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Arsenal 5 Shakhtar Donetsk 1

One story dominated the build up to the game with Eduardo making a welcome return home so soon after his sad departure. That particular story was given augmented with heart warming bouquets come full time. But a good deal of the talk should be of another devastating Champions League display against our biggest rivals in the group- a team that had comfortably won their first two games and remained one of two teams in the competition whose defence had yet to be breached. My pre match routine altered slightly, taking time out after work with my good mate Ranty for a tot of rum and a snifter of scotch prior to negotiating a creaking underground train from King`s Cross to Arsenal. Due to my thirst for pints of the black stuff, I am usually in the vicinity of the ground, slaying my thirst at least two hours in advance of kick off. I probably haven`t been on a tube so close to kick off since I was about 16. I think I see why I`ve been so keen to avoid it in the last ten years.

The team selection brought home how spoiled for choice Arsenal can be when a small pocket of the fitness bug breaks out at London Colney. Fabregas returned, which left Denilson and Diaby kicking their heels on the bench, the in form Tomas Rosicky came in for Andrey Arshavin. With Walcott also back to fitness, the four players contesting those two wide slots give us food for thought indeed. But at the moment, I would say it has to be Rosicky plus one, with Arshavin, Nasri and Walcott contesting the other place. Nasri has six goals in nine games, Walcott`s form was very impressive prior to injury and though his languid posture bothers some, Arshavin has been statistically our most effective player this year in terms of goals, assists and chances created for others. Meanwhile, Song, Denilson, Diaby and Wilshere all bring their own qualities to the midfield trio. At the back too, we were left without three of our first choice back four and were still able to replace them with quality, in addition to having a very capable back up to the only uninjured member of the back four sitting on the bench in Kieran Gibbs.

The game began with a rather slow and deliberate tempo, Shakhtar are obviously a side that like to pass the ball so the opening exchanges were more akin to a chess game. It took 18 minutes for Arsenal to break the deadlock and when they did, it was courtesy of a gargantuan error from the Donetsk goalkeeper. Curiously, Samir Nasri seems to have taken over from Fabregas as chief set piece specialist, his delivery saw Pyatov claim the ball, only to then fall back against his own defender, causing the ball to squirm free from his grip. Johan Djourou reacted swiftly to prod the ball goalwards where Alex Song was on hand to flick the ball over the line with an audacious- if slightly needless- flick which ricocheted off the defender and back off Song`s shin for the opening goal. The goal flickered Arsenal into life and they were nearly two in front with a superbly crafted effort, Rosicky clipped the ball up to Chamakh in the area, the Moroccan chested the ball down to Samir Nasri who fit it on the full toss, only to see the shot saved by Pyatov. It was the only shot on target Arsenal had that did not beat Pyatov.

Donetsk sought to take some sting out of the contest by playing a possession game, but Arsenal rendered it ineffective with rigorously enforced pressing from the Arsenal midfield in Donetsk`s half- Fabregas at one point urging young Wilshere to press higher up the pitch to ensure Shakhtar`s passing was ineffectual. From there on, it was a case of awaiting a break and it came on 42 minutes. Song and Eboue played a neat one two on Arsenal`s right, Song`s low cross was deflected into the path of Samir Nasri, whose first touch took him past Srna, before a second setting touch enabled him to smash the ball past Pyatov with his left foot. A sumptuous finish. Half time and Arsenal had scored with two of their three shots on goal; this was a welcome burst of efficiency indeed. Had we had that predilection at Stamford Bridge, things might have turned out differently. Shakhtar briefly threatened to emerge stronger in the second half, the introduction of Douglas Costa, a recent victim of a bad leg break himself, slightly reinvigorating the Ukrainian side as an attacking force. Mkhitaryan played a defence splitting pass to Luiz Adriano, but Fabianski stood tall and blocked the close range effort.

