Tonight we face the Greeks, tonight we demand earth, water and 3 points!

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So this is it, the first group game at home and this team are dangerous, this team have Matt Derbyshire in it, yes, you heard, Matt Derbyshire.

I expect to see our best starting 11 out there, I expect us to make it 5 games on the trot since we lost to the Northern chavs, tonight I expect to see the real Arsenal, we won ugly on Saturday, but we won, that for me is real progress, tonight I expect to see Arshavin set the Grove alight, I hope he starts with Arshavin, Eduardo and Robin up top, I hope to see Cesc, Ramsey and Rosicky in the middle, I hope we don’t see Diaby but I expect we will and by the law of averages, he is due his good game so I won’t be too upset if he plays.

Maybe this is the sort of game to take a few chances and give Wilshere a start but I doubt it.

We need to start getting some goals because our build up play has been very sweet, I know we have a ton of money and yesterday’s accounts showed that, they also showed that Arsene has had the money all along but chose not to spend it, so tonight we need to get behind whoever he puts out, because no matter how much we want him to buy, he won’t, and he can’t, we have to wait until January so I suggest we talk about what we do have, and not what we want.

He’ll probably start Diaby, Song and Eboue, Eboue has played well, my problem with him is there is no end product, maybe there will be tonight, two players who won’t feature though are Nikki B and Denilson, Nikki B pranged his Aston, I’ve done that, so please, a bit of support for the boy, doing that does make you feel sick. Really sick, and a little silly, in my case it was a birds fault, in his, a tree.

I hear on the Grapevine that Denilson won’t be back until the end of the year, shame for the boy, but it does allow Ramsey to show what he has, good luck that man.

Theo’s injury is as much of a mystery as Nasri’s, Theo has been busy making commercials so perhaps he’s being rested, but Nasri’s injury wasn’t bad, he’ll be six weeks, that was in July, so either Wenger can’t count or the injury was worse, I broke my arm in 7 places on August the first but this weekend I’m playing golf again, so god knows how bad his break was.

The up side of all this, is the young kids are growing together, losing to the Mancs when we were the better team shows how much stronger we are as a unit, but we need to start converting promise into points, and tonight I expect us to do just that.

I’ll be there, so stewards, back off, I’ll be standing and singing and there may even be a little bad language thrown in, so I apologise in advance, but leave me alone.

One of my favourite films involved Greeks, ‘300’ but remember what happened to them? …they lost! – So 5 nil the Arsenal, and yes, that is a prediction.

I would have said 5-1 but Alminia has been dropped, go Vito, go!

Have a great night tonight Grovers, I have a funny feeling it could be one of our greatest ever European games, up there with Madrid and Milan.

967 Responses to “Tonight we face the Greeks, tonight we demand earth, water and 3 points!”

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  1. Stu

    Diaby is not the best alternative because in midfield we could have very easily played Song, Cesc and Rosicky (which would be my first choice midfield anyway).

    Eduardo for Diaby and the team would have been a whole lot better imo. Anything is better than Diaby.

  2. Lou

    Interesting to note that, according to Myles Palmer, Lady Nine (sic) is selling her shares to Kroenke. Personally I believe every droplet that springs from the mind of Myles. He certainly seems to have an open line to Lady Nine. There’s a song in there somewhere.

  3. nn

    i was impressed by eboue. dont laugh. looked more like the right back who helped us to the champ league final. maybe the pennys dropped for him and he can really push sagna who seems to have regressed in the last year

  4. timao

    diaby’s alright – as has been pointed out the injury set him back, but before that he was one of the best in the world in his age group. surely that earns him the right to a decent shot at getting it back. at present he is neither good enough nor bad enough to make a decision either way. wenger’s patience may yet be rewarded.

  5. Angelos

    Better than what Stu?? We wiped the floor with them. Just because we didn’t win 5-0 doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with the performance.
    It’s a constant stream of shoulda, woulda, coulda. We performed well, there was a string of quality performances and we got the three points…Next match

  6. Stu

    Diaby was one of the best on his age group when he was in his mid teens. And his broken ankle from Dan Smith was 3 years ago.

    He has had enough time to prove himself imo. This is make or break season for him imo. And i think its gonna be break because he doesnt offer any evidence that he is gonna suddenly become the dogs bollocks.

    I would have sold him this past summer but i quess Wenger has other ideas.

