Arsenal v Orient: Untold’s match preview

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

By Phil Gregory

After the disappointing result in the Carling Cup, we have an opportunity to get back to winning ways in the form of our FA Cup replay. Held to a draw after Leyton Orient’s late equaliser, you’d hope that a tie versus lower league opposition will provide a chance to regain some confidence and get the season back on track.

There’s no need to dwell too long on the Carling Cup Final now. A combination of Birmingham’s great performance, Mike Dean and the Blues having twice as much rest as us culminated in a 2-1 defeat us . Let’s just hope that heads haven’t dropped after that result. If we perform as we know we can there’ll be bigger trophies in the cabinet come May and that thought should motivate the team onwards.

Anyway, Orient. On the injury front, there was some bad news in Wenger’s pre-match briefing when he announced Van Persie is out for a minimum of three weeks. That rules him out of the Barcelona, and our Premier League run-in for the next few weeks. Song is another casualty, ruled out of Wednesday’s game and rated as unlikely for the weekend. Thankfully however the Cameroonian international is back for the Barcelona tie in midweek.


Eboue Djourou Squillaci Gibbs

Denilson  Diaby


Nasri  Bendtner Arshavin

This team is a tricky one to pick. Normally I would’ve expected a largely second string side, but after the Carling Cup final we can’t run the risk of any more negative headlines. Upon hearing that Koscielny and Szcznesy are “destroyed” I imagine they’ll get some time out of the limelight, so I’ve left both out of the line up. The pair of them have been amongst our top performers this season, so hopefully we’ll see them back to their best on Saturday. There’s a chance they could even be played in this game, if Arsène decides to give them a chance to banish  their demons out on the field.

So given that, we’ll probably see our usual defensive rotation, with the fullbacks to getting a breather. Squillaci comes into the side  and partners Djourou  at centre back. As an aside,  we need Vermaelen back soon,three central defenders for the season is crazy!

Further forward I hope we’ll see Wilshere in a more advanced playmaking role as I don’t feel we get enough cutting edge from Rosicky. That means Denilson plays with Diaby in front of the back four. That’s quite a bit of a shake-up for the key central midfield area but we should still have enough to overcome Orient as long as Diaby isn’t too rusty on his return.

The injury to Van Persie means Bendtner will lead the line, flanked by Nasri and Arshavin. The Russian in particular has looked good ever since that goal against Barcelona so we’ll be looking to him for a great performance in a side shorn of a few key players.

I tried to find out who the ref is for this game but couldn’t find it on the PGMOL website and didn’t dig much deeper than that. Hopefully we don’t have one of our many wardens of doom officiating and we should be all right. Even though the injuries are stacking up it shouldn’t be an issue here. What  matters most is we do a professional job, a clean sheet and a couple of goals would do me absolutely fine., 2-0 from me.

Title watch: Well, well, well. Karma finally caught up with Manchester United last night. I was  losing all hope in football when Manchester United were dominant and 1-0 thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney (who shouldn’t have been on the pitch). But  Luiz and Lampard made it a 2-1 victory to Chelsea by the end, with Vidic picking up a red card. That card will rule him out of their crucial away clash at Anfield, though Ferdinand is expected to be passed fit by then.

Apparently there was some dodginess around Chelsea’s penalty -Walter’s opinion would be fantastic if he can see the video at some point – but I haven’t seen the incident so wont comment. Either way, Rooney shouldn’t be on the pitch, so the first goal wouldn’t have happened.

The FA claimed they couldn’t do anything as they were hamstrung by FIFA’s rules. This is a lie: check FIFA’s Disciplinary Code here if you don’t believe me (Article 77B, they can correct erroneous refereeing decisions after the game if they so decide):

Wigan’s owner Dave Whelan was fuming in the media about Rooney getting away with it, so I dropped Wigan FC an email with the above information. They were kind enough to write back and say thanks. How lovely would it be if they called the FA out on their lie? I say lie as I’m assuming the FA are competent enough to actually know what FIFA’s rules are when they talk about them but perhaps not…

Anyway, Arsenal. A win at the weekend moves us to within a point of United ahead of their game at Anfield. We really need to get our noses in front soon, because for my money we have a  tougher last five or six games when compared to United. Three points against Sunderland is vital, we cannot afford to miss any more opportunities : the title race is drawing to a close.