But Arsenal wrested control and never looked back. As Nasri was poised to swing in a right wing free kick, the referee halted the kick to warn Adriano about his attempt to swap shirts with Johan Djourou. It beggars belief then that the Brazilian forward, with a linesman, a watchful referee and a fifth official within spitting defence of him didn`t appear to deter him from idiotically hauling Djourou down, which stretched the referee`s patience thinner than Nick Clegg`s credibility (zing) and he duly pointed to the spot. Despite having done a sterling job of manning the spot kicks in the absences of van Persie and Fabregas, Nasri was shunted to one side by his captain, who nonchalantly picked his spot and spanked the ball into the top corner. The manager showed some pragmatism and immediately substituted his captain for Denilson, but it was the emergence of another Brazilian born player that got the Grove on its feet. Eduardo replaced Luiz Adriano to a thoroughly deserved standing ovation. Though a whiff of good will was in the air with the supporters, the team remained merciless.

The fourth goal was a thing of beauty to behold. Chamakh laid a delicate touch into the path of Wilshere, he shunted the ball to his right to Rosicky and carried on his run, Rosicky repaid the run with an inch perfect first time pass back to Wilshere who took a touch before delicately clipping the ball over the advancing keeper. It was notable that almost all of his team mates joined him in celebration and the supporters` reaction was rather more enthused than usually meets a fourth goal. On any other evening, it would have been the most popular goal of the night. A matter of minutes later, Arsenal had moved into a five goal lead that seemed slightly unreflective of how stern our opponents had been. Nasri scooped a through ball into Chamakh, everyone, the Moroccan included, thought he was offside, so it was with a surreal delay that Chamakh eventually bundled the ball underneath Pyatov. I must have been one of the few who in the stadium who did not expect to see an offside flag, I have yet to see the replay back, but I was rather struck that the Donetsk left back seemed to take an age to step up. Lord Lowe and Hon John disagreed with me, I await the evidence.

It is easy to spare some sentiment when 5-0 up, but the next touch will probably live long in the hearts of those that witnessed it. Jadson attacked down Arsenal`s left and hooked a looping cross into the area; having not yet touched the ball since coming on, Eduardo pounced with a precise volley into the corner. It was the sort of predatory finish to which Arsenal fans have been accustomed. Eduardo kept his vow not to celebrate, but he didn`t need to as the stadium got to its feet to applaud the goal. I recall a Farnborough goal at Highbury receiving something of a patronising cheer in the Cup a few years back, but I don`t ever recall the concession of a goal against Arsenal leading to the offending player`s name being sung! Even the stadium announcer allowed us to greet it by declaring Eduardo`s number and encouraging the fans to shout his name back. Eduardo crossed into his own half to find that even Denilson afforded him a smile and a handshake. I realise neutrals believe our affection for Eduardo is governed only by sympathy. I won`t deny sympathy plays a part in it, but the fact is we recognise what he could have been in an Arsenal shirt had the horrific injury not happened. Prior to that day at St. Andrews his record was 12 goals in 22 starts, to use some crude logic, a continuation on that trajectory would have seen him take a place in Arsenal`s top 3 all time scorers in or around the 300 game mark. But its more than just sympathy and regret, Eduardo has behaved with a class and dignity that touched all of us. The acceptance and even gratitude to the club in his departure, the single mindedness he showed, first to move from Rio to Zagreb as a young boy, sleeping on the dressing room floor and then to come back from his injury. The Taylor incident along with the hysterical reaction to the penalty against Celtic showed that this country rather chewed Eduardo up and spat him out. In his departure it would have been easy and tempting for him to lambaste the English league as an incubator of thugs and the English media as a ravenous pack of vultures. He didn`t, he left these shores with his head held high and the only words he uttered were of thanks to those who he held affection for. Class does not shout from the rooftops, it whispers into ears, Eduardo`s humility marks him out. This is why we got to our feet and applauded his effort last night. It was the perfect expression of thanks, not just for the player, but for the man. As we prepare to meet another ex Arsenal striker on Sunday, this should serve as a reminder to him that supporters will always consider respect a two way street. And rightly so.

The fans disappointingly began to empty in their droves in the last ten minutes, causing members of the Red Section to embarrass the premature leavers with audible choruses of "Is there a fire drill?" and "we can see you sneaking out." I`m not usually a fan of mutiny against one`s own support, but I hope this becomes a regular feature and that early leavers continue to be publicly embarrassed in this way. Listen, nobody likes queuing for the tube, nobody likes sitting in traffic. But when you buy your ticket, weigh those things up- because they`re going to be a feature of your match day experience- and if they bother you so much, don`t go. I`ve read a great deal over the last few weeks about what Wenger`s legacy will be once he is gone. I will tell you what his legacy is right now. 5-1 and 6-0 wins in the Champions League are treated as par of the course, to the point that the support almost treats them with disdain by buggering off home early because they`d rather be home five minutes earlier, rather than staying to appreciate a fine performance. Even the added opportunity for Eduardo to take a solo lap of honour could not keep them in their seats. Make no mistake, this was a fine performance. Arsenal totalled seven shots last night and scored five times. Without looking it up, I reckon we had at least three times that many efforts against CSKA Moskva four years ago when we drew 0-0 at home. That efficiency will be required again on Sunday because City will play conservatively. Arsenal`s was a masterclass in possession, wearing down their opponents with one touch passing and playing a high octane pressing game when possession had been surrendered. This should give us some nice momentum after a nervy win against Birmingham.LD.

21.FABIANSKI, 27.EBOUE, 18.SQUILLACI, 20.DJOUROU, 22.CLICHY, 17.SONG, 19.WILSHERE, 4.FABREGAS c (15.Denilson `63), 7.ROSICKY, 8.NASRI (14.Walcott `72), 29.CHAMAKH (23.Arshavin `72). Unused: 2.Diaby, 28.Gibbs, 52.Bendtner, 53.Szczesny.

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

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 20 2010

Time: 11:28AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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It was a ruthless performance. We need to start seeing that every game now. Like you say LD, if we had been as clinical as that against Chelsea things would've been very different. City on Sunday is a massive test.
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20/10/2010 12:00:00

What a great night. It couldn't have worked out better if it had been scripted by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. There was a wonderful piece of footage of Eduardo's strike from one of the camera angles facing towards our goal from behind Eddie. To the left of the goal as we were looking an Arsenal fan rapdily jumped to his feet as the ball went in, he looked as if he were about to celebrate wildly before gathering himself and realising which team he supported .... opting to applaud ferociously instead!

It was a great performance all over the park. I'm really pleased for Fabianski, the games are allowing him to confortably find his feet and he's doing it very well. I was also thinking the same thing about our squad, it's very impressive, infact I'd say with everyone fit it's probably the best squad in the league. I've had my say on Song's annoying tendacies to be selfish in going forward in the forums. And yes, Chamakh was a mile onside .... but you can see why everyone thought otherwise. Check out the replay LD, his expression and glance over to the linesman are both remarkable and quite hillarious.
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20/10/2010 12:12:00

To be honest I dont think Song could have hit the ball any other way when he scored. He was standing in his left foot and the ball was to the left and sligtly behind so he had to be quick and hit it straight away which he did. It was quick thinking on his behalf.
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20/10/2010 12:14:00 - At around the 30 second mark check the guy on the left hand side of the screen infront of the bloke in the yellow jacket. He almost leaps out of his seat before realising he's an Arsenal fan. And LD, looks like it was Eddie's second touch that bagged him a goal.
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20/10/2010 12:35:00

Great write up LD, another good win, and heres to hoping the injury crisis stays away for a little bit...
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20/10/2010 12:45:00

Great report as ever. Before the Braga game the pundits were saying it would be a strong test for us and then afterwards saying that they weren't a real test at all. Much the same pattern with Shakhtar. Took the chances we had pretty well yet we've played much better created and more chances without scoring. I think Wenger has a point that these teams can dominate their own leagues and spend such a great deal of time attacking that they find it much harder to organise themselves when they can't attack and need to defend to the same extent. Good performance all round. Squillaci seemed to be in the right place at the right time except for the goal perhaps though I think he was concerned about fouling Eduardo. Smart finish though. Chamakh is doing pretty well. He's getting a few goals which helps but he works pretty hard and unselfishly too. He's always looking to contribute even when we don't have the ball. The squad looks good - we just need the key players to remain fit and be available for the key games. Got to let Fabianski build up a run of hopefully trouble free games now. He could then help allay our keeping doubts.
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20/10/2010 12:53:00

I always look forward to reading your match reports LD. You tell it like it is but with added flavour and spice, good stuff! My post game thoughts were 1. I miss you Eddie, but so happy he's back to his best. And 2. We controlled that game from start to finish and made them look poor by destroying their morale with our dominant game. I don't believe in the slightest that Shakhtar are a poor side like most post match comments from the punidiots made out, they recently won the Europa Cup which puts them above most teams and at least on a par with someone like Everton in the PL i'd say. Much like our game against Braga we made the game look easy but that is only down to the hard work the lads put in. When we reach the draws for the later stages the records will show a complete dominance of our group in the competition and that will make us one of the few teams to really be feared by all. It's a good feeling today =)
insider says
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20/10/2010 13:00:00

Re the penalty, wasn't another one of our players being man-handled right in front of djourou?
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20/10/2010 13:05:00

Rocky, The celebration in the crowd that caught my eye was the one that looks like an elderly lady in a blue head scarf (just across from the blue jacket). She springs up and pumps both arms in the air, she had no control what-so-ever. Love it!
insider says
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20/10/2010 13:09:00

I was willing Eduardo to score, once he came on. The man has got oodles of class, his comments about the English game before this match simply solidifying that image. Like you said LD, its not just sympathy but a willingness to see a real gentleman in the modern game succeed.
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20/10/2010 13:19:00

---5-1 and 6-0 wins in the Champions League are treated as par of the course, to the point that the support almost treats them with disdain by buggering off home early because they’d rather be home five minutes earlier--- Absolute rubbish. If I leave bang on full time I get home an hour + later than if I leave 5 minutes earlier. When you get up as early as I have to, that extra hour + makes a hell of a difference. You and anyone else are certainly not fit to judge what I or others consider suitable for us or make assumptions about what we consider par for the course. or were you making sweeping generalisations?
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20/10/2010 13:23:00

A fine article ruined by that trashy parargraph.
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20/10/2010 13:24:00

Just saw the better quality vid that Rocky posted and saw the old lady didn't throw her arms in the air as i thought, it must have been an optical illusion or maybe it was my own arms. It feels weird celebrating a goal against my own beloved, I've never seriously cheated on anybody in my life.
insider says
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20/10/2010 13:26:00

Rocky's right, if we're picky it was Eddie's 2nd touch and Chamakh wasn't offside since the left back played him on. What was funny yet I do not want to see it ever again was Chamakh taking a peek at the lino to see if he's off or not and then deciding to put the ball in the net. Someone should tell him it should be the other way round.
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20/10/2010 13:29:00

It has to be a generalisation LG - no-one can know what each individual reasons are. I don't know how many leave early maybe 10-15% or so? That's up to 10,000 people -maybe more. They aren't all going to have the same travel problems you have. Some will have more valid reasons than others I guess but I don't think it's wrong to point out that if it's on such a scale that it's really noticeable that it doesn't help the atmosphere in the ground - if the atmosphere is considered important enough.
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20/10/2010 13:33:00

G4L - Nice to see you sir. Chamakh's stare at the lino was so long and obsured that I'm wondering whether it wasn't some kind on Barthez style fake out or not. It was genuinely funny to watch though.
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20/10/2010 13:36:00

It wasn't the atmousphere that was being commented on in the article Amos it was the people themselves. I think people making the effort to go to games at great expoense and sacrificing a good nights sleep (and I am sure there are plenty of them) deserve more than accusations of being spoilt and the author taking delight in people being embarressed by the red action section.
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20/10/2010 13:38:00

Hi Amos - i'd like to point out that the atmosphere is considered important by a lot of supporters. SW.
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20/10/2010 13:47:00

Thanks for pointing that out shewore. I rather thought that was the case. Indirectly it would have been about the atmosphere in the stadium which is bound to be better the more people stay on. People deserve the acknowledgement their level of support and commitment warrants - if such acknowledgement or acceptance is important to them. But as a general rule you can't complain if some sections staying on take the mick out of those leaving early - it's more effective when directed at away support though. The trick should be to get out early enough - before they notice - then you wouldn't hear it.
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20/10/2010 13:52:00

I think most, i fnot all fans consider the atmosphere to be very important. Does staying on later because you don't have to get up for work early even though you go to as many games and pay the same for your seat mean you are acknowledged as being a "better" supporter or whatever is being alluded to? For the record - I couldn't give a flying **ck what other fans sing at anyone leaving early. Maybe they would be better served cheering the team than jeering the fans?
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20/10/2010 13:56:00

I absolutely love it - Arsenal are class in every aspect - You can keep denying that Arsenal are the best team in the world but we wont make it easy on you
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20/10/2010 13:59:00

LG, I typically start work at 7.30am. I spent a rather significant period travelling from midweek home games back to Brighton. This meant getting home at around 12.30am and getting up again at 5am. For midweek away games, I'll get home in the early hours and go to work again with little to no sleep. Like I say, you weigh those things up when you get the ticket. Obviously it's not possible to go into the individual reasons of 10,000+ people, but I don't think it's wrong that those prepared to stay point it out. If we're all allowed to treat a 3-2 home defeat to WBA as a natural disaster that has shamed us all, I don't think it wrong to say a 5-1 win over quality opponents deserved better than banks of empty seats to greet its close.
Little Dutch
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20/10/2010 14:07:00

Chamakh's hold up play is superb, somebody I know likened him to Alan Smith and I'm inclined to agree. Yes, in the same way as Shakhtar are used to dominating games/posession in their domestic league, I guess you can say the same about us when we came up against Barcelona last season! That's the step up in class we're going to have to make to win this competition. Granted, we're talking about margins, but the differences are there nonetheless. That and a kind passage to the final without too many injuries.
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20/10/2010 14:09:00

I saw a clip of Eduardo scoring those two goals away to Everton before his injury. Really makes you sad when you think what he might have been for us. Being at the stadium yesterday was very emotional seeing Eddie. Wish he could have somehow remained with us.
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20/10/2010 14:13:00

Little Dutch - As with all article's LD, sweeping generalisations don't work.
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20/10/2010 14:17:00

I am not getting into a pi**ing contest about who gets up the earliest etc, I cannot afford to be tired in my line of work (I know a lot of people can't, I cannot or I am not allowed to work) so what am I supposed to do, just stop going to matches? Your comments were unfair and plain wrong in my eyes. Simple.
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20/10/2010 14:21:00

It's pretty impossible to write anything that doesn't involve a generalisation somewhere. Eduardo got a standing ovation last night, not an unfair comment at all. But what then if someone writes on this baord in a rage that they didn't stand up and they didn't cheer his goal, is it then wrong to say the crowd treated him generously. In the Spurs match report I made reference to lots of Spurs fans leaving early and we took the ***** royally, were we wrong to do so on the basis that a few hardy souls stayed?
Little Dutch
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20/10/2010 14:24:00

If you want to split hairs and be pedantic that's your look out...
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20/10/2010 14:32:00

I got all choked up when Eduardo came on, and when he scored. I did want Eduardo to score just when he did, when it couldn't hurt us. It killed me that I couldn't see the moment when Eduardo and AW embraced, and when Eduardo shook hands with all his former teammates. You guys in the UK got to watch that, it wasn't shown here in the US. *sniff* :-( I don't know what happens to these good European teams when they come to the Grove. Donetsk and Braga usually show more fight than that. Watching Cesc & Jack in the same midfield has become one of the most exciting football experiences in the game right now.
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20/10/2010 14:36:00

Not splitting hairs, valid observation. If we're gonna gloriously take the ***** out of the Totts for leaving early, we're just being consistent by applying it to our own fans. You yourself said in the wake of the Eboue booing incident that supporters pay their money and have a right to have their say. I think they did last night.
Little Dutch
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20/10/2010 14:55:00

There's nothing wrong with a general observation in an article. Reporting that a number of people left early and some mocked them for it is unavoidable if the intention is to give a fair report and flavour of the nights events. There'll be precious little to read, and even less worth reading, if you could only ever write anything that is guaranteed not to cause to offence to someone. Doubtless there'll be many whose lifestyle means that leaving early is the only practical option but that won't be the case for all so as a general observation it's still valid and should be seen as a general criticism rather than a specific one. It's a consequence of all seater stadiums. You couldn't see empty spaces on the terraces anywhere near as easily as you can see an empty seat.
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20/10/2010 15:10:00

OT (kind of), but why do i get the feeling we are not going to get any Spuds on this site until sometime after 9pm, tonite (and even that depends on how many goals Rafa's men put past them)? :-)
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20/10/2010 16:20:00

Great game last night and very emotional, what with Edu coming back and scoring. I feel the home fans actually willed him to score (what better man to spoil Fabianski's clean sheet aspirations, eh.). LD: "..audacious-if slightly needless-flick..". I take Armory's view that Song had no other way to take that goal than to effect that routine, which actually deceived the sliding Shakhtar defender into an early blocking dive; he would probably succeed in the block had Song gone in first time; plus the ball was slightly behind him. Again, not sure if "...Song's low cross was deflected into the path of Samir..." It seemed to have been an inch perfect cross to him, though he needed to apply that deft control to take it away from the touch of the Shakhtar defender in attendance.

As usual, very incisive reporting of the action in your usual breezy and compelling style.
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20/10/2010 17:24:00

Wow, even the NY Times has discovered Jack Wilshere:
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20/10/2010 17:52:00

Naijagunner: the cross from Song was deflected into the path of Nasri. Song annoyed me sometimes yesterday, he lost the ball easy and needlessly on too many occasions. I'm not sure if the stats will back me up, but my impression is that he's been more sloppy in his passing this year compared to last. Yet I find it very hard to criticise him since he came up with one goal and assist.
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20/10/2010 18:17:00

ptv, just seen it again and find you're right. Sorry, LD. Like I said, I was not sure.

Not that one expected any different, but it is something like a goal every 3 minutes for Inter in their game with Spurs; 3-0 down at 11 minutes and already 1 man down. Somehow, I hope they are able to add some respectability to the impending scoreline. Not kidding there.
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20/10/2010 20:05:00

Yep, Jaelle. JW is the flavour of the month for most now. Big future he has, that boy.
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20/10/2010 20:07:00

Great performance.
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20/10/2010 20:36:00

We seem to be a lot more efficient against at home in the CL than at any other place or time. Perhaps its a mental thing, where the players know they will create more chances and hence under less pressure when the chance does arise. Also Fabianski had another solid performance, hopefully he can continue his form against Citeh.
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21/10/2010 02:33:00

It's always a reminder of how emotionally invested in this game we get when Eduardo's goal made a 24 year old guy in Western Australia smile and almost! (yes, almost!) have a slight tear in his eye. You summed him up perfectly LD, it's not just the sadness of knowing what he could've been to us, but the way he carries himself. Great man, great player, and i really do hope he becomes as ruthless as he once was. On the Arsenal side of things, i really hope we can get a good strong run out of Cesc now, we need it!
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21/10/2010 04:17:00

Excellent report, as always. I travel by National Express to home games from Cheltenham (around 2.5 hours), and have never left early, never will. As with LD, I get home at a ridiculous time and have to go to work the next morning. I do think that staying and SUPPORTING the team makes you a better supporter, rather than leaving early. Just my opinion, but I believe that it does give the impression that sections of our support are complacent. I find that as long as I get a good nights sleep the night before a game, I can function perfectly well in my job following a short night on match days.
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21/10/2010 08:44:00