  7. nn

    right angelo. we played this team of the park and some team is going to get a right hammering in yhe near future when big players get fitter. hopeully spurs. just gotta be more lethal with the amount of chances we make. lay of diaby for fucks sake. blame wenger .he plays him

  8. Angelos

    Diaby is strong on the ball, has a physical presence, is a skillful dribbler with a good technical ability and has shown on occasion that he can make a difference in Premiership games. He has had a few mediocre performances of late, but I know of better players who have had dips in form.
    Just let the guy grow…we all know that when Nasri returns he’ll be seen significantly less anyway so I don’t see the fuss.

  9. Stu

    Diaby holds onto the ball too long most times, doesnt make the most of his physical stature and often tries to dribble out of our defensive third and loses the ball quite a lot doing it. He slows down the play by taking too many touches.

    Other players have had dips in form, that i dont deny, but those players are off form. Diaby is very rarely on form so when he doesnt perform its just more of the same frustrating stuff to watch.

    Good players have bad games. He seems to be more like an average player who has some moments of brilliance imo. I just dont think he is good enough for us..even as a back up because he isnt a reliable understudy imo.

  10. Ja_Gunner

    We dont score direct free kicks anymore..cant a couple of the players go to the training ground practise that….

    Sometimes u just cant score from open play..so u need to use up ur set pieces..we have scored from some..but we havent scored a direct free kick in ages…and Fabregas wants to take even the direct ones….but he does not have the quality in that department….Nasri, Arshy rosicky should probably sharpen up and take over that duty

  11. Angelos

    Stu…It’s also worth remembering that a multitude of major european clubs had Diaby watched on numerous occasions while he was at Auxerre, and Guy Roux rated him very highly (and trust me, he should know).

    The truth is I respect your opinion and your frustration but should I take your word over the obvious talent I see he has (but not always utilises) and the trust of a man who watches him day in and day out as well as having a consumate track record in developing young or unfancied players?

  12. Stu

    No Angelos, dont trust my opinion over a scouts. That would be ludacris because im not devoted to watching players.

    I dont doubt that Diaby was massively rated, otherwise Wenger wouldnt have bought him. But since first arriving and his injury at Sunderland i dont think he has progresses nearly enough as would have been hoped. He hasnt improven enough to warrent a starting berth at arsenal imo. He still makes stupid mistakes like losing the ball in key areas and making wrong decisions.

    I know you are well connected in the scouting world but he isnt that age anymore. He is 23 now. Its about time he settled down and started playing consistently.

  13. Jaguar

    Let’s put it straight
    Question:Should Diaby command a starting place ahead of Vela?
    Answer:Big NO

    Mr.Wenger wants to badly vindicate his decision of sticking with this headless chicken.Thats the only reason,why Diaby starts matches,despite being the worst player on the pitch.

  14. A

    What on earth does Diaby have to do with Vela?!

    They play in different positions, Vela couldn’t play in central midfield, so a MASSIVE yes Diaby should start ahead of Vela in that instance!

  15. Jaguar

    People here,trying to prove how Diaby would be better than Vieira.Go to sleep before sun rises in the WEST tomorrow morning.

  16. Angelos

    Stu I am in complete agreement that he hasn’t developed half as fast as I and probably most of us expected him to. But every player has a personal growth pattern…all I’m saying is don’t dismiss him just yet.
    He wouldn’t be in the starting line up with a couple more players fully fit and there will be huge pressure on Wenger to bring Wilshere through soon so I wouldn’t worry about him being a mainstay in the team.
    But like I said I respect your frustration as he is anything but consistent.

  17. Angelos

    Jaguar, I don’t think anybody here is saying that…maybe you’re eyes are playing tricks on you in the late hours of the night.

  18. Jaguar

    Mr A,For your kind information,if you didnt watch the match,Diabolical started on the left and was later subsituted by Vela.The moment he was subsituted,our game became more fluent and dynamic,and a goal was scored in less than two minutes.Does that tell you something?

  19. Angelos

    Diaby didn’t start on the left…Arshavin did. And maybe the reason we were more of an attacking threat is not because Diaby came of but perhaps because we then played with 4 strikers.

  20. A

    I’m afraid you’re mistaken Jaguar, we started

    ——–Mannone——–

    Eboue-Gallas-Vermy-Clichy

    ———Song———

    ——Cesc–Diaby——

    Rosicky—VP—Arshavin

    Vela cannot play the role that Diaby did, he’d play rather than one of the front three, he isn’t a midfielder

  21. A

    We started with the above system, then Eduardo came on and we changed to the same, but with the front three being

    Arshavin–VP–Eduardo

    then Vela came on for Diaby because we were trying to score, so we changed to

    ——Song–Cesc——

    Arshavin-VP-Eduardo-Vela

    then

    Arshavin-Song-Cesc-Vela

    ——VP–Eduardo——

    then Ramsey came on so it went to

    —-Ramsey-Song-Cesc—-

    Arshavin———-Vela

    ——–Eduardo——–

    At no point did Vela occupy the position Diaby did, and at no point could he!

