Tonight is the battle between La Liga and the Premier league, tonight we go to war!

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Well I was channel hopping for 30 seconds yesterday, as soon as the mancs fluked their usual goal I was channel hopping, that made my mind up, Lyon vs Bordeaux it was.

Well forget the fact that Lyon won, I thought Bordeaux looked the better team, Chamakh in particular impressed me, in fact him versus Hugo Lloris was worth the admission money alone, it got me thinking, wow, if we had bought those two at the start of the season, we’d already have the Premiership in the bag and we’d be favourites tonight.

I also drooled over Gourcuff, pronounced Gor-coooof.

Oh well, old ground, new players and all that, I was envious that someone other than the whole of the EPL had a keeper that could make saves and not howlers, you could see their defence wasn’t too bothered if they lost the ball as they had a last line behind them, the goal keeper, all we have is an Isotonic drink leaning against the post.

Let’s hope the prospect of facing his compatriots, and the whole of Spain tonight will bring the best out of him, maybe this will be the spur he needs to have a decent game for once. I won’t hold my breath, but I will keep my fingers crossed.

Anyway, I’m no expert, like we apparently have in our vast scouting network, but Chamakh and Lloris didn’t arrive from the planet Zog this season, so why weren’t we all over them in the summer? Why could we not see we had a keeping crisis and guess we’d had a front line one by April, as always.

The good news is that Chamakh says Arsenal is still very much on his mind, we’ll see!

Onto tonight and the biggest game ever to hit the Grove, Barcelona! I can’t wait, I want the day to end but at the same time it will be like cup final day, so I will enjoy every second of it until I meet Pedro for our pre match beers and all the fans and supporters to discuss how many we will win by, I still think 3-1, but by the time kick off starts, it will rise to 5-1!

Will Cesc make it? I think so, but an unfit Cesc is an anonymous Cesc, so if he’s not 100%, I would sooner see Nasri, Song and Diaby play (Diaby is fit) having Gallas back is good news, but is he match fit? If not I would prefer Campbell in there, they have plenty of pace so Gallas would be better, but like an unfit Cesc, and unfit Gallas is a liability.

Players like Bendtner and Theo are for me in the last chance saloon, by that, I mean they need to go out and be as immense and you or I would be if we had that chance, plenty of running and be all over the pitch, wanting the ball and fighting back if they lose it, this is a cup final, and one should we win, would show the rest of Europe who the real daddy is.

I am proud to be a gooner tonight and I am thrilled to be watching us play arguably the best team in the world, Arsene, you need to send those boys out with belief, they need to go at them from the off, let Messi and his mates know what passing and moving quickly really is.

It’s pointless being in the Champions league year in, year out if we don’t think and play like we can win it, shoot on sight because that’s what they will do, they want the away goal, and don’t sit back, because they will punish us, do a Porto, show them what you’ve got early doors.

We are not the Great british winter Olympic team that just turn up for a nice day out, we are the Arsenal and this trophy should be in our cabinet, it’s not theirs by right, it’s ours.

Winning tonight won’t be the end, it’s not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning! And that my friends will show the world that this team has finally arrived.

Make as much noise as you can tonight Gooners, all those of you at home do the same, let us in the home of football hear your cry and tonight will be ours.

Go Arsenal, go! Have just the best day Grovers and win or lose, have a booze!


Love never dies. The sequel.

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So there I was last night, at the Adelphi Theatre have a night of culture and romance, the evening began at a restaurant called Rules, and very nice it was too, but as I was walking past a pub, I saw a board advertising the City vs Wigan game, my mind then drifted toward Wednesday and the Barca game.

The show was top draw if you liked the Phantom, I won’t tell you the ending, as I won’t spoil it should you be going, but when all the songs started, my mind went back to the Arsenal and the Barca game, thinking about Thierry and how he said he will always love Arsenal, well love never dies was a sequel to the Phantom, so I’m thinking the Phantom was the 2006 final, where the Master’s heart was broken (that’s what they call the Phantom, the Master) and Love never dies will be the quarter final against Barca tomorrow, where we shall have our revenge.

Tomorrow is such a massive game on so many levels, the first is to play against the favourites and current holders, the team that easily beat the same mob that trashed us in the semis, this is one year on, they have added Ibrahimovich and we have brought back Sol and bought in Tomas Vermaelen, we don’t have Robin but we do have Arshavin and we didn’t have him last year as he was cup tied.

It looks finely balanced to me. So who will will play? Well let me suggest a team that I think will play, and we’ll go from there.

Almunia (sorry)

Eboue Campbell Vermaelen Clichy

Nasri Cesc Song

Walcott Bendtner Arshavin

What I have Song in there? Ok let me start with that one, he will combat YaYa and hopefully break up their swift movement across the middle, Diaby is still not 100% but I would use him as an impact sub, he’s good at that, if he was fit though, he would be my choice in this game.

Nasri in there because he’s good, he the form player and when you are playing a team with the skill they have, then stick on our own and send a message, if Denilson appears, I will bury my head in my hands. Cesc, say no more, he will play and have a blinder.

Up front I have gone with Theo, mainly because I think this could be the team that he can terrorise with his pace, I think with Thierry’s number on, Capello in the crowd and the world watching, he will be the star, if he’s not, then we need to re-think him next season, we can’t wait forever, not when they get paid £60k a week, I love you Theo, I really do, but now you have to show us how much you love us back, it’s time to deliver.

Nikki B to get the nod over Eduardo because he’s a handful and I think their defence is their weakness, plus we’ll need some height defending corners as they have some big boys in their team.

Arshavin, well, he’s simply the best, and better than all the rest, ( a song in there) he is our Messi and I think he’ll want to prove that, and he’ll want to show Barca how they screwed up not signing him. He is the third player I’m tipping to have a blinder.

The back four for me picks itself, but I would have Eboue over Sagna because he will link up well with Theo and Nasri, and although Sagna may edge it defensively, he can’t cross a ball to save his life, having said that I won’t be devastated if he’s selected, he’s still a great player.

If things aren’t going to plan then he has to make changes early, by that I mean at half time, not the customary 74 minutes. So we run the risk of injuries, so what? We also run the risk of losing the tie, and if we are playing badly after 45 minutes, another 30 with the same team is pointless.

That though, I don’t think will happen, I believe the atmosphere will be like the semis last year, except this time we won’t go one down after 7 minutes, I hope!

Expect to see Thierry get a great reception, he deserves it, and it may screw him up!

I truly believe this will be one of the great nights of European football, I believe we’ll win as well, handsomely, so on a night when our whole season rests on 90 minutes, expect a great performance.

I’ve been listening to the transfer stories, Carlton Cole, Eden Hazard and Boateng. Well Carlton Cole is a crock, so forget him, Eden Hazard is just like watching the Nasri clip of 3 years ago and frankly we have enough young, small and tricky players that get knocked off the ball, do we really need another? And Wenger won’t spend that sort of money.

Boateng though looks promising, he has one full cap and is probably on the bus to South Africa, so buying him now may make financial sense. However, is he better than Bartley or Nordtveit? Now that’s the real question, if he’s not, then buy a grown up. We will lose Gallas, Campbell and Silvestre in the summer so we need to replace at least one of them.

Finally Almunia says he never listens to criticism, yeah we know mate, nor does your manager, and unbelievably that’s why you’re still in the team, try watching a video on goal keeping howlers, I’m sure you’d be on most of them. Better still look at the video from Saturday, maybe you can learn from it.

We’ll talk more tomorrow about the Barca game, I just wanted to set the scene. Have a great day Grovers.

Oh yeah, the ending I wasn’t going to ruin? He dies in a car wash accident and she runs off with the bloke that sells the Big Issue outside the Adelphi, enjoy the show!


Now the dust has settled, how do we really feel?

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So a week ago many people, myself included were thinking we could do it, we have a better team this season and we have learned from the bad decisions of last, …or have we?

There is no doubt we are better than last season, the team is playing better, the sad thing is certain players are not, I won’t name them, but they clearly aren’t playing better and for me should not be in this team. We could have replaced them but didn’t. We got serious injuries and should have addressed that in the window, but again, we didn’t, We are financially stable but we don’t go to the Grove to marvel at a balance sheet, we go to see our team win something.

Don’t we?

This time last season we fielded a weakened side and went out of the FA Cup, shortly after we got stuffed in the Champions league, so did we learn? Time will tell, and we’ll find out on Wednesday.

We didn’t lose on Saturday, we drew, so perspective people! But we drew because our finishing was shocking and we have a very poor keeper, those are the facts, they can’t be denied, but we still needed the mancs and the chavs to drop points in two games, we still do, so from that point of view, nothing has changed, someone or both will drop points this weekend, the best we can hope for is a draw. Then we need to whop Wolves. Really whop them.

The other two aren’t just winning, they are destroying, and that’s what we should be doing, if we want to win the league, we can’t say Birmingham did well against the other two, they are Birmingham and we are Arsenal, again please, perspective.

If we beat Barca convincingly and stuff Wolves, then it’s back on, if we don’t, then we have to once again do the unthinkable and look over our shoulders, it’s still possible to finish outside the top four, in fact it’s just as easy to do that as win the league.

Whatever happens, whatever the results, we still have had to rely on the two above us dropping a bunch of points, had we bought a few players in either window, we may have run away with it, we didn’t and that can’t be changed, we have to get behind the team, lift their spirits and go and thump Barcelona. We have a chance, Iniesta is missing and Thierry won’t have his heart in it…I hope!

As pedro said yesterday, it was fun while it lasted but we have merely papered over the cracks this season, as Arshavin said, we need some top players in there and we can afford them, yes I know he was guilty of some misses, but I would sooner have a team of Arshavin’s than a team of head spinning Denilson’s and butter fingered second division La Liga keepers, because my friends, that’s all he is.

As for Theo, what a huge disappointment he is, I thought he was the next great English hope, I wish someone would pay me £60k a week to be ordinary, come on Theo, you are better than your performances show, you are, it’s now time to deliver.

Cesc has yet again said that he is going nowhere, bless him, but Chamakh looks doubtful and if rumours are to be believed Carlton Cole is on the radar.

Now I think Cole is a good player, but he is as much of a crock as Djourou, Rosicky and Robin and we really should be setting our sights higher, we didn’t make the move from Highbury to have the worlds best set of accounts, we made the move to compete with the big boys, those are the words of Wenger, not me, so let’s start competing next year boss, let’s do what we need to win things again, let’s forget about carrying players because one day they will be good, if that’s the case, loan them out until they are. We are a football club, not an Academy!

I’m looking forward to the Barca game, because even if we don’t progress, I can say I saw their team, but I still have a sneaky feeling we’ll beat them, maybe I’m as delusional as someone else we all know and love, or maybe it’s because I am an Arsenal fan and will never give in until that fat ugly bitch sings, yes, she is clearing her throat, but it’s not over until it’s over.

Come on Arsenal!

Have a great day Grovers, two wins and one of them emphatic, and it’s all back on, but lets not blame the pitch, the referee or the tackles, if we don’t win, it’s down to us.