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Marseille playing at squad rotation, for Arsenal a win takes us almost there.

By D-Sanchez Cabello; with additional reporting from the Untold team lurking in the club carpark.

In our last article Walter explained each of the nine possible outcomes of tonight’s two group games.  Now we’re at it again trying to find out who’s going to play – and that’s not so easy either…

Carlsberg is the “official beer of Spurs.” I noticed that in their loss to Newcastle at the Lane. That says it all; a beer that tastes heavily of nothing, yet endlessly looks to market itself as a tasty beer. The reality is: it is the shoddiest pint in the pub and no matter how much money is spent making it look good, it still tastes of nothing.

It’s easy to say this sort of thing now. But I’ve been saying it for ages… from the start of the season in fact! After the Villa loss, some were impressed by a 100 millions worth of 2nd raters – others saw a lumbering Team, a striker unsuited to English Football and Chadli, a footballer unsuited to football. I wrote it here before the NLD.

Since then no one is sure what has happened to Nacer Chadli, nor the chaps down the road and their title challenge. At this rate they’ll finish above us sometime around 2086, qualifying for the much-maligned Intergalactic League of Vertebrates™. Jokes on them, the travelling is horrendous…

Anyway, less of that – more on Marseille, who admittedly, I know very little about.

They beat Ajaccio on the weekend (in Corsica). Something more impressive than it sounds – Ajaccio have been a gambling preference of mine since  my first accumulator and regardless of who they play – in Ajaccio, they seem to have a chance. Couldn’t tell you why, perhaps the intrepid ferry across the Ligurian takes it toll?

Marseille are 4th in Ligue 1- 10 points off PSG, 5 off Monaco and for those who care 6 points off Lille. Now I expect they were doing slightly better a couple of years ago, before obscene wealth found its way to Paris and Monaco. But they have still improved, as have all teams in our group and the UCL in general.

Because they are so unlikely to reach 3rd spot they may well use the game to give younger players a try out.     Payet and André Ayew are both injured, while Gignac and Mathieu Valbuena may be injured or may not – depends which paper you read.

Mario Lemina could come in, in midfield, for his first start, as might Imbula, who the French press insist is about to go to Chelsea for multi-billions.  He was ok against us in the match in France, but he was recently dropped from France’s under 21 for Bendtner type indiscretions so who knows?

Jordan Ayew might get a game instead of Gignac up front perhaps because Gignac could be up for sale…    The trouble is reading the runes on English football is hard enough.  In France it can be doubly so.

Our team might look a little like this, but it might not…

                                                  Wojciech

                 Sagna                    Per               Koz           Gibbs

                                      Flamini          Wilshere

                           Ozil                  Ramsey               Rosicky

                                                      Giroud          

 

It all depends on how we are treating this game. Does it allow for rotation? Does Marseille’s threat warrant two defensive midfielders, or Rosicky’s industry?

This is what Arsène had to say:

“We know what is at stake and we want to qualify…  We know that this is a very big game in that final stage of the qualifiers.

“We have an opportunity to do it at home – 12 points might not be enough, it’s true, but it might also be enough and it might be enough on Tuesday – so let’s get the 12 points.”

Not his most interesting input, but it does give one an idea of how he sees this game. I can’t remember the last time 3 teams in a Champions League group could all finish on 12 points. It’s outlandish and shows how impressive we are to be leading the group thus far.

Strange feeling Özil will have a cracker tonight…

Cheers, enjoy the game and wrap up warm,

DSC

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86 comments to Marseille playing at squad rotation, for Arsenal a win takes us almost there.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nice swipe DSC – maybe they’ll be invited to join this league!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iU9G9JApFU

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Even if Marseille fields a weakened team, we must go with our strongest possible team and if possible, finish them off in the first half. Marseille have nothing to lose while we, on the other hand, have all to play for. I prefer to see us finish top of our group thereby avoiding any of the group leaders in the first round of the knock out phase. A decisive win here and a draw at Napoli will assure that and both are in our hands to strive for.

  • Gord

    I like your line up. Gnabry did not play in the Youth CL game (versus Marseille), as he has been picked for the first team squad. That ended in a 1-1 tie. The other tie for this game day has not happened yet.

    Looking at the assortment of news that Google finds, it is hard to tell if Bendtner will be on the bench or not. Something about kicking a door in.