Want a break from all the stress and strain of watching football?  Try Making the Arsenal

50 Replies to “Arsenal v Orient: Untold’s match preview”

  1. Apparently Fergie thinks Martin Atkinson is as biased against Utd as you lot reckon some refs are against Arsenal.

    He may end up in hot water with the FA over his comments last night.

    If Arsenal want to win the title they need to win their home games. Simple as. That includes Man Utd and Liverpool.

    The Title will almost certainly be decided when Arsenal play Man Utd at the beginning of May.

  2. I hope we smack them 10-0 but i just think we have a hang over and w are not like untied who can bounce back after defeats – we seem to be psychologically batered by every defeat and who the heck is going to get the goals for us now i really do wonder

  3. I have to admit I get frustrated by many Arsenal supporters. We played in the CC final (where were ManU, ManC, Chelsea, Spurs?), we are still in both the FA and CL cups and 2nd in the League. We’ve had injuries to key players during large parts of our campaign.
    We get criticised for having a leaky defence but in the League, we’ve conceded the same amount of goals as the leaders. We’ve scored 2nd most of all team in the League.
    Based on all objective facts, we’re doing pretty well. Based on most people’s perception, we usually play entertaining as well.
    Our only problem now is that we may have too many out on loan now that injuries and fatigue starts catching up with us again. We will miss v Persie a lot against Barca, The way he links up play and work rate is superb. His finishing ability is second to none. But, if OUR team play with their heart and work hard, there is no reason why we cannot win every single game through May. Every game is “winnable”. After ManU’s loss yesterday, we control the destiny ourselves. Give OUR team the support they need AND deserve, even if they make mistakes. Look at what other top team’s players do – they make mistakes…

  4. @Rhys – SAF would be right(ish), it is rather that Martin Atkinson has a fairly clear ‘blue streak’ running though his statistics, rather than an ‘anti-manc’ one… I suppose the tabliods have now declared him a cry-baby whinger – I’ve not read them but that is the way of things no?

  5. Let’s take it one game at a time, and let’s just go for a win. Any win.
    We the fans should take the blame for assuming some games are easy to win. It’s 11 against 11 in each game, and anything can happen. We need to be at our best, even when playing the O’s.
    We’ll worry about Barca from Saturday night onwards (but losing RVP is a b!tch!).

  6. To be honest, i dont see any of the starting 11 to play tonight, except arshavin (though arshavin wasn’t in d starting 11 in d 1st place). Nasri n wilshere shudn’t be risked…they wil be more important in d epl games. I think the midfield will be like denilson, diaby n rosicky, n forward line will be arshavin, bendtner n chamakh. We have 4 games comin in 12 days to its important that we rotate the squad n play the weaker team now rather than have a tired 1st team going out against barca or sunderland.

  7. 0-0,
    arsenal or orient to nick it in injury time.
    + injury to someone in arsenal shirt.
    Funny, ignasi started away from home and u reckon he won’t start at home, considering kozzer is out at the moment , arsene surely won’t risk his other good defender.

    RVP gone, walcott gone, fab nowhere to be seen, TV5 back to square 1….i can see the future articles at untold – ” no team can win anything without their spine”. Then, “golden 40” etc. etc.

    Sorry for the whining but cudn’t help it. Please don’t go ga-ga over utd loss because we still have to win against sunderland without our spine,legs and arms. We can only win it with head.

  8. @critic

    We can only win it with head

    Haha. That’s funny. But why so pessimistic? The ManU loss gives us a big chance. You are correct that we still have to take it, but surely we should be happy about it? And what’s with the predicting an injury? We’re gonna win this game tonight, and we’re gonna play well too.. That’s my prediction.

  9. @hainalt, Contrary to what you believe , Arsenal bounce back very well, even last season before we were decimated by injuries (We have injuries this season but we have better depth).

    We have had our most consistent patch post the United loss.

    I think we allow the media to tell is what to think.

    Well said T2T!

    One game at a time, I agree with that!

  10. It could be half and half in terms of first 11 with fringe players being replaced if need be. To be honest I would rather we go out of the fa cup and just knuckle down, but obviously the media attention will be frantic if we go out against orient. I would like Aw just to field the B team and just take a chance if we go through great, if not then so be it. Aw has had a formula that has worked really well in the carling cup especially at home so our second string on a decent pitch should be good enough. The last thing I want to see is a first teamer get injured against orient.

