Year by year it seems the draws for various competitions become more drawn out as a result of various vacuous pieces of bullsh*t that no one really cares for, the problem is you care about the outcome of the draw so you watch on regardless, getting progressively irate as Michel Platini drones on whilst admiring his plump pomposity in the mirror. Anyway we have Shakhtar Donetsk, Braga and Partizan Belgrade. Nothing disastrous and nothing easy, a fairly standard Champions League draw. The return of Eduardo to north London is of note.
Of the English sides I think Manu have the easiest, while Spurs and Chelsea have comparable draws. The AC Milan, Real Madrid, Ajax, Auxerre group looks tough to me. It's strange how things have changed over the last decade and how we have grown accustomed to things in the Champions League now. Back in the day we really needed a good draw to progress, the draw was a thing of real key importance. We have come so far since then, now whatever is thrown up at us, we know we will qualify if we play to our potential. There seems to be very little point in worrying too much about the teams we are playing as in days of old. Arsene does deserve a lot of credit for having taken our club from being a decent to European side to being one of the best in Europe year in year out. It is easy to get complacent and take too much for granted, I just thought a little reminder of this was worthwhile.
Now to fat Sam and his band of cloggers. Arsene has been stoking the fire ahead of the weekend's game by likening the fat Sam brand of football to rugby. One of the main differences between rugby and fat Sam's football is the fact that rugby is played by gentlemen and fat Sam only employs c*nts to play for him. But seriously Arsene does have a very valid point, the systematic fouling of the keeper that went on last season at Ewood park was completely unacceptable and at least one of Blackburn's goals on that day should not have stood. This clearly happened when Spurs played Stoke last weekend, the referee gave the keeper far too little protection. I have no problem with Blackburn hitting long balls into the box, but the referee has got to properly enforce the rules of the game and this must include protecting the keeper from deliberate attempts to impede and obstruct him.
We'll need to be on the ball and it will be important to press Blackburn high up the pitch, thus keeping them away from our penalty area as much as possible, dropping deep is the worst thing one do against the aerial bombardment. The pressing has clearly been re-emphasised to the players this season, as seen in the Blackpool and Liverpool games to good effect. I'm not quite sure what line up Arsene will go for and if I were manager I'd be struggling to choose the first eleven. The back five picks itself but there are numerous options in midfield and attack. I think Song and Diaby will get the nod due to their size and defensive ability, this may well mean Wilshere has to make way for Cesc. Then up front will Chamakh continue, will RVP return or will both start? Surely Walcott is a definite on the right. Frankly I still don't know and I haven't even mentioned Arshavin and Rosicky. I'm glad I'm not the manager, come on you Gunners.