Arsène’s Date With Destiny

In 2006, Arsène Wenger stared transfixed across the lush green turf of the Stade de France focused only on the most prestigious and coveted club trophy in world football. Make no mistake, the Champions League is the trophy that Arsène and Arsenal know is required to put the official stamp of success on the Wenger years.

Wednesday, 17 May 2006 was not to be our night. We had fought our way through the group stages and somehow sneaked almost unnoticed into the final courtesy of an 89th minute penalty save from mad Jens in the semi-final against Villareal. If we are to reach the final this year, we will have to beat the best teams on the way starting with FC Barcelona at The Emirates Stadium tonight.

In 2006, we had a team about to go into transition.  Our talismanic captain Cesc Fàbregas, Manuel Almunia, the resurgent Emmanuel Eboué and unbelievably, a rejuvenated Sol Campbell are the only survivors of that game.

Since 2006 the team has gone through a gradual and sometimes painful metamorphosis. The inspirational brilliance of Thierry Henry, the gallic artistry of Robert Pires and the gutsy determination of Freddie Ljunberg have been lost in the sands of time. TH14 may play for Barcelona, but his heart and more significantly his best years are with Arsenal forever. Those players have been replaced with a new generation of Wenger protégés.

Whether you believe the development of these players was part of a brilliant master plan by Arsène or a consequence of having to make the most of limited finances, it has to be admitted that they have finally moulded into an outfit that looks capable of winning the highest honours, and they can only get better. Tonight we will see if we have reached and surpassed the achievement of the team of 2006.

This season has been full of the ups and downs we’ve become accustomed to over recent years. We’ve lost our best striker, relived the horror of seeing one of our players receive a devastating injury, been written off by the pundits and fought back to be in contention for the league and still are perceived by most ‘experts’ to have little chance of reaching this year’s Champions League final.

David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle died this day in 2001. He was an exceptional player and a true gentleman of the game. What more fitting tribute to this Arsenal legend than to dedicate a victory tonight to his memory.

I could have written about many aspects of tonight’s game, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised just how much it meant to me and to every gooner across the globe. The details of player selection and tactics seemed almost immaterial. It’s our chance to prove everyone wrong. The pundits, the experts, the armchair critics, the green eyed followers of other teams, they have no idea how it feels to be an Arsenal fan who has lived through these years looking forward to this game, this special night.


138 Responses to Arsène’s Date With Destiny

  1. Morning all

    Well said rasp, its almost too important to talk about. Are the hours going to fly by today or drag interminably?

    What time will we know about Cesc?

    Still, at least all the pundits are worried about today is the injury to Rooney – a couple of weeks out of the game would suit most gooners and then back for the WC.

  2. Livers says:

    Well excited about tonight now.. Looking at the teams on paper makes me think… yeah we can beat these, we are better equiped for Euro football and Barca have been beaten by Chelsea, Liverpool and Utd in recent years….

    It’s Arsenal’s turn I tell ya !

    R.I.P Rocky, my all time fave gooner 😦

  3. London says:

    Morning all

    Top pre match Rasp. The hours are dragging already.

  4. dandan says:

    Great words Rasp, Funny thing life mate, Champions league is all inportant today, but would we swap it for the chance to have Rocky back coaching the kids, I think so. As you said a gentleman and above all one of our own.

  5. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Thanks, I thought I’d leave it to you to discuss tactics and team selection. There are likely to be more remnants of the 2006 Barça team on the pitch tonight than Arsenal.

    You’re right, life is more important than football, Shankley (I think it was him?) got it wrong. But it does enrich our enjoyment and give it more purpose.

  6. Livers says:

    Er tactics Rasp ?

    Let’s just blow them away 🙂

  7. Rasputin says:

    Ha ha Livers, If we play without fear, we can blow them away. The first 15 minutes is really important. We need to place doubt in their minds and break their rhythm.

    I was sick last night when Manu scored so early, but Bayern were strong and deserved the victory. We need to be strong and most of all not concede. Messi must be shepherded away from the box.

  8. Livers says:

    I think there is too much hype about Messi in the papers to be honest. Great player Yes, does he do it in big games No. An inch of space he can destroy teams certainly but let’s not focus on him, they should focus on how to stop us rather than the other way round..

    I’d actually like to see Walcott start today as his pace will cause them all sorts of problems imo

  9. kelsey says:

    Nice post as usual rasp.

