Another step upon the road to European Glory.

First off, there is the possibilty that Cesc is fit, so is Theo and Nik. At last we have the opportunity to rotate the squad. Without diminishing the threat of Shakhtar, it is time to give certain players a rest before the real business of the PL at the weekend. Arshavin for one needs a break.

Tonight I would like to see Theo start on the right and Chamakh play centrally, with Chamakh getting a rest after 60 minutes, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nik start. Bendtner does well in European ties.

I expect Wilshere to start ahead of his 3 match ban, his form has been outstanding and Shakhtar will be stunned by our 18 y.o marvel. Should Cesc start we will play a very attacking midfield  though I expect him to be on the bench ahead of the important game at Man City. The defence picks itself with so many injuries, though perhaps Gibbs will be fit in which case I would expect him to start ahead of Clichy.

My team

Shakhtar bring our old friend Eduardo back to THOF and  he will get a hero’s welcome. Despite never reaching the heights expected of him on his return from injury, he gave all for the cause and left with dignity. I wish him well but not tonight.  Shakhtar have a decent record in the CL however we have a superb home record in the CL and I expect it to continue. That said, Shakhtar not having conceded a goal in the CL this season plus they have won 15 out of 17 in the Ukranian League. They are level on points with us and having won 3-0 in Braga are clearly no mugs, but we will surely beat them if we play to our potential.

This Arsenal team look great on European nights and appear to play better against foreign teams who play the passing game as opposed to the muscularity of the Premiership, though Shakhtar who play with two hard tackling midfielders are not afraid of the physical challenge.

It should be noted that Shakhtar Donetsk won the UEFA Cup in 2009 and are a fine team.

Donetsk is Ukraine’s second city with a population of over a million. It was founded by a Welshman (John Hughes) in 1869 (no kidding!!). More Russians live in Donetsk than Ukranians and the city was  called Stalin until 1961. The Euro 2012 semi-final is due to be played in Shakhtar’s stadium. The most famous son of Donetsk is Sergei Bubka the brilliant pole vaulter who between the years 1984 -1994 broke his own world record 18 times! He remains the world record holder 16 years later.

Can we win?  Yes.   Will we win?  Yes


83 Responses to Another step upon the road to European Glory.

  1. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    No doubt about you, I now know the enemy. Actually I used to like reading NME, is it still printed?

    Good on ESPN. For some reason we seem to get all the CL games involving English teams here. 5.30am start for me on the comfy couch. Go Go Gunners


  2. Red Arse says:

    A nice preview BR, bring it on! 🙂

    GG9, Yep, the NME is still published, not that I read it mind. It’s also available on line, you lucky old thing! 🙂

  3. bops says:

    Dont think Bendtner will start.. AW says he is still not completely match fit.. And Rosicky should start !!!

    Comooonnnnn yaa Reds !!

  4. Morning all

    Very quiet about!

    I’m looking forward to seeing Theo, Nasri and LJ pinging balls to each other and hopefully a final one to Nikki to shove in the back of the net.

    We love to show off our ‘Wengerball’ on Champions Lge nights too so I’m hoping the team are raring to go and Shaktar give us some space to be creative.

  5. tbwttihs14 says:

    I think tonight could be an idea time to get a couple of goals on the board and then introduce the likes of Bendtner and Walcott, hopefully Cesc too, to have a run out before we play City on Sunday.

    I just hope we are focussed 100% on this game and don’t have 1 eye on Sunday. Wenger himself said that a win tonight would be hugely beneficial as we could then focus on the league for a while.

  6. RockyLives says:

    Tbs – I think AW will be more focused on tonight than on the Citeh game. The EPL title would be a real stretch for us this year (though not impossible) whereas the CL could be a more realistic target.

  7. RockyLives says:

    BR – excellent preview. We can’t afford to be below par tonight or Shaktar will give us a bloody nose.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Great graphics Rasp. Well done.

    Is the lack of chat today anything to do with Champions League fatigue?

    I am not sure I agree Rocky, AW will want to win both but I think he will prioritise Sunday.

  9. MickyDidIt89 says:

    So Fergie has confirmed Rooney has talked of a move. With 18 months on his contract, they will cash by the summer, latest. Frankly, if Madrid are not interested, then Utd will have to flog him to City…evil laugh.

