As good a chance as any for Arsenal to win at Old Trafford + Group H is a walk in the park

As good a chance as any for Arsenal to win at Old Trafford + Group H is a walk in the park

Eduardo is confronted by Scott Brown after his dive

Hello, hello.

It’s a big post today as I attempt to catch up on yesterday’s no-show. First up is a quick report of the Celtic game, followed by my thoughts on our Champions League draw before I round things off by previewing the massive game against United. Enjoy!

Arsenal 3-1 Celtic (5-1 agg.) –  Talking Points

There’s not much point going back through each and every incident from the Celtic game – you’re likely to be well aware of them by now – so I thought I’d just run through the big talking points from the game before moving onto the Champions League draw Manchester United.

The biggest talking point from what proved to be a comfortable win was of course Eduardo’s dive to win the penalty that lead to the first goal. I mentioned yesterday that I absolutely agree with the notion that it was a dive and that I was very disappointed to see the penalty given. I am very much a purest when it comes to watching football and someone who enjoys the art and spectacle above simply winning, so to see one of our players dive in this manner was a little disappointing. There’s no denying that Eduardo was looking to falsely win the penalty and as much as I like him as a player, I would be furious if Arsenal were on the wrong end of this sort of decision.

But in fairness to Eduardo the media’s reaction to the incident has been utterly, utterly ridiculous. Arseblogger probably summed things up better than anyone yesterday when he said:

“Arsenal scored five goals. Even without the Eduardo penalty we’d have won last night yet they’re bleating on about Eduardo being a ‘cheat’. It’s funny but these are the same people who told you ‘Tiny Taylor’ “isn’t that kind of guy” when he shattered Eduardo’s leg and ankle and put him out of football for over a year. It’s easy to condemn a dive, it’s safe, yet you rarely hear the same condemnation for acts of violence or dangerous tackles. 

Eduardo is a cheat yet Michael Owen is ‘clever’ when he wins a penalty against Argentina with a dive. Steven Gerrard is notoriously light on his feet yet he carries no reputation as a diver. You can be sure that Eduardo will after one incident. Jingoism? Xenophobia? Arsenalism? Call it what you want but we all know there are rules that don’t apply to some because of who they play for or what international shirt they pull on.

I’m not trying to excuse him or justify it but a little perspective is needed. Eduardo’s dive was not his finest moment but in the grand scheme of things it meant little and he does not deserve the kind of vilification he’s received from some quarters. It was just a dive. It wasn’t this. It wasn’t this either. Football would be better served if people paid more attention to things that really damaged the game.”

The only thing I would add to Arseblogger’s comments is that something really should be done – most likely with the use of technology – to punish players who dive. Although the tie was essentially over and the penalty effectively had very little impact on the final result, the problem comes when these sort of decisions are made at crucial moments. It is my personal opinion that UEFA or FIFA need to do something to stop diving via the use of technology to punish players regularly and not in the haphazard, ad hoc methods threatening to see Eduardo suspended on this occasion. It is an ugly side of the game, simulation, and something in the rules needs to change to properly deal with it.

Anyway, that’s the diving incident out of the way. Here’s a quick summary of some of the other thoughts and conclusions I made from the game:

  • The 4-3-3 continues to work well and even with an essentially second-choice front line (Eduardo, Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Eboue) we created chances. Once again our midfield pressured with intensity and the players continue to look more comfortable in this system than last season’s 4-4-2 or 4-5-1.
  • Eboue was superb. It’s clear from these comments he’s settled down since last season and his versatility is going to make him a great squad player throughout the season. Well done to him.
  • With the focus on Thomas Vermaelen’s defending and aggression in the opening few games, it’s taken me four games to realise that he is an outstanding passer of the ball. In a defensive sense he has been an improvement over Kolo Toure thus far and it’s becoming quickly apparent that in an offensive sense he is proving extremely valuable.
  • Three more goals means we’ve now scored 15 goals in our opening four games. In an attacking sense, Manchester United could not come at a better time.

