The big one arrives but who will play? I know what I’d do… Winning the Olympics is a clue!

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So this is it, our defining moment, but who will play? Well yesterday I dared to suggest a midfield of Rosicky, Nasri and Diaby, and outside of Cesc, our most skilful midfield, a few people suggested I was as mad as a March Hare not suggesting Song.

I am amazed that people would find that midfield not the best we have, Nasri can mix it and for me takes over from Cesc, Diaby can be the enforcer and Rosicky can start the attacks, yes Song has improved no end, but for this game I believe we need pace and skill over the ability to stop attacks, what Porto did last time was to by-pass the midfield and that makes Song redundant.

We need to keep the ball, not worry about winning it back should we lose it, tonight is about being positive and go on the attack from the off, we cannot afford to let them score, if we have to use a DM then sure, use Song, but please leave Denilson in the cafeteria, I reckon a front line of Theo, Bendtner and Arshavin will click tonight and I have Bendtner down with Theo to score more than one apiece.

This is not about leaving Song out, it’s about having the most creative midfield in football, besides, since the ACN, Song has not had the form he showed before.

However, we all know Wenger will play Sagna at the back and the midfield will be Denilson, Song and Nasri, that then leaves Eboue free to play up front on the right, so it will be his team or mine and I hope he is brave and goes for skill over his favourites.

My team

Almunia

Eboue Campbell Vermaelen Clichy

Rosicky Nasri Diaby

Walcott Bendtner Arshavin

Wenger’s team

Almunia

Sagna Campbell Vermaelen Clichy

Denilson Nasri Song

Eboue Bendtner Arshavin

I watched us destroy Burnley on Saturday, we weren’t far off, but we left it late, keep the nucleus of that team together and it will pay dividends, bring Song on once we are 3 up, don’t waste the opportunity because this Porto team are there for the taking.

It reminds me of the battle of Quebec, Montcalm, the French general was camped in at the fortress of Quebec, General James Wolfe was with his army waiting in the St. Lawrence river with no way past the big French guns, what did he do next? He slipped past them at night, scaled the impossible heights of Abraham and when dawn broke the British army was behind them and ready, the battle was over in double quick time, Wolfe raced to a 3 nil lead before Montcalm had a chance to deploy his counter defensive midfield ploy, the Brits trashed the French and won Canada, and to this day Canada is still a colony and that’s why Great Britain won the winter Olympics.

So the moral of the story is surprise, do something they don’t expect, be bold Arsene and the day is yours, oh and forget the fact you are French, tonight you are batting for Harry, for England and St. George, go forth and seize the moment (Napoleon) tonight we go through to the quarter finals and get revenge on the fornicators from the bridge.

Have a great day grovers, tonight could and should be memorable.

And don’t forget I’m not dissing Song, I’m saving him for a rainy day, and tonight isn’t one of them.

No predictions but we’ll score two more than they do!

1,315 Responses to “The big one arrives but who will play? I know what I’d do… Winning the Olympics is a clue!”

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  1. zeus

    While Song was good overall, I think he needs to be much more disciplined when up against stiffer opposition.

    A few times he went forward and joined the attack and left a BIG GAPING HOLE in the midfield. The back 4 completely unprotected. That kind of thing is what the likes on Manure and the Chavs have taken advantage of in more recent games against them.

    The player in front of him are more than capable of prying open defences, just sit in the middle.

  2. AndAPrayer

    Good to see Bendy get a hatrick, I thought he played well tonight, held the ball up well and generally linked with the midfield almost every time. Another good and possibly overlooked stat in his favour – Arsenal only had 2 offsides tonight. It makes such a difference in allowing us to keep possession and pressure on the oppo.

  3. patthegooner

    What a great night

    Well done Nic, you took some pelters at the weekend. Some of us had faith and you repaid it and then some.

    Telling you, that lad has quality. Never used to be a fan, I thought he used to be work shy. But he puts in max effort every game, and with the positions he is getting into, he becoming a bit of a fox in the box. Fucking Well Done Nic,

    Some great performances on the night. It seems like some of our players are suddenly coming into form just at the right time.

