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Two Games To Define Our Season

I wrote last week, in the lead up to the first of our trilogy of encounters with Liverpool, of how wary I was of our european encounters with the scousers. And so it proved. In many ways, we were desperately unlucky to only come out of that encounter with just the one goal and a draw to show for our endeavours. We bossed the game, scored first, spurned numerous other chances, and had to endure watching the referee on the night turn down what was a blatant penalty for a foul in the area on Alex Hleb.

The weekend's rematch was a different story. We didn't really seem to get going. Which was incredibly disappointing, as all of us Gooners then bore witness to the mancs dropping two points to Boro. Oh, how it would have changed the Premier League picture and the mood amongst us fans if we'd only gone out and delivered in saturday's game. But that's all done now, and no use crying over spilt milk, etc. Same with the penalty-that-should-have-been. We've just got to go up there and get on with it, this truly is a one-off cup tie now. Win and we're through - we have to score, so at least we now what's required of us. A goalless performance from the team leaves us out of The CL for another season, so let's hope that the players have their shooting boots on tomorrow. Who knows what putting one away first against 'pool will do to them, They'd have to come out, and take a risk. A 1-1 draw would do them no great favours, and their boys would have it in their head that one more conceded and they would have a mountain to climb. To be in the head of a player at a moment like that. I'd just settle for watching the Liverpool players squirm in that situation, though. I wish for that to be the case tomorrow.

In the immediate aftermath of last week's game, it felt like a defeat. But since the dust has settled there is every chance for us to go up there and dump the scousers out of the CL on their own turf. I'm not going to make any churchillian speech, because frankly, if I were to write one, it would come out as a big bag of shite, and we don't need words, we need a performance. Last week, the words spoken by Kolo about how Liverpool would be scared of us were all well and good, but to me they didn't serve much purpose. I'd much prefer to see him doing what he does best - put 100% energy into his performance, and deny their boys any sniff of a chance.

Apparently, RvP is fit - I continue to hold this hope that each next game is the one where he will finally burst back into life and score some beauty of a goal, one of those ones that you cannot legislate for. He's running out of games to make this dream come true for me. Alas, as has been the story this season, as positive news regarding one player appears, so does a negative report on another follow, in much the same way that rancid farts and severe pebble-dashing follow the day after a night spent out drinking several pints of fruity ales. And so it proves true again, with the news that Tomas Rosicky is highly unlikely to feature in the first team again this season. Tommy, surely the only player in world football (Darren Anderton aside) to be constructed almost entirely from balsa wood, has broken down more times than Heather Mills on a breakfast television interview, and it's been so long since he was last playing that when the news came out of his premature end to the season, I'd actually forgotten that he was still on our books. I really can see the chap being moved on during the summer. Every time he gets up a head of steam, someone blows on him, he falls over and puts his pelvis out. Or something.

Talking of injuries, and following the 'it's not necessarily over' nature of this piece, we can only hope that the mancs go into what should have been sunday's title-decider without their first-choice central defensive partnership. I would love to beat the mancs in their own back yard with them having a full-strength team out, but if someone were to turn round to me and offer me the chance for Arsenal to play them with them sporting a makeshift defence, I'd bite their hand off. Or their ear, if I were Mike Tyson. Mathematically, it is still possible, but let's face it, the chances of us lifting the Premier League title make Kiera Knightley look portly. But while there is hope, let's not give up.

However, balls to that game for now. Let's go up to Anfield first and do the business, and then see where we go from there. Here's hoping it's through to the next round of the Champions League.


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The Journalist

Writer: Wingston Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 7 2008

Time: 11:52PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Whatever happens, there will be a small corner of South Wales screaming the boys on, and probably getting arrested for disturbing the peace. It's time Eboue, it's time!!!
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08/04/2008 00:01:00

I hope you beat pooh and draw with Arsenal. Good luck in tomorrow's game!
Fan of Blues
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08/04/2008 00:25:00

Yes Flv and guys sing your lungs out, the lads need you!
Lou the Gunneress
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08/04/2008 00:49:00

i can see us doing the job!its time fellow gooners,lets be behind our tem and put the scorcers to fire
the arsenal
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08/04/2008 01:07:00

Come on boys - lets have an all London CL Semi! Then do over the other northern XI in the Prem and we'll share the spoils in London :P
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08/04/2008 01:23:00

Sorry off topic - refs all make mistakes but this one at least owned up:
Lou the Gunneress
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08/04/2008 01:56:00

*I meant draw with Man U. I need some sleep! ;)
Fan of Blues
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08/04/2008 02:59:00

arsenal have the easier run in. Hope we beat manutd this weekend. I can only hope
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08/04/2008 05:37:00

The thought of an Eboue winner flv, how funny would that be? Basically we just need to atack them. If Liverpool score first, our objective or the landscape of the game doesn't change greatly. So if it's 0-0 with twenty to go,we can take risks. I think that suits us. Whatever happens, I'll have no nails and no voicebox come tomorrow morning. And worry not, us travelling Gooners will quell the occasional scouse cries of "handball" with a rousing atmosphere.
Little Dutch
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08/04/2008 06:35:00

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08/04/2008 06:42:00

??? (what happened there?) - do London a favour and knock these wannabees from Scouseland out!
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08/04/2008 06:43:00

it should be a great game tonight so all the best and i hope you beat the mancs as well. merlin - your only saying that because if we go through and you do as well it means semi's against us AGAIN and we all know what happened in the last 2 dont we. anyways im sure who ever goes through tonight will deserve it good luck but just after tonights game ;)
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08/04/2008 08:32:00

It's not absolutely necessary, but scoring the first goal would do wonders for us. Liverpool will then have to worry about us getting the 2nd.
I wouldn't mind it being 2-2 agg at half time. And I seriously dont want extra time thinking ahead to the manc game. Definitely two games that will define our season!
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08/04/2008 08:33:00

Can we get Baptista and ALiadiere back on loan for one game only? COuld do with putting 6 past the pool again - oh what fun that was! We need to come out of the blocks flying tonight and peg them back from the off. An early goal for us would see all the pressure shift on Liverpool to come out and play instead of parking the bus and hoofing as per their usual tactics. I really feel we can do it and will be shouting myself hoarse. Thanks to all the CHelski boys for their support, but to be honest, i would rather play Fenerbache in the next round if we win tonight - no offense!
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08/04/2008 09:58:00

we can win tonite, i have no doubts. crosses coming in from clichy and eboue with ade and bendtner in the box at the end of them. not sure what will happen to RVP, we need him badly. kolo and gallas worries me though. but all said and done arsenal to win by a goal. 1-2? 2-3? 4-5?
Report Abuse
08/04/2008 11:16:00

little dutch, everton away sold out... you were saying?? plank!!!
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08/04/2008 14:27:00

Cesky - of course you would... lol but we want to believe we're going through and we'd rather face you. Games vs Scouse are always so boring...
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08/04/2008 15:01:00

Thats because you were giving the tickets for free and paying peoples travels expenses.
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08/04/2008 15:15:00

would have sold out anyway, come on the pool!!!!!!
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08/04/2008 15:29:00

SOLD out springy? They were GIVEN out!
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08/04/2008 15:44:00

Face it, you're no United are you??? You will get second prize again this season with absolutely zilch to show from 'a top class manager'!
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08/04/2008 17:57:00

ian7 - the allocation was nearly 3/4 sold when the club made the decision. They just refunded the people...
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08/04/2008 22:13:00


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