Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News

Archives

May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

It was simply an honour to be there. And by the way, we won 7-5

by Tony Attwood

I finally got home at around 12.30am, asleep by about 1am, and for some daft reason (probably called adrenalin) awake at 6am.  It was of course a momentous occasion, and one that will stay with me I suspect for the rest of my life.  The greatest game I have been at?  Yes, probably.  Beating Everton 4-0 to win the league with Tony Adams scoring directly in front of us for the last goal – that was great (and as with last night, an extraordinary atmosphere) but yes, giving the quality of the game and the atmosphere, this was probably it.

Walter’s article, which I read this morning, captured the mood, and no one needs the match reporting since everyone saw it.   But I threw in the number of shots on target in the headline, just in case that hadn’t actually been made clear.  We won on that count too.

Which is quite something considering the slickness of Barca in the first part of the game.

The atmosphere was the greatest ever at the ground, that is certainly true.  I have been truly fortunate in having been at the very first league game at the Ems, and at many since then, and indeed I was at the Barca game a year ago, but this was not just a bit more special, this was on a different planet.   Putting a flag on every seat was a nice touch, and during the regular build up it was noticeable that while the whole place was rocking there was one corner of the ground that seemed strangely subdued – from where I sit it looked as if the Barca fans hadn’t a clue how to respond.  They did have one little bouncing session part way through the game, but for the most part they didn’t take us on.

But even before we got into the ground we knew this was going to be different.   Touts outside the ground were offering tickets at £450 each (I genuinely heard “that will be £900 for the two mate”, and prior to leaving I was offered £450 for one of my two tickets.   But Stuart already had it – and after the game he couldn’t stop thanking me enough for it.  I wanted to tell him that actually it wasn’t me that was out there on the pitch, but then I thought, well, I don’t get that much praise in my life, so I’ll go with it).

Back to the prelims.   Walking from the tube to the ground it was just, well, different, different, different.  More chanting and shouting even that when we play the Tinies.  More energy.  More buzz.  I was so totally wound up I couldn’t even go and get my regular fish and chips.

What I remember more than anything about the game a year ago was the way after 10 minutes I was just sitting there with my mouth hanging open wondering how we could be pulled apart so easily.   There was an element of that in the first half, but, there was also an element that suggested that we might just find out how to do it.

It made it so clear to me that in most games we profit by the opposition giving the ball away to us, and we charge on.   But Barca don’t.   They play like Arsenal at our best – but for longer spells.  That’s all the difference is.

And then after half time we saw it. The most audacious tactical change ever in the history of football.  Nothing less than the total re-writing of the laws of physics.  Robin VP kicks the ball.  There is no room for the ball to go between the keeper and the post.  The ball shrinks.  The post moves out an inch.   The ball goes through, and returns to its normal size.  Amazing!   Unprecedented.   The head of the Royal Society is, I am told, on the spot at this very moment, investigating.  This could lead to a whole new realm of science, opening the door to transportation into the quantum world.

As for Arshavin, what a brilliant ploy.  Make him play poorly for a month.  Let him get his form back.   Then drop him, and then bring him on as a sub to score the winner.   How do you work such things out?

No one around me was happy with Theo coming off, and there were those behind me saying “Nasri’s in trouble – injury’s back – Wenger shouldn’t have risked him.”   I just hope they reflect for a moment – that change of tactic with worked a treat.  Theo was played out, they dismissed Bendtner as a typical “bring on the big man” ploy, and they had no idea how to play Arshavin.

After the game the crowd stayed.  I don’t know if on TV you got to see any of it, but Arshavin rushed off the pitch and straight down the tunnel, while others hung around.  Robin came over to the Red Action end and cheered us all, while Sczcscszjssny gave his gloves to a lucky kid.   (If you watch TV you probably didn’t see the event a game or two ago where Eboue took off all his clothes down to his pants and gave them to people in the crowd, but that’s another story.)

They loved us, we loved them.

It was good, it was special, it was an honour to be part of it.

Oh and by the way – do have a look at Phil Gregory’s preview, and the score he predicted.   You should have had a bet on his prediction.

Walter and family wreck the joint

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

79 comments to It was simply an honour to be there. And by the way, we won 7-5

  • Mitch

    Damn i wish i was there and i wish television here in South Africa showed the events after the game.
    I was at a pub with mates and we were tearing it up in there from the first minute to the last i knew Arsenal would win. Amazing day i am still buzzing.

  • Arselicked

    The writing is too small to read, is it my computer or have you reduced the font size

  • Damien

    The awakening hast come

  • there is a guy down the pub yesterday, he it told me arsenal would to a 2-1 either ways just before the game, glad he was there.

    Anyway, last night was Arsenal night, it doesn’t matter how they made it but it is sensationnal how the kids managed their games, they let barça running around with the ball for the entire first half and after 60 minutes, the spanish were burned, Arsenal started to devellop quicker and then comes Robin’s goal, I think everyone at the pub was stunned, no one realize he scored for the first 10 seconds, and then joy exploded, 5 minutes later, the barman couldn’t handle all the orders when Arshavin scored his goal.

    In fact, I just dream we can make it at Camp Nou but I have to say that even a defeat (as long as it’s a thing like 1-0 won’t bother me, well for now =D.

    Arsenal Till I die

  • Daniel G

    OH TO BE A GUNNER….WHAT AN AMAZING FEELING.
    ALL THE WAY FROM ETHIOPIA.
    I SCREAMED UNTIL I GOT A HEAD ACHE FROM IT.I COULDNOT REMEMBER TEH LAST TIME I WENT THAT CRAZY….OMG!

  • Hendry Rupini

    Can we watch some of those after the match action?…can someone please upload it on you tube..

  • Simon

    the media in this country are absolutely unbelievable.listening to taksport this morning and i cant believe the lack of credit we are getting from the so called experts.alan brazil had nigel winterburn on the phone today and i dont think brazil gave us one compliment in the entire interview.the only thing he talked about was how brilliant barca were,how they were unlucky with the ‘offside’ goal,how fit barca are and how hard a task it will be to finish the job.honestly you would think we had lost the game.this sort of attitude towards arsenal infuriates me.people talk about our lack of fight and whether we can play on the biggest stage…..so we go and beat the worlds best team and the media still cant give us any credit.sickening.