    My understanding is that a decision will not be taken on Cesc until the last possible minute that is allowed.

  10. morning all
    theo start?

  11. Rasputin says:

    Morning kelsey, RSD,

    I’d definitely play EE whether at RB or RM. I can’t see the point in starting with Theo, it surely has to be a front 3 of AA, Nasri and Nik.

  12. it pain in the arse the squad we have to many options but depends how tight aw is planning to keep it. rasp

  13. Livers says:

    The reason for Theo RSD is, he’ll either be awesome or 2 bob and it’s best to know early… we lack pace without him these days

  14. i like the idea of using a sagna at left back to counter messi cutting inside, and putting eboue in at rb to attack there weaker side.

  15. we do and real width. but hey ho
    will smash em for rocky

  16. Livers says:

    Ah Rasp, I think Fab is out is why my Theo entered into the equation..

    We’re too slow and methodical with Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin and Bendtner IMO…

    Spanish teams don’t like pace

  17. also to have aa and theo both in the team does leave us a bit exposed. i mean they arnt the best at tracking back.

  18. theo will be used as a late sub at best.

    if cesc is out, which i dount, nasri in the centre, and eboue/rosicky wide right before theo.

  19. Livers says:

    RSD, so are you saying that AA and Theo can’t work ?

    I’m not too sure on the tracking back skills of Henry and Messi either..

  20. Armourist says:

    Clichy is right footed.

  21. i have seen aa tackle in the sunderland game he’s getting better and even he said him the hurricane (aka clichy) are clicking now but to have theo in as well doesn’t fill me with confidence but he is also getting better spec for cover on the counters from corners as long as he stays on his feet. aw has been using him like that in the last few home games. but still think he’s one for the bench.

  22. Livers says:

    Armourist…….news to me

  23. Livers says:

    RSD, yes i think he’s probably one for the bench but in game 2 not game 1….I don’t feel tonight will be all out going at 100 miles an hour whereas game 2 will be more desparate..

    There is reasoning behind it. But in Arsene I trust

  24. Evo in Oz says:

    how exciting, biggest game coming up!

    gday all

  25. evening Oz

    not really livers
    but i hope he’s got more of an idea than i do.

    home we have to keep the clean sheet
    away run the hell out of them

  26. Evo in Oz says:

    Classic Arsenal vs Liverpool game from 03/04 season on foxsports 3 as we speak. Not hard to remember the 4-2 Gooner result in that one!

  27. Armourist says:

    Livers – I remember him saying his dad got to play on his left foot and it stuck from some interview or the other.

  28. zen says:

    I have been supporting Arsenal since watching them destroy Inter 5-1 and subsequently crowned as the invincible in 2004. Ever since that time I realise I am in love with the style of football they play. Though Arsenal has not been winning trophy in recent years, it does not deter me to think they are finished. In fact with every passing years, I keep faith and believe this current squad will bring glory to us…
    A trophy hard-won by Arsenal is worth ten trophies bought by its free spending rivals..
    Let us keep the faith..

  29. Arsenal have kept six successive clean sheets at home to Spanish opposition.
    dont you love stats

  30. Evo in Oz says:

    gotta hit the sack for the 5.45am kick off, see you all then!

    Up the Gooners!

  31. Livers says:

    Who are the 6 teams, Real…..Villereal….umm I’m stuck

  32. juve errm hold on have to and ask opta

  33. lol spanish oops

  34. Livers says:

    Seville is another

  35. RockyLives says:

    We can definitely do this tonight – but only if everyone is fully on their game and 100% focused. Funnily enough, I think they will be. I suspect we’ll be more up for this than for any game this season.
    If Cesc plays, I would go with Diaby, Cesc, Song in mid and Arsh, Bendy, Sami up front. I can see how Theo’s pace could freak them out, but I’d prefer to see him used as impact sub.
    And, for those of us lucky enough to be going tonight, let’s all give full voice for Rocky.

  36. you beat me was jsut about to type that but thought i best f5

  37. Rasputin says:

    Welcome zen,

    What you say is very true. If/when we win something, it will be deserved and many apart from Arsenal supporters will be pleased.

  38. you reckon there inc friendlys

  39. Doctors warned today that Rooney’s injury could sideline him for three month

  40. Rasputin says:

    I was sure Clichy was left footed, but in this clip he seems to be equally comfortable with either foot – although his first touch is often with his right and he tends to shoot more with his left?

