Some people talk B*LLOCKS! B*LLOCKS!

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Le Grove don’t normally comment on the content of other Arsenal sites. However, I will make an exception today because a few particularly agendarised authors ended up making themselves look like complete asses yesterday… again.

Enough said. Never judge a site by a book… after all, Jade Goody and Ashley Cole managed to write one…

Robin Van Persie is one of the most talented players in world football, he has just come back from nearly a season out with injury and he has been finding it tough (5 goals… the shame of it all)… tonight he showed why Arsene has kept the faith in him. What a player. Never doubt Van the Man unless of course you are trying to flog something… but anyone can say something stupid to be controversial…

SACK GORDON BROWN AN PUT ZIPPY IN CHARGE!

Could this be the man to guide us through the current crisis?

Could this be the man to guide us through the current economic crisis?

Actually… that’s not a bad idea?

I digress…

After a topsy turvey week Arsenal found themselves with it all to do tonight.

Gallas and Toure were under the spotlight, RVP and Ade were being torn apart again and poor old Denilson and Cesc were having a rought time of it… the overboard criticism got so bad that certain sections were even questiuoning the ever solid Clichy (madness).

Arsene promised a shuffle around… not as punishment, but as a rotation exercise. Well, he didn’t disappoint! He dropped Eboue (Thank the lord) and replaced him with our home wrecking winger Nasri.

Well, what a performacne from the boys. We knocked the ball about like it was a training ground exercise and defended like we normally do…! Porto hit the top of the bar early on after a good cross was whipped accross the box early on. This; thankfully, wasn’t a sign of things to come.

This wasn’t going to be their night… the crowd of 59,991 (Guess… it seemed much lower) wasn’t there to see Porto give us a game though, and the boys knew that… so from here, I give you the player ratings and what happened!

Almunia: Had a great game as always! He tipped a swerving shot wide early on, claimed a few crosses and kicked solidly. I really rate him as one of the best keepers in country. People who criticise him rarely have a case. 7

Clichy: This guy is the best left back in the country. His intercepts are superb, his work ethic is top notch and he hardly ever gets beaten for strength. For me, he is one of the most inspirational players in the team… a real role model for the youngsters. 8

Gallas: I thought he played pretty well tonight. His defending on the floor was ok but I still felt he and Toure could have done more to defend the set pieces and high balls into the box. I think William’s persistence also led to one of the goals? 7

Toure: I’ve spoken to a few people who feel Toure is the problem in our back line… Gallas and Toure are two positives trying who don’t connect… I thought Kolo played ok tonight, but I kind of understand peoples reservations. What do you do though? Where do you play him? Can you keep someone like Kolo on the Bench? 7

Sagna: Much more involved in our forward play tonight… probably because Porto were pretty poor. Solid at the back nonetheless. 7

Theo: Had a much improved game tonight. He caused Porto alsorts of problems with his pace and fast change of direction. There is not doubt that defenders are really starting to fear this boy… give him a couple of months and I think you will start seeing a much more clinical Theo (I’ll choose to ignore the open goal he missed… it was a shocking!). 7

Cesc: Played much better than he has been. He wanted to be much more involved tonight and he seemed to up his performance from 50% to 80% . He started the move for RvP’s first with a beautiful slide pass into Ade… who slotted it into an oncoming RvP. 8

Denilson: I know there are plenty of Denilson fans out there, but I still can’t claim to be one of them. I don’t understand his game. He is not strictly defensive and he is not strictly attacking… he kind of does a half ass job of both… which is fine against crap teams like Porto and Newcastle… but what happens against Chelsea and ManU? I wasn’t impressed by the young Brazilian tonight and I’ve been finding myself pining for Song or Diaby of late… 6

Nasri: I wouldn’t trust him with my lady in Cuba, but I would trust him on the right hand side for Arsenal if someone told me we’d sold Hleb. I think Nasri is going to do the same job but with more productivity… he can dribble, he can pass, he can tackle, he can give as good as he gets and he can have a shot from anywhere he fancies. He’ll be a star and he’ll be a star in less than 3 years… I thought he had a blinder tonight and I am pleased as punch Wenger snapped him up over the summer… well worth the wait! 8

Adebayor: Great game from the big man tonight. He and RvP had clearly been reading the comments section of Le Grove and decided enough was enough. I thought Ade’s touch was great and I thought his overall work rate was much better. He was timing his passes well and playing much more for the team tonight. His first came from a RvP corner that was hit to the back post (Honestly, I swear!) where Ade powered downward header that bouced up and over the keeper… onto the bar and in! RvP ran over to Ade and chest pumped him as a sign to the doubters that they could work together. His second came after Nik B was fouled in the box and awarded a penalty. Ade stepped up, waited for the keeper to dive to the left and he slotted cooly to the right. Some critics will say he was wasteful… but 2 goals is fine by me. Thierry used to miss a lot of chances, but I guess he was a demi-god of sorts… or maybe he missed with more flair? Great game Ade… great badge kiss.. we all totally believe you love the club! 8

RvP: Superb game from Van the man. Sometimes when you are a super player, things don’t go right… everything you try fails and every decision you make is the wrong one. Hull was one of those game for RvP… it doesn’t make him a bad player and it certainly doesn’t mean he should be sold. When Marco Van Basten says he could become one of the best players in the world, you listen… When Wenger says he is world class… you listen. Make no mistake guys, RvP will blow us away over the next 5 years…  don’t listen to the words of someone who has sales targets to reach, they probably have an agenda.

