UK time is: 16:43:34
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Ade-Score Draw

In an attempt to hoard some money, I confidently asserted prior to the draw that if we were to get Porto or Villarreal I would not travel to the away leg having been to both places already. This of course was when I was convinced that UEFA would ensure two all English Quarter Finals. I had brashly already promised my ticket to the away leg to a friend should our gaze point Spain or Portugal wards, so when we actually drew Villarreal and I found my cynicism misplaced, I had little choice but to accept my cat and my sofa as my match day companions. El Madrigal was the scene of my favourite single moment following Arsenal, best not to return to the scene of the greatest triumph I tried to convince myself.

Pre match a typically errant and ignorant English media had purported both ourselves and United as shoe ins for a Semi Final showdown, honestly, the nerve of Villarreal and Porto to even show up. Unfortunately, that attitude appeared to translate into our players in the opening minutes as Pellegrini`s side; who had surprisingly left Robert Pires on the bench in favour of the half fit Cani, ripped into Arsenal right from the first whistle. Giuseppe Rossi dropped deep, with Cani and Ibagazi interchanging constantly in front of Arsenal`s defence. Denilson and Song were statuesque in comparison with Fabregas looking stranded higher up the pitch and away from the action, which was all in Arsenal`s half. The Gunners survived an early scare when Ibagaza`s corner saw Gonzalo completely unmarked in the area, but his header was rescued from the goal line by Gael Clichy. But Arsenal did not heed the warning, Giuseppe Rossi dropped deep and ran at the Gunners back line, Rossi pirouetted away from the advances of Toure, squared the ball to Marcos Senna who lined up a raking drive from twenty five yards which flew into Almunia`s corner. Had Almunia not been feeling the accumulated effects of Diouf`s callous lunge a few weeks back and an accidental collision with Llorente early on, I would have backed him to at least get a hand to it. Arsenal were apparently playing with two defensive midfield players as well, both of whom are in very good form too. Quite where they were for the first forty five minutes last night is a mystery of Roswell proportions. You don`t have to do an awful lot of research to know that Senna can kick like a mule from that range, didn`t these guys even Google it or look it up on You Tube or something?

The Gunners sole threat appeared to be Theo Walcott on the right through his willingness to run at defenders, other than that our forays forward were docile and amenable for the home side`s defenders. They appeared to have worked out the magic formula adopted by West Ham, Sunderland and Fulham in 2009, "let Arsenal have all the ball they want on the flanks because none of their players can cross for beans" would I believe be a rough translation of Pellegrini`s pep talk. Though Arsenal did come inside to effect once, Walcott slalomed inwards and released Fabregas on the edge of the box; he shifted the ball wide to Nasri, but Lopez easily saved his low shot. That opportunity was a lonely lighthouse amongst a sea of Villarreal attacks. Almunia could grimace his way through the game no more and he was replaced by Lukasz Fabianski, whose impact was immediate. Senna was once again afforded space on the edge of the box to unleash a low shot which Fabianski clawed away; Sagna was uncharacteristically sheepish in his reaction and Capdevila was onto the rebound, which Fabianski was smartly up to stop. An impressive response from the young Pole. Arsenal were to lose the last surviving member of the over thirty Arsenal contingent when Rossi again wriggled past two challenges until Song unceremoniously tripped him on the edge of the area, causing Rossi to fall awkwardly on Gallas. He will be sorely missed at this stage of the season being that he is the only member of our squad who survives the "show us yer medals" inquisition. His presence was certainly missed when Eguren headed Ibagaza`s corner narrowly over. The home side scented blood again, even with all of the prior warnings and a hobbling Gallas left prone at the back, Denilson and Song were, amazingly, still nowhere to be seen as Ibagaza ambled through our powder puff midfield, released Rossi on the right, who brilliantly turned Clichy and tucked the ball back to Cani, but he hurriedly planted his shot over. Arsenal were hardly looking inviolable at this point. Fabregas attempted a quick free kick which ruffled the net but bought him only a yellow card. I wasn`t aware that taking a free kick too hastily was a bookable offence but there you go. After a couple of injuries to senior pros and some egregious defending from the midfield, Arsenal were fortunate to go into the break only a solitary goal behind.

Wenger looked all set to bring Bendtner on at half time before changing his mid at the last minute; I suspect there might have been some kidology there to inspire his sagging troops. But whatever he did or said at half time, it worked. Arsenal were a different animal, Song and Denilson pressed the match higher up the pitch and began to dictate the tempo, meaning Fabregas was not left to twiddle his thumbs. Arsenal upped the pressure territorially and began to hurry Villarreal`s passing in their own half, not allowing them time to advance into Arsenal`s half. Kolo Toure created a dangerous situation by beating Eguren and pulling the ball back and Nasri released Walcott in the area when he should have shot, the ball to Theo was overcooked and Walcott was only able to tamely turn it to the keeper on his weaker left foot. Arsenal`s pressure would pay off; Arsenal again won the ball high up the pitch, leaving Cesc to pick another sand wedged pass to Adebayor in the area, he majestically took the ball on his chest before shocking everyone with a perfectly executed bicycle kick. It was the moment of inspiration Arsenal had been begging for. It also means Adebayor now has 15 goals and 8 assists in 29 games, which compares about equally to van Persie`s 16 goals and 10 assists in 31 games. Both players are however poles apart when it comes to the veneration of the supporters. Something to think about there surely.

