E-boo-e – Ro-sick-y – Wigan + Arsenal-Porto preview

E-boo-e – Ro-sick-y – Wigan + Arsenal-Porto preview

Gather round children.

I’m not even going to apologise for the lack of posts of late because it’s been happening all too often. What I will say though is that I f$%#*g hate my computer at the moment and I’m doing something to rectify that. Hopefully I will have a new one by next week but in the meantime you’ll have to bare with me.

It’s only appropriate that I firstly touch on everything that’s been going on during the week before I preview the Champions League away clash against Porto. It’s been a busy week and there’s a bit to get through so I’ll try to keep it short. Indeed, I’m going to do short little paragraphs with headers about the topic I’m going to speak about (ala Arsenal Shorts).

***

Wrigglin’ past Wigan
A deserved if nervy 1-0 win. Johan Djourou was the star of the show with another classy display at the back while Emmanuel Adebayor got the plaudits for a well-taken goal of the sort that he is often criticised for missing. Denilson worked hard on the right while Alex Song put in another decent performance alongside Cesc Fabregas in the middle. It was a nervy thing towards the end as we did out best to implode (see below) but in the end we got the three points that were required to keep up with the leaders.

E-boo-e’s treatment
Yet another fascinating incident in a rather, er, fascinating season for Arsenal. In short (and I mean in short, I could go on forever about this!) I thought the booing and jeering of Emmanuel Eboue was an horrendous performance by the Arsenal fans. There is nothing to be gained by booing our own play and love him or hate him I think the treatment of Eboue was shocking. I can understand the frustrations with his admittedly horrible performance but at the end of the day if fans can stay silent for 70 minutes and then boo their own club’s player then it’s a bit of a worry.

Ro-sick-y’s broken hammy
The word from the manager is that Tomas Rosicky will only be returning to action in March at the very earliest. It’s extremely disappointing news given that he has already been out for almost 12 months and suggests that the club nor the player are any closer to finding a solution for his dodgy hamstrings. And as good a player as Rosicky is – and he is very, very good – I think this news means Arsene Wenger needs to seriously consider bringing in a new player to replace him when the transfer window.

***

That about does it so I’ll move on to the Porto game now.

The simple equation for tonight is that if Arsenal draw or win in Portugal then they will finish top of their group. Unfortunately while the equation might be simple the task certainly isn’t, and it’s been made even moreso by a couple of new injuries to the squad and the manager’s decision to rest a few key players. When asked about the availability of the players Wenger replied:

“Bacary Sagna has the flu and Gael Clichy has a hamstring, he has a little chance of playing on Saturday. Kolo Toure has a recurrence of his calf injury, he should not be long but it was not enough to play. Cesc is a doubt for Saturday, he got a kick on his knee on Saturday. Samir Nasri is definitely out for Saturday, he will be out for two or three weeks. Robin van Persie has been left behind. He will be OK for Saturday, he has a little stiffness in his thigh. Emmanuel Adebayor is rested.”

The good news is that William Gallas and Abou Diaby is back which means the absence of Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas are largely accounted for. The unavailability of Sagna and Clichy means that boo-boy Eboue will start at right-back while Kieran Gibbs could start on the left, which is interesting. I’m not even going to try and guess the midfield but I suspect the manager might go with Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela together up front. Usually Wenger would play a 4-5-1 in these sort of games but with an extreme lack of wide players at the moment (16-year-old Jack Wilshere is the only genuine winger in the squad) I think he’ll go with a narrow four-man midfield and two up top.

As I said before we need to get a draw out of this match to win the group and despite the absence of some key men I’m hopeful that we can do it. Whether we do or not will be another matter entirely but it will be interesting to see how the likes of Ramsey, Gibbs and Vela handle the pressure if they are called upon by the manager.

Anyway that’s it for today. I’m hoping to be back tomorrow but I’m reluctanct to make any promises given the unreliable nature of my computer. Fingers crossed I am and fingers crossed the boys get the desired result against Porto.