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I am not underestimating this mob tonight. They know a cheeky away win and they are qualified (well, as good as). They will come out and do the silence the crowd bit, so we must come out all guns blazing at maximum thrust. None of this Theo on the bench-in-case business.

  11. Neamman says:

    What’s happened to the board graphics? Not so nice. I was told we have stupid RM v AC tonight here in China at 2am. Couldnt give a damn!! Hopefully CCTV will show highlights of our game tomorrow morning.
    hey guys/gals, change of subject.. I truly believe the world economy is about to collapse, gold and silver are correcting today.. if you have some cash use this as an opportunity to buy HSRD assets. Trust me, I was a banker for 30 years, all paper money will be worthless within 3 – 5 years.

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    A friend of mine has converted everything into Gold and hidden it on his farm! I’m off out for a while. Now, where are my dowsing rods?
    Incidently, what are HSRD assets?

  13. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Is a Rooney one?

  14. Hi Neamman – somtimes when the server is slow the graphics go to pot I’m afraid, there isn’t anything we can do about it 😦

  15. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Your avatar thingy looks kinda spookey. Limbs off dolls?!?

  16. Red Arse says:

    Neamann, you are a Job’s comforter! 🙂

    I just re-read the article and realised I had glossed over the bit about the Welshman who founded Donetsk. Interfering little git ….. obviously! 🙂

  17. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ah ha. The S is next to the A on the keyboard, so it could be HARD Assets. Guns and stuff!

  18. Neamman says:

    hhahahaha I meant HARD assets.
    As for the game I hope NB starts, Chamack is well overdue a rest. My team
    fabianski Eboue Djourou Squillaci Gibbs
    Nasri Song Wiltshire Rosicky
    bendtner Vela

  19. Red Arse says:


    Your Avatar looks like a washed out red arse avatar, so to speak! 🙂

  20. Red Arse says:


    I like your team, but Vela won’t play, he has already played for the Reseves today with Lansbury, JET and Randall among others.

    They beat West Ham 2:0

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Red Arse,
    Mein Gott, you’re right. Its horrible. Hang on, I’ll have a word with the Boss. “Oi Peaches, can you liven up my avatar a bit. Thanks.”

  22. Red Arse says:

    Sorry Neamann, I am a bit ahead of myself, the Reserves game has not quite finished. We have had goals from Chuks Aneke and JET. Two briliant kids who will soon be in the first team. 🙂

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Ooo, 4-4-2. Ok, lets stick Theo next to Bendy in place of Vela. Would like to see him motoring down the middle.

  24. Red Arse says:

    Mickey, 🙂

    Maybe Peaches can lend you a leg! 🙂

  25. Red Arse says:

    Gott in Himmel, Mickey, alvays zee drama Qveen. Bendy Theo, whateffer next? 🙂

  26. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Red Arse,
    Aneke and JET are going to have to fight it out with Wellington “Boots” Silva who is available (from what I don’t know) as of january. I think. I really don’t know my stuff, do I?

  27. Neamman says:

    thanks for the info. I also would to start Theo but I read somwhere AW said he and Cesc will start on the bench.

  28. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Red Arse,
    You always put an “e” into Micky. I spell it that way as I took “Micky Did It” from a cap that Michael Thomas was wearing on May 27, ’89. Day after Anfield, day before Islington celebrations.

  29. Red Arse says:

    Mickey, you are quoting from a very dubious source, probably me. 🙂

    I saw Wellingtonia when he played for our reserves and he looked the biz, but he will need to beef up a bit as he seems a tad fragile.

    Sod. I am going to the game tonight, and not only is it pouring at Barnett, it’s pouring here too, and it’s as black as nookahs knocker, as well as being flipping cold. Count yourself lucky, Neamann! 🙂

  30. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think you will be right. I also think it is arrogant of AW. If they are on the bench, then they are fit to start. Far better to get ahead, then come off.

  31. Red Arse says:

    I guessed that Micky, it’s just that i don’t like to take the “e”, because I am bound to mistype it as Mucky at some point. 🙂

    Still learning to touch type, is the truth, and my fingers tend to follow the line of least resistance. Miss Moneypenny I will never be! 🙂

  32. Red Arse says:

    Now thunder and lightning, such Joy!

