You know we will win, but…. – written by BigRaddy

When was the last time we failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League? Not being a historian I cannot tell you but it was a rare occurrence and some time ago. Which is why I am not over enthusiastic about tonight, it seems a diversion from the real target of the Premiership. I realise this is a purely subjective view but I would swap the winning of the CL for the PL (both would be best but unlikely).

There will be shock and derision if we do not progress from this group, such is the level of expectation of our supporters. For us the real competition starts in February. We have become spoiled. If you don’t agree listen to the rampant excitement emanating out of N17.

My concerns are that with a thinning squad and some big PL games coming up, Braga are a nuisance, not quite on the Carling Cup level, but nonetheless another possibilty for injuries. And I am not the only one to think this way – Man Utd put out a reserve team last night in what to Rangers was a huge game. Sir Alex prioritised the Liverpool game at the weekend and was satisfied with a point knowing MU will qualify.

The fact is the Top 3 sides in the Premiership would win the title in any country other than Spain, (and probably there as well). I know, I know …. Inter beat the Chavs and Barca, but they were totally outplayed by them and inspired by Jose, – would you expect the same results with Rafa in charge?

Barring individual errors, we will beat Braga. If we don’t there will be another media investigation. Would there be the same furore had the rabble from N17 lost last night?  …… I rest my case.

As to Braga. Like many I know little about them. They are a tidy outfit who have beaten both Celtic and Seville on their way to the Emirates. They finished higher in the Liga than our regular opponents Porto, but 5 points behind Benfica. Their squad is littered with Brazilians, but this is their first outing in the Champions League proper.

I hope we line up like this:


Eboue Squill Kos  Clichy

JW Cesc Denilson TR

Vela Nasri

thereby giving Song (who will be vital at Sunderland), AA and Chamakh a rest. But we won’t…… I expect to see last Saturday’s team with Cichy and Sagna back, and JW losing his starting place to Eboue.

Not much to tell you about Braga. In the North of Portugal (175k residents) it is one of the earliest Christian cities in the World, having a synod established in the 6th century, and the winner of the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, Marie Myriam, was born in Braga but sang for France.

Will we win tonight? Of course we will.


49 Responses to You know we will win, but…. – written by BigRaddy

  1. terry says:

    dude this team is really good .. they play beautiful football…

    i seen them in the qualifying stages and their style is very similar to us…

    their midfiled is very good so is their defence..

    it will be a very interesting game…

    though we will win in the end…

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. Good to hear, I hope they play an expansive and entertaining game.

    And get hammered

  3. Rasp says:


    Good post and interesting insight Raddy. I think Braga may play with more ambition than Rangers last night so it could be an interesting evening.

    They said on TalkShite this morning that Braga’s kit is modelled on Arsenal’s due to a game they played at Highbury many moons ago and their reserve (or was it youth) team is called something Arsenal.

  4. Rasp says:

    On another note, Squillaci may just be the most important of all the signings we made this summer – I wouldn’t have wanted to see Djourou at CB tonight or to have to play Song there as I agree with you – he should be rested and on the bench.

  5. terry says:

    are u guys keeping a tab on JETs progress…

    he seems to be improving every game…

    he already has 4 golas in 3 reserve games…

    and he also scored a good goal against man shitty yesterday.

  6. London says:

    I would swap the Premiership add to it my wife and sell my children into white slavery to have a little star on the Arsenal shirt.

    A thought provoking post BR.

    Tonight is going to be very interesting.

  7. London says:


    I expect to see him next week against spuds, that will tell us a lot.

  8. London says:

    As you can probably tell my family don’t read the comments here 😉

  9. Big Raddy says:

    LOL London

    Would you really swap the CL for the Prem? In my eyes it has been debased by both Inter & Porto winning it when they were clearly not the best teams in Europe. A bit like Greece and Denmark winning the Euro’s.

    IMO to be Champions is the ultimate prize particularly when the PL is awash with money. It would be a David and Goliath story.

