We were very lucky.

April 30, 2009

This is going to be an uber-short post as I have just returned home after working for fourteen hours and am knackered.

 

One thing I have to say is, 03:45 is no time to be getting up to watch a football game on a work-night. Second, it’s infuriating when you roll out of bed at said hour to watch that fucking performance that we put on last night. I won’t go into it in any detail as it will just make me angry all over again, but Arseblogger has done a good job of summing it up, so please check his post out.

 

There were one or two good performances last night, notably from Almunia who singlehandedly kept us in the tie. Gibbs did well considering that that big lazy cunt Diaby gave him no help at all. What Arsene sees in him is beyond me. Yes, he has a lot of skill but if he isn’t prepared to work his arse off and get stuck in, then he is absolutely no addition to this squad, let alone the starting eleven. It may as well have been me out there last night for all the use Diaby was. To describe his performance as useless, lazy and abject is being kind. The same goes for Adebayor and I hope that Diaby doesn’t start the second leg, because if he does and he plays like that again it is bye bye to any chance of silverware this year.

 

I’ve voiced my disgust for Adebayor’s laziness on previous posts and so I won’t go into it again. Suffice to say, I really hope Milan come in for him in the summer. For every decent game he has had this season, he has had fifteen woeful ones. That’s Michael Owen kind of statistics, enough said.

 

Somehow we came off the field at only 1-0, so on the face of things it was a great result, considering the ‘performance’.

 

The thing that worries me is that the players not only believe Wenger’s words about them deserving to win something, but that the feel they have a divine right to silverware without the need to work for it. Well, last night should have showed them that that isn’t the case…..if the games against hull, Stoke and man City haven’t already gotten that message across.

 

Bottom line, we were woeful and that kind of performance isn’t acceptable. The whole fucking team should be dropped, if possible, for the weekend league game so that they have no fucking excuses at all for not putting a great performance in at the Emirates next Tuesday.

 

Right, that’s it. Am knackered and there’s no point in talking much more about what we are all already thinking and feeling about last night.

 

Luckily, it’s all to play for next week. Thankfully. Have a good one, we can take solace in just being one goal down.

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D-day, part one.

April 29, 2009

Today is the day for our players to stand up and be counted. We need a big performance from them at Old Trafford tonight, no doubt about it.

 

At the manager’s press conference yesterday he said that both Gibbs (ankle) and Silvestre (back) will undergo checks this morning and let’s hope that they both come through them, but that Silvestre takes up his place on the bench and not just because he said this.

 

Looking at the BBC website today, it appears that ManUre are making plans for a homecoming parade should they win the Champions League and this should be printed out and stuck up on the wall of the dressing room to motivate the players, not that they should need it, to go out onto the field and stick it to those bunch of presumptuous cunts.

 

There was uncertainty surrounding the availability of Carlos Vela after it emerged that the club was requested to tell him so stay at home, away from training on Monday, but he’ll join up with the match day squad. If he does have swine flu, let’s hope we get him a job of handing out the oranges and Jaffa cakes in the ManUre dressing room at half-time.

 

The game is receiving a fair amount of media hype due to it being the only all-English tie. I hope that the game will live up to it’s billing, in terms of entertainment. One thing I know is it’s going to be a stressful ninety minutes.

 

Abou Diaby lined up alongside the manager at yesterday’s press conference looking like a black Ming the Merciless and let’s hope that, if he does play, he gets medieval with the ManUre midfield and defence.

 

Arshavin’s agent is at it already and he is quite the shit-stirring cunt. I wish he would bugger off, or that a player tells his agent to go fuck himself when he starts this kind of shit shit stirring in the media. It’s uncalled for and most unwelcome. The player just arrived three months ago, so for his agent to be starting this already is bang out of order and I hope he ends up rotting away in a faeces stained gulag cell.

 

Theo wants to be scarier than Cristiano Ronaldo. Let’s hope that, in the process, he doesn’t also don the cheatiness and cuntiness of Ronaldo.

 

Both managers are in a bullish mood about their prospects but I feel that we have a psychological edge over ManUre in this tie. Recent form shows that we are a team on a fast rise and so this should ensure that we go into this game with confidence. One thing is for sure, we can’t go there and sit back. Nor can they. Neither team is built around that style of play and I’ll be surprised if there are less than two goals in this game. I fancy it to finish 2-1. Fingers crossed it will be 2-1 to The Arsenal.

 

The BBC has plenty of match facts here and let’s hope that we get the better of our first European tie against ManUre.

 

Non-game related news and it seems that Rosicky is back in training, even though the manager does not want to try and rush him back this season. Let’s hope that he can continue his training without any more little setbacks and that he will be fully fit for the start of pre-season.

 

The tension and excitement is well and truly taking hold now and I can’t wait for the game. There’s a nervous tension gripping me and I hope that this team can reach many more big games like these so this feeling can be repeated. It’s games like this that make all of the hard times seem worthwhile.

 

Cross all appendages for a good result tonight. I’ve a feeling we’ll be talking about Cesc and Walcott tomorrow.

 

Come on you Reds!!!!


The day before D-day, part one.

