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Blackburn vs. Arsenal

Ewood Park

28th February 2007


On Sky

Blackburn Rovers V Arsenal

Arsenal will be forced to play some of the 'Carling Cup kids` on Wednesday as they continue their hunt for silverware.

The omens are not good I`m afraid, it`s up north, it`s late, it`s midweek and the forecast is for some rough weather. Injuries to several key players, including Thierry Henry and Tomas Rosicky has also cast major doubts over Arsenal`s chances of qualifying for the next round.

Be not afraid though Arsenal fans, doubts have been cast over Arsenal`s cup kids this season when they have faced Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham and they have come out on top every time.

Arsenal will look to William Gallas, Gilberto and Baptista to lead the youngsters in what is sure to be a physical encounter. Lilly Savage may still be injured but they still have players in the team that like to 'get stuck in.`

Arsenal should have the physical presence to cope with whatever Blackburn throw at them tonight with Fabregas rested and major doubts over Flamini`s fitness, Denilson looks set to partner Gilberto in an all Brazilian centre-midfield. We all know that Gilberto can handle the rough stuff and Denilson has certainly looked like he can since he came into the team.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger says the most important thing is to bounce back from Sunday's defeat: 'For us it is important just to win and to qualify to get positive vibes again after our disappointment on Sunday.

'The FA Cup is another chance for us to go to another final and win a trophy.'

'It is another important week, but we want to negotiate it better than we did the last one.'

Mark Hughes is pleased to have an(almost) full squad to choose from: 'I haven't had that opportunity on that many occasions this season.

'People have come back and are fit and it gives me more options. It is all about picking the right combinations.'

Blackburn Team News:

Chris Samba (knee)is Blackburn's only doubt for the match.

Benni McCarthy returns and is likely to replace Matt Derbyshire as the lone striker.

Player to watch: Benni McCarthy

The former Porto striker has had a fantastic debut season in the Premiership.

He's scored some important goals including the winner against Liverpool in the League.

Arsenal Team News:

Where do I start? Henry, Diaby, Rosicky, Walcott, Djourou, Hoyte and Van Persie are all out injured while Flamini is a major doubt.

Toure and Adebayor are alos out as they start their 3-match bans.

Player to watch: Aliadiere

The Frenchman has been in good form in the last 8 weeks, espically in cup competitions. He's stated that he is up for this match and I believe his pace and determination could just prove vital for Arsenal

Form Guide:

Blackburn have won only 2 of their last 6 games. A 1-0 victory over Sheffield United and a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth.

Last 6: P6 W2 D2 L2

Arsenal's form is identical to Blackburn's although they have lost their last 2 games. a 3-1 victory over Bolton followed a 2-1 victory over Wigan.

Last 6: P6 W2 D2 L2

Ref Watch:

Graham Poll is the man in black for this one. Let's hope he remembers how to use his cards...for a change!

Match Prediction:

2-1 to The Arsenal Gilberto and Denilson for Arsenal, Bentley for Rovers.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Simmonett  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 28 2007