  10. 26may1989 says:

    Very good London! Likewise, I’d love to have European champions on our honour board and would swap that for a PL title if things worked that way. I also really want us to be the first team from the capital to win it, but fear Abramovich will ultimately get there before us.

    Wouldn’t want a little star though – just draws attention to past glories, and perhaps limitations of the present, if we don’t accumulate further stars!

    All a bit hypothetical though this year’s CL is probably more open than last, so you never know.

  11. tommystout says:

    NIce review BRaddy,
    i’d like to see vela start. he needs game time and keeping chamach fit is a priority. So if chamach falls then Vela is able to come in and do the job.

    Braga are nicknamed the Arsenalistas because their kit is like ours – this is because Hungarian coach József Szabó, who had three spells in charge between 1935 and 1961. Szabó had visited Arsenal in 1935 and was impressed so much that he convinced Braga to change their original white and green.

    anyone heard of this tarmo kink who starred for boro last night, this video makes him look as good as messi, but thats hollywood!

    Can you believe Adrian Durham was condemning Cahills tackle yesterday, but saw nothing wrong with Robinsons??? Wanker.

  12. London says:

    Yes, I would BR. Arsenal winning the CL is the one thing I crave more than anything in the world of football.

  13. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, Sporting Braga are one of a number of teams who have close links with Arsenal across the world(Sparta Prague, a Ukranian team and Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina and others) and they even call their reserve team the Arsenalistas. Their director owner visted Highbury in the 1920’s and was impressed by the marble halls and other aspects of the club and changed the first team kit to red with white sleeves from then on.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    If, I repeat If, we don’t win the PL this year, the CL would be a fantastic consolation 😉

  15. charybdis1966 says:

    Ah, TommyS has beaten me to (most of) it.

  16. tommystout says:

    Four of Braga’s six league goals this season have been scored from outside the box.

  17. London says:

    My guess at the tonights team:


    Bring it on.

  18. Big Raddy says:

    I made the point that I believe the top 3 English teams could have won any of the foreign leagues, with Spain being the only questionable one – and I think the Chavs would be stronger over a season than Barca/RM.

    Do you agree?

  19. tommystout says:

    i agree BRaddy.

  20. tommystout says:

    i also agree with Londons team, except for AA i think he might be rested, so Vela/ LJW can come in for him.

  21. rockylives says:

    I agree with BR – the EPL is still the most important honour for me and I would happily trade the CL for it this year. However, once we have reclaimed the EPL title then I would happily trade it for the CL crown the following year!

  22. London says:


    I agree, with your guess about Arshavin: he is the one that might be rested. I almost put Vela to start but then thought that maybe Wenger will want to try and get ahead and then rest players if necessary.
    This is a big game tonight, a very important three points, get these in the bag and then we can start resting players against shag-a-donkey and Belgrade.

  23. London says:


    It is a very clever observation that the top three EPL teams would probably win all of the major leagues including La Liga.

    As I see it Chelsea have clearly been the best equipped to win the EPL, if you take the view that the EPL is made up of two types of teams, the long throw-in thugs like Stoke, Blackburn and Bolton which the like of Terry and Cavalio were strong enough to cope with and the the passing teams like us who their forward line could out muscle. Manu have had a team in a similar vein to Chelsea but they are fading. We on the other hand have not had the strength to deal with the long throw-in thugs……….but this has now changed we can now stand toe to toe with those kind of teams and if a team wants to start playing football, well they might as well just leave their three point at the door because they will not the leaving with them.

    I was obviously getting carried away there, where was I, ah yes, there are no long throw-in thug teams in La Liga so the only question is would the more skilful nature of La Liga finally finds its way around the slightly more muscle bound defenders required to win the EPL?

  24. SharkeySure says:

    Good read that Radders….

    London, you always kill me….white slavery …lol. Well it would be a lol if slavery of all colours wasn’t still a serious prolem.

    I also agreed with something Tommy said, but too lazy too scroll back now, but well played anyway Tommy.