Anyway, tonight RvP was back to his best… his touch was there, his shooting was there and his overall game play was there. His first I’ve already described and his second he latched onto a through ball which he coolly slotted home. Well played Robin. 9

Subs

Eboue: Came on to boo’s… sorry, Eboooo’s. He made his mark on the game by comically back heeling to no one… then he missed and open goal… then he did 17 step overs only to be dispossesed! The crowd was in stiches… we were all cheering his name on the way out! Eboue the legend lives on. 10

Nik: I thought he played really well. He is already looking a much improved player, his decisive passing and creativity is remicent of Bergkamp sometimes and he also won a penalty. A productive time on the pitch.6

Vela: Danced through the Porto defence at one point and looked very tidy. 6

A great game to go and watch… but we have to get over that result pretty sharpish because next up is Sunderland… high balls, rough tackles and loads of 10 men behind the ball type behaviour!

COME ON YOU REDS!

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Put Porto to the sword, you owe us a special performance.

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Ok a chance for early redemption, Porto at home, go take it Arsenal, you owe us a great performance, we send 56,000 to a reserve team game and it’s not cheap, so you owe it to the fans to show us we can compete on more than just the Carling cup front.

Porto will be encouraged by the woeful game against the team led by Billy the fish, they will be encouraged by Portuguese dwarf Deco’s comment about how weak we are, they’ll fancy this one, but you know what? I think we will more.

Our lions will regroup, dust themselves down and say, hey, we’re only two points are off the top, we can still win this! However, they have to stop strutting around like Peacocks and start earning the huge amounts of money they are paid.

I expect he’ll drop Denilson and Kolo and bring in Djourou and Nasri, switching Eboue from the left into midfield, he won’t drop Eboue, no comment on that.

I expect him to keep RVP and Ade up front but I would be tempted to drop them both for their profligacy in front of goal, don’t get me wrong, I rate them highly, but you can’t miss so many chances without some kind of response, the whole western world is in financial trouble but our footballers are earning shedloads, today is the time to earn it and give us, their fans something to smile about, I think they will.

I commented yesterday about Rosicky and Diaby saying that although they are great players, they are crocks and cannot be relied upon for a season so should be sold, someone said that Rosicky had an unusual injury and it was hardly his fault.

Wrong, he had a history of injuries when we bought him and that should have been picked up when he had his medical, he’s hardly kicked a ball for us in 3 seasons and that for me is unacceptable, for the money he cost and the money he’s paid we could have bought someone else.

I expect a performance tonight and a great game, we are more than capable of winning the Champions league and tonight I believe we will show the world just how good we really are, the boys will be up for this one, 3 clear goals tonight Grovers, I know I got the Hull result wrong, but I did say that Hull would score two, the problem was our forwards went missing and didn’t get the five they should have and proved me right.

Tonight we host a special team and I expect a special result, go get them Gunners, go Arsenal, go!

P.S. There are still 5 tickets available for the away game against Sunderland on Saturday… The Stadium of light is quite an experience according to rumour… drop me a mail if you are interested (tickets@le-grove.co.uk)!

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Le Exchange: Tickets available for tomorrow and Saturday.

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A cheeky evening post Grovers!

As you know, we have set up an exchange service so that you the fans can buy up the unwanted spares of season ticket holders that cannot attend games for any reason.

So far we have shifted a season ticket and about 10 normal tickets!

All tickets are sold at cost… and below is an update of what we have available.

Paul: 2 spare tickets vs Porto. Face value £44 + £50 each.

Rob: 4 spare tickets vs Sunderland. Face value £33 each.

Henry: 1 spare ticket vs Sunderland. Face value £33 each.

If any take your fancy, drop me and e-mail and I’ll put you in contact with the owners of the tickets and you can do all the rest!

In other news, Arsenal.com reports that Arsene Wenger isn’t dishing out punishment for the Hull game,

“Punishment? No, you know sometimes you make changes because you consider the other team, you consider the balance of your team, sometimes because one player is not at his best,”

I would hazard a guess and say he will punish certain players, but not publicly… you don’t air your dirty laundry in public and all that!

I hope the boys are pumped for tomorrow because I’d like to get the Hull game out of the system as quickly as possible!

It sure is going to be interesting to see who he leaves on the bench… Kolo or Gallas?

Anyway… more from Geoff in the morning! Have a good one!