    But the real surprise, was seeing a “current” article from a newspaper in Victoria, BC, Canada saying that Sagna was hurt (hamstring). How does a paper on Canada’s west coast get news that nobody else gets? The article had a date, 5 or 6 weeks ago.

    Is a forecast high of +7 for greater London cold? At the moment (NW Alberta, Canada) it is -8, expecting a high of +3. Which beats the heck out of the lows of -25 to -30 we had last week.

    It’s been ages since I had a Carlsberg. I much prefer a Schneider and Sons Aventinus.

    COYG!

  • Damilare

    From what we have seen of Arsenal so far this season, any eleven would do for me provided they all know what is at stake tonight (I think they do). I want to see our best eleven start (Only Arsene can determine that as at last training session) with good playing time for Wilshere and Theo. And I want our italian keeper to see action. Am I impatient?

  • Cheers Brickfields!

    And Gord – granted, when you put it like that, it doesn’t seem cold. You lot over there are made of tougher stuff!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Met office weather forecast for tonight is dry, max 5mph breeze, temperature 5 deg.C but feeling like 3 so everyone needs to wrap up warm. COYG

  • Bendtner was cautioned and the matter is closed. In English law accepting a caution means you admit your guilt, it goes on your record, but there is no further police action. I think John Terry’s mother was cautioned over shop lifting, and then said she was going to appeal because no one told her that accepting the caution meant admitting guilt. As far as I know she never did do that appeal.

    I’d love to see Theo play from the off tonight and get a solid hour in, so that he shows he is completely ready from now on.

    Bit tough though, having such a big squad!

  • bjtgooner

    I would suspect Wilshere and Arteta will be rested, one of Walcott or Gnabry will start and will be replaced by the other on the hour mark, Rosicky/Cazorla will compete for the other wide position, otherwise the team could be as above. But, as I am guessing I could be totally wrong!

    The important thing is not to take Marseille lightly.

  • Sid

    D Sanchez

    I just read your preview of the NLD and your analysis of the spuds team and new players is eerily spot the fuck on!

  • Sid

    I’d start with Bendtner tonight. Not sure about starting Theo as I can’t see Marseille playing a high defensive line for him to run in behind. I’d play Gnabry, Cazorla and Rosicky behind NB with Flamini and either Jack or Aaron behind them.

  • nicky

    @bjtgooner,
    “The important thing is not to take Marseille lightly”.
    How right you are. It’s OK to be quietly confident but too much talk about M probably fielding a weakened side and Arsenal doing the same, makes me nervous. I have a long memory of our habit of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory. I don’t think for one minute the team itself will assume a walkover but some of the Emirates faithful may begin to display typical doom and gloom if the scoreline stays 0-0 for too long.

  • Gord

    Gibbs gets a rest, I hope Monreal has a good game!

    COYG!

  • Florian

    nicky, I would second that. We cannot afford to field a weakened team by any means. This game is decisive – any dropped points would put us in the difficult position of having to win in Naples, a much harder feat to accomplish than winning here against a team that has 0.01% chances of European football next spring. I’m sure the boys know this and will approach the game appropriately.

  • colario

    If it wasn’t so sad you could laugh but the reality wants to make you cry.

    Just heard BBC radio on our game.

    This time last August ‘Arsene need a top class striker. They’ve got to step up and splash the cash’ blah blah.. ‘Strikers from the French ligue 2 are not top class… blah blah.

    November 26 Giroud (not said from French ligue 2) is so essential to Arsenal. He gives them something different he holds things up for them. (Someone then is listening to Arsene at long last.)
    Then here we go again:
    If he gets injured, blah blah blah.

    I am glad I pay for the internet to hear this rubbish and not in my BBC TV license.

  • Matt Clarke

    D-SC, Whilst I agree with your views of Carlsberg (as brewed in Northampton and sold here), kindly note the following sad tale:

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/carlsberg-is-arsenal-s-official-beer-partner

  • Matt Clarke

    …hmmm the UA clock is not set to GMT.

  • The ever ‘loyal’ Ian Wright is joined by Lee Dixon on ITV. Watching and listening to them would give a novice on Arsenal the impression that we are struggling. Why can’t they just comment on how the team is doing NOW? Every living human on planet earth and their dogs know that we’ve won nothing in 8 years. Give it a rest already!