The Arsenal side which looked confused and disparate in the first half, looked gregarious again. Adebayor shifted a pass to Samir Nasri who fired just wide from eighteen yards. Fabregas again won the ball high up the pitch, released Walcott on the right, put he fired wildly over. Villarreal introduced Pires, who changed Villarreal`s poise slightly. Senna sent another exorset sailing just over Fabianski`s crossbar. Then Pires released Mati down the right and he drilled his pull back towards Franco, but the imperious Toure prevented him and smuggled the ball away. 1-1 was an incredibly decent result for us on one of Europe`s tougher grounds, whilst we have flourished in the opulent confines of the San Siro and the Bernabeu in recent years, Villarreal have an unrivalled record at home in this competition. It is my belief that Arsenal fans have become pretentious and protective of our style of football over the last few years, but Villarreal showed us that we are not the sole guardians of the beautiful game that we like to think we are, they played it and they played it better for forty five minutes. However, the character we showed in the second half was very commendable, having lost our two most senior figures, the Gunners were left with one player over 25 in the second half. A special word for that veteran too, because Toure really took that responsibility on his shoulders and performed excellently. Denilson and Song looked like rabbits in the headlights in the first half but are to be commended for getting a foothold in the game when it would have been easier for them to hide. However, Arsenal really need to work on their crossing, Adebayor and Bendtner provide decent physical presence in the area which we criminally under utilise due to our infuriating inability to put in a decent ball from wide areas. A lot of teams are catching on. It was a good result but this tie is still very much in the balance. Villarreal could realistically wipe out our away goal advantage in the opening minute of the first leg, they`re certainly capable of scoring and without Gallas, Djourou is in for a real test in the coming weeks. It took a moment of peerless genius to open Villarreal up, other than that chances were at a premium. I must say I do not like the look of the system we have adopted over the last two games; it appears to leave us very vulnerable defensively as the three central midfielders do not look entirely sure what their roles are supposed to be. Hopefully, van Persie can return next week to make that a moot point.LD.




