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Archive for April, 2009

Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal: The only consolation is that it was just the one 2

Posted on April 30, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

That my friends, was total and utter bollocks.

Contrary to Arsene Wenger’s comments saying he will attack United from the off we only mustered ONE shot on target all game, and that was pretty lame.

Arsene got it wrong again tonight, Arsenal were a mess and should have been four down by half time. Only the fantastic Almunia stood between Manchester United and a fast track to Rome in May.

Schoolboy defending from Arsenal allowed United to get 1-0 up (highlights here), it was a goal that was inevitable from the off, we were a mess tactically, Silvestre started instead of Djourou and did OK, though should have done better for the goal. Gibbs on the other hand, was fucking immense.

After the FA Cup semi you would have thought that Diaby had had his chance, he was woeful again today and I would not be sad to see him out of the Grove’s exit door in the summer. Yes, he is talented but he just does not show it.

Wenger started with Nasri and Song shielding the defence and Cesc in the hole, something we have come to expect. Did it work? Again…no. Nothing was created, Adebayor worked pretty hard in the first 45 but seemed to give up after that, Bendtner was brought for the quiet Walcott but went out onto the wing and made no impact at all, you just had the feeling we were not getting anything out of this game. If we were still playing this morning we would not have scored.

Wenger needs to learn that 4-4-2 is Arsenal’s formation, 4-5-1 on some occasions, 4-2-3-1 just does not work against the big teams. When the stakes are at their highest he seems to bottle it somewhat, we do not play to our strengths and get at the opposition.We bang on about this wonderful football the team can play but what is the point in watching us beat teams like ‘Boro and playing this great football, but revert to stout defending when we play a remotely ‘big’ side.

I don’t see the point in that.

Man United look weak when teams get at them, Wenger did the opposite and we lost. Its not rocket science for fucks sake. We really, really have our work cut out now and if I’m totally honest when I’m asked if we can win by two clear goals next Tuesday the answer is no. We are 90 minutes away from another trophy-less season.

As you can probably tell I’m very disappointed, especially after the Wembley debacle. You would have thought that Wenger would have learnt from that game but its plain to see he hasn’t. He is a great boss but tactically he has been found out again.

I’m being this blunt because I really, really love this football club and every time we seem to be getting somewhere we get a knock back. Its starting to get very very frustrating.

Wenger’s words after the game were encouraging though, they do make you feel a bit better and you get the sense we could give it a right go:

“It will be a good opportunity to show our character and our mental strength. I am confident you will see it so I invite you to a press conference next Tuesday after the game, and then you would have seen it.

There is a Final at stake. Don’t worry, when you play at home knowing you could reach a Final, we will be up for it. I am confident because I believe we will be on top next Tuesday and you will see a different Arsenal team.”

I was very emotional after watching this game, I feel sometimes that we are stuck in a vicious circle of nearly getting to a final or losing out in the final. Should we feel relieved that we only lost 1-0? Should we have put United under pressure and exposed their weaknesses? Can we beat them by two clear goals at the Grove?

I’m not sure what to think right now….are you?

’til tomorrow.

ps. apologies over the mixed tense. Half was written after the game.


Manchester United V Arsenal – First leg: The big one is here 2

Posted on April 29, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Right, breaking news here!! I understand that the large yellow object parked on the Nou Camp turf last night, rumoured to be a football team bus, has finally moved.

What a brilliant advert for English football!!!

Onto the big stuff then, Arsenal v Manchester United, a Champions League final at Rome at stake.

The team news in full: Silvestre and Kieran Gibbs are doubts with knocks picked up at the weekend and if we lose Gibbs from the line up it would be a massive loss, Silvestre on the other hand, I couldn’t really give a toss about. If Gibbs doesn’t make it we will certainly see Eboue at RB and Sagna at LB with Djourou and Toure in the middle of defence. Djourou is probably a cert to start. He had better be anyway.

In the midfield Song, Fabregas and Walcott are what I would consider the players that are undroppable at the moment, especially for a game of this magnitude. It is possible we will see Nasri and Song operating further back with Diaby and Walcott out wide, Cesc slotting into the hole and Adebayor ploughing a lone furrow up front. Boy do we need a performance from him tonight.

Wenger has said we are going to go for it at Old Trafford but I’m not so sure. If Wenger was offered a 0-0 he may just take it considering our record over Man United at the Grove, the first 20-30 minutes may well be slow with both teams and managers sizing each other up and seeing what both sets of players have to offer, then again, would you rule out an early goal? I wouldn’t.