    I have come to terms with the carling cup, and to me it boils down a mistake that would not happen regularly, it is not an excuse but sometimes these things happen, as some have mentioned it could lead to a deeper hunger may be the team might have settled for just that trophy and gave in a bit on the league. IMO rosicky should not be playing in the league or champions league and shouldnt have started the carling cup final he is down on the pecking order.

    lets not forget our second string had this game won up until the 89th minute and they were in total control

  11. @paulN- I’m sorry but how often are our so called stars injured for? RVP is the prime example and now it seems TV has joined him. Cesc goes missing whenevr we bloody need him most and Theo has also started joining these injury prone players – Wenger needs to rethink about these players at the end of the season – thats my thought but we know he wont.

  12. @gooner80

    I still disagree about the final. I think the team let itself and its fans down that day. We didn’t play that well. We got lucky with a few of the Birmingham attacks as well. And in the end we made a freak mistake, but one that should not be made. Not if you as a team, believe you can win.. It just CANNOT happen. that’s all the difference is between winning and losing. I am most definitely not castigating either Kos or Szczesny. They have been very good for us and will be in the future. But that game from Arsenal was a disappointment.

    I have however gotten over it too. It’s now over to our team today and every day to show they are over it too, and want…NO..believe they will win every game.

  13. Too many optimists cloud the reality. I can’t help it if you can’t handle the truth. It’s been the same past 6 years, so why should it stop? 4 years ago, Bendtner was crap. Today he still is. And only a club like Arsenal will allow such atrocities go on and on. The optimists says I’m like cancer. They fail to point out the real cancers in Denilson, Bendtner, Rosicky, Clichy, Diaby and dangerously close to them, Chamakh. So what if I’m a glory hunter? I like Arsenal because they win trophies – shall I amend it to “used to” instead? We all have other issues in life to deal with and I thought seeing Arsenal will take my mind off once in a while and bask in imaginary glory and actually feel happy abt it. That’s my reason of watching soccer. So sue me.

  14. @ Paul N totally agree the way the media talks you would think chezza and kozza were in a car with a hose pipe attached to the exhaust topping themselves.

    they think arsenal is so weak mentally when alot of it is down to injuries more than mentality. is it not chelsea and liverppol who are supposed to be two big clubs in the world who are in crisis they are pretty much out of all competitions but who seems to get the head lines, UTD are not much better they got thrashed by west ham they are ok in the other competitions but are hardly a club that can look forward to the future half their squad will be in museums by the end of the season. You would even think we got battered by birmingham and then if you move onto the like of spurs Defoe hasnt scored all season their goal difference for a supposed free scoring team is atrocious.

    Arsenal beat the “the best team in the world” yes we have had a few dodgy result but who hasnt, UTD lost to wolves and to lose their unbeaten run, we have played most of the good teams away from home so who could argue with us being pretty consistent on the whole and IMO i think we were a little head of schedule

    first 11 against anyone else s first 11 there’s not many that will beat us

  15. @mehoot

    Dude, stop watching football then. Seriously, the life of a football fan sucks nearly all of the time. But that is what makes the other times really enjoyable. That’s in ALL of football. not just Arsenal.

    Besides, nobody forces you to watch Arsenal. If your only criteria is winning then just tune into the league once a year in May and support the team on top.

  16. @mehoot

    Too many people base their happiness on whether their football team is doing good or not kind of like escapism, I too am like this but this is not the way. In all honesty of you want some balance so you can cheer the victories do what alot of people do have different teams in different countries barca is not a bad one for spain lol, there is nothing wrong with being a glory hunter but just dont start pointing fingers when things go wrong, the way the fans have treated some of our players regardless of how good they are or not it is shameful, they are asked to do a job and I hope that they do their best when they wear an arsenal shirt

    life and football is like a roller coaster there is ups and downs the good times wouldnt be sweet if it wasnt for the bad, if it was a merry go round it would be boring, there is peaks and troughs. A wise man once said that when you squeeze an orange what comes out? ORANGE juice, why because that is what is inside and people are much like an orange when they are squeezed in life what comes out is what is inside them and if you dont like what is inside time for a change, change for your own sanity but please dont crap all over our players all the bloody time

  17. @shard
    well i dont know if you believe in fate or destiny but from the moment that final kicked off it just looked like one of those days and if i didnt have a rule about betting against or any game involving arsenal i would have made a good £800 my main problem is that it was a cruel way to lose a final.

