The lame talk of United rocking up as newly crowned Champions and strolling this match are left to the dim witted guessers who are new to this sport. Clearly they may rest one or two, but they have the like of Chico to step in and give us the run around. The long held rivalry between the clubs – the classic North South hatred – will ensure no game between these two sides will ever feature one side not bothering to show up.

Since Wengerball MK II (as opposed to MK I Paddy types with power) the United games home and away have had a very clear and distinct pattern. They bulldoze the midfield and disrupt our play whilst waiting to pounce on the counter via Ronaldo, Rooney, Park et al

Those games have usually meant something and United have needed to take points, so Fergie plays percentages, he is smarter than to come to a toe to toe war with Arsenal if he needs to get something. This dynamic is different for Sunday’s match. As new champs they need to come and give it a go without having to resort to roughing us up and sitting back soaking it up. This should mean an epic ebb and flow to the match.

Following the Spuds draw today, the necessity from our part to go for all 3 points is paramount and this new game dynamic should be ideal for the gooner and the neutral. It’s rare to get such a opening to take on United in a duel to the death… a duel for the ages.

I’m the first to hold my hands up and say YES to the shout of Wenger not being enthused by impressing tactics on opposition, but if it comes to an all out gunfight of pure end to end attacking open play… there is no better manager to have in your dressing room / touchline.

Giroud missing and the reality of Podolski getting his chance to shine as a centre forward in the colours of Arsenal is catalyst that could step us up. Whilst the Frenchman has done a splendid job in his inaugural season, he is not a born finisher, the German certainly is.

This could finish any stupid scoreline, if we don’t take our chances and fail at the back a spanking is on the cards, but on the same token if it clicks for us there is no reason we cannot give the champions a right taking down. I’ll have 5 goals or more in the match at 6/1.

Don’t miss this one.

 

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This is my deep felt hope of the scenario that is played out on Sunday if we beat Birmingham.

Cesc left his world for a brave new world as a mere puppy.. this took guts, determination, a will to win… he succeeded in his quest to play first team football for Arsenal, and took over from a right old plonker as captain of our club in November 2008.

El Capitano was born.

I love the guy for what he has given us, and never underestimate what he has given Arsenal… it all looks easy now, but think back to when you were barely 16 years old and how tough it would have been to move to another country, a new language, culture… etc

To miss out on leading us out at Wembley this weekend is gutting for all concerned… which is why he should be given the honour of being the man who raises the trophy…. although I feel it will be a joint affair similar to Paddy and TA6 in 2002.

My seat is booked for Wembley… I shall be in block 111 row 41… prudent to keep the seat number withheld!

My team would shape up as thus:

Chezney – Quite simply, The Polekeeper.

Bac, JD, Kos6, Clichy – They pick themselves and TV5 will have to be right back at his game to force his way in this season.

Song, Jack, Diaby – Diaby is not every gooner’s cup of tea… but he is mine.. he has the engine to play the Cesc role or swap “cesc” duties with Jack the lad.

Nasri, RvP, Arshavin – With Theo out, this lot again pick themselves in my book, and maybe even if Theo was fit… on current form its hard to leave the Russian out.  A Wembley final is made for him.

Like many of you reading this… I feel like a little boy again off to Wembley for the first time… well in theory this is my first time at Wembley.. the New Wembley that is… the old one.. I have a 100% Arsenal win record, so I’m hoping my presence will give the good omens needed etc

Win, or Lose.. I’m going to have a hell of a day…. you should too!

ENJOY

Now that would scupper the entire tactical structure of the cavemen who visit the Home of Football tonight.

On a serious note, tonight is bloody huge, massive… a monsterous game of football… FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE CUP FINAL.

For me, and many Gooners, the ultimate prize is to be the Champions of your country, to the rule the roost in your homeland… to laud it over the likes of Manure, Chavski and the Tiny Tots.  To be proudly called the Champions for the next year, at every game you play in is a wonderous and joyous feeling.

I miss being called “The Champions” – 7 years is far too long for a club of our class.

