April 28, 2010
I can’t wait for the game tonight, nothing beats two top teams playing a game of high stakes football to the death.
Playing for a place in the Champions League final is about as high a level of competitive club football as you could get, final aside of course.
Inter will take a 3-1 first leg lead to the home of the Catalans… beautifully poised.
Mourinho has confirmed to the press Ductchman Wesley Sneijder will overcome injury fears “and definitely play” he went on to state “we will see after 90 minutes if he was fit enough to play”
Bollocks, I think he is telling porkies, again, and trying to alter the tactics Guardiola deploys this evening, Sneijder will be a sub at best.
The position Sneijder takes up in the Inter formation causes opposition teams much danger, he has to be catered for…
Is Guardiola clever enough to not fall for Jose’s bullshit?
Inter will defend for there lives, if they brought a 2-1 lead, they would still need another goal, the elusive away goal, but with a 2 goal advantage, and the defensive monsters they possess, they will play 3 defensive midfielders and squeeze the life out of Barca’s game.
They are planning to allow one goal against them at best over 90 minutes, which will seem them scrape over the line.
Naturally, with the pace of Eto’o and Milito on the break, they will have the chance to bury the game with an away goal, but you will not see a cavalry charge from Inter when they do attack.
You play any kind of open game with Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and you get busted, good and proper.
I can only think of one team with the gonads to do that… maybe our balls were bigger than our brains?
Inter will get a chance for the away goal, Barca will charge at them relentlessly, and a 3-1 reverse which leads to extra time is not out of the question.
Impossible to pick a winner, just sit back and enjoy the fun with a cold beverage or three!
April 21, 2010
The bookies make the Portugeezer a pretty safe bet to manage the Spanish giants next season.
City are 4/1 to be managed by him, Liverpool 7/2.
Real Madrid, consisting of the all the current Galacticos, and more to be signed this Summer, must surely be a very attractive proposition for Mourinho.
However, I see him back in the Premiership next season.
His overriding reason to leave Italy is owing to the national hatred felt for him… I thought the Spanish hated him aswell?
The man courts attention and love, and he gets both from the Media and many football fans in England.
Would I want him to manage Arsenal (best priced 12/1), not in a million years.
Mourinho is great T.V, great for Media, but a trouble maker of the highest level possible.
He was handed a great team assembled by Claudio Ranieri, the man who is trumping him to the Serie A title this season with A S Roma, and moved to manage Inter following 3 titles they won under Roberto Mancini.
I am not doubting he is an exceptional manager, but I would dearly love to see him take over at say Liverpool, and show us if he has the capabilities to build a team, as opposed to taking over a great team and slightly tweaking them.
If City can sneak the last Champions League spot, I shall be wagering my pounds on him taking over at Eastlands from Season 2010/2011.
There is nothing to be gained from managing Real Madrid, the rough and tumble of the Premiership is perfectly suited to the style of football his teams operate under.
If Liverpool somehow quickly sort out a new Billionaire in the coming weeks, that would be the option he would prefer… and then we would get to see how good he really is at building a winning side from scratch.
At City he would have a nucleus to work with, CL football, and plenty of money… but no prestige.
At Liverpool he would have plenty of prestige to restore, certainly no CL for a season, and maybe plenty of cash to spend.
I look forward to his return with interest.
April 6, 2010
That’s the jist of most of the chat in blog world.
We are down to our bare bones, player wise, missing possibly the four best players in our squad in Cesc, Robin, AA23 and Billy G.
So a right good spanking will be the order of the day tonight, right?
These nuevo goons only started to support the club this Millenium, so don’t forget they have no recollections of famous past glories, completely against the odds, on European adventures.
The club had a wonderful reputation in years gone by of coming out on top when all was against us, a backs against the wall type job.
Mission Impossible to Catalonia is on, and if any team can turn the impossible into the possible, it’s this wonderous young side that wear the red and white of Arsenal.
Big Sol will partner Verminator in the heart of defence, with Denilson providing the midfield cover to the back four.
Diaby will need the complete polar opposite game from last Wednesday night, it was not his night back then… he can put that right tonight, he has to be a monster.
Abou needs to play the role of 2 men in midfield, he needs to do some of Song’s dirty work and Cesc’s attacking work.
I have complete faith in him tonight, he was rested on Saturday, so fitness cannot be an excuse… he is the man for us tonight.
Carlos Vela has his place taken by Armand “Nun-Chucks” Traore in the squad, there is no apparent reason why the Mexican has been left out, as he trained yesterday morning.
I hate to see Rosicky or Nasri out wide, and would dearly love to see Theo wide right, and Armand wide left.
Having those pair right on the tails of the Barca full-backs will prevent the feckers from marauding forward at will and providing Barca with width from the middle of the park.