  • anthony

    Isn’t it fantastic when the heart wins out? Victoria concordia crescit.
    I guess my overall takeaway point would be that tonight was a vision of what we can be. Maybe we’re not there yet, and it won’t always be this good, of course. But all the problems Arsenal have had faded away last night, and for one perfect evening, everything fell into place, and Arsenal FC were the club we want it to be and what it is at our very best. Great atmosphere at the ground? Usually not, but it was tonight (see video below). Shaky goalkeeper? We’ve had that in the past, but Wojo is excellent and getting better, and had a good night. Blowing a late lead? It’s our bugaboo, but yesterday we’re the ones who came from behind and took the match. Mental weakness? Nope — we were absolutely fearless. I think we saw a glimpse of all of Wenger’s promises coming to fruition. Wenger steered us through a very tough financial period when we moved into the Emirates, and while we haven’t won any trophies there yet, we haven’t dropped out of the top 4, and have gone from one of England’s bigger sides to one of the biggest sides in all of Europe. You’ve heard me say it before, and I will say it again — Wenger has never gotten, and probably will never get, enough credit for what he’s done the last 6 years. That some fans actually have called for his job boggles my mind.

  • Shard

    The atmosphere was fantastic last night.. I actually heard chants of come on Arsenal, just after Barca scored. Loud enough to drown out the Barca fans’ singing and shouting.

    Not only were Barcelona beaten. They were beaten by us playing OUR game. So, they kept the ball better. So they were unlucky with some goal, so this is only the first leg.. Well, so F***ing what?? We’ve always heard that these are excuses when it’s us who lose a game despite dominating in a fashion that Barca did NOT do last night. And still it’s about them and not us. Well, you know what. It doesn’t matter. WE did it. OUR way. The rest can go do one..

  • Imran Khan

    Our support was amazing! We had belief, the right attitude and played our hearts out. I am so proud to support this great team steeped in tradition, history and class…

    UP THE GUNNERS

  • Ingo Marchand

    take it easy anthony. luckily few stupid “fans” dont make decisions. the board at arsenal is very smart.

  • Shard

    @ simon

    Contrast that to the reactions to Spurs’ (albeit good) win over Milan. Why is it that it sticks in the craw of the English media so much to praise Arsenal? Even if it’s done it’s grudging or given with riders.. Never whole hearted. Seriously, it can’t be just the ‘foreigners’ stuff? Not JUST that…can it??

  • Padar

    Absolutley brilliant game.
    Arsenal played magnificent, and played Barca the way they should be played. So proud to be an Arsenal man right now.
    Thank You Arsenal FC…

  • John Stanton

    Some media myths laid to rest last night:
    1. Emirates is a library – I heard 57,000 voices belting out ARSENAL all night even when we were 1-0 down. Best atmosphere I have ever felt in a football stadium.
    2. Arsenal can’t defend. OK we let in a goal, but I challenge any team on the planet to have withstood the Barca pressure. Koscielny had his best game ever for Arsenal – and in the second half especially, looked every bit a world class defender.
    3. We are just a bunch of kids who will never win anything. Read Cesc’s programme notes. Barca never won anything for 5 years while Xavi, Iniesta et al were growing up. We are now reaching that age when the trophies start rolling in. OK we haven’t won anything yet, but this win will reinforce the self belief that will generate a winning mentality and produce regular trophies for years to come.
    Fantastic night – lets just bask in the glory for a couple of days then get on with the next trophy.

  • Shard

    @John Stanton

    Did Cesc put that point in his notes?? That is very pleasantly suprising for me.. Good on Cesc.

  • Marcus

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VG9g-CdywQ

    Interesting listening to the apoplectic pundits on Flamini’s “horror” challenge.

    Strange how animated they get over this bad challenge, and how blase they are when someone tries to break a Gooner leg.

    What would be hilarious, were it not so serious, is that the ‘he takes the ball’ mantra is nowhere to be heard all of a sudden…..

    But we all now the schtick by now.

  • JRR

    Fantastic result and celebrated by every Gooner around the world. I watched in a pub in North London the place went bezerk when Arshavin scored. The beer was dripping from the ceiling for the rest of the night.

    Every blog is celebrating this morning. Although I do think some are being a bit harsh on Cesc. I thought he had a pretty good game but was clearly identified as the danger man by Barca. My own view is that their focus on Cesc allowed Jack to shine.

    I would love to knock them out in Barca but even if we don’t nothing can take away this win.

    One last point at Camp Nou I do wonder if Song is our best choice. A lot of people will suggest Diaby is the better option. But I wonder if maybe Denilson is a better choice – belive me there are some websites where I would not be brave enough to make such a “heretical” suggestion.

  • nkanee

    I was with some friends in the Airforce Mess. I never knew when i pulled off my Arsenal jersey even though it,s unmilitary.We played well and deserve to win. Nou camp here we come.

  • Simon

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/9400148.stm

    Love this man to take over when le boss retires

  • Arselicked, if I were changing a font size today it would be to double or treble size. No it must be your computer.

    Try hitting Control and + together a few times. It might not change the font size but I find it helps calm me down.

    Tony

  • Simon Bailey

    Technical support too Tony? Ideal.

  • Lanesra

    ‘They said: I bet they’ll never make it
    But just look at what’s going on
    We’re still together, still going strong…’

    OK. No silverware of late but in the meantime AW has been building a squad and a style that is changing the way football should be organised and played across Europe. Every club watches our videos when training players and staff. I’ve always been astonished that people, and I specially include those legions of anti-Arsenal pundits, just don’t get it – Arsenal is single-handedly altering the sport and making it a much greater joy to watch. Yes, of course we can deal with the Nou Camp. Keep tha faith!

  • walter

    This was a victory of all the forces joining togehter: the supporters in the emirates, the supporters worldwide who send their telepathic support to the Emirates, the player and our manager

    In fact just these three words about yesterday and they say it all : VICTORIA CONCORDIA CRESCIT

  • Paul C.

    Tony – since leaving the UK many years ago I have settled into the thought of watching Arsenal on TV or PC only. I enjoy it actually.

    BUT I AM SO JEALOUS THAT YOU WERE THERE LAST NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Some additional thoughts:

    Koscielny this morning about Barca’s goal: “We made a mistake conceding the goal, I should not have tried to play offside”. Isnt that great? Honesty and maturity. I like this guy more and more. It didnt hurt he played a blinder after that as well.

    As Arsenal fans we now need to be very careful with Jack Wilshire. We need to help him. We have to be careful how much we expect from him.

    When RvP is injured we tend to forget what an important piece of our puzzle he is.

    Big hand to Eboue. Is he the best reserve rightback in the world?

  • More Fire!!!!!!!

    The GOONERS HAVE ARRIVED TO STAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Last night was a watershed moment equivalent to the 2-o win at the San Siro. The San Siro moment could not last because we lost Flamini (in particular) and Hleb. That midfield has been rebuilt in the form of Jack, Cesc and Song. This time the GOONERS are HERE TO STAY!!!!!!!!! The youth development project is officially over! BRING ON THE TROPHIES starting with the league this year.