    AW has never rated that competition who but Aw has the audacity to play a youth team in the 2007 final, it boils down to whether you are a believer in that arsenal can win something this season or not to me thins feels like the Eduardo season we are looking good but hopefully we dont get derailed this time.

    i just hope we can shush the doubters this season, some papers are talking like the whole team is going to leave this season bloody ridiculous

  18. Mehoot – My lawyers will be in touch withyour lawyers! C’mon, we love Arsenal for all that it brings to our lives. The sensible management of its affair, the beautiful football, wins and yes, losses. If the loss hurts, it’s because it’s important to us.

    So you suggest we sell Denilson, Bendtner, Rosiky, Kos, Clicy… Why don’t we just sell the whole lot and but 3 Fernando Torres with the money. Would that make you happy.

    As for team selection, it will be our B team. Even B52 may not be risked as he’s effectively our first choice stiker now with RVP missing in action.

  19. Mehoot – I agree with others. Being a football fan is agony for 99.9% of the clubs in the world (only one team wins the League each year etc.), so if you are basing support on trophies then you are not really a fan.

    gooner80 – I agree with you about last weekend. It somehow seemed to be primed for an upset. I also find interesting that after years of people saying “all that matters is a trophy, play the best team”, AW does that and we lose RvP for up to a month. Sods law.

    Ultimately what do most of us want as Arsenal fans, REAL Arsenal fans? We want our team to challenge for the Championship consistently, and to make Cup Finals and be a threat in every competition we enter. Well, that is what we have. This is the 3rd time in 4 years we are contesting, seriously contesting, the League Championship and only Utd and Chelsea can say that. We have also made a LC Final and SemiFinal, an FA Cup semifinal, and a CL semifinal (and 2 QF’s) in that time. That really isnt too bad. Look at Liverpool. There but for the grace……..

  20. Mehoot – I won’t sue you but I wouldn’t mind running you over in my car. Then you can sue me!
    Like gooner80 says what would the happy times be without the disapointments? Frankly, far more insipid. Why were the Invincibles so great? Beacuse their achievement is unparralled in the modern era, if people won the league unbeaten every three or four years it would have been meaningless. If you’re going to be a glory hunter, then lock yourself in a dark room, practice really hard and sign into the Playstation Network on Fifa… You child!

  21. I just think there are too many negative Arsenal fans out there. This season, the team has bounced back from every disappointment. Remember we dominated Chelsea at Stamford bridge and still lost. The media said – Same old Arsenal. We came back and beat Everton, Wolves and Man City away.

    When we lost to Man United, the same old mourns and complains. We went on a good run. Since the loss to Tottenham, we’ve not lost at home and could have beaten Man City. We have a chance to win the league which is far superior to the FA cup and Champions League by my reckon. We have to support this team. Make the Emirates a scary ground to play in for opposition teams.

    When last were we 8 points ahead of Chelsea? Probably 3 years ago. We don’t have any player out for the season. Van Persie is back in 3 weeks, Walcott should be in 2 weeks and Fabregas in 1 week, so we need to get behind this guys and win the league.

    I used to be a Man Utd Fan before I became an Arsenal fan and I don’t regret becoming an Arsenal Fan. We have a wonderful stadium and a good production line. There will be more finals and trust me the lessons learned from the Birmingham defeat would stand us in good stead. For all we know they might play their European football from the Championship next season. They just need to ask Portsmouth.

  22. Agree with the greybeards.
    Being a sports fan is bullshit. Yet we come back, year after year. Oh fuck it, who wants a pint?

  23. The team announced:

    Arsenal team: Almunia, Eboue, Squillaci, Miquel, Gibbs, Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Henderson, Bendtner, Chamakh.

    Who the heck is Henderson?

  24. Conor Henderson is one of our brightest young prospects. He was right at the front of the queue two years ago and then tore his cruciate and missed virtually all of last season. He is a deadball specialist. He is still getting his game back after injury but is very, very highly regarded at the club.

    3-0 at halftime. Easy. So much for needing 1st teamers to win this one. Maybe now people will realise the difference between playing home and away in Cup competitions. Our draw away at Orient was a good result.