If they are stupid enough, or even arrogant enough to play that game, then more fool them, as there are not many in football who are quicker than our pair of wing whippets.
I’m not sure what type of game Wenger has planned for us, I could not care less if we played a right ugly game and just went to spoil them and hit them on the counter with pace hoping to Nik(Ki B) the elusive away goals.
We don’t need to be heroes tonight, no matter what anybody says in trying to prove they are the greatest gooner in the world etc, Barca are bloody brilliant, they are a fabulous team, and we may need to adopt different tactics to overcome them.
Granted, if we had a team with all our missing players available, we could go a bit more gung-ho, I just don’t feel tonight is the night for that.
I’m sure this team have tactical discipline in them, we can win dirty if we need to, and tonight calls for it in my view.
Whatever the outcome, however the game pans out, I just hope we put up a spirited display.
My prediction is 2-2 all over again, and this time it may be us who take the lead on the break and they come back at us to force extra time and nail chopping for gooners all over the planet.
When the draw was made, plenty of pundits came out with the suggestions of this ending four or five goals a piece.
I would love that, you cannot beat the drama and sheer excitement of extra time and penalties.
Of course, a 1-0 win in normal time will do nicely enough.
This whole Vela dropping has got me thinking, Wenger can be a sly old dog, he must surely know how Atletico Madrid beat Barca recently.
Traore and Clichy down the left and maybe Sagna and Eboue down the right, with all four killing themselves to slave up and down their respective flanks.
Theo as the weapon off the bench maybe.
Rosicky is now rated 50-50 to make the game, with Nasri in the Cesc role, this opens up the possibility of Traore starting down the left even more.
It’s not often the great man keeps us guessing.
Last week I had the pleasure of watching the game at the Emirates, my ears were ringing for days afterwards, the atmosphere at the end was crazy loud, tonight I’m going to watch this at home on the 40 inch Samsung, on my own.
This game is going to cause huge emotion, no matter how it plays out, emotion is going to be at extreme levels.
I am watching this on my jack jones as a measure of national security.
Where you watching it?
March 31, 2010
The big day has arrived.
We will finally gain some fascinating pointers vis-a-vis how good the football Arsenal play really is.
Who were the last team to come to the Emirates and have a straight out, toe-to-toe rumble with us?
Guardiola has already stated he did not want to play us due to similar styles… he understands there is a real possibility that as a team we play better football.
They certainly have the best player on the planet in Messi, but he is only less than 10% of the starting eleven.
Former Arsenal and Barca player, Alex Hleb, described what he thought might happen when two tribes go to war…
“I’m not going to say who will win, that’s difficult. But the way I see it, Arsenal have a real chance against Barcelona.
“Arsenal’s style is quicker than Barcelona’s build-up and passing is less direct. Arsenal move the ball faster. That can make life difficult for Barcelona.
“Against Barcelona you need to try and hold onto the ball, be ready to break, and keep yourselves compact and it’s important not to go out there scared when you play against Barcelona.
“I don’t think Arsenal will do that. I believe they can take on Barcelona and do well, and win.”
The Belarussian sums the conundrum up nicely by stating Arsenal play quicker, less direct, passing football.
Barcelona have slowed down their game this season, the introduction of Zlatan I to the forward line has also meant a more direct approach on occasion.
Tonight we learn how well we can really play against a superb team who will not come to stifle our play, there can be no excuses concerning rough play, parking the bus, poor pitch etc
The stage is truly set for a crowning moment in the lifetime of Wengerball.
For there is no other team in Europe who could come to the home of football and believe they can outplay the hosts… every other team that travels to the Emirates thinks about stopping us play.
No excuses. No Fear. Time to deliver.
So, for the thousands in attendance ( a lucky me included ), and the millions watching on TV around the world…
LET’S GET R-R-READY TO RUMBL-L-L-E
March 18, 2010
The excitement is building ahead of this seasons final Champions League draw tomorrow morning.
Remember the draw for both the Quarters and the Semis will be made at the same time.
The road to Madrid will be mapped out for us within 24 hours.
Wednesday 17th May 2006 will bring back memories for many Arsenal fans, some may choose to block that day from their minds permanently.
I choose to recall that surreal day in the French capital with many good memories. I’m sure other gooners who also made the fateful trips over the Channel will agree.
We went down with plenty of dignity, considering we lost our goalie inside the first quarter of an hour of the game.
Season 2005/2006 was always going to be one for the history books.
It was unfortunate the team did not make a serious challenge for the league title in Highbury’s last year as The Home of Football.
The young guns did however prove to be more adept at toppling European opposition.
We topped our Group in late 2005, ahead of Dutch giants Ajax, and were then drawn to play the mighty Real Madrid in the first knockout round.