In season 2010/2011 we are presented with the most viable opportunity we have had since being classed both Champions and Invincibles.

The magic charge starts tonight… win and we go to within a point of United, who tonight commence a 4 game away run in the South of France, followed by 3 EPL away days at Wigan, Chavski and Liverpool… all within a 7 day period.  For a team as woeful on the road as they have been this entire season, this represents the chance we have all been waiting for.. the chance to finally overtake and extend away down the home straight.

All that will seem redundant if we cannot wrap up the 3 points tonight.

I have read elsewhere that a draw would not be all that bad… wrong, it would be a nightmare!  Not terminal, but the pressure would be eased off United, and the pressure is what we need to apply ahead of Stamford Bridge and Anfield.

Robin the Boy Wonder is going to be a hell of a miss tonight, but we have to believe, we have to have ultimate faith in Nik B and Chamakh to step up and do what we have seen both do in the past.

Form is temporary… etc

Yesterday, if you had asked me who I favoured in the central role, I would have selected Nik… but having thought about it more, I think Chamakh suits our game more, when he is on form that is.

His link play at the start of the season was immense, his work rate on a par with the very best we have seen at the Emirates.

Squillaci will slot in alongside JD in the absence of Koscienly.  This could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as his height will help to guard against the long ball merchants.

Would love to say this is going to be an easy win, but unless we nick a very early goal (as ever) we could struggle to break em down, and I just hope the lads have total focus on this game instead of one eye on the Wembley appearance at the weekend.

Winning tonight will surely give the lads an extra boost for the final.

I’m excited, really up for this one… the charge to the title gets closer tonight… !!

Be lucky Arsenal.

Enjoy.

Beautiful Arsenal

February 17, 2011

Does a match of such magnitude end any better?

I will admit at around the 75 minute mark, I had given up on any chance of a win… a draw was a maybe… however it seemed we had blown our early chances, including a cracking chance for Robin in the opening minutes, after a delightful chipped through pass from Cesc.

Barcelona then began to turn it on – they failed, as they only scored the once in this period.

They nonchalantly strolled out for the 2nd half and played keep ball with silly 5 yard square and back passes.  Pep took off dangerman Villa and shored up the midfield with Seydou Keita.

At the same time Wenger took off DM Song and introduced Arshavin… the man who was to score the most euphoric goal in the embryonic history of the Emirates.

I really am lost for words, there is not much more that can added to the thousands of words/superlatives already out there by the way of papers/blogs etc

What I will say is that win will be replayed and talked about when our grandchildren are alive and kicking… it was that important for the future of Arsenal.

If this team can now not go on to lift the big one.. the Premiership, after this boost of pure confidence… then they never will.

Fergie must have ruined his incontinence pants after the ref blew the final whistle.. he knew.. he knew exactly what kind of lift a result like that can give a team.

2011 is shaping up to be a classic.

Roman Abramovich may have done the biggest favour to all connected with Arsenal Football Club this January transfer window.

By spending £50M on Fernando Torres, a player who was woeful at the World Cup and unwanted by Barca or Real, the Russian oligarch has priced Cesc out of the reach of Barcelona for at least a couple of seasons.

Current Barca Captain, Xavi Hernandez admits as much….

“the thing with Cesc is that there is a problem — he is now worth a lot of money!”

Aged 3 years younger than his chavski Spanish compatriot, Cesc must now surely be worth in the region of £60-70M in the open market.  Barca are skint enough as it is, skint enough to take former supremo Laporte to court over bent accounting allegations.

What a ramshackle of a club.

There is no secret that Cesc desires to one day return home to his beloved Catalonia, but it will cost them… unless this Qatari money which has been promised turns up at the Camp Nou this summer, our boy aint going nowhere.

I’m certain that Arsenal done a deal last summer to convince Cesc to stay until this coming summer, and promise his release IF Barca can conjure up the correct money for him.  The peasants tried to bid less than what Liverpool paid for Andy Carroll!

The future for El Capitan at the Emirates is looking stronger by the day…. bloody good show say me.