    Nasri again was immense, Song was solid, Vermaelen a rock, Eboue no longer a liability.

    Well Done Arsenal, Well fucking done.

  4. ritesh

    Wenger says where do you want to put Fabregas if NAsri plays in the middle.

    But Arsenal is not experienced enough to defend a lead

  5. walcott4striker

    anyone who says all bendy did was a couple of tap ins is a fukin twat, lineker did it his entire career but people would only say how he was a goal scorer, seems bendnter cant win with some people. he misse he is shite he scores they are tap ins. ffs.

  6. ethangunner

    so many heroes tonight ,

    even nik B who i must admit i was giving a bit of stick too up until 3 hours ago .. but to be fair he was always more talented than ade … and it was always a question of when he would fire as against IF ….

    but special praise to diaby – eboue sol – tv and rosicky .

    the whole team , even big al punched away a shot !

    clichy and song had there moments but also did just as much good …

    Its a great day to be an Arsenal fan ..

    (id almost forgotten what its like πŸ™‚ )

  7. AndAPrayer

    He didn’t just score tap-ins either – he genuinely held the ball up well. There’s was a period of about 10-15 mins in the second half when he drifted out of the game but that was mainly because every ball that came near the halfway line went no where near him. He had one or two poor touches in the first half and missed a header about a foot wide in the second half but otherwise he didn’t do anything of note wrong. Oh and he scored a hatrick.

  8. The Ruler

    Thought Diaby was brilliant, did some amazing things, superb performance, I thought Song was important with his breaking up of play, Nasri was very classy, the goal was world class, Vermanleon was very strong, I believe he could be a future captain, I thought Sol did well, I liked his performance, overall I thought Cliche was good…. Very pleased for Bendtner, thought he overall had an excellent game, Arshavin was very wasteful, that could prove costly at times, though he also made some great runs, Rosisky was good too…. I thought the performance was excellent.

  9. Big Raddy

    Tremendous.

    See what happens when we score early.

    I cannot understand the slating of Song. He was top tonight. Broke up play, played simple passes and played some very very nice football. Diaby was even better. AA still not concentrating enough for me. He is one of the 6 best players in the world and some of his passing was rank, BUT he is still the dogs.

    MoM has to be Bendtner, Not just for the goals but for his general link play. He played as a single target man tonight and did everything asked of him.

    Sol looked shaky though…….

  10. Pat

    To be honest, I thought Sol had a bit of a shocker compared with his previous games, where he was flawless.

  11. AndAPrayer

    Sol wasn’t as good as he has been the last few games but we still kept a clean sheet – they’ve been rare this year.

  12. ethangunner

    after one of them nik goals sol came over and shouted into his ear ..

    pure inspiration ! , and wenger wonders why he never won silverware since our old heroes left …..

    you cant manufacture that sort of passion …
    well done sol ! solid as ever ..

    Heart and sol !

  13. zeus

    Arshavin was a bit too casual at times for me though. As if it was like a training session for him. All is well that ends well I suppose, lets enjoy this and hope that ALL OTHER ENGLISH SIDE GET KNOCKED OUT TOMORROW.

    I fancy this Arsenal against ALL other non English sides.

  14. SongtheGreat

    Big Raddy and Pat..spot on..and to go all the way we need Gallas back…then again could we really expect Sol to be consistant ??…he hasnt played much..and i was actually surprised that he got the nod instead of silvestre…

  15. gambon

    Here is some interesting stuff on Bendtner that I just worked out;

    Since returning from Birmingham, he has started 56 games for us. He has come on as a sub 57 times, so lets assume he averages 15 minutes when subbed on, this is 855 minutes.

    Lets round that upp to 900 minutes, which is 10 games.

    So that means 33 goals in 66 games, many of which he has played wide left & right.

    1 in 2 Baby!

  16. AndAPrayer

    STG – I think you’re being a bit harsh on Sol there. He didn’t play as well as he can but still got a fair few important blocks in. If that’s his bad patch I’d have him in above Silvestre on top form everytime.