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



For the very latest Premier League odds

Free 15 bet when you spend 5 on The New Football Pools




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 8 2009

Time: 10:36AM

Your Comments

Agreeable to most of the assessment except - "Had Almunia not been feeling the accumulated effects .... I would have backed him to at least get a hand to it..." - I felt otherwise on this. Almunia was trying to use his master (right) hand to get to a shot that was destined for his left corner ... (just like a left-footer trying to take an extra touch so that he can unleash a shot with his left instead of right leg) ... logically speaking, Almunia would have a better chance to lay a hand on the ball using his left hand instead.
Temasek
Agreeable to most of the assessment except - "Had Almunia not been feeling the accumulated effects .... I would have backed him to at least get a hand to it..." - I felt otherwise on this. Almunia was trying to use his master (right) hand to get to a shot that was destined for his left corner ... (just like a left-footer trying to take an extra touch so that he can unleash a shot with his left instead of right leg) ... logically speaking, Almunia would have a better chance to lay a hand on the ball using his left hand instead.
Temasek
Yeah it's interesting about this system with Cesc further up front and perhaps you're right LD about the three midfielders not knowing their exact roles. I felt that we missed Cesc's calming presence in the centre of the park but maybe Wenger feels the Song/Denilson partnership has done well recently and let's keep that momentum going. In theory we should have more solidity but it didn't look like that. I agree that we aren't the sole purveyors of the beautiful game but it looks like Villareal play more of a South American game with short intricate interpassing - slow, slow, then quick. If we can play our fast tempo Premiership game in the second leg, I'm not sure they'd cope that well but then what do I know. The worst mistake we can make now is for the players to believe they just need to turn up at the home and we'll win. You'd hope they would've learnt that by now. As for Man Utd, I think they've got it all to do as going away isn't easy anywhere in Europe...
Gooner_Vin
Yeah it's interesting about this system with Cesc further up front and perhaps you're right LD about the three midfielders not knowing their exact roles. I felt that we missed Cesc's calming presence in the centre of the park but maybe Wenger feels the Song/Denilson partnership has done well recently and let's keep that momentum going. In theory we should have more solidity but it didn't look like that. I agree that we aren't the sole purveyors of the beautiful game but it looks like Villareal play more of a South American game with short intricate interpassing - slow, slow, then quick. If we can play our fast tempo Premiership game in the second leg, I'm not sure they'd cope that well but then what do I know. The worst mistake we can make now is for the players to believe they just need to turn up at the home and we'll win. You'd hope they would've learnt that by now. As for Man Utd, I think they've got it all to do as going away isn't easy anywhere in Europe...
Gooner_Vin
On reflection 1:1 was a fair result as we played so poorly in the 1st half where Villarreal certain could and maybe should have scored more thanthe 1 goal. Again Adebayor scores a very important goal for us.
hackneyval
On reflection 1:1 was a fair result as we played so poorly in the 1st half where Villarreal certain could and maybe should have scored more thanthe 1 goal. Again Adebayor scores a very important goal for us.
hackneyval
Agree LD they really made us run around in the first half trying to find the ball. Their passing was first rate, but they did tire towards the end of the first half. Toure does seem to have regained his form, and showed the team that if they run at their defense they can be opened up. Very pleased with Fabianski, especially his safe hands and command with crossing balls. Bit worried that teams will now attack Theo with the intention of not playing the ball but with the sole intent of playing the man. Wonder if it would be an idea till he is fully fit to bring him on later than start with him.
alwaysgunner
Agree LD they really made us run around in the first half trying to find the ball. Their passing was first rate, but they did tire towards the end of the first half. Toure does seem to have regained his form, and showed the team that if they run at their defense they can be opened up. Very pleased with Fabianski, especially his safe hands and command with crossing balls. Bit worried that teams will now attack Theo with the intention of not playing the ball but with the sole intent of playing the man. Wonder if it would be an idea till he is fully fit to bring him on later than start with him.
alwaysgunner
We probably do need to improve our crossing but I would prefer that we don't rely on that tactic, and the long ball over the top, as much as we have done in recent times. For the most part Villareal had no problem dealing with any of them. It seems to be tactic designed to try to make the most of Ade's strengths but at the cost of the playing style we have become accustomed to under Wenger. When we play the quick one or two touch short passing game we seem far more penetrative.
Amos.
We probably do need to improve our crossing but I would prefer that we don't rely on that tactic, and the long ball over the top, as much as we have done in recent times. For the most part Villareal had no problem dealing with any of them. It seems to be tactic designed to try to make the most of Ade's strengths but at the cost of the playing style we have become accustomed to under Wenger. When we play the quick one or two touch short passing game we seem far more penetrative.
Amos.
I agree in part and that was evidenced when Clichy was set free by that brilliant move in injury time. But on occasions like yesterday, we really do need someone who can put a decent ball in. A lot of teams have got points from us this season by pushing us out wide and we need to be able to produce an answer to it. Ironically enough, the diagonal balls into Ade work a treat, but we don't always get the time to pick out a pass there.
Little Dutch
I agree in part and that was evidenced when Clichy was set free by that brilliant move in injury time. But on occasions like yesterday, we really do need someone who can put a decent ball in. A lot of teams have got points from us this season by pushing us out wide and we need to be able to produce an answer to it. Ironically enough, the diagonal balls into Ade work a treat, but we don't always get the time to pick out a pass there.
Little Dutch
Why do they bother crossing any more? It is not like they are any good at it, and Adebayor is hardly the best at heading a ball in the World. We should try more cut backs and use Nasri/Walcott placed inside the box, ready for shots.