Ahead of the crunch Champions League game against the aforementioned Spanish pikeys next Wednesday night, which I will sadly be watching from the comfort of my living room having been cruelly denied a seat in a City Brokerage’s corporate box… we have the small matter of Wolves at home in the league.

A game that should see us close the 4 point gap on the Mancs… both of them… if City really go for it they can win, but they won’t and therefore I envisage a 1-1 draw.

Wolves are a flipping hardcore team on set pieces, thankfully Johan should be back, unless he is rested for Barca… we should not take this game lightly.. it’s going to be a long afternoon… just hope that by hook or by crook we scrape through and start to look forward to the Barca games.

Don’t expect an easy ride against the wanderers people… it may become our hardest game of the season to date…. but all that will matter is the 3 points.

For crying out loud.. surely we are due a dodgy penalty in our direction?

Enjoy.



A pearler missed from Wenger’s presser yesterday afternoon.

“Arshavin will come back after a breather for a few games and be sharper”

Having played both cup games in the last 7 days, and played very much below-par, our little Russian wide man appears to be getting the bench for a week or so.

Excellent news.

Not because I don’t rate him, but it’s clear he needs time off the pitch to sort his head out….  why not give Vela a run in his position?  It’s high time the mexican superstar was shown some backing and allowed more than 15 minutes off the bench to do his stuff.

I doubt it, the team today is very straightforward with Fabianski out injured and Sagna completing his 3 game ban.

Chezney

Eboue JD Kos6 Clichy

Song Jack

Theo Cesc Nasri

RvP

Sagna aside, that is quite possibly the best first eleven we could play right now, and against the worst side in the league, according to the league table, we should be hitting the Hammers hard.

As usual, if we struggle to score the first goal, we will struggle on for the rest of the game.

Score first and early, and we could walk with a 4-1…. or struggle it out for a 1-1 hard-fought slog.

Enjoy.


Forget that he played in the World Cup, he was rushed back to lead the line for the Dutch but never actually looked quite right.

Moreover, the lone striker role is just not playing to the strengths of the spikey former Feyenoord man.

I am hugely excited about the new deep lying forward and or roaming number 10, tip of midfield trio, free role thingey he has going on for him now.

With the massively unselfish Chamakh ahead of him to lay off smart ball to the on rushing Nasri, Arshavin, Theo, Rosicky, RVP et al.. I can now see how this team can both accommodate and flourish with both Robin and Marouanne in the starting line-up.

I think many of us did maybe question the validity of such an injury prone player at the club, whilst he has been off injured since November 2009!

The genius of his little flicks and tricks and deft control of a football have been there, in glimpses mind, for all to see in the past fortnight since he returned.

I love him, he is 100% pure World-Class, and there are not many players in the Premiership, let alone Arsenal who you can say that about without need to worry about retraction at a later date.  Van Persie certainly has the skills to pay the bills, and then some.

I want to see him get at least another 70 mins under his belt tonight, like he did last week against Wigan in the Carling Cup.  I also wish to see the partnership with MC29 develop more, hone it ahead of the crucial trip to Old Trafford Monday week.

Not happy to hear Cesc may be in contention for Monday.

Let him rest this darned hamstring injury properly this time… we are doing just fine in his absence and it’s also important to show the squad, should he leave next summer, that we are just fine without him in the side.

Will be looking for a confidence boosting performance tonight.

Practice game tonight.

Good enough to have it known as the Nasri role.

So we are on a low ebb at the moment, if Spuds was not bad enough, we get humbled by a poxy pub team from Portugal who caved in a mountain to build their stadium.

Fair play to the lad who got both their goals, nicely done son… credit where it’s due.

Cesc done his good hammy, whilst the bad hammy looked to be getting better, this injury jinx does not seem to be subsiding, but how good has Cesc been since he got back from his first injury bout of the season?

Not at his overall best for my money, great here and there, pretty poor at other times, give him the rest of the year off and let him rest up for the final, important push in the New Year.

