I’m not going to give you the highlights of the game, instead, I’ll give you the highlights of the comments sections yesterday.
I wouldn’t be so cocky lads. In over FORTY odd european games at home only barcelona (twice) and a glitch there a few weeks back against dynamo moscow were the only defeats. Parkhead is a fortress. We have beaten man utd and ac milan recently at home. DO NOT underestimate Celtic… especially in our own back yard. By the way, enjoy the greatest atmosphere of any ground you have ever played at. Good luck… you will need it!
Ha ha ha ha! I almost fell off my seat reading this load of tosh!
You certainly know how to set yourself up for a fall, don’t you?! One freak result against a second rate EPL team and you think you can walk all over a team that has lost just 3 times in 36 home European games. Better (and, significantly, much more experienced) teams than Arsenal have swaggered into Celtic Park, only to leave with their tails tightly tucked between their legs.
If Aiden McGeady and Shaun Maloney can dribble half as well as you spout drivel, then you’ll be back on the Prozac by tomorrow morning.
“We could beat Celtic with our Carling Cup side” you say… well, in the Wembley Cup Celtic’s second team (only 3 of those who started against Aberdeen) beat a Spurs side featuring 11 of the 14 players who beat Liverpool at the weekend. But, you may say, Liverpool aren’t as good as Arsenal. However, they finished some 14 points above Arsenal in the EPL last season!
It is some eight games since Arsenal managed to beat Liverpool, and five games since they beat Spurs. Celtic beat them both by 2-0 in their own cities the last time they played.
Good luck Goners, you’ll need it! Celtic 2 Arsenil 0
Facts – Celtic do not need to fear Arsenal. They have played the likes of Barcelona, Man United, AC Milan etc in recent years and came away with victories or credible results. We have dealt with the likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Rooney so whats another side of multi-millionaires?
Some teams revel in the underdog status and Celtic is no different. Nice to see the usual clueless comments from English football fans in regards to Scottish clubs – how many times have you been made to eat your words? Hopefully it will be another case of you lot crying into your warm pints of pishy ale – I for one will certainly come back onto the site and listen to your bitching and moaning, being stiffled out by the greetin…
Anyway, unlike Arsenal, Celtic are not a selling club. Our players are revered and soiught after by EPL (and foreign) clubs. We are constantly bombarded by stories of teams wanting to sign our players: Artur Boruc (Bayern Munich); Andreas Hinkel (Hull City); Gary Caldwell (Spurs, Wigan, Burnley); Glenn Loovens (Birmingham City); Stephen McManus (Wolves); Lee Naylor (Portsmouth, Birmingham City); Massimo Donati (West Ham, various Serie A teams); Scott Brown (Spurs); Aiden McGeady (Spurs, Hull City, Bayern Munich); Scott McDonald (Hull City).
Of our first choice line-up that only leaves Georgios Samaras and Shaun Maloney that have actually been with us for more than a year. And they both left EPL teams because they wanted to play for a proper big club.
Oh how I enjoyed re-reading those bad boys this morning. To be fair to the Scots, there was a lot of good banter and it was quite fun watching the Grovers sparring with them yesterday morning
The game showed the gulf in class between the Premiership and the SPL. Tony Mowbray has clearly tried to implement his West Brom Blueprint of plenty of pretty football… not much product.
Celtic knocked the ball around very nicely to start with… but for me, it was kind of like watching the remake of a classic film… ok, but not quite as good as watching the original. The original, being Arsenal. We zipped the ball around at a such a frenetic pace, someone on the table next to me genuninely asked if the game was coming through the telly in fast forward. We didn’t carve out an amazing amount of chances, but posession wise we controlled.
The opening goal came from another excellently planned set piece. Cesc whipped the ball onto the back of William Gallas who expertly back-rolled it with enough spin to creep around the keeper. A truly magnificent goal! Song was having another blinder in the middle of the park. His positioning was excellent as he mopped up and distributed with…. yes… I’m going to say it… class and style!
Thomas Vermaelen and Denilson demonstrated some last ditch heroics… Celtic broke quickly… Denilson lunged in with a tackle that unluckily saw the ball continue into McGeady’s path… as the cross was looped in, Vermaelen covered the length of the pitch and got in front of his man (McGeady I believe) to get the block in. Kolo Toure, eat you heart out… the new kid on the block looks a bit special.
The second half was a bit more casual from and Arsenal perspective. Celtic were still doing their best to ‘Out muscle’ us… it’s a shame the only way they could do this was by petulantly fouling at every attempt.