    So its half-time against Barca you say, but it will last for THREE WEEKS OF PURE JOY!Lets savour this moment and milk it for eternity.

    MORE FIRE!!!!!!!!

  • It was interesting even here in Bosnia as Arsenal and Barcelona have organized supporter groups who watched this game together… And Barca lost this time, lost in every meaning of it. Their comment was “Pep boys are just humans too”… Oh yes they are, and we ll try to show them it again.

    One of days when you just wake and suddenly there is nothing than Arsenal, you look for another replay of game, you watch goals in slow-motion, fast-forward, any way , you just look at it, proud to be part of history.

  • Arselicked

    Sorry Tony, we are learning everyday. I checked the ‘View’ option and found that it had selected the smallest option. My Mistake.

    Maybe my computer reacted to the last night’s wonderful performance by the team.

    @JRR, i was telling one of my friends that i was hoping AW would bring in Denilson for Song ‘cos he seemed like he could end up getting a red card. My friend was having none of it but i believe Denilson was the man at the time. I still feel Song should play but in his absence i think Denilson is my choice.

  • Paul C.

    I think Song was handicapped badly by that early yellow. He was then told off for dissent and you could see he was treading the line at that stage.

    Song is a better player than Denilson and Diaby.

    Therefore Song should play.

    Sometimes you can over-analyze things.

  • Arselicked

    In other quarters they are saying Barca players were tired.

    Somebody needs to give them AFC fixture list for December, January and February to see just what fixture congestion means.

    Cesc looked tired too and Barca had a winter break.

  • carlos

    last night i shouted so lound for so long i’m having headache when i woke up

  • Mik

    I remember watching a Tottenham CL game once and I never heard the commentators being so excited throughout the game.

    @Shard you said. We beat Barca playing OUR game. We scored typical Arsenal goals. nothing else

  • Game as it happened is important because army of advisers which were explaining how should Arsenal play Barca, how to defend, how to became Stoke or Sporting Gijon.
    I d rather lose than se Arsenal parked bus (like Chavski few years ago), and what is more important Arsenal proved they can (we can) win playing our football.

  • Very interesting to see the papers in Spain today – there is a lot of talk about Barca being over the hill, the manager losing it, poor substitution and the like.

    Reads like the way the English papers talk about Arsenal at every opportunity. Absolutely no eulogising about Barca – they thought it a poor show.

  • terry

    Very good win by Arsenal but they need to remain composed, people like Fabregas, Wilshere and Wenger celebrating like they won the Champions League, the fact is that Barcelona were the better side and couldve won by 3 if they werent so unbelievably sloppy in their final ball. Wenger has come out and said that Arsenal will attack Barcelona at the Nou Camp, well good luck to him if he wants to do that, he tried it last year and it failed big time and now Barcelona will be pumped up for the return leg. Arsenal would do well to play a very defensive game and then use Walcott and co.’s pace to counter attack, it worked a treat towards the end of yesterdays match when Barcelona took their foot off the pedal and started committing alot of men forward to fill up the midfield and attacking areas, Arsenal need to use that 15 minute spell as their blue print for the Nou Camp, if Barcelona have one weakness its the same as Arsenal – neither team likes or wants to change its game plan to adapt to the situation, if Arsenal want to knock out Barcelona and prove their doubters wrong then they need to take that step, if not well good luck to them at the Nou Camp but I highly doubt Messi and his teammates will be as sloppy as they were yesterday next time these two teams meet

  • Anne

    @Simon: “the media in this country are absolutely unbelievable.listening to taksport this morning and i cant believe the lack of credit we are getting from the so called experts.”

    Simon, as a die-hard Barca fan, I’m with you 100% on this. In fact, that’s why I’m here in the first place. I’m hoping that somewhere, in the comments section of some obscure Arsenal blog, someone will enlighten me as to the truth and reasoning behind this political smear campaign against Arsenal.

    This concerns me personally as a Barca fan, because all of this incessant Barcelona-worship in the English media insults Barca just as much as it does Arsenal. Because there’s nothing sincere about it. There’s no honest critique of Barca’s football. I know enough about politics to recognize that they’re just building Barca up to beat Arsenal down. But WHY?!

    In contrast to recent published reports, I’ll give my honest assessment of what I saw in the match last night. Statistically, Arsenal and Barca are nearly even, with an edge to Arsenal on corners and shots on goal. While Barcelona may have dominated possession, the vast majority of that possession was spent piddling around in midfield while failing to create meaningful scoring opportunities.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, played a passing game that was precise, incisive, and deadly at crucial moments. When they got the ball, they took it where it needed to go with a precision that was frankly astonishing. Last night, Arsenal took “Barcelona’s” game to a different level, and exposed weaknesses in Barca that no team has ever exposed before. And however I might feel about that personally, it kills me that Arsenal isn’t getting any credit for it.

    And this is coming from a Barca fan!!! I’m prepared to argue that, despite all of the above, Barca would still be the better team on a different night. But how can I even get there when the rest of the world is still extolling Barca’s “brilliant” (aka crappy) performance, and claiming that Arsenal only won the match based on luck? Frankly, my sense of fairplay is forcing me to defend Arsenal over Barca at this point, and I’d really like to get that problem resolved before the 2nd leg!:) Any thoughts?

    All jokes aside, congrats on a brilliant win last night Gooners.

  • terry

    Dont worry anne you’ll rinse them at the camp then these guys will come back to earth

  • gooner80

    @Terry

    barca didnt take their foot off the pedal they were burnt out check out the opta stats they ran themselves ragged as with the two ties last year barca cant keep that intensity for 60 mins let alone 90.

    I have criticised Aw tactics b4 but he played a master stroke as he knew barca would tire.

    Anyone who checks the stats out will see barca only outplayed us possession wise, they are great at that but in the 07-08 season we dominated sides on possession most notably at old trafford and was told by the experts possession counts for nothing.

    anyone who looked at the body language of the barca team knows a picture is worth a thousand words. Barca were not very solid at the back and when people bring in hypothetical arguments it is more conceivable to say if arsenal were clinical with the chances they had we could have won 4-1 with sagna back and a good opening 45 mins at camp nou i think barca will have some trouble

  • Evil

    @Anne
    Plain and simple, it’s because of Arsene Wenger. He is seen as foreign by the English media and there is an inherit xenophobic bias against him. Partially because of the way he has built his teams and the tactics he has eomployed. Furthermore, his statements in the media have always created controversy which only helped to fuel the fires of the already anti-arsenal media. For example, he once claimed in 2002 that his team could stay unbeaten a whole season. Oh how the pundits laughed, especially as Arsenal lost a game just a short while later.
    But then, in 2003/2004 the pundits had no choice as to grimace with pain as one truckload after another of humble pie was shoved down their throats when Arsene’s prediction came true and Arsenal managed to go unbeaten.