  41. villareal count double

  42. Rasputin says:

    Hi Rocky, I agree with your front 3. I think we will have more desire than Barça. We must cut out the silly mistakes and defend as a team. A bit of luck wouldn’t go amiss either!

  43. so that leaves two

  44. Livers says:

    Why do Villereal count double ?

  45. cos we’ve kept them out twice last season and in 05/06

  46. deportivo



  47. well that wasted 2 hours
    seven to go

  48. Livers says:

    RSD – you said home games ? We lost to Sevilla away last season no ?

  49. yes home games clean sheet
    sevilla was 07/08
    villareal 05/06 & 08/09
    real 05/06
    deportivo is stretching the memory

  50. got celta vigo 2-0
    and then edu v edu match ha
    yes finally

  51. Rasputin says:

    Abidal, Pique and Xavi passed fit to play … doh 😦

  52. whatever
    we’ll beat them

  53. London says:


    I went to that game in Vigo….Wenger came back with a little present…….Almunia.

  54. London says:

    If Gallas is fit enough to be on the bench then he should play, hell, if he can breath he should play.

    It seems fairly obvious to me why Wenger will wait until the warm up to make the decision to play Cesc or not. Can you imagine a game that our own Catalan would want to play in more than this? No, exactly and so Wenger is going to give him every opportunity that he can and if he is unfit then Cesc cannot be upset with Wenger for not trying.

  55. dandan says:

    Livers did you really say two bob back there, blimey your age is showing LOL

    Peaches just sent you an Email,

    London what time will you be in your seat

  56. my mispent youth has shot my memory took me what 3 hrs to nb all of tho’s
    and had to have a little help an’all

  57. marca say cesc is fit

  58. Livers says:

    Dandan, it’s just the cockney in me 😉

  59. London says:

    Hi DanDan

    I have no idea what time I will be in my seat, but I like my privacy.

  60. dandan says:

    Sorry London wasnt trying to pry, just thinking how I envy you will be a great evening win or lose

    Are you a real cockney livers

  61. Livers says:

    I can hear the Bow Bells……even from Rotherhithe 😉

  62. blaze gooner says:

    hi all,
    hope Arsenal make history in this tie.
    Arsenal win twice!

    RIP Rocky. i dont really know who rocky is… except the fact that he is a legend.
    may he bless this Arsenal team to perform their best.

  63. Rasputin says:

    Welcome back blaze, hope you don’t mind me for asking, but are you in the UK?

  64. blaze gooner says:

    nah im not in the UK

  65. “Cesc took to the training pitch earlier today and trained without any discomfort. He is expected to appear in Wenger’s starting line-up for tonight’s match.”
    from marca

    get in

  66. Rasputin says:

    Thanks blaze, I am keen to get as global a community as possible so you are always welcome as I’ve said before. I’m guessing you’re probably under 30 too as you hadn’t heard of Rocky. Still you’ll be able to talk about the current dat legends in the making to your grandchildren 😉

  67. charybdis1966 says:

    Afternoon chaps, just thought I’d add my pre match nerves to any already here. It looks like Gallas could well be starting so, barring Robin, we have our strongest line up possible.
    I’d prefer it if we kept it tight for the first 20 minutes as I can’t bear a repeat of the first ten minutes of the Mank semi last year.

  68. blaze gooner says:

    chary — i agree with you!

  69. Alfa says:

    Chary, anything but that, I’d like the cheering to carry on for more than 10 minutes this time.

    That atmosphere at the start of the semi last year was the best at the Emirates so far though, great to have a repeat tonight. The whole football world will be watching this match tonight.

  70. kelsey says:

    I really envy you that are going tonight. Chary you are so right.Last night when United scored inside two minutes I thought the game was over.

    We have to stay tight and vigilant from the start.

    The best scenario would be to score justr before half time, and then again in the last three minutes.

    If Almunia makes just one single mistake I wil …….

  71. charybdis1966 says:

    I had a friend who texted me from that game as it started Alfa – suffice to say the tone of the messages went downhill pretty quickly!
    Blaze – we surely have learnt our lesson from them – ball retention without cavalier attacking is the way to start.

  72. Rasputin says:

    I’d like to know what Mannone did wrong? … but that’s definitely not a subject for today.

