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

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming ......

If you hope to beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp then you need all your players to play out of theirs skins .... for us, it would be nice if we just had all our players to play.

Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, Arsenal have will be missing no less than 5 key players going into this crucial match in Spain tomorrow, after Alex Song joined William Gallas, Andrei Arshavin, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie in the treatment room.

Arsene Wenger confirmed the defensive midfielder will not make the trip. 'It was a bad surprise this morning because he had a scan yesterday afternoon on his knee and he has an inflamed cartilage. We have to wait and see how bad it is but he is completely out for the squad for tomorrow's game.'

The gaffer also reported that Gallas' cover, Sol Campbell is also a doubt for the quarter final second leg. 'That is a decision I have to make after speaking to him tomorrow, today he was still not completely available although he managed to get a warm-up. To go into such a game you must be completely fit or not play at all.'

Le Boss has often refused to blame injuries for lack of success in recent history, but I fail to see how injury lists like this can not be partly, if not mostly responsible for our struggles. How would Man Utd cope without Rooney, Vidic, Carrick, Valencia & Nani, Chelsea without Drogba, Terry, Lampard, Essien and Malouda, Barcelona without Messi, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta and Toure?

Despite these injuries, we still find ourselves on par with Barcelona in the quarter final of the Champions League and only 3 points behind Chelsea in the league, that in itself is a miracle, for us to actually go on to win some silverware needs something greater than a miracle, infact maybe only an intervention from god himself could helps us now?

I do hear he's a Gooner.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 5 2010

Time: 3:23PM

Your Comments

I would say he was our most vital player tomorrow and now he's gone. If we pull this off, it will be the biggest achievement I can think of. Let's get a 2-2 and win it on pens!
Well that's probably our 5 most important players out then... I retained some hope before this news, if Song and Vermaelen had been at their best we could've hoped to hold out and nick something on the break. I doubt Campbell will play after Arsene's recent gambling record, and as much as I think Silvestre is harshly criticized, if he plays CB at the Nou Camp, we're *****ed. I personally think we should play Sagna at CB, but I don't think Arsene will.
This is a big BLOW! How can one team have so many key players out, at the business end of a hopeful season? Anyway, that is why teams have a squad and the alternate players just have to step up the plate. We need to be very compact with a huge dose of self belief, to stand any chance.
So it looks like we'll be left with an Almunia Sagna Gallas Silvestre Clichy Denilson Nasri Diaby Walcott Bendtner Rosicky line-up. I'd rather Eboue started ahead of Theo but Arsene's recent words make me think he'll give Theo a chance to start. Apart from the obvious dissapointments these injuries inflict on us as a team, this is the kind of tie that should propell the likes of the 5 listed players into global recognition as true world-class footballers. It's sad to see them missing out. Especially RvP, who missed the Milan tie 2 years ago and played in an out-of-sorts side vs Man U last year. He needs the chance to make his mark on the biggest stage.
I do agree with ArsenalRob as I feel Sagna in The CB position looks more assuring that having Silvestre play there. This should mean Walcott will be in the starting line-up with Eboue filling in at RB. Having said that, I prefer Eduardo starting alongside TR7 and NB52. Walcott to make an impact from the bench.
This is really unfair right..Just when we have to face a side like Barca we get all the mother****ing injuries in the world! The only positive is that this puts us firmly as the underdogs. But honestly, without the inspirational leadership of Fabregas and the vast amounts of quality missing I think its unfair to blame any of the remaining squad if they dont make it. At least we have given it our very best shot (and I am sure the boys will do so again tomorrow) , and thats fair enough.
Clichy/TR7 (if he starts) will have a key job keeping the duo of Alves and Pedro/Messi at bay. I think Messi will be given a free role at the Nou camp which will mean no particular marker can stay on him; if Wenger would consider Sagna as CB, he would have, at least, tried it once in a crucial game. The fact he has not means it will be either Sol or Silvestre to pair TV5.
err, are we cursed?
shady gunna
do we need a motha****in jesuit exorcist priest for these injuries? the way i see it, with d available squad, either we nick it or get absolutely trashed.. no 2 ways
shady gunna
I think we'll win at Barcelona. Nothing to lose, everything to gain and no pressure. As long as the team play like they can, I see Barcelona underestimating what Arsenal can do. Sagna has to play centre back. He has the pace and can read the game.
Well with all these injuries theonly way is to attack!
Just turned on the computer, and what do a see?! Song is now out, can't believe it! What Have We Done to the Football gods, to deserve this?!
The only way out is to shoot shoot shoot! Thats why the gun is the logo shoot!
Blunt G
I too am gutted about Song but you're all forgetting that Denilson has proven himself very handy in these CL games as a defensive presence in midfield. He performed far better than either Song or Diaby against Barca last week. He knows how to draw little niggly fouls. As for the injury curse, every season we all hope it'll finally end and it never does. I continue to say that even with all the various failings by the manager and his players, it is first and foremost INJURIES that have kept us from getting silverware. As Rocky says, it is miraculous that every season, we manage to finish in the top 4 and go as deep into the CL (and sometimes the FA cup as well) as we do with all these injuries.
I've always said god is a gooner, it's good to hear it from someone else lol. I fancy a 2-2 draw, what a result that would be. Go on you Gunners!!!
But Barca are without Puyol, Pique, Iniesta, Abidal and Toure. And Zlatan who got injured at the weekend. Both sides are at about 60% strength.
Absolutely depressing! :(
HY's post cheered me up a little. :-) I don't expect a lot from tomorrow, all I ask is that we put up a good fight and that we give them a game. No repeat of that first half last week.
Im really not all that fussed. He would have played at the back anyway, which means we have to play Campbell now (which I would prefer) with a midfield of Diaby, Denilson and Nasri. Pretty good team.
OFFICIAL: Arsenal and Barcelona have agreed a swap deal of Fabregas/Iniesta with barca also throwing in Bojan Krkic as a makeweight in time for 2010/2011 season.. I'll post the link once i sort out this spanish mumbojumbo
shady gunna
Oh come on shady, we don't need the distraction!
jaelle posts as marcus on GoonerHolic?
Hmmm... somehow I get the feeling this guy is shady...
the best stories for me have either been that of unrestrained revenge (the count of monte-christo) or that of battling against insurmountable odds (the matrix, lord of the rings, prince of egypt, lol etc..) the way i see it, the universe is shaping this up to be the most amazing story for the Arsenal history books. Against all odds, with so many injuries, against the 'best' side in all galaxy, The Arsenal, battered and bruised without their key players travel to the nou camp and return with a ticket to the next phase of the cl. It has a 'make a movie about it' ring too.
Barcelona have alot of injuries too, but they still have Messi and Xavi, their two most important players. We are missing our top 4 most important players, Cesc, Rvp, Song, and Gallas.
just enjoy the game girls and guys. Makes it much less painful.
Jaelle, I have no worries about Denilson in Midfield, but it's most likely Song would have played CB. It's our alternatives in that position that worry me. HY, unfortunately for us, Abidal and Toure are available for tommorow, and even more unfortuantely GunnaBlazing, we're not in a movie. On the bright side that would make it even more amazing if we did do it... Oh and GK what about RvP, he's got to be in the top 5.
To be completely honest, despite our poor injury record in previous seasons, I don't think we've ever been hit so hard as we are being hit now. A win or even forcing the game to extra time tommorrow would make me insanely proud.
Oh and one more thing, why do we have to release our game-plan to the media in press statements? I know we're underdogs but can we not just make a plan and be discrete about it until we take to the field?
well, so much for my pathetic attempt at diffusing all tension with a belated april fools' prank.. lol .. guess it was worth a try.. and yes, i am 'shady' but not in the dictionary context.. do have a laff, guys!
shady gunna
Rob, I did put RvP in my top 4 most important players. See above lol
Stop moaning and support your team!!! you arsenal fans are tiresome when chelsea played inter without cech,bosingwa,essien,and ashley cole and had to play third choice keeper and malouda as leftback you did not hear complaining! or do you hear barca complaining about zlatan,iniesta, puyol and pique being out!! pls go and read the cataluyan dailies they are psyching their team up by telling them to step up and prove that last year trophy haul was not a fluke!! pls support your team every team has gone through injuries this season even man utd so please stop whining cos it does not help and only makes you look ignorant of other teams with injuries which is disrespectful!!
Bull*****. I heard tons of Chelsea supporters complaining.
what am saying in essence gunnerkid is this play it cool and wait for the game cos FARCA bet you are waiting and do not think they are not licking their wounds the more emphasis and pressure is placed on the game it will get to ur players check walcots quote about mixed reactions in the squad over injuries the message should be go play your best that is all but all the emphasis on injuries will only be s=detrimental tour league aspirations though
Agreed with GK, I distinctly remember many complaints about Malouda playing LB. I suppose you're the ignorant, disrespectful one...
tsk tsk see what am saying and a gunner fan proves me right!!@TPowell is it wrong to express one's view pls act like the grown up you are and follow gunnerkid example!! Why do you think ur fans are disliked it is this ability to not take criticism well and lash out!!
Dozzy, what are you on about? You call it "complaining" that we keep records of injuries to our KEY players, approaching such a big game? The fact we are still in contention for trophies should put your team to shame, seeing that we have had more key players (at a time) out for much longer than any other team in the top 4 of the EPL. Drogba has barely missed games, save during the ACN. And, Yes! Your fans did complain when your keeper was out which is why he was rushed back. Try to show us some respect and stop coming here to bleat about your having lost out in the CL. It's a distraction.
naija gunner why are you ranting? if you read my entry you will understand that i was saying that emphasis should be placed on psyching your players for the game and not on the injuries being suffered by the squad!! simple as that!! so why all this bile and angst!! Bosingwa has been out for the whole season mind you and essien has been out since december!! but injuries in my own opinion even itself out during the season and luck plays a great role too!! pls stop the ranting lets discuss like adults!!
pls stop displaying your nigerian tendency to shoot first and ask questions later naija gunner you are embarassing other nigerians!!
Oh yeah, so you did GK - I meant Arshavin (as a big game player). And Dozzy, as GK said, the Chelsea fans did complain. And we have even more reason to do so than they did. Arguably our 5 most important players are out for one of our biggest games in recent times. As a young side needing a breakthrough in their belief of their ability to win important matches this is the kind of game that could have positive implications for years to come. That's not mentioning the fact that this game will have a huge global audience, and so naturally we want to put on the best display we can, and so it is enormously frustrating that our injuries are coinciding with this game.
arsenalrob i share our sentiments and concern of other arsenal fans too but at times these cheapshots taken by fans of either club at each other gets to me!! I apologise to naija gunner and Tpowell for my comments earlier wish you the best in your game against Farca!!
Oh and dozzy we're fans, not players. We're backing our team all the way and our away fans will I'm sure be in full voice in the Nou Camp; but we're perfectly entitled to voice our frustration. I'm sure Wenger is doing likewise behind the scenes, but at the same time we'll be going full out to get the right result.
Sorry, Dozzy. No one is 'representing' any Nationality here. If you have been on this forum long enough, you will find that my posts on this subject always pointed out the need for the squad/alternate players to step up and play for the team. Every one is entitled to vent frustration in such a situation as this and I have only reacted to your persistent allusion to Gunners fans' "complaining" in the face of having so many key players out. Your apology is noted; however, your rant was uncalled for, seriously.
dozzy, kindly leave us to our devices and go 'doze' the feck off! nuff said
shady gunna
god plays for liverpool
Rosicky a doubt!
Gun 'Em Down
@naija gunner i stand corrected!! nice to see civilised arsenal fans
Does anyone know whether with all the injuries we can bring Wilshere back from his loan spell? He's probably too young for a game of this magnitude but our bench is looking more than a little short of options
knighton gooner
What do you mean Rosicky's a doubt???!!!! Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhh!!! Have we got enough players left to fulfil our remaining fixture requirement??? Nobody and I mean NOBODY is having to limp along under the MASSIVE BURDEN of lost players that we have to. If there was one tie, I was sure we'd get our squad through intact it was a football game with with Barca. Yet look what that one game has done to the spine of our squad. In the past 48 hours, there have been times when I have wished we'd gone out in the round before a la chelsea. I wish this day would be over quickly. Cursed, we are cursed.
Breaking news: Arsene Wenger is being forced to play as our creative midfielder after Nasri, Diaby, Vela and Walcott were all injured whilst taking a communal dump. Pat Rice will also be replacing Thmoas Vermaelen, but I understand that's just a tactical replacement.
Don't joke about more injuries Rocky- PLEASE! Nothing would surprise me any more. If I hear about one more injury, I may snap.
knighton gooner, I don't think Arsenal have the option to recall Wislhere back from Bolton.
Gun 'Em Down
win or lose tonight, this team have, despite a season of injuries that would have finished most teams, continued to play the most wonderfull never say die football it has been my privilage to watch over the past 58 years since my first visit to highbury we have been ridiculed and written of so many times this year, and yet we are still in with a shout for both the premiership and the champions league i cant help wondering what our season would have panned out like, if we had not had the injury list we have had, i strongly suspect that chelsea and man utd would now be battling for runner up spot by at least 10 to 15 points
cornish gooner
Gonna have to be an off-day for Barca and a full-on day for Arsenal if we're going to get through this one. I know it's something that's often said but midfield is the crux of today. How well Denilson, Nasri and Diaby protect and create. IF we pull this off, it would probably be the best away result in our history.
Probably? Given the injury list and the quality of the opposition it would surely be THE greatest away result in our history!
Lets hope those hits are enough to keep you down.Im tired of your comeback sprees,stay down.Continue in europe though to keep your minds busy.
The problem with nights like tonight are there just aren't enough clean pants in the world! Time to get poo bagged up methinks 8-)
We should have a survey about how we feel about tonight. Nervous? Confident? Resigned? Positive? Crapping it? Loving it? All of the above?
flv -- that is one of the most disgusting/hilarious things i have ever read!
Lol! Flv. That is one survey respondent category Gooner_Vin omitted.
Woooohoooo, Silvestre starts for us.. god help us.
Almunial, Sagna, Clichy, Silvestre, Vermaelen, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner
Oh dear me! Sylvester!
I do not want to see clichy caught up field and silvestre running after messi....
We have to defend deep. Nothing else we can do, neither TV or Sylvester are very pacy.
You can't play the best (one of the best? time will tell in this CL) with so many top players out. Was a superb two leg encounter, you have much to be proud of and lets face it, Messi is just the best player in the world at the moment and that was the difference. Not much different to when Fabregas came on and totally changed your match v us (Villa). Young developing team, you got to the 1/4's and were stopped by an outstanding team. Think you just have to be proud myself. Hope Barcelona go on and win now, magnificent football and always good to go out to the eventual champions I'd think!?
The Fear
Morning Gooners. I am not here to cause trouble or say anything about the game last night. Messi would have destroyed most teams in that form. I just want to know Honestly what you think the outcome of the game at WHL next week is going to be? Away banker or closest for years in terms of players on the field??
Agree. Team and fans never stopped trying and were, as Arsene said, undone by the best player in the world by a mile. Take a day and charge your batteries for the run in. Good luck.
SFC Forever
ILove - i think you will be undone by your defensive injuries (Dawson especially, he has been your leader of late), and the fact that you have an extra game in between will help us too. Having said that, i do think it will be closer than the Emirates tie...

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