  • Paul C.

    Anne – The funny thing is that, for 51 weeks of the year, Arsenal are ridiculed in the English media for playing “too much possession football” and “wanting to walk the ball into the goal” and being “all style and no substance”. Sound familiar? And yet both Barcelona and Spain play that exact same style and the English media eulogize them beyond belief. Spurs build a good side finally after two decades of mediocrity and they are hailed as “a breath of fresh air” for wanting to play attacking football, and Arsenal are constantly berated for not having a good enough defense to win anything (even though we have scored 19 more goals this season than Spurs and conceded one fewer, despite missing our best defender through injury ALL SEASON and conceding 4 in a freak result at Newcastle after Djourou went off injured and Diaby was sent off).

    As Arsenal fans we are well used to it by now. It still grates sometimes but most of us laugh about it.

    My own assessment of last night was that it was an unbelievably high quality match which featured some of the best attacking skills in the world. Messi was unlucky with his chances and RvP was sloppy with his (except the crucial equaliser). Barca dominated possession, but Arsenal were more incisive over 90 minutes (although from the 26th minute to halftime Barca had us on the ropes). The match made the previous nights Milan-Spurs match look like 2nd division stuff (in truth Milan looked 2nd division, Spurs looked solid and organized). If the two teams put on a similar display in Barcelona we are all in for a treat, because I expect Barca to dominate possession again, but you guys will be petrified of Nasri, Walcott, Cesc, and RvP on the counter-attack. People will go on about last seasons 4-1 result but we had Almunia in goal, Silvestre in central defense, Denilson, Diaby and Rosicky in midfield, and Bentdner leading the line. On the bench we had Eastmond, Eduardo, Traore, Eboue, and Merida. Not much comparison really is there?

    I think it will be a fabulous night and still consider Barca favorites. But after last night I am now 100% confident we deserve to be on the same field as Barca and that we are capable of getting an away goal.

    Roll on March 8th!!!!!

  • gooner80

    Anne

    very nice of you to say that,when you read the comments most arsenal fans applaud barca on the field not so much off the field though. everyone in england automatically compares arsenal to barca,but in the last two years we have learnt to play less possession football and more effective football, we can still keep the ball really well and nullify the opposition when needed if our team stays together I believe we would be better than barca people like TERRY doesnt want this to happen because we would dominate the prem.

    I must say I have alot of respect for pep he is a gentleman

  • Evil

    @Terry
    Don’t joke. We did not play defensively yesterday in the last 15 minutes. If you remember correctly, we actually took of one defensive player in Song to bring on Arshavin. We played MORE offensively as the game was for the taking after Pep made the mistake of taking Villa off. With that substitution he invited us to attack and we did. The difference between us and them clearly showed yesterday. Barca are the masters of keeping possession, of dominating teams simply by keeping the ball in midfield and slicing through them at their will. But I believe yesterday proved that the fast counter attack is still the thing no one does better than Arsenal. By always keeping a high defensive line and the way our formation was set up, Barca were forced to commit men forward and pack the midfield somewhat. Most of the times, the full backs were the widest Barca players while people like Pedro or Messi had to stay closer to the centre. And this in turn played in our hands because when we won the ball back we just needed few quick passes to pass their midfield by and then could utilise the speed and ability of players like Walcott or Arshavin for a quick break. Just look at the 2nd goal and you will see what Arsenal is all about. That goal epitomises everything good about Arsenal. Incredible ball playing defenders, quick thinking midfielders with vision and the ability to keep a cool head despite intense pressure and offensive players that have an eye for and play for each other.

  • Paul C.

    Evil – nice post. I also think the Barca full-backs are there to be beaten. Alves is a majestic attacking player but he leaves acres of space behind him, and Maxwell simply does not have the pace to cover Walcott. Missing Pique will be huge. He covers so much ground for Barca at the back. We couldnt exploit his absence last season without RvP but this time could be different. Nasri and Walcott are also miles ahead of where they were this time last year.

    It will all come down to how well we use our limited possession. If we can be as incisive as we were last night we will have a great chance.

    We need to score, it is as simple as that. There is no way on earth I can see 0-0 and if Barca score, then we must as well due to the away goal.

  • Paul C.

    Gooner80 – just to comment on your thing about “most arsenal fans applaud barca on the field not so much off the field though”. I assume you mean the Cesc stuff last summer. Sid Lowe, who covers Spanish football for the Guardian, did a big piece earlier in the season in which he talked about that. It seems the Barca were NOT going on about Cesc every day. That was simply the Spanish (especially Catalan) media dredging up old quotes day after day and repeating them ad nauseum.

    It was very interesting to read Joan Laporta’s comments the other day. Although he came out with the typical rubbish about Cesc coming home being justice, he also admitted that Barca used their main transfer budget last summer on Villa and that they only had limited funds to spare for a bid for Cesc. He admitted that Barca knew that the bid would be too low and rejected but they wanted to try anyway, as is their right. He basically admitted that as soon as Arsenal turned down the bid (PRIOR to the World Cup) they knew a deal was dead. After that it was simply the Catalan media that wouldnt let it go. Xavi, Puyol, and the rest were NOT talking about Cesc every day.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    @ Terry,
    Nice of you to make your 2.28pm post. I read all your posts in the pre-match write up titled:Barcelona: the teams, the predictions by Phil.

    In those pre-match posts, you were cocksure Barca would beat us soundly thereby forcing us to admit that we are not what wekve been deluding ourselves that we are.

    When the game turned in our favor, my mind went to you and I wondered if you would not prefer to make yourself scarce on this blog for awhile. So, kudos for your post.

    However, I see now that in your books,

    1. Arsenal players and coach weren’t supposed to have celebrated their win. Why they should act different from every other team in the world in heartily celebrating a win, you didn’t elaborate.

    2. Arsenal won because Barca “was so unbelievely sloppy in their final ball”. Apparently they just chose to be so; it had nothing to do with the great numbers with which Arsenal defended or the great game our 2 CBs had.

    3. Arsenal was in error not to have taken your great tactical advise in the first game and this fact will be shown in Camp Nou if they dare defy your tactical advise again.

    Now Terry, here is my dare to you: watch the game again and identify in this blog, 3 things that Arsenal did right and 3 Arsenal players that played great and made the victory possible.
    The victory might have been a fluke in your books, never ever to be repeated again but as Barca didn’t travel all the way to Emirates to throw the game, even you, Terry MUST be able to own up to some things that Arsenal did well to merit the scoreline.
    You owe it to this blog, an Arsenal Suppoters’ blog to first identify those positives BEFORE you go on sprouting your critical stuff.

