MATCH DAY BLOG – DEFEATING CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DARK ARTS

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Well good morning my darlings, how are we today? Good? Great? Incredible? Surely not a 3 out of 10? Don’t be like that, we have a Champions League game this evening.

There’s exciting injury news, Tomiyasu is back in contention after a very long stint out. He’ll make the bench this evening, there’s no doubt he’s going to be ready for the run in, he might get a few minutes if things are going well and we’re trying to lock-up the game.

Timber has also been in the training pictures, but don’t get your hopes up on that one. End of the month if things go really well. That’ll be City at the earliest, which would be great, but again, it feels like we’re being hopeful that Mikel would use a bench space for a player out for that long in a title-contending game.

Arsenal’s content team sent the world of fandom into meltdown when they put Zinchenko on the tune-in post. I mean, come on, could it be any more obvious he’s going to start against a dirty, dirty mid-block?

… or maybe it’s just a mind game?

Who knows, but I’d certainly be gearing up for a very similar game to the one we just played against Brentford. The main difference? FC Porto simply doesn’t have the physicality of Brentford to cause us the same type of problems.

This will be a similar game from a gamesmanship perspective, but it’ll be a different footballing experience. My big hope is the shocking refereeing in the last round will be addressed. No one wants to see Porto in the next round, the TV gods will want to see Arsenal there. We can’t have a ref supporting a disgusting anti-football team in the next round. Arteta was asked if the refs will have to be on their game, he didn’t go too hard at it, but the point was raised.

This is a big game for the entire team. No one wants to see Arsenal go out in a Monaco-like mess of a game. This team is too good to exit now. We need to be competing against a top-8 team like Madrid or Bayern before we can give up our chance at Euro glory.

My gut says the team will see Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus back in the starting 11. Gabriel Martinelli is struggling with a very deep cut to his foot that has put him out of contention for Brazil next week. Trossard didn’t shower himself in glory against Brentford. So for me, it’s a frontline of Havertz, Saka, and Jesus.

The Brazilian really comes out of his shell in Champions League games. He’s a very good player against a mid-block. He’ll drop deep, force chaos, and he’ll want to show off to his Brazilian National team group chat with a goal or something nice like that.

There might be a question about who starts in midfield – could it be Thomas Partey and Declan Rice? Sheesh, I’m asking so many fucking questions in this post. Especially annoying when we know it’s probably going to be Jorginho and Declan. We need the fit boys starting and Declan and Jorgi have a very vibey partnership. Both like being on TV shows and they are in elite form.

This game is going to be interesting because we don’t need to worry about away goals. We have the privilege of no Chelsea game on Saturday, so we only need one goal to take the game to extra time. It’d be ideal to just unleash brutality and kill them, but this is the Champions League, and Porto is absolutely dogged. One goal takes us to extra time, we’ll have a strong bench, and the home crowd will be on FIRE.

I fancy us. This is the big show. The tournament young Bukayo’s imagine themselves scoring a winner in. Big players know their heroics will live on in history. Who wants to be a history-maker? Every single player.

Porto is not a good team. They know they are inferior. The only advantage they have on us is they know the dark arts. We’ve seen the playbook, let’s see if they can replicate it at Fortress Emirates.

That’s all I’ve got today. If you want to join the On The Whistle, sign up for free on Patreon for the LIVE show and we’ll have some fun. Xxx

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Mr Serge

I am shattered they where shooting towards me for the pens.what a result I knew he would save that 4th pen.
Saka was awful I thought. Ode was immense loved havertz too. Now for a quick drink before the trek home

Dissenter

Habesha
This year’s CL is like a first year taking post graduate level classes, it felt like trying to breathe on the peak of the Himalayas without oxygen masks.
We will get better once we realize that we belong at this level.