Tom14
Why do they bother crossing any more? It is not like they are any good at it, and Adebayor is hardly the best at heading a ball in the World. We should try more cut backs and use Nasri/Walcott placed inside the box, ready for shots.
Tom14
Adebayor definitely gets his fair share of headers. Clichy's always been poor at crossing and last night committed another shocking error getting completely the wrong side of his man, i just don't think he's that good anymore, strange as it sounds. Song - what a stinker of a first half! Main culprit for their goal and gets booked and pretty much ruins Gallas' season (career at Arsenal?) for the craic! Fabianski looked assured again, and there should be no qualms with Djorou, he was one of our main performers before he was dropped to makeway for Kolo earlier this year.
shewore
Adebayor definitely gets his fair share of headers. Clichy's always been poor at crossing and last night committed another shocking error getting completely the wrong side of his man, i just don't think he's that good anymore, strange as it sounds. Song - what a stinker of a first half! Main culprit for their goal and gets booked and pretty much ruins Gallas' season (career at Arsenal?) for the craic! Fabianski looked assured again, and there should be no qualms with Djorou, he was one of our main performers before he was dropped to makeway for Kolo earlier this year.
shewore
Clichy isn't having the best run of form but form is something that can be recovered. Kolo seems to have made a decent job of doing so, so far at least. I am not sure that Song was to blame for Senna's goal. He had to leave a man to try to close down Senna. Someone else should have had his eye on him. As Senna was the holding midfielder for Villareal perhaps you would have expected Cesc to have been the man to do so.
Amos.
Clichy isn't having the best run of form but form is something that can be recovered. Kolo seems to have made a decent job of doing so, so far at least. I am not sure that Song was to blame for Senna's goal. He had to leave a man to try to close down Senna. Someone else should have had his eye on him. As Senna was the holding midfielder for Villareal perhaps you would have expected Cesc to have been the man to do so.
Amos.
Cesc was the attacking midfielder, and with 2 defensive midfielders shouldn't necesarrily need to cover that, as was Denilson, but Song was the nearest and his effort to block it was tame to say the least. I've been putting Clichy's ''form'' down to that for a while, but it's not form, you'd expect a player to recover it after well over a season of it....too many key errors.
shewore
Cesc was the attacking midfielder, and with 2 defensive midfielders shouldn't necesarrily need to cover that, as was Denilson, but Song was the nearest and his effort to block it was tame to say the least. I've been putting Clichy's ''form'' down to that for a while, but it's not form, you'd expect a player to recover it after well over a season of it....too many key errors.
shewore
*as was Denilson (meant to read as him being the other DM)
shewore
*as was Denilson (meant to read as him being the other DM)
shewore
two reasons why we are so poor with crosses from the flanks is that the full backs cant cross and when they do put something decent Adebayor will never attack the clearing defender, he just stands there in between the two waiting for the defender to miss it....if only he had the sense to compete with the defender for the ball, he would be more of a threat
fran merida
two reasons why we are so poor with crosses from the flanks is that the full backs cant cross and when they do put something decent Adebayor will never attack the clearing defender, he just stands there in between the two waiting for the defender to miss it....if only he had the sense to compete with the defender for the ball, he would be more of a threat
fran merida
We picked up four yellows? How many before you miss a game, reason is RVP only needs one more and he has to miss a game.
alwaysgunner
We picked up four yellows? How many before you miss a game, reason is RVP only needs one more and he has to miss a game.
alwaysgunner
I actually think Clichy is slowly coming back to form - yes there were 1-2 errors yesterday perhaps but by and large he seems to have his verve back.
Gooner_Vin
I actually think Clichy is slowly coming back to form - yes there were 1-2 errors yesterday perhaps but by and large he seems to have his verve back.
Gooner_Vin
Senna just had a great shot. Occasionally you just have to accept that footballers have top quality strikes. Of course closing him down would have helped but die to the limited attempts at going forward, maybe nobody had been given the job of marking him.
Tom14
Senna just had a great shot. Occasionally you just have to accept that footballers have top quality strikes. Of course closing him down would have helped but die to the limited attempts at going forward, maybe nobody had been given the job of marking him.
Tom14
"Cesc was the attacking midfielder, and with 2 defensive midfielders shouldn't necesarrily need to cover that, as was Denilson, but Song was the nearest and his effort to block it was tame to say the least." - Cesc being the AMF is the point though, because transposing his position places him alongside Senna. Also, Song was the one chasing Rossi, who then passed to Senna, so I think it's unreasonable to expect him to make up the ground.
Ezekiel
"Cesc was the attacking midfielder, and with 2 defensive midfielders shouldn't necesarrily need to cover that, as was Denilson, but Song was the nearest and his effort to block it was tame to say the least." - Cesc being the AMF is the point though, because transposing his position places him alongside Senna. Also, Song was the one chasing Rossi, who then passed to Senna, so I think it's unreasonable to expect him to make up the ground.
Ezekiel
i would bet a years wages Adebayor couldnt do 10 kick ups, so how does he then pull off that overhead kick? he cant receive a pass without spanking it 10 yards away at 100mph, but he can take a ball on his chest and overhead kick it as good as its ever been done? i both love and hate adebayor
bootoo
i would bet a years wages Adebayor couldnt do 10 kick ups, so how does he then pull off that overhead kick? he cant receive a pass without spanking it 10 yards away at 100mph, but he can take a ball on his chest and overhead kick it as good as its ever been done? i both love and hate adebayor
bootoo
haha Bootoo. See where you're coming from Ezekiel, but can't look past the fact we had 2 defensive midfielders in the middle of the park and that's exactly where their goal came from, we conceded too many goals of this exact nature this year, Sunderland and Hull spring to mind
shewore
haha Bootoo. See where you're coming from Ezekiel, but can't look past the fact we had 2 defensive midfielders in the middle of the park and that's exactly where their goal came from, we conceded too many goals of this exact nature this year, Sunderland and Hull spring to mind