  25. blimey a 5-0 win oer orient and we now hav the desire and figting spirit for the treble again

  26. Would just like to make a strong point. I have seen many many posts on here recently claiming that we need new centre backs and that the current batch are simply not good enough. I believe differently. I believe that Djourou and Koscielny are world class centre halfs. They both played at the back against Barca, the best team in the world ARGUABLY the best team of all time. And what happened? They were both out of this world and held everything together at the back with some exceptional defending. I will tell you what the problem is! The defensive coaching. There have been rumours in the past and present regarding wenger and his coaching of the backline. We get caught too easily on the counter, due to 2 full backs who get too far foward and positionally the whole backline looked terrible at the weekend. I believe that you could put Maldini Beckenbauer who ever at the back. Arsenal will continue to hold a high line and be caught. It has nothing to do with the centre halfs ability. OK, i’ll admit that Squillaci is poor we all know that, but the other 3 are fantastic players and i believe it has always been the way with Wenger to not address quite obvious flaws in the way the back line is set and the shape of the side, including Song holding instead of bombing foward. Those 3 centre halfs would walk into most teams in the world. Have you all forgot how Djourou BASHED Drogba about in the home win against Chelsea, or how Koscielny kept tight on Messi and won every ball that was played into him? I believe Wenger really doesnt know what he is looking at when trying to build from the back and sacking Martin Keown a few seasons ago tells you everything that you need to know.

  27. Well done Arsenal. Keeping our quadru……….

    Oh fuck.

    Treble season alive

  28. 5-0 and a hattrick from Bendtner.
    Glad Mehoot is not AW.

    This was like a walk on the park even with two reserves reserve players like Miquel en Henderson who had a bit of a shaky game imo. I felt he was a bit too nervous certainly in the first half. But I think it is not that easy to make a debut in front of the crowd at the Emirates in an FA cup match.

    Okay and now I can turn my attention to next saturday when I will be coming over to the Emirates.

  29. @ Steven: You made some good points but I believe that you are being a bit too harsh on Wenger. Its true that the great man focuses more on the attacking side of the game but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he doesn’t care about the defensive game. In fact I believe that the problem funnily enough is not in our defensive play but in our attacking. Let me explain: If you contrast our current attacking play with the earlier Wenger teams you will notice that quite a lot of our attacks are far too elaborate and tend to break down inside the 18-yard area. There sometimes isn’t an “end product” i.e. a shot at goal. This was not always the case. There was a time when we took mere seconds to bring the ball from deep inside our area and shoot at goal – especially during counter attacks. Now the instinct of the team is to look for another player inside the box -presumably in a better position – but some pundits believe that its just players failing to take responsibility…

  30. GoonerTerry,
    Arsenal were always accused of wanting to pass it into the net during the Invincibles era and before. I think the biggest difference between then and now is not ourselves but the rest of the PL, more teams were willing to have a go at us and push men forward. 4-4-2 was the norm so we had a lot less resistance on the counter attack. And the only team that really tried to kick us up in the air back then was Man Utd – now they have everyone else doing that for them so they don’t have to.

    Football as a whole has moved towards variations of 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 to control the midfield and make it harder to break down, something we have to thank Mourinho for.

  31. Fans is supposedly an abbreviation for fanatic. For me, what I am looking for in Arsenal news is information, not the imagination of someone who wishes for something else. And seeing endless speculation as to who might be coming in, or going out, isn’t news. Almost none of these people who publish this have any clue, and yet this is news.

    Some people question the loyalty of referees. What I like in Untold Arsenal, are the referees evaluations. Sure, people can question the point of view, but it is obvious in the reports that Walter is trying to be as unbiased as he can. The question I have, is why the referees association doesn’t seem to be evaluating referees. If some referee was evaluated badly for published (by blog) decisions, and in the subsequent games the same bad decisions come up, one would think the referees association doesn’t care about the quality of its referees.

    I don’t know how many people who support Arsenal read any news after the Birmingham disaster. The only thing I wanted to know about was injuries, and I only looked into that the day before Leyton Orient (I’m in Canada, 7 hours different). It was a little disappointing to see some Arsenal player in the news talking about the upcoming game. I t would seem the lesson hasn’t been learned. Keep your mouth shut, let your football speak for you on the field. Personally, I am tired of Arsenal not winning against teams, all because our players feel they need to psyche themselves out before they even get on the field. I hope the sour taste of being too confident going into that Carling Cup game sticks in their throat for the rest of their careers.