    The early goal to either side is always a possibility in games of this importance. We nearly scored in the first minute against Brum. I don’t think we should be too cautious either. I’m hoping that Arsène has got out of the habit of trying to defend a lead and bringing on defensive players for attackers as this always destroys the balance of the team.

  73. charybdis1966 says:

    Same here Kelsey – although I was at a mind numbingly boring seminar last night I didn’t bother refreshing the web page (with the score of the Bayern-Manks game) on my mobile once that early goal went in. Of course the denouement was a moment of sporting gold and the Shrek injury icing on the unexpected cake.

  74. Rasputin says:

    Kick off in 2 hrs 49 minutes – really wish some angel had found me a seat 🙄

  75. blaze gooner says:

    is rooney badly injured?
    in fact Barca’s defence isnt exceptionally good, i believe we can score against them — no doubt! the gunners tend to push forward hard at the beginning of “big” games… i hope they really can control themselves and be more patient this time.

  76. dandan says:

    I think as they say it will be a game of two halves…..The first twenty minutes and the last twenty to the Arsenal the middle either side of half time to Barca.

    Barca will be happy with a one goal loss as long as they score.

    Theo’s pace could frighten the lives out of that defense tonight is an ideal game for him, lots of space to run into, and Barca’s pitch for the return is even better, Cmon Theo

  77. London says:

    Good point that Dandan……big pitch, lots of space and it is Theo time.

  78. kelsey says:

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Rosicky, Eduardo, Walcott, Denilson, Eboue, Campbell.

    I am afraid not theo time, but maybe a cameo.

    it was kidology then.Good strong team starting.

  79. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey,

    Yes I reckon Eboue and Walcott to come on as subs and then one of Eduardo, Denilson or Rosicky depending on how it’s going.

  80. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Go Go Gunners!

    Good luck everyone!

  81. Rasputin says:

    Keep ’em crossed gg. Use your influence from Oz!

  82. Rasputin says:

    Almunia is having the game of his life………..

    …. and he needs to, they could be 4 nil up already.

  83. Evo in Oz says:

    thank god Ibrahimovic is so rubbish and Almunia has been on fire!

  84. tommystout says:

    well what can you say?
    we’re still in it!

  85. tommystout says:

    Glad Sol isnt playing he’d have had a heart attack given that run-around!

  86. kelsey says:

    exactly what can you say. a sheer onslaught.should gallas have been risked.Arshavin you can say goodbye.

    Almunia,song and nasri are at least trying.

    cesc is not fit and now misses the return.

    diaby is disapointing.

    miracles can happen, can’t they.

  87. Rasputin says:

    Nasri’s having a very good game. Bendtner’s winning his headers but not finding our players. Cesc doesn’t look fit, if he comes off, all our subs will be for injuries. Cesc’s yellow was harsh. The Barça defence looks shaky on the odd occasion we get behind them.

  88. kelsey says:

    should gallas and cesc have started?

  89. Rasputin says:

    In hindsight, no, kelsey. Like I said in the post – this is the title Arsène really wants.

    I’m glad EE came on for AA, either he’s not fit – or he’s not fit to wear the shirt 😦

  90. Alfa says:

    Amazing atmosphere here in the ground. Pace and skill of game incredible. Everyone singing. We can win. Go gunners!

  91. Rasputin says:

    Bendtner should have scored.

  92. Rasputin says:

    Theeeeooooooooooooo …… there is hope …..

  93. Rasputin says:

    I’m proud of our boys in this second half – we’ve got them rattled. The ref has been really poor, every decision has gone Barça’s way.

  94. Rasputin says:

    Yesssssssssssssss ….

  95. Rasputin says:

    We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do ….We love you Arsenal we do…. we love you Arsenal we do …. ooooohhhh Arsenal we love you 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  96. Rasputin says:

    They’re minus their first choice centre backs for the return leg …. we’re still in this big time ….

  97. Rasputin says:

    Anyone who wants some sport should go to this Netherlands blogsite that was unwise enough to write us off at half time … I’ve given them my opinion…

  98. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Now its not all about who plays the most beautiful footy, which was what obviously distracted wenger pre game, its now all about how much do Arsenal want this tie.

  99. Rasputin says:

    Theo took his first step towards becoming an Arsenal legend tonight.

  100. Irishgunner says:

    I need a cup of tea……..actually screw it, its 7:42am but I need something stronger, PHEW!!!!!!