shewore
"Adebayor and Bendtner provide decent physical presence in the area which we criminally under utilise due to our infuriating inability to put in a decent ball from wide areas" - Maybe its a product of the poor crossing but I rarely see Adebayor in the box anymore, I remember screaming last night "Cross it in for Ade" only for Clichy or Sagna to lay it of to the big man who was stood a matter of feet away. Maybe he feels we'll have a better chance of playing our way into the box, I dont know, but when we play with one striker he really needs to cause more bother in the penalty area for me.
Rocky7
"Adebayor and Bendtner provide decent physical presence in the area which we criminally under utilise due to our infuriating inability to put in a decent ball from wide areas" - Maybe its a product of the poor crossing but I rarely see Adebayor in the box anymore, I remember screaming last night "Cross it in for Ade" only for Clichy or Sagna to lay it of to the big man who was stood a matter of feet away. Maybe he feels we'll have a better chance of playing our way into the box, I dont know, but when we play with one striker he really needs to cause more bother in the penalty area for me.
Rocky7
Henry syndrome Rocky.
shewore
Henry syndrome Rocky.
shewore
Good summary. One of our most potent weapons, particularly in Europe, is our level of fitness. It has been very noticable over the last couple of seasons, for example against Milan last year, and Roma and, to a point, Villareal last night. When we find our rythm, other teams are running around at full pelt just to get the ball, and tire at the end, whilst we still have the ability to play at pace against weary legs. Last night, our inablility to really work Villareal meant that they still had some energy left to attack us at the end. We really missed RvP lsat night in my opinion, Fabregas, although willing, didn't look happy in his role behind Ade, and couldn't find the space to create as much as he does when advancing from a deeper role. RvP has the technical ability and skill to create space and provide Ade with more ammunition, he'll be important in the 2nd leg, where I think we should play 4-4-2.
ArsenalRob
Adeeeebaaaaaayooooooooor!!!!!!!
Ozi Gooner
Good summary. One of our most potent weapons, particularly in Europe, is our level of fitness. It has been very noticable over the last couple of seasons, for example against Milan last year, and Roma and, to a point, Villareal last night. When we find our rythm, other teams are running around at full pelt just to get the ball, and tire at the end, whilst we still have the ability to play at pace against weary legs. Last night, our inablility to really work Villareal meant that they still had some energy left to attack us at the end. We really missed RvP lsat night in my opinion, Fabregas, although willing, didn't look happy in his role behind Ade, and couldn't find the space to create as much as he does when advancing from a deeper role. RvP has the technical ability and skill to create space and provide Ade with more ammunition, he'll be important in the 2nd leg, where I think we should play 4-4-2.
ArsenalRob
Adeeeebaaaaaayooooooooor!!!!!!!
Ozi Gooner
I think staying 30 yards away from goal is Ade's way of trying to ensure he is onside.
Amos.
I think staying 30 yards away from goal is Ade's way of trying to ensure he is onside.
Amos.
I think he knows that we cannot cross just as much as the opposing team. He wants a cut back or a way to work it without resorting to a cross (short for "giving the ball away cheaply")
Tom14
I think he knows that we cannot cross just as much as the opposing team. He wants a cut back or a way to work it without resorting to a cross (short for "giving the ball away cheaply")
Tom14
Villareal set off at a terrific tempo last night and Pellegrini got his tactics spot on. However, it was only a matter of time before his players tired as they arent used to playing at that tempo for the full 90 mins. Great goal by Ade, whose contribution before that was ***** poor - so many misplaced passes, and then he goes on to do that! Theo had a good game as well, and I was quite impressed with him. He still needs to work on his footballing intelligence (he runs straight at the defender so often, its so predictable. he needs to add a bit of guile to his game). Its not only our full backs who have a problem with crossing, its also our corner takers - the ball almost always seems to find an opponent's head rather than one of our own.
prits
Villareal set off at a terrific tempo last night and Pellegrini got his tactics spot on. However, it was only a matter of time before his players tired as they arent used to playing at that tempo for the full 90 mins. Great goal by Ade, whose contribution before that was ***** poor - so many misplaced passes, and then he goes on to do that! Theo had a good game as well, and I was quite impressed with him. He still needs to work on his footballing intelligence (he runs straight at the defender so often, its so predictable. he needs to add a bit of guile to his game). Its not only our full backs who have a problem with crossing, its also our corner takers - the ball almost always seems to find an opponent's head rather than one of our own.
prits
"i both love and hate adebayor" -- LOL! That's exactly how I feel. :-) Everyone's made all the points I wanted to make -- the lousy crossing problem we have that never improves, the underestimation of Villareal, and how much we'll miss Gallas' experience. Kolo and Djourou need to stay injury-free. Relying on Silvestre scares the c-r-a-p out of me.
jaelle
"i both love and hate adebayor" -- LOL! That's exactly how I feel. :-) Everyone's made all the points I wanted to make -- the lousy crossing problem we have that never improves, the underestimation of Villareal, and how much we'll miss Gallas' experience. Kolo and Djourou need to stay injury-free. Relying on Silvestre scares the c-r-a-p out of me.
jaelle
Watching Barca rip apart Bayern. I've been dreaming of an Arsenal vs Barca final, but without Gallas, I don't know how we'd cope with all these crafty passes behind the defence and the runs coming from out wide. Still dreaming though... Typically, Coward Webb is messing up the game.
ArsenalRob
Watching Barca rip apart Bayern. I've been dreaming of an Arsenal vs Barca final, but without Gallas, I don't know how we'd cope with all these crafty passes behind the defence and the runs coming from out wide. Still dreaming though... Typically, Coward Webb is messing up the game.
ArsenalRob
After seeing Toure's marvelous return to form, I'm not so worried about Clichy anymore. I think he will get back to last season's form.
gunnerkid107
After seeing Toure's marvelous return to form, I'm not so worried about Clichy anymore. I think he will get back to last season's form.
gunnerkid107