    By the way, the same Ian Wright was hunting was for positives for a lacklustre England after they got beaten by Germany’s 2nd team. If he would just be positive and give this team some credit. If only!

    Oh he just attributed all of Ramsey’s achievements this season to luck. What the hell!

    Ian Wright, you moron!

  • Matt Clarke

    GOOOAAAL …32 seconds !

  • Matt Clarke

    Bootoomee … I cut the sound for Ian Wrong

  • jambug

    Boo.

    I just posted a couple of similar comments on the post down.

    Honestly that opening anti Arsenal tirade was up there with one of the most shameful pieces of punditry I have had the misfortune to hear.

    Goooaal !!!! What a start but hey no more than we should do in this piss poor group!!

  • Damilare

    jack Wilshere 1-0 to the Arsenal COYG

  • Matt Clarke

    …nearly 2-0, ooh…good play

  • I’m losing my posts again.

    This is annoying, just like the ITV commentators.

  • Matt Clarke

    ooohhh…Ramsey through ball, so sweet…no goal though

  • Matt Clarke

    what is that chant?
    Same rythym as “Come and join us…North Bank Highbury”?
    Can’t hear it well enough

  • Matt Clarke

    good save Spellchecker

  • Matt Clarke

    Rugby rules being used I see…3 of our players manhandled as the so-called free kick came in.

  • Gord

    From BBC at approximately 2012:
    > Infostrada Sports: Wilshere’s goal after 27 seconds is the fastest by an Englishman in #UCL. Previous record 1:05 by #Rooney at Bayern Munich in March 2010. It is Arsenal ‘s 2nd fastest #UCL goal. The record is 20 seconds by Giberto Silva vs PSV on 25 Sep 2002.

  • Matt Clarke

    Ramsey does a Bergkamp to earn a pen.
    Sadly not Ozil’s night so far DSC

  • Matt Clarke

    1st & 4th Officials failed to note that keeper was a yard off his line before penalty kick.

  • AL

    Matt
    Noticed that too, though the contact for the penalty was just outside so perhaps it’s fair Ozil didn’t score. But yeah, that official behind that goal must be having a snooze; a Marseille defender almost pulled Giroud jersey off in the box and he didn’t even notice it! What is he there for if he misses things that are happening 5m from where he is?

  • Matt Clarke

    AL, a good question with no sensible answer.

  • I’m kind of glad Ozil missed the penalty. I don’t think that we’ll ever hear the end of the fact that the foul was outside the box.

    The game is beginning to look like a practice game but we need to score from our various chances.

  • AL

    I just hope the experts won’t use the penalty miss by Ozil as a stick to beat him up with. Sadly, I think it’ll be, there are vultures waiting to pounce. Don’t listen to the halftime punditry nonsense btw, use it as my bathroom break 🙂

  • AL

    Was just thinking the same too Bootoomee.

  • AL,

    Please for the sake of my sanity, address Matt Clarke as Matt Clarke and not as “Matt”. You gave me a scare with your post above:-)

  • Matt Clarke

    Bootoomee, same thinking made get the avatar

  • Now, Townsend and his sidekick are telling us we must a gazillion goals because you know….blah blah blah.

  • jambug

    AL

    Dead right. I’ve switched to SKY for HT.

    But isn’t it a sad inditement of the way things are with us and the media.

    We are 4 points clear at the top of the PL in a year when both Chelsea and Spurs have spent £100 Million on players.

    We are top of what was called ‘The group of death’ (until we topped it) in the PL and a tad away from qualification, yet again.

    There are 2 ex Gooners on the ITV panel.

    And yet, and yet, we dare not listen to there musings because we just know that despite all that they will STILL be giving us grief.

    Honestly if it wasn’t so pathetic it would be laughable !!!

  • Gord

    @Al

    You were talking about the pundits on Ozil? From the BBC:

    > 2046 Considering how fevered his welcome from Arsenal fans was, I imagine the Ozil backlash could be very messy if it gathers pace.

    I am sure the BBC will do all it can to help it gather pace.

  • para

    What are we playing at? Should have put this to bed ages ago. Remember we are still 1-0.