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Red Arse,
    Wellingtonia is a bloom’in tree! And what do you mean lucky Neamman. He’s in China with a flood outside his front door, unable to get out for the match day take away.

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Donner und blitzen

  35. Red Arse says:

    Micky, Welly did seem rooted to the spot, now you mention it!

    I’ll have some barbecued belly pork, a half of duck and a bowl of Won Ton soup, Neamann, if you are in the chair! 🙂

  36. Red Arse says:

    T seems our Reserves stuffed Wham 4:1. 🙂

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:


  38. charybdis1966 says:

    RedA – I’m going to the match also(so watch out!) and I’m also expecting to get frozen and wet. Still some Peroni’s should take care of that.

  39. charybdis1966 says:

    Ok, on my way to the game now – see you’s all tomorrow.

  40. Carlito11 says:

    Would love to see Theo get on tonight- hope Nik doesn’t as Chamakh’s bang in form. Rosicky for Diaby- it’s gotta be! Keep the ball and thread it… just like we did against Braga! It’s a stormy night so I hope we see some lightning on the pitch! Heading up there in 20″ Come on you reds!

  41. Big Raddy says:

    Neanman the prophet of doom for the world economy. The only hard asset I have is ….. oh come on Big Raddy that is beneath you ….. 🙂

    I am so envious of you lucky buggers going to the game. CL nights in stormy weather are just the dog’s.

  42. rockylives says:

    Hi Carlito: I’d like to see Theo start so we come out of the traps quickly. Then take him off after 60 when we’re 2-0 up. And, naturally, I’d like to see TR7 in the starting line-up. My team:

    Eboue Djourou Squillaci Clichy
    Song Wilshere Rosicky
    Walcott Nasri

    Bring Nikki B on for a run out and give Cesc 20 minutes to get in the groove before the weekend.

    I know Chamakh has played a lot of games, but he’s really in form so there’s no need to rest him. When you’re playing like he is, you just want the next game to come as quickly as possible.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    True Rocky, but I like big Nik and would prefer to see Chamakh on for the final 30 mins rather than the other way round. But I bet AW agrees with you.

    I will bet DanDan’s house that Diaby starts ahead of TR but again I would prefer to be wrong.

  44. Rasp says:

    Afternoon all,

    Fine post Raddy, sorry I haven’t been on earlier to comment.

    I’d start with Chamakh for the reasons rocky lists. We have to build momentum again. I’m happy to rest Cesc so he can be raring to go against citeh.

    I also believe that we have a greater chance of winning the CL than the prem.

  45. SharkeySure says:

    Afternon All…..

    I want a big win tonight with a late consolation goal from you know who….

    Outside of his heel whilst executing an overhead kick would be nice…

    I honestly would give up a clean sheet for a goal from our ‘dearly departed’!

    Nite all

  46. rockylives says:

    BR – I haven’t seen Dandan on here for a while. Is he now homeless thanks to you?

  47. Rasp says:

    One point about the GK’s. Fabianski has done well and should not be replaced by Almunia when he is fit unless he suffers a loss of form. I fear AW will reinstate Almunia despite saying he has no No.1

  48. Big Raddy says:

    DanDAn is on holiday Rocky.

    I agree re: Fabianski. He has shown enough to be our No 1, at least until the January window

  49. Rasp says:


    Did you sense the warmth of the players towards Fab2? at the weekend, they are very supportive of him (similar to Eboue). He seems more popular with the team than Al. Two of them kissed him on the head when he held onto the ball in extra time. He was being more vocal with his defence and that shows that his confidence is growing.

    I’m off to the match now, catch you all later.

  50. Big Raddy says:

    The kisses were purely relief that he hadn’t screwed up. They were as shocked as we were!!

    Enjoy the game

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Would anyone wish for Rooney? We have the moola

  52. rockylives says:

    Great question BR. If tomorrow wasn’t a post-match day it would make a great post – “Rooney to Arsenal?”

  53. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I feel like Cinderella. Left at home, while me ugly sisters have buggered of to the ball!

  54. MickyDidIt89 says:

    off, even

  55. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bloody miserable weather. A good night to hunker down with a massive bowl of Basque Squid Stew, large doorstops of crunchy bread and watch the boys do the business.

  56. SharkeySure says:

    No Rooney for us Raddy….he’ll want massive wages which Arsene simply won’t pay, and rightly so !!!

