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Archive for March, 2010

Arsenal v Barcelona – It can be done, with or without Cesc 1

Posted on March 31, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

So the Barcelona tie is only a matter of hours away now and I can’t wait.

I’ll be watching the game with a Sp*rs fan so if we don’t win a torrent of abuse will be coming my way and we all know that’s never good. We still don’t know if Cesc will make the game, all other injury news apart from that is positive – even William Gallas has made the squad so hopefully the injury gods are giving us lots of healing vibes…

I would be lying if there were no nerves ahead of the tie because every top side we have come across this season have pounded us and the last thing we need is another battering, especially at the hand of the club that would sell their own testes to get hold of our captain and take him back to Catalonia to play understudy to Xavi and Iniesta – even though he is probably as good a – if not better – player.

Barca have slowed their tempo this season, they are a bit more leisurely than they were last season and that could play into our favour; but if we went at them total football v total football it could turn into a five-a-side match in goalscoring terms, that’s why we should maybe let them come at us and try to hit them on the break because a 0-0 is a better result for them than it is for us in my book. Yes, the second game is in Barcelona but if they have no away goal it puts us at an advantage.

It will be a massive night for Gael Clichy and Bakary Sagna as they have one of the best ever players to contend with in Lionel Messi. He moves all over the place, starting on the right, drifting over to the left and also cutting inside to shoot – something which he has had big success doing recently. We all know about the back to back hat-trick’s he scored the other week, sandwiched inbetween a double in the Champions League. Hes an amazing player but he can be kept quiet. We need no brainstorm moments from Gael Clichy and quick decisive defending; the boss could go for the high risk strategy of pushing him back with the pace of Gael Clichy but it wouldn’t surprise me if Andrey Arshavin started on the right so to give Clichy more protection. Its not Messi v Arsenal but he is the main threat.

The midfield will be key, we need to get on the ball and drive forward with pace and power, pushing Barca back and pressurising them, not many teams dare do that but we need to do something special to beat them. What could well decide the game is the way the teams react when they don’t have possession, Barca are famed for their hard work off the ball and defending from the very front, we need to imitate that, Diaby should start in the middle and if Cesc is fit we know he will run his legs off, Song should fill the other midfield slot and he is going to need the game of his life, he is working towards being world class and this game could really be the icing on the cake of a terrific year for him improvement wise.

Up front Niklas Bendtner will have to hold up play really well as well as drift around pulling the defenders out of position for Diaby, Cesc and Arshavin to exploit. They will need to do their share of the defending too, I don’t care how big a reputation some players have they must do their share of the graft *cough* Arshavin *cough*.

If you have tickets get to the game early and wave those red and white scarves, I always think English atmospheres are poxy compared to the Spanish atmospheres, when we score there is a cheer, when a goal goes in in Spain there is a gigantic roar, it could be something simple like the placing of the microphones but we need an intimidating atmosphere tomorrow.

And that is that… theres only one thing left to do; win the game.

Can’t be that hard…can it?



Cesc, Diaby, Nasri and Arshavin should be fit Comments Off

Posted on March 29, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Not really got much to say tonight apart from what I’ve just written in the title….

There will be a more comprehensive blog tomorrow morning but we should know if the above players will make the game by about 6pm tomorrow, after the press conferences.

The Telegraph, in their own scaremongering way, have said today that they could all miss out but it would take something quite serious for those players not to be on the pitch, especially Cesc who would even try to play if he had a broken neck. He will want to show his old club the passion he has for ours.

Diaby is the other big doubt…. he will be vital – his close control, power and drive can’t be replaced.

Stay tuned to @Johncrossmirror on twitter for news as the boss lets the press know.

What is the point in saying how important their availability is? Its common sense… to get close to beating Barca we need them on the pitch.

More tomorrow.


Arsene swearing: What really happened 6

Posted on March 28, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

This is what was said in the post match press conference… I wasn’t there so I doubt its 100% accurate but Ive picked bits up from various sources and hopefully Ive pretty much got the whole thing here:

[Reporter] How is Cesc Fabregas? He now a doubt for the Barcelona game?

AW – How is Fabregas? I don’t know. We will have to assess him tomorrow as regards to the Barcelona game. It was a bad tackle, one more. He got tackled at the knee, kicked just under the knee. We tried to take him off but he said he was all right.

[Reporter] Was there just more than just the one bad tackle?

AW – Am I suggesting there were a lot of bad tackles? Leave me alone with that, for f***’s sake. You are always looking for controversy, you do not need me to tell you what happened on the pitch. I can give you my opinion about our game but you always create this controversy.

and then to Alex Mcleish afterwards…

[Reporter] What do you think of the claims that there is a vendetta against Arsenal to hurt and bully them?

AM – I certainly don’t think there is a big vendetta against Arsenal and people are not saying ‘let’s make bad tackles on them’. The tackle by Craig on Fabregas was robust. I know what Arsene was getting at because if you follow through, even if you have got the ball, then at that speed you can hurt a player. But there were similar tackles by the Arsenal players and you have got to take it on the chin.

Its not even clever, they are just quote hunting so they can write some kind of big attractive headline. The thing is, people fall for it.

I say again, this is not 100% cast iron what was said on both sides, but Ive collated the quotes from various sources around the web etc.

Your thoughts?


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