The future may be bright, but sadness looms……..

April 13, 2010

Yesterday we heard the news that Lady Nina has decided to sell her shares in our club, she owns 15.9 of them. Stan the Man owns 29.98 shares and the Big Man from Russia owns 26.29. Even someone like me, who can’t add up for love nor money knows that if either of the two boys buy the shares they will have to make a takeover bid. (yesterday I added 90 + 30 = 150….. ūüôā )

It’s suggested she wants her shares sold by the end of May!

For me, that’s where it ends, I don’t know enough to discuss the issue over shares, all I know is,¬†it will be a very sad day when Arsenal no longer belongs to Arsenal and our club¬†just becomes a ‘Boy’s Toy’…..

Putting thats aside, the future looks quite bright with all the up and coming young players. Over the last few days/weeks we have talked about who should go, who we should buy, but what about those players in the youth/reserves?

Just who will¬†Arsene Wenger think about before making any of the¬†much needed experienced¬†signings…

These are the Reserve/Youth Players currently at Arsenal – according to afc.com

Goalkeepers

Sean McDermott
JamesShea

Defenders

Sead Hajrovic
George Brislen-Hall
Daniel Boateng
Pedro Botelho
Havard Nordtveit
Ignasi Miquel
Nicholas Yennaris
Rhema Obed
Kyle Bartley
Thomas Cruise
Craig Eastmond
Cedric Evina
Kerrea Gilbert
Gavin Hoyte
Luke Ayling

Midfielders

Chukwuemeka Aneke
Oguzhan Ozyakup
Sam Byles
Jernade Meade
Nacer Barazite
Francis Coquelin
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Emmanuel Frimpong
ConorHenderson
Henri Lansbury
Mark Randall
Sanchez Watt

Strikers

Benik Afobe
Roarie Deacon
Luke Freeman
Rhys Murphy
Jay Simpson
Gilles Sunu

Who out of that lot is ready to step up next year then? Is there a player that  Arsene Wenger will truly believe to be ready for the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League?

Is there one, two or maybe even three players that he can honestly say will be good enough to make the move into the first team?

One thing for sure is, unless its another Cesc, Henry or TV in the making, we don’t need to buy any more young players. If we buy, we need players who have¬†3/4 seasons left at their peak.

I think there are a fair few from that crop¬†that¬†we will one day¬†be watching play in our first team….

Any stand out for you? Do we actually know enough about them to comment?

I know a few are too young to be considered, but it goes back to that ‘If you’re good enough, you’re old enough’, Shrek is living proof of that!!

Just a little distraction from tommorrows game….

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Big day Arsenal, big day Arsene…..

February 27, 2010

Don’t know about anyone else, but it seems along long time since we played our last game of football, since Cesc slotted home his penalty to secure us three points against Sunderland.

Thankfully today the boys are back in action and we should all be able to see it on a proper screen rather than a stream somewhere. Some are lucky to be heading up to Stoke, but me, I will be sat in front of the television, shouting obscenities at the screen and praying for a win.

Prior to that though and just for a change, I‚Äôm going to watch the lunchtime battle between Wayne Bridge and John Terry ‚Äď oops I mean Chelsea against Manchester City!

I hate City, probably as much as I do Chelsea but that has only come about since Lardy and Toure went there for money. I used to respect them a little, I would even go as far as to say I liked them as a team, but now they have become just a Mr Rich club that pays rubbish players silly money! Lardy is living proof of that isn’t he and as for Toure, he has been one of their worst signings. Hey Ho though, look on the bright side, we pocketed £40M and got rid of a couple of trouble makers.
Today though, I shall be cheering on the team from Manchester, I hope they thrash Chelsea, I hope Wayne Bridge lumps Terry in the dying seconds of the game, I really do.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the Bridge/England situation and many think he is cutting off his nose to spit his face. I am surprised really as in the ‚Äėordinary world‚Äô most men I know would have been round to Terrys house a long time ago and made it clear how he felt. To expect the two to ever play in the same team let alone share a dressing room is asking far too much.