    But mostly, I hope the Arsenal players learn! Don’t convince yourself before you even get on the field, that the game is easy. If you get into the game, and suddenly find yourselves up 10-0 at half time, you might then want to think about your being so much better than the competition. But, I suspect Arsene Wenger might have something to say, as in the recent past you’ve let at 4-0 advantage slip away. And most people only consider a 2 goal advantage to be dangerous.

    Oh well, best of luck guys. The quadruple is out for this year, I gather that was something the team hoped for early on. The odds of beating ManU are unpredictable for the FA Cup. Or rather, nobody can do better than flipping a coin. You do have a chance of winning the EPL, if you play every game as you can play (instead of how easy you think the opposition is). And Champions league is nominally left to injuries and how players decide to play. Whether or not Cesc plays, I think Arsenal can beat Barcelona at home. But, if the players psyche themselves out before even getting on the field, just like Birmingham, the first game against Leyton Orient, and so on; That game is just another loss (and I won’t look at any arsenal sites until the day before the next game).

    Please. Take every game as the most important. If you find yourselve’s 10 goals up at half time, don’t relax until the referee announces how much extra time will be played. And possibly even then.

  32. @gooner80

    I agree. Something didn’t feel right before the Carling final. I do believe that. Similarly I wasn’t heartbroken after Paris 2006. It just didn’t feel to me that this was our time. Sure it was disappointing, and we played well that day, but we’d be back someday to win it. What however was disappointing for the B’ham game was that we didn’t play well. Didn’t play like we should. And we messed up when we shouldn’t have.

    But that’s in the past now. The 5-0 yesterday should help. We need Bendtner and Chamakh to find form. Rosicky was good yesterday as well. Sunderland though is massive for us now. That’s where the long road to salvation starts again.

  33. Great result for the Gunners tonight, bounced back really well, using some fringe players. Bossed the game, did not let Orient have too much early on, scored quickly and kept the foot on the pedal until the game was won. Good to see Bentdner scoring again. Tough ask now at OT without Cesc, Theo & RVP but who knows? Law of averages, we are owed a result or two against Man Utd after the last few years. The Nou Camp followed by Old Trafford, that’s what its all about!!!

    PS If the ref will be Howard Webb, we will have no chance to win.

  34. Well done to the goons for beating the nighty orient – Im sure now you will certainly have mental strength blah blah – just remember you going to get walloped at OT.

    I see SAF has gotten under peoples skins with his post match comments. What he said after the game is what he does better then any other manager of his generation – Mourinho is just behind him. By laying the blame at the door of the ref he has deflected blame from his team. He has taken the heat off them so they can concentrate on the next game and he will soak up all of the medias attention. Clever. Dont get me wrong – behind closed doors he probably bollocked the Man Utd players and told them their second half performance wasnt good enough. The sense of injustice and hard done by is part of his make-up … it drives him to achieve perfection and rules his winning mentality. This is a guy who is not used to losing. He hates it. He hates it so much that in his time at Man Utd he has managed to win more honours then most of the other teams have in their whole history. The comments after the game were part of his role and he has done it on numerous occasions. Call him a sore loser, call him a hypocrite. If Chelsea had that same hunger they wouldnt be fighting it out for 4th place this season. If Arsenal had that hunger they wouldnt have lost against Brum.

  35. @terry dont get ahead of your horse mate – we’ve got time before the ot game and SImon i pray the ref is not webb/ Though I wish If only Wenger would play the lad where he belongs as an out and out srtiker, he would score a lot more goals. How often has he come off the bench late on when we have been chasing a game and played as a proper box sriker and got goals for us. Unfortuntely, Wenger insists in playing him left wing/midfield and Nick seems to think he can play there as well???

  36. Terry – you’re such a mug.

    SAF has effectively silenced himself for the up-and-coming Liverpool fixture in which, incidently, your team will face another match with the pitch tilted against them under Phil Dowd.

    Whatever ‘media savvy’ guile he once had, he’s utterly lost it now.

    Good luck on Sunday mate.

  37. Also… I expect that Liverpool will really be ‘hungry’ for those points now the first wafer cup spot has gone due to Arsenal not turning up at the w/e.


