Sagna’s virus means we’re down to the bare bones

I thought I’d throw out a cheeky Saturday blog today, just because I can. More correctly it’s because I’ve had a couple of beers and have a bit of time on my hands. Hooray!

First things first I just want to say “thank you” to everybody who left comments on yesterday’s post. To have over 90 people wishing me and my family well was completely unexpected and strange as it seemed, it touched not only me but my brother (Panda Bear) and Mum (Mama Fry) who regularly contribute to this blog. In fact, my Mum actually read the blog before I’d had a chance to let her know about it and she found the whole thing really touching. So thanks everyone, I really mean it.

Moving onto the game and there’s not a lot I can add from yesterday’s post apart from the news that Bacary Sagna will not be taking part. I wrongly expected that he’d shake off his virus to start but it seems our hopes now rest with Kieran Gibbs playing through his groin injury or we’re stuck with a situation that sees Mikael Silvestre moved to left-back and Alex Song pulled back into the centre of defence. It will be a bit disappointing to see this happen given Song’s recent form in the middle but in Denilson and Abou Diaby we have options in midfield that we just don’t have at the back.

I’ll be watching the game tonight on TV with Panda Bear and another regular contributor, SettaKeys, so it should be a lot of fun. I still think our attacking options will get us over the line but I am starting to get a bit worried about the prospect of Didier Drogba coming up against our makeshift defence. Perhaps a couple of beers will fix that…

Have a good one guys, and here’s cheers to an Arsenal win!

Have your say on Arsenal v Chelsea by leaving a comment.

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67 Responses to “Sagna’s virus means we’re down to the bare bones”

  1. Jammathon
    April 18, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Belated commiserations for your loss, SF. Very sorry to hear about your Dad.

    What of the Supporters club, though? Are there droves and droves heading to the P&W, or is that wishful thinking?

    I want to sing. 🙁

  2. Anonymous
    April 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Sorry sf,
    we are down to bare bones so scared

  3. Wonderboy
    April 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm #

    I’M SHITTING MY PANTS, but in a good way. Bring it on!

  4. Awuor Awuor
    April 18, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    we always dink and drive arsenal,so am sure we are going to prove something to Guus,that this are the wenger boys.Enjoy watching and see you when you get there.

  5. patrick mwabila
    April 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    In football theres no Drogba,Anelka vs who in defence,but every one is there to do the job.Go Gunners,GO.Patrick.

  6. georgetown gooner
    April 18, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Just to let you guys know it looks like gerard is out of tuesday,s game with a groin strain.come on you gunners lets smash chelski out of sight i cant wait for the game.

  7. Preencemeka
    April 18, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    I fear 4 arsenal. I truly do. But in the midst of fear i see arsenal beating chelsea 2-1

  8. Tony De Palma
    April 18, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Spanish I unfortunately missed the blog yesterday but I am sad to hear about your loss. I can only offer my most heartfelt condolences for you and your family. I have no doubt your father was and is very proud of you and what you do.

    Take care Spanish

  9. enemyairships
    April 18, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    Oh man, Sagna and Gerrard are both in my dream team! Hopefully Sagna is fit for the Liverpool clash, we have to have SOMEONE who can stop Torres.

    Still, that’s miles away. What a tough time this is for the Gunners. They should make a completely unique and more awesome trophy for us if we win it, considering our injury list. Defence is the one position that you don’t want to be blooding youngsters in, especially during the latter part of the season. I’m hoping AW pulls something magical out of the hat. Or Drogba and Anelka get injured in the warm up!

  10. Naeem
    April 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    Am thinking of a tactic. Hit them with 3 early goals within the first 10 minutes like what Bolton did and then sink back n hit them on the counter… ideal, wishful, risky … man how i relish the tension

  11. henrykissinher
    April 19, 2009 at 1:46 am #

    really nervous now, come on ya reds.

  12. Mexican Gunner
    April 19, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    And before the game starts Aston Villa draw with West Ham yey!

  13. ib
    April 19, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    there is tension
    let’s just hope wenger has some magic.on your loss,may the good lord streghten you and your family.

  14. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 2:32 am #

    Gunners look a bit nervous!

  15. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 2:34 am #

    Also, do not like the lineup Wenger has gone with. Arshavin AND Nasri on the bench? Hrm, don’t like it. It seems a bit too defensive. And Arsenal do not play well when they try defned.