Have a great day.

Have your say on Wigan, Eboue, Rosicky or Porto by leaving a comment.

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31 Responses to “E-boo-e – Ro-sick-y – Wigan + Arsenal-Porto preview”

  1. munz
    December 10, 2008 at 7:04 pm #

    Good to hear from you again Spanny always keen to hear your opinion 😀

    In regards to the Eboue situation I can understand the frustration that is being felt by the fans and their increasingly lack of connection felt with the club but booing your own players in my eyes in unacceptable and only builds negativity around the whole team and could have more serious repercussions as the season goes on.

    Hopefully even with a mid-strength team against Porto we can put up a solid effort and get the draw required or even snatch a win but for me a positive performance is more important.

  2. voley_gun
    December 10, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Shame on those who call themselves as fans and booed Eboue.I hope they will feel for it when they get their own treatment at some stage of their life.

  3. gazzap
    December 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    I didn’t boo, but I dont think unless you were in the stadium can say that 40,000 people are wrong. when that many people do something they are not all wrong. this wasn’t all aboue Eboue. this goes much deeper than that. its about the general malaise the fans have with the club at present. Eboue was unlucky that he just happened to be the focus of the outpouring. The fans desperately want to communicate with the club and wenger. How else do we do that?
    The club have a strict policy of not replying to any letter or email about the team. seriously, if wenger continues weakening the team, season ticket renewals will fall drastically. the booing was a warning. He can either heed the warning or carry on as he is, the consequences will come back to haunt the club.

    Whats more Eboue was a target because of his past diving and cheating so fans are far less forgiving of his horrendous performance. dont forget after he had given possession away he then WALKED about – there was nbo effort to make amends and the fans will allow bad play but they will not allow a lack of effort. This was not all about 3 misplaced passes though.

  4. Ezra
    December 10, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    Well i understand the frustration from the fans being a fan myself but people lets be realistic we all watched eboue last season being given game even when walcott was fine but the kid had shown he was better, this season we have simpson who has good pace and dangerous when attacking merida and best of them all even better than ramsey we have Wilshere am sure he is a better player in 8 though wenger doesn’t see him there, 7,11 and 10, i rather wenger takes his chances on him than eboue who can not come up with a killer pass or strike when you need it but comes up with a dive when you don’t need it.

  5. butterfingers
    December 10, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    I’m with you ezra but he is a great 2nd choice rb. Didn’t get to see the whole game but if denilson was good at rm he should stay there, also bendtner should be with vela up front and hopefully arsne won’t put vela on the lm but I can see song and diaby and hopefully wilshere in the mf but ramsey is more likely to get the go ahead. ESPN are showing the match @ midday but I hate the stupid commentators on that channel. All in all I hope we win but a draw will do as long as we play like a unit and play good football I can see it being a good game as we are both through and there are a lot of big teams finishing in 2nd place so porto won’t want the likes of real or juve but we have beaten both in recent seasons and we will do it again I’m sure.

  6. chee martin
    December 10, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    I read in the papers today that Wenger said that the booing of Eboue was partly the fault of the media, while i am not a fan of the media and i think they do alot of shit stirring, so therefore i would ordinarily agree with him, on this occasion, i have to disagree and point the finger of blame directly at him(Wenger)

  7. Filipino Dan
    December 10, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Good to see you are still alive SF, you had us all a little worried there.

    I’m not an Eboue fan but I was when he played at right back. Hopefully tonight he can play there and show that this is the best and ONLY position to play him in.

    The news on Rosicknote is very bad. Unfortunately, I don’t see Wenger replacing him though, as he believes Walcott and Eboue can play on the wing despite the fact that the former would rather not play there and the latter, well, we’ve probably covered him already.

    I hope Vela gets a chance tonight to show what he can do again. I have been thinking though, the winner of the group could well end up playing Chelsea, Inter or Madrid! Still, getting to play your second leg at home is a big bonus.

