Anyway, let’s look forward to the game, and hope that we’ll be on the top of our game.
Arsenal v FC Porto
UEFA Champions League, Emirates Stadium
Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 19:45
Team News sees the welcomed return of Samir Nasri. Of course Diaby, Eduardo and Rosicky are all out injured. Song has yet to return so it looks like we’ll have to field the only two fit central midfielders who’ve got any experience, of course, Cesc and Denilson. Even though Arsene said there would be changes, I think this is masked in the fact that Nasri is coming back, so inevitably would return to the starting XI.
As much as I’d like Ade dropped and Bendtner and Vela start, I don’t Arsene will do this. If anything, he’ll drop Van Persie and play Bendtner. I’d be in favour of this as Van Persie was very much ineffective on Saturday.
Apart from those two changes, can you really see Arsene changing much else? He should drop Gallas and play Djourou, but will he really? I sincerely doubt it.
Subs: Fabianksi, Silvestre, Djourou, Eboue, Ramsey, Vela, Van Persie.
We really do need to make amends for Saturday’s abysmal performance. Toure seems ready to make things right.
“We can’t just think about Hull. It’s true we lost and didn’t play well. But we didn’t play very well against Fulham and then we came back well in the next game when we beat Twente in the Champions League (qualifiers). For a team like Arsenal it’s always good to have a good reaction. Any team can fall down but it’s about how they react to defeat that matters. Tomorrow is a really good test and we will see if we can show another face. We are lucky we can play a match so soon after that and change everything in the minds of our fans. We want to show everyone we are still a good side. The manager, like everyone at the club, was very upset after Hull. If you want to be champions you need to win every game, especially when you play at home. We didn’t perform well. We’re professional and we know that when we play for Arsenal we can’t afford to lose like that. The manager didn’t have to say anything to us but he still had a few words. Every player was very sad and disappointed.”
Damn right. You play for Arsenal. You cannot afford to lose like that.
Jesualdo Ferreira, the Porto coach says he doesn’t need to worry about a backlash from us and also isn’t going to change his tactics.
“In the Champions League teams always play differently. Arsenal use different tactics to the ones they use in the Premier League. Arsenal losing at the weekend will not have an effect on Tuesday night. If Arsenal conceded a goal from the set-piece against Hull it doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t suddenly become something we look at.”
On reflecting on the game between the two sides 2 years ago, Ferreira said:
“There have been many changes since then. Arsenal have big players still but only Thierry Henry is missing who was there. Most of their players are bigger, older, better and more experienced. Porto weren’t able to keep up with Arsenal in that game but we were able to qualify from the group. Now we have different players, some left and some have come. At the moment the only thing we can say is that Arsenal have more experience and that could affect the outcome.”
And in the other game, Fenerbahce take on Dynamo Kiev and a draw would probably be the best result.
I’ll be at the game tonight, and despite the result on Saturday, I am still very excited and really can’t wait…