  • AL

    Sorry Bootoomee, noted 🙂

  • AL

    Gord, jambug
    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Matt Clarke

    there you go para…

  • jambug

    Lovely goal. Jack Hat trick ?

  • para

    I can relax now.

  • Gord

    @Al

    The AAA are following the BBC feed too:

    > About 2100: Gwalch Mon: I think we all know by know that Arsenal wasn’t Ozil’s preferred destination, but surely he could at least pretend to interested.

    ———–

    Thank you Jack Wilshere!

    COYG!

  • jambug

    I meant Spurs and City spending £100 Mill actually but I think Chelsea spent quite a bit as well.

  • jambug

    Para.

    I’m glad you can !!! I tend to have to wait til 3 up and in injury time before I sit down !!!

  • para

    BUT they are too complacent, if i was AW i would bollock them for pffafing around too much, too many silly mistakes, which would be punished against a better team.

  • Gord

    From the BBC:

    > About 2100: Optajoe: 1 – Jack Wilshere’s two goal haul this evening is his first career double for Arsenal. Brace.

  • jambug

    Marseille have a shot and Townsend shouts, instinctively, ‘GET IN’

    Thanks, so we know where your loyalties lie you plank !!!

  • AL

    Gord
    They know that’s where they’ll get an audience, not here. I think with some people only a perfect 10 from Arsenal will do, anything else will not do.

  • jambug,

    I’m glad it wasn’t only me. He really wanted them to score.

  • Matt Clarke

    Theo gets into a good position and goes close 🙂

  • Matt Clarke

    91 minutes gone and Ramsey STILL working hard – nice

  • Matt Clarke

    all done and well done AFC

  • para,

    I don;t think they were being complacent. I think this team plays according to the occasion and the opposition. Beside we were a bit unlucky with many of our chances.

    All in all and bar a scandalous loss at Napoli, we’ll qualify and probably as the group leader. Even with a slim loss.

  • para

    @ jambug
    I used to be like that last season and the one before, but this team is different, they can score when needed, but sometimes they infuriate me(in a good way), by playing too casual passes, which then go wrong, argh, and they seem to like to let other teams not look too bad.

  • Oh, and the great Chelsea, you know, one of the 2 top premier league “super” contenders have lost (again) to a Swiss team.

  • jambug

    I bet the pundits are more positive about Chelsea than they are us. Not a shot on goal ! How embarrasing is that. 9 points and through. How does that work?

    Dtil I thought we was decent tonight. Always doing just enough. No point busting a gut.

    Oh, and doesn’t the bench look good now.

  • para @10.40pm,

    Agree. I think they kind of eased off and just played an enjoyable game. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was never worried. Not one bit. Of course, I would have loved more goals but 2 is not bad.

  • jambug

    Boo,

    I think if we do have a slim defeat in Italy we will be runners up on account of an inferior head to head with Dortmund due to the away goals rule. (assuming Dortmund win there last game)

  • bjtgooner

    Good result and an excellent performance without perhaps hitting top gear. Well done the team – and it really was a good team effort.

  • jambug,

    I’ll check but I don’t think away goals is used in head to head.

  • jambug

    Boo,

    What would be the deciding factor then? Goal difference in the head to head? That would be the same. Goal differnce in the group? If so us losing and Dortmund winning the last games would surely seal that in there favour.

    Lets hope it’s down to alphabetical ording in which case we’re in !!!

  • Gord

    From Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2012-15 Cycle 2013/14 Season
    http://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/competitions/Regulations/01/94/62/34/1946234_DOWNLOAD.pdf

    7.06
    If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings (in descending order):
    a) higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
    b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
    c) higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
    d) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches
    played among the teams in question;
    e) if, after having applied criteria a) to d), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to h) apply;
    f) superior goal difference from all group matches played;
    g) higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;
    h) higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over the previous five seasons (see paragraph 9.02).

  • jambug,

    You are correct. It is point (d) on the list from Walter’s article from earlier:

    Rule 7.06 If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are
    applied to determine the rankings (in descending order):
    a) higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
    b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
    c) higher number of goals scored in the group matches played among the teams in question;
    d) higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;

    e) if, after having applied criteria a) to d), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to d) are reapplied to determine the final ranking of the two teams.
    If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria f) to h) apply;
    f) superior goal difference from all group matches played;
    g) higher number of goals scored from all group matches played;
    h) higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over
    the previous five seasons (see paragraph 9.02)

  • Gord

    @Bootoomee

    I knew I had seen it somewhere, but didn’t know where. So I went to the horses mouth and we double posted. Oops!