    I don’t think Hulk was good but he has a big reputation. The fact he didn’t look good is at least partly down to the defence doing a good job.

  17. MARK GOONER

    arshavin got 3 assists, so lets not be to critical, we know he has that lazy vibe about him, but when on the ball he’s the man
    hull is huge now, keep the run going boys, could be a classic end to the season
    who would have thought so after the 4 defeats to chelsea and united

    havent seen bbk for a while, where’s he gone, he must be gutted with the way weve turned it round

  18. MARK GOONER

    arshavin got 3 assists, so lets not be to critical, we know he has that lazy vibe about him, but when on the ball he’s the man
    hull is huge now, keep the run going boys, could be a classic end to the season
    who would have thought so after the 4 defeats to chelsea and united

    havent seen bbk for a while, where’s he gone, he must be gutted with the way weve turned it round

  19. AndAPrayer

    Good stats Gambon!

    I’ll repeat my one from earlier as it’s important – ONLY 2 OFFSIDES tonight

  20. ManGoonian

    Song the great;

    I aint surprised you are surprised Sol played instead of Silvestre…. I imagine the sun coming up each morning surprises you… πŸ˜€

  21. MARK GOONER

    ethangunner spot on mate
    sol is a legend, a trues leader, seeing him shouting inspirational words to our players is some william wallace shit

    love it

  22. patthegooner

    My Marks out of ten

    Almunia 7
    Sagna 7
    Sol 7
    Vermaelen 8
    Clichy 7
    Diaby 8
    Song 8
    Nasri 9
    Arshavin 7.5
    Rosicky 7.5
    Bendtner 9

  23. Franchise

    Guys im a cunt. i didnt put my money where my mouth was

    Myself, Odub, Bud and some other guys were talking about Nikki B in front of the tavern and i said i reckon he will get a hat trick

    i overheard someone saying he was 9-1 to score a brace. i wonder what the hattrick odds were

    im a cunt

  24. AndAPrayer

    Good god, we win 5-0 and a twat phones up 5-live and says Theo not playing was the reason for our win. How to turn a positive to a negative – is he a poster here by chance?

  25. gnarleygeorge9

    The sun shines outa Sol’s arse, so as long as he gets up of a morning, the sun should come up 😎

  26. Franchise

    I left like 8 mins before the game ended as a plastic fan. guess who I met at King’s cross interchanging from Piccadilly to Hammersmith line?

    oh yes! the bear himself Geoff

    he left 1 min before me making him more of a plastic

    Im not factoring the time it took for him to walk down from club level (im lower tier) so he probably left 5 mins before me

    what a plastic fan πŸ˜€

  27. SongtheGreat

    not only am i surprised that the sun rises every day ManGoonian…im shellshocked that im able to get out of bed every day…feckin work..;)

    Still my point on Sol wasnt that he isnt better than silvestre…i thin he is when matchfit…still the first twenty he looked very rusty…but he did recover..thankfully…

    still all The Arsenal players did very well tonight…with Song as the outstanding man for me..

  28. ManGoonian

    Francky;

    Yes, you are a cunt…. Just agreeing with you dude!

    AAP;

    That is a right twattish thing to say about Theo…. Bound to be a regular,t here… Haha!

  29. hitman

    ‘cheap hatrick’
    your havin a larf guys.
    Gary Lineker made a whole career out of goals like that.
    The final yard is the hardest. Just ask Nik himself.

  30. ritesh

    PG, the Arshavin magic for NB’s goal deserves more than a 7.5

    He also ahd an assist for Eboue

    + he had a goal.

    He choses his actions which is why he is decisive.

  31. zeus

    Is Rosicky injured? Just looked to me Wenger wanted a different option down the right nothing more. And perhaps looking forward to Hull at the weekend.

  32. ManGoonian

    No neagtives from me… 5-0 after we havent over turned a deficit in europe for over 30+ years… And missing our main man and defender… as well as RvP et al…

  33. gnarleygeorge9

    I’m off too. I must say, the crowd sounded electric, well up until about 8 minutes to go πŸ˜†

  34. David

    You praise Bendtner but crucify Arshavin…hahahaha…you lot are something else…

    patg

    7.5 for Arsh? Whats the matter no love for our russian?