  38. Bendtner and Chamakh work well together

    By Simon Rose

    It could be an incredible recipe for success

    All of a sudden, having to play a replay against Leyton Orient doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. After last Sunday’s humiliating outcome at the Carling Cup Final, whupping The Os 5-0 with a hat-trick for Nicklas Bendtner is a great rehabilitation. If nothing else, the match gave us a chance to rediscover ourselves before having to play a Premier League match.

    Given the manna from heaven that was Manchester United losing at Chelsea and them being forced to play at Anfield next Sunday without Nemanja Vidic, both of which will leave Liverpool even more rabid to beat them too, it was important for Arsenal to get the chance to head towards our weekend league game with Sunderland with renewed belief. We should have that now.

    Whenever a football club suffers a real shock to the system, one thing it can do with happening is its strikers getting some goals as soon as possible. Apart from the basic requirement to beat Orient, even if it does mean having to face United away in the next round, Arsenal needed our strikers to find form, especially with Robin van Persie out for at least the next month or so. A goal apiece from Bendtner and Marouane Chamakh would have been fantastic – to get that, plus a hat-trick out of Bendtner, is priceless.

    Whether or not we all believe that Arsenal have the players, guts, belief and any other of the countless factors required to land a title, we are close to United and we may as well try to catch them and win it. Every season many observers and pundits make the obvious and easy prediction that United will win the league. United are very strong, they are easy to back. You hear that United get stronger as the season reaches the ‘business end’. This actually misses a significant reality: United win the league because they stay consistent while their challengers collapse. If we don’t collapse we might just challenge better than them.

    Bendtner and Chamakh are very similar players, with comparable styles and the likelihood to score similar goals. They don’t sound like they should work together. They sound like they should get in each other’s way. But they actually seem to complement each other. Bendtner and Chamakh together are double trouble. They work as a pair plus independently, through being too much as duplicates for the opposition to handle.

    This observation is not based on them happening to whack lower-league Orient. When they were suffering for form a few weeks ago they paired up late on at Leeds. It helped each other to spark into action, which led to Bendtner crossing for van Persie to head the crucial goal. Again, this may not be top-drawer opposition but it shows their natural tendency to connect, not conflict, so we may as well make the most of it.

    Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were similar players at Blackburn and scored similar goals, but that didn’t make them get in each other’s way, instead they really complemented each other, famously so. One got the goal, the other helped it to happen, in whichever permutation. The outcome was that both scored many goals and Blackburn won the title.

    I don’t necessarily expect that Arsene Wenger will play both Bendtner and Chamakh at the same time, every time, especially as he doesn’t want to play 4-4-2, but if Bendtner hangs off to the right, with Chamakh up front, then they are both involved and there could be great rewards for Arsenal to reap.

    For one thing, as well as the pair being able to sustain Wenger’s love for the pretty passing game, mostly, both players also give Arsenal that crucial outlet for headed goals from set-pieces and crosses. Think of how pleased you were when Bendtner headed that second goal against Orient. There could be a lot more of the same to look forward to from Bendtner and Chamakh being played together – and I can’t see United or Barcelona appreciating that much.

    Late footnote: the FA Cup quarter-finals are now finalised and things have suddenly opened up. Stoke vs West Ham, okay. Birmingham City vs Bolton, fine. Citeh are bound to beat Reading, nothing we can do about that. So if we can manage to beat United, the outlook is not too bad. Hang on, did I just say Birmingham City? Might lightning strike twice? Shine a light. Or might we just get a chance to enact some quick revenge yet this season? Keep believing Arsenal.

  39. @simon – good cover up there – WEnger has now lost three finals – all threee 2-1 defeats and in all 3 you had chances to have won it. It’s a culture of losing that has been growing from within the club.

    You can’t even rely on our best players when you need them, so RVP is now out of the Barcelona game along with Theo and Cesc – our fucking captain who pulls a hamstring 15 mins into a game before a cup final.

    You will be known as the ‘Nearly men’ for a long time yet and ultimately losers in the true sense fo the word.

  40. The maths is there for all to see Wenger knows how to qualify for Europe for 13 years running and play some pretty football.

    He knows how to make a success financially and generate money without buying stars

    He knows how to be a top 4 team without having to spend money like Manure, Citeh , the Scum and the Chavs

    He doesn’t know how to win things anymore and that is the simple truth mate

    If your happy with what he is good at then fair enough. But I want more from my team other than profit and great football and always competing but not winning trophy’s – which is why United always win something and you dont

    This Wenger is not the same man pre 2006 . It is like a different manager completely so you cant base him on history anymore.