It was another very decent performance and another strong result even despite the couple of rotations to the team made by Arsene Wenger. We are in the group stages of the Champions League again after cruising through what looked on paper to be a potential banana skin and things really couldn’t be better.

Champions League Draw

AZ Alkmaar, Olympiacos, Standard Liege. They are the three teams that Arsenal will face in the group stages of the Champions League and in all honesty – looking around at the other groups – it couldn’t be more straightforward. Unlike Arsenal all three teams are champions of their respective leagues (Netherlands, Greece and Belgium) but in terms of quality they should really be no match for us.

Both Liege and Alkmaar are Champions League virgins while Olympiacos are perennially quite poor at this stage of the competition, so for us things look good. When the fact that travel time will be exceptionally short with Belgium and Holland just a hop away and this is about the best draw we could have hoped for. Only complacency would see Arsenal fail to qualify and given the way that our boys took care of Celtic this doesn’t look to be much of a concern.

Manchester United preview

It is of course the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford this weekend and I am getting bloody excited. I absolutely love games against United and am particularly excited about this one for two reasons. One, I get to watch the game at the pub with Panda for the first time and two, Arsenal have a remarkably good chance of winning. 

It’s not unheard of for Wenger’s Arsenal to win away against Manchester United (indeed we’ve done so as recently as 2006 when Emmanuel Adebayor scored the only goal) but I can’t remember a time when we’ve gone into a game at Old Trafford in such good shape.

Player-wise things are good with Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie rested and Cesc Fabregas apparently a 50:50 chance of returning to the team. Having the captain back would obviously be a big boost but unlike a lot of people I don’t see his return as being essential to our chances of coming back from Manchester with three points. The new formation means that the attacking responsibility is shared around and with Denilson and Abou Diaby proving effective in the last couple of games the likely front three of Arshavin, van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner should get more than enough support.

I believe the key to tomorrow night’s game will be the performance of our defence and fortunately we will go in at full strength. Vermaelen (who has said he is not at all nervous – how I love that guy), Gallas and Song have each been in superb form and I think a lot will depend on the ‘golden triangle’s’ ability to nullify Manchester United’s attack. If they each play well and our midfield plays at a high tempo then I believe we have every chance of winning tomorrow night. It would be a huge statement of intent if the boys could do it and I just get a little inkling that things are going to turn out very well.

I can’t really think of anything to add to that other than that I am ridiculously excited and can’t wait for the match. I’ll have any late team news for you tomorrow but wherever you are in the world get behind the Arsenal and enjoy the game! And those in Brisbane, make sure you get down to the Pig ‘n’ Whistle to watch the game with myself, Panda and a whole bunch of rowdy Arsenal supporters.

COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!

PS. For a Manchester United perspective of the game be sure to check out The Republik of Mancunia.

Have your say on Celtic, the Champions League draw or Manchester United by leaving a comment.

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64 Responses to “As good a chance as any for Arsenal to win at Old Trafford + Group H is a walk in the park”

  1. msz
    August 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    The best united can get from this game is a draw. arsenal can beat united without fab but united cant beat us without ronaldo

  2. jamie blacksmith
    August 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    I’ve a feeling that the gunners will inflict a win to get some measure for the pain in April. Make no maistake the red faced cunt has been at the top too long. It’s about time someone bring him down from his perch for all his arrogance and condescending remarks about other teams.i remember were at thetop in the 70s and 80s . When GG won in 1989 it make the decline of the Pool empire.
    Similarly the MU empire is about to go into decline soon. The sun was supposed never to set on the British empire. We all know what happened. If not for the trillions he spent ,sorry,millions I doubt the red faced could have lasted so long. It’s about time he goes back to manage Aberdeen.