    I cant say enough about the outstanding performance from Nasri.

    10..MoTM and he did it with one leg.

  35. patthegooner

    David, Ritesh I love our Russian, he is one of my fav Arsenal Players.

    He did some magical things in that game, but also did some very sloppy things hence the 7.5

  36. ManGoonian

    Arshy is top top class, he does things soooo good, he is allowed to be sloppy, quiet, selfish etc…. Thats what you get with world class diva types!!!

  37. Arsenal Lover

    Everybody played out of their skin today.

    and importantly bendtner didnt miss any opportunity. ZerO 2 HerO

    The match ws so perfect, im so glad we didn’t concede the first goal, in any case we had so much possesion of the ball.

  38. Arsenal Lover

    I thought vermaelan was so inspirational today. He reminded me of lucio. Also how has Diaby and SONG become so important? simply baffling.

    Eboue is really amazing as well.
    Im so sure Nasri is as good a Fabregas, it is because of his leg break over the summer that has regressed his progression.

    Finally a shout out to Campbell, simply outstanding.

    MAn i lov3 arsenal !!!

  39. Pedro

    Right Grovers, I’m off to bed!

    I have a date with a cheese cake factory tomorrow.

    Enjoy your evening!

  40. gambon

    Arsenal Lover

    Good to see some enthusiasm….but Nasri is nowhere near Cesc right now.

    We may find out one day, as he would replace him in the team if Cesc leaves.

    I just hope the board didnt notice how good he was tonight or they may try and sell him.

  41. Micky Did It 89

    Franchise: its impossible that you saw Geoff, as he was on here all night in disguise as an Indian.

    Just got in and zoomed through comments on here. It is fun to go through with benefit of hindsight.

    Great performance. OOOOOOOooooooooo tooooo beeee a gooooooooooooooooner.

  42. the dude abides

    Only positives after that one.
    Everyone played well. The front three will get the headlines but Diaby and Song were fantastic in the midfield, a great partnership.

  43. Kreshnik

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOONERS

    just came back from the pub.

    what a fuckin game … wow
    immense

    almost felt bad for some portuguese guys cheering for Porto πŸ˜€

  44. Kreshnik

    when Nasri scored that crazy goal, the pub went on fire … even the Porto fans were impressed
    with one fuckin leg

    Clichy is soo fuckin fast … it’s shocking. he’s getting his form back and can be really decisive for the remaining matches

  45. colonel mustard

    great performance but it was Porto and we know we can do that to teams like them. Remain unconvinced but we are hitting a rich vein of form..better to avoid United /Chelsea for now. a few concerns…..sol was nervous first half and will his pace get us at some stage vs. the better players or worse an injury which would mean certain death if Silvestre is left anywhere near the first team. Clichy still not curbing his tendency to dive in. Song was poor, seemed off.

  46. big dave

    great result, top drawer, ok they were a bit crap (porto)

    Let’s hope big nick keeps up his scoring against harder teams now

  47. David

    Nasri MOTM by a country mile!

    Saved that would be goal on the line and and created sumfin out of nothing when we were defensively on the back foot at the start of the first half!

    Thank God…he’s getting into form now bout damn time!

  48. Johan

    Great and inspiring win today!

    Btw, Wenger better get ready to launch a bid, check out this guy! Best kid ever?

  49. Franchise

    hulk of porto looks like denilson on steroids

    both are equallly as shocking though playing different positions

  50. Johan

    We had a 4 goal lead when Denilson came in and I still got a pang of anxiety at the sight of him… He seriously needs to be sold.

    And the Denilson home vid is actually a little Francais in action, so a little respect please errhm..

  51. Jaguar

    Denilson is not a bad player.He can be a good player in the Carling Cup.Its only because of the French Hypocrite that Denilson has been made to look shite.

    The hypocrite took two years to realise that Nasri would be brilliant as a CAM.

