Semi-Final Day.

April 18, 2009

It’s been a while since we’ve had a FA Cup semi-final day and it feels good to be back here again. The game today is a massive one for both clubs but due to the fact that we haven’t won anything for a few years you would have to say that it is slightly bigger for us than it is for Chelsea. The Arsenal fans are dying to see the club bring home some silverware again and I think that we are due another addition to our trophy cabinet. I know that this is just the semi-final, but it’s good to dream.

 

The line-up for today will be very interesting as we are absolutely decimated in defence and so I would expect us to line up with the same defence that started against Villarreal, should Gibbs pass a late fitness test. Otherwise, I think that Silvestre will move out to left back to cover for Gibbs and Song move back into central defence.

 

Should Song be drafted in at centre-half, I would expect Diaby to get the nod in order to add some muscle and height to our starting eleven. I would expect Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin and Fabregas to complete the midfield line-up with Adebayor playing alone up front. Given Van Persie’s tendency to pick up little injuries, I think that the boss will start him from the bench with one eye being on Tuesday’s game against Liverpool.

 

The boss could also go with Denilson in place of Nasri and play a trio of Fabregas, Diaby and Denilson in the middle with Walcott and Arshavin playing wide. I’d be surprised to see him go with two up front given that our defence will need a bit of extra protection.

 

The boss has talked about his concerns over the quality of the pitch, but you kind of get the feeling that he was doing that to take the focus off our injuries, or chances of progressing to the final. You would have to imagine that the pitch will be in top condition, hopefully with the grass cut at an ideal height for our passing game. One thing is for certain, it’s better to play the semi-final today rather than tomorrow. Whatever about the condition of the pitch today, it’ll be worse on Sunday.

 

The boss has also spoken of his ‘dark side’ and below is some photographic evidence of his use of the force.

the force

Let’s hope he uses his dark side to inflict great pain on those bunch of Chavs at Wembley today.

 

Goose Hiddink talks about how Chelsea should model themselves on Arsenal, but this is an impossibility given the number of total ballbags they have on their books, including both players and staff alike.

 

Hopefully Arséne will get the chance to do his celebratory goal jig again later today. I wonder has he been taking lessons from Eboue on the training ground? Maybe Cech will oblige us by making a few errors as he has been wont to do of late.

 

One last non-Arsenal related thing, I fucking HATE these two men. What a fucking pair of cunts. It’s obviously a coordinated attack on Benitez and I hope that his gesture WAS an act of contempt towards Allardyce, because he is a cunt. Contempt, hate, rage, anger are just a few of the feelings I get when I see or hear the fat-headed cunt. It’s a pathetic attempt at mind-games and the coordinating of the attack, virtually made simultaneously by both cunts just makes it all the more evident that they are in cahoots. Wankers.

 

A quick look ahead to Tuesday and reports in The Guardian are indicating that Gerrard will miss the game, which can only be a good thing for us, if true. However, local club DJs should be on the lookout if the Liverpool captain is at a loose end that evening…

 

Site-related news: I’ve now added a page that lists some football-friendly bars in the Tokyo and Yokohama area. If you know of any others, please post them in a comment and I will add them to that page. Also, I am thinking of putting up a page with links to some sites that have links to live streams, so please feel free to post any details you may have about any such site in a comment and I will put them up on that page over the coming days. Finally, you may notice a NewsNow tab appearing but you can ignore this page as it just contains links to previous posts here. I am experimenting in order to try and get my blog picked up by NewsNow. I have applied twice to them to be included in the feed, but have had no joy as of yet.

 

The late kick-off is a bit of a pain in the arse today as it means that I must watch the game at home in the late/early hours, but that’s life I suppose. Can’t wait for kick-off.

 

Come on you Reds!!!!!!

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Welcome to The North Bank! It’s a big weekend for The Arse…

March 21, 2009

Being a Gooner in Japan isn’t easy. Kick-off times generally clash with the last train home, thus making watching The Arse in the pub a bit difficult. Though we tend to get almost every Arsenal game shown live on cable/satellite, so I can’t really complain too much because the option is there to watch the game in the confines of my own apartment.

Anyway, looking forward to today’s game, it really is a game where we need to take all three points and make the most of Villa’s loss of form and our continued unbeaten run. It really is due to Villa’s recent collapse that we have regained fourth spot and not our own unbeaten run as, while we remain unbeaten, our form hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire.

Team news indicates a probable return in goal for Almunia and Eduardo will also be involved in the squad, although he probably won’t start. So, I expect us to start with Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy at the back. The midfield line-up will depend on whether Wenger goes with a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1. Should he go with 4-4-2, I’d expect to see Arshavin, Denilson, Song and Nasri start with Van Persie and Bendtner up front. Though Diaby may start in place of Song, but if you consider that Song seems to be The Golden Child, I think it is fairly certain that he’ll get the nod.

A 4-5-1, would probably see us line up with Arshavin wide right, Van Persie wide left, Denilson, Song and Nasri in the middle with Bendtner up front by himself.

Expect to see Eboue to make his obligatory appearance at some stage too. Though, to be fair, he has been doing better in the last few games he has appeared in.

The loss of Walcott to injury, again, is a massive blow for the team as he really does offer us something that no other player in our squad can. However, at this stage we can just cross all appendages that his injury isn’t as serious as we all fear it may be. If he is out for the five weeks, as hypothesised by Wenger at yesterday’s press conference, then it really is a big blow for our aspirations. However, with the return of Fabregas, Adebayor and, potentially, Rosicky these players may help to offset the loss of Theo.

Early Newcastle team news seems to suggest that Owen will be dropped in order for them to play a defensive 4-5-1 with Martins leading the line. This is a shame as they would have been less of a threat with Owen in the starting line-up. Hehehe.

Elsewhere, we’ll be hoping for Spuds to do us a favour by getting an unlikely result against a resurgent Chelsea. I suppose a draw in the Liverpool v Villa game would be the best result for us, assuming we win today, in order to put light between ourselves and Villa and while also gaining ground on third place. A result for Portsmouth against Everton would also be welcome as it would, if nothing else, sicken Moyes.

Oh, given that week that’s in it, it would be a gross dereliction of duty if I weren’t to say that I hope Wigan stuff Hull in tomorrow’s early kick-off. Phil Brown really is a despicable, lying piece of sh*t.

Anyway, there are still a few hours until kick-off which gives me plenty of time to go out and get some cans of beer in for the game.

Right then, that’s your lot for today. Come on you Reds!!!