  3. billi the kid
    August 28, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Whyever, I think it’s an important fact that MANU doesn’t have Ronaldo in their lines any more, so I am actually positive about a win at Old Trafford, in any case a real test and therefore really exciting, though I think the fact that MANU had a rather poor start to the Leaugue is rather making it more difficult for Arsenal, ’cause MANU is a bit under pressure now to win, the chance of a win is quite 50:50

  4. Neilo
    August 28, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    Smashing post @Andy. Really good. Nothing to fear with ManU and as long as we are as committed as we have been in the first leg at Celtic and at Everton and apply the pressing game we have a great chance. Excited too and you know that ManU will fear Arshavin and Eduardo and Van Persie and rightly so. Vermaelen is our Vidic and he’s looking like a good match. Bring it on!

  5. carole osako
    August 28, 2009 at 7:17 pm #

    Save for April(Champions League), as far as I’ve been following Arsenal versus the Red Lucifers, Arsenal have always beaten the Devils at their home ground in the EPL. So there’s no need to get jittery. A dive or no dive, penalty or no penalty the win was inevitable. Go to hell those who think the penalty awarded against Celtic impacted on the win so much. Go Gunners! Go!

  6. wrecked_soul
    August 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    i’d say we could win tomorrow’s match the way we’d done in 2006 if we believe in ourselves. we all know we aren’t favorites to win it, but the less we’re getting the better our chance is. beating ManU at their own turf will be a major leap for us. i can’t wait

  7. preencemeka
    August 28, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    Anything short of a win is not good enough. Arsenal to win by 2-1. will be watching the match on AIT, right here in NIGERIA

  8. Dan
    August 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    i have no doubts, this is a win for Arsenal. i have seen the last few games and i believe this is a different period from the last we have had in previous seasons.

    i am believibg that this time our momentum will go all the way to the trophy, i will not even be surprised if we go unbeaten this time round.

    hey!!!!, bring on MAN U.

  9. BeeBrian
    August 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    Hats off to Eboue, played as a forward and he scored. He’s played in every position except in goals, maybe one day he gonna stand in for Almunia! Hes a good backup.
    We got a high chance of beating ManU they are not as good us this season.

  10. Robert Okwera
    August 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Football is football!!!!we can win without Kolo toure who when away
    Am assured that we are going to win in the Old traford
    to all Gunners you be with confidence!!!!

  11. Ianinja
    August 28, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    It will be a close game, in fact it will be tighter than a maiden’s flower. If Thomas V can shut the british bulldog Rooney we have every chance of sticking it up the Mancs.

  12. fanner
    August 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    When babel dived in the semi final against us, when ronnie dived and earned a penalty against us in our 49 unbeaten run, they are all heros and when Educado dives, he is a cheat.

  13. Cleture
    August 28, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    @ Carole asako you are a real gunner. Live it up! Did any one noticed red nose at the grove on wed? I think he was writing his last will and testament. Ahead! Ahead!!! You gunners!!!

  14. Frank Goono ( expat - Perth Ozzi Gooner)
    August 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Only one team innit,
    Gooners around the world rejoice, because this is our year!!

    G’day and may the arse b with u!!

  15. SOBIN THE GUNNER
    August 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm #

    Iam very excited about the tommorows game because “GUNNERS ARE REALLY IN A GUNNING MOOD”
    COME ON GUNNERS.
    I think we have good draw for champions league group stages.COME ON ARSENAL
    ” IN ARSENE WE TRUST”

  16. anicoll5
    August 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm #

    Andy your comments on Eboue and the birth our our new Zidane are spot on.

    The guy has an exceptional motor and is developing a slick football brain to match his obvious athleticism.

    Given the debate about Eddy’s dive aint it ironic that the total change in Eboue’s game, and his relationship with the fans, has come about in the ast six months since he abandoned his ludicrous diving and cheating approach to the game ?

  17. Johno
    August 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    No Ronaldo, no Ferdinand, Valencia looks totally out of place, and pace, as good a time as any to play Man. U.

    The only thing to worry about is who Scholes will try to injure with a sneaky foul early in the game. Referees must be aware of his “previous” in this respect. He is quite calculating and cynical and is a danger to other players.

    The Champions League draw, while not being the walk in the park predicted by Andy, should see us comfortably through to the knock-out stage.

  18. MY WAY
    August 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    @ Andyweb,why is no one talking about beam on Dudu’s eyes when he took the pen.? or is that part of the game?

  19. billy
    August 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    all i can say is that man u are gonna get knock the f@ck out. @andy, nice report man. once again you have sumed up everything very nicely. good luck for tomororow mate. enjoy your day at the pub.

  20. TheSKAGooner
    August 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    If our midfield plays as well as they have been…closing down quickly, keeping possession or winning possession and preventing United from getting too quickly into the attack, it’s going to be a very long and very frustrating day for the home side.

    The back 4 will have to be on it as well whenever United have corners or free kicks. But I think the critical area of the pitch, defensively, is going to be the middle third – say 15 yards or so either side of the center line. If we control the middle, we win.

    It’s going to be a close match and hard fought. I do not see us running rampant, a la Everton. We’ll have to take advantage of our opportunities and create as many chances as possible on Foster. He can be had. And we have the attack to create space and get the ball on the feet of goal scorers.

    I’m highly optimistic of a 2-0 or 2-1 win (more likely). Obviously I’d like to see us put a totally demoralizing beat down on them at OT…Everton style. But I’ll settle for a well deserved 2-0 or 2-1 result to The Arsenal.

  21. Filipino Dan
    August 28, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Like you Andy, this is the game I always look forward to and feel very strongly about for various reasons.

    I hope that we arent tempted into a 4-5-1 until we are a couple up (!) and continue the same pressing style that we have shown so far this season.

    This game is key for determining where we are and a win would be immense for our confidence, form and dare I say it, title challenge. But against them, away from home, I’ll settle for a draw!

  22. millefiori
    August 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm #

    Regarding the “Dive” – One needs to also assess, at the speed Eduardo was at the time of the near contact with the GK, he had little else of an option. He could have jumped and ran forward to crash into the advertisment hoardings and hurt himself or he could have stopped that byfalling over. While I am not fishing for some way to find an excuse, I think overlooking pure laws of physics is not right.

  23. millefiori
    August 28, 2009 at 8:47 pm #

    By the way, an excellent post from Andy

  24. Ifeanyi
    August 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Wonderful blog u guys got. Would like Arsenal to beat Man U silly maybe like 3-0 and I know we can do it. Eboue is also a player that I have always enjoyed because of his commitment. Well done to him.

  25. ramon
    August 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Any calls on the result tomorrow? I was initially concerned about our formation versus how Man U usually set up, as Eboue drifted inside a lot on Wednesday (and if Arsh is on the left we know he’ll do the same). However, as far as I can see, they do not play as wide as they have in the past. And with their more toothless forward line lacking urgency, we should be okay. Maybe the extra personnel in midfield will ensure we’re not bossed around as perhaps we have been in the past. Arsh will have a big game, and I’d like to see our full-backs get that att-def balance right, with better end product. I give us a 2-1 victory. We’ll get all our goals before the 80th, and we’ll leak an exasperating consolation late on – as has been our habit of late. (What I would give for Almunia to keep a clean sheet tomorrow!!!)

  26. Giddie
    August 28, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    we will win this game period.

  27. jay-jay
    August 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Against Celtic, the back 4 was super, they conceded a late goal but that wasnt bad defending, it was just unfortunate. Deni, Eboue and Diaby were very good. I was dissappointed with Bendtner and Song and if they both play, they will have to up their game against United. Our defence is excellent. Clichy and Sagna attack the wings while Gallas and Verm are superb at the back and work well together. And when Gallas twice skillfully attacked the Celtic back for and got behind their defence (yes with skill). I just laughed and thought he will score. 2-1 Arsenal Win – Rooney / Gallas, Deni

  28. Cleture
    August 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Le Boss is relaxed and excited about this game tomorow. Para mí its more like a pay back. I did fancy the Everton style no hard feelings though.

  29. anicoll5
    August 28, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    To keep you up to date boys and girls – unfortunately Eddy has been CHARGED by Uefa with “deceiving the referee”

    Looks like a two game ban coming

    While it grieves me to say it if it helps to stamp out cheating it will be the best two game ban any Arsenal player has ever served

  30. Gifton K
    August 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    Surely,Man U is good but not unbeatable.We have a chance.As for the champions league fixtures nothing to worry about.It is a walkover.

  31. White Ox
    August 28, 2009 at 9:33 pm #

    Eduardo has been charged by UEFA. I am just disgusted. It is ad hoc, make the rules up as you go administration at its finest. If this was Kaka for Madrid you can rest assured there would be no case to answer. Further proof that UEFA is run by a pack of clueless imbeciles with their heads up their arses who are happy to have different rules for different clubs and different players. It’s a sad, sad day.

  32. Johno
    August 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    White Ox,

    I thoroughly agree, nobody has been charged under these circumstances before.

    Article 10, paragraph 1c, carries a suspension for two competition matches or for a defined period

    This is an absolute disgrace, where were these regulations kept? down the back of Platini’s sofa!

  33. charles
    August 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    I am very opstimistic that this time we shaal gun them down but with a lot of struggles. our guys should use the style they used against celtic of not allowing them passw the mid line with the ball. Eboue is in fantastic form, therefore he most start and proffessors new formation of 443 is so perfect. i wish us the best.

  34. samy
    August 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    I strongly agree with u.man u without Ronaldo and Tevez and a weak defence is BEEAATABLE.I cant wait for the match tommorow where i will be in my favourite pub and celebrate the WIN.Diving has no any impact on the results of the match.Gunners are hot and everybody getting concerned.GO GUNNERS GO!

  35. anicoll5
    August 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    White Ox,

    And if Eddy had not dived then there would bne no case to answer either would there ?

    And Johno – yes they have been charged before – and banned for two games – whether Eddy is convicted or punished, and what the punishment is remains to be seen

    Lets stop whining and accept we have to clean up our own crap

  36. YuppieScum
    August 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    I’d LOVE IT… LOVE IT if we beat them tomorrow. I’m expecting a draw: 1-1 or 2-2. Arshavin and/or Gallas to score. Rooney and/or Berba for the Manc bastards. C’mon lads!

  37. Andy @ Arsenal FC Blog
    August 28, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    If Eduardo gets a suspension it will be such a joke. He DESERVES a suspension but considering the amount of absolute shit (and I swear very infrequently) that people get away with this would just be unfair. Disciplinary bodies cannot simply make up the rules as they go and if this rule had always existed then why hasn’t it been used before to stamp out diving?

    An absolute joke but, on the bright side, given our draw it’s probably not going to matter one bit to our chances of progression. Eduardo will surely learn his lesson though, why hasn’t Ronaldo and Co been forced to previously?

    Anyway, COME ON ARSENAL!

  38. ramon
    August 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm #

    If Martin O’Neill had been foreign, there would have been questions raised about his managerial position. Just look at what has happened to Wenger, Rafa whose job security has been continually questioned every time there is any hickup. Oh yes and who can forget the two dives by young in the space of 10 minutes, and yet not a mention….but thenw why would they – he is english after all, the hypocrisy and the subtle racism in this country continues….

  39. ramon
    August 28, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    If anyone gets a chance then watch Wengers interview just there on SSN. Must watch stuff. Too much too mention but he it was the Wenger of old back to bis best..

    Basically barracked the media,Uefa, Scotland everything..
    Said we will fight this case until the end.

    his quote “if that was an english player the media would say nothing” was spot on as well

    well done arsene

  40. Steve-O
    August 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    Ol’ Fergie must be worried if he come down to watch Arsenal play Celtic. He knows that Arsenal have the ability to demolish his weak and ageing side and knock their campaign off the rails for a few weeks. Also a win for Arsenal against the champions away will give the boys a major boost for a long time. C’MON ARSENAL give ’em a good hiding!

    Great result against Celtic although I see parallels with the way Bendtner is over-played and the ‘grinning fool’ Reyes. Terrific result in the Champions League draw as well.

  41. Filipino Dan
    August 28, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    @ Andy, I understand your frustration mate but it has been used before, if you see my comments from yesterday.

    I’m not too bothered about the suspension as he did cheat (and the group isn’t too difficult, touch wood), but i’ll be the first to complain if other players who do the same arent punished equally.

    I’m sure he’ll come out of it an even better player.

    Anyway, bring on ManUre.

  42. peter stoery
    August 29, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    And yes What Eduardo did was wrong and there should be some sort of come back. How we make retrospective action work is for another debate but I would say I see real problems in any suggestion of a system that only looks at incidents highlighted by the media but I can’t see how a retrospective discipline panel can review every incident in every game either.

    Putting that to one side I have to say the ITV coverage of the incident was absolutely shocking. Clive “that night in Barcelona” Tyldesley spent the entire time after the Eduardo dive berating him and almost seemed to want to ignore the other goals entirely whilst he continued with his relentless moaning about the shocking cheating on display.

    Back in the studio Kenny Dalgish seemed to have stepped out of a time-machine with his “those cheating foreigners come over here with their diving ways” comments. His assertion that English players only do it because they see foreign players do it was absolutely laughable. I have to say, if it was Rooney diving with Man U playing against an Italian team I am absolutely convinced the reaction would have been dramatically different.

    Finally, all those people coming out and saying that they no longer have sympathy for Eduardo following his shocking injury just because he took a dive should be ashamed of themselves. Are they really saying that if a player dives he can have a horrific shattered leg and they wouldn’t feel any sympathy for that? I have always felt that Ronaldo is an odious character but I would certainly not wish any form of injury on him and if he were to suffer a career threatening break I’d have nothing but sympathy for him. Football fans are notoriously fickle but this level of about-turn in people’s views of Eduardo must be leaving a lot of people very dizzy.

  43. Filipino Dan
    August 29, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Let’s just hope that the lads are galvanised by the charge. They can take their anger on the SFA out on Sir Alex’s team, I’ve no problem at all with that!!

  44. butterfingers
    August 29, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    Like arsne said no one from luckypool have said sorry when babel dived against torre and won them the cl game against us and we would of won that game if the score had stayed the same yet we were up 2 goals and running them off the field. I wish this never happened because we were always going to win the game but what is done is done but now we thump manure and I cant wait for the game but I wish I was at the pig with you guys but I’m up in oct and would love to watch a game with you if poss.

  45. billi the kid
    August 29, 2009 at 2:45 am #

    The problem with this punishment is that you can’t make an example of Edu. I don’t know if this rule had been used before and how often, but I definitely know that it hasn’t been used at all the cases that happened, even if you only consider the cases that lead to a penalty. So there is injustice within again. If you charge you have to charge consistently always. And that’s obviously not the case. So it’s the wrong way, ’cause I think it won’t happen consistenly. Then it’s really better to use TV proof during the games for the decisive situations like goals and penalties and red cards (Like Wenger has mentioned). But this won’t happen neither, because it would avoid the agitating and controversial decisions in football and people say that’s no good for football. I would prefer TV proof. It’s for justice and is used in other sports e.g. athletics too.

  46. GetGunMN
    August 29, 2009 at 3:11 am #

    I think a lot of people are loosing their perspective to this dive. It is not only because this is Arsenal, and Edwardo is a foriegner. For a lot of people the team that got cheated also matter. A Scotish team. If this incident happened against, say a Dutch, Rusian teams etc…, would we be hearing this mass hysteria? This reaction is more due to kinship to the Scots than the nature of the dive. Mind you, this is in no way a defense to the dive. There was no way in hell they could have come back from 2-0 deficit. Now UEFA better be consistent going forward.

    By the way, now is the time to stand up and counted for Arsenal. Beat ManU and dent their hope of making it 4th straight, and build on our momentum. Boy, life is good!

  47. theicehammer
    August 29, 2009 at 3:49 am #

    In ref to the dive, it’s a bag shit sandwich and everyone takes a bite. I think Saturdays game is all about chances created and scored. I expect Arsene’s men to dominate possession but its about the chances that are taken. Arshavin and Eboue are the key. If they both start Arsenal will win. Arshavin must start down the middle and Eboue given free licence to rome. One goal in it.

  48. voley_gun
    August 29, 2009 at 3:50 am #

    I accept diving is not good but even this is ridiculous.Anyway media is generally against arsenal.If edurado is charged why don’t UEFA charge Cristiano Ronaldo.There may be plenty of videos supporting that available today too.

    I am also excited about the game .This will be our first test and playing ManU at Old trafford will be tough ,when they scored 5 goals in last game.Anyway Good luck for our boys and hoping to show them that we are serious title contenders. I would be extremely delighted if our team wins without our captain Fab and controls the midfield.

  49. leany
    August 29, 2009 at 5:19 am #

    sureeeeeeeeeee!!! we will wait until the game beginns. And come on my A!!!!!!

  50. kc
    August 29, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    I’m a little worried about Old Trafford now that we know Cesc will be out. We are the better side this year when healthy, but that’s never. Nasri,Rosicky, and now Cesc have taken injuries less than 5 weeks into the season. Not to mention Djourou and now Ramsey. WTF?! With time running out, AW must bring in more players. We did just get extra cash from the Celtic clash. If the plan tomorow and throughout the season is to expect Diaby to fill in regularly and contribute the same as say Cesc, we are doomed. Tomorow won’t be easy. Arshavin’s performance could be the deciding factor. Let’s Go Gunners!!

  51. ozziearsenal
    August 29, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    Great review Andy
    these are the most positive comment’s Ive readied this year and we are talking about manu game love the energy within our club. Look the UEFA law is fair on Eduardo but we will see if its fair to all clubs over the year SIMULATION has to stop its not good for the game or the fans UEFA will and have sent a message to all clubs in the C/L tournament what is required.

  52. White Ox
    August 29, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    @anicoll5 @Filipino Dan

    I agree that Eduardo’s piece of play acting was suspension worthy and even worse than when opposing players dive is when Arsenal players dive, it embarrasses me.

    But that is simply not the point. Simulation has run rampant for decades with notorious repeat offenders yet we decide to hold a kangaroo court for Eduardo (for an isolated incident in his Arsenal career I might add) due to the xenophobic bleating and whining of the British press and authorities up and down the isle.

    I strongly believe in retrospective punishment. For simulation, for horrible studs up tackles and off the ball incidents that go unnoticed. But when you pick and choose which incidents or players you wish to persecute whilst ignoring others the game descends into a farce and that’s where we are now. Free Eduardo!

  53. censored
    August 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    Arsenal will draw at OT, Arsenal’s midfield is weakened by the loss of Fabregas. Portsmouth revealed Arsenal’s weakness due to playing high upfront. Rooney will be able to break the off-side trap and score some. However, Arsenal will have sufficient quality to bounce back for a draw. 2-2

  54. arsenal lad for life
    August 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    C’mon ya gunner’s. I think we need to win this game so the boys can prove to themselves they are ready to step up and become champions. When i look at our team i really cant see a fault in the line up. Go the gunners. This is our year!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (but if we do lose ( not gonna happen). Stay loyal and dont just give up faith in the team. They are still young

  55. arsenal lad for life
    August 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Fabregas is out for the match it says on arsenal.com and the squad will remain the same as the celtic win. Thomas Rosicky is still out with hamstring and wenger does not want to risk him. I think a win is in the offering.

  56. Hey Nonny Mouse
    August 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm #

    We’ve beaten manure before – when we’ve been in poorer form. The form we’re currently showing makes me feel very confident that we can get a result. Cesc is a big loss of course but with the lads all rallying around the way they are I think we can cope with that. We can’t complain about injuries, as I’ve read some on here doing, because, as I keep insisting, all clubs have injury problems. manure themselves are without Ferdinand, Hargreves and others. If we come up short again this season it’ll be Arsene’s own fault because he’s had the opportunity and money to strengthen and has chosen not to do it.
    I think manure will be surprised by our team spirit this time around, which so far this season has been exemplary and for me, the most exciting thing of all. manure have long had great team spirit – right now I think we match them – our team taken all in all is probably better than theirs now. We can definitely win this. However, as we know, in football anything can happen – which is one of the reasons we love it. So long as the boys give a good account of themselves, which I’m sure they will.

    A word on Eduardo. I would like to say a big **** OFF!! to EUFA, Prat-ini, The SFA and Celtic (have now lost all respect for them). The whole lot of you are a bunch of hypocritical, pathetic C***S! And AW is 100% right that if they pursue this they are opening a can of worms that they will regret – big time.

  57. amiaq_ferguson
    August 29, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Sorry guys to interrupt..

    all the pundits are predicting arsenal to win. how exciting. something to ponder:-
    (1) u are without your captain
    (2) u score 10 goals against trouble team (everton-with lescott onboard and portsmouth-with takeover case)
    (3) u have not being succesfull in keeping clean sheet in 3/4 games

    I’m predicting that Man Utd will win the game only if our midfield combination is good. Hopefully SAF get the right combination. (Nani-??-Fletcher-Valencia). He is so spoil for choices.

    p/s: i went to emirates stadium last march. it’s so huge and impressive

  58. butterfingers
    August 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    @ amiaq_ferguson here is some thing for you to ponder….
    (1) you are without ronaldo
    (2) you couldn’t score against burnley and lost 1-0
    (3) your keeper and best defender are injured
    (4) ol red nose was looking scared at the celtic game in the stands as when do you see arsne at other grounds spying?
    (5) we are arsenal and are the better team and above you in the league now and will be at the end of the season.
    haha couldn’t help myself.

  59. Hey Nonny Mouse
    August 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Hey, you’re interrupting nothing, dude. You’re so sweet and inoffensive.
    1) We were without Cesc when we cruised past Celtic in our last game.
    2) We destroyed Everton because Lescott was playing??? We murdered Portsmouth because they are being-taken over??? Erm…yeah, right.
    3) We haven’t lost a game yet. – you got beaten by…Burnley!! Ha ha ha…

  60. ozziearsenal
    August 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm #

    Hi butterfingers love the banter up him for the rent?Arsenal 2/0

  61. billi the kid
    August 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    Without Faby I must say, at most a draw, as I remember most of the goals were initiated by him, you don’t see him often, but his passes, they are ingenious

  62. Ianinja
    August 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Now lads pls keep our heads down, do not be overconfident we must always respect whoever we play.

  63. theicehammer
    August 29, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Fabs is a fantastic creative player but Arsenal do not player better or worse when he is on the field they play different. I have observed when he is not on the pitch more players arrive in the box at one time because they break with short sharp passes but when he plays he delivers a 30 yard splitting pass which means the offensive player receiving the ball is generally alone and so has to hold the ball up in order to wait for support. Im sure Wenger is aware of this fact. Which works better im not sure myself as i dont have the stats.

  64. amiaq_ferguson
    August 30, 2009 at 5:55 am #

    @Butterfingers/Hey Nonny Mouse
    (1)Is Ronaldo playing?
    (2)Is Ferdinand/VDS playing?

    We have 4 worldclass centreback in Vidic, Ferdinand,Evans and Brown. Any 2 is good enuff for ur attacking force. THe best u can do is shooting from distance. The same way Nasri score 2 goals last season.

    Anyway, Arsenal play better but we are more organize. Thanks Diaby

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