    ——-

    Of Pundits. From the BBC

    > 2205 Former England and Tottenham striker Gary Lineker: Arsenal cruising in a tough group. Strikingly consistent in the Premier League. It’s time to take them seriously.

  • jambug

    I thought the Alphabetical route was a long shot !!!

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    We need to draw or win in Naples. Then there is no issues we win top of the group. No problems

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Needs mentioning too. Ozil was the provider for Wilshere’s 2nd goal. So those sharpening their knives against him will have to wait some more. For those who want Ozil huffing and puffing from one end of the field to the other, they will wait a long time. His style is close to Zidane’s: relaxed on the ball but your fail to take him seriously at your peril. I also think that he is still very far from reaching his peak in the team . More so when we have faster runners on our wings.

  • jambug

    Shakabula

    I agree entirely. I cant wait to see him feeding in Theo and podolski. Will be devastating.

  • nicky

    We were terribly wasteful tonight, bearing in mind our possession and I was pleased with Wilshere’s second goal to ease the tension, not on the field but among the supporters. At one-nil I could see a one-all draw in the closing minutes, staring us in the face.
    The game was noticeable for me by the number of passes between players on both sides, together with our workrate in particular, which was quite phenomenal.

  • jambug

    Just thought I’d mention Monreal. I known Marseille aren’t great but felt he was solid as a rock. Worked hard and generally slotted in seemlessly.

  • Pat

    Will Townsend’s disgraceful ‘Get in!’ reach tomorrow’s newspapers I wonder? Or will they all pretend it didn’t happen?

  • AL

    jambug
    Agree completely about Monreal, and how about the composure he showed with that goal line clearance.

    Completely off-topic
    But I just looked at the premiership fixtures, and from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester utd & Spurs, we are the team to play rivals from this group of six back to back. And it happens not once, not twice, but three times; in Dec, Feb we play two teams from this group back to back, and even in march we have spurs, city and Chelsea in succession. Only Spurs have one occasion where they play two teams from this group back to back. Is it a coincidence we are the only team with this distinction???

  • jambug

    Pat

    Not a chance. Why would they. I bet they was all ahouting the same in the studio and news rooms up and down the land.

    Townsend is the first tangerble, undeniable proof of what is going on in the minds of the anti Arsenal media.

    Did you hear the pre match chat? Gave us absolutely no credit for anything at all. It’s all just luck apparantly.

    ITV tonight where an embarrasment in there overt, unashamed dislike and condemnation of all things Arsenal.

  • AL

    And forgot to add we’ve already played utd and pool back to back….

    Pat,
    Let’s hope Townsend’s line becomes as famous as Harry Carpenter’s, for different reasons though. Can’t stand the pr**k

  • jambug

    AL

    It might be up to us to ensure it does.

    I decree that from this day forward he shall be known as Andy ‘get in there’ Townsend.

    As you say ‘Clucking Plick’ !!!

  • AL

    Ah jambug, had made a similar suggestion on the other thread, great minds… 🙂 Anyhow, off to bed but someone at ITV is gonna be hearing from me tomorrow morning. Goodnight fellow gooners.

  • jambug

    AL

    Just seen the highlights and it sounds like they’ve edited the comment to ‘IN’ from ‘GET IN’

    An admition of guilt if ever there was one.

  • Gord

    WRT Andy Townsend at ITV

    I look briefly via Google News, and there is nothing about townsend published. The only Townsend mentioned, is Andros at Tottenham.

    Obviously you could find a contact page at ITV and send in a complaint.

    But, do you understand HTTP? When we click on a link (anchor) in HTML, the link is:
    protocol://address/rest_of_URL

    Typically, all URLs are logged in some way. You could replace “rest_of_URL” with something like “AndyTownsendBlowsDeadGoats.html” and it would end up in their logs. Do the sysadmins on those sites monitor things well enough to see something like that? They might. And if the guy isn’t well liked, you could imagine that these URL might start floating around the internal ITV stuff at some point.

  • Pat

    Went into Google with ‘Andy Townsend says Get in’. A few people have noted it at least.