Me too Rob! While Barca indeed looked awesome, Bayern were incredibly poor without their key players, especially at the back and especially right after losing a big game in the league big time just prior to the CL tie. I kind of felt for them too.
GoonerLou
Me too Rob! While Barca indeed looked awesome, Bayern were incredibly poor without their key players, especially at the back and especially right after losing a big game in the league big time just prior to the CL tie. I kind of felt for them too.
GoonerLou
I love watching Barca but I felt sorry for Bayern, I like a lot of their players (tho not von Bommel). I've watched them a lot in the last 3 years and I've noticed that under Klinsmann there's been a very obvious increase in diving. Much more than last season. Coward Webb is a complete moron. // Re Chelsea and Pool, who'd have thought that game could be so watchable??? I may be wrong in my memory about this, so someone please correct me if I don't have this right: Whenever Chelsea & Liverpool met in the CL before last season, Pool always beat Chelsea. If memory serves, in those draws, the first leg was at Stamford Bridge. Last season was the first time in their run of CL meetings that Chelsea eliminated Liverpool. What was different? The first leg last season was at Anfield. Same thing this season. Similarly, Liverpool eliminated Arsenal in the QF last season -- the first leg was at the Grove. So if I have my facts right, the pattern seems to be that Pool are more likely to advance in the CL against English teams if the second leg is at Anfield.
jaelle
I love watching Barca but I felt sorry for Bayern, I like a lot of their players (tho not von Bommel). I've watched them a lot in the last 3 years and I've noticed that under Klinsmann there's been a very obvious increase in diving. Much more than last season. Coward Webb is a complete moron. // Re Chelsea and Pool, who'd have thought that game could be so watchable??? I may be wrong in my memory about this, so someone please correct me if I don't have this right: Whenever Chelsea & Liverpool met in the CL before last season, Pool always beat Chelsea. If memory serves, in those draws, the first leg was at Stamford Bridge. Last season was the first time in their run of CL meetings that Chelsea eliminated Liverpool. What was different? The first leg last season was at Anfield. Same thing this season. Similarly, Liverpool eliminated Arsenal in the QF last season -- the first leg was at the Grove. So if I have my facts right, the pattern seems to be that Pool are more likely to advance in the CL against English teams if the second leg is at Anfield.
jaelle
I like a lot of Bayern players (Ribery, Ze Roberto, Lucio esp.) but as a neutral I did enjoy Wolfsburg's performance against them on Saturday. Grafite's goal has to be among the top 5 goals in all of Europe this season, astounding. Why Dunga doesn't look at him for our national team is beyond me.
jaelle
I like a lot of Bayern players (Ribery, Ze Roberto, Lucio esp.) but as a neutral I did enjoy Wolfsburg's performance against them on Saturday. Grafite's goal has to be among the top 5 goals in all of Europe this season, astounding. Why Dunga doesn't look at him for our national team is beyond me.
jaelle
"Me too" = I keep dreaming about an Arsenal-Barca final despite Barca being the best team in Europe this season.
GoonerLou
"Me too" = I keep dreaming about an Arsenal-Barca final despite Barca being the best team in Europe this season.
GoonerLou
Jaelle, I've never been convinced with Lucio, I don't know why, he's a decent defender, but for me he tends not to look very comfortable, but Bayern desperately needed him tonight, that's for sure. I agree re Van Bommel, he's very over rated in Europe, I don't know why he starts for Holland either.
ArsenalRob
Jaelle, I've never been convinced with Lucio, I don't know why, he's a decent defender, but for me he tends not to look very comfortable, but Bayern desperately needed him tonight, that's for sure. I agree re Van Bommel, he's very over rated in Europe, I don't know why he starts for Holland either.
ArsenalRob
Jaelle, I heard a statistic the other day that in the CL the team that plays the second leg at home has a 60% chance of going through. It does seem to be a pretty big advantage.
NoFitState
Jaelle, I heard a statistic the other day that in the CL the team that plays the second leg at home has a 60% chance of going through. It does seem to be a pretty big advantage.
NoFitState
NoFitState, i guess Bayern won't be reading too much into that will they?
ArsenalRob
NoFitState, i guess Bayern won't be reading too much into that will they?
ArsenalRob
Imagine a Chelsea - Arsenal final as London invade Rome. Watch the prices for flights sky rocket too.
paul_ownz
Imagine a Chelsea - Arsenal final as London invade Rome. Watch the prices for flights sky rocket too.
paul_ownz
I've just had a very depressing discussion with a friend of mine. It's quite conceivable that we could watch United parade the title at Old Trafford and then watch Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy in the space of two weeks. There again, we could hand the Scousers the title and win our first ever CL trophy by beating Chelsea. If ever there was a proposition that tested whether you a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person, that's it.
Little Dutch
I've just had a very depressing discussion with a friend of mine. It's quite conceivable that we could watch United parade the title at Old Trafford and then watch Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy in the space of two weeks. There again, we could hand the Scousers the title and win our first ever CL trophy by beating Chelsea. If ever there was a proposition that tested whether you a glass half full or glass half empty kind of person, that's it.
Little Dutch
Oh and I think I should point out, and please file this under 'don't you just hate it when you're right about the wrong things', Rosicky has pulled out of this week's reserve game. Gotta feel for the lad, but you've also got to ask who the hell is gonna take him in the summer? Newcastle?
Little Dutch
Oh and I think I should point out, and please file this under 'don't you just hate it when you're right about the wrong things', Rosicky has pulled out of this week's reserve game. Gotta feel for the lad, but you've also got to ask who the hell is gonna take him in the summer? Newcastle?
Little Dutch
West ham like to buy crocks
paul_ownz
West ham like to buy crocks
paul_ownz
Haha yeah, the Alan Pardew/Curbishley school of management ''ooh, who do i buy? I know, he was good, always injured, but was good, let's buy him and give him a nice little nest egg!''
shewore
Haha yeah, the Alan Pardew/Curbishley school of management ''ooh, who do i buy? I know, he was good, always injured, but was good, let's buy him and give him a nice little nest egg!''
shewore