The greatest 0-0 in Highbury history, saw the mighty Arsenal forge on to face the Old Lady of Italian football, Juventus, in the Quarters.
Another 0-0 followed in the 2nd leg… and Arsenal were through to their first Champions League Semi-Final!
Villarreal stood in the way of destiny.
A magnificent late penalty save by Mad Jens paved the way for Arsenal Football Club to become the first ever footballing side from the capital of England, to grace the final of the Champions League.
A meeting with legendary Spanish club Barcelona was the talk of the sporting world… the two best footballing sides were to meet at the summit of club football.
Arsène Wenger had the chance to lift the treasured “big eared” cup… in his own backyard.
Following the last-gasp victory over Villarreal, every Tom, Dick and Abdul became a Gooner and subsequently started to book up all the available transport.
There was a genuine crisis that was even reported by Sky News at the time… certain groups of fans were even clubbing together and chartering their own planes to Paris.
Or there were those who caught flights to other European cities, and then got on overnight connecting trains to reach Paris.
It was pandemonium.
Luckily for me, my brother-in-law booked up Eurostar tickets online… as soon as the final whistle blew at the Madrigal.
Unluckily for me, only first-class tickets were available, at a cost of £520 per return ticket!
Ok, transport done… now, what about the golden, elusive tickets for a little game at the Stade De France?
Problem, from our group of four, only one of us got an official ticket from the club.
The race was now on for tickets… Sky News were again on the scene reporting the great ticket chase.
This was turning into the greatest chase for a Golden ticket since Willy Wonka opened the doors to his chocolate factory.
It almost felt like half the adult population of the developed world wanted to be at the final.
The usual routes to purchasing a ticket, on and offline, were tested to no avail… we were going to have to wing it on the day, set a budget and pay well over the odds for a ticket off a tout.
Following much excitement, anticipation, and a large slice of trepidation… me and my gang of four arrived at around 5.30am to catch our early Eurostar from Kings Cross.
The BBC were already there, they filmed us ahead of our journey to the promised land, not one single living soul has yet to tell me they saw me on the breakfast news that day.
Bone idol gits were all probably in bed.
Remember, only one of us had a ticket, but for the entire 2 hour journey across the continent, there was much banter and joyful speculation, not a moments worry that we may not even get any tickets.
We arrived at Gare Du Nord in central Paris, at around 9am ish France time.
Plenty of Gooners around the station, nice jovial fun being had by all… how many had a ticket?
Checked into our little hotel, dumped the overnight bags, and the hunt for the tickets began.
First stop, get to the stadium, surely the touts will all be around there…bloody nora, and we thought getting from one end of London to another was bad, this was next level!
Oh dear, Houston we have a problem.
It quickly became apparent that around 16 million other Arsenal loons, had also made the journey over, and 99% of them were also without a ticket.
The going rate for a ticket was now over two thousand euros.
We bit the bullet and agreed we had to go for it, whatever it cost us for 3 tickets, we would club together and get them, by hook or by crook.
Crook being the operative word.
A tout close to Stade de France waved us over, he pulled out three tickets for us, our eyes lit up, he wanted 2 grand a piece… we haggled and got him down a bit… at the moment of cash for tickets exchange, a passing gooner shouted “they are snide”.
This set the trend for most of the rest of the day… the bastard touts out there had a massive fake ticket racket going on, robbing fans out of thousands of euros for bent tickets.
The watermarkey thing on them was off.
We had a let off, the money was still in our pockets… but we now only had hours left before the big kick-off, and it was looking unlikely that we would get those darn tickets.
We made our way over to the Champs-Elysées, the mission was to now find a bar with a big enough screen, decent beer on tap, and a nice spot.
The trek from the stadium to the Champs-Elysées took almost an hour in a taxi, as the game was now a few of hours away, we left our pal with the ticket near the stadium.
Avenue des Champs-Elysées was ram packed with football fans from England and Spain… but we found a nice little irish themed boozer off the main avenue and took our positions.
Disappointed at missing out on a ticket, second best was being in Paris to savour the atmosphere leading up the game, gooners were in great form… the bar was packed right out a good 2 hours before the game kicked off.
Then came the call…
Our pal over at the stadium had bumped into some chaps from London who had tickets, proper bona fide tickets.
We had a dilemma, spend an hour in a cab getting over to the stadium, get there and find the tickets are gone or snide, and then be stuck at the back of some sinkhole boozer missing out on the greatest night in our history.
Sod it, we had to go… live by the sword, die by the sword.
We finally got to outside the stadium with less than an hour till kick off to find said tickets were sold less than 15 flipping minutes earlier, the sellers got nervous about us turning up with the cash, and as we were in nightmare rush hour traffic getting over to the stadium.. we missed the boat.