  16. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    HAHA….THEO!

  17. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    Actually, Ashley Cole own goal! how fitting!

  18. henrykissinher
    April 19, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    1-0 to us nice goal from walcott, but lets not forget the carling cup final.

  19. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    That was terrible defending from Arsenal! I think Fabianski should have kept that one out.

  20. C-Bass
    April 19, 2009 at 3:08 am #

    Yeah I agree Fabianski should have got a hand on that.

  21. henrykissinher
    April 19, 2009 at 3:15 am #

    yeah fabianski has been rather shaky.

    denilson off song on.

    diaby has given the ball away a few times in dangerous positions him off and arshavin on.

  22. shambogunner
    April 19, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    poor from fabianski,chelsea shuttin us down in midfield.get diaby off the pitch for some1 who can control and retain the ball,am apprehensive about 2nd half now after good start….cud go extra time
    GET OUT OF BED ADE

  23. Gibbs
    April 19, 2009 at 3:20 am #

    Im not happy with Wenger’s tactics. Why did Deni and Diaby start ahead of Arshavin and Song? They have to come on after the break. That would be 2 wasted subs.

  24. henrykissinher
    April 19, 2009 at 3:23 am #

    lets hope there is an improvement in the second half, the lads need to calm down and play there own football and not get involved in the chelsea wrestling match type of football

  25. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 3:37 am #

    I agree. I think Diaby should be off. Arshavin brought on, and put on the wing. Van Persie playing in behind Ade. I’m not convinced Diaby is good enough..

  26. shambogunner
    April 19, 2009 at 3:56 am #

    IM CRACKIN UP WED HAVE DIS GAME PUT TO BED IF DENI,DIABY AND ADE WERE REPLACED BY SONG,NASRI AND ARSHAVIN…COME ON WENGER

  27. C-Bass
    April 19, 2009 at 4:02 am #

    Good god! Rubbish by Fabianski!

  28. shambogunner
    April 19, 2009 at 4:06 am #

    wenger deserves a kick in the face for his tactics today….cud he not see how rubbish diaby was?as for fabianski hes as gud as almunia.
    suddenly the 8m askin price for shay given when he wanted a move here looks loke peanuts
    am sick as a parrot we are not hard to beat at all in these games

  29. Darragh
    April 19, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    Wenger picked his team seriously wrong today. Diaby should not have started before song, nasri or arshavin.

  30. Mexican Gunner
    April 19, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Does nobody said to Fabianski to dont go out for every ball like a crazy dog??

    Damn I cant believe that I said that he is better than Almunia now I think that Manonne deserves a chance.

    And in the moment that Arsene take out VanPersie and Adebayor he just said to us in the face: I´m not interested in the FA Cup

  31. MoMONEY
    April 19, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Fabianksy as good as Almunia? Are you serious? He absolutely gifted Chelsea 2 goals… I hope that ends the debate about goalkeepers…

  32. jay-jay
    April 19, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    Why did Arshavin and Song not start! Wenger really F**ked up today, our best chance of a trophy. Im so p**sed off right now. Why didnt Nasri start. We were 1-0 up, our defence was crap. Eboue was crap. If we had Gallas, Almunia, Sagna and Clichy it would have been fair.

  33. gunnerkyv
    April 19, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    @Mexican Gunner – the root reason he go out for every ball is because of Silvestre. If you noticed, silvestre gave up cahsing drogba after losing the battle, expected fabianski to redeem his mistake. If you take a look on the previous matches, it was fabianski who saved silvestre ass many times. so at least for me, the main culprit is silvestre. he simply lack the strength and especially pace.

    This was a very frustrating match indeed. total mistake by AW to start denilson and diaby. IMO, diaby was absolutely rubbish the whole match. Sigh.

    Anyway, lets look forward to our game wif man utd in CL and hope for the best. cheer up!

  34. astroangel
    April 19, 2009 at 4:30 am #

    I couldn’t agree with you more gunnerkyv!!!!!

  35. Gibbs
    April 19, 2009 at 4:43 am #

    I put the blame on Wenger for this loss. Ive always defended him but he screwd up bigtime today. He knew we had a weakened defense but he went on to select a weakened midfield. What kind of manager does that? Im really angry atm. Chelsea wer not good at all, had Arshavin and Song started ahead of Diaby and Denilson, we wouldve won, im sure of it.