An away goal would be brilliant and you feel that if United score we have to get that away goal to give us much of a chance at the Grove, an away goal at this stage of the competition is vital and would force United onto the offensive in the return fixture, if we don’t get the away goal they can sit back at the Grove.

Their defence has been slightly leaky of late, ever since that brilliant run of clean sheets they put together. Adebayor has been a thorn in United’s side on more than one occasion and sounds confident of scoring against them, a goal tonight and I can tell you, nobody will be remembering his summer antics. The partnership between him and Fabregas is one of the keys to us getting through this tie and after Fabregas’ fantastic performance at the weekend you would expect Adebayor to follow suit and show his undoubted class. I am not aware if Eduardo is in the traveling squad or not, if he is we may see him at some stage if we are looking for a goal. Lets hope that we do not concede first. You sense we have to seize the initiative and play the game at our pace and take any chances we get. Vidic and Ferdinand are a very good defensive partnership but they are breakable. Liverpool had the best home record (conceding) in the Premiership but we (or Arshavin), still put four goals past them.

I am so, so, so excited about this. We have been waiting for this game for a long time, lets hope its worth the wait because a win tonight could be one of the clubs all time greatest results. I said before the FA Cup semi that it was the biggest game since the CL final in Paris.

Scratch that.

This game is the biggest we have had since then, by a country mile.

There have been a few attempts to unsettle the team, namely from the Daily Mail speculating about Arshavin’s future but over at Gooner Talk they have spoken to Dennis Lachter who has confirmed that it is all total and utter bollocks. From now until Saturday I will be working on that site, updating it with all the news so keep tuned over there, and on here of course!

Right, the time is here. Lets enjoy it and cheer the boys on tonight, wherever you are.


’til tomorrow.


A bit of team news + Fergie and Wenger’s love for each other 1

Posted on April 28, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Morning Gooners, the game is fast approaching and we have a little news on Silvestre’s back condition plus a little on the great Fergie/Wenger feud.

Regarding Silvestre, it has emerged that he had a back spasm at the weekend leaving him a doubt for the clash against United. Frankly, I want Djourou to play regardless because he is just a much better player. Silvestre, bless him, does not give you one iota of confidence in our back-line. Djourou is stronger, faster more intelligent as a footballer and does not quite give the ball away as much though he was trying to compete for Silvestre in that particular art on Sunday but as we know, he takes a game to get back on song.

Our absentees for the game remain Clichy, Gallas, van Persie and Arshavin (ineligable.)

Now, Fergie and Wenger have been well known for their media wars, epic games and generally not getting on. In my opinion ever since we went that season unbeaten Fergie has held a genuine, big respect for Arsene and their relationship has improved.

But it really is something I miss from our encounters.

Wenger has said that the relationship between the two will last the two legs, but part of me really wants to see an intense clash and bring back the rivalry between the sides, when Utd and Arsenal clashed it really was the two best teams in the country going head to head, possibly the two best teams in Europe at some points. Wenger has said:

“Our respect will survive the two games, [Earning Ferguson's respect] is one of the privileges of getting older! I think these two games will be a fierce competiton. We’ll go completely for it and so will they. It will be a very interesting competition because we feel we have improved since the beginning of the season, they feel that they’ve come back into a stronger position than they were two or three weeks ago. So both teams can both be peaking at the right time.

“I believe really they will be very competitive games.”

As much as I dislike Fergie you can’t help but have respect for the guy, I really do believe that in Arsene and Ferguson we have the games top two managers, Benitez has tried to create his own Fergie/Wenger war but he isn’t fit to lick eithers shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, Fergie is a hypocritical, loudmouth, alcoholic red nosed prick but his achievements can’t be faulted….sadly.

Two players that will be key are Toure and Gibbs, the young speedster has been backed by Toure to keep Ronaldo quiet, something Clichy and cunthole before him managed pretty well:

“Let Gibbs play, He is a good player and very intelligent. He came in at a really difficult time when we play the big teams and I think he has showed good character and I am really happy for what he has done for the Club.  Its always really difficult when you are young and you come in to play against the big players. I think he is going to perform very well on Wednesday.

“Ronaldo is a really good player. But it’s not only about Gibbs – it is about all the players. If we are focused and defend together then nobody can beat us.”

He has the potential to be a special player, the defensive side can be shaky at times but hes only 19, going forward he is immense and you can see why he was a winger before. He looks just as fast as Theo to me. Ronaldo won’t just be able to run past him I can tell you.

Bloody hell I’m looking forward to this. One more blog ’til the big game.

Can’t wait!

Back tomorrow morning, as always, arsebandits.


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