3 men, 1 car, no headline. Arsenal 6 Barca 17


Today’s meanderings are…

…Sponsored by the Untold Arsenal / Goonernews Betting Guide Like everything else on this site, it has to be seen to be believed.


We have never been so stunned.

We got back to the car, and just looked at each other.   Ian, despite the fact that we’ve been doing the same drive away from the ground for 25 years, took a wrong turning, and we entered streets we didn’t know.  Stephen, who is a Leicester season ticket holder, was still shaking his head in disbelief.

By the time we were on the M1 we were still unable to find the headline.  There was a lot about Swiss cheese, to open a commentary about the ref, and a serious desire to bring in Phil Gregory who correctly predicted 2-2.

But still… we had to come up with something.  By Luton we’d given up on headlines, and we went for ten points instead.

1.  It was one of the most if not the most amazing games any of us have had the thrill to be at.  (That was easy – we had that by Junction 3)

2.  We were utterly slaughtered from the kick off.  (Obvious – junction 4)

3.  Almunia was brilliant. At fault for their first goal, but he kept out half a dozen sure fire efforts in the first half.  I should add we sit behind the goal Barca were attacking in the first half, and we watched a display of magnificence unfolding before our eyes. (Junction 5)

4.  In three years time Arsenal will perform like that – but the big difference is we will do it without being in debt.  (Junction 6)

5.  Barca didn’t take up their full allocation of seats – or else some of them got taken ill buying a burger on the way to the ground from Cut-Me-Own-Throat-Dibbler.  (Junction 7)

6.  The ref was lopsided – and we suffer from not playing a European league.  What we have to do for each Champs game is adjust to a different style of refereeing which is tough.  (Junctions 8, 9, 10, 11 and through those bloody roadworks).

7.  Denilson, amazingly, adjusted to the play the moment he came on.  No one else did.  Why did he manage it, when no one else did?  (Junction 12)

8. It’s going to be a reserve side on Saturday – so the normal sort of thing there.  But the effort of the second half must have given the club a boost for seeing through the final EPL fixtures.  Junction 13.

9.  If Theo can keep that performance up, we’ll have him in the starting line up on saturday.  (Junction 14 – Milton Keynes).

10.  We’re not very good at this match summary business.  (Junction 15, turn off for Northampton).

Still, to take the positives, against a side playing with an elegance, speed and wit that we have not seen before we fought back to 2-2, despite 3 significant injuries that totally wrecked the whole operation.   Arshavin, had he still been there, would have revelled in the second half, and might well have got one with his jinxy runs as their defence slowed down.

Anyway, back to Phil’s magnificent prediction. OK to be fair he made two predictions, but you are allowed to hedge bets by putting down two lots of cash. 2-2 he said, 2-2 it was.

And this is not the first time Untold has come up with the goods in this regard.

So now, onto our betting guide which we launched about a week ago.

All you have to do is read Untold Arsenal, click on the link, compare the odds, choose the best one going, place your bets, walk off with the cash.  What, I wonder, could be easier?

Barca had 17 goal attempts, we had 6. Cesc is out for the season, Gallas probably likewise, Arshavin, don’t know yet, they got 2 away goals.

But I tell you, just being there: it was one hell of a night.  I don’t think any of us will ever forget this.

Tony Attwood

Untold Index

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25 Replies to “3 men, 1 car, no headline. Arsenal 6 Barca 17”

  1. Now i know how other teams feel when they play arsenal. I’ve never seen us look so…inept. We’re the home team and we couldn’t touch the ball, couldn’t complete tackles or even string together a decent move, in the 30 minutes!!! How Barca contrived to miss some of their chances was beyond me. That being said, football’s about results (as ancelloti so eloquently put it), and this one gives us a chance. Can we do it? CESC WE CAN!!!

  2. Just wentto some site and that told Denilson had the highest passes for Arsenal player, 2 more than Fabregas..

    Considering he played for 50 minutes or so we need to understand statistics very soon.. He was phenomenal.. Although the whole team was so for the comeback.. esp. Fab for standing till end..

  3. You’ve just supplied another reason to love this blog: you didn’t pretend that Barca didn’t outplay us – especially in the first 20minutes but you supplied the insight that where Barca is now is where we will be (in terms of having the right personnel to play the game at Barca’s level – not in terms of having to learn to play like that)in 3years time and with the resources to stay there for a loooonnnng time. I say AMEN to that.