  36. jef
    April 19, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    arsenal are done for the year… i doubt now that arsenal really worry man u in CL. (though i would love to be wrong.) my hope is for a strong, healthy side for next year (and replace silvestre a decent defender).

  37. sa gunnar
    April 19, 2009 at 5:28 am #

    fabianski was weak, silvestre was 12th man for chelsea,how do we lift our self up wit this shit

  38. sa gunnar
    April 19, 2009 at 5:36 am #

    pls tell me there is some hope of recovery arsenal wil not end up like last season.nothing but players jumping ship to milan and barcelona.wenger hold your head in shame diaby for song or nasri and arshavin out of 11, how in hell does wenger know arshavin eva will even been a supersub when arshavin always plays 90minutes, from da beginning we look like playing with a 2nd division team defend, hats off for kolo toure, kieran gibbs and theo walcott.

  39. sa gunnar
    April 19, 2009 at 5:45 am #

    toure, gibbs and walcott these guys knew da importants of a semi-final da rest fabianski, silvestre nothing but pathetic, believe me if silvestre was playing for manchester he would retire, since comin nothing but crap, no experience adv. gallas, clichy, eduardo, sagna , rosicky and almunia injured are we just plain unlucky or what

  40. egnaronik
    April 19, 2009 at 6:02 am #

    what was Arsene doing…….
    how can he not start arshavin and song and nasri.
    silvestre diaby and denilson were crap tonight. PISSED.

  41. Gibbs
    April 19, 2009 at 6:21 am #

    I cant stop shaking my head. I still cant figure out what Le Boss was trying to do today.

  42. Mexican Gunner
    April 19, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    @ gunnerkyv

    Agree I think Mr. PotatoHead is the worst player of Arsenal.

  43. georgetown gooner
    April 19, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    We didnt turn up today too many players went missing in a huge game, chelski were shit and there for the takin. a expressed my concerns bout fabanski as soon as i knew almunia was out, in his first big test he had a shocker also eboube at fault for first goal let malouda go criminal defending.silvestre looked 95 years old every ball just whacked to no one he let drog just shrug him off the ball for chelski,s 2nd goal,denilson was poor why wasnt song playing no arshavin what was wenger thinking rvp just ran round in circles ade couldnt hold on to the ball.cesc,s distrubition was a let down.diaby always gives the ball away and a tell you guys we wont win a thing till wenger buys a decent keeper cause almunia aint much better.

  44. Luxinbrasil
    April 19, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    AW clearlyhas his priorities set on the CL….he would have struggled to play Arsh from the start due to Hiddinks knowledge of the guy. Fabianski was a nervous dog out there and Diaby, Denilson, Silvestre and Ade had very bad games

    Gibbs was exceptional, walcott the usual, Fab a little quiet but i couldnt help feel that the boss just wanted this one out of the way his heart is on the CL!

  45. geraldinho
    April 19, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    you have to think that wenger decided the team the way he did today with an eye on the cl against manu. song has been doing very well, but was going to need a break at some time. still not sure why arshavin didn’t start. if we can get some of the defense back before the cl semi then can be okay, but otherwise chelsea exposed silvestre and fabianski by playing the long ball and letting drogba outwork silvestre for the ball every time. he doesn’t have the pace to play against the big boys like drogba, torres, etc.

  46. Anonymous
    April 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm #

    Arsene got it wrong but the team played really bad even fabregas. Only toure, walcott and gibbs tried. On denilson, he shouldn’t be in arsenal anymore, he had no confidence, didn’t have initiative to track back and ballack saw that as a chance to bully him. diaby is just overconfident, he and deni should be sold, both thought chelsea would just let them take their time and play, maybe forgot its the epl.

    About the pitch, Arsene needs to grow up, Chelsea were playing on the same pitch but they change their tactics they pumped long balls. I blame Silves more than fabianski, he should be in the reserves but then he’ll be taking up space from players who deserve it more.

    All in all a good example of why Wenger should start realizing that experienced players should be brought in next summer. Still the boys should be able to put this aside and give liv a game. Go gunners!

  47. butterfingers
    April 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    hope silvestre has a 1 year contract as all the manure fans will be laughing now. arsne fucked up the line up today as arsharvin has been awesome but to take off ade was stupid as I don’t really rate him but he was the only player apart from theo that could really do anything special. really gutted and hope now we dont finish out of the top 4 as after this performance it could be last year all over again.

