One Hull of a title race… One Hell of a Champions League…

Morning All,

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since I’ve been away on my holidays, that is for sure. Again, many thanks to Debs especially and JAT and Wills for their contributions whilst I’ve been away… now that I’m back you will get a slightly more frequent set of posts… I hope!

I write this in the early hours of Wednesday morning having just seen Chelsea being beat by Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge and seen Mourinho say the word “best” twelve times in one sentence. Ah, the joys of the Champions League. It was a weird game, one where you thought Chelsea would eventually score, and one you didn’t think Inter Milan would. But Inter played a containment and counter attack game, which frustrated the home side. Looking at the stats post game, Inter actually had more shots on, shots off and corners, so maybe Mourinho was right.

What does mean to the Champions League – well, it means the rough and ready hard hitters which are Chelsea are out of the competition – and that’s good news for us in many ways – why? Because if we want to win the Champions League, Chelsea are a team that we would most likely like to avoid. We’ve played them without beating them this season – their rough and ready approach has been too much for us. It’s good for us in the Premiership too – confidence after losing to Inter Milan twice and Man City means that they’ll be low on confidence.

Personally, one thing that I noticed is that Chelsea didn’t have enough creativity to unlock the Inter defence and one thing we have an abundance of is just such a talent – players like Nasri, Rosicky, Cesc, Arshavin and Walcott are game changers and players that can create something out of nothing, create a pass through the defence, the eye of the needle stuff, and that is why we’re more prone to the Champions League. The teams left in the tournament do try and play – Inter, United, Lyon, etc and most likely Barcelona – and that’s a reason that we can consider the Champions League a realistic trophy that we can win. Of course we have a nemesis in Man United and of course we have revenge to exact on Barcelona, but if we want to win it, then we have to beat them all.

And of course, that’s something that has been prevalent in the title race and the win against Hull was sensational for us. We’ve been played well recently and are the form team in the Premiership – for the first time in a while, we have options – with Nasri, Arshavin, Rosicky, Arshavin etc and have a proper striker in Bendtner up front. But the more impressive thing, is that in the last couple of games, we’ve been winning – especially the 5-0 against Porto without our spine of Gallas – Cesc – Van Persie.

The run in is obviously very tight at the moment and Chelsea do have a game in hand, but our run in is definitely the easiest on paper – yes, I know, no games are easy, but we can definitely beat the likes of the lower teams and we definitely struggle against the better teams. With the exception of Man City at home and Sp*rs away, we should definitely win all our games. And to be honest, I don’t see why we can’t beat those two as well.

One player who can make a big impact on our season is Theo Walcott and every time he comes on he seems to scare the opposition into submission. I think he’s still better as an impact sub at the moment, but as he progresses, he will edge his way into the team.

Ray Parlour was recently on Question Time on Arsenal.com and had this to say about the young Englishman:

“Players like Theo Walcott have massive potential. I would not say he has had a bad season it is just that he has not had a run in the team. Against Burnley, he was brilliant, absolutely fantastic. But if you are going to be a big player you need to do that week in week out at a consistent level. Theo will do that once he gets his injuries sorted out. Once he does that he can be a massive player for Arsenal. The ball he put over at the start of the second half at Hull was like Beckham in his prime. But Theo has got pace as well. He has just got to get injury free now and get a run in the team.”

His first few games back to be honest were poor, but since then, he has been getting better and better and he is starting to look the part now. He can cross, dribble, run and pass, maybe he will be the key to winning the title and Champions League. People forget Theo is only 20… and the player himself is out to prove himself:

“I have had so many injuries this season, people don’t realise how hard it is to come back from setback after setback after setback. You can’t be at your best straight away and if you think you can, then you put more pressure on yourself. That’s what I had been doing this season. The best thing is I do know what’s going on on the outside, but I don’t listen to it, I only listen to people around me. It’s doesn’t bother me whatsoever. Maybe if I keep performing like I have it will shut people up.”

With no midweek game this week, a close look around the CL and run will keep us busy and a preview of the West Ham game this weekend to come…

Until tomorrow, adios for now…

  • Richard Buxcey

    have come to the conclusion that Stan Collymore is sexually attracted to Arsenal Football Club.

    He continually digs Arsenal out and I can’t think of any reason why he does it except that he fancies us.

    I think the novelty of dogging and woman-beating has worn thin with Stan so he needs a new sexual thrill to chase.

    Trying to mug Arsenal off is his new thing. I bet he bashes one out every-time he writes something about us.

    I can just imagine him sitting in his plush broom cupboard at Daily Mirror HQ. The lights are dim, the door slightly open so he might get caught, trousers round his ankles with lube squirted in one hand while he uses the other to scroll his lap-top on Arsenal.com for wanking material.

