Thursday, 28 August 2008

Stop Press - Champions League Draw

Arsenal face Porto, Fenerbahce and Dynamo Kiev in the first round group stage.
I'm not sure which order the games are played in, but Match day one is 16/17 September.
For those who, like me, were mumbling through "We're on our way..." last night, the final is in Rome this year. Should make a nice trip.....


1979gooner said...

that is a very tough group.

fenerbahce are decent, as are porto, while a trip away to kiev is never fun.

Si said...

Agree absolutely. Depending on the time of year that Kiev away game will be - could be well tricky... as we know.
The fact that the final is in the Olimpico is a huge joke.
I've been a few times and it is an amazing stadium, in beautiful although fascist surroundings. But fuck me sideways how on earth did Italy get the Champions League Final? The worst hooligan problems in Europe for the last five seasons, bans, bungs, riots, deaths!!!????!!!

Si said...

Just saw the fixture list. First game is Kiev away, that's a touch.

Ted said...

Well spotted Si, Kiev away first up is a good time to play them.

I'm not too fussed about this draw. Liverpool and (unusually) ManUre didn't fare too well either. If we play well at home we will go through.

Si - re Eboue, fair question. I'm not a massive fan of Eboue and have posted here plenty of times that his tackling and commitment during the game are poor. But I don't like players getting booed. Its not the Arsenal way.

I'm sticking up a bit for Eboue because the reality is that we are now threadbare in midfield and Eboue is a better bet than Theo in the right side berth. At least for now. Eboue's touch is good, his passing is good and he rarely gives it away. There are clearly problems with his brain but I reckon he has done ok this season.

Thing is, its hard to be objective about Eboue because of past behaviour. But he did nothing wrong last night, or this season. But I know you won't accept objective arguments as you don't like him, just as I don't like Alonso. Fair enough.

But if if you can't give a guy a chance who broke John Terry's foot, then what hope is there? I'll support Eboue because I reckon if AW told him to cut his own nuts off, he'd do it. With a big stupid smile. Comrade Eboue - no one likes him, he doesn't care.

P.s. I'm told by my Scouser mates that Alonso was absolutely shite against Liege last night. The cretin.

Si said...

Can't argue with that Ted, fair play. Xabi's on me roof at the moment sorting me sky dish, it's been giving me some gip this season. Top bloke, he also creosoted my fence earlier, didn't yer Xa... Oh shit, he's fallen off the roof.

Obsinho said...

He'll probably find Rod Hull has his hand up his arse.

Xabi would like that.

Obsinho said...

I think it's a good group. The away games are a travel, but that also means that they'll find the home games even harder.

9 points at home, 4 on the travel, and job done.

Liverpool's group is much harder.

Chelski and Utd got their standard easy draw.

Obsinho said...

If you haven't read this yet - do.
Best piece of Arsenal related blogging I have read for months.

Makes the point clearly, coherently and with a level of intelligenece not seen anywhere else on the Arsenal-blogging universe.

Hope Arsene reads it....

K man said...

Interesting article in the Guardian today with Fiszman quoted as saying that if Arsene wants to spend £30mn on one player then Arsenal will pay up.

If true that puts a lot of pressure on Wenger. Fiszman is making it clear that it is Arsene who is choosing not spend the cash, not the board i.e. he takes responsibility if we come up short because he didn't make a signing.

I'm actually very pleased that a director at Arsenal has addressed the subject - they are now either openly lying to us or it is Arsene who is the one who has no desire to sign some new players.

Of course, the chances of Arsene actually spending £30mn on one player are about the same as me shagging every member of Girls Aloud.

Go on Arsene, prove me wrong...

Obsinho said...

Eurghhh - you'd take on something that Cashley has had on his warty penis?

K-man, times are not so bad.

Ted said...

Obs - I like the Ole Ole article, but lets not get carried away by some rather irrelevant housing market data or Huxley references.

When you cut the waffle out, what is said is that Arsenal could do with an experienced central midfielder. We all agree.

However, a lot of the other stuff, although well written, I do not agree with.

Yes Manure are strong in midfield on paper, but ignoring Ronaldo, its hard to say any of their midfielders are excellent, world class players that fit the bill of scaring the opposition. Carrick and Hargreaves are decent but no more. Certainly not Keane or Vieira material.

Manure are short up front and at the back. Wes Brown is third choice CB FFS.

And quite what is being said about Fulham is unclear. But one good result for Fulham does not make them the new kings of london. Maybe Hodgson is doing a good job, I like him, but trying to suggest that Fulham are an example for Wenger to follow is just bollocks.

I've said all summer that Wenger won't make big money signings. He never has and he never will. What is at the core of the article is that we, as fans, like big signings and think that the time is right for another. That is generally correct as an assessment of fans' feelings.

But the footballing logic of making big signings to reassure fans and send a message to the opposition is deeply flawed. It may be a short term sugar hit for us fans, but it often means fuck all in the long run for the team.

Who at Spurs is now reassured by having an expensive show-pony like Bentley around? Who at Arsenal, West Ham or Fulham gives a shit that they spent so much money? No-one. We just laugh at them.

Maybe Bentley is an unfair example, but its far easier to show big money signings that have failed, than big money signings that make all the difference to their new teams.

You can even question the logic of the so-called success stories. Lets take Torres at Liverpool at £24m, who is universally accepted as a good signing.

The opposite view is that the money could have been better spent. The Scouse finished 3rd before they got Torres, and 4th when they had him. So why was that? Possibly, in my view, because the Scouse full backs and wingers are cack and they still rely on slow old bastards like Hyppia at the back.

If fatty Rafa had picked up Sagna, Adebayor and Nasri, instead of Torres, then I reckon the Scouse would be a far greater force and would have a couple of million in spare change as well.

Obsinho said...

I don't think the article was calling for a "big" signing, and (as I don't have time to read the whole thing again)I think it ueses the Sagna/Eduardo/Adebayor purchases as an example of what is needed now - i.e. a good player.

There are lots out there, and AW knows who they are, and knows we need them.

Also, we aren't competing with Spurs/Liverpool/Fulham but the current champions and their current closest runners.

Their midfields are better (and it is evidently clear that at this point in time Carrick/Anderson/Hargreaves/Scholes are all better than Denilson/Diaby/Song) and they have addressed their weaknesses.

We have not. We didn;t need to address our weaknesses with Kaka, Messi or Gerrard, we just needed to address them.

Ted said...

It is darkest just before dawn, but look to the east on the 4th day and Alex Song will be there. In a tank.

1979gooner said...

shit, that's a scrary thought ted