In my mere humble opinion, Terry should be the one not going to South Africa in the summer, not Wayne Bridge; he has done nothing wrong during all of this!

Maybe fate will take over and Terry will pick up an injury between now and then and Bridge will play in the end.

If City can do us a favour and we can go to Stoke and get three points then that will cut the gap down to just one game. Just one game they need to slip up in and we are in with a REAL shout. With the fixtures they have, I can see them dropping more than three points!

So on to us, The Mighty Arsenal, the so called Mighty Arsene Wenger ‚Äď both have to be on their best form tonight.

We have no Diaby, Arshavin or Gallas! That’s a big three to miss!

Arsene needs to get it right from the start, put out the strongest side we have available, not his favourites, his best eleven. Then he needs the next best on the subs bench and then use them at the right time. That means, impact subs, not Denilson on for the last three minutes. If the game needs changing, bring on the right players to make that change happen!
Do that Arsene and we will win ‚Äď win for only the second time in 28 years!!! Unbelievable statistics really and hard to believe ‚Äď a bit like Denilsons ūüėČ

Forget Delap, forget the long throw ins, forget what Stoke think they do well ‚Äď mark Fuller out the game and we win, get Big Sol to take out every cross and throw in and we will be fine ‚Äď play the football we know we can play and we will come away with the points, all three of them!!

Oh, and if Denilson is around, he can keep hold of the Stoke towel !!!!

This is our chance, I feel it‚Äôs our final chance to close the gap ‚Äď fuck sorry, muck up today, and that‚Äôs it, we may as well sit back and accept 3rd place!

I am going for a 2-1 or 3-2 away win. I also have a feeling we will see something like this later….

Now then, that really would make my day… Just for you JonJon..

Have a good one all…


Come 3pm, we could be ten down.. bet the pundits don’t mention that!!

February 20, 2010

A lot went on yesterday in the news about our fine club and our illustrious leader had a whole lot of things to say….

Nowt changes there then eh?

He talked about,

Why he believes the play-off for the CL place could be pointless.
Why he believes in the goal keepers he has to hand
Why the FA should help Portsmouth but not bend the transfer rules on the way

Tell you what I think, why talk about Portsmouth? It‚Äôs not our problem Arsene, unless of course you are thinking of nicking David James on the cheap ‚Äď or any other player for that matter?

To be honest though, the poor chap just heads off to do a press interview, gets asked stupid irrelevant questions, answers them in a very diplomatic way and then everyone dissects what he replies…

I would rather know HONESTLY why he hasn’t tweaked our squad and made it into a real winning side..

But hey, we have all done that to death, haven’t we?

We have what we have until the summer so let‚Äôs get behind them (even Denilson) and roar our support from the rafters ūüôā

Sunderland arrive at The Emirates today full of confidence, not from their last run of results but more so from the result they earned when we played them on their turf.

We were poor that day, we must have been, either that or we turned up believing the three points had been secured and we got complacent ‚Äď I am going for the latter!

So today has to be very different, the players have to walk onto the green green grass of home thinking they are 1-0 down, fight for their lives from the off. To have a chance of winning this league we cannot afford to drop points, especially at home and especially against a side who hasn’t won in yonks..

In fact its twelve games since Sunderland have won a game a football, already Steve Bruce has said he hopes the board are patient with him and give him time to turn around results ‚Äď he fears he will be axed if he doesn‚Äôt sort things out soon!

Well I hope Steve Bruce does turn things around and go on a long run of winning games, what I do hope though is that that begins next week and not tomorrow ūüėČ

So who‚Äôs in and who‚Äôs out….

Sunderland have fitness doubts over Reid and Henderson, Cattermole and Meyler miss out due to being suspended.

Arsenal ‚Äď We are without Gallas, Diaby, Van Persie, Eduardo, Djourou, Arshavin, Gibbs, and Merida ‚Äď
Late fitness tests are in stall for both Almunia and Song!!