Last edited 30 days ago by Dissenter
Mr Serge

Vickingz suck on that you peasant

Vickingz

Lolzzzz @Mr Serge

Mr Serge

Did we sound loud ? We defoe where and for the pens

raptora

I remember Habesha was convinced we’ll wipe the floor with Porto in the return leg. Told him that nothing is certain. We survived by the skin of our teeth…

Last edited 30 days ago by raptora
Ustyno

The moment Raya enters the heart of majority of the Arsenal’s faithful

Didn’t think we will be this meh but I somehow believed we will go through

The experience will help Arteta and the boys

COYG

Pierre

Paulie
“Has to be said that saka was an absolute disgrace tonight, and as for nkethia , jesus and zinchenko I can’t even find words to describe how bad they were”

This comment is the biggest disgrace, your understanding of the game is zero.

Habesha Gooner

Rap
These are top teams. They know what they are doing. Running over them is almost impossible. They will wait for their chances. They don’t have to be proactive to win. Going through is all that matters.

Luteo Guenreira

Arsenal haven’t missed a spot kick this entire season. 9/9 in competitions, 4/4 against City in the Community Shield, and 4/4 today.

China1

lol Paulinho with a very negative take 😂😂😂

WengerEagle

Pepe may be a wanker but he is still incredible, 41 years old and he kept us pretty quiet all night outside of Trossards goal.

Sly

This was a mature performance from us
Porto is not a walk over

China1

Aside from slipping (after a very good touch) eddie’s cameo was excellent

Paulinho go cry into your empty spud trophy cabinet

Little Mozart

First person to congratulate Raya? Ramsdale!! Now that’s some unity Arteta has created

Habesha Gooner

Dissenter
I think nerves have a lot to do with our performances. If this was a group game we would have done a lot better. We just need to feel like we are at this level, which we are.

Rap
They are better than I gave them credit for. But nerves in our team is what made us look poor today. Saliba, Saka, Jorginho, Havertz all had poor games.

Gazza

Saka redeemed his piss poor game with a fantastic penalty

Pierre

Arteta has learnt not to chase the game and leave the defence exposed, in previous years we would have left ourselves open and probably lost the game….another clean sheet,

Paulinho

China you’re a thick twat that is always playing catch-up.

Thorough

How did he save those? Those were two very good penalties. Raya just won me over tonight.

Dolomite

Spot on Mr Serge
the one downer tonight was Sakas performance (penalty aside)
Odegaard Kiwior and my new favourite player King Kai (told them but they didn’t listen) all had fantastic games and looked like CL level players

Dolomite

Habeesha

Havertz was one of our best players tonight

just saying….

China1

Pauline cry more about ‘bang average’ arsenal and our ‘disgraceful’ player you silly spud

Marko

Paulinho is alright for every bit of Saka criticism he does he blindly touts ESR as a visionary. Or was it Ramsey that he had a thing for

Pierre

I don’t think Arteta is a manager who will settle for quarter finals, he will want to go all the way

TheLegendaryDB10

I am so fucking buzzing right now!!!

❤️❤️❤️THE ARSENAL ❤️❤️❤️

Logie Bear

Loving Jules Breach on TNT. She’s such a Goonerette!

JW1

Luteo– I did know that.
Havertz, by % is our best pen taker (17/18 career).

I was wondering who our #5 taker was going to be?
Big Gabi, Gabriel, Zinny?

Paulinho

China carry on being an utter dullard incapable of a single interesting or thought-provoking observation.

TheLegendaryDB10

Vickingz

Just fuck off you negative wanker.

You are not a Gooner by any metric conceivable

raptora

Hab: -“We will batter this shit team at home” -“I am very sure we will beat this team down to the ground. We are going to break their door down and smash them” -“We will fuck this team up. That I am sure of.” -“But even with our poor record, we will smash them in to the ground.” -“We haven’t taken any cup competition as serious as the UCL. And because of that I am confident we will batter them. Pathetic teams rarely qualify.” -“But when they come to the Emirates, it will be in our terms. Mark my words,… Read more »

Logie Bear

Starboy is such a gent. Admitting he hadn’t played that well but still turns up for the interview, so calm and collected

Luteo Guenreira

Top of the league and best 8 of the CL, we are literally in the best position we have been in 15 years.

Habesha Gooner

Dolomite
I don’t think he was. He was invisible. He was okay in duels. But he had a poor performance overall.

