The Gunners Thread

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panchester07
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Post by panchester07 » 02 Mar 2011, 20:05

klc123 wrote:Might by a bit premature but what are your thoughts on the Champions league game next week?

I'm praying Barca pull it out of the bag, as a side note does anyone know when Puyol is expected back?
Puyol will be back for the Arsenal match..

Barca is gonna have Arsenal for dinner, you'll see... 2-3 goal differentials with a magnificent Messi again....

They can get all excited for winning in Emirates, inspite of the ref's help, and getting lucky, but the truth of the matter is, they are out of the champions league already. The ugly truth, stonecold, right there. Some people wont like it, but thats just the way it is...

Every gunner fan can start hopping on one leg because they won at home, its so funny how it changed "oh we are already knocked out" to "we have big chances" just after the first leg....be realistic, you are gonna have night mares with the tiki-taka for weeks, maybe even months, and that flight back to London, is gonna be a big fat pain in the ass..

You are out :evil: game over
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nick117
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Post by nick117 » 02 Mar 2011, 20:19

Arsenal are likely to be missing RVP fabregas and walcott i can't see anything good happening.

panchester07
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Post by panchester07 » 02 Mar 2011, 20:25

Van Persie and Walcott confirmed out, Fabregas has a question mark, with them it was hard, without them, its very very complicated..
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nick117
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Post by nick117 » 02 Mar 2011, 21:24

I would say it's near impossible. Arsenal had a chance with a goal in hand and all their players with puyol out. However i don't think arsenal's second string can break down the rock that is pique and puyol on the counter madrid certainly didn't even with their first team.

Zlatan5
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Post by Zlatan5 » 02 Mar 2011, 21:40

nick117 wrote:I would say it's near impossible. Arsenal had a chance with a goal in hand and all their players with puyol out. However i don't think arsenal's second string can break down the rock that is pique and puyol on the counter madrid certainly didn't even with their first team.
You do know Pique is out of the second leg right?

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Post by TommyGun » 02 Mar 2011, 22:18

Zlatan5 wrote:
nick117 wrote:I would say it's near impossible. Arsenal had a chance with a goal in hand and all their players with puyol out. However i don't think arsenal's second string can break down the rock that is pique and puyol on the counter madrid certainly didn't even with their first team.
You do know Pique is out of the second leg right?
I wonder if they'll do Puyol & Busquets at CBs since Maxwell had trouble in the first leg. That'll allow Abidal and Alves on the wings(much like they are doing today) but who knows. Valdes could be a question mark as well and I know Xavi has struggled to keep fit as of late. I think Fabregas will be playing against Barca and if not, we'll just have to cope as we've done before. Rosicky should not be involved in the starting XI if at all possible. He did an OK job today(horrible the last few outings before), but this tournament isn't called the OK Enough League....it's the Champions League.

For ANYONE to act like they have ANY CL game in the bag is a pretty bold statement. That's why they play the game. On paper, sure...Barcelona should beat us and then even considering our injuries. This isn't a lottery ticket and winner's are not decided on paper. Barcelona have looked out of sync today and Messi's finishing looks really off, considering how many chances he's had. Taking nothing away from Valenica but Barcelona are really trying to make this a close game. I would almost hope for the same type of game at the Camp Nou for the 2nd leg. I would rather Barcelona score early and get comfortable on their subs in the 2nd half. Go ahead and sub defensively and we'll just have to go balls-to-the-wall(all attacking subs) to force a goal to advance. I'm expecting a great game like the first, regardless who wins or loses.
Last edited by TommyGun on 02 Mar 2011, 22:34, edited 1 time in total.
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ajc
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Post by ajc » 02 Mar 2011, 22:28

Arsenal aren't putting out a second string side they are missing 2 important players. It could be 3 but I bet Fabregas will play. He'll surely make a tremendous effort to be prepared for this important match, and he says he may even be ready to play against Sunderland on Saturday. Barca are missing 1 very important player.

There is some serious bias in the posts above. I agree that the task is very daunting for Arsenal, especially without a lethal finisher like RVP up front and without the pace of Walcott, but if they can somehow manage to get the first goal of the game then who knows what could happen. If you really think Arsenal only won due to help from the referee then mate you should try watching the first leg again without your fan goggles on. Arsenal were the better team on the day and deserved the result.

And regarding the title race, where do you see Arsenal losing points along the way? The only truly tough games they have remaining are away to Spurs, and home against Liverpool and United. They will have RVP for all of the April fixtures, potentially earlier. It's a very general statement to say that Arsenal will drop points "along the way" when there are not many games remaining, considering Arsenal have demonstrated this year they have more ability to get results in close games than they have in previous seasons.

Manchester United have to go away to Liverpool and Arsenal and play Chelsea and Everton at home. I'm not saying I am predicting Arsenal to win the title, but I am predicting it to be a very close race that could come down to the last game of the season.
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Post by shahensha » 02 Mar 2011, 22:46

phewf and here i was thinking valencia was gonna squeak by with a scoreless draw.

I think Pep is gonna make the smart choice and play Abidal in the centre. honestly, a puyol and abidal partnership sounds mouthwatering to me.

If Pep cant trust Maxwell then he will use Adriano as a LWB. Adriano is definitely an under-rated fellow and has been consistently one of the best wingers in La liga for a few seasons now.

I understand Busquets being used there for the same reason Pep used Toure in the centre during the CL semi and final during 09. The basic idea is that Busquets can play the ball forward from the back, whereas Abidal has a bit of difficulty in this technique. Puyol and Pique are too good at playing the ball from the back.

I dont want to take any risks by not playing Abidal in the centre. Granted some of us didnt show up in the Emirates stadium but Abidal was hands down the best player for Barcelona that night.

With Pique's actual drop in form due to him supposedly being too distracted by Shakira's booty shaking skills and Puyol's injury, Abidal has been a tremendous player for us......completely opposite of his performances for Les Blues as a CB

Also Valdes is out for the game so Pinto will be playing for him. Thus Barca will be missing two key players, which kinda balances the odds out.
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Post by TommyGun » 02 Mar 2011, 22:57

^ Agreed with AJC. I hate the fact RvP isn't going to be fit but hey, that was almost our entire run in last year(without Chamakh). He has a fantastic eye for goal but I think Bendtner's confidence will be beaming after today's FA Cup game. I thought Barca struggled to maintain Walcott like they hoped, but he wasn't as deadly of a threat as all the pre-match commentary suggested.

Title race: I know you're mentioning the games that stick out but I'm just hoping that these injuries+this schedule don't force us to cough up points vs. a weaker squad. I agree with the Liverpool + United games and I could see a draw here and there based on the law of numbers(maybe AV on the run in but I hope not). We have that break after 3/19 which should help get some of our guys back up(Verms, RvP, Cesc, etc.) We only have 5 games this month but if we did happen to advance in the CL over Barca, we'll have 8 games in 30 days in April. Given everything involved, I'd want to lose the CL 40-0 if it means we could pick up 6 points on United just from the more relaxed schedule. They have Liverpool away this weekend with no Rio or Vidic so who knows where we'll stand after that.

I'd say that no one would call you crazy for considering it a two horse race. If United fans think we couldn't win the league, all I have to say is keep letting Rooney/Vidic lose discipline and allow a couple more badly-timed injuries....and United will just hand it over to us.

EDIT: to Shah....I figured Valdes would be missing as well. I'd prefer to have Pinto in goal anyway because I really do admire Valdes' 1v1 skills MOST of the time. I saw quite a few communication issues today between Pinto and Pique so yeah, it's ideal for Arsenal. I think Pep will do a bit better job on subs this time because that's where the game really turned in the 1st leg. Abidal seems to be strong throughout the backline and he isn't one to be exposed too often. I'll say if we have Cesc back, it's fairly balanced in regard to injuries.
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nick117
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Post by nick117 » 02 Mar 2011, 23:22

To be fair smalling this year has been far better than rio has been recently he handled everyone fergie asked him to without any problem at all yet that penalty was just poor luck.

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Post by TommyGun » 03 Mar 2011, 00:00

nick117 wrote:To be fair smalling this year has been far better than rio has been recently he handled everyone fergie asked him to without any problem at all yet that penalty was just poor luck.
Eh, maybe but Smalling isn't 1st choice if all 3(Smalling, Rio, and Vidic) are available. I think it'll just be interesting with Smalling+new pairing of whoever they decide(one of O'Shea/Evans/Brown). Liverpool have to like there chances at home, especially if Carroll can make his first appearance.
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ajc
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Post by ajc » 03 Mar 2011, 00:11

TommyGun wrote:Title race: I know you're mentioning the games that stick out but I'm just hoping that these injuries+this schedule don't force us to cough up points vs. a weaker squad. I agree with the Liverpool + United games and I could see a draw here and there based on the law of numbers(maybe AV on the run in but I hope not). We have that break after 3/19 which should help get some of our guys back up(Verms, RvP, Cesc, etc.) We only have 5 games this month but if we did happen to advance in the CL over Barca, we'll have 8 games in 30 days in April. Given everything involved, I'd want to lose the CL 40-0 if it means we could pick up 6 points on United just from the more relaxed schedule. They have Liverpool away this weekend with no Rio or Vidic so who knows where we'll stand after that.
Yea I agree. I don't mean to suggest that I expect Arsenal to win every match besides the ones I highlighted, but I do think that they could potentially keep pace with United as it is possible the Mancs may stumble in a game here or there and get a few draws outside of their games I mentioned as well.

Surely one would have to say that if either team is more likely to come up lame in a few fixtures and end up with a draw in a match up they should win, it's Arsenal. Looking at the players at each team's disposal and the strength of defense (even with United's injuries), you'd expect less slip ups from Manchester United than Arsenal. But it's certainly conceivable that Arsenal could take care of business against the teams they should and end up outpacing United. Arsenal are the clear underdogs, but not by such a margin that they don't have a legitimate shot of winning the league.

You raise an interesting point about the potential benefits of Arsenal getting knocked out of the CL next Tuesday. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
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klc123
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Post by klc123 » 03 Mar 2011, 00:26

I hope he doesn't play Pique and Busquets in CB against Arsenal. It didn't work very today against Valencia, and Valencia work a much slower build up than what we will be expecting from Arsenal. The main problem lies in the fact that having Busquets in the middle with Xavi and Iniesta can be absolutely pivotal to how Barca play. The tempo and passing is much more controlled and dominating with Busquets given a bit of freedom to move in and around the centre backs, giving Xavi and Andres much more support. This was the main issue with Barca today against Valencia, they weren't creating as much chances as they normally did.

For me, Arsenal would have a chance if they had their first team, and Walcott was playing. He is the perfect player to have against Barcelona, because his relentless speed is just devastatingly effective against the Barca back four who aren't particularly fast. On paper it should be a walk over for Barca, but this is CL and you never know what will happen, so i'll still be nervous till I see Barca 3-0 :D

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Post by TommyGun » 03 Mar 2011, 00:30

ajc wrote: Yea I agree. I don't mean to suggest that I expect Arsenal to win every match besides the ones I highlighted, but I do think that they could potentially keep pace with United as it is possible the Mancs may stumble in a game here or there and get a few draws outside of their games I mentioned as well.

Surely one would have to say that if either team is more likely to come up lame in a few fixtures and end up with a draw in a match up they should win, it's Arsenal. Looking at the players at each team's disposal and the strength of defense (even with United's injuries), you'd expect less slip ups from Manchester United than Arsenal. But it's certainly conceivable that Arsenal could take care of business against the teams they should and end up outpacing United. Arsenal are the clear underdogs, but not by such a margin that they don't have a legitimate shot of winning the league.

You raise an interesting point about the potential benefits of Arsenal getting knocked out of the CL next Tuesday. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Yeah, United might have hiccups just as we will, especially if they maintain that away form. I don't have a ton of faith in teams beating United, but draws can come out of anywhere. I could see United playing some weaker squads against weaker league competition if advancing in the CL because they'll be juggling the FA, League, and CL with 2 games a week. We at least get Ramsey back for cover and most of our injuries will be cleared up by the end of the month.

The next round of the CL could be anyone so I'd much rather focus on the league if in fact our last CL game is next week. I'd normally be a little bitter about it but with our league position, I really would like to do all we can to stay consistent on the run in. We both can agree that United have a tougher road in and arguably a more congested schedule if we were to bow out of CL and/or the FA cup to them in the next round. The more United players have to play, fitness/injuries/discipline issues are bound to happen. I just hope we get our back situated because we sure haven't made it easy.
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Post by ajc » 07 Mar 2011, 05:04

I don't claim to be a neutral when it comes to watching Arsenal, but it seemed to me that they were unfortunate not to get a goal against Sunderland. There were several calls that were questionable at best and could be more accurately described as wrong.

Arshavin was onside when he took it around the keeper late in the match and he also should have had a penalty. I know they weren't the most obvious of errors as it is impossible to call everything right when observing play at game speed- but in my opinion they were pretty bad. If Arshavin hadn't still tried to get a shot off as the defender barreled into his back it would have been easier for the official to make the call for the pk.

Sunderland's keeper made a few tremendous saves (Bendtner's volley, Nasri's free kick) and Chamakh was unlucky to have struck the woodwork with his header. With United's result early today it would have been terrific to snag all 3 points- hopefully this won't make the difference at the end of the season.

I must say though that Arsenal weren't as sharp as they should have been for the full 90 minutes, which certainly contributed to the 2 points on which they missed out. Arsenal took it to Sunderland for the last 20 minutes or so and if they had played more like that consistently over the course of the game they would have gotten a better result. Denilson looked awful at times, giving away possession far too often and easily. The officiating definitely played a part in the outcome (which is not something you like to see in any match) but one can't blame the referee wholly for Arsenal failing to get a result which would have really put the pressure on United.
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