  41. terry – you are a mug. You have basically just admitted you are a glory hunting knob that only supports a team because it wins trophies. You also insinuate, through your exceedingly poor grammar (such as using “our” instead of “your” throughout an entire post), that Utd win trophies because of your support:

    “I want more from my team other than profit and great football and always competing but not winning trophy’s – which is why United always win something and you dont”

    You just keep digging holes for yourself and proving yourself to be a moron, such as this one: “He (AW) knows how to be a top 4 team without having to spend money like Manure, Citeh , the Scum and the Chavs”. So are we supposed to be mad that AW can keep Arsenal at the top without spending silly money? Is that somehow a bad thing? We get amazing football AND financial health and that is a terrible state of affairs?

    And this one: “You will be known as the ‘Nearly men’ for a long time yet and ultimately losers in the true sense fo the word”. You truly must be an expert in the field of “losers” I would guess. I would imagine that you have had that word thrown at you for most of your life so the quest to find the “true sense” of the word has become a lifelong pursuit, huh?

    You encapsulate the myth of the “glory hunting wanker”, revelling in the success of a team to prop up your own fragile ego. Keep going Terry, you are giving us all a massive laugh.

  42. I wonder if the match against Orient showed another possible tactic for use against Barca. The use of Clichy in front of Gibbs may be a way of countering their overlapping full back and in the absence of Walcott, threatening fast counter attacks.

  43. @Paulc – Deary me you really like to miss the point don’t you, this is not about United or Fergie or Rooney its about ref’s..stop thinking about using a United example to counter what I am saying, all players swear and if ref’s had the balls to clamp down it would stop,, that’s my whole point..the standard of ref’s in the PL is very very poor, they are not consistent, they are scared to make the big decisions, they are scared of the players and they love the media attention they get but don’t have to answer to any of it..I would love Rooney to get booked for swearing and I would have loved him to have been sent off for the elbow..why, because it would teach him a lesson, he has such talent that I cannot stand watching him have little hissy fits or gobbing off, this season he has really tested United fans and it might do him good to get a ban for his petulant behaviour but I come back to my original point, the ref’s are scared to make a stand and until they grow a pair we will continue to see Rooney and co swearing and moaning at the ref’s. Ref’s can be firm but fair, they can, on occasions, let games flow but it requires someone with balls and who has learnt from their past mistakes, unfortunately, I fell, that this does not happen enough and the ref’s put in more poor performances than good ones and despite the fact that having professional ref’s was supposed to improve this. Now stop calling me a sucker and trying to use something United to attack my original post, if you think ref’s are good and putting in quality performances then fine, I personally don’t believe that and that was my original point, I would also add, managers and players have to give interviews straight after controversial games whereas ref’s don’t, maybe if they did we would also hear some ref’s coming out with a few controversial comments.

  44. AndI am not at all concerned with Arsenal, in terms of being a threat to United for the title. I appreciate Arsenal have improved, with players upping their game including Nasri, Willshire and others, however, United have the experience. We were unlucky at Chelsea, granted, but we are still top of the league, and with players like Valencia and Park back soon, we will have enough cover. Looking forward to a good game Sunday, hopefully no Atkinson or Webb to make the game fair and unbiased to both teams 🙂

  45. Terry – What on earth are you going on about? This thread was a preview of the Arsenal-Orient game and then comments on how we played and upcoming fixtures, not a referee thread. Where did anyone mention Rooney in any of the posts before you did? Where was the big discussion of refs to which you refer on this thread? What did your posts of 2.00pm and 2.04pm have to do with refs? Absolutely nothing. Those were the silly posts I was responding to, and the posts from which I quoted directly. Or do you not even know what you are writing anymore? Have your poor attempts at wind-ups become so confusing to you that you cannot even remember what things you have written or recognize your own statements? YOU took the discussion way off topic with your silly rants. If you cannot handle it when people call you on that then dont go off on silly rants, or at least make your rants semi-intelligent (which is what all the best wind-ups have in common – some underlying intelligence and basis in fact).

    And what is your last post (4.26pm) all about? Who really cares if you are not concerned about Arsenal for the title? What does that have to do with refs, if that is what you are talking about by yourself on this thread while everyone else is discussing something different?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *