. I’d settle for a scrappy 1 nil against Hull.

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah Alfa, my initial selection does have him in from the start, it’s just I got a bit indecisive about whether he may be better used as a “shock and awe” tactic against a tiring Porto defence later on.
    So that’s my only indecisive point, oh and the formation. On balance I suppose Theo should start- after the game he had on Saturday it’d be daft not to persist with him from the start.
    But again – please, no Denilson.

  12. tommystout says:

    how long is djourou out for anyone???

  13. tommystout says:

    personally i think he’ll start playing song back in defense b4 sylvester, thats when he’s back from suspension and if gallas injury persists.

  14. Rasputin says:

    Hi Tommy, this is all it says on arse.com ….

    ….Johan suffered a knee injury while on international duty in August and is expected to return to action in two months time. “It is still two months for Johan,” said Wenger on Thursday, February 4. “We have to be patient with him. He is working well and progressing well. But he is not an immediate resource.”

    Yet another injury picked up on international duty 👿

  15. charybdis1966 says:

    TommyS – The Physio room has Djourou out for another 7 weeks, so maybe he’ll be ready for the last 2 or 3 games.

  16. tommystout says:

    thanks for the info guys

  17. charybdis1966 says:

    I don’t know how everyone else feels but looking at the AA logo, how about having the Canon pointing towards the west as it used to ? I know the new badge has it pointing east, but being old school I like it pointed the way it has been most of the time.

  18. Rasputin says:

    Hi chary,

    When I researched the new badge/logo, part of the case for the new badge was that the cannon had been returned to it’s original orientation = pointing to the right.

  19. kelsey says:

    great headline title Raddy. I will be back with my thoughts a little later.

  20. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    Raddy, while you were lying in that field, you weren’t by any chance smoking a big fat joint 🙄

  21. Livers says:

    Morning All… 4-1 would be nice but I’d take a 7-0 now 😉

    Please Please don’t let me curse the last 5 mins being 1-0 up.

    I’m sure we are due a bagful in the first 15 mins of a game…. early goal and early pen with sending off will settle my nerves … god they owe me and easy win !

  22. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yep a great post BR. I hope the “sweaty sock” is right 🙂

  23. charybdis1966 says:

    Yeah, you’re probably right there Raspers, it’s just that I grew up with it pointing to the left and the right pointing canon reminds me too much of the new badge, which I’m not too keen on.

  24. kelsey says:

    An Irishman was terribly overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet.

    “I want you to eat regularly for 2 days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least 5 pounds.

    When the Irishman returned, he shocked the doctor by having lost nearly 60lbs!

    “Why, that’s amazing!” the doctor said, “Did you follow my instructions?”

    The Irishman nodded…”I’ll tell you though, by Jaysuz, I taut I were going to drop dead on dat turd day.”

    “From the hunger, you mean?” asked the doctor.

    “No, from the f**kin’ skippin!”

  25. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I’ll 2nd the canon logo chary.

  26. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Oh there already is a cannon on the logo 😳

  27. Rasputin says:

    Nice one kelsey 😛 we need to have some light relief as I can feel the tension mounting already – I’ll be like someone tap dancing on a jelly by 7:45

  28. charybdis1966 says:

    It was the orientation, Gnarley, which I was moaning about. I reckon there’d be quite a market for Arsenal stuff with the old badge(plus latin motto) on it. I feel there should be a “Casea Immunitas” on the bottom of our current badge.

  29. Irish fella won 6 Million on the lottery.

    So he goes to collect his cheque, when he gets there the lottery organisers tell him there is a slight problem…

    “we can only give you 4 Million this week and send the other 2 Million next week”

    irish fella looked perturbed, and responded..

    “if you’re gonna fuck me around… give me my pound back”

  30. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    So the number of Oz bloggers on here has gone up 50% in less than 24 hours. G’Day evo.

  31. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Actually, no its increased 100%.

  32. Rasputin says:

    Haha, gg, the trouble is you fellas down under come on at about 5:15 a.m. our time. I’ll track down a pic of the oz flag and put it up on the banner shall I? 😉

  33. porto have an appalling record playing away in england.

    but a draw will do em.

    tough night ahead, plenty of tension for fans and players alike.

  34. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes Raspers, that’s a great idea as I can’t but feel good about the nation that gave us AC-DC and Shane Warne – the best leg spinner of all time, not that Chucker(who shall remain namless.)

  35. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ras/chary

    & kylie the singing budgie 😆

  36. Rasputin says:

    They’ve got a chucker and a slinger in that side Chary.

    URGENT!!!! – anyone who is a silver member and wants to buy tickets for the last game of the season against Fulham (the one when we win the prem!!) they’ve almost sold out, so get on the phone/net asap…..

  37. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ok AA’ers I’m off for a nice hot cuppa tea then I’m hitting the sack. Got an early one if you know what I mean. GO GO GUNNERS!!!!

  38. Rasputin says:

    Catch up with you after the game gg ….

  39. blimey.. i would love to do that… go to sleep now and wake up bang on KO time.

    9 hours to go…

  40. charybdis1966 says:

    Forgot about Malinga Raspers, I don’t get why that side always produces bowlers with questionable delivery actions. The weirdest one has to be the South African chinaman bowler called Adams, they called him the duck or something.
    This is going to be tense day/evening I feel, Gnarley is lucky, in a way, to be able to wake up at kick off time.

  41. Rasputin says:

    Didn’t they actually change the rules regarding the acceptable angle of elbow bend to accommodate murali’s action chary? Mind you, we complain about referees getting decisions wrong – the umpires are just as bad. You’ve got to knock all 3 stumps out in some areas to get a decision.

  42. Alfa says:

    Almunia is captain tonight 😕

  43. Rasputin says:

    He may think he is, but Sol will be much more of a captain if he’s playing.

  44. Alfa says:

    Fair enough Rasp but is he really the right choice? I guess he is the senior player but hardly inspiring.

  45. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s right Raspers, the Chucker went to have a load of tests done on the angle of bend at the point of delivery and he got off on a technicality.
    I reckon Sol should be skipper for the night rather than the Tapas waiter – or even the Verminator, a true leader.

  46. Rasputin says:

    I agree Alfa. I think this is Arsène’s way of trying to give him confidence and a sense of responsibilty. With Cesc, it was as much about trying to keep him at the club as with Henry.

  47. dandan says:

    Great post Raddy, I am with you, easier tonight than Saturday.

    Cant watch the game live tonight, my brother the Spud is over from Spain and staying the night, so we are out to dinner.

    Kelsey do you reckon Alex pinched that Brylcreem from Dennis’s Pot, no no you young uns, not Bergy, Compton

  48. Rasputin says:

    I still play a bit of cricket for the village team chary – do you ‘swing the willow’?

  49. Rasputin says:

    Hi dandan,

    I agree, as I said earlier, risky though it is, I’d probably rest Sol tonight so he can play against Hull and hope that Silvestre doesn’t have to deal with anyone with too much pace tonight.

  50. charybdis1966 says:

    No not anymore Raspers, I gave up playing about 10 years ago but I could still play now although my medium pace bowling will no longer be lively but merely leisurely. If there was a team in my area where the over 40’s played I might play again, if the other half would let me.

  51. dandan says:

    Fred Trueman was playing against a country side, batter knicked one to first slip, Fred appeals, not out says there umpire, fred runs in fires one at off stump big thick edge caught point, not out says the umpire.
    Fred puts five yards on his run bowls a swinging yorker knocks all three pins out, Fred looks at umpire… By eck almost ad im that time.

  52. charybdis1966 says:

    Dandan – it must have been that country where Botham reckoned was a good one to send the mother in law to.

  53. Rasputin says:

    I’m rubbish chary, I just love the whole ‘village green cricket thing’. We’re always looking for players, why don’t you don the whites and join us one saturday – it’s N. Hertfordshire – very rural. Our pitch is unbelieveable, there are sheep on the outfield during the week, but we actually prepare quite a good strip. The family could come along and have a picnic and as always, there’s a pub nearby 😉

  54. charybdis1966 says:

    I’m at Junction 4 of the M40 Raspers – how long would it take to get there from my place? By now I’m quite rubbish too(although I was a demon quick in fielder, square leg my speciality) by now but it may not matter too much as you seem to suggest.

  55. Rasputin says:

    Nice one dandan, the Freddie anecdotes are legendary. I’m sure you know the one when he was waiting to go in and the middle order was collapsing due to some hostile pace bowling. Freddie was moaning about what a load of woosies the batsmen were. When his turn came, he was bowled first ball and when he returned to the Pavillion, one of the batsmen he had been slating said “what happened to you then Freddie” – “I slipped on that bit of shit you dropped in the crease” was Fredie’s response.

  56. Rasputin says:

    Just over an hour I reckon chary. You can’t have square leg – that is my specialist position! I won the ‘Catcher’s Cup’ last season 😛

  57. tommystout says:

    point/ gully for me rasps, i’d give you a go for your money !!

  58. charybdis1966 says:

    Oh right Raspers, I was good at mid wicket too, he said modestly. I’ll see how the land lies come the summer but I wouldn’t mind getting the odd game in though.

  59. Rasputin says:

    I can see we may be building a potent AA cricket side here 😆 Your obviously not a very fast runner if you’re at gully then tommy, or is just that you’re an opening bat?

  60. Rasputin says:

    Peaches can make the teas 😳

  61. tommystout says:

    i was a useful bowler, hopeless batter, but pretty safe hands for those point/ gully catches, i packed in years ago… i’d be better off scoring for you or umping!

  62. Rasputin says:

    If only tommy, you’d probably be first name on the team sheet … we’re in the 7th division (= lowest) of the Herts and Essex league. It’s the taking part that counts 😉

  63. charybdis1966 says:

    When I played for my village team in Kent years ago I would go in at 7 or 8 and bowl 2nd or 3rd change however I did open the bowling once, as all our genuine quicks were unavailable, I think we had a 50-something off spinner open from the other end!

  64. where in kent, chary?

  65. Big Raddy says:

    The title was a Rasp/Peaches effort. Thank you…

    And thanks for the kind words.

    I love cricket, my best position is close to the Bar. And in village cricket as near to the cakes and sandwiches as possible.

    The Sagna/Eboue debate is interesting.

  66. sagna has the better defensive record, he will certainly play.. as not conceding will be just as important as scoring tonight.

    them getting the away goal frightens me… big sol needs to be dynamite tonight.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Song at CB? I could see it, but that means a return for Denilson as DM, and I think he needs some bench time followed by a good pre-season, preferably in Spain or Italy 😉

  68. Big Raddy says:

    SH. As I say in the post, I share your concerns.

    I disagree about Sagna as I think Porto will look for a breakaway goal and both Eboue and Sagna have pace. The problems for Sol/Fishface facing the speed of the Porto forwards are obvious

  69. charybdis1966 says:

    SH – near Longfield-Hartley-New Ash Green. It was all a long time ago, as the Vicar said to the judge.

  70. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders, if Song has to go to Centre back, certainly preferable to Fish head, then a midfield trio of Diaby, Rosicky and Nasri should play behind Arshavin, Bendy and Theo up top.

  71. Alfa says:

    I can’t see AW messing the team round as much as this. I think he’ll stick with TV and Tweety, play Song as DM. Sagna and Clichy as full backs.

    The rest of the team as Chary sees it.

  72. charybdis1966 says:

    Alfa – is that on the assumption that Sol is unable to start ?

  73. Big Raddy says:

    I agree with Alfa, though of course we are talking about a hypothetical situation.

    Should AW play Song at CB, he will definitely (IMO) play Denilson, as to play the others would put the team out of balance.

  74. Alfa says:

    And no-one at silly mid off or long leg. 🙄

  75. Franchise says:

    nice title raddy. the sun would be impressed 🙂

  76. Rasputin says:

    Hi Alfa, Franchise,

    I’ll take the credit for the title 😳 but it’s Raddy’s post that deserves the plaudits.

  77. i used to live in wilmington about 10 years ago.. chary.. so know of the areas you speak of quite well.

    did you reside in the area for long?

  78. charybdis1966 says:

    I think we played Wilmington once SfH, I actually lived in Bexley for about15 years or so, but drove out there for games, all the local teams seemed to be unfriendly. The nicest grounds were more towards the Tunbridge Wells/Sevenoaks area – the horrible ones were near Dartford and Stone.

  79. kelsey says:

    dandan if you are still there, I am not a cricket man but a bowls man.lucky enough to have represented both Middleses and Surrey as I moved across the river in later years.

    I once played against Les compton,, what a gentleman, and we spoke for hours about the Arsenal.

  80. kelsey says:

    I think rasp and I are the more negative ones one here and nervous as well. Surely we can’t make two blunders in one game again.

    It is fairly simple for me, clean sheet and we win, otherwise who knows, it could be a long night.

    I will be interested to see if Campbell or Silvestre plays, with the Hull hackers up next.They both won’t play both games.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    I would give Sol the shirt tonight, and Silvestre on Saturday.

    Somehow I trust Sol more – I was going to say he has more Euro experience but he hasn’t.

    Sol has played 46 games in Europe and won zip. Fishface has played 76 times and has a CL winners medal. So perhaps Silvestre should play tonight!

  82. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders, maybe the Fish head of 8 years ago would be an option for tonight, but contrary to the playing abilities of centre backs Fish head seems to have deteriorated alarmingly at the time he should be approaching his prime.
    Is it so impossible for Sol to play today and Saturday, given he has 4 days to recover ?

  83. Big Raddy says:

    I’m in your camp (so to speak) Chary. I have never been happy with signing a Manc reject, if SAF didn’t want him, why did we?

    But AKB !!

  84. London says:

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    Who else of his experience is going to be happy sitting on the bench as 6th choice CB. If nay one can answer me that I will shut up

  85. Ooooooh London was that a cattle prod in the ribs 😆

  86. London – for what its worth I think you should do the Silvestre one not Denilson – mainly because Denilson has been done to death and the Silvestre one is quite close to both of your hearts. Also its possble that we’ll see more of Silvestre now that Gallas is out for a while whereas we’re hoping to be seeing less of Denilson.

  87. dandan says:

    That’s a bit harsh Raddy LOL, As a squad player he wasn’t a bad buy.

    Kelsey. I was cricket mad in my youth played till I was 29 then took business and family seriously and didn’t have time.

  88. charybdis1966 says:

    London, I thought that when we signed Fish head he was 4th choice, behind Gallas, Verminator and Djourou ?

  89. charybdis1966 says:

    Oops ” behind Gallas, Toure & Djourou”

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Hey chaps. Have we forgotten Swiss Phil? He was meant to be 4th choice backup CB.

    No wonder he got pee’d off. There is more to that story than we will ever know…. I bet it is a humdinger.

  91. chary – have a lot of family around bexleyheath way, my bother in law lives on bexley park… which is a new estate but back in your time…

    it was the local nut house.

    nice place to live… lovely oub by a stream in the viallage… the old mill? i think

  92. kelsey says:

    Good idea peaches. It will be a heated debate. By the way we pated 750K for him.

    Anyone know who is out of contract in the Summer. i know Gallas is and I think Eboue.

    Also we could have a debate if we should buy non european players as they seem to be forever flying all over the world and get jet lagged, though in our case it only applies to Vela and The African contingent.

  93. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes SfH, I had quite a few lovely rendezvous’s in the old Mill with a girl from Orpington. They actually retained the ill as a feature of the bar area.
    I remember that place, the Bexley Mental home – boy, were the properties round there blighted because of that.
    Do you know the Greyhound pub in Sutton-at-hone? My cricket club used to go there after winter nets, but I hated it there ‘cos I always felt unwelcome there, grumpy bar maids, grouchy regulars etc…

  94. no never ventured out towards sutton way

    know bexley, bexleyheath, sidcup, welling areas well enough.. even a touch of erith ( argghhh, hell hole )

  95. Rasputin says:

    Ouchh….. did I hear someone mention Silvestre?

    It’s very simple – he’s not good enough – even for 4th choice, and it’s no good saying he’s only for back-up because he’s played (and probably will play) in some very important games for us.

  96. charybdis1966 says:

    Did you ever have the delights of “Tees” nightclub SfH ? That was quite an experience, me and some metal head mates gate crashed that poseur place the Jolly Drayman back in the mid eighties and were not particularly welcome there either. Do I see a pattern emerging !?
    I’m an ex Bexley Grammar school boy so know Welling/Bexleyheath very well.

  97. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey,

    We should definitely offer both Gallas (2 years) and Eboue (4 years) new contracts IMO. EE is obviously a late bloomer and WG won’t mind doing a Sol and playing every other game if required.

  98. charybdis1966 says:

    The Royal Albert in Bexleyheath was another ghastly poseur place which was a nightmare for getting served at SfH.

  99. lol, chary

    know all those places you mention… i first recall the jolly drayman as the polo bar.. it is now called The Drayman and is actually owned by a mate of mine.

    tees, lol, know of it.. never been within 1000 yards of it.. thankfully.

    the earl haig in the pantiles.. another nice boozer in those neck of the woods.

  100. charybdis1966 says:

    I liked the Camden near Bexleyheath Station SfH purely because I was there on the Micky Thomas evening of May 89, obviously surrounded by loads of Manks and dippers but what the hell, they couldn’t wipe the grin from my face.
    The Polo Bar was theJolly Drayman from the before ‘70s I recall – they never wanted the custom of scruffy metal heads like me, it was always Farah’s, white socks and loafers there. Denim jackets with group (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, UFO)patches never went down well there.

  101. proper trouble place the william camden… gun violence is all the rage around there now.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    SH. 4.07. Bother-in-law. How true !

    Problem is that WG is 33, and I can well understand why AW is loathe to offer a 2 yr contract. Would we be better investing the money in another CB?

    Eboue deserves a new contract (if he is at the end of his current one). He has been inspirational this season. Well played that man

  103. charybdis1966 says:

    Suppose it is now SfH – the place they had in the Broadway “The Rat & Parrot”(where I was to see us win the 2002 title at Old Toilet) was more appropriately called “The Rat & Driveby” as it got full of teen gangs most days. It was a nice area when we moved there. I remember someone got stabbed at the Volunteer off the broadway years ago.

  104. Rasputin says:

    Hi Raddy, for some reason I thought WG was 31 (ridiculous when you think about it), so I agree perhaps a 2 year contract would be unwise – although he could play in Italy until 36 quite easily. If WG goes, we will need to sign another CB as Harvaard is not ready to step up yet.

  105. lol chary.. i remember that night.. i somehow found myself that heady late april evening.. watching wiltors stick the goal that won us the league.. in ….

    drumroll….. plumstead… prince of orange.

  106. Rasputin says:

    Less than 3 hours to kick-off. I’m officially ‘tap dancing on jelly now’

  107. London says:

    Gallas, Vermaelen, Djourou, Campbell, Senderos (still an Arsenal player, not silly or pedantic, fact) and then 6th comes Silvestre.

    Anyone who thinks we can find a more experienced player than Silvestre who would sign a contract with Arsenal to be sixth choice is deluding themselves, and young players don’t count we have Esatmand and Bartley. With injuries being what they are his role might just win us the league without him we have kids, which means kiss the silver ware good bye.

    Please don’t come back with he is an ex manc therefore I hate him, that is so childish it is beyond le grove it’s gunnerblog.

  108. charybdis1966 says:

    That’s weird SfH – I lived for a few years off Plumstead Common. Never went to any pubs near there – far too scary for me although I did make homage to the Star on Plumstead common Road, where the Dial Square players used to change before practise on the Common.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp – slight exaggeration – WG is 33 in August.

    Haarvard & Bartley are clearly not ready. JD is will have missed a season and may never be the same player.

    I guess WG has AW over a barrel 😉

  110. kelsey says:

    here’s a classic i found.

    It is unsatisfactory that a team with only one Englishman in it (who rarely plays) should win the League. It is demeaning, it spoils our chances of winning of the world cup, and makes everyone who bangs on and on about successful clubs having an English spine look terribly stupid.

  111. considering you were a cricketer..

    you must have spent plenty of hours in the nets.. on the common?

  112. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. What do you think about that?

  113. charybdis1966 says:

    I had some nets on those at Bostall Woods – I doubt they are still there now SfH. When I was with the club our indoor nets were at Darenth College, Dartford.

    Anyhoo off now to calm my nerves for a few hours.

    C’mon you rip roaring gooners!

  114. yup sorry i meant those nets next to the car park on bostall park.

    enjoy the game.

  115. Rasputin says:

    We shouldn’t waste energy debating a player who we may all be cheering on in a couple of hours time – a topic for another day maybe.

    Let’s agree to differ and concentrate our energies on the mighty Arsenal. If we win through this evening – what am I saying?? … WHEN we win through this evening, I shall have to produce a new widget = Countdown to the CL title 😛

  116. SSN think eboue starts ahead of sagna… rubbish, not a chance.

  117. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Who are you talking about??

    And of course I support anyone wearing the shirt with all my vim and vigour (until thye eff up and then I am shouting at the screen a succession of 4 letter words that my wife doesn’t understand!!)

  118. Big Raddy says:

    SH. I bet you a Peroni. Eboue will start.

  119. You are on… wenger has done that time and time again, rested sagna ahead of the champs league game.. where he then plays.

    Almunia

    Sagna Vermy Sol Gael

    Diaby Song Nasri

    Rosicky Nik B AA23

    leave theo as a weapon to bring on if needed later in the game, we need to be tight and patient in our build up… be VERY surprised if i have not nailed the starting line up… the only one i might get wrong is theo for rosicky.

  120. Rasputin says:

    Raddy, I just didn’t want the Silvestre debate to overshadow the fact that we’re about to take to the pitch on another ‘most important game of the season’ (that’s all of them from here onwards isn’t it?) There was no criticism of your good self implied 😉

  121. Big Raddy says:

    No offence taken Rasp .

    You could well be right SH. But Sagna was certainty it wouldn’t be a gamble, would it?

    I think AA is going to be on fire tonight. He has been a little off colour this year and I expect a return to the scintillating form in which he started the season

  122. Sagna is a certainity in my eyes.. not in yours 😉

  123. Big Raddy says:

    “if” Sagna

  124. less than 120 minutes until we get the line ups.

    rasp.. why not start a daily bloggers bet league as a widget?

  125. Rasputin says:

    That’s a very good idea SH. Alfa would have to be the techy to set it up. Obvioulsly it couldn’t involve money, but we could build up virtual credits. Say we all started with 100 ‘Wengers’. You could bet 10 Wengers at 5:1 say on Theo scoring first and end up with either 90 or 140. At the end of the season, the person with the most Wengers could take me out for a slap up meal 😛

  126. we all get 10 imaginary pounds to bet.. every weekend?

    and midweek?

    we select a bet, with the odds as offered and validated by say oddschecker.com

  127. you beat me to it, rasp

    yup, i like the idea of an arsenal “currency”

    1 wenger = 0.00001 GBP 🙂

  128. and what a great time to be launching this new widget… a week before the biggest punting week of the calendar…

    cheltenham festival

  129. Big Raddy says:

    How many Ljungberg’s in a Sol ?

    Sorry…. that was base and unworthy of a man of my sensitivity and breeding 🙂

  130. Rasputin says:

    ‘Wenger’s Wonga’ 😆

  131. Big Raddy says:

    SH. I loved Chelters, in fact I loved it so much I bought a house and lived there for 10 years. Never missed a Festival in over 20 years.

    Tough to win money there though.

  132. very tough.. get on Sizing Europe in the Arkle… it will be punted on heavily.

    still 7/1 ish.

  133. Rasputin says:

    I’m shocked by you Raddy 🙄

    Right, I’m off to the match … happy viewing to those not lucky enough to be attending.

    To quote Raddy – COYRRG ……

  134. enjoy rasp, got sky sport 2 nice and ready, first can of genius will be popped open at 6 on the dot.

  135. Big Raddy says:

    I am on the White- a cheeky little Chilean number, but will switch to Red (probably an Italian Valpolicella ) for the game.

    It seems to be lucky drinking the Club colours!

    Thanks for the tip SH. I will bet 20 Wengers

  136. get the real Krone’s on, BR 😉

  137. kelsey says:

    i didn’t understand raddy.

    tonight we are 5/2 on yet haven’t overturned an away defeat since 87.

  138. porto have yet to win on uk shored in 14 games… that would have something to do with it kelsey.

  139. 12 games lost 2 drawn

    they are dire on the british isles.

  140. kelsey says:

    good SH

  141. Big Raddy says:

    I am deeply envious SH. Wish I was going to Chelters. I love the first day. The Parade Ring, the Mad Irish, the champagne Country set, etc etc.
    I once met Andy Gray there and spent a couple of hours with him. He knows his jump horses.

    Among others I met were The Queen Mother – a big G&T afficionado, John Francome – who invited me into his box, Mick Channon and loads more.

    But like everything else it has changed beyond recognition with the advent of the Marketing Package and an influx of people who have no idea about racing but want to say “I was at at The Gold Cup etc etc”. More and more stands, more expensive entry, more touts, less value for money betting.

    I better stop – it is becoming a rant!!

  142. Big Raddy says:

    I don’t understand either Kelsey. Must be my age 😉

  143. kelsey says:

    John Francome – who invited me into his box .

    would you like to rephase that raddy 😉

  144. Big Raddy says:

    If you met him Kelsey, you would know how unlikely your inference is!

    He is one of the ultlimate “Lady’s Men”. The George Best of racing…..

    Oh, I wish I was going this evening. Sitting in front of the TV on my own just isn’t the same. There is no outlet for my frustrations and joy

  145. Big Raddy says:

    Sugar. I owe SH a virtual Peroni.

    Sagna starts, so does TR. No Theo.

  146. I’ve had Peronis – off to the game now 🙂

    Sorry I haven’t been around today, catch up later.

    Enjoy the game

    No Theo, or no Theo starting?

  147. Big Raddy says:

    No Theo starting. No Vela on the bench.

  148. kelsey says:

    I have met him Raddy, when we had race horses.His wife was very pretty.

    No Theo he has got a knock,but he’s a sub.. strange.

  149. kelsey says:

    I have suddenly got the double the valium feeling 😉

  150. nailed the team, now i hope the team nail porto.

  151. lol, i dont know him.. but funnily enough i know his ex wife, miriam very well.

    she helped me organise a few days out at the races with emma jones ( another ex female jock, and very pretty and very top heavy 🙂 )

    very sexy lady, oozes that natural charm and sexiness.

  152. Big Raddy says:

    Get in Nik…..

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Deep joy so far…

    Let’s keep it going and give them a right hammering!

  154. blinding half of association football… but sol is looking shakey.. and almunia is bereft of any confidence whatsoever…

    2-0 at HT… but i remain VERY nervous.

    they still only need 1 goal to force this into ET.

    we badly need a 3rd.. and as long as we keep them at bay until the 75th minute… space will then be open for us to kill em on the break very late on.

    just got to watch the opening of the 2nd half.. that falcoa looks tasty and he could unleash at any minute.

  155. 6 cans of genius inside of me.. and still nervous !!

  156. i am disgusted with aa23 attitude as he came off… he did not applaud the crowd who gave him a standing ovation..

    and then he ignored le boss, and walked straight to the bench.

  157. kelsey says:

    I have to agree with that.However nasri was magnificant and his goal will be replayed a thousand times.Pleased for nic and eboue but defensively we look shaky. maybe our name is on the cup.

  158. kelsey says:

    I also think nasri might have taken a knock.

  159. well… a few of us suggested to give bendnter some time…some of us even suggested he would get a hat trick before the month was out 😆

    what a night, what a team.

  160. Big Raddy says:

    We were lucky 😉

    And I will never trust a Scot again. Alex assured me a €-!. But I guess he got the right number of goals!!

    The Dane came good.

  161. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Heres your headline for tomorrows post.

    “SPIRIT OF ST GEORGE SLAYS DRAGONS”

  162. think stone cold has already coined a version of that this morning, gnarley.

  163. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Is it just my admiration for the Big Sol man, or has he given the team an all round lift with his presence. The huddle is back after wins, we have plenty of height where we need it, & now that Sol & Vermy are working like Warney & Glen McGrath the rest are just plundering the opo’s penalty box. Hope The Arsenal hasn’t peaked just yet.

  164. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    SFH

    Steve Austin 🙂

  165. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR

    Little Nicky 😈 was Dane good.

  166. lol, no i was making a reference to stonecoldarsenal

    its another gooner blog.. and he used a similar headline.. hold on let me find it

    http://www.stonecoldarsenal.com/2010/03/gunners-look-to-slay-the-dragon-of-porto-at-the-emirates/

  167. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    SFH

    I like my St George reference better 😆

  168. bendtner has such a great attitude to the game, his interview on ss2 after the match was very refreshing.

    i would love to have had sol, diaby and nik down the spine of the team when we played chelski and manure… we would be clear in the league already.

    considering we have given both of them 6 point head starts from the 4 games.

  169. Big Raddy says:

    Superb GG.

    Like tonights performance.

    The Danish press will go mental tomorrow !

  170. Big Raddy says:

    The Laudrup brothers and Peter Schmeichel present the CL over here.

    They were very impressed with us but all say we will go out next round, especially if we meet the English …… What do they know???

  171. lol BR, TA6, gullit and souness were presenting over here.. and they more or less said the same

    and they pinpointed song neglecting his defensive duties as the reason why a big team will exploit us on the break.

  172. Big Raddy says:

    It’s a fair point SH.

  173. Big Raddy says:

    I am the worse for drink.

    Goodnight – I go to bed happy and satisfied.

  174. yes i agree, they way souness broke the point down made a lot of sense… and its actually a very easy fix

    tell song to stay disciplined and dont keep marauding up the pitch all the time.. diaby, nasri and cesc are in the team for that.

  175. Hi guys, just back from an amazing night at the emirates. Very nervy after half-time as the team seemed to not be awake but …….. Nasri – what a goal!!!! and then the flood-gates opened.

    So pleased for NIk, the noise as he placed the ball for the penalty was fantastic – Great supporters us Gooners

  176. London – I bet you’re going to love writing your report 🙂

  177. kelsey says:

    Souness is right to a degree, but one can see that he is willing us not to progress.One can only take one game at a time, and yes our defence isn’t perfect but today is not a day to dwell on that, just look at the positives.Diaby, Nasri, Bedntner and (as usual) Vermaelen were our star players.
    Arshavin really is a strange guy.he had three assists and at the same time some of his passing was woeful, and as SH said when he came off he didn’t acknowledge the fans.Maybe it’s a Russian thing.

    Remember no Fabregas,RVP or Gallas.

    Eboue most probably scored the best goal he has ever scored for us, and there is no doubt in my ind that he is developing fast and not as a right back.Nasri is becoming a clone of Fabregas and can only get better.Last night was a great night to be a gooner.

    I thought theo was injured yet he got a cameo role.

  178. Big Raddy says:

    Just for our absent Irish friend, I must point out Rosicky’s performance.

    In the first 30 minutes TR was on fire, as good as I have seen him. He orchestrated the game and allowed Nasri and Diaby the space to play. Watch it again – the man was inspirational. Sadly, he was clearly injured after that

    Another to deserve huge plaudits was Arsene Wenger, but I am loathe to comment further, prior to London’s post. I am sure it will be a cracker.

  179. dandan says:

    O Boy O boy, Didn’T get home till 10 last nigh, put the recording on without knowing the score, Magic, Nasri you will become a legend, Bendy LOL Our hat trick scoring, goal line clearing, centre forward. Sol and AA in and out of the game, but both made great contributions and frightened the backside off me.

    I feel an it cant last press rant building up, we shall seeeeeeee yeeeeeeeeeeeeees Arsenal, my spud brother watched it with me he was pissed, especially when I told him our last game in the league would be at WHL if they beat Fulham LOL

  180. kelsey says:

    Yes i forgot Rosicky. Not being critical too much but Song was OK but didn’t need to be so offensive after the game was nearly won. I wonder if Gibbs hadn’t been injured if he would be pressing Clichy for a first team spot, but anyway, a day to enjoy.

  181. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    A relatively full compliment of players & The Arsenal can beat anyone. Ofcourse, as we found out from the Chav & manure debarcles, the preparation & game plan is up to Le Gaffer. In short, his actions will decide whether Arsenal wins the PL &/or CL.

  182. London says:

    New Post

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