  48. Gibbs
    April 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Ive had a full nights sleep, and im still gutted. I cant help but think AW threw this one away, the same way Villa did in the Uefa cup earlier this season. Arshavin didnt play in midweeks CL so why was he rested? The CL is next wednesday, he could have rested Nasri and Song in games we can afford to lose, like on Tuesday and Sunday. Bad tactics Arsene, very bad, im really disappointed atm.

    Anyway, we must go all out for the CL now, we must win it at all costs.
    COYG!

  49. shambogunner
    April 19, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    gunner kyvv dead rite…..am still seething with wenger..song was outstanding wed nite and dats how he got repaid..arshavin had hia season hols as russian league fin in nov a plus he didnt play midweek so it wasnt like he needed rest…diaby,eboue and sylvestre are crap…it was a blatant display of arrogance by our manager and we wer beaten by a crap chelsea team
    and when i said fabianski was as good as almunia i was rite…..there both harmless…there are at least 14 better goalkeepers in PL than those 2

  50. enemyairships
    April 20, 2009 at 12:06 am #

    I don’t think Wenger threw this game away. We’d have only had to play the final if we’d gone through, so it’s hardly a good idea to bin the cup in the semi final.

    Curious team selection though. I thought Arshavin was an absolute guarantee to play, and no Nasri either… Two of our most incredible players left on the bench and not even brought on before the 75th odd minute. Don’t forget that Fabianski would’ve played regardless of Almunia’s fitness. I guess Gibbs and Walcott were the only positives from this game.

  51. Gibbs
    April 20, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    ManUs quintuple dream has been shattered by Everton. Awful team selection by Fergie. That result made me feel a little bit better.

  52. enemyairships
    April 20, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    It made me feel a bit worse. I’d have preferred Everton in the final to Utd, if only we’d progressed 🙁

    Still, at least I’ll now have someone to support in the final! I’m glad it’s not another Chelsea Vs United dull-fest.

  53. MoMONEY
    April 20, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    I cannot understand Arshavin’s benching…

    But if we do not win any tropies I do not feel this season is a fialure by any measure… This squad has learned about the toughness needed and next year will be our year…

  54. jay-jay
    April 20, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    @ MoMONEY – That is the reason why I was confused, why bench Arshavin, and play Deni on the wing when we had plenty of natural wingers to choose from!

    Everton beat United on pens, woo, come on you toffees.

    What a bad season of injuries we have had, Ade and Fab most of the season. Rosicky all of the season. Dudu most of the season. And now Almunia, Gallas, Clichy, Djourou, Sagna and maybe Van Persie. Other teams just would not have done as good as we have with the injuries.

  55. butterfingers
    April 20, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    just hope we kick luckypools arse so we can get our season back on track and really only finals should be played at wembly and also they should have a better pitch than all prem league teams as the top 4 pitches are so much better and we can topple manure if they keep playing berba it’s us v’s 10 men already haha.

  56. MoMONEY
    April 20, 2009 at 12:42 pm #

    Yes our injury situation is probably the worst i have ever seen… Theres no doubt in mind that most teams would not have coped the way we have… Next year is going to be SPECIAL

  57. censored
    April 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    I say arsenal shld leave this deafeat behind and focus on the CL. I think Wenger had a pt in leaving arshavin and nasri out. arshavin: hes being coached by guus hidink who noes him inside out. nasri: hes a lightweight and hes current form is average honestly.

    I think song was rested for the game against liverpool, although i would love to see liverpool make man u trophyless this season, wenger has other thoughts and was to extend the unbeaten league run.

    Well. the CL is the only possible way left to get a trophy. Man U and Barcalona/Chelsea aint gonna b ez but i trust the defeat at wembley taught them a valuable lesson.

    Honestly, i think fabianski shld b sold, he doesnt have the physique to be an arsenal no. 1 and he looked really really nervous on that day.

  58. Filipino Dan
    April 20, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    Hey SF, sorry to read about your father, just wanted to offer my condolences.

    I’m still recovering after my 16 hour round trip to Wembley but feeling slightly better to hear that Eduardo will be in the squad tomorrow, as will Sagna. Not so good that RvP is injured though. Ade being rested doesn’t matter much. Whatever.