    Lastly, talking about who could have scored a 3rd goal, I feel that had Bendtner squared the ball back to *rshavin on the 85/86th minute (i.e. after our second goal) instead of trying to score as ?an @ersie scored the first goal, it would have been 3 – 1 to the Arsenal.

  • Byo

    @Terry- I have to give it to you-I went back and read your pre-match comments. Still have the balls to post comments here? I assume after eating humble pie or crow? Wenger did not listen to your expert advice for yesterday’s match. I know he will not either for the return leg.
    By the way, are you a Spurs fan?

  • gooner80

    @paul c

    not just the cesc stuff incidents like the inter game and turning on sprinklers even today you should read Xavi comments about how inferior he thought arsenal was and that they should have won,critic is right about barca being classless off the field with the exception of pep.

    If and it`s a BIG IF, if we win at the nou camp or get a draw players like xavi will have something mean to say they are very bad losers, inter over two legs were the better team and there is a few more things that they have done but cant think of for the life of me,

    I think man u should be worried if we get back to a couple of points behind them and then the game at the ems even dodgy ref decisons wont be able to save them they may have to call for spider man Mr webb to tip the scales

  • Shard

    @Paul C.

    While that is understandable about the catalan press, yet it wasn’t them who forced a Barcelona jersey on Fabregas at the World Cup celebration. That to me shows their mindset well enough. Whether the quotes be fresh or not, it was them making it, including Villa once he’d joined them. Hleb did that too when he joined. Don’t tell me Barca don’t encourage that.

  • Anne

    @Evil,

    So far, your Xenophobia argument is the only real explanation that anyone has been able to offer me as to why the English media might have it in for Arsenal. But I’m not sure that I buy it.

    First, I should explain that my personal background is in politics and criminal law, rather than football. From that perspective, what’s happening to Arsenal in the media appears to be nothing more than your garden-variety political smear campaign. I’ve never seen it in football before, but whoever’s behind it isn’t exactly re-inventing the wheel, tactically. And in politics, the only reason you’d see that kind of campaign is if someone stands to lose a lot of money and/or power. So, from that perspective, my first instinct would be to question what kind of financial threat Arsenal poses to other interested parties. Xenophobia might be a partial motivator, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d have to say that someone’s finances are in play as well. Don’t know how or why, but it’s just political “common sense”…

    @PaulC: I agree that media treatment of Arsenal in relation to Barca, etc. is extremely hypocritical. In fact, it’s too blatantly hypocrytical to occur without a reason. But what is that reason? That’s what I want to know. And btw, I think it’s extremely charitable of you to call the 4-4 draw at Newcastle a “freak result” 🙂

    @Everyone Else re the Barca Return Leg: I don’t want to take anything away from the beautiful, attacking football that Arsenal played last night, but the truth is that Barca really wasn’t in top form. They had a great run of form over the last few months, but they started to drop off against Atletico Madrid a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re in a real slump. I think that either Barca or Arsenal is capable of winning at the Camp Nou, but it all depends on form. If Barca gets back to where they were a month ago, Arsenal will have to perform better than they did last night to advance. Otherwise, last night’s performance should be just about enough to make it interesting, I think. We’ll see! Either way, I’ll look forward to celebrating a victory for good football. Cheers! 🙂

  • Shard

    @Anne
    I was just about to say major props to you for your earlier post. As regards the form bit, I leave that to you since I don’t get to catch all of Barca’s games. But in the first half, I was just thinking….WOW!..about Barcelona. I mean we were playing well, and yet we weren’t close. The way they kept the ball was simply amazing to watch. They really are a special footballing side. The stuff off the field does rankle a bit though..

    Newcastle wasn’t a freak result and it really is heartening to see that people can recognise that. Even the media was fairly muted in its glee, perhaps out of embarrassment at what had happened, or that they just didn’t want it brought in the open. which brings us to why they hate Arsenal. I, like you, do not believe it’s just the whole foreign thing. That forms part of it, but it isn’t the prime mover. You bring in money into the discussion and that makes sense. But also, a few longtime supporters have mentioned that it’s not a new phenomenon. We’ve been labelled dirty, too Irish, and perhaps cheats (with reference to Henry Norris) since way back. So it may not be just a symptom of the Premier League cash rich era. Why this is, is an interesting question to which I would very much like to know the answer.

  • Anne

    @Gooner80: “not just the cesc stuff incidents like the inter game and turning on sprinklers even today you should read Xavi comments about how inferior he thought arsenal was and that they should have won,critic is right about barca being classless off the field with the exception of pep.”

    Although I can’t honestly disagree that some of the incidents surrounding the Cesc situation were, as you say, “classless,” I do think that you’re putting too much trust in the media to accurately represent statements by Barca players. We’ve already acknowledged here that the English media likes to stir up trouble where Arsenal is concerned, and I think it would be wrong to take their reported statements from Barcelona players at face value.

    Just as an example, I’ll take Xavi’s recent “comments” that you mentioned about how “inferior” Arsenal is. I actually traced those comments earlier this evening, and he never implied that Arsenal was an inferior team. The statements by Xavi were originally published by Marca, which is a pro-Real Madrid tabloid in the Spanish capital. If you’re not familiar with the way Spanish sports media works, you basically have competing pro-Madrid and pro-Barca tabloids that sell themselves by trashing the “opposition” in whatever way possible.

    So, anything published in Marca would generally start with the goal of making Xavi look as bad as possible. When I read the original Marca article, sure enough, they included a lot of quotes from Xavi, but they didn’t provide any context for the statements, leaving the impression that they may have been taken out of context. Then, when the English press picked up the story from Marca, they cherry-picked the quotes that were most derrogatory to Arsenal, and translated them in such a way that they sounded even worse than they did in Spanish.

    I guess my point is not that Barcelona is perfect or blameless or any of that, but that you should have more skepticism towards your press sources before you pass judgement. If anyone here is actually interested in this, just let me know, and I’ll be happy to translate the original Marca article with the quotes from Xavi, and you can judge for yourselves. Just let me know if you want me to do it.

  • Paul C.

    Anne – I dont think any of us are foolish enough to think that Barcelona in top form would be more than capable of overturning last nights result. I still consider them the best team in the world and I will still think that regardless of the result in the 2nd leg. As they say “form is temporary, class is permanent”. If we benefit from Barca being slightly off-colour and go through I will gladly take it, but they remain the standard to which every team in the world aspires right now. One-off results dont change that. I have always thought that League consistency is far more of an indicator than Cup results, and the Champions League is still a Cup competition.