    I’m travelling from Scotland to see the lads on Saturday so I mainly hope there will be no more injuries tonight!

  8. markydleiden
    December 10, 2008 at 10:17 pm #

    Eboue got all he deserved. Arsenal have been left in difficult situations many times when he’s been busy diving and leaving us exposed as a result. I think the fans have had enough! I know I’ve shouted at my TV screen many times at his antics. PAYING fans have every right to vent their frustration at a player who can’t be arsed on the field. Eboue can’t cross a ball and is afraid to tackle. All he has going for himself is his pace…he’s not good enough for the Arsenal. I’ve been lucky enough to support Arsenal since the late 70’s and I’ve seen a lot of different sides, but this one has to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable to watch – if inconsistent. Eboue doesn’t fit into this skillful side for me.

  9. Neilo
    December 10, 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    Looking at all the posts above, there is a growing malaise among fans and an alarming lack of connection. Agree that the booing of Aboue, while unfortunate, should be read as a booing of the running of our beloved club right now. We seriously need new players and quick or else we are looking at increased frustration on behalf of fans and a drop in morale by a team already being ripped apart by ongoing injuries.

  10. Radads RSA
    December 10, 2008 at 11:42 pm #

    The wors news I see here now SF is the injury of Samir nasri.I hope he will recover very soon coz we will play liverpool in 2weeks and we dfntly need him.But generaly, its all good to see our first team players to rest as all the rest of our PL games are now all called CRUCIAL ONES.Im happy that Eboue will play again tonit,i dont know but Ive alwys liked his fast run since last year.i admit that he didnt really score as much as he was supposed to as he alws used to have this gud position toward the goal and alws missed, but i just like the fact that he can always bring acceleration to the attack, and alwys a danger to the opponent defenders.Frankly, Id rather see that than seing our style of game during these last recent few weeks.I beleive that all of you guys hve noticed that our team really looked like a defeated guy who has not even fought.There were not even any attack play or attempt or danger that we could bring when we played some of those lower team.Sometime we couldnt even have a single shot on target for 20mn of game.Its sad to say this but this is pretty true.If we have Eboue and vela together tonit, then you guys will see some good attacking run.These 2 guys alws try to bring acceleration to the game and Personnaly I really like it that way as it alws looks dangerous for the oppnnt team.Shame on those people who booed Eboue and I hope that they wont be booed by their workmate or colleague in the future when they will make mistakes like evry human being.

  11. FunGunner
    December 11, 2008 at 3:06 am #

    Hi SF
    I’m with you and Radads RSA.

    For the record, Eboue did OK until the last ten minutes or so. He had a streaky game, doing some great stuff and making some mistakes.
    Compare Cesc’s first 15 minutes with Eboue’s first 15 minutes on the pitch – which of them lost the ball more often? It was the jeering, which started before Eboue had even got onto the pitch, which got to him and caused his confidence to evaporate and his performance to deteriorate so drastically at the end.

    Can anyone give me an instance when jeering or booing a player caused his performance to improve?
    Here is an extract from Jon Sammels’ book about his time at Arsenal:
    “Perhaps the player who suffers from the jeers of the crowd is the last one capable of analysing this peculiar quirk of crowd behaviour. There is one thing I should, however, say at the start. I have heard it said that there is something unprofessional about a player who finds that his game has been affected by the crowd’s attitude. This is a theory which anyone who has been through it will angrily refute.
    “I would defy any player, who needs the approval and sympathy of the crowd in his efforts to play effective football, to remain unmoved when he hears the roar of anger as someone gives him the ball. Unfortunately, the loudest mouth is always heard when the genuine supporter is silent”.

    If you have a problem with the manager, take it up with him – don’t scapegoat a player. And don’t assume that your views are those of the majority of fans. Fans can make their feelings known through the AST or at the AGM, but whatever their views, the manager is under no obligation to bow to their opinion. The manager and the board are paid to run the club, the fans are not. Thank God. If you don’t think you’re getting value, take your money elsewhere. Nobody is forcing you to support Arsenal.