You yourself said in the wake of the Eboue booing incident that supporters pay their money and have a right to have their say. I think they did last night - Little Dutch - So my opinion (as a paying customer, you understand) that everyone of those sad ***ts (the self proclaimed greatest supporters in the world - I've sat in the red action area plenty of times), with no life outside of football who (while at the match) rips on his own fans without knowing the reasons behind it is a complete bellend are as perfectly valid? Just ascertaining where the goal posts are. A quick other point, what the ***k has Spu*s fans leaving when losing 4-1 at home got to do with Arsenal fans leaving when 5-1 up? Nothing. Amos, that wasn't a general observation it was a generalisation. Big difference, you (apparently) of all people should know that. Still nice to see you gallantly defending ALL things Arsenal.
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21/10/2010 10:24:00

Our support's always been divisive and cliquey but none so much as now. I think 80% of redaction are absolute mongs with no sense of history of realisation of where football comes from, wearing a sombrero and drinking in the rocket with Walcott on your back don't make you a great supporter. People leaving early gets my goat at times, i've done it once at a home match and that was Chelsea last year, think it's best left as a statement really, not habitual, but then i don't know everyone's circumstances and quite frankly aint really bothered unless we're 1-0 down with 5 mins to go and the team needs as much support as possible.
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21/10/2010 10:34:00

well, almost the same number of fans leave early on the weekends, so it is not about getting up early. if you going to the game you should take that into consideration, or give the chance to another fan. i could understand some have their reasons but when about 10000 do that almost every home game, it is getting ridiculous. YET, they complain about the team !
Gooner SA
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21/10/2010 10:42:00

How on earth is supporting the notion that an Arsenal supporter can make an observation about other Arsenal fans leaving a game early got anything to do with defending all things Arsenal???? The extent to which others will simply invent the most facile of grounds to dismiss an opinion can be absurdly hysterical at times. I think you're being way too sensitive. If you feel you need to defend your right to leave at whatever time you want that's fine you can only speak for yourself. But it still doesn't invalidate the generalisation or general observation however you want to describe it about a good number of others who left early.
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21/10/2010 10:44:00

A section of our supporters are well within their rights to leave the stadium early but to seek to silence other supporters who have a view about their actions is completely dictatorial.
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21/10/2010 13:05:00

On this leaving early thing, London Gooner, suppose you were watching a cup match, where one of the team was going to get knocked out, and the result isn't settled yet, would you wait to the end, or would you still leave early seeing as it makes a 1hr plus difference to your times? I expect you'd stay. Coz those 5 minutes are still important. So to me, Kenyan fan watching on TV, when the camera zooms in on hordes of people leaving with 5-10 minutes to go, the message you send me is that these final minutes aren't important to you, coz if they were, like in the example I've given, then you'd stay. I'm sure you have your reasons, but I don't like the sight. And my guess is that it doesn't give the team a good vibe either, watching you guys leave before the game is over.
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21/10/2010 21:18:00

There are so many of us that will give an arm and a leg to be at the stadium. So leaving early does not paticularly make people like me feel good.
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22/10/2010 02:10:00

Your so full of it and sel frighteous. I don;t have to defend myself, but when "writers2 like LD feel the need to dig at EVERYONE who leaves early without then I am well within my writes to take him to task over it. I don't believe I have made anything up and my statement about you defending all things Arsenal was perfectly valid as has been pointed out by pretty much most posters here. If you cannot grasp that then this is going to be a v-e-r-y d-i-f-f-i-c-u-l-t conversation.
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22/10/2010 09:13:00

Your statement may or may not be valid LG but either way it's still irrelevant. Nobody can speak about that body of people other than in general terms so if anyones going to write about it, unless they know each individual's circumstance, it can't be anything other than a generalisation can it. Similarly you can only speak about your situation and aren't in any position to say whether his opinion doesn't apply to most of those referred to unless you are making a generalisation of your own. In other words you are taking issue with someone for a generalised view on an issue that you yourself can only have a generalised view on.
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22/10/2010 10:11:00

Great article LD looking at Songs goal a few times i feel his flick was the only way he could have scored otherwise the defender would have had a little more time. he has the footwork of a young quick clever boxer.
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22/10/2010 12:11:00


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