    When I say that the Newcastle game was a freak result, I mean that it was one of those days when everything was turned on its head for a few hours. That day saw a record number of goals scored in the EPL. Wolves beat Manchester United. And we went from a completely secure position, cruising, to chaos in a matter of minutes when Djourou went off injured, Diaby got sent off despite the fact that Barton cut him in half with a tackle that warranted a red card by itself, and two dubious penalties were awarded against us (especially the second penalty). When things like that happen, you just shake your head and say “oh well”. I think 99 times out of 100 we hold on and win that game. That is what I mean by “freak”.

    Regarding the media thing, that has its roots way back in the 1930’s, when Arsenal became the first London club to break the Northern monopoly on English Football. Clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool have always been regarded as the “soul” of English Football by anyone who lives outside London, and London clubs suffer from the same hatred from everyone else that New York teams suffer from in the US. Tottenham have never been succesful enough to garner the same resentment, and you can already see the backlash starting with Chelsea as they suffer some poor results. There is glee from the media that they are getting knocked off their perch, just as there is glee when Arsenal dont win things. Arsenal have always done things their own way, which pisses the media establishment off even more. They laughed when Arsene Wenger was hired. “Arsene Who?” they gleefully shouted from the rooftops. When Arsenal made the decision to build a new stadium, they laughed and said it would lead to financial ruin. When Arsenal held out against Usmanov and insisted on running the club the way they always had they said “the game has changed, you now need a rich benefactor”. When Arsene Wenger said that he would grow his own English players because the ones already out there were either too expensive or technically inferior to foreigners he was called a racist.

  • Dark Prince

    Not jus an honour to be there but also an honour to be a Gooner!! An honour to have seen that match…an honour to see the one thing that the la masia academy can never teach their youngsters – NEVER SAY DIE!!!!
    This is the 2nd time we’re doin this against them…

  • Shard

    @ Paul C

    But why has the feeling from the 30s continued to persist till date? That’s what I don’t get. Oh, and apart from the Wenger years, how have Arsenal done things in a different way from others?

  • Shard

    Djourou’s out for the next match..

  • Ahmed

    we have not lost any match with djourou n kos in the center of the pitch.
    come on gunners
    fa cup next

  • Paul C.

    Shard – the feelings persist for the same reason that the feelings against the NY Yankees in the US media persist. We have maintained success. Yeah, there have been down periods, but we won Championships in every decade except the 60’s. Parents have handed down hatred from generation to generation and the anti-London bias has never changed. We have been the only “southern-softies” club to consistenly challenge the Northern monopoly. Believe me, if Chelsea or Spurs maintained success for 50-60 years they would be hated every bit as much. Spurs have instead been cast as the “glamorous under-achievers who always play attacking football and win Cups (even though we have won more Cups)” and Chelsea up until recently were just an afterthought. Arsenal always represented London, the biggest and richest city, and like it is in any country, that breeds resentment.

    And I didnt say we did things differently, just that we did things our own way. The club has always been run on the same lines, ownership has always been the same structure, and we have had success. We have been boring.

  • Paul C.

    Shard – and yeah, saw that about Djourou. To be honest I never expexted him to play on Sunday anyway. I think that will be a real mixture of players for that one. Maybe something like:

    Almunia
    Eboue
    Kos
    Squill
    Gibbs
    Denilson
    Song (since he had only 60 minutes last night)
    Cesc
    AA
    Chamakh
    Bendtner

    How does that look like?

  • Anne

    @PaulC: “If we benefit from Barca being slightly off-colour and go through I will gladly take it, but they remain the standard to which every team in the world aspires right now.”

    Thank you for your praise of Barca, and I generally agree with you, but I actually think you might be underestimating Arsenal a little bit. As good as Barca is, Arsenal is rapidly approaching their level, and Arsenal’s rate of improvement as a team is eclipsing Barca’s right now. Unless Barca is in absolute top form for the 2nd leg, I think Arsenal has a chance of knocking them out. And a couple of years from now, who knows? The idea doesn’t bother me too much because an Arsenal victory over Barca would be a victory for football in general, and that’s more important than any team. And if you look at Barca sites around the web, you’ll see I’m not the only Barca fan who feels that way (fair warning, you’d also encounter a lot of jerks if you tried to do that).

    “Regarding the media thing, that has its roots way back in the 1930′s, when Arsenal became the first London club to break the Northern monopoly on English Football.”

    I’m not from England, so the historical aspect of all this is something that I have no frame of reference for. From my “outsider” perspective, all this seems to have the stench of more modern corruption about it, but it’s absolutely possible that I might just be missing part of the context. Thanks a lot for enlightening me as to that aspect of the situation.

  • Paul C.

    Anne – dont take my respect for Barca for a feeling of hopelessness towards Arsenal’s chances. On the contrary, although I feel if Barca play their absolute best they will be very, very tough to overcome, if you guys play ANYTHING less than your best, I think we have a great chance of going through. I dont think your defenders will fancy going up against Nasri, RvP, Walcott and Cesc without Pique. What is the word on Puyol? Is his injury just a slight knock, or something that could potentially sideline him for the 2nd leg?

    And I agree, I am enormously optimistic about the coming years for Arsenal. We are just going to get better and better, whether or not Cesc decides to go home (and it is looking more and more like that will be 2012 at the earliest, rather than this summer).

    Like you said though, this tie has been a victory for football in general so far. The quality of last nights match made International Football look like the joke it is. Both those teams would have ripped apart all but one International side in the world (Spain – although if you strip the Barca players from the Spanish side they would be ripped as well). I am already looking forward so much to the 2nd leg. I said before last night that the result was unimportant to me, I just wanted to see us compete on a level playing field with Barca, and I stick to that opinion. If you guys win with us playing well then I will say “well done” and be happy.

  • gooner80

    @Anne

    as I dont speak spanish I take your word for it about xavi, the other thing that annoyed me about barca was in the champions league final against them when a fan ran on and gave henry a barca shirt and the refs pictured in a barca shirt. I guess if the media is that crazy over there football has become extremely political.

    @paul c I make you correct on that lineup, I cant help but think orient are going to play for a money spinning replay,the B team should be able to cope, I am worried about stoke before the cup final they have assassins trained in the art of pretending to win the ball but getting a lump out of our players

  • Paul C.

    Gooner80 – yeah, I agree. We should be able to handle Orient whatever team we put out. Stoke is a HUGE game. It is a chance for us to close within a point, and Utd then have to follow us with 3 massive away games, at Wigan, at Chelsea, and at Liverpool, in a row. Given their away form so far that is just a massive run of games and could very well go a long, long way to deciding the Championship. We have Sunderland at home as our only other game in that stretch so by the time we play Barca next our season could be looking very different.