    Players get paid ludicrous amounts because that’s what other clubs would pay them, not because there is some objective valuation of their intrinsic worth, directly related to their talent or workrate or whatever. How do you think we seem to people living in other parts of the world on less than a dollar a day, when we moan about our jobs, or demand pay rises or better company cars? Does that mean we are fair game for abuse if we mess up?

    @gazzap
    “I didn’t boo, but I dont think unless you were in the stadium can say that 40,000 people are wrong. when that many people do something they are not all wrong.”

    Really? History would suggest otherwise.

  12. jay-jay
    December 11, 2008 at 4:07 am #

    Im sure ive seen the team line-up like this:
    Almunia
    Djourou-Gallas-Silvestre-Gibbs
    Eboue-Denilson-Song-Diaby
    Vela-Bendtner.

    I could be wrong but I am 100% sure ive seen line-up for tonight.

  13. Radads RSA
    December 11, 2008 at 4:18 am #

    Good comment Fungunner, I hope these guys now will wake up from their childish dream.All the best for the Gunners tonite.We will rock and Gun them down.

  14. Radads RSA
    December 11, 2008 at 4:29 am #

    I really would lov to see Simpson playin, as I’ve only had few occasions to watch him play, he is strong and fast.Your line up is probably well guessed and good but I dont see it happenin tonite.I dont know!!!! but I also hope that AW will put this line up.I just see him putting Ramsey or wilshere somewhere tonite.

  15. LuxinBrasil
    December 11, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    close Jay-jay but looks like hes decided to play Eboue in his comfortable right back position and play Ramsey in Midfield…
    happy with Vela starting too…
    i spose the best news for us in the next round is we’ve definitely avoided Man U, Chelsea and the pool…not sure whether first or second is best for us now tho!!

  16. Anonymous
    December 11, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    Fuck Arsenal the whole club and all the supporters

    Fuck Arsene Wenger and his fucking youth policy, spend some money on some talent.

    Fuck Gallas smoking cigs and clubbing on the weekend while getting paid 100k a week.

    Fuck Cesc Fabregas coming out with “I want to play in Spain” interviews every other week, just fucking leave so we can see diaby fulfill his potential

    Fuck Clichy couldn’t lace Ashley Coles fucking boots cost us the fucking league at st Andrews and then cried like a bitch

    Fuck Eboue any other cunt would have found a new profession but not this fucker get the message you are shit

    Fuck Silvestre fucking man utd cast off symbolic of how far the mighty have fallen to employ the services of a wanker like him

    Fuck Samir Nasri “French young player of the year” when I said he was average in the summer I was right, the only reason you think I am wrong is because my floor is your fucking ceiling.

    Fuck Eduardo the biggest myth we have ever signed replaced one of the greatest ballers of all time with someone who changed his nationality cause he knew his limitations

    Fuck Rosicky we don’t give contract extensions beyond a year to anyone over thirty cause they are too injury prone I will remember that while I watch bobby ripping up la liga

    Fuck Denilson from the country that gave us the real way football should be played we keep signing fucking water carriers try and pass a ball five yards overrated turkey

    Fuck Song Billa Bong one paced no vision piss poor excuse for a hackney marshes footballer Wengers hopes are linked to this cunt

    Fuck Almunia Jens Lehmann Seaman even Lucic piss on this fool sometimes I think Almunia is the man that robbed Dr Richard Kimble that’s how shit you are

    Fuck Diaby fucking peanut head looks like Vieira and plays in bergkamps position fucking disgrace to the club

    Fuck Theo Walcott made out of fucking china cant string 2 months of football together fucking Lewis Hamilton lookalike where’s your pussy cat doll

    Fuck Ade never fucking celebrates any goals unless the cunt has scored it and then spends so long dancing the opposition has gone down the other end of the pitch and fucking scored as well did you feel a prat at anfield in the champions league bet you didn’t arrogant cunt