  57. SharkeySure says:

    Squid Stew..?? That’d have to be at gunpoint for me Mickey….

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    The way I see the Rooney thing is that if Madrid don’t want him (and he is not bed mates with the Ladyboy) then its Chelsea or City. Not what Ferguson would want at all, but Utd simply cannot afford to be choosey. Shame really!!

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    That is one strong line up.
    Looks like CL top priority for the Boss. Excellent.

  60. Irishgunner says:

    Comfortable first half

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Big deep sofa comfortable. Well taken Nasri goal. Nothing much else outstanding. Quiet crowd.

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Well Shaktar came with a decent reputation which so far is totally undeserved. We haven’t got out of second gear yet ad are fully in control.

    Nice finish from Samir

    And I can see Rooney remaining at MU (unless MC buy him) because there is absolutely no way he will settle abroad, the man can’t speak English let alone learn a new language. IMO SAF will force him back to MU with his tail between his legs. And we definitely don’t want him at THOF

  63. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Only thing is, if Rooney doesnt want to stay, then Utd will have to flog him. They need the money a whole lot more than a green eyed Shrek. So its City for me.

  64. Irishgunner says:

    ” the man can’t speak English let alone learn a new language.”


  65. Big Raddy says:

    As you said Micky. Big deep Sofa comfortable.

    TR involved in everything-

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    All nicely loosened up for sunday. Ideal preparation.
    Very good night’s work. Such a shame there will be no JW.
    Nite anyone.

  67. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Jack Wilshire is fast becoming my favourite Arsenal player. Top win 😀

  68. Just in from the game and I have to say that we must be the best supporters ever – how many goal scorers get cheered and a standing ovation when they score for the opposition……… and have their name ringing around the ground.

    Bless you Eduardo, I hope you enjoy the rest of your career xx

  69. Carlito11 says:

    Never experienced a standing ovation for a goal against before! Remarkable stuff! Jw and Samir were both top class and chamahk is reminding me what a proper centre forwards game should be! I had a bet on arsenal to win 4-1 with eduardo to score… Was convinced the linesman had done me out of it with chamakhs goal but apparently he wa onside?

  70. MickyDidIt89 says:

    There has been a standing ovation for an away goal before. It was me. Late 80’s/early 90’s. Home to Norwich. I had a wee flutter on 4-1. We were 4-0 up when Norwich scored. One bloke on the North Bank leaping up and down like a banshee!

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Three concerns ahead of City game.
    No JW, who is fast becoming our most valuable player, in my opinion. Theo’s lack of impact when he came on against a tired and defeated team (ring rusty only, I hope). Lastly, we are approaching November, and we do not have a settled CB partnership.

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Anyone have news on Kos and Verm?

  73. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    I’d keep Fabianski in for the Man City game. I’m a great believer in continuity.

    Just finished watching the game again. Sheeps head was good too. Big Johan will be better for the run. Little Jacky was superb 😀

  74. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    So Diaby in, Mozart out; Jack out for obvious reasons. Cesc to start.

    Big Yo Yo20 will start as well if Kos & verm don’t front.

  75. SharkeySure says:

    “SharkeySure says:
    October 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm
    Afternon All…..

    I want a big win tonight with a late consolation goal from you know who….

    Outside of his heel whilst executing an overhead kick would be nice…

    I honestly would give up a clean sheet for a goal from our ‘dearly departed’!”

    And so it came to pass…..!!!

    I’ll be giving out Lottery Numbers later this morning

  76. Morning all

    Don’t you just love it when we win 🙂

    London – where are you?

  77. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Yep, peaches, yes indeed 😛

  78. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Sharkey’s a soothsayer and Dudu’s a legend 😛

    I shan’t comment on the game until the match report is published.

  79. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I have got a certain feeling that some good will come from a certain trip to manchester this weekend 😈

  80. Rasp says:

    Morning gg,

    Jack will be the most prized player in English football next season. Cesc is corrrect – LJ is better than him at the same age.

  81. Big Raddy says:

    Morning GG. or whatever it is in Tas.

    Stroll in the park last night. If we defended like that the blogosphere would be going crazy – defensive errors for every goal apart from JW’s,

    The penalty personified their stupidity

  82. We have a NEW POST ……..

  83. […] Another Step Upon the Road to European Glory […]

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