  • ugandan goon

    Anne raises a question that we need to consider carefully and indeed discuss on this site.
    the simplest answer is xenophobia but that is only the manifestation of a deeper agenda, the papers frame their stories to appeal to the baser instincts of the readership, the sad truth is the appetite exists for this sort of journalism and there will always be profiteers to oblige.
    What needs to questioned is why editors of even the broadsheets see fit to throw up this risible and puerile excrescence?
    We might look at just how football is traditionally supported for answers.
    You choose a football team at a tender age and continue to follow its fortunes all your life at a cost to yourself financially, mentally and sometimes physically till you hand in your pail, this valour benefits mostly your football club and the peripheral businesses around them. One of those of course being the sports pages.
    To excite the fans of any sport enough to part with their hard earned it is important to frame the action as a gladiatorial zero sum contest, and the opponents as enemies – the whole orgy is a replication of the sort of propaganda it takes to get young men to give their lives over to a senseless war without the slightest inkling who benefits from their effort (it also explains why intelligent discussion is frowned upon). all sports have their origins in war and basic survival strategies that the instinct has lingered long after many of us have been spared the immediate need for both. It is therefore no sunrise to me that members an island race with such an imperious past may find themselves suggestible to a superiority complex.
    What this has to do with arsenal, it is the quickest and most divisive weapon to hand, it is also bound to stir up revolt within the ranks as many find themselves torn between their national pride and their club.
    the papers are willing and available for cash but who would pay for such an attack?
    Why, anyone seeking to wrest control from the current board- a certain wolf in sheep’s clothing who has recently overtaken another some one in the worlds richest man competition. to sort of name one.
    any other ideas?

  • Anne

    @Gooner80: “the other thing that annoyed me about barca was in the champions league final against them when a fan ran on and gave henry a barca shirt and the refs pictured in a barca shirt.”

    Wow, that’s a little piece of Barcelona scandal that I completely missed because it was back in the days when I couldn’t afford to pay extra to order football channels on TV. Yeah, that’s pretty shady…Don’t know what to say, other than that seems pretty out of character for the way Barca conducts themselves as a Club these days. For the most part. I haven’t seen a match all season where they relied on the Ref to determine the outcome, at least.

    In recent times, the only thing that has ever made me truly embarassed to be a Barca fan was the Cesc shirt incident after the World Cup. My only real response to that one is to divert attention to other extremely stupid things that members of the National Team did during the same time period, in the hopes that people will forget that it ever happened. Speaking of that, did you ever see these hilarious clips?

    Joan Capdevila giving an interview while wearing an ice bucket on his head (a Barca jersey would have looked much better than that, right?)

    http://vodpod.com/watch/4019685-capdevila-interview-with-a-bucket-on-his-head

    And Arbeloa falling over backwards while drunk on a parade float (min. 1:24. Does this explain the problems w/ Real Madrid’s defense?)

    http://www.ubervu.com/conversations/www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D5HQWEnPssAI

    @PaulC: Not a lot of word on Puyol, other than he’s back in training, but separately from the rest of the squad. As far as I know, he should be available for the 2nd leg.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Here’s what I wrote, on the BBC site (you can’t sell it, but I’m sure the BBC aren’t so petty as to sue you for me simply pasting it here…….): a reasonable set of thoughts, me thinks?

    43. At 11:27am on 16 Feb 2011, rjaggar wrote:

    ‘Plenty of fans writing here need to remember one simple fact: when the referee blows his whistle to start the game, the score is 0-0.

    Reading this, you’d think it was already 4-0 to Barca!!

    Plenty of fans should rewatch Arsenal taking Chelsea apart, in terms of their presssing and their clinical finishing. They need both of those tonight…..

    Plenty of fans should rewatch Walcott in both legs last year: let’s hope the threader of passes tonight picks the right options and Theo finishes like he usually does on top occasions….(that’s clinically, lest you wonder……)

    Plenty of fans should review Djourou’s performances the past month: it’s his biggest test tonight, but his confidence should be good.

    Plenty of folks should review Arshavin’s upward curve the past 6 weeks and his performance at Anfield a couple of years ago. Is it Andrey’s turn to be a superhero? Let’s hope so……

    Plenty of folks should review Song and Wilshere this season: a transformation in cutting edge mopping up midfield, allied to creative edge. Tonight will show just how far Wilshere has come and how far he can actually go……..

    You won’t beat the best team in the world if they turn up and you don’t. So nobody expects Arsenal to win unless they are at their best.

    But equally, Barcelona’s team will be eleven men and seven subs, not 18 Gods. Men can be perfect, but are usually a bit imperfect. So if Barca are pressed, harried and hounded, maybe they’ll be slightly off their game?

    If all that happens, Arsenal can win.

    And if the perfect 10 scenario were to happen and Arsenal won 3-0, which we all dream of but won’t top ourselves if it doesn’t happen, then I’d love to be a fly on the wall as Arsene Wenger smiles sweetly at a few Pressmen after the game!!!!

    As that might crystallise belief that Arsene and Arsenal might just put one over Sir Alex and win the bleedin’ lot……….

    Which has never been done and would probably be the hardest thing in World football to achieve………

    Just the sort of challenge that Arsene Wenger likes, eh?’

  • ugandan goon

    Thank you for posting, Rhys jagger!

  • Shard

    @ Paul C

    Think Rosicky will start, either in place of Cesc, or Arshavin. But that seems a decent enough lineup.. Orient are in League 1?

    The points about old feelings and biases persisting makes sense. I’m almost convinced that’s all there is too it. Almost 🙂 I guess like Anne, me not being from England means I don’t fully understand the complexities and differences of history/culture between the North and the South. I have been to Stoke though. About 5 years ago now. Some garden and the Pottery museum is all I remember. The caves or whatever they had there were shut at the time..But I guess that explains the caveman attitude 🙂 And you’re right. It’s a huge game.. But as we discussed yesterday.. One game at a time has to be the mantra..

  • Shard

    Or is Rosicky out still?

  • gooner80

    @shard I think Rosicky is out

  • walter

    Anne, let me just say that I think it is great to have a Barca fan over here who shows respect to Arsenal. And I have written fairly hard words over Barcelona in the summer with all the Cesc quotes in the press. So thanks for clarifying this a bit.
    And may the best win after the two legs. But I do hope it will be Arsenal who wins it. 😉

  • Shard

    Thanks gooner80..