Nasri will surely be asked to step back into the middle and dictate matters in the “Platini Role” as I like to call it… with Rosicky as back-up.

The Platini Role – for those who are too young, and only know that name as a hated Football politician, wrong, he was also the best player on the planet in a former life, and much like Cesc, played the central free role, he had no pace, but he had supernatural vision and the killer eye for running into space to poke home goals from deep.

He was utter class as a player, the term “elegant midfielder” was almost coined just for him!

I touched upon Nasri in a post a week or so ago, for me he has far more explosive pace and trickery than Cesc and Platini put together, his vision is maybe not up there, but he has the ability to open more space for players around him by committing defenders to tackle him as he trys to dribble past them.

I swear the lad is going to score a Maradona goal sooner rather than later, every time he seems to try and beat a man one-on-one he glides past them with consumate ease, he just cannot be taken.

He certainly has the skills to pay the bills.

Rock on Villa Park.

They will give us a torrid time on Saturday, but they will leave space, they get forward in numbers, so the likes of Theo and Nasri should be well positioned to capitalise on any sharp counters.

Monsterous two games coming up… really is make or break almost, the Wigan League Cup game being the more important for me, not going to get too cocky anymore, I have faith in this team, and that has not faded whatsoever, but maybe we all need to be a little more chillax about this season.

Take it as it comes.

There will be thrills and spills a plenty, tears of joy and madness…. through it all, we will close the season as winners or losers as a team, but the love for the club from us will never die.

We know that, so ride the wave without fear… the season will, somehow, work it’s way out from this slump.. maybe not immediately, but it will.

Keep the emotions, but also keep the faith!

Wenger has it all planned!

November 1, 2010

In that he decided that he would build a team, whilst up against the Russian, Spanish and Arab billions, on a shoestring, that was capable of dominating the greatest club tournament on the planet.

I am of course talking Champions League football.

Having written about my beliefs for this team in said competition in previous posts, I am forging ahead with my view of this squad being built with a large focus on winning the only major trophy to have eluded Wenger.

Quotes emanating from the boss today again back this view up, as he suggests the technical level of our squad is superior to teams on the continent.

The hustle and bustle of the EPL can upset the rhythm of our game, but the more sedate nature of the CL allows the skill level in our players to come to the fore and allow us to dominate teams with ease.

Shaktar Donestk are a very good team, but we just swatted them like flies.

I believe 2007/8 was the season this type of team first came together.

We challenged for the league until you know when.. and were undone by shocking decisions in the CL, going out to Liverpool in the Quarters.

2008/9 saw us reach the Semis and get taken out by Manure, on their way to winning in Russia… with a team including Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo.

Last season, the best team in the world beat us.

So it takes a very good side, or very bent decision to knock us out of the CL.

Our slight weak point in both the EPL and CL in recent seasons has been a lack of a top-notch keeper and big strong, able defending… I think we have that licked this time round with the introduction of Fab1/Chezney and the additions of Koscienly and Squillaci.

The countdown to a glorious Saturday Night at Wembley next spring is well and truly on fellow Gooners.

The draw for the Quarter Finals of the Carling Cup takes place at lunchtime today, around the 12.15pm mark.

Arsenal can land Manure, Villa, Ipswich, West Ham, Brum, West Brom or Wigan.

What are the odds of landing West Ham at lunchtime in the Carling Cup and then swallowing them up before tea time later in the day?

Roy Keane back at Old Trafford with Ipswich?

Exciting times ahead!

West Ham, in the EPL, this afternoon will take a thorough beating by us… again, as I suggested the other day prior to the Newcastle match, we are hot right now, and poor teams will take a hiding.

Yes, I do remember the West Brom debacle, but… the good news is I’m confident a mighty big complacency lesson was learnt that afternoon.

I can’t see lightning striking twice in such a short space of time.

If we bang the first inside 20 minutes, we may pulverize the sorry Hammers 6 or 7 nil.

This team are flying high on confidence right now, very high, like we did in the days of Henry, Pires et al.

30/1 6-0?

500/1 10-0?