If Song and Alnunia are declared unfit, that’s TEN players we have out, yes I know Merida and Djourou wouldn’t definately be starters, but they would be on the bench wouldn’t they??

Did you read that long list of injured players Sky Sports?

Nah, of course you didn’t, you always like to make a big fuss over Manure (aka Sky FC) having Giggs out injured, or The Dippers missing Torres!!

Big day, big game, and I expect a big result in our favour; let’s show the boys from up north just how good we are on the slick surface at the Emirates and send Brucie home without any kind of bonus.

Let’s not let Steve Bruce go home with a similar kind of smug face that the last Manc went home with!!

Secure the three points and get us right back in this title race ‚Äď we have to stay in it to win it!

Almunia
Eboue/Sagna TV Sol Clichy
Cesc Song Rosicky
Nasri Nik Theo

That‚Äôs it, no gossip, no round up, just utter garbage from me ūüėČ


Classy Arsenal Erupt All Over Pompey

December 31, 2009

The lads really put the boot into Portsmouth didn’t they?? In a day marred by news that Portsmouth’s money men have been turning the lights off, drawing the curtains and hiding behind the sofa when the taxman came calling, the Portsmouth team could have done without our ruthless lot coming to town, to top a bad day at the office off with what only can be described as an exhibition match…

I’d like to say¬†I feel a little sorry for them. It is the season of good will after all. They are bottom of the league, their players haven’t been paid and the Pompey fans are still fully behind their team, but, there is no room for sentiment in football, especially when your in the title race and 3 points are up for grabs. I’m glad we smashed them. I’m selfish like that, I couldn’t give a toss what happens at Pompey, I’m an Arsenal fan and¬†I know I’ll sleep well tonight with 3 points and 4 goals in the bag…

I find it an interesting statistic that in the time Wenger’s¬†been in charge at our beloved, well run club, Portsmouth have had 11 managers!! No wonder they are in the mess they are in. Stability really is key in football, but¬†I guess they’ve found out the hard way…

The game itself was a complete mis-match. Pompey, as expected tried to be competitive in a combative nature, but the midfield trio of Song, Diaby and Ramsey looked assured on the ball and were just as good without it. Song and Diaby used their strength and physiques well and we closed Pompey down at every opportunity. We gave them no room to breathe and after a scrappy opening 10 minutes the players started to find their feet and settle down. We were beginning to settle into a rhythm and with the class and quality beginning to show it was only a matter of time before the 1st goal came. With a little luck..

It came in the form of another free kick. I don’t¬†really know why Wenger lets Robin take them..He hasnt scored from one in 3 seasons of trying, yet while he’s been injured weve scored from three with three different scorers..fancy that!!! This time it was Eduardo’s turn..

On the half hour mark Ramsey was tripped just outside the box and it was perfect for a left footer. Up stepped the little Crozillian¬†who’s shot was heading towards the right hand corner, only for it to take a deflection and end up in the left. No doubt the dubious goals panel will try to award it as an OG, seeing as though Eduardo’s not everyone outside the club’s favorite cup of tea, but 75% of Fat Franks goals have come just the same way. It was Dudu’s goal all day long…

The second was a long time in coming but with only minutes left before half¬†time it can be seen as perfect timing. Eduardo found himself in the box with the ball at his feet after a wonderful left footed pass from Song. With hesitation from the defenders with no challenge coming in, ¬†it seemed like he had all the time in the world to pick a pass to Ramsey, who cleverly slipped the ball to Nasri. The feisty¬†Frenchmen hasn’t really impressed away from home, but we’ve stuck by him and he didn’t let us down. On retrieving Ramsey’s pass he looked to have taken the ball too far as he let it roll to the right. I expected him to hit it first time but Nasri’s choice was justified as he drilled a worm burner into the bottom corner. It was a great finish and at 2-0 the game was over..