  • RedGooner

    Tony, loved the article but cant believe you passed up the fish and chips. I am out here stateside now 7 years and would give my right arm for what you turned down 🙂

    I think the match is over and while its hard to wipe the smiles of our faces its time to knuckle back down.
    Leyton Orient now becomes the priority then stoke then birmingham and so on.

    We will get our chance in 20 days time to revisit Barcelona.
    Barcelona will still make more triangles than the toblerone factory and be as dangerous as ever BUT this is about Arsenals season more than one game.

    This season to me the hype is more about the season as a whole.
    Each win brings us closer to something special the possibilities of a home Tie and lucky draw if we win sunday can take us back to wembley for an FA cup semi final……..

    The possibility if we beat stoke that Manure will slip up against the chavs next tuesday.

    The possible return of silverware to the club against Birmingham.
    With each game confidence grows and we need to treat the weekends FA cup match with the same respect as we treated last nights to be successful.
    There is no doubt in my mind that something special is just around the corner but one day at a time is the only way it will be achieved.
    I hope the players enjoy the moment but there is work to do.

  • MoMONEY

    The corruption, and corruption it is there is no doubt about that, begins and ends with one man in my opinion. Alex ferguson.

  • Anne

    @Ugandan Goon: “the papers are willing and available for cash but who would pay for such an attack?”

    Well, from a criminal investigative perspective, you alway start with motive. I’ve suggested that the primary motive for the establishment attacking Arsenal is financial. So, to test this theory, we ask ourselves, does any person in a position of power have a financial motive to prevent Arsenal from succeeding in the EPL? In other words, if Arsenal does succeed, who stands to lose money?

    Well, let’s take a minute to think about that. Arsenal is the only Football Club that’s trying to innovate in a very static system. The EPL has resisted innovation for a long time, which means that there is a large group of interested parties who have built their livelihoods around the establishment AS IS. This includes Managers, Board Members, Owners, Referees, Sports Journalists, etc., etc., you name it. All of these people have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and would likely resist innovation.

    Moreover, if, as some have suggested, the “status quo” in the EPL is rigged, corrupt, and/or governed by various backroom dealings, it is highly probable that changes to the status quo would threaten the continued viability of such “enterprises.” Especially if one of those “changes” involved a team developing a style of play that could win matches despite a referee fix. Not that I’m saying that that has anything to do with the present circumstances.

    But all talk of corruption aside, there’s still the simple fact that Arsenal plays a style of football that is more entertaining, more appealing to fans, and more effective at winning matches than any other Club in the EPL. If Arsenal succeeds, the other Clubs know that they won’t be able to compete with them. Not for fans, points, or revenue. And while I personally like the idea of ManU spending a decade in 2nd place while Wayne Rooney learns how to play tiki taka, I doubt Sir Alex Ferguson is too keen on the idea.

    So: Who stands to lose out financially if Arsenal succeeds in the EPL? Pretty much EVERYBODY, except for Arsenal. You have all the other Clubs, and also any third parties who earn money through “special relationships” with them (legal or otherwise). And it’s just a hunch, but I’m guessing that some Refs and journalists fall into that group. So, I’d say that a financial motive ties together all relevant parties, and is at least plausible. I might be wrong, but it seems like a good place to start.

  • Anne

    @Walter,

    Thanks for your kind words of welcome 🙂 I think you’ll find that Barcelona fans generally have respect for Arsenal. At least they do on the blogs I frequent. I don’t see any reason for there to any animosity between the fans. Similar footballing philosophies, and we only play each other twice a year tops. I noticed that you were a little harsh on Barca in the past, but I can understand how Arsenal fans feel about the Cesc situation.

    I’m actually going to have to go back and look into all that now, because Xavi is my favorite player, and I’ve read just about every interview with him that I could dig up, and some of the things he’s reported as saying about Cesc, and especially about Arsenal as a club, seem really out of character for him. I’ve never even heard him be that rude about Real Madrid, so I’m wondering whether there’s some press mischief involved. Anyway, thanks for providing such a great forum for intelligent football discussion. I’m really impressed with the general IQ around here 🙂

  • Johnny Deigh

    @ahmed, Djourou and Kos have lost one match while playing together, Ipswich 1 – 0 Arsenal, in the Carling Cup 1st leg. Maybe that doesn’t count for much, as it was a 2-legged tie and Arsenal progressed into the next round by winning the home leg 3-0.

  • gooner80

    @ Anne

    maybe we have been duped by those cockroaches we call journalists. As a player Xavi and inesta are special VERY SPECIAL, I admire the organic growth of barca and if they do lose the next leg I just hope they can be a bit more gracious because many players at arsenal look up to the likes of XAvi.

    for me Barca are causing a revolution in football at the moment similar to the dutch in the 70s and I for the life me cant believe so much anti football still lives to this day, arsenal bang their head against a brick wall but as you said if arsenal dominate england and barca continue their good work on the pitch managers will have to sit up and take note

  • Shard

    Haha, the thought of Rooney learning tiki taka is hilarious. He’d probably just start bad mouthing and tackling his own teammates..

  • A Casual Observer

    @Anne – you may want to look into the work of the hack known as ‘Ben Fairthorne’.

    James Goyder did some research on this:

    http://jamesgoyderfootball.blogspot.com/search?q=fairthorne

    As far as I can tell, from my own investigations, Ben speaks pigeon ‘mexican’ spanish and had a crack at translating some spanish media atricles with a sensationalist spin in order to peddle his tat to the rags – these translations were put forward as quotes… however I could be wrong – but I do know that, despite changing his tag line, he lost a lot of work when it came to light just how much bullshit he was generating.

  • oldgunner

    @terry I read lots of blogs, but rarely add a comment, but after reading the negative reations about the arsenal brilliant win. I use to go to Arsenal home and away through the 60’s and 70’s before moving away from Islington. I can tell you without any doubt you are fortunate to be a part of the best ever time to support the arsenal. Most of the matches I witness that were great, could be counted on one hand. The media are harsh on arsenal because they are a multi cultral team that play quality football that once was only the domain of Manchester united. Arsenal have better press coverage in Europe than in England. All the people that say we have not got enough English players , I say so what. The team is multi culteral and so is the the support. I was lucky to go to home and away and kept the best company anyone could wish for from all walks of life.The Arsenal will eventually be bigger than Manchester, and this does not sit well with the media. Arsenal mean more to me than the England team, I was 13 when they won it in 66′ and rember it well. Since then they have always been rubbish, and I dont feel it is the job of Arsenal to provide a team for England let them do what France do and invest. To finish the best night of my life was the fairs cup final 1970 the atmosphere in Highbur that night still gives me goosebumps when I think of it. ps what a time to support the arsenal!!