    Nikki B’s profile is his new fave.

    The man needs to stop having these depraved thoughts about the Gunners and see a doctor. Fancying a football club cannot be good for your health.

    I’ve read about his mental health in his book and to be honest, that is no laughing matter. But even that cannot be used as an excuse for his obsession with all things Arsenal-related.

    Collymore says that we Gooners need to eat humble pie over Bendtner because 30,000 of us booed the boy in the past. When was that?

    It’s just another blag from the dopey bastard who, like many others, has egg on his face from dismissing Arsenal only to be proved wrong.

    If anyone needs to eat humble pie it is Stan Collymore. Then again he’d probably like that because he’d think he had just been cream-pied.

    The pervy bastard.

    Collymore is a joke. An ex-pro who believes he was better than what he was. The chip on his shoulder is larger than J-Lo’s arse after a cake binge.

    I suggest Stan gets a new ‘fantasy’ because the Arsenal one is getting mightily boring now.

  • sid

    Chelsea out of the Champions League could be massive result for Arsenal for two reasons.

    One, it removes an opponent that has already beaten us twice this season from the competition and two, because it has the psychological potential to derail Chelsea’s Premier League campaign.

    John Terry’s deranged reaction at the end of the match was typical of Chelsea’s obsession of becoming European champions. Every manager since Jose Mourinho has been hired to win the Champions League and every one of them has failed.

    Roman Abramovich won’t be happy. Carlo Ancelotti will be worried. The players will be devastated.

    Playing well after a Champions League game, let alone one as disappointing as this, is never an easy task. But what is even worse for Chelsea (and quite excellent for Arsenal) is that they face a bruising encounter with Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn, a team that has won its last four home games.

    I think they will drop points and if they do I feel they will go on and fall out of the title race.

    This weekend is also a big one for our other title challenger, Manchester United, who host Liverpool at Old Trafford.

    United have the advantage of a week off but the FA’s unexplainable decision not to suspend Steven Gerrard for elbowing Michael Brown will be a huge boost for the away side.

    Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are probably catching Liverpool at the worst possible time: still hanging onto to realistic hopes of finishing fourth and just recorded their first three-goal win since thumping Hull City 6-1 last September.

    It could be a very good weekend for the Arsenal if we take three points off West Ham at The Emirates.

    Thankfully everything suggests we will.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Anyone know when the draw for the Champions League Quarter Final is?

  • hello

    @ Gooner Get Ya…

    I know the draw is this Friday… not sure what time but I think it was at about 11/11:30ish in the morning last year…

  • sid

    11.10am

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Cheers hello and sid

  • devday

    The Champions League draw will be a big one for us… obviously getting CSKA or Bordeaux would be awesome, but Inter, United, Barcelona, Bayern will be tough…!!

    We’ll find out on Friday!

  • Nick

    I don’t want to have to play Bayern, Barcelona or Man U in the quarters. I’d love to draw CSKA (funny for Arshavin) or Bordeaux. If we do have to face Man U, Barca or Bayern I’d like it to be in the finals when hopefully RVP will be back and everyone would be healthy and it would be our best against their best.

    Chelsea have a tough task this weekend so lets hope they drop points and Liverpool can hand Man U a drop in points as well.

    Of course Gerrard escaped unpunished. It’s the same mentality as and Arsenal player having a broken leg being no big deal but Rooney being injured like that would cause the FA to change every rule in the book. English players get away with everything & foreign players get away with nothing.

  • dampatti

    bring on inter i say

  • dampatti

    anyone but those mancs

  • Lewis

    I wonder if AW was watching the Inter – Chelsea game last night and seen how to marshall Drogba out of a game. Strength supplemented by more strength and agression. Samuel and Lucio never gave him a kick for 180 mins of football, it was pure tactical genius and superior defending and know how. If Billy G goes come the summer, AW must realise he has to supplement Vermaelen with this type of player. Rarely do I enjoy a Chelsea game so much, but last night was thoroughly enjoyable. HAHA!!

  • Pissed off

    Yeah Lewis – your opinion is spot on. I do hope too than Wenger will realize that our defence needs such discipline and aggression to supplement Verminator , but of course that is if Gallas leaves.

  • Sam

    Both Chelsea & ManU play on Sunday. That means we’ll go top if (read when) we collect all 3 points on Saturday.
    I’d hate to say it, but this is a MUST WIN GAME!

  • yemi

    @sam: all games are must wins if we want to remain in the race. its gonna be a photo finish this season mate

  • Nick

    Bordeaux are through thanks to a header from Marouane in the 88th. Good to see a future Gunner on target.

  • Pissed off

    Not just a goal Nick; a very good goal attacked with venom.