The third was a peach. It had been said before the game that Ramsey owes us a big performance. Pompey were the perfect opportunity for him to stamp his authority on a game right from the start like he does for Wales. He’s done well in cameo roles but I’ve always been left unimpressed whenever he’s¬†started for us. Well, he stamped his authority on this one with a fantastic goal which left me giving the lad a round of applause through my television. Pompey looked set to break after one of our attacks had been fruitless but Ramsey pounced on the situation, stole the ball from his man,¬†side stepped¬†his way round another and hit a left footed shot which three keepers couldn’t have stopped. What a shot.

Pompey scored (yawn) and our fourth well and truly put the game to bed. Song’s midfield performance was a joy to behold and all that was missing was a goal. He got it and a lot¬†of it was his own work. Song took possession in the middle of the park about 35 yards away from the Pompey goal and he put his head down and drove towards it Diaby¬†style. He tried to dribble his way through 2 defenders but was stopped in the penalty box. The ball was deflected out to the right only for Nasri¬†to pick it up. Song stayed in the box, lost his man and called for the ball to be put on his bonce¬†and Nasri¬†obliged with a cross that took out all the defenders. Song, in yards of space, powered a header into the net from 12 yards out. Big header from a big player. He’s become one of the first names on the team sheet this year and well played¬†to him. Chelsea forked out 25 million for Essien, Liverpool forked out 18 million for Mascherano.

We’ve only got one Song and he was peanuts!!! Songs emergence as one of the PL’s best midfielders is a credit to the lad. After taking early stick he’s grown in stature and in confidence and he plays like he knows¬†how¬†good he is. What makes him even better is that he’s just as good at CB. Whenever Gallas or Tommy bomb forward, Song fills the gap they leave. What a player. Damn the ACN, it’s as much as a nuisance as those crappy friendlies that get played through the season. Whoever heard of a competition that gets played half way through another competition? Ridiculous. It’s so far behind the times and the sooner the authorities sort it out the better because as far as im concerned its a burden…

Anyway, 4-1 to the good guys and we are in prime position to take 2nd place from the Manc’s next week..

Player ratings

Almunia..6..Made a good save in early in the first half at his near post which you would expect him to make, but didn’t look that great with the crosses and¬†I thought he could have done better with the goal.

Sagna..6..Looks better doing defensive work than what he does going forward but still fairly solid..

Gallas..7..Has been immense this season but was nowhere to be seen for the Pompey goal and roamed forward far too often. Still a good display though..

Big Tom..8..I really want my sister to marry him. What a player. Committment, desire, strength.¬†I love him in the defence but I’d really like to see him in the midfield while Song is away…

Traore..6..Got caught out of position a few times, especially for the goal, but he’s getting better and it’s going to be interesting to see what Wenger does when Clichy, Gibbs and Traore are all fit..

Ramsey..7..Looked assured on the ball with some good touches. Great goal and good touch for the assist and he looks a great player for the future.

Song..9..Man of the match. Superb display. Everything you want from a midfielder. Energy, heart, strength, passing, tackling and a super headed goal to top it off..

Diaby..7..Had an impressive first half but went missing in the second. He’s done well in his last 3 matches but they’ve all been in halves. He did well in the second half against Hull and Villa. I’d like to see 90minutes from him..

Nasri..7..Good goal and good assist but drifts in and out of the game a lot.¬†Like Diaby¬†I’d¬†like to see 90minutes from him. Especially away from the comfort zone of the Emirates.

Dudu..7..Did well tonight. The movement seems to be coming back and the goals are beginning to come again, whether scuffed or deflected, but who cares?? They could all go in off his backside for all¬†I care. A¬†goal’s a goal and when you’re a striker it brings confidence. Let’s hope he stays fit and gets a long run in the team..

Arshavin..6..He really is taking one for the team isn’t he?? With no other strikers capable of leading the line in Nikki and Robin’s absence, this man is sacrificing his all round game so others can play theirs, and he’s¬†still capable of banging in a screamer even when he plays poorly. Hopefully, Dudu’s sharpness will return soon and AA can be restored back to his role¬†where he¬†can start getting himself in the games again. Unless Wenger buys a striker???