    Yes, Alumnia made 1 mistake that cost us the first goal but it has to be set against his several saves in the first half which kept us in the game.

    Yes, the boys were fantastic despite Barca’s awesome display on the day. Especially, Denilson showed how well he can thrive when the game is more technical than physical.

    In view of how we ended, despite Gallas and Fabregas’ injuries I think we have all to play for in Barcelona. Song slotted in well for Gallas; Eboue did well (dare I say better?)for Arshavin and Walcot came to the party! If Sagna returns to the team (he went out for Walcot) and Nasri moves to Fabregas’ position and our luck holds during Barca’s onslaught, a miracle may just happen in Barca…

    Lastly, Henry was a class act; the TV faded out with him clapping on on the field – I suppose, for his beloved Arsenal fans.

  4. right, i’ve had my reality hit, i’m off to legrove for my daily amusement hit.

  5. it was the most tensed night since being a gunner but with luck on our side,New Camp be made to see another history just like in San Siro and Bernabeau.kee up the faith

  6. Denilson was absolutely top drawer. I mused in the preview that he could be key, and so he proved when he came on. Time to assess the damage with injuries and keep it together for the second leg and Premier League run in.

  7. Tony, you have really conveyed the experience of being there. You make so many good points. I totally concur with your view about Denilson. I have long been dismayed at the lack of understanding about his contribution by gooners. It is not so odd- he may not have the physique yet to fully impose himself in the EPL- but he does have the tight technique to retain possession against these guys- and most of all he seems to understand their game.
    I agree about Almunia- lets give him some credit for keeping us in the tie.
    I agree also about the ref- who penalised ANY physical contact- which actually discriminates against English Football teams in favour of the Spanish who fall down at the thought of a tackle. The Cesc booking was a perfectly fair well timed tackle- he booked a man for making a tackle! It does mean that getting the ball off Barcelona when they are in possession is doubly difficult.
    Perhaps one criticism you can make of this Arsenal team is that they don’t play well enough when they don’t have the ball and the acres of space Ibrahimovic had for his 2 goals was embarrassing-you can’t blame individuals it was a combination of 3 or 4 players.Do that agin and we are out of the CL.
    I feel good about Theo- I felt he would come on and do well.
    A few of our recent stars were disappointing-Diaby and Song for example- maybe the EPL just takes too much out of them or maybe its just a totally different game and they are not mobile or careful enough in their use of the ball- perhaps a French vs Brazilaian type situation. On the other hand Bendtner was more of a handful than they are used to.
    I am not going to cry about Cesc- even though we will massively miss him. If we are to achieve anything this season other players have to come out and do the business. Now they know what they are up against.
    OK the odds in Barcelona will be against us-but funnier things have happened and we know we can get through their defence.

  8. Fab hurt his leg before taking the penalty n am sure he was in pain as he took the penalty, whether he wanted to proof something i dont know but a player he is, he can stil give 100% even with a suspected broken leg. he leads by example never gets tired. yes he has a mature head on young shoulders a captain indeed. but nasri we do that job next week

  9. How did we get away with that.I have to say that our two wingers.Nasri and Ashravin just did not track back.I throught Ashravin was very poor,he stood and watched,did not work hard enough.Gallas and Fab should not have started.Positives many.We showed how we are not a pushover,not like the media says we are.Great result.

  10. hey tony, i completely agree with u, arsenal will play like barcelona, but why say 3 years why not 3 days.

    Hey man u shud rename the blog “tomorrow will be ours”

  11. The lesson for Arsenal in last night’s masterclass was about PRESSING. Did you see any team press like they did last night, not only the three men going for the man in possession, but the other 7 adjusting en masse. It’s something Arsenal must learn in their quest for immortality. It was awesome. Until they got tired and Theo ran and ran at them………lesson there?

    Totally agree about Denilson. I thought Diaby just had stage fright last night. It happens. Song usually takes a little time to adjust to a new height, but he was getting there. He will be fine after a few more goes at it.

    Dare we dream about singing 1-0 to the Arsenal next week?

    Let’s see how we do against McCarthy’s men on Saturday first, eh??