    Fuck bendtler pink boot wearing monkey if you were half as good as you think you are we would be back to back champions of Europe

    Fuck RVP you will be 35 and gooners will still be saying if you stay fit for one season you will hit 25 goals fuck off and waste another clubs wages

    Fuck Peter Hill Wood old Etonian cunt what the fuck are you saving for you fucking coffin dodger

    Fuck Lady Nina Bracewell Smith if your husband hadn’t kicked the bucket you would never have stepped foot in either stadium

    Fuck Danny fiszman trying to push up the price of every last one of your shares lets see how long you hold on to them once the price starts to drop

    Fuck the fans booing eboue making him a scape goat because they are remortgaged up the arse and are now in negative equity should have saved some money instead of taking three holidays a year

    Fuck the new ground Fuck the old ground and Fuck the housing developments I hope the whole things burns to the ground

    POST OF THE FUCKING DAY

  17. Fatboy
    December 11, 2008 at 7:58 am #

    Shite performance against Porto- gave the ball away far too much, no cohesion, no endeavour, no hope. Poor performances all round, with the exception of Ramsey, who got stuck in once again. Wilshere looked assured when he came on. Chief tossers were Gallas and Bendtner (again, as always). Porto were nothing special but we made them look great. Not sure who we might face having finished second, but it won’t matter much. We don’t have the squad to win a competition of this class anyway. Disappointing but, sadly, not surprising.

  18. Fatboy
    December 11, 2008 at 8:02 am #

    @ Anonymous:-

    Wow, I thought I was pissed off….

  19. jay-jay
    December 11, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Um over the top Anonymous, wouldnt you say.

    Yes we lost 2-0. Wea re second but finishing first or second, you still have hard games. Also this was half our sqaud. No Sagna, Toure, Clishy, Cesc, Ade or Rvp.

  20. LuxinBrasil
    December 11, 2008 at 8:36 am #

    i think it was summed up well by a post on the BBC 606 forum…
    “Im not upset with the position we have finished in the group im just annoyed by YET another poor performance”

    V. dissapointing from Diaby, Silvestre, Gallas, Bentner…encouraging from Denilson and ramsey

  21. Demetrio
    December 11, 2008 at 8:38 am #

    @ Anonymous – You may wanna support another team lad, because apparently you don’t like anyone associated with Arsenal lol.

    I’m not worried that we lost 2-0. You cannot field as side like Wenger did and expect to go to Porto and win. But, it was very stupid of Wenger to field such a weak side in Portugal when now we could face a team like Barca as runners up. Although i would welcome that chance of our boys to knock Barca out, i would love to see Hleb cry like the bitch he is after Arsenal knock them out.

    But to maybe come up against a team like that so early is a bit disappointing when we coulda just drew and took top spot in the group.

  22. Spanish Fry
    December 11, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    @ Anonymous – Have a cry.

  23. Ronaldo7
    December 11, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    Once again bentner was average to poor. Man that guy sucks.
    So does Silvest. Sorry but a really bad signing from wenger.

    Its really important to finish top of your group in the CL because i think its something like 90% of teams that play there home game in the second leg go through.
    Just a interesting statistic i thought id throw out there.

  24. Demetrio
    December 11, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    Actualkly i beg to differ. I think it would have been nice to have finish top of the group. But the boys have proven they can beat anyone in the world. To beat AC @ that San Siro is proof of that. AC may have not been at their best last season but to go to the San Siro and beat them says a lot. Either way if you finish 1st or runners up as Jay-jay said there is no easy games in the CL.

    I think Wenger may have gotten it right this time tho. He rested key players, and we have away to Middlesbrough coming up. Our players will need to be at their shapest to take all 3 points from that game and that will be mentally sharpe. So before people start complaining about a game @ Porto which didnt really mean much, wait and see how the game against Middlesbrough goes. If we take all 3 points from a side that over the last 2 years has played us very well.. then resting the likes of Cesc, RVP, Ade was well worth it. If we lose that game then you can all feel free to say such as “lets light Bendtners pink boots on fire and watch him run around”.