    I hope we see Eduardo back at some point, maybe even Vela getting a chance. More importantly, I hope Wenger actually plays Arshavin and Nasri from the start for this game, with Song as the ‘anchor man’. I assume Bentner will play alone up front, so a strong midfield will be vital to avoid any further embarrasment. Liverpool may not be crucial, but we need to get back to winning ways a.s.a.p.

  59. Darragh
    April 20, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    I’m not sure if many of you get Wenger’s email from the Arsenal site, but he said in it just now:

    “I had to rotate my squad for Saturday’s game. Alex Song has played many games and I believe when you do that you need rest. Plus Chelsea have some tall boys who make it physical in midfield and we needed a player like Diaby to be capable of fighting against them.”

    He chose to rotate the squad for a FA cup semi final?! What in the hell? The FA cup was probably the best chance of getting Arsenal a trophy, so Wenger looks to take players out. Song needed a rest? I don’t see Chelsea or Man United resting their defensive midfielders/defenders as much as Arsenal and Liverpool seem to do? I just don’t buy that excuse.

    I’m not saying Wenger is wholly to blame, but I just think that these are poor justifications for what proved to be the incorrect team to face Chelsea.

  60. Alfred George
    April 21, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    I was very suprised at Fabrianski for the first goal he conceded.He never really focus getting the ball out of track in his action.

    The second thing is that Wanger should the starting squard of Arsenal. It was no need keeping song out of the game and preventing arshavi from starting the game.

  61. GUNNA SHAH
    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    My condolence to you,SF,and your family,may all that is good guide and strengthen you all. Terribly team selection,why wasn´t nasri,arshavin,and song on the pitch is a mystery to me.as for diaby,and silvestre,these guys are not arsenal material,can you imagine, dribllin in your own 18 yard, in a dangerous situation,or is it dwellin too long on the ball(diaby),or silvestre whaking the ball away to no one,and being outmuscled by drogba all afternoon.Denni will improve,his best game is when partnered with song.I realy hope this is the last season we see silvestre and diaby in the team,and we need a keeper,a proven and tested one.ENOUGH WITH THIS EXPERIMENTS,WENGER,PLAY OUR STRONGEST SIDE,aston villa in shambles,could afford loss to livpool,but an FA semi defeat,(sighs)that hurts,especialy to chelski,realy hurts.

  62. KissMyIrish*ss
    April 21, 2009 at 5:54 am #

    fabianski was terible thought arshavin should of started deffinitly with vp on the bench so could be replaced by addy. cant undder stand y he didnt play song instead of denlison thougt diaby also had a bad game.
    wat else can a say after all weve still got the scum to think of in the cl and still belive we can push chelsea of 3rd place (a little revenge) so keep the heads up lads weve got a couple of exiting weeks ahead of us

  63. kin
    April 21, 2009 at 6:38 am #

    I just find it amusing that Song(the same one who has variously been called slow,lethargic,…not up to Arsenal standard)is now player of the moment for most people!
    I think it goes to show that;
    1. Most fans are fickle
    2. Arsene really does know what he`s doing,cos if he didn`t he wouldn`t have stuck with him(Song) for that long!
    Anyways here`s hoping we thump Liverpuke tomorrow!

  64. MoMONEY
    April 21, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    @kin

    amen

  65. Ianinja
    April 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    SF, my condolences to you on your father’s passing. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the liverpool game.

    I hope the boys will bounce back, I still think that Deni and Diaby needs to take their playing to a higher level, its fine the team is improving but winning games against Chelsea, ManU, Liv are the important ones that will signify Arsenal to be back as true genuine contenders as the number one or champions of England.

  66. butterfingers
    April 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    When it just looked like our season was getting back on track we lose our defense just before the real run in starts and now we have our top 2 strikers out. Hope dudu comes back with a bang just like last time. Really upset about the loss but at least theo got a couple over ca$hley and that was well worth it as if it wasn’t for fabianski, deni and diaby playing crap he would of looked even more of a mug than he really is. Also just as eboue/deni was starting to prove me wrong the old pair showed up but hope they can pick themselves up and carry on like before as they will get a 2nd chance against luckypool I’m sure. It could of been worse and had millions of talent out on the pitch and lose on pens like another team I’m looking foreward to play as they also looked like a pub team on the local park as the state of the pitch was just as bad as my local.
    Hope all is well with you and your fam sf.

  67. Ronaldo7
    April 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    butterfingers.

    Im pretty sure United played there second string team and were unlucky not to win against a fresh hungry everton side on a crappy pitch.

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