Subs..

Rosicky..5..I love this guy,¬†I really do. There isn’t a more magical player than a fully fit and firing Tomas but it’s not happening. Match sharpness is key, but how long will it be before he’s injured again??? And time is running out..

Eastmond..5..Good energy. Definitely looks a good prospect…

Vela..5..Like Eastmond,¬†wasn’t really given enough time. We should see 90minutes from them against Wham in the Cup..

In conclusion,¬†I know it’s only Portsmouth, but there’s 38 games to play to win the league¬†and you can only beat the team thats in front of you every week. 3 points are 3 points and it was a committed performance that deserved the win. If Manure or Chelsea would have won 4-1 every¬†pundit¬†would have been creaming over the future champions, so we should feel the same. That’s 16 points now from 18 and we have a good chance at getting another 9 points from the next three fixtures before the tricky run of games¬†start at the end of January. So far so good..


The summer rebuild…A fans perspective..Defence.

June 5, 2009

Now then boys and girls, today we get to put our Tony Adams thinking caps on!!

The Arsenal defence at the minute seems to be a bit of a weak spot in our team..and¬†Sir¬†Wenger Obe Cbe AFC would seem to agree…

The Arsenal defence conceeded 37 goals in 38 PL games….breaking that down further to 16 at home and 21 away…For a top four side challenging for the PL title that is simply not good enough..as the PL table suggests…

Manutd conceeded 24, Liverpool 27 and Chelsea 24…

A successful team not only has to be good with the ball, but without the ball too…If we want to catch our rivals next season these figures have to improve in our favour…in simple terms..we need to tighten up…

Personally…i cant understand why…if we break our 1st choice back four down..we have two fullbacks who were both in the PL team of the year 2007-08… we have an experienced French international whos won many trophies with Chelsea and on his day is probably one of the best CB’s in the world…and we have Kolo…Arsenal through and through and was part of the invincible defence….

On paper we have probably one of the best defences in the world…even Carlsberg would do well to better that defence…

My opinion is that we have too main problems with our defence….

1…No¬†quality arial presence..

2…No¬†quality backup for injuries…

So what do we do???

If we look at our defence next season and break it down we have…

LB…Clichy, Gibbs, Troare.

RB…Sagna, Eboue

CB..Gallas, Kolo, JD, Song, Senderbramble, Fishhead.

Gallas and fishead can play LB and Kolo can play RB (not very well)…Its fair to say Gallas is the only one who can adapt to the FB position…

We have too many average CB’s, we have¬†too many players that cover the LB position and not enough quality at RB

We dont need Troare..Clichy is the first choice and Gibbs has impressed as an able deputy..Troare is surplus to requirements…Senderos has proved that he isnt quick enough to handle the PL..and he is mentally weak and has moments of madness so hes out of the door too…Fishead is over the hill..he isnt of top 4 quality anymore..either 1st choice or backup…thats why Fergie got rid and thats why we should too…Eboue has pushed the fans to the limit this season…time and again we have been subjected to some woeful performances and he should be sold…

So thats Troare, Senderos, Fishead and Eboue….That looks like an awful lot of players but we are still left with the first choice defence…

So who do we bring in???

Sagna will need cover at RB…so how about Glen Johnson??? Or Micah Richards…with Richards we get a gooner and a RB/CB all in one go so maybe hes the best option??? Or both..we could use Troare as a makeweight for Johnson????

The CB positions are still pretty strong with Gallas, Kolo, JD and Song…but we still need a ball winner and my shout is Lescott…strong, quick and good in the air and the mainstay of Evertons impressive defence in recent seasons…then Wenger gets his¬†wish of last season of a dominant CB who’s left footed!!!!!!

That leaves us with a defence of

RB…Sagna, Johnson, Richards

LB..Clichy, Gibbs, Lescott

CB..Gallas, Lescott, Kolo, Song, JD, Richards

Now we have a more balanced stronger, quicker defence with¬†arial presence and quality backup for places…

Over to you Roadsters…or Roasters…Or Roosters…depending on what part of the country your from!!!!


Back To The Future and Captain Kremlin..

May 3, 2009

Last night whilst watching yesterdays game on Football First I thought I was going to feel really proud of our youngsters and our squad, then I realized these wins at the end of the season may be detrimental to next years campaign.

When the transfer window opens and we have the chance to buy players Arsene can always fall back on these games and say we have strength and belief and all that tosh.

In reality we did the same thing last year, we¬† fielded¬† weakened sides mainly because of injuries and the Ice Cream man got himself suspended, so we won a few games with no pressure on them and got a respectable third, we would not have won those games if we was fighting for first, these youngsters would have bottled it.. I have a new theory the Premiership before Christmas is a tight competitive league but after Christmas some teams have given up the fight, Middlesborough and Portsmouth being two examples, so when we beat them we fool ourselves and think we are fantastic but when we meet the big boys on the up like Man U and Chelsea that’s when the truth hits home.

We¬† then go into the transfer window with the attitude of we would like that player but if we cannot buy him for so much it doesn’t matter we have all these great players that won at Portsmouth etc.. So we don’t deal like our lives depend on it.

We all know these players are good,¬† but will they stick together for 4 years and indeed can we wait four years to see how good they will be??¬† RvP doesn’t seem to want to and whilst we are producing players one end the conveyor belt is chucking them of at the other..

Yesterday we looked composed and elegant but we were flattered by the scoreline, we are not clinical enough and could have conceded as many as we scored at vital times in the match, that’s football okay it may be,¬† but it would be better if we could learn from these pieces of luck and try to eliminate the mistakes from our games?

We were very lively and defended well from the striker back, are you watching Ade???? Bendtner, Vela and Captain Fantastic Arshavin all closing down the Pompey defence.

The first goal 9/10 times it would have been saved, but this was no ordinary goalkeeper this was England’s No1 goalkeeper and he gifted a goal to Bendtner when he let a half decent header fumble through his grasp. Bendtners “windmill” goal celebration straight out of the Mick Channon’s goal celebration book.. Was that payback time for all the Pompey fans booing our Theo??

The second goal came from a penalty when Andrey was brought down for the second time, in the big games last year like Hleb’s in the Champions League we never get a sniff of a penalty in Mickey Mouse games like these we always get the “Lucky Arsenal” jibes and they always even up and all that. Righty oh!!!

The third came from Vela  after we could just have easily conceded one, when he latched on to a rebound from a Arshavin shot.

I hope that Gazadis and co realize that we would have lost that game if it wasn’t for our captain for the day, the player we spent real money on!!

Fabianski.. 7.5.. Solid performance with some good reaction saves..

Sagna .. 7.. Faultless had load of time on the ball If he of played LB that would have been too many changes..

Song.. 7.. Looking every inch a Arsenal squad player, I cannot see him being world class but a first class stand in at CB and in the DM position.

Djourou.. 7 .. Nice solid performance he looked good next to Song in last years Carling Cup campaign.

Eboue.. 6.5 .. Caught out of position a lot that saw Arshavin playing left back .. funny in these games..

Ramsey.. 7..Not sure what he will become a bit like Frank Lampard I suppose good but plain..

Denilson.. 6.5 He should have shone like a beacon in this Arsenal side, but just another game.. Okay though.

Walcott.. 5.5.. Got plenty of stick off the away fans, may of hampered his game, poor final ball in as usual..

Arshavin. 8.. Made a surprisingly good captain ..Outrageous at times, picking up the Premiership pace now and class is showing.

Bendtner.. 7.5 .. Two goals  made him look good,  but a hard working performance , seems to fit into the team better than Ade now..

Vela..7.. The cheeky chappie, hard working needs a bit of a run in the team, have we time for all these experiments?

The subs who came on just fitted in but the game was over.. Didn’t see the point of Bishcoff, part of the Arsene charity I guess..

A quick word about our away support, the Sol done the double and the Kanu boo’s were loud and clear.. well done lads, class….


Stan to make Arsenal great again and a day out at the seaside for the kiddies???

May 2, 2009

The latest news hitting the headlines this weekend is that our American friend has upped his stake to a measly 28.3% making him the biggest shareholder at the club…I welcome this with open arms for two reasons…

Firstly and more simply…I don’t want the Uzbek that looks like the bad guy from dangermouse to take control….Baron Von Usmanov looks like someone¬†I wouldn’t buy a used car from so¬†I definitely don’t wont him in charge of our club…

Secondly and more importantly for our future…I feel a freshen up is needed at the club and has been for a while…whilst¬†I am proud of our traditionalist values¬†I also am of the opinion that the situation behind the scenes has become stale. The current board have become complacent in recent years and have allowed Wenger to run the club as he likes…..The¬†Kroenke /Gazidis combo brings a¬†fresh of breath air to the club…. Americans are as competitive as anyone and¬†they like to win….I fully believe that they will try to corner the American market with the Arsenal brand….but that also means winning trophies to help to sell the brand….and to win trophies¬†you need to spend money….Kroenke and Gazidis are sports businessmen….businessmen speculate to accumulate so I’m hopeful of a fruitful transfer window….fingers crossed eh??

Onto the footie….

With Wednesdays shenanigans well and truly out of the system(?) we get to support our great team once again in the competition that is our bread and butter….We go to Pompey still in the battle for the great English prize that is 3rd place and I’m really excited that Wenger has declared he will field a full strength squad to achieve this reward, even though we have a CL semi final second leg to play with a goal deficit to make up???

Ok, Ok, sarcastic remarks out of the way….i’m sorry but i’m still smarting with the team selections from the Chelsea and ManUtd games….

I personally enjoy it when we play Pompey…they have done well to get where they are and their fans are amongst the best in the PL… Remember when we thrashed them at their patch in the days of Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira et al (huge sigh)???? Pompey “can we play you every¬†week'” fans remember where they came from, proud to be where they are and are appreciative of good pure football teams, even when they lose…so I have a huge amount of respect for them so they deserve to see us field our strongest team ….

Although¬†I feel the fight for third is meaningless, we still have a 20 game unbeaten run to maintain so I suspect Wenger will stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation..seeing as though it works against mediocre teams, and I suspect Wenger will practically field a full strength squad…

I feel he’ll go with:

Almunia

Eboue Kolo JD Gibbs

Song Denilson

Theo Cesc AA

Bendtner

RVP, Dudu and Silvestre have injuries so it is very unlikely they will play…and Sagna, Nasri, Ade and Diaby will be rested seeing as though they are vital to the cause on tuesday(especially Ade and Diaby)….

I don’t feel there is any importance to todays game… so I’d rest the ‘big’ players….I’d put them all in a room for the day with a big mirror on the wall… and make them¬†watch the repeats of the Chelsea, Liverpool and Manure games….and I’d play the kids and give the armband to Arshavin…

I’d stick with the same back 5…but i’d like to see Ramsey and Coquelin as the deep midfielders, with¬† AA, Merida and Vela as the attacking three, with Nikki up top….

Whatever team we field,¬†I expect us to win because we are The Arsenal and we are the greatest team the world has ever seen..FACT…. and its a fact because we all say so every week…and we’ll cruise it 2-0… with AA scoring both goals….

Today the club we love will bring a huge smile to our faces until Tuesday when its squeaky bum time…..lets beat Pompey..take the momentum into the 2nd leg and lets have Manure…. Rio is 50/50 and they are defensively crap without Rio…remember Gooners…we beat them 2-1 at THOF earlier in the season….we almost had them 2-0 if it wasn’t for that late goal… WE CAN DO IT…. WE MUST DO IT…but first things first and lets show Pompey why their fans want to play us every week…..

Enjoy the match guys…don’t forget to give all your predictions….a holiday a Ricos playing with the Chucks is up for grabs (now)….