Into the Madrigal we must go, all guns blazing, the spirit of 59!

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So this is it then, the quarter final of the Champions league, the sort of game that the spuds can only dream of.

This time last year we screwed up at the Grove by having all the possession, but no killer instinct, granted the ref helped Liverpool, but we have to expect that, we have to play our own game and go for an early goal, if we do that, they will panic, because we have an away goal and they will come out.

The best way of ensuring qualification is to win both games, it’s not like we are playing Barcelona or Bayern Munich, we are playing one of the two sides that everyone wanted, tonight we should get a win under our belts and make the return game less fraught.

It seems that we will be starting with Theo out on the right wing and Nasri on the left, that should leave Denilson in the middle with Cesc and my feeling is he will play with 5 in midfield, so that means Song or Diaby, if fit I expect Diaby as he offers a more physical presence, and he knows where the goal is.

The back four pick themselves so that means Sagna, Kolo, Gallas and Clichy with Almunia in goal and Ade alone up front.

So more or less the same team that beat Man City, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We have to keep it tight at the back which means the midfield must keep possession, do that and let nature take it’s course.

If we keep the ball it stops them scoring, if they don’t score, they won’t win, if we keep possession we can score, we can surprise them by frustrating them, then one killer pass from Cesc and bang, it’s all over.

It reminds me of one General James Wolf and when king George sent him to Canada to kick the French out in 1759, they had an impressive fortress called Quebec, we parked our Navy in the Saint Lawrence river and as they had home advantage they just sat back waiting for us to make the mistake of attacking them.

Wolf took his cannons and his entire army and scaled the impossible heights of Abraham at night and when the French under General Montcalm woke up, the entire British army was behind them, two hours of silly French attacking saw Wolf win the match and Canada was back in the hands of King George, Wolf knew how important away goals were, so he got a bunch of them. He did what they didn’t expect.

For Montcalm read Robert Pires and for General Wolf it’s the dashing Cesc Fabregas, Wenger is King George and Canada the Champions league.

Unfortunately Wolf lost his life in that battle, but his last words were ‘thank God I have done my duty’ this was repeated 46 years later by Horatio Nelson, Nelson so loved the picture of Wolf’s final moments, he commissioned the same artist to paint his own demise, really, that’s all true, he even used Wolf’s famous words.

So the moral of this story is we need to surprise them, do what they don’t expect and attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, do that and the day is ours, and then we can start to think about playing Porto in the semis, so Cesc, go and do your duty and we’ll thank God.

Have a great night tonight Grovers, this will be our day, I can feel it, the Arsenal will go to Spain all guns blazing.

1,531 Responses to “Into the Madrigal we must go, all guns blazing, the spirit of 59!”

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  1. tomstoned

    evenin All..

    great result and and much better performance than earlier this year in Europe we’re still improving and on our way to Arsenal Paradise…

    Al agree mate we where slightly better with Theo..but all over i think we’re only gettin better and better…..and what a Brazilian goal by Ade 🙂 and one thing to remember ,..injuries kept the choices to get the upper hand as we usually does the last 20 minutes to a minimum..

    tonite im proud of Our Beloved Arsenal…

    more beers and Irish champers for you once more 🙂

    tom.

  2. Ja_Gunner

    Wigan Athletic v Arsenal The JJB Stadium English

    Wed. 15 19:45 UK Arsenal v Villarreal Emirates

    Sat. 18 17:15 UK Arsenal v Chelsea Wembley

    Tue. 21 20:00 UK Liverpool v Arsenal Anfield

    These are our next games.
    Bearing that in mind this is my Wigan team.

    …………..Fab/Al………………..

    Eboue…….Kolo……Djouoru……Clichy

    Walcott……Cesc……Song/Den…..Arshavin

    ……………Nick……Ade……………

    Van Persie….Vela….off the bench.

    Sagna gets a rest because surely he will have to play three games in a row

    1. Villareal
    2. Chelsea
    3. Liverpool

  3. David

    He did nothing other than to score us our Goal

    3 goals in 2 games? Plus the goal for Togo against Cameroun???

    Ade-BadMan-Yor!

  4. Bobby 7

    Thought that was a decent result, especially after that first half. Good spirit shown by the lads.

    Will be interesting to see what the media will say about Man U. tomorrow, (not that i read English media but still) probably that Rooney had amazing vision to “create” the first goal and that Porto actually is the best team in the whole wide world so 2-2 at home is not such a bad result.

  5. Pedro

    Evening Trindle, good to meet you and Trindle Junior the other night.

    I fancy us big time at the Emirates… Senna hits a shot doesn’t he!

    Who can understand what Ade is saying?

  6. irishgunner

    trindle – nope very defensive bench to be honest

    reggie – LOL I like swearing during and after football games – leaves off tension ha ha

  7. Keyser

    A little adjustment at half time and we looked much better, I swear the injuries we’ve had are starting to tell a little, towards the end we started to tire, we’re mornally flying at that point.

    Supposedly the pitch is narrow, or some such, and it leaves the midfield congested, hopefully we’ll have more width in the second leg.

  8. Maciek

    If we win this tie we will probably face Porto. Who would have thought.Are there any our players suspended for the 2dn leg?

  9. Ja_Gunner

    Or maybe rest Ade.

    Wigan Game

    …………..Fab/Al………………..

    Eboue…….Kolo……Djouoru……Clichy

    Walcott……Cesc……Song/Den…..Arshavin

    ……………Nick……Vela……………

  10. Pat

    For those who think it’ll be easy at the Emirates, just have a look what Porto did today. Rooney’s goal was a total brain freeze from Bruno alves and they also had a clear pen. denied.

  11. irishgunner

    ha ha ha reggie – merchant banker doesn’t leave off much steam, I’m not much of a lady anyway ha ha

  12. tomstoned

    Kelsey mate

    been my opinion all year…give Toure the respect he deserves buy Hangeland and let Toure run the defence..gallas well good player but will never be a team player…sorr gallas..

    tom

  13. irishgunner

    Pat – but United were crap from 0-90, we had some good patches United had none, we beat Porto 4-0 remember

  14. Stu

    Fat Dolan on setanta thinks united were poorly treated because they played on sunday and werent given enough time to recover. Boo-fucking-hoo

  15. trindle

    Irishgunner have now seen the bench! Was late home (awful fucking day) and started watching at 9 mins – great timing – just when my I thought my mood couldn’t get worse… Senna.

  16. David

    “i think its a digrace that manchester united have to play such a big big game on Sunday and then have to play again on Tuesday that is just so unfair”

    How do these clowns on Setanta have a job?

  17. Ja_Gunner

    After keeping so many clean sheets…Manure’s defense has turned into a seive lol.

    Long may it continue.

    Also if I were a coach I would be 99.99999999999% against back passing….I would rather tell the players to put the ball out for a throw…if there is no pass forward.

    I hate passing back to the keeper..look what happened to Porto because of it..Silly …….I hate back passing.

  18. trindle

    Hi Pedro – great to meet up with you, franchise and what seemed an endless supply of Rasputins. Gallas will be a loss – sounds serious – but we shoul have enough to turn them over at home.

  19. irishgunner

    Stu – It was Ferguson who decided to play the game Sunday, they are slating him on RTE over it tehehehe

  20. kenny smith

    wasnt the greatest away performance ever tonight… song and denilson were made to look very average first half…. i was suprised song and cesc never got sent off… i thought cesc was gone with that sliding challenge…

    we didnt really offer much at all. But thats when you look to your captain and your 80k a week striker to come up with something special….. which they did… and fucking ITV were showing a reply of something totally insignificant missed it! cunts!!!

    Ade was having a shocker all night… constantly offside but that goal made up for it all.. he has earned his 80k this week… and that was just about his only chance of the game… are we seeing a new non-wasteful adebayor??? i hope so… then i will back him. Awful game up til the goal and i guess moments like that is why he is in the team… pity we havent seen more of them this season! But none of this would be possible without cesc fabregas… he didnt have best of games and looked tired.. but like ade he can produce moments of inspiration when they are playing shite… only two players played well over the 90 minutes for me first is fabianski.. did really well when he came on and didnt have much to do second half but claimed the ball well from crosses and did all that was asked. The other is Kolo Toure…. he defended like a god tonight!!! Our defending from set pieces is poor and still needs to be sorted out though… Just watched the manc goals and the commentators were fucking gutted when porto made it 2-2!! wankers!!!

  21. Maciek

    Dave, I know that You are over the moon but against Wigan Ade will take a breath so we can expect Your “beloved” Dane. And aside from THAT goal Ade did almost nothing.No offence mate.

  22. A

    that was absolutely incredible, ade had one of the worst performances by any arsenal player all season, then came up with THAT goal!! very good result, puts us in a very good position and utds result makes it all the better!!

  23. Pat

    Gallas has ligament damage? Okay, Djourou is playing for the rest of the season, Silvestre promoted back to the bench.

  24. Lewyd24

    who has said wat about Adabeyor??????. He is the reason we are still in the CL. People were sayin he dont deserve a place in the team . Bendnter does. Please !!!!!!!!!!!. Worship him as an arsenal suporter. Cos he proved all of you peiple wrong.

  25. Mandanda

    JD did very well when he came on, we should cope without Gallas and we’ve got Silvestre on the bench

  26. kirby

    i think on the bigger pitch at the emirates we will dominate play the second half showed we are a better side.

  27. tonyadamsisgod

    I’m not too fussed about seeing Fabianski in goal though! Almunia didn’t even come for that corber that fell a yard in front of him! He shits himself in big games I think!

  28. kenny smith

    the guys on itv are saying that man u are favourites to go through???? how can they be??? no english team has ever won on Porto turf…. If man utd can only muster a 2-2 at old trafford then why are they favourites to win at porto when porto have 2 away goals!!! I dont understand these itv manc cunts!!!!

  29. Adebayor.....papa

    pedro

    Sonny says that he can read the Grover comments telepathically

    he was sitting in church one day and suddenly strange voices started ringing in whispers in his head.

    Then he realized, it was Le-grove’s twitter feed

  30. tonyadamsisgod

    Lewyd24 – You have to admit that apart from that goal he was fucking terrible tonight! The goal was pure magic but he still had a shocker for the rest of the game! Learning the offside rule is a good place to start followed by how not to foul a defender when trying to win a header…..Thank fuck we had him though!

  31. tonyadamsisgod

    Kenny – From a bookies poin of view (thats me) yes Utd will still be favourites to go through….I think thats a given.

  32. tonyadamsisgod

    A – ITV got news in just before their show finished. Almunia 2 weeks. Gallas medial ligaments which means a long spell out like Cesc.

  33. kenny smith

    Lewyd… dont get too carried away… ade was having one of his worst games ive ever seen up until he scored… great goal and yeah we are in a much stronger position than we would of been had it stayed 1-0… but you watch villareal come to the emirates and crumble… if it finished 1-0 tonight my money says we wud of gone through in the second leg comfortably

  34. Paulinho

    Gallas has been a ligament injury waiting to happen in all fairness. The guy is a cripple and seems too tense physiologically.

    Without him we can kiss goodbye to any chance of doing well in europe or the F.A Cup I’m afraid.

    Shit, the significance of his loss is sinking the more and more I type!

  35. tomstoned

    Kenny

    agreed very strong performance by Fabianski..great job…Toure is a Master….and i stress it one more time buy Hangeland(Adams type player,honest,always givin it all,and would resolve our probs def.set pieces) and to explain ..villareal is probably one of the best defensive teams in Europe this year still i thought we had them hanging all second half…so for me it was a very good performance by Our Beloved Arsenal….i dont even care to mention what would happen if we where at full strenght Eduardo,Van Persie,Diaby,Rosicky…it would have been a field day…future is more than bright..

    and i think we would have killed the match if we didnt have to use two of our subs due to injuries..

    ill slepp like a happy camper tonite thats for sure…:)

    have a superb evenin All Proud Gooners !!

    tom.

  36. kenny smith

    well i think the bookies will be missing out here then… there is not much hope they will win in porto… if porto can get 2 against them at old trafford then what will they do at in portugal… hostile atmosphere, and united have to score and porto will rip them to shreds on the break

  37. Pedro

    Lewdy my friend… calm down!

    He scored a great goal, but I don’t think we need to be hailing him or saying he’s proved anyone wrong… let’s see him do it consistently.

  38. Paulinho

    I feel sorry for him, I really do. He kept his head down after the captaincy situation and this is what happens.

    He deserves to play in cup finals for us. I’m devastated for him.

  39. David

    Gallas is a huge blow…but i think JD will do a job for us…Gallas does score some important late goals for us tho….huge blow guys….

    But the other good news is….EDUARDO IS BACK!

  40. tonyadamsisgod

    Kenny – I dont think that Porto will play that wel against them again plus Utd will have Ferdinand back too. I bloody well hope you are right though!

  41. Paulinho

    Djorou is a certified plank. He just doesn’t cut it. Silvestre is shaky at best as well.

    What the fook are we gonna do?!

  42. tonyadamsisgod

    Choy – We all know what Senderos performs like in the final stages of the Champions League…….Header…..Hyypia…..wrong way looking…… 🙂

  43. Paulinho

    Thank god the 2nd leg is at the Emirates.

    I really couldn’t have taken another decider at El Madrigal.

  44. tonyadamsisgod

    Paulinho – I thought JD looked very assured when he came on. Some great tackles! I just hope he can keep that up!

  45. Pat

    Porto have great counter attacks and no english team has ever beaten them in Portugal. United have to attack and Porto are certainly capable of scoring. They destroyed us in Portugal and should have had much, much more.

  46. tomstoned

    Paulinho..

    its a blow to lose gallas,i think the overall best solution would be to play Song…at least him and Toure works well together …

    tom.

  47. Paulinho

    El Madrigal is a strange pitch. There’s no in between. Your either defending your box or attacking the other.

  48. Ja_Gunner

    Lets hope that Gallas’s injury turns out to be not as bad as it seems now.

    Maybe he can make it back for May

  49. tomstoned

    but Taig

    have to agree with you mate, Djourou looked confident..and im no fan of the lad..but tonite he did very very well

    tom

  50. Franchise

    Cesc, Ade, Denilson, Song and Nasri were all very poor in the first half. Ade was too isolated in the first half. Villareal were too dominant in the midfield meaniing theo, nasri and cesc had to sit back defending for most of it and ade was as isolated as gordon brown.

  51. Supergunner07

    What about bloody kolo, cant head the ball ala crucial games at the end of last season and his 1v1 defending is appauling. I wished it kolo that injured not Gallas. Sagna needs to change is footwear as well.

  52. Paulinho

    Tony, Djourou always looks assured when he first comes in, then it’s a gradual decline over the following games.

    I think I might prefer Silvestre in there actually.

  53. Paulinho

    Clichy really pales in comparison to Sagna.

    Sagna is no world beater but it appears he is superior to Clichy both defensively and offensively.

    It takes Clichy far too long to warm up and start going forward. Nasri relies on him doing that and he’s rendered impotent until Clichy does.

    Sagna was motoring up and down like a good un.

  54. Franchise

    Djourou was solid today IMO. I just couldnt understand how we were being outplayed in our crowded midfield with two holding midfielders. Song’s lack of pace was exposed today. the pair of denilsong improved in the 2nd half as did the others

  55. Supergunner07

    No disrespect but you must be blind or u dont watch the game closely, Kolo is worry in aerial duels and 1v1 defending, even McCormark from Cardiff was giving him the run around never mind what a world-class attacker will do to him. @ least JD gets games now

  56. Mandanda

    Like I said at half time AW should have moved Nasri to play behind Ade after thos eto enforced changes, with Cesc playing midfield with Song. Denilson should have tucked in at left mid. Cesc’ presence in midfield would have improved our ball retention and distribution in central mid. AW got that wrong in my view

  57. Paulinho

    Both Denilson and Song seem a gear short of what is required. They come on strong when the other team drops physically but at the end they were getting out hustled again.

    Walcott was very lively and the substitution of him for Eboue was a terrible one from Arsene.

  58. David

    Paulinho

    Thats cuz Sagna has played every single game for Arsenal this season….

    Clichy was out for some a time too right?

    And JD…if anything when he first comes on he looks dodgy but settles down as the game goes on…When Kolo was injured he did a job for us!

  59. Franchise

    Mandanda the 3 in the middle at times was crowded cos Cesc kept going into the midfield to get the ball out as Sond and denilson’s distribution wasnt always successful. cesc was also very guilty of loosing ossession cheaply but u dont take ur big moment players off especially in a game of that magnitude. those that cant stand Ade u better get very used to him because Wenger trusts and believes in him. Nasri is still someway off from being as effective as hleb or rosicky were. even arshavin seems to be more effective than him after a few months. he’s still young still

  60. Mandanda

    we were dominated in midfield because Senna and Aguire were better in retaining and distributing the ball, they were better technically. However both our central midfielder got stronger late on in the match being obviously younger…Senna-Aguire simply could not keep that pace up for 90mins

  61. Stu

    Dont think Clichy had an injury. He may have missed one game maybe two but no more than that because of injury. Usually plays unless Gibbs plays in the CC.

  62. David

    Great point Paulinho

    I still think Cesc was too far upfront!

    If he was dropping deeper we wouldve released walcott on the counter attack…but so far with the lack of intelligence from Denilsong…we do the crab thing up the pitch or the booted long ball to Ade.

  63. tomstoned

    SuperGunner..

    either youre not watching Arsenal games or you look at it complely different than i do..Toure has been and is a world class CB ..and you get a hard time finding anyone who wouldnt agree…

    the problem in the heart of Our Beloved Arsenal’s defence is lack of communication and the fact that gallas and Toure is just to much alike …and me well fuck gallas ill choose Toure t lead the way anyday…

    buy Hangeland…solve the probs…keep >Djourou after tonite he deserves another chance…Senderos..hopeless…

    tom.

  64. Mandanda

    Franchise, I thought Cesc played to far forward tonight. He seemed to be playing in the hole, a position I don’t think he has mastered. His assist today like the weekend came when he moved to a deeper position

  65. kenny smith

    Pires i dont think even wanted to come on after we equalised

    and i dunno about the sagna thing… he wasnt great tonight either.. i think the humididy or something played a part in tonights game… we looked very very tired in the midfield… anyway… its a positive result we got our away goal… lets just leave the critcism tonight and enjoy the strong position we are in… when the match report and ratings go up tomorrow then its probably a better time to have a rant

  66. Supergunner07

    @ Tomstoned, please watch Kolo closely next time and for the rest of the season then you will see what i mean, for how many aerial duels that he wins and success rate in 1v1s then

  67. Franchise

    Mandanada when we were defending the midfield trio were too close together and it didnt stop villareal picking holes in them. Everytime we won the ball we couldnt counter properly cos the players were too close together. it meant at times that the defensive mids had to go ahead of cesc and several times song tried to force passes that were not on. Ade was very isolated for most of the game.

  68. patthegooner

    Well that was a bit close

    Thought we were really poor in the first half. I dont like this formation, I think we got away with it against Man City as they lose their bottle at the first sign of losing a game, but the same massive gaps were there today and this time we did not get the early goal.

    But like Saturday, we grew stronger in the 2nd half. And what a goal. I dont like Ade the individual but that goal was World Class. I know he is a marmite player but surely even his biggest critics must be applauding that. On the other hand, just as well as he struggled to get into the game.

    Now I have praised Song and Denilson for their improvement in recent weeks, but tonight was a step back. I thought both were accidents waiting to happen and both gave the ball away too cheaply.

    I am struggling to pick out a player of ours as a MOTM but maybe Theo or Nasri for their Effort, or maybe Toure who I thought played really well.

    We are in the driving seat though, and we should get into the semi-final. Great result, poor first half, better 2nd half.

    Good to see super bob again, I miss him.

  69. tomstoned

    David mate

    have you seen much of Senderos lately..he’s not makin it at Milan..and well not playing well at all,he’s seems like a good lad(and got a great heart)but i think he should be content with playing in a level below the very best…there he will be great..he just doesnt have what it takes to be contending at a top level..im sorry ..i like the lad

    tom

  70. maqitlarge

    SSN just said it could be the rest of the season or it could be a few weeks. Too early to say and more known tomorrow.

    Lets hope its more of a Walcott than a Rosicky!

  71. patthegooner

    It is a shame about Gallas, I just hope it is Djourou that is given the spot instead of the returning Silvestre (Who?). I would rather Song than Silvestre.

  72. Franchise

    Liverpool play this formation to perfection. Gerrard, Torres and Kuyt are normally close together sm1 (in midfield or defence) wins the ball passes out to one of those 3, a few triangle passes here and there and they are off

  73. Stu

    Well regardless of Senderos’ current form from not playing at Milan he would be a better option than Silvestre and Song there. Easily better than them…

  74. Stu

    Fabianski has his deserved chance as no.1 for a while so should grasp it and shut Almunia out for the rest of the season. I dont see what he cant do that. But Wenger being true to form will duly drop Fab when Manu is fit again.

  75. David

    tom

    Id rather play Senderos than Silvestre.

    But we all know Arsene will play Silvestre.

    he calls him his “I suprised everyone with him” signing.

    *heavy sigh*

  76. reggie57

    Fabianski looked more assured than amonia
    never needed to change me pants at all,
    good performance from him

  77. Mandanda

    Franchise, in essence, Cesc was either going to deep thus leaving a wide gap between midfield and Ade or going too far hence we were unable to retain the ball well enough. The main point is ‘playing in the hole’ is not Cesc’ best position at the moment. Nasri, I feel would have played that position better with his style

  78. Franchise

    sometimes our play is so predictable. Attimes in the 1st half Villareal were unstoppable because we couldnt anticipate their passes

  79. Franchise

    Nasri holds on to the ball too much somtimes Mandanda if we had sm1 capable to play on the left he could have done the job though. the problem was if u moved denilson to the left its almost guaranteed that he wouldnt give us width. Armand traore might well have an Arsenal future. Left footed, pacey, good crosser and fierce shot. Cesc was suffering more from fitness than anything else IMO.

  80. Pedro

    Franchise, it’s only predictable when we’re playing badly… I think our game requires high levels of confidence from everyone to work…

  81. Franchise

    this was one of the games where we needed genuine width on both flanks. Arshavin if only haaaaaaaaa

  82. patthegooner

    I think that sums it up tomstoned

    It is a great result, and one that will continue to build the morale and momentum going into what will be a rough encounter on a mud bath against Wigan this weekend.

    I hope we stuff Wigan, we could not break them down in 90 mins of negative football from them last year, and I expect the same again. get an early goal and we will stuff them. Villa play 24 hours behind again, so we could be 9 ahead before they play

  83. patthegooner

    I liked the look of Armand, but when you look at our current options, I dont think he has a future at the club, we already have Nasri, Rosicky, Vela and of course Arshavin that can play LW. And we already have Clichy and Gibbs as RB’s.

  84. Franchise

    Pedro one short coming of this current side is they are not very fluid with their passing and movements in the final 3rd. if we were theo’s pace would be more of an asset. Past Wenger sides were better at this. Its still a young side though in time things should fall in place. Villareal really toyed with us attimes in the 1st half i was in awe.

  85. patthegooner

    Bischoff can go fuck himself. After we took the gamble to save his career, he is now pimping himself around Portugal to find a club there. Great Loyalty

    Not sure about Fran.

  86. Stu

    Armand wont be an option as a left back. Gibbs has been moved back there while Traore is not a midfielder.

  87. Mandanda

    Franchise, I don’t think Nasri gave us much width on the left either. Denilson’s job on the left would have been a mainly defensive one like he did curtailing Bosingwa earlier in the season. He’s got a fantastic work ethic and would have ‘done a job’. Cesc in the middle would have improved our distribution and ball retention from the middle.

    Anywayz, got to hit the sack nice debating. Goodnight