yeah shewore, you buy players who you know will be injured, get your team in trouble and say 'it wasn't my fault, all my star players were injured.' Arsenal have their own problems now of course, Gael out for 2 weeks. I hope Kieren plays rather than Silvestre (Silvestre's not very well looked on here is he!?)
ArsenalRob
yeah shewore, you buy players who you know will be injured, get your team in trouble and say 'it wasn't my fault, all my star players were injured.' Arsenal have their own problems now of course, Gael out for 2 weeks. I hope Kieren plays rather than Silvestre (Silvestre's not very well looked on here is he!?)
ArsenalRob
Gibbs will do well if given a chance and I cant see any reason why Arsene won't play him a head of Silvestre, he is more of a cover for CB than LB IMO just does not have the speed for LB.
Armory
Gibbs will do well if given a chance and I cant see any reason why Arsene won't play him a head of Silvestre, he is more of a cover for CB than LB IMO just does not have the speed for LB.
Armory
I think if Gallas were fit you'd see Gibbs play, but with him out I don't doubt Arsene will opt for Toad. (For those of you familiar with the character from MarioKart).
Little Dutch
I think if Gallas were fit you'd see Gibbs play, but with him out I don't doubt Arsene will opt for Toad. (For those of you familiar with the character from MarioKart).
Little Dutch
I would've thought so too Armory, but I remember Arsene saying that it he was a useful aquisition because he provided cover, not only at CB, but at LB, which enabled Traore to get some experience on loan. That, though, was before Gibbs established himself as a regular squad member.
ArsenalRob
I would've thought so too Armory, but I remember Arsene saying that it he was a useful aquisition because he provided cover, not only at CB, but at LB, which enabled Traore to get some experience on loan. That, though, was before Gibbs established himself as a regular squad member.
ArsenalRob
Rob, I don't claim that Lucio's one of the world's best defenders but I like his effort and attitude on the pitch. For Brazil, he's put in some fantastic displays -- tho not as often as he used to.
jaelle
Rob, I don't claim that Lucio's one of the world's best defenders but I like his effort and attitude on the pitch. For Brazil, he's put in some fantastic displays -- tho not as often as he used to.
jaelle
Fair enough. He is a decent player, really, I guess he's just one of those players who doesn't suit my personal style, a bit like Alex at Chelsea, he's not a bad player, I just wouldn't pick him in my team.
ArsenalRob
Fair enough. He is a decent player, really, I guess he's just one of those players who doesn't suit my personal style, a bit like Alex at Chelsea, he's not a bad player, I just wouldn't pick him in my team.
ArsenalRob
LD for UTD to parade the title at OT they have to find their form again which I'm not that sure they can do and for Chelsky to parade the CL cup two weeks later they first have to overcome Liverpool (which they problaply will do) and the barca in the semi and then possible Arsenal in the finale and I don't believe they have the quality for that to happen.
Armory
LD for UTD to parade the title at OT they have to find their form again which I'm not that sure they can do and for Chelsky to parade the CL cup two weeks later they first have to overcome Liverpool (which they problaply will do) and the barca in the semi and then possible Arsenal in the finale and I don't believe they have the quality for that to happen.
Armory
Re LD's depressing conversation....all season long I've been looking out for the La Liga-PL pattern for league winners. That is, since 2001, when Real Madrid win the Spanish primeira division, Man Utd win the PL. When Barca win, Chelsea win. When Valencia win, we win. I've been curious to see how long this pattern holds, if it will be broken this season. For awhile early in the season Valencia was leading and I thought "hm, wonder if they can hold on to May." Well they didn't. Then Barca took over and it looks like they'll lift the league trophy. So when everyone thought Man Utd were strolling to the league title I thought "maybe the pattern will break this season." Esp when Barca stumbled for a few games. But now they're back, strong. And Man Utd are stumbling. So I've wondered for awhile now that while everyone's been talking about Man Utd and Liverpool for the title, Chelsea's been just written off. Yet Hiddink's been doing some good work with the Chelsea team. Drogba's back in form, Essien (they're most threatening player) is back and in form. And Malouda's finally showing that he can be a good player. Hell, even Ballack's improved -- the defensive midfield of last night's game with him and Essien were superb. If the pattern holds, and Barca doesn't collapse, Chelsea may surprise everyone. Please god, just not the CL! :-(
jaelle
Re LD's depressing conversation....all season long I've been looking out for the La Liga-PL pattern for league winners. That is, since 2001, when Real Madrid win the Spanish primeira division, Man Utd win the PL. When Barca win, Chelsea win. When Valencia win, we win. I've been curious to see how long this pattern holds, if it will be broken this season. For awhile early in the season Valencia was leading and I thought "hm, wonder if they can hold on to May." Well they didn't. Then Barca took over and it looks like they'll lift the league trophy. So when everyone thought Man Utd were strolling to the league title I thought "maybe the pattern will break this season." Esp when Barca stumbled for a few games. But now they're back, strong. And Man Utd are stumbling. So I've wondered for awhile now that while everyone's been talking about Man Utd and Liverpool for the title, Chelsea's been just written off. Yet Hiddink's been doing some good work with the Chelsea team. Drogba's back in form, Essien (they're most threatening player) is back and in form. And Malouda's finally showing that he can be a good player. Hell, even Ballack's improved -- the defensive midfield of last night's game with him and Essien were superb. If the pattern holds, and Barca doesn't collapse, Chelsea may surprise everyone. Please god, just not the CL! :-(
jaelle
* "they're" should be "their"
jaelle
* "they're" should be "their"
jaelle
Jaelle, I'd rather Chelsea won, as I have always admired Hiddink, and it would be his win, then he can go and dump Chelsea behind him. Essien is the other man at Chelsea i really admire. Easily their best, most crucial player in my opinion, he can do everything! I wonder if Scolari would still be there if Essien wasn't injured...
ArsenalRob
Jaelle, I'd rather Chelsea won, as I have always admired Hiddink, and it would be his win, then he can go and dump Chelsea behind him. Essien is the other man at Chelsea i really admire. Easily their best, most crucial player in my opinion, he can do everything! I wonder if Scolari would still be there if Essien wasn't injured...
ArsenalRob
What a magnificent goal.
denno4
What a magnificent goal.
denno4
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Arsenal Articles