Time: 2:24PM

Your Comments

I think it is going to be a revenge match for Gilberto, for the last time he was sent off. One more reason to win this tie. I am really curious about the bench today, as it would be 16 and 17 yr old kids with no experience at all.
Interesting to see how Poll referees this one!
I think this is really Alis turn to show us what he is got, he has got the starting spot and could really solidify it for the next couple of weeks if he puts in a good performance.
Simmo, I think its being a bit unfair to Blackburn to say they will get stuck in. The 1st round had very little of that, and we only had ourselves to blame for the draw!! The task tonight looks even more difficult with only one available striker in Ali, but I think the time is right for him to score goals more consistently now. I've been saying for a while now that he's shown promise, now he needs to take that one additional step and score !! The back 4 looks good with Eboue (no action taken yet?)-Gallas-Sendeors-Clichy, while the midfield looks ok with Theo-Denilson-Gilberto-Freddie?
I say 2 nil to the Arsenal. You heard it here first! Hleb must play a part tonight and would prefer him to start over Freddy. Yes the bench will be intersting and may prove important if it goes to extra time. Keep the faith!
prits - thank you! I agree that Rovers negative defensive play at your place wasn't easy on the eye but we had to put up with the same when Bayer came to ours - and we created more chances! (didn't take them though!). Youse are still the favourites for this game and Rovers will have to play at their very best AND still hope your lads have a poor day at the office! let's hope it's a good game...
Ex Ewood Resident
Poll will do well, our best ref by some way imo I am anxious about this game. I think Sunday might have a spill over. I dearly hope I am proved wrong We have some big games coming up, tonite, Sat and Wednesday....3 wins will alleviate all concerns about going trophyless this season Exewood...I trust U will at least attempt a few shots tonite...the previous game sent me to sleep!
well, seeing as we're missing half a team, should make for a rum old encounter. It'll be a nailbiter perhaps, or will the kids play and open up blackburn like they did liverpool in the carling cup? We should have deniulson and cesc in midfield, that'll give us plenty scope. Who'll play left wing? freddie??? »»Arsene Knows««
I think Almunia, Djouro, Senderos, Gallas, Traore, Hleb, Denilson, Gilberto, Freddie, The Beast and Ali.
i think theo will be on the bench, but that's cos five live said he is. »»Arsene Knows««
surprise surprise, appears like mr poll has denied us yet another penalty. Yet we are the ones who get away with murder... »»Arsene Knows««
How many chances are we going keep wasting. dame it .
Youngest in Charge
as long as we take one and they don't, i'll be happy. »»Arsene Knows««
oh dear... »»Arsene Knows««
you said it...
Although I am sick from that, I will try to be as moderate as I can. What a shame. Graham Poll is not a referee. He is a useless, spineless kunt. Despite that, we had chances to kill the game off, and we blew them (again). Very poor display from some of our first teamers. Good luck to Blackburn. Oh, and expect the slime from the Lane to crawl out and pollute the page. Come on ARSENAL!
that's 2 pens we shold have had against blackburn in 2 ties. Ah well, crying, spilt milk, etc. Just gotta get on with it. And I hope blackburn do well in the cup. Makes the psv game the focal point of the season now... »»Arsene Knows««
omg, not the result I expected, well I guess the 2nd leg of the champions league where we are already 1-0 down gives a some hope...
I think that any true soccer fan would agree that Poll is a disaster and spoils games. One thing though and that is dont keep saying you are playing "kids" - the avaerage of your starting 11 tonight was 23 - hardly kids.
senderos is a disgrace. why does johan not play??? why? why? why?????
I have usually been one to defend our players to the hilt, Senderos has always had the tendancy to drop at least one 'clanger' per game, but when the side is struggling to score his mistakes are extremely costly, I'm not going to slate the guy but he needs to sharpen up a lot. Very disapointed with the beast over the last 2 matches aswell, lacks the clinical accuracy of a top scorer at the moment, but has everything else
I wouldnt call Senderos a disrace but defending like that is not good enough at this level. The minimum you do in that situation is close him down and block him, never let him on to his strong foot without challenge.
good call ice, hes no disgrace, but does need to tone his game up somewhat
king dennis until he was moved to right back, Senderos played a decent game. I wonder why Gallas didn't go right and Gilberto to replace him. I think he should not be blamed for the goal. Prior to it, Poll failed to produce a CLASSIC yellow card for that fat kunt Dunn, who blatantly pulled Freddie's shirt right in front of his eyes. A yellow card anywhere in the world, except for Graham Poll. I had a feeling this was going to happen as the useless 'full strength' Blackburn team, who were supposed to actually give us a game, failed to create a decent chance for 177 minutes of football. Amazing stuff
The lads were unlucky over the two games as I believe they should have had at least two penalties and they had many more chances. Well done to Blackburn though for taking their opportunity and although it hurts right now, maybe we'll get a few decisions go our way in the Champions League. This season has been a season of ups and downs already, but it's by no means over yet, and the experience that the younger lads in the team have been gaining will be invaluable towards the end of the season and into the next.