    Off topic(?). Someone in our office told a short tale of ‘lol’ being mistaken for ‘lots of love’. Made me chuckle that did.

    Great debate yesterday btw…reda most of it but too biz to contribute.

    Night all….

    Ps. Big win with no injuries tonight please.

  25. SharkeySure says:

    My ‘typinsons’ is back with a bnag (sic)!!

  26. Neamman says:

    I would always rate the EPL over the CL, but here is a question….
    now the spuds are getting stronger.. would you swap a epl to see sprs relegated?

    me.. hard.. I would just LOVE to see spurs in the championship or better yet League 1 having a derby with Orient. [A team I go to see if the Arsenal are away]

  27. Chukwudi says:

    Ofcos there will be no furore about Man U losing or drawing (they have drawn 3 games already this season alone). When we drew at Liverpool on the opening day, people shouted from the roof tops that we were finished- cant hear same for Man U but then again it is expected. The doom mongers only see faults in the Arsenal.

  28. London says:

    Bang on Chuk

  29. London says:

    Has anyone volunteered to write the match report? I won’t get back until 11.

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Not within my remit London.

    I have no wish to see THFC relegated. Though a celebratory video of their remarkable final day escape from relegation would be good.

    Something like “Harry the Saviour keeps us Up”

  31. rockylives says:

    Sorry London, much as I’d love to see the Spuds go down, I would never trade it for an Arsenal trophy. Spud debacles are just an amusing sideline when you’re an Arsenal supporter, but overall Arsenal succeeding is far more important than the Spuds failing.

  32. London says:


    I agree, it was Neamman who put that hypothesis forward not me, a small mistake, we have all been there. Anyway, loved your post yesterday; you keep a low profile, then seemingly out of the blue, you produce a post that shoots the light out of the stats…..all good stuff.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    I’m on for doing a match report if no-one else has volunteered yet.

  34. London says:

    That’s me drinking to excess tonight then 😉

  35. Irishgunner says:

    Hello all – I’ll try and catch ye game time.

  36. kelsey says:

    Evening all.

    I think London “The George Clooney” of AA has got the team just about right,though will A.A have the stamina for a full 90 minutes.

    26may I concur with London. my Sky is playing up, my computer ditto and the stream has a jerk.

    Regards to everyone from dandan,who arrived safely

  37. Rasp says:


    We’d be delighted if you wrote the match report – thank you 😛

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Say Hi to DanDan and give him the good stuff – none of that supermarket Rioja muck….

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Team announced. I am sad that AW has chosen JW over TR, and that Vela doesn’t start.

    It shows the trust AW has in young Jack..

  40. Big Raddy says:

    3=0 halftime. It is going as expected. Could we score another 3, as per Blackpool?

    Brilliant performance so far

  41. London says:

    You were right BR as to how much respect they needed paying…..very little.

    “I hope they play an expansive and entertaining game.”

    They did and they got hammered.

  42. London says:

    I have just read up….George Clooney….in my dreams.

  43. rockylives says:

    Just back from the game. Delighted to have taken in two such good home wins on my brief visit back to these shores. Back off to the Americas at the weekend.
    Some of our pass-and-move tonight was absolutely outstanding, but I was just as impressed by the work rate and willingness to cover for each other. At one point Arsh dropped back into right back after Bac had made a forward run and we lost possession. They’re all really giving it everything.
    And although it’s early days yet, there are some encouraging signs that we have made three great signings this summer.

  44. rockylives says:

    London – sorry for confusing someone else’s opinion with yours – and thanks for the nice words! I’ve just emigrated and am also massively full-on at work, so don’t get to spend as much time on here as I’d like. But when I do have the time it’s always a nice place to come home to.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp/Peaches: Match report mailed to you. Over and out.

  46. London says:

    1:51am Ouch.

  47. SharkeySure says:

    Yeah can I echo that ….1.51am..ouch.

    Morning All

  48. Rasp says:

    New post ……

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