  22. A

    Yeah Stu I agree with that, and when Rosicky is fit enough to play that role I expect that to happen, but it won’t be for a while, I’d be surprised to even see him start at Blackburn, let alone play in midfield for a while yet

  23. A

    Though I think Eduardo would come in ahead of Vela. Really hope Vela returns from international duty still fit, real pity he won’t be available for the Brummy game, be perfect for him to tear them to shreds!

  24. A

    I dunno Angelos, it’s going to be very interesting what sort of balance Wenger looks for when everyone is available. I’d like to see Nasri in that central midfield role, with Rosicky playing in one of the wide forward roles where he’ll have more freedom, and he can still roam in centrally but without having to be positionally disciplined as much.

    Though then there’s Theo, Vela, and Eduardo who are all direct players and could REALLY benefit from the amount of creativity around them picking out their runs in behind, and there’s also Bendtner who provides some real ball retention from goal kicks and hoofs out of defence we can otherwise lack.

    Also in some games the physicality of Diaby in central midfield will probably be necessary.

    Still, back five then

    ———Song——–

    ——Cesc–Nasri——

    Rosicky——Arshavin

    ———-VP———-

    that would be one hell of a team, everyone providing and getting into goal scoring situations, like today. Just hope we’d take a few more of the chances!

  25. Matt

    It’s a matter of balance.
    Nasri defends much more than Rosicki so with Nasri we can have more attacking players on the fields (Rosicki included) whereas with Rosicki we need someone else to anchor the midfield with Song.
    Too bad Cesc does not want to play deeper, he would have more defending to do but at the same time he would have more opportunities for killer passes.

  26. Stu

    Back 5

    Fabregas – Song
    Arshavin – Rosicky – Eduardo
    Van Persie

    OR
    Ramsey – Denilson
    Theo – Nasri – Vela
    Bendtner

    We have great offensive options. Mix and match both teams depending on injuries etc Sorry…no room for Diaby in my midfields 🙁

  27. Angelos

    A, i personally feel that Nasri will be the one to step forward when Fabregas eventually leaves, with Wilshere being primed to take up Rosicky’s position as our no. 10.

    At the moment I think the best team in tems of quality would have to be

    ——Song——

    –Cesc—Rosicky–

    VP–Eduardo–Arshavin

  28. Stu

    I completely agree with that team Angelos. Shame VP always starts centrally tho. Eduardo is wasted on the wing imo and would be much better in front of goal, even if he doesnt get involved with play as much as VP does.

  29. Angelos

    I don’t know where people have gotten the idea that Rosicky doesn’t put in a shift defensively. Maybe people should watch closer, he is a battler.

  30. A

    Angelos It’s going to be a couple of years before Cesc goes, I expect all Cesc, Nasri, and Rosicky to play together before then, and when Cesc goes I expect Ramsey to take over his duties rather than Nasri, who’ll have a different role in the team from his time playing alongside Cesc.

  31. Matt

    Stu: stats. Rosicki recovers balls much much less than any other midfielder. Like Arshavin although Rosicki loses the ball less than the later (more offensive).
    I feel a midfield of Cesc-Song-Rosicki is too soft, too much work left for Song. But then Rosicki is just back, he will only get better with time.

    I think we should not have a fit-all team. When the opposition gets tough we can use both Song and Denilson to boss the midfield for example. Arshavin could move around to accomodate Vela. Etc. I think what’s really great this year is that we have more than one top XI team.

    As Angelo says there are plenty of options and many of them really good.

  32. zeus

    Just saw this ridiculous from Zico on the Arsenal v Olympiacos game…

    “We had three French referees with a French coach [Wenger] in the other team [Arsenal] that had 10 French players,” Zico said, according to BBC. “Maybe we could have had referees from other countries.”

    What is he insinuating? Arsenal bossed that game from start to finish. At one point, our offside trap was set up in their half of the pitch, so please….

  33. ikon

    I think Diaby was played by Wenger for the same reason as in the FA cup semis against Chelsea last season, physical equity.

    The greeks are really strong and we needed to have a few strong players in our mid too. Song and Diaby.

    But I dont know why Diaby doesnt keep it simple, and let his confidence build to try some outrageous moves, like he does now.

  34. SUGA3

    some game yesterday, eh?

    they had me tearing my hair out after the first half and I feared that karma was about to hit us for the Vito’s Saturday heroics…