China1

Pauline your unhappiness post a brilliant win says it all. True colours always shine through. Why not take lead from a fellow spud in GOH who also fucked off once arsenal became legitimate title contenders? There used to be legitimate cause for being a moaning cunt when arsenal were Banter FC, but you can always tell who the pathetic spud trolls are by seeing who remains a thick negative cunt now when arsenal are for the second season running competing for the title late on and are now through in the CL If you come out of that match wanting… Read more »

TheLegendaryDB10

Tonight was a game all about pure experience.

And let’s ne honest, Porto opened up their entire portfolio of experience.

But we got over it and learnt a boat loads from it !!!

Mark my words!

Hermes

I wonder what happened between the 2 managers, at least Arteta took time to listen, very mature.

Dolomite

Without Havertz we would have lost today.
2nd half up to the end of extra time he was our only hold up player.
pressure penalty well taken too

Paulinho

China – You realise it’s possible to be happy we’re though and doing well and also reiterate opinions about the standard of the team and players within it.

No? Well you do now.

TheLegendThatIsDennisBergkamp

That’s a whole load of experience we just put into our locker. Fantastic performance people.

salparadisenyc

Getting thru this one not playing Porto off the park and having to grind thru extra time into pens is going to pay dividends.

MidwestGun

True Sal- But, I’m glad there is 3 weeks off now.. I’m going to need some time to recover for the biggest game of the season .. in the League. Emotional roller coaster this one..

Pierre

Does anyone feel nervous when Raya has the ball at his feet …..no ….I thought so.

China1

Ah yes Pauline, positively over the moon with the result and how we’re doing you are That’s why in the last 1h you did not post a single positive comment. You lamented the bringing on of ‘no goals Eddie’ and Zinchenko. You said saka was a disgrace because he had a one off bad game. You said zin and Eddie were unbelievably bad, in spite of both players having some positive moments in their cameos. As we scored penalties and Raya saved them, you posted nothing. Come the end of the game you post purely negative comments. The lady doth… Read more »

raptora

The quarterfinals look wild.
We have the top favorites in City and Real.
The two giants that are not in their best form in Bayern and Barca.
Then Arsenal and PSG.
And finally the two vacant spots that will fill tomorrow by either Atleti/Inter and Dortmund/PSV.

Tougher games to follow tonight’s. The real competition for big boys has only just began.

Luteo Guenreira

🤣🤣🤣

China mate “Paulie” and “Paulinho” are not the same poster. You’re conflating a few things.

Mr Serge

Raya is by far the better keeper just seeing Ramsdale in goal for the first time in months on Saturday tells me that. He is a nervous keeper Raya is the opposite. He also is superb at catching the ball and passing it instantly. RAMSDALE likes to punch it. Love Ramsdale but he has to be sold in the summer. Kai is immense he also has a bit a the dog in him God we need that. Without him tonight we would have lost. He took one for the team and fouled that player with a few mins to go… Read more »

Wardo

Great pens. Happy to have my words shoved down my throat

Think I’ve celebrated too much so off to bed. COYGS

YES YES YES

raptora

Zina’s 15 mins were quite dire. Par the course.

TheLegendaryDB10

Raps

I would really love to play Bayern as we have a serious opportunity to make make up for these awful quarter final drubbings we had at their hands.

Winning against them would be a statement on our progress from the Wenger era.

Mr Serge

I have the Kane fear I don’t want Bayern

Luteo Guenreira

Zinchenko giving away that needless corner was pretty upsetting to me. He did something similar earlier this season which result in a goal from the ensuing corner for the other team, I forget who it was against, but it cost us points. I want to say West Ham or Villa.

Northbanker

On my way home – what a night but now faced with the late trains with no regard for putting on more services for football fans. Fucking train companies

Mr Serge

How was Ode goal disallowed btw? Looked a soft shirt pull for me

Eboues Bank Account

This was Rayas best performance even during the 120…calmest player on pitch and claimed some crucial crosses at the end which Ramsdale would never have come out for…hes the one

Mr Serge

Northbanker agreed it’s always a trek home this time of night

Jaroda

Yeah credit Saka for being self aware in his post match interview. It’s a proper sign of maturity and intelligence to be able to honestly admit he fell below his own expectations in that game.
Genuine question but do you think players are more nervous for a big club game like that, than a major international tournament fixture? I can say I was far more nervous about that game than any England game I’ve watched.

MidwestGun

Only team I absolutely do not want next round is Real Madrid. Don’t really want to play City another time this season either unless it’s in the final. Other than that .. It’s going to be somebody difficult regardless so I’m ok with Barca, Bayern or PSG or whomever that will want to try and play football with us rather than setup shop.

MidwestGun

Mr. Serge on Replay you could see Kai had Pepe by the back of his shirt the whole time and didn’t really let go. Had he released it earlier he might have got away with it So I think in the end it was a good call.. Live it didn’t look like anything but two players scrapping for the ball, though..

Kpankulu

SUGA3: re: calling Raya a dwarf:

Um…are you one, too? It takes one to know one.

MidwestGun

Ok then.. I guess we have 3 weeks to rehash this one.. gonna get down to some serious relaxing, now.

Habesha Gooner

From here on out, it is luck and some performances. I would ideally want to avoid Madrid and City. The other teams are going to be difficult too. But we won’t meet a Porto type of side again. Just a straight shootout.

Akinzo

The guys were all nerves today! It stopped them from playing at their best. We aren’t the best team in the competition yet and our young side still has a lot to learn Why many would expect us to walk over a seasoned UCL side is what baffled me! The team learnt quite a lot tonight and that would prove very vital as they progress. Saka has one of his bad games of the season and we had no one to replace him. He is still very young but getting better. Why Paulinho call him an embarrassment is one of… Read more »

Jaroda

Not sure what most of the people on here were watching. Porto were not the better team over the two legs. Yes they were organised and yes they time wasted and feigned injury for 210 minutes. They were thoroughly dislikable. They scored one long range speculative shot and barely had any other chances. We were 30 seconds away from a clean sheet over two legs plus extra time. We had 20 odd corners. We scored a well made goal. Their goal keeper saved a ball with his nuts. We missed done other well fashioned chances, primarily Odegaard. The refereeing in… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

How well prepared was this group of players for penalties? They didn’t just recently practice.. they worked on it in pre season and took the unusual step of working them into summer friendlies. This team is so professionally coached and innovative.

Generational Galaxy brain.

Kpankulu

Kai is immense he also has a bit a the dog in him God we need that.
Without him tonight we would have lost. He took one for the team and fouled that player with a few mins to go as well. [@Mr Serge]

Thanks for highlighting what top managers and those who have supported him coming to the Arsenal family from the beginning have known…Havertz is a big game player and fulfills so many roles, position[s] be damned.

I am glad you were able to see the game in person. What an experience!

TheLegendaryDB10

Mr Serge re Øde’s disallowed goal.

The ref was totally bent. He favoured Porto throughout the game. So, no big surprise he disallowed it.

I am so glad that we have nonetheless won the game against such adversity.

Massive experience to be learnt from this game.

It also shows that the we can take the pressure from these borderline moments.

Long it may continue!!!

Last edited 30 days ago by TheLegendaryDB10
Nigel Tufnel

Did I imagine that scumbag Porto manager giving Arteta shit when we won the pens?

If I saw right, what a miserable piece of shit he is.

Nigel Tufnel

Kpankulu,

Kai got the hell kicked out of him today and he just got right up every time, and gave it back to them.

The one time he didn’t get up fast was to encourage a VAR review. Very smart, rugged player.

I was thinking of pens and listed my pen takers here yesterday ..
Ødegaard, Saka, Jorginho, Havertz, Trossard…

Rice took his really well.

TheLegendaryDB10

I actually emailed a complaint to TNT Sports about Ally McMoist punditing tonight.

I can take jibes and the odd barb thrown at us (cf G Nev), but Ally McMoist was on another level altogether. He actually showed total disdain towards us throughout the game.

He should not be punditing an Arsenal game ever again.

I urge you to do the same by emailing TNT Sports here: tntsportsboxofficesupport@endeavorstreaming.com

Nigel Tufnel

Midwest,

It was a good spot of Kai pulling the shirt. Frustrating, but no way to argue against it.

Kpankulu

I was thinking of pens [@Nigel Tufnel]

Nigel: When extra time ended, I was finally confident that Arsenal would win. We don’t know who Arsenal’s 2nd best taker in Arteta’s and Jover’s eyes right now is since whoever it was did not get to be a hero, thanks to Raya 🙂

We are so damned good at penalties. The only worry I had was when Saka was about to take his.

Habesha Gooner

Rap
I was mad that night to be honest. I thought we would win by clear goals instead of pens though. They are a better side than I gave them credit for. But they are an ugly side to play against. I believe that our team is much better than theirs. We didn’t smash them. But we are through. That is what matters.

gnarleygeorge9

Ohhhhhhhhh! Mike Arteta’s magic
He wears a magic hat,
And when he saw the Champions League,
He said I’m having that😝🍻🎉

TheLegendaryDB10

Hsbesha It’s a CL game. Expecting a thumping is a bit delusional (with all respects). For me this is the ideal learning curve for our team. We will learn from this that most games will be a fine margin game. And we should be expecting this kind of anti-football at all times in the CL All English teams are hated throughout Europe. The only way to win is by scoring more goals. We do this and we can look up at history. But I know this will take time as we need to learn and gain experience from these kind… Read more »

Kpankulu

Memo to Arteta Outers…yes, you still exist:

In the spirit you display in drooling over other managers, just wanted to pass along that Rafa Benitez was fired today as manager of Celta Vigo. Do with that information what you will.

salparadisenyc

I will take anyone in the round of 8 barring City, even Real Madrid and the Bernabau. If Simeone gets thru tomorrow would prefer not to meet that cold hearted killer as well.

Guns of SF

Finally home after watching the OT periods. Damn.
Porto were tough to beat. SO much for my 3 nil. I dont give a fuck tho, we won, and im happy. Lets hope for a good draw Friday

Guns of SF

psv maybe

Kpankulu

Personally, I don’t care one bit who we face.

To be the best, one must beat the best.

allezkev

From BBC website:

In 2020, Conceicao also accused Pep Guardiola of being “unpleasant” and using “ugly words” during a defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League.

It seems that he’s got previous…

Guns of SF

this guy is a sore loser. I see all that stuff on twitter. loser

Guns of SF

Kai nice push on loser coach

allezkev

It’ll be in the media for a day or so but the draw is Friday and everyone will forget about him after that, so he can go back to fighting for 3rd spot in the Portuguese league.

jwl

“If Arsenal do sign Martin Odegaard, they’re a shoo-in for the 2024 Champions League quarter finals.”

I was just looking at arsenal twitter feed and they have this tweet, it was written by acct called 101 Great Goals in Dec 2014. Eerie.

That was the most nervous I felt watching Arsenal match in well over a decade, that was terrific my favourite kind of match where your emotions all over the place but win in the end.

Olatunde

Didn’t see many post again about the need to replace our average goalkeeper with the world class Porto goalkeeper.
The funny part of the game was that Diogo was actually playing for the penalty shout-out. He was confident they were going to win. But my keeper was calm, he knew what he has to do to finally silence all doubters.

Isaac

Not attacking the nationality. But I’ve noticed a consistent pattern of a siege mentality from Portuguese sportspeople. From the Ronaldo-Messi Ballon d’Or wars, the Mourinho-Guardiola “rivalry”, the Portuguese national team…

Don’t know how a whole bunch will want to thrive with conspiracy theories

IMG_20240313_064230
Isaac

Same man

IMG_20240313_064412
Isaac

Smh

IMG_20240313_064422
TheLegendaryDB10

New post

Gonsterous

I don’t think we have any more Arteta haters because realistically who’s going to replace him? He is doing a great job and the downsides of replacing him is too big.

Cyril

Can I say this – going to watch this club for 40 years- and I love this club and I deeply want you all to be happy. However when you cork a bottle – it’s gone. When you appreciate and love humanity before your eyes. It’s gone forever. Do you understand we are human. Is HUMANITY important to you.

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