Now what? Stuck… , we are at least now really savouring all the atmosphere outside the stadium just before kick off, hearing all these rumours about people trying to jump over fences and getting impaled, the great ticket scam was now in full exposure with arguments galore between conned gooners and french stadium officials.
There was a good general spirit around the national stadium of France, fans from both teams seemed to be getting along, some groups were even having their own mini Champions League final games of 3-a-side.
We were lumbered without tickets, the reality did not really sink in straight away, as the euphoria of being so close to the promised land kept as afloat.
It was all great fun, for a short while, but where the F*%K were we going to watch the game now?
The biggest game in our 120 year history, and we were stuck outside the stadium, in the middle of nowhere.
Miracle of miracles, we find a tiny little cafe type, bar type, sort of sandwich shop, bang opposite the Stade de France… with a 15 inch telly, showing the game!!!!
By 20-45pm CET, this tiny little outfit had been invaded by around 200 gooners, all gutted from not being inside the stadium, but content that the game was viewable, from about as close a spot to the real thing as you could possibly get.
A wonderful atmosphere ensued, alcohol was not being served… but I somehow always found a little plastic white cup with some whiskey and water in my hand.
One night in Paris, over two hundred, hardcore Arsenal fanatics, packed into a lovely little family run business, about 50 yards across from the Stade de France and watched the Arsenal lose the Champions League final under heart-breaking conditions… having led, with 10 men, for over an hour.
Never before, and never again, will a tiny little 15 inch telly mean so much, then again…
anybody know if there are any decent little sandwich shops with a telly, outside the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium?
January 15, 2010
I am talking to you, and you know exactly who you are!
You are the type of two-faced oink who loved to shout from the rooftops about Wenger’s lack of spending, how Manchester United were miles clear of us, how Liverpool were spending more than us, even though they generated less revenue than us since we moved to the Emirates.
You were told to shut up and go sit in the dunces corner, financial management and risk control were way over your nut.
Oh no, you wanted to pipe up and tell us how we needed a manager like Benitez who spent all his dosh and won loads of Premier Leagues.
You told us in no uncertain terms that Wenger was finished and a change of manager was needed.
You told us Wenger could never produce another title challenging team without spending 100’s of millions, the youth project was folly, our great manager needed outing.
You called for a manager who spent “our money” as we pay the highest prices for tickets.
You denied the fact we needed to get our house in order for a few years after taking on a larger mortgage, and that we should in fact be keeping us with the jones’.
You were warned that you would one day soon be made to look very foolish with your short sightedness, and that the Manures of this world were literally wankered with unsustainable debt and their time in the doldrums was only around the corner.
You with your low levels of intellect struggled to grasp basic maths… even when it was broken down into GCSE maths.
You argued, you swore, you made yourself look a right pilchard… and then you ran off down the gym to lose some of that blubber.
The wonderful thing is you decided to keep public records of your outspoken and outlandish insults towards our great club and our legendary manager.
You were warned this would come back to haunt you one day, but you knew best, apparently.
The very same legendary manager, who told us all over the past few years that he was not willing to gamble with the future of our great club by becoming a selfish spend easy manager who paid well over the odds for well below par players.
He decided to embark upon a very different journey, a journey that has set Arsenal Football Club upon the most glorious journey of a lifetime. An adventure that will now allow us to become a truly dominant, self sustained super club for the absolute long-term.
He made this very clear, his plan was long-term stability for our club and not short term glory for him as a manager.
Every manager that comes after Wenger will come to thank the magnificent stewardship of our clubs finances by him, he led the calls for a new stadium, he got it built, he got his transfer budget slashed… but he still kept us near the summit of the Premier League and ever present in the Champions League.
There are pokey little clubs out there who have strived long and hard, gone through many managers, spent tens of millions (even hundreds in some pathetic cases) … far, far more millions than our man has.. and yet their fans still only get to see their team play Champions League football on the Playstation.
We have no requirement for a billionaire who wishes to plunge us into ravaging debt, whilst he lives off the fat of our land for nothing.
It has always been said, let’s get through the first few years of pain after the building of our very expensive, but very beautiful new stadium, and lets allow our manager to follow his youth project whilst paying back large chunks of the debt incurred through building said stadium.
We hoped that we would stay competitive and challenge for titles/trophies… but then, when the other debt ravaged clubs started to fall by the wayside… which super club would be ready to step in and run things through their very own organic funding?
That’s right… the club you thought you supported through thick and thin.
Now is the time to start editing those very public… and very humiliating posts, as the backtracking and cap in hand style of future posts will only add to the strength of the very open outrage against you and your moronic disciples.
A proper Gooner? Yeah right, you wished !!