Chamberlain Ready To Work Like An Ox (Thursday September 18 2014)

Scout Report: Aston Villa (Thursday September 18 2014)

Arsenal Blitzed! (Tuesday September 16 2014)

Stats: Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal (Tuesday September 16 2014)

Wenger Urges Cool Heads on Ozil Opinions (Monday September 15 2014)

Arsenal Almost But Not Quite There Yet (Saturday September 13 2014)

Wenger Gives Debuchy Injury Update (Saturday September 13 2014)

Archived Arsenal Articles

List All Vital Arsenal Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Amos. 63
2. Naijagunner 49
3. Wyn Mills 27
4. nikolaijns 21
5. damiano_tommassi 21
6. FunGunner 18
7. Guyfox 17
8. paul_ownz 17
9. Chippy Brady 16
10. shewore 15

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Arsenal 2 - 2 Man City
Leicester City 1 - 1 Arsenal
Everton 2 - 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 2 - 1 Crystal Palace

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
4. Southampton 4 2 1 1 5 7
5. Man City 4 2 1 1 3 7
6. Spurs 4 2 1 1 2 7
7. Arsenal 4 1 3 0 1 6
8. Liverpool 4 2 0 2 1 6
9. Man Utd 4 1 2 1 3 5
10. Hull City 4 1 2 1 0 5

Breaking League News

Collison Joins Championship Outfit!
West Ham : 18/09/2014 16:39:00
The cause of our defensive woes
Chelsea : 18/09/2014 16:37:00
Pardew in Stats
Newcastle : 18/09/2014 13:11:00
Whose spot is Left Back Now?
Chelsea : 18/09/2014 13:00:00
Costa - Saved for Manchester City!
Chelsea : 18/09/2014 12:59:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who is most likely to end as top scorer this season?
Suggested By:  
Campbell 6%
Giroud 2%
Podolski 4%
Ramsey 7%
Sanchez 44%
Sanogo 2%
Walcott 5%
Welbeck 30%