Should Arsenal beware – or is this an easy 3 point gift?

October 3, 2012

On the face of it tonight should be a stroll. Olimpiakos have never won on English soil. Last season we beat them at the Emirates on a night when 18 y.o. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain became Arsenal’s youngest ever CL scorer, we lost away but due to our unassailable position sent over a team with very little chance.

Of course no Champions League game is easy, all the teams are good quality and Olimpiakos are no exception. they beat Borussia Dortmund at home and Marseilles away last season. Based in Piraeus ,Olimpiakos are Greece’s biggest club with 83,000 members though how they fit into their 32k capacity ground I do not understand. Perhaps TMHT can explain. They have been Greek Champions for 11 out of the last 12 seasons.

The loss of Kevin Mirallis to Everton was a blow, he was top scorer in Greece last year and the Greek Player of the Year.

As you can tell I am corpsing on this one – I wrote about Olimpiakos last season and do not want to repeat myself, so onto the men in red and white (though the Greeks also play in the same colours)

Arsenal need a win to eradicate the negativity of the recent loss to the Southern Oilers. Mr Wenger said in is CL press conference that one away win and three home wins is the target of his team. We have the away win, now the home run starts.

Injury rules out Diaby and there are doubts about Arteta who has ankle problems – he faces a fitness test this morning. I wouldn’t take any risks with such a valuable player, we have adequate cover in what should be a straight forward game. With the prospect of playing a Fat Sam team on the weekend, I would also rest BFG, he will have a tough afternoon on Saturday. Gervinho despite scoring a golazo on Sunday could use a rest.

My team:

Once again, we have a strong bench with Arshavin possibly being the super-sub. I am not sure about whether Ox or Theo should start but Theo did very well last Tuesday and has a decent scoring record in Europe.

Take three points tonight and we are half way towards another qualification. Should Schalke beat Montpelier at home, then a gap of 6 points opens up between ourselves and the two bottom clubs – a very positive situation. I am not taking a win for granted, one needs only to look at the comedy up at Old Trafford and the Etihad last season but in terms of Champions League, this is not a difficult tie.


Written by Big Raddy

A Taste of Honey.

September 28, 2011

A hot sunny Athens morning, greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, and some Greek honey. Lovely.

Olympiacos (we use a K, they use the C) come to town as Greek Champions , further than that I have little to tell you about them. They have over 80,000 members, the 9th highest in European football. They have a superb stadium, noisy, fanatical fans and a good home record. It is said they do not travel well, oh, and their Swedish player Olaf Mellberg scored the first PL goal at the Emirates (for AV)

The first round win by Marseilles  in Athens was a poor result for 4 reasons:

1. Marseilles are French.

2. Olympiacos are a tough proposition in Athens and thus Marseilles are well placed in the group,

3. Marseilles are French

4. Marseilles are French

With little insight into the Greek team I will concentrate upon the Mighty Arsenal. Needless to say we go into the game reduced by injuries. To add to the long term absentees we now have Gervinho, Walcott, Bennie, Miquel, Djourou and more importantly Koscielny injured.

Wenger appears to be forced into playing Song alongside the BFG (Mertesacker) but by doing so we lose our best midfielder.

I would like to see Santos get another game tonight, he must be raring to get his AFC career started and despite having played well recently Gibbs, as we all know, is made of glass.

Up front we have options for the first time in ages. Should we play 4-3-3 expect to see the Ox to get his first start and how exciting will that be? Arshavin or Ryo on the left? AA for me, we need to be on the front foot for this game.

My Team:

I have concerns about the number of games being played by Ramsey especially in light of the upcoming trip to WHL. Perhaps AW will give him a rest and play  Coquelin and Frimpong  in midfield, as it is I expect Frimpong to start.  This is a game made for our friend Abou Diaby, he is sorely missed (IMO).

The same could be said of Van Persie but he has become so important to the team that he must start, hopefully we will be a coasting on the hour and Chamakh can continue to get some pitch time.

Athens has been continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years (London has a measly 2000 year history). Athenians and ancient Greeks have gifted the world many wonders, among them – democracy, astrology, biology, mathematics, physics and the theatre, but for all their marvels they didn’t invent football, did they?

This is a tie we are expected to win and is probably our easiest fixture in the CL, anything less than 3 points will be costly,

Champions League campaigns may come and go but Arsenal are Forever and Ever 🙂


Big Raddy