  25. Jess
    December 11, 2008 at 9:58 am #

    Am I the only one who thought Bendtner actually played better when he was wearing his pink boots??? Bring back the pink!!

  26. hartwick89
    December 11, 2008 at 10:57 am #

    C’mon now….Seriously, About Eboue how can you be supporters of this team by booing your team on home grounds? The fans should be ashamed. The fact that Arsenal have such world wide support and see and hear that the priveleged few can watch a live match and then go on to boo says there are many others who would gladly take your place and watch Arsenal lose 6-1 and still stand by their team. Fans have lost focus and understanding of this beautiful team! Seriously, sell me your tickets because I’ll take your place even if this team was relegated. Get it?

  27. Gibbs
    December 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    We were awful last night. Porto was also bad last night, we are the ones that made them look good. But looking on the bright side, we will have most of our injured players back by the time we play in the last 16 and if we play teams like Porto (home and away) with our full squad, we will beat the senseless.

    I think we are in a good position in the Premiership(4th) and the CL, we played most of our games in the 1st half of the season without many key players. The 2n half of the season will be great for us IMO. Eduardo will be back and we will have a few new players in the team, we can win a double if we put our minds to it really!

  28. old timer
    December 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm #

    A boo way. – You pay your money to go and watch a football game – you’re perfectly entitled to cheer, shout, clap, encourage, whistle, walk out, fall asleep…and boo. Why not? If you don’t like what someone’s doing on the pitch why not let them know? We’re quick enough to applaud them when they do something good. If they’re playing like shit, as Eboue was, tell him he’s playing like shit. Just in case he doesn’t realise. As long as there’s no racism or any other out of order shit.
    How old’s Eboue? He’s not a kid – he’s a grown man – playing for Arsenal in the English Premier League. This isn’t f*cking kindergarten. He looked like he was going to cry when he came off. For christs sake toughen up, boy!
    The same goes for the whole team – they’re playing like a bunch of fairies these days. Opposition teams are just running through them. Toughen up, team. Toughen up, Gooners. We’ve got some hard times ahead…

    PS – did Anonymous who posted the ‘Fuck this Fuck that’ rant award himself ‘POST OF THE FUCKING DAY’ ?
    What a fucking loser.

  29. old timer
    December 11, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    Funny. On the Arsenal site there’s a picture of The Great Man looking mightily peeved as he talks about the Porto game and the caption underneath says ‘We lost balls where you cannot afford to’ – you can say that again!

  30. Jonny
    December 11, 2008 at 7:54 pm #

    I’m getting sick of Wenger fielding players out of position and continually losing games. What is position is:

    Denilson – Right Wing or a Defensive Midfielder?
    Eboue – Right Wing or Right Back?
    Diaby – Central Attacking Midfielder or Left Wing?

    With such continuous changes we will definitely lose all challenges. The players cant settle into their appropriate positions. Also with the likes of Ramsey, Wilshire, Vela, Simpson how can Wenger play with a midflied consisting of unmotivated Right backs(Eboue), “Defenders”(Song), and a supposed Defensive Midfielder(Denilson) against Wigan and expect to get any good results. And about the Porto game, if he expects the best of the young gunners, he should stop pairing them with “useless” players. How do you expect Vela to shine when playing with Bendtner? How is Ramsey suppose to give his best when Song is as relaxed as ever? How is Wilshire, our current second “best” winger, suppose to get any better with the little time he’s seeing? How is Denilson suppose to ever settle into Right Wing when just 3 weeks ago he was a Defensive Midfielder? I just dont get it. Wenger, please open your eyes to the reality.

  31. butterfingers
    December 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    @ anonymous well at least you like arsne eh! so your not an utter muppet then.

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