    Mooney was doing so well and then fecked it up.
    Gallas and Cesc were not fit.
    Nasri was our best player IMO.
    Theo changed the game (as Peaches will vouch I said he would 😆 )
    The ref was a wanker.
    We must make them pay at Camp Nou for missing a billion, zillion chances.

  101. Rasputin says:

    I totally agree gg. We want it more. They showed their vulnerability, we broke their confidence and in the end they were happy with 2:2

  102. Rasputin says:

    Hi Irish, we need you back here for the 2nd leg. Tomas may have to play a part in the second leg. I think it could be his chance to shine.

  103. Irishgunner says:

    Hiya Rasp – I think he’ll have to move Nasri into the middle. I’d go:

    Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy
    Song Diaby
    Rosicky Bendtner Arshavin (if fit)

  104. Rasputin says:

    Looks good enough to me Irish. Come and join me on the Netherlands site, I’m giving them a hard time.

  105. Rasputin says:

    I have to surrender my PC to my son to do his homework. I love you all 😆

  106. SharkeySure says:

    Evening all, a quick cut and paste of my single LG post:

    Almunia – typical Big Al. Halfway to giving us a bit of a rethink, then he fucking well stabs us thru the heart again.
    Sagna – Worked hard, did OK
    Clichy – tremendous effort. Some decent crosses as well !!
    Verm – Ok, not great for 2nd goal, but showed fight and some arsehole
    Song – fucking majestic from start to finish. Carried the fight for us. We would have been murdered twice first half instead of just the once without him.
    Diaby – worst game he’s had for some time now.
    Nik B – two great assists and won nearly every flick on
    Fat Sammy – complete lack of back tracking early dotors, but worked very hard and played well
    Fab – clearly unfit, but has the heart of a lion
    Denilson – Special mention, brilliant. He’s been recoverng some god form, and tonight was his best 60mins in a long long time. Well done Den.

    Team. First half, shocking. Stood off and let Barca knock the ball about. For the second goal, I watched three men just looking at rthe Barca player waiting to pick a pass. Why Tommy decided to step up then is beyond me.

    Having said all of that, so proud to be a Gooner tonight. What a fucking fightback.

    Penultimate word. How fucking good were Barca tonight. Unbelievable team even without Iniesta.

    Last word. Will inujries please just FUCK THE FUCK RIGHT FUCKING OFF !!!

    Nite all. Off to pub !!

  107. Irishgunner says:

    Homework??? HOMEWORK PAH, the only homework he should do is how we beat Platini’s favourites next week 😆

    Catch ya soon Rasp

  108. Rasputin says:

    Take care Irish, hope we can chat again soon 😉

  109. SharkeySure says:

    Good shoput that Irish. Stick Eboue in Arsh and we’ere laughing !!!!

    Nite all….

  110. dandan says:

    Just home, we are still alive, as I said he would earlier, Theo terrified that defence, he must start in Spain against there second string centre back pairing,

    Rasp think you could be getting the message with AA he will away in the summer.
    Perhaps the Denilson knockers will give it a rest now.

    The tapas waiter true to form, great shop stopper lousy keeper.

  111. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    The spirit of Rocky bobbed up on 69 minutes.

  112. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Just a thought here, but is it just me, or is Almunia’s problems more isolated with the high ball/or above the head ball coming in, coz he seems to be faultless when the ball comes @ him on the carpet, so to speak 😉

  113. Rasputin says:

    Hi sharkey, dandan, gg,

    We aren’t as bad as Barça made us look in the first half … we really showed our inexperience, but we learned as the game progressed and Theo (of all people) came on and played with belief … it’s a funny old game 😉

  114. Don’t you just love watching Arsenal – tonight was really hard though, hardly had a touch of the ball in the first 20 minutes, Barça missed loads of chances and slowly we got back into the game before half-time and then wham bam bish bash bosh before you know it we’re 2 down!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a fight back though, Theo comes on, makes a run, scores a goal – the place goes mad. Henry comes on to a standing ovation – quite right too – booed as soon as he touches the ball and then tries to get passed SONG, didn’t he do his homework doesn’t he realise that SONG’s the man.

    Cesc, our fabulous captain wins a penalty and scores, getting Puyol or Pique sent off – I can’t remember which but I do know that none of the three will be playing next week!!!!!!

    Six days – just six days – we only need to win 1-0

  115. kelsey says:

    Morning all.