  52. colonel mustard

    denilson did fine when he came on….now Theo….wtf was he at…..? believed his Burnley hype….King of Clueless crossing

  53. Pat

    Hull will be a very tough game, I think. They’ve had decent results against Chelsea and Everton at their place. They’ll be up for it and we may be tired.

    It’ll be feisty after our last 2 matches with them. Song isn’t playing either.

  54. LAzer

    Terrific win, I believe I had the lineup right after the Burnley game. Nasri really turning it on now, I don’t believe the knock is serious, Wenger pulled Rosicky, Nasri and Stewie too save them I think.

    Who will be the 3rd wheel in midfield with Song suspended?

    Does Walcott get the nod over Rosicky vs. Hull?

  55. Mean Lean

    Jaguar,

    What is your issue with Arsene Wenger? I have read your comments on other sites as well and you clearly have some agenda.

    What supporter would say that sort of bullshit after a 5-0 victory that puts us (sorry Arsenal) into the quarter finals of the Champions League as well as being in a very good position in the league.

    Go on, be honest. What is your problem?

  56. Freduardo

    5-0 victory
    + done without Fab4, RVP and WG
    + couple of cracking goals
    + Nasri starting to show us what he’s got
    + Nikki B hat-trick
    = one happy freduardo πŸ™‚

  57. ethangunner

    yes brilliant game , this is the shit ive been talking about .. this is the standard of an invincible side ,a silverware winning side , if you didnt see it last night when they played.. then your not a fan ..

    NIGHT AND DAY improvement …

    im the 1st one to say this is precisely the clinical finishing and the team work we missed 4 most of the season …

    if we can continue this good form for the next 10 EPL games of so i think we are more than capable of shaking the tree this season …

    i still think the C.L is a fucking long shot ..
    and any defeat could break our good run …

    last night was great but i hope we dont draw a mission impossible team next or this Great run might be short lived .

  58. Honest Bill

    ethan. Glad to hear you are feeling a bit more optimistic. But just imagine if we do draw a ‘mission impossible team’ in the next round and manage to beat them. Confidence would sky-rocket and i believe we would see the very best out of all the lads for the final stretch.

    Plus RVP coming back will lift the team massively. Let’s just hope he will be fit enough to play again this season.

  59. ethangunner

    HB
    whilst nik was on fire last night im not sure he could sustain that sort of form in all comps and over 2 legs and against a more experienced setup..

    id prefer to opt out of the C.L and just focus on the EPL … its more attainable and definitely what floats my boat far more than spreading ourselves too thin and ending up with FA ! …

  60. Honest Bill

    Yeah but on the other hand we could win both.. No guts, no glory. We have to go for it balls out if we ever wanna win that double, and while we’re in with a shot, i say just go for it.

    So we have a lot of injuries and a thin squad, but we’re only 9 games away from potential glory in the league, and on our day we can beat any team in the CL too. We are so close, If we’re ever gonna be champions, then now is as good a time as any.,

  61. sixx pac

    gotta give almunia his props. Been really good last 5 games. U can see he is very integral to the team by the big hug he got from cesc after stoke game

  62. ethangunner

    bill

    im a big fan of running the gauntlet too ..
    im just not sure we could face barca or even man U over 2 legs and get the desired results….

    it would be magical as you said if we did the double .. but when you factor in history it seems remote , even after last nights change in form ..

    id rather focus full energy on attainable goals .. and the EPL is very do -able …

    the C.L not so much so …

  63. ethangunner

    6pac

    too little too late …
    you just never know when the Spanish waiter in him will re appear …

    way too many good Goal keepers about to waste any longer persisting with him …

    besides the defense has also been far tighter since this run of form .. thats not been a co-incidence .

  64. bnsb

    We move on to the matter of dispatching Hull this Saturday. As many of you have said, one small step at a time.

  65. bnsb

    eg,

    Goal keeper is also a part of “defense”. You could criticize the defense yesterday for a good number of howlers, Sol had his, Clichy had a blatant one, Sagna and Almunia did have their share too. They held together did not concede. That was equally big achievement of yesterday win.

  66. bnsb

    The beauty about next Saturday is the three who came on as substitutes could start and we could have an equally effective team I hope. May be we could rest Capt. Fab for another week.