A player came on for Arshavin… I seriously had to ask who… apparently it was a bit a Clark Kent moment… the player I was asking after was Abou Diaby… who had grown hair! Diaby receieved a lot of flak from people on Sunday’s guest post… someone said they call him ‘Diabolical Diaby’ down at the grove… that is my best freind you’re talking about… and a load of old bollocks. Diaby is going to be a top player this year and those who disagree shall be known as ‘Diaby Deniers’… a criminal offence in blog land… anyway… Diaby came on, took a fantastic touch in front of him to take it past McGeady… ran 40 yards… played a delicious ball into Clichy who crossed into the box, which McGeady unluckily touched past McGeady… Own goal… 2-0 to the Arsenal… hopefully the tie is dead and buried.
So to conclude… another encouraging performance against a top (Snigger) European side. I loved watching the team defend as a unit and attack as a unit. I think the 4-3-3 is still a touch alien to our more attacking player… but it certainly seems to be working from a defensive point of view. Arshavin, Nik and RvP don’t seem to be enjoying the formation at the moment… but that will come I’m sure.
The defence looked superb last night and I thought Sagna had improved on his Everton opener. Thomas Vermaelen and Gallas look like a partnership made in footballing heaven. Gallas sweeps up at the back organsing things… and finally… we have a defender who attacks balls coming into the box like Kerry Katona attacks lines of cocaine at house parties. I still think we need to add to our defensive ranks. A holding midfielder and a centre back need to be top of the agenda… because having a decent starting 11 doesn’t win you titles… it’s how you cope with injuries that does.
The big question this morning will be whether Wenger is confident enough of progression to delve into the transfer market early? I hope so… we’ve got to fill the next 4 days with something!
Almunia: The first clean sheet of many I would hope. He didn’t have much to do bar mopping up in the area. His distribution was sound as ever. 7
Clichy: A good performance from our pocket sized frenchman. He made a very nippy intercption late on which could have caused us problems. His awareness to danger is his best asset… I’m hoping with that with better players in front of him this year, he can return to his form of old. 7
Vermaelen: The beast from the East… Technically, the Belgium is East of England, so that works from me… you try rhymming something with Belgium! Anyway, the guy looks immense… he has dead eyes, like a serial killer… but he also has redeeming features like buckets of pace, ability in the air… and a cool head under pressure. I like this guy… I like him a lot… maybe a little too much, but we’ll talk about that later. 9
Gallas: Willy G (I always sing Willy G, to the tune of Billie Jean… you really didn’t need to know that) has turned his Arsenal fortunes around inside a year. He looks the consummate professional out on the pitch and he looks like he is enjoying his football once again. His defending was spot on and I think Verm is the ying to his yang. 8
Sagna: There has been concern among many people that our beaded Frenchman might not be able to recreate his form of two seasons ago… tonight went some way to dispelling that myth. Like Clichy, he just needs someone playing in front of him who can hold the ball up if we really want to get the best from him. Still needs to work on crossing though… 7
Cesc: Geoff mentioned that Cesc didn’t look particularly happy the other day, and I have to concur… I think the death of his buddy may have hit him for 6. However, he is playing with more focus this year and he looks like more of an athlete. He even managed to get a couple of shots out from under his feet. A solid performance from the Captain. 7.5
Denilson: I thought he made some very good interceptions and I think he looks like he HAS in fact been down the gym this summer. I can’t work out whether it is gym or the new kit actually… our home kit isn’t exactly flattering is it? Anyway, he did what he did well last year, got in front of his player… hussled McGeady’s, cut out angles… his passing seemed a little off at times, but he seems to play better when he gets a little bit more freedom to roam. 7
Song: In my eyes, he had a stormer… he was everywhere, cutting out passes, clattering into people, controlling the ball, waiting for the right pass… the man had a top game… his second on the spin. People might say he fouled a little too often… I would say to them look at PV04′s record of cards and tell me that he didn’t do the same? Same with Gilberto… A very solid performance from a man who know’s he has to take his football to the next level this year if he wants to carve out a career. 8.5
Arshavin: A much better performance from the dimunitive Russian. He was tricky, agressive and a nuisance for most of the night. His pace and power on the ball are a pleasure to watch. He didn’t really deliver too much bar a diallowed goal… but his time will come, and I’m going to stake a pound that it’s when we play the Mancs. 7
Bendtner: Not his best game for the club, but he did his fair share of defensive donkey work and his control was quite good. He is struggling a little bit with the new formation, but again… Rome wasn’t built in two games. 6.5
RvP: Not up to his usual high standards, but he had a fairly decent game. I’m not so bothered about the strikers at the moment because I know that the attackers will come good. The fact we’ve got the defence working is far more pleasing. We’ve still got Theo, Vela, Rosicky and Nasri to come back into the team… and that my friends is a mouth watering prospect! 6.5
Have a great day Grovers!
P.S. The Parkhead atmosphere was real scary… especially when most of it must have been outside when you were all leaving with ten minutes to go… tut tut!