  12. keep hearing al was at fault for the first and second goals! maybe, but for me he did his job and then some in the first half. i blame song. ibra aint that quick, thom was markin messi, wat are the defence there for? song switched off twice and it cost us. al could of done better granted but id be fuming if i was him. no defensive cover at all. way too easy for ibra. but were stil in it…just. did you see wengers face afterwards!? dam he was mad and rightfully so. had song been awake at the start of the second half and the team awake in the first we would have won that. kudos tho for peps on field mind game tactics and cluster defending. dam that shits effective. stil got hope for 2nd leg. san siro, barnaby, nouveux campino? weldone lads except maybe diaby and song.

  13. Hi,Mr Tony i rkeally luv dis but one thing i disagree is that Arsenal will be like Barcelona in 3yrs,as 4 me Arsenal will be the best team in the world come next yr dis is our turn to rule the world of football belive me it 4 real

  14. On Cesc we can only hope that it is like with Vermaelen against Villa. He then also feared something broken but it appeared not to be, lucky, so lets hope and pray that it is not as bad and just a severe bruise.

  15. With Cesc ineligible for the return leg at the Nou Camp ,Tomas Rosicky can come in and do a good job as he has the skill ,and technique to combine with Nasri and Diaby ,with Eduardo also available ,up the Gunners.

  16. I actually think Arsenal will progress. The biggest blow is nor Cesc because these two games he has been off form. But Gallas is. Denilson did very well because he works hard, how I wish Flamini had been in our midfield yesterday!
    We struggled in the beginning because Song and Diaby although good players do not have pace, Barca used this to their advantage. So on Tuesday, should you see Eboue, Denilson, Nasri and Rosicky in midfield and then later in the second half, Theo comes in, then you know Arsenal will progress for I think Barca used up their chips.

  17. Can someone please share any news on Fran Merida. Is he injured? Or is he likely to figure in any of the coming games? I think the last time he played he scored…so could be a great option during these injury hit times…

  18. The best headline ever!
    Here is the great news….
    We deserved the draw….When the team was hangn by a thread Almunia bailed us out! And, when we finally got composed I said to my son “Arsenal can play without fear of being broken or injured…(Ironically three of our major players got injured).
    You don’t think Wenger’s head was analyizing and mulling over what he saw for the first 17min?
    The difference between our manager and other’s is humbleness and the ability to adapt (like Denilson).
    You will now see the turning point of when a team enters into Golden status….It takes a willing team and a inspired coach…And what we saw last night gave it…
    I am not a fool to think we are the finished product by any means…But just as the great teams like Hungarian Golden Team ’56, Dutch National Team of ’74, Invincibles of late 90’s – 03′, all teams have a beginning and have an end…And, learnings like yesterday will move the timeline for greatness by at least a year.

  19. I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    The team picks itself now.

    Big Al
    Sagna Song Vermaelen Clichy
    EE Samir Denilson TR
    THEO Bendy

    Samir and Denilson just need to 1) get hold of the ball, and 2) look for some killer balls to release THEO…..could be a fun night

  20. I think we should give barca a taste of their own medicine nxt time round..Man marking i.e. when a barca player touches the ball 2 or 3 Arsenal players shuld be on hin like a fly on s*it..that was the defence we played on the road to the champions league final 3 seasons ago..

  21. Barca played well early on, but much of this was possible due to Arsenal’s nerves and the media has made an unfair, if not conclusive comparison of the teams at this point. Passes constantly went astray and the team simply did not impose themselves. Eventually a few instances went our way and the nerves seemed to clear, we punished them very much like they can punish us. Disregarding our defence, with more play running through Nasri (who had an awesome game), Rosicky, a confident Walcott and the team hopefully imposing itself, the return leg could be very interesting!

  22. The only consolation I can find that we had been benchkarked against the best, found wanting and shoke off any complacency in those youngstera that plenty of hard works needed to get to ABrca’s level..and then to surpass ’em.

    It will stand us to the good in the battle to win every league matches.

    Return leg?
    ANy of you recalled 2006 FA Cup at Cardiff when again, we were playing against a far far superior team – and also carrying lots of injured players as well – who thought they have the players, the manager and tactics to slaughter Arsenal’s 4-4-2?

    Looking forward to “Rope Da Dope” tactic on Tuesady to beat a superior team.

  23. Wow! now that’s what I call a football match, Arsenal to go through in the return leg in Barca

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