You are right about Dunn G4L but cmon! its Poll we are talking about, the worst thing about him is he aint biased towards any team i.e Riley Man utd he's just s*@t! Senderos going right back cost us the game, bad, bad decision he was playing ok up until then. I would try and make an excuse for him but Cygan played left back last year and never made a mistake like that once.
And yes, Senderos needs to become lighter on his feet! It's okay to say Tony Adams wasn't Tony Adams when he was Senderos's age but the days of Tony Adams has been and gone. Toure's style athletisism, pace and stamina is what new central defender's need to aspire to. Johan Djourou has it, Gallas has it, though I still wonder about the pace. Senderos, could become the new Tony Adams, but against todays centre forward that isn't enough! Controversial I know, as I love TA just as much as the rest of you, but times change. Pace is the killer of the older style CB.
We cant use Senderos as a scapegoat. one piece of bad defending over 2 ties is not as bad as failing to score in 180 minutes. I just hope I never see him at right back again....EVER!
Very true Iceman, Senderos needs to up his game ASAP or he won't make the grade.
what i am saying and cant understand, is why wenger persists with him. i have seen several games, and numerour mistakes of varying degrees by senderos. whether this be a bad pass across the back four that has gone astray, a clearance that isnt cleared or a crap buit of defending where he loses his man. i personally feel that djourou is a better player than senderos and deserves a chance in the team again ahead of senderos. and the mistakes i have seen senderos make this year- i do believe make him a disgrace to play for us. whilst i will defend our players to the hilt, i have come to the end of my tether with senderos. whilst he is in the red and white i will stand by him as i did with cygan, but this doesnt mean i have to put up with his mistakes costing us! he is hardly the player that kept sol campbell out the team a couple of seasons ago.granted over the two legs we didnt score a goal. full stop that is rubbish-but if you keep a clean sheet you never lose!
and poll was a big pile of shi*. but when you are as fat as he is it must be hard to keep up with the pace! and one more thing, i noticed webb was refereeing last night in man utds match, just two days after the cc final. is two days enough for a player reffing at the top level to recover? and give his 100% best? if it isnt enough rest for the fittest fottballers in the land i can hardly see its enough rest for him. the fa need to sort out refereeing of the game! one ref isnt enough to cover the entire field. we should have had two pens mayb tonight, they werent given and that cost us, (as well as the misses!) if they were given, by say a tv ref, then we could have been two nil up. its ok saying things even themselves out-but do they? we should have had a pen in the first leg too. things shouldnt have the chance to even themselves out, they should be dealt with there and then-like in rugby or cricket. right am off to bed, and find my anadin for my morning hangover!!
beast's time is up, hes more like kitten, the beast cuaght wondersing around seville would of smashed those 2 headers in but the beast of arsenal is timid. We need a major signing in the summer, i would like a GOALSCORER, someone to finish off the chances we create, p.s POLL U *****ER, we should of had 3 stone wall pens in those 2 games against rovers and we got 0
Was this game at home too? I guess this is our first home loss, dam it.
I knew people would be pointing the finger at Senderos as soon as the goal went in, typical scapegoating!! A lot of our players were awful today, Denilson giving the ball away due to being tired, Hleb was very sloppy, Baptista..well he is basically not gonna cut it here, Aliadere well...I think he would suit better as a winger tbh, he just doesn't look like a striker, he and Walcott should swap positions, Freddie as we saw again just dsn't offer anything. Overall it was a ***** game, and absolutely dire finishing from our 'strikers'. But I think Senderos and Almunia are the easy scapegoats even though both of them had very good game before the goal, especially Senderos and wender is at fault for putting him at right back instead Gallas. It was a dissaster waiting to happen!!
Ahhh we were at away, I don't really care now :). Well I guess we are out of the FA cup but that is that. Nothing can be done the team will just have too try again next year. It is understanble anyway injuries and fatigue. I don't know why people are getting at the beast, I don't feel his game was that bad today it was relatively cool. He still needs too ajust too the premiership aswell.
I am craving for tim stillmans take on this, he always seem to put back a little optimism into my eyes !
Gunners..thats 2/3 games where he has been absolutely useless. I think the 6 goals in the Carling cup was a one off. What lets him down is that his first touch is poor, his poor decision making and just simply doesn't have the vision for spotting runs or anything to justify the 2nd striker position (apparently his best position). Spansih league and the EPL is completely different and I think its pretty obvious that he is going.
Problem we've got Hazza is that any time an Arsenal player shows a bit of agression they get a card(hence Baps kitten impressions)! I honestly think that Paul 'Umpa f*****g Lumpa Jewill', is the man you've got to thank for the penalty decisions and for that I hope that they get relegeted by at least 6 points. It's also a pity that although the complaint by Umpa was lodged against the top four teams, the FA seems, as usual, to like to make an example of us. It must have been the travesty of a mainly non-English team going the whole league season unbeaten. Damaged national pride and all that!! ******** *****ers!
As for Aliadere, I really hope Wenger makes him into a winger, he will deffinetly be better than Walcott on the right, and try Walcott in his real position. I really do want him to stay, because he really can be a success here but not as a striker sorry.
Wow, you guys are pretty unforgiving.Shevchenko was 30 mil ,and we still gave him time to adapt.Baptista came to a different league, very different from what he used to play.And the other fact that real madrid barely played him.Letting him go will be a big mistake (in my opinion).
I wouldn't let Baps go for the world K-Chels he's great! As a confidence booster I'd say to Baps, 'Look at Drogba, Rubbish last season, rubbish this season, just with a few extra flukey goals, and Baps you're much better than that bag of excrement! Anyhow, Roman's really *****ed with you guys! Hadn't you better go and apologise to him for the ***** football before he goes and leaves you!
lol, i'm not sure he quite understands what you said.Anyhow,, if roman leaves, he'll leave a couple of billions behind for us.Just as a souvenir. ._.
i hope we stop wearing that yellow jersey. it is bad luck. The injuries we carry is bad luck. We are living with 2 bad lucks !!!!
Well I'm sure that he'd understand, 'Drogba *****', 'You Amazing'. My first language isn't English but I understand that, how about you? You'd also better hope that Roman leaves a few billion behind, because you're gonna need that to break even. I'm sure at that point Kenyon will claim to be a lifelong Madrid fan!
You realise firebrand Gooner, Baptista comes from a completly diffrent league. The premiership and spanish league are two diffrent seetings, he hasn't really had enough games too settle in with the Arsenal style of play. I don't really feel like his performance has been that bad overall too be honest. Not great but at this stage it's to be expected. Arsenal should keep him he provides physical strength which the team will need certain games.
lol, Well dude.He, like myself.Would never ever ever understand what you wrote, without learning english first.Just the ****** , or all the other bad
Baptista is at Arsenal, he would have learnt English by now! I'll have a chat with Arsene, and maybe he'll take you on as a ball girl K-Chel. You can learn English too maybe, then again?
Physcial strength? What strength? Looking at him you would think people would be scared to try and challenge him shoulder to shoulder yet ever since he has been here, I have never seen him not get knocked over easily, dispossed easily, sloppy first touch and control. The beast? He really isn't a beast as people would like to think he is and doesn't provide that physical presence that he is supposed to provide. I dunno, maybe I am just angry at the wasted chances but I have no doubt that he will be returned in the summer.
Ok flv.I'll be a ball boy.I need to learn french anyway. ;p.I'll try to hold the ball when you lot are losing. : - )
Firebrand_gooner, you're not being fair.He played a couple of games, and now you want him to be fully adapted?B0llocks!
We better crank it up over the weekend and next week... I just hope we put in better performances.. especially in the CL.. we have to thrash PSV!!
leave baptista alone, he is sheer quality, and really has only been playing since xmas for us, and even then not regulary. we all know it takes a foreigner a year to adjust, unless your denilson ;) as for the result, it was poor, oo much of a hang over from sunday i feel, but that doesn't bother me, it means we will now concentrate on securing our league placing, and who knows, maybe Athens is where our destiny lies !
Not a very satisfying encounter, it has to be said. Most of our players were just not playing at 100%. Especially alarming were the misplaced passes by the likes of Hleb, Denilson and Gilberto. These particular players passing to thin air was an unbelievable sight, as we know they are capable of much better football. Senderos had a pretty decent game (relatively) until he moved to right back, and sorry to say but he just does not cut it in that position. He showed the turning ability of a large ship for McCarthy's goal. All in all, a poor performance, but one which will definately be a learning experience for the developing team.
ta da!
Jacky B
cant remember who it was, Iceman or lucky... to whom i suggested that the Burn would beat Arsenal
Jacky B
As shaggy once said "It wasnt me"
that leaves lucky... or "un-Lucky" in this case lol
Jacky B
Jacky B, I wouldn't get too excited, spurs will be out after the next round. Although in saying that I hope you get a draw in the first match so chelski have to go for the replay........................Won't deny I would rather still be in the FA cup than out of it, but at least some of our players will get a much needed break. Unfortunately the downside to that is the suspensions, meaning they go on longer & therefore players get out of match practice.
Ashburton Gooner
Assuming the FA do give Adebayor a further 2 match ban on top of the 3 matches he is already serving, that means he will not play in the premiership again until 7th April against West Ham. We now have Clichy, Adebayor, Toure & no doubt Eboue (after today's hearing) missing through suspension against villa (away). Will will also still have injury problems, so I can only see one result there & it's certainly not an arsenal win.
Ashburton Gooner
we may well be, but at the moment, we have a greater chance of silverware than you lot, as we are in more competitions. I am not that excited either. Just revelling in Arsenal's misfortune on one of the few occasions i get.
Jacky B
you know i heard wenger this morning and he sounded very annoyed with the linesman, so i think arsenal will fight this and the FA have gone silent and the refs are keeping schtum too.
you wont get nothing off the FA - judging by their decision on Robbie Keane.
Jacky B
Jacky B, I finally agree with you!! We wont get anything from the FA apart from another charge, this time against Wenger for being honest. Even I have to say the Keane red card not being rescinded is a complete joke & just shows what a freak show we have running the game over here. The FA never have to face upto anything, they charge players/managers & clubs, yet never have to give out the reasons. It's about time fans were allowed to see everything that goes on during a disciplinary hearing so we can all see for ourselves if the FA are doing their job properly. On sunday the linesman was clearly biased against us & has lied on top of everything else, yet he will never have to face any charges & will be free to ruin another clubs season!!
Ashburton Gooner
yeah, i think some sort of explanation would be a great idea, but then they would show up the refs even more for the mugs they truly are. Poll quite clearly does not know the laws of the game. First a geezer gets 3 yellows at the very highest level. Then he sends a player off for "deliberately dneying a goalscoring opportunity" when he denied the opportunity with his chest and then the ball accidentally hit his hand. not to mention the 2 pens he gave against us in the league game at your gaff. can't comment on last night as i did not see the game. But Poll is quite cleary an attention seeking****, who tries to influence a game rather than be "invisible" during it. The FA for some reason are just trying to protect him and do not want to over rule his decisions and embarrass their "top ref". AND he is a gooner.... couldn't hate him more if i tried! lol
Jacky B
If he is a gooner, why did he turn down 2 blatant nailed on penalties for us last night?? He is just a s*** ref & like everyone else I am sick of hearing his name. Maybe he is coming to retirement age in football so he wants to be really controversial so he can release a big selling autobiography when his time is up!!
Ashburton Gooner
yeah Jacky it was me, but your team ain't going further than the last eight in the cup..
my crystal ball says Chelsea just might beat Spurs
Jacky B
Is Henry injured or not, Wengers got some nerve thinking he can rest him if he aint.. you better hope he hits form for the psv game, if you dont win that season over? 3rd/4th place battles arnt too exciting, we've been there...Wanna see al English clubs go through but who'd bet against Arsenal missing 7 or so good chances on that day.
Henry has a ligament injury & is out for 2 or 3 weeks. They may rush him back for the PSV game but it would probably be a big mistake if they do.
Ashburton Gooner
well its all very good to say lets not get frustrated with that performance. but this inconsistency is becoming a pattern, and a disturbing one at that. I wouldnt mind if we were outplayed on the park, but thats rarely happened this season - yet we're out of the FA cup, and the premiership title race. I'm not ringing any alarm bells here, nor am I trying to sound like a doomsday prophesy, but we need to do something abt winning against sides that are clearly not as good as us.
What would you really like at the Arsenal, pretty football or results?
I dont think the two have to be mutually exclusive Col8, but you can't call last night pretty by any stretch! We were poor beyond belief, a threadbare side that never got our passing game going, and looked utterly knackered, Hleb was woeful and Denilson wasteful in possession, you can blame Senderos as many will but when you are as toothless in attack as we were you cannot blame him for one lapse in a position unnatural to him (blame Arsene really cos Billy should've been the one to fill in). I would be surprised if we shell out for the Beast in the summer as apart from two stellar performances against the pool and spuds he really has'nt impressed and 12 mill I feel could be better spent. This was a replay too far and we have only ourselves to blame for being too complacent at the Grove, this'll have to be Freddies last season too on the back of his last few outings he looks a shadow of his former self. Really, Arsene should shut up banging on about the FA, cos it's not doing him or us any favours and he should save his anger for the players that have let the club down getting insane suspensions in an inferior cup at such a crucial stage of the season. We need to channel ourselves now big time throw the kitchen sink, the hoover and the toilet at PSV and surge strong in our remaining league games, I think that this last week shows us that despite our squad having a wealth and depth of young talent, summer signings are essential in the striking dept, cos I really feel Ali just aint cutting it and Bappers may improve but he may not.
lolz Jacky, you dun need a crystal ball to predict that result..
Let us have 3rd! have! :D

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