April 28, 2009

Today sees the first of the semi-finals take place between Barcelona and Chelsea and I hope that Barcelona give them a good stuffing. I’d prefer to have a Barcelona v Arsenal final, should we reach the final. Given Barcelona’s defence, I’d fancy us to get a few against them and vice versa I suppose. But, it’d make for a much better final in terms of entertainment than the borefest that Chelsea would undoubtedly bring about.

 

Anyway, getting a bit ahead of myself there. First Barca have to give them a good seeing to tonight and then we have to take care of our end of the deal against ManUre. The hardest thing about living in Japan for these kind of games is that you miss 90% of the hype and hysteria in the build-up to the game. Sometimes that can be a good thing, especially in the aftermath of a game when Sky inevitably go apeshit over something Arsenal have done. But, it takes away some of the excitement in the build-up to the game all the same. Not that I am not excited, but anyone living abroad and reading this will know what I mean. No Sky Sports News spewing detritus 24/7 here.

 

The first game is a huge one and it’s important not to lose it. A score draw would be a good result, but let’s hope for a 2-1 or a 1-0 to The Arsenal. We don’t want to have to chase the game in the second leg because with ManUre’s ability to hit us on the counter and from set pieces we would be in trouble should we lose the first leg.

 

I expect Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou and Gibbs to line up in defence. Well, I hope that Djourou starts in place of Silvestre as he is too much of a liability in a game of such high stakes. I think Djourou would be a more solid option alongside Kolo. In midfield I imagine that we will go with Song and Denilson playing more of a holding role, with Cesc playing in a more advanced role with Nasri and Walcott out wide. I almost wrote Arshavin there instead of Nasri. God, I wish Arshavin was available for this tie, he would make a huge difference for us. Up front I reckon the boss will go with Adebayor, what with Van Persie not being available.

 

Six months ago I would have been very worried going to Old Trafford with that pairing of defensive midfielders, but due to their recent form, I am pretty optimistic that we can make a real game of it.

 

I think we’ll play with a 4-5-1 as it seems to suit us very well, especially in Europe and also because we are missing Van Persie and Eduardo hasn’t kicked a ball in anger for a few weeks, so we probably don’t really have much of a choice anyway.

 

We will need to make sure we don’t give away any silly free-kicks around the edge of the area as Ronaldo will pose a serious threat on those. The manager should be reinforcing that idea along with ‘don’t cock around with the ball in the box’, when in doubt put it into row z. The last thing we want is to concede a needless or sloppy goal. Keep it tight, close them down and use our heads. That’s called for. Fancy football is no good if we don’t produce an end product. Cesc says as much himself in that any mistake now which leads to a goal could be huge. There’s no could about it, I suppose.

 

It’s time for the players to pull out a massive, massive performance at Old Trafford. The fans need it and the club deserves it. We don’t want to see ManUre go to another final and risk seeing them do back-to-back Premiership and Champions League doubles. Could you imagine that?

 

Toure has a positive vibe for the game and he is a player that I really like, even though he hasn’t been at his best for us this year I think he is a good player to have in the squad. I wouldn’t agree with his view that we have replaced Pires with Nasri, not yet anyway. Pires was sensational. absolute quality and playing at the top of his game. Nasri has a bit of work and development to do before he can be considered in the same vein as Pires, but the early signs are promising. Nasri looks like he could be great, but he is no Pires. How great would it be should he reach the same level as Pires?! Let’s hope that he does.

 

This is a big game for Alex Song too, can he keep his good form going on the big stage? I think he will have a good game, but he’ll need to stay focussed for the entirety of the game and make sure he closes down their players at all times when they are in or around our box, without commiting a foul. Likewise for Denilson.

 

As I write this I am getting more and more excited, it’s a shame that the game isn’t until tomorrow! It’s a huge game and to get a positive result at Old Trafford would give the whole squad such a huge boost. The fact that we are now ten points ahead of Villa in the league gives the boss the option to rest some players in league games, should there be any doubts over their fitness, so that should help us for the second leg. A negative result for Chelsea against Barca would mean that they’d probably rest some key players for their game against us, which might give us a shot at giving them a run for their money for third spot. Never say never. They can’t win the league and the hierarchy there will be thinking solely of silverware and that might give us a chance against them.

 

I think that Walcott and Fabregas will be instrumental in everything we do from an attacking perspective and I fancy Theo to terrorise their defence. He is playing really well and now looks dangerous every time that he gets on the ball. With Fabregas and Nasri we have two players very capable of giving him the killer pass to run onto and rip the ManUre defence a new one. Let’s hope that Adebayor is there to get on the end of his balls into the six yard box.

 

Some detailed facts and information about the tie can be found here.

 

Clichy should have had a scan on his back yesterday, so let’s hope that there’ll be good news on that. I hope that we can get him back before the end of the season because we need all the fit players we can get in order to be able to challenge in both the league and champions league.

 

Right not sure exactly where, if anywhere, I am going with today’s posting so I’ll leave it there. I knew I shouldn’t have gone with an iced-coffee. Iced coffee always makes it hard to focus.

 

Have a good one.