    .I can’t remember a first 20 minutes at home like this for many a year.It was total bombardment and no doubt Almunia kept us in the game until half time..Unfortunately within a minute of the second half his frailities were evident yet again.Shot stopper yes, but a poor keeper.Wenger has admitted it was HIS gamble to start with Fabregas and Gallas, and with both now out for the rest of the season, it could have a major influence on our remaining games.An impossible task at 0-2 down now has the faintest glimmer of hope for the return leg.Arshavin, injured or not i had a chance to shine, and looked completely disinterested.Always hard to judge if a player had a poor game or if in fact he wasn’t allowed to play his natural game but Diaby was a huge disappointment.Song,Nasri, and Bedntner to an extent had a reasonable game and Walcott’s pace caused the expected problems.Denilson also added something when he came on. We got out of jail on the night.but we are only on parole

  116. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening kelsey & all

    I was quite happy to see Eboue come on in place of AA23. Its no co-incidence that the bombardment started to ease once he was on.

    As for Cesc, I think if Mozart is fit, he & nasri can combine to turn the screws. If The Arsenal lead by 2-0, only to draw I would be feeling anoyed, but somehow my feelings all today were generally based around how great it was to get back to 2-2. Barca would be pissed awf 😎 thats for sure.

    Peaches, it was Puyol who got the red card, & he is as big a loss as Cesc IMO.

  117. Morning all

    Just waiting to hear from Mr London when his post will be ready.

    Thanks gg, it appears that Piques yellow was his third and hes going to miss the return leg too.

  118. Livers says:

    Morning all……..I refer to my post at 10.31 about playing Theo 🙂

  119. what the 2 bob bit?

  120. Livers says:

    ha ha… I think you know RSD and my “Theo will cause them problems” bit

  121. i;m not worthy lol

  122. Alfa says:

    Hi everyone. Still a bit hoarse from last night. What a great match. Barcelona didn’t disappoint but we matched them. A few things stick in my mind about Barca beyond the obvious: the pace of Alves; Messi’s uncanny ability to dribble the ball out of trouble without any effort; Ibrahimovich’s power; the way they play like us and how great it would be if more teams did; Xavi’s reading of the game; the way they use the whole pitch; Guardiola’s tactical nouse, especially at the start of the 2nd half.

    Plus, I don’t blame Almunia for the goal for once – we were totally outflanked and it happened again quite a few times until we got wise. Denilson was pretty good, credit where it is due.

  123. Rasputin says:

    Morning Livers,

    Yes I thought that when Theo came on, he was the driving force behind the fightback and I thought Denilson was superb when he came on too.

  124. dandan says:

    I was very suprissed Theo didnt start last night, it seemed obviouse that Barca would push up and leave space, we had no outlet,

    Did anyone else noticr TH14 was in tears at the end as he applauded you lot

  125. Livers says:

    Morning Alfa, I disagree Almunia was at fault for the first goal Ibrahimovich would have had to score a Worldy if he stayed on his line but made it easy.

    Saying that Manuel kept us in it first half..

  126. dandan says:

    Sorry about the typos got an 18 month old all over me and the

  127. Alfa says:

    Livers, he stayed on his line for the second and had no chance then either.

    Plenty of great goalkeepers have that happen to them, including ‘Safe Hands’, Schmeichel etc. etc. Not that Manuel is in that league, but if one of the world’s top strikers is through 1 on 1 it is hard to blame the keeper.

  128. Livers says:

    Just me and you dandan who thought Theo should start 😉

    Morning Rasp, Denilson was great last night because he was the only one passing to Arsenal players

  129. still quality from zlatan livers
    almunia stayed back for the second and he thrashed it past him.

  130. Livers says:

    Alfa, the first and second were very different. The angle for the first was acute, the second not so.

    I was right behind Xavi when passing it over for Ibra to get the 2nd. TV was baltently telling Song to cover him and watch for the run and it never came… Song never picked him up..

    3 changes I’d have liked to see last night. Theo for Arsh, Sol for Gallas and Eboue for Sagna

  131. London is not up to writing a post as his night involved a lot of rum – can anyone else put together something quickly that we can put up as a new post.

  132. kelsey says:

    no comment on arshavin anyone.

  133. kelsey says:

    what about a post mortem 😉

  134. Livers says:

    not a lot to say about AA Kelsey….

  135. still struggling along with mine peaches will take till this salvo.

  136. Ok – I’ve done one.

    Theres a NEW POST

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