  67. YON

    BARCA would be easier than United/Chelsea or even Inter. Barca are like us, they will attack and I think we could really dominate them like we did AC Milan with our incredibly fast passing. They wouldn’t know what hit them. United, Chelsea and Inter can play defensive and hit us with long-balls/unexpected counters and use their physical players to out-muscle us. If the winner of the Chelsea/Inter clash faced United in the next round we will have reduced 2 of the 3 teams I fear most. Then with us, Madrid and Barca left I think we could have a great chance of moving forward.

  68. iceman

    We’ll face Lyon! πŸ™‚

    If we get Barca we’ll get spanked!

    Oh the one good thing to come out of that maybe that makes Cesc very upset and he stays longer πŸ™‚

  69. bnsb

    Barca Real or whoever, one thing we cannot discount is the form of the day. We play slightly better than yesterday (minimising our mistakes) we could beat ANYONE.

  70. luke

    glad bendtner is not too carried away. Great performance now give us more nikki!

    He said: β€˜Sometimes it’s one of those days and today I put it right. I’m happy with my hat-trick but tomorrow we move on.’

  71. luke

    glad bendtner is not too carried away. Great performance now give us more nikki!

    He said: β€˜Sometimes it’s one of those days and today I put it right. I’m happy with my hat-trick but tomorrow we move on.’

  72. iceman

    bnsb

    I don’t see Inter losing to the Chavs…

    So hope it’s Inter vs Manure πŸ™‚

    But seriously…This could be th year…

    The players need to realise this and thankfully because of 06 they have for the CL…

    And because of 08 they have for the PL…

    πŸ™‚

  73. bnsb

    iceman

    Cl quarters any one could pick any other team. Its no hold barred, right?

    Here is the Wenger quote:
    β€œI have a funny feeling it may be good for us to play an English team,” said Wenger.
    β€œWe have not done well against Chelsea and Manchester United this season and it would be good to get the opportunity to show that we can do it. If I say we don’t want to play an English team, then we’re in an inferior position. It’s a good opportunity if we get them to show we can do well. If I had a choice, I would say yes. We could not do worse than we did in the league, we could only do better.”

    Looks to me like a dig. Like SAF said prior to our Chelski match ” I hope Arsenal go there and thrash Chlelsea”

  74. ethangunner

    bnsb Says:
    March 10, 2010 at 04:30

    We move on to the matter of dispatching Hull this Saturday. As many of you have said, one small step at a time.
    ———————————-
    Yes play the same arrangement as last night and hull dispatched …

    problem games are the spuds and man shitty , its all plain sailing other than that ..

    shitty at home is very do-able if we see a repeat of last night ..

  75. bnsb

    eg,

    Hull are no pushovers. They are relegation fodder fire. Most of the away grounds look like Indian paddy field in summer, we seem to struggle playing on such pitch.

    Oh yes, i have pointed out above we play 5 matches in 15 days from 27 March unless of course the Spuds match is postponed end of season

  76. Rohan

    Yesterday was what Wengerball was all about… pretty passing combined with individualistic brilliance with the incisive penetration on the couter-attack and icecool finishing. A performance The Invincibles would be proud of.

  77. Micky Did It 89

    After the joy of last night, does anyone have that horrible northern feeling thinking about the Hull game?
    Really sorry to put a downer on things.

  78. bnsb

    MDI89,
    Yes, have a niggling fear Hull wont be a stroll in the park. But who knows, we thumped Porto, didnt we? πŸ™‚

  79. Rohan

    I don’t know, 5-0 on a European night, without our spine of Gallas, Fabregas and RVP is quite impressive.

  80. Geoff

    Morning all, yes I met Franchise but I left the game in a helicopter, unlike him, plastic.

    Great game, great performance, top drawer, they earned their money last night.

  81. Chipo

    WHAT A GAME!!

    Shame i was the wrong end for the Nasri goal!

    Just got into the office and heard this:

    “Bendtner scored a hat-trick. Shows you how bad Porto are!”

    Cunts.