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Can we play “European” teams every weekend?

Shakhtar rout

11 shots, 7 on target and 5 good goals, that what you get when we come up against teams “who ‘play’, are used to dominating their domestic championship and do not defend all the time”. The weird thing about last night’s game is that it could not have been tagged too easy, neither could it have been too difficult. I’ll simply try to describe what we saw last night as what happens when a very good team plays a better team with most of its players back from injury. You call this one of the finest defensive units in Europe and you make me wish we played “European” teams every weekend. Yeah, premiership teams are in England, a European country. But we don’t play the likes of Blackburn, Stoke and Bolton in Europe, do we? So you get my point.

Last night we had more options in the squad than we’ve had all season and it was evident in the performance. We put out a very strong team and yet we had a bench comprising the likes of Arshavin, Nikky B, Theo, Denilson and Diaby. Scaring prospect innit? We went into the game on a high following our win over the weekend and we did just what we wanted, close the game early, move closer to the knockout round, and rest our legs for the Citeh game.

It was a perfect game with everyone contributing their bit, Fabianski had a great game, the defenders led from the back, and a midfield of Cesc, Jackie and Song did their job really well. A cheeky Song effort, a wonderful Nasri shot, a fantastic Cesc penalty, a sublime Wilshere chip and a well-taken Chamakh goal were all we needed to confirm our dominance in the group. A lot of positives from this one, the return of Cesc and the other lads, a huge win, one leg in the knockout stages and a new goalscoring record in the Champions League.

One major highlight of the night was Dudu’s goal. If we ever had to concede, every gooner would have loved it to come from his boots. And yes it did. He received the ball outside our box, floated a lovely ball into the path of D Costa. The Brazilian drilled a cross which missed almost everyone in the box and out it came to Dudu. He took his time and guided the ball past Fabianski when most strikers would have gone for power. The stadium announcer acted as if it was an Arsenal goal and most fans cheered the goal. Majority of the players even congratulated him after the game. What a class act he is? I wonder what the response would have been if it was a goal that leveled matters or even gave Shakhtar the lead.

Anyways, I’m done ranting, so satisfied with everything that went down last night. It rained this morning and I posted this from my bed (school’s on break, mind you). I really need something to send me out of bed; maybe news concerning Rooney now having a medical at Arsenal, with an eye on a January transfer will do the trick. Who wouldn’t want that lad eh? There’s some rumour of Vermaelen not coming back from injury this year. Let’s hope it’s nothing but a rumour.

For now, it’s simply about enjoying the rest of my day, and week anywhere and anyway I can. We have Citeh up next and what stops us from giving a repeat performance when we travel up north.

Bring it on, you foolish billionaires!

From wherever you are reading, have fun too.
9jabred says so!

Let’s get this done…no drama!

Training to destroy

I guess it is only fair to say everyone had a very good weekend Arsenally (yeah, that’s a new word from me), considering the fact that we got all three points on the same day Manchester United and Chelsea dropped two each. I wish I had something to say about Liverpool but apparently they have more games than points which is rather sad for a club of their pedigree. But that is not why I’m writing this, so I won’t get all emotional over their plight. I’m simply trying to put you in the right frame of mind, going into our Champions League Match against Shakhtar Donetsk tonight.

First let’s take a look at the facts, Arsenal have won three of their four Champions League home games against Ukrainian opposition, the exception being a 1-1 draw with Dynamo Kiev played at Wembley Stadium in 1998. Arsenal and Shakhtar were drawn against each other in the 2000-01 Champions League Group Stage and the Gunners came back from 0-2 down to win 3-2 thanks to two late Martin Keown goals; remember his celebration?

We have only lost two of our last 35 Champions league home matches and those were both against English opposition.Also, Arsenal have only lost two of their last 35 Champions League home matches and those were both against English opposition(United and Chelsea, I guess). The Ukrainian champions also have 6 points from two games so the boys should not assume this would be a walkover. It is like a battle for the top spot!

There is a man in the middle of all these, a certain Crozilian, Eduardo Da Silva and he might play a part in Shakhtar Donetsk attack. In his press conference,Eduardo got very emotional and touched on a few things.
Said he,

“I don’t think I’ll celebrate if I score. I had great moments there and I have respect for the supporters, for Mr Wenger and the club”.


Seven of Dudu’s eleven appearances for the Ukrainian champions have come from the bench and he also has four goals to his name. Not a bad start, you say?

Arsenal are set to welcome back inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas as he has returned to the squad over the weekend although a starting place is not guaranteed, with Arsene Wenger saying on the club’s official website that he did not know whether or not to start him. My guess is we’ll see the same team that started on Saturday with maybe the exception of Theo on the right. Cesc and Nikky B should be on the bench. Everyone is rooting for Theo to play and work some of that “Usain Bolt magic” .

So, we need to get this game behind us and focus on the Citeh game. We started the engine well against Birmingham, so we should have enough to finish off this game early and rest some of our best legs for the cracker against the Northern Chavs. I’m looking forward to a huge win, reminiscent of those great European nights at the Grove, 3-0 , 4-0, 5-0 perhaps; or will we be stunned again? I really hope not because I’m not in the mood for any drama whatsoever.

Probable Starting XI: Fabianski; Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy; Nasri, Song, Wilshere; Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin.

We are the Arsenal, let’s do this!

From wherever you are reading, have fun still. It may be an unforgettable night.
Faf says so!