Three Arsenal v United clips to get you in the mood + Toure backs Gibbs

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A sight I wouldn't mind seeing againA very warm hello and a happy Tuesday to you all.

First thing first today, I just want to say thanks to everyone who listened to and provided feedback from yesterday’s Arsenal FC Weekly podcast. The general feeling I got was that – a couple of sound problems aside – it was a pretty decent first episode. People seemed to like the topics that Panda Bear and I discussed and also liked the format of the pod, which was certainly nice to hear. 

Personally I thought it was a good start and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I’ve already mentioned that I want to have regular reader interviews on the pod and it looks like I’m going to kick that off next week with some discussion with a Manchester United-supporting mate of mine who reads the blog. I’d also love to do a segment where I answer any email questions you guys send me and discuss some of the comments that have been made on various posts during the week so there’s certainly a chance of that happening to. 

I should remind you that if you missed the podcast from yesterday and want to listen to it now you do so by clicking here. I should also remind you that have been kind enough to give me an Arsenal home shirt to give away as a celebration for the first episode of Arsenal FC Weekly and you can find details on how to enter that in the podcast. At this stage not too many people have got the question right so if you can send in the correct answer you’ll be in with a pretty decent chance.

Anyway, that’s all I’ll say on that.

United pre-preview

We’re just a day away from the first leg of the United tie now and it would be something of an understatement to say that things are getting exciting. It’s been a few seasons since we’ve played Manchester United in a game that really means something but with a place in the Champions League final on the line this certainly means something.

There’s been no fresh injury updates from Arsene Wenger and I suspect we won’t hear much from him about that until tomorrow. My feeling is that with Mikael Silvestre a 50:50 chance to play and Johan Djourou getting through a half of football without any problems, it will be the Swiss defender and not the ex-United man who gets the start. As for the other key defensive positions you have to think a rested Bacary Sagna will return while Kolo Toure and Kieran Gibbs should keep their places. 

There is also the option to move Sagna to the left and bring in Emmanuel Eboue on the right, but Gibbs received such a glowing endorsement by Toure today that I can’t see him missing out. Should he start then Gibbs will be up against Cristiano Ronaldo, and what a test that is likely to be. He’s certainly got the pact to go with the Portuguese man but you have to wonder whether Sir Alex Ferguson will target Gibbs in the hope that he crumbles under the pressure.

Wenger’s preference for the rest of the side remains a mystery. I mentioned yesterday on the podcast that I think the manager will stick with Samir Nasri in a deeper role and bring back Alex Song to add more bite into the midfield and allow Cesc Fabregas a more attacking role. That would mean Abou Diaby would start on the left, a position he’s played many times in the Champions League, while Theo Walcott would start on the right.

It’s an interesting line-up and one that I feel is good enough to get a draw or even beat United at Old Trafford. And what a thought that is: beating United at Old Trafford in the semi-final of the Champions League. Wow. It’s enough to make the hairs stand up at the back of your neck.

That’s all I’ve really got to say for today. I’ll leave you with three great Arsenal v United clips to get you in the mood. The first is Nasri firing in the second goal at home earlier in the season, the second is Emmanuel Adebayor poking home to score the last time we beat United at Old Trafford and third *tears up with happiness* is Sylvain Wiltord’s special goal that made us Premier League champions in 2002.

Enjoy – and I’ll speak to you tomorrow.

Have your say on Arsenal v United by leaving a comment.


29 thoughts on “Three Arsenal v United clips to get you in the mood + Toure backs Gibbs

  1. Love that Adebayor goal. Followed up a couple of minutes later by Jens Lehmann’s awesome point blank save from Solskjaer, great match!

    I think I’m more nervous by the prospect of Chelsea winning the Champions League this year, that’s something I could never stomach. Ever.

  2. We really need the boys to be up for this massive game on wed nite,this is the chance to go down in history as we,ve never won the biggest club trophy of them all and i still think the unbeaten team of 04 was the best equipped to do it but it didnt happen hopefully the class of 09/10 will graduate and make us the first london club to win it,i,m so excited cant wait for the game…COME ON YOU GUNNERS……..

  3. Hey SF- only just listened to the podcast (was working away yesterday). Great start, I’ll look forward to the next one.
    I agree that Gibbs will probably play left back and I admit to being a bit concerned about how he’ll cope with Ronaldo. I’ve been impressed with Gibbs and I think he’ll become a cracking player, but we must remember he’s actual;ly our third choice left back behind Clichy and Traore. I think he’s done really well so far, but it’s a big ask for him to keep the World Player of the Year quiet in a CL semi-final on his home ground. He’ll need support from Djourou or Silvestre (whoever plays) and also from Diaby and Nasri. I think this tie will be won or lost at Old Trafford. If we can come away with a draw or a one goal defeat with an away goal I think we’ll sneak through. If we lose and don’t score it’ll be too high a mountain to climb. Man U have so much experience of this type of game- both in their squad and behind the scenes. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

  4. Lets hope it is a clean match tomorrow night, I don’t think our current players can scrap like the old ones, maybe Keown will run on and give a hand if the going gets rough. There again united don’t have Keane anymore either so I think the game will be a spectacle of passing play and hopefully goals coming from the Arsenal players. If we can keep united from scoring it would be incredible but I can’t see that happening. From a goal scoring point of view Nasri could do with some as well as Ade and Wallcott so lets hope they all have their shooting boots on.

  5. @SF
    Sorry for the last post couldn’t think of anything to say that hadn’t been said already so just had a bit of verbal diarrhoea.

  6. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I see arsenal score past the big teams, but none more than Tottenham and Man United, I like it more when the commentators say “great goal”, ” hes talented” something like that. Samir Nasri hitting 2 past United, great signing haha. Arshavin hitting 4 past Liverpool, well done AW. I feel we can get a result at Old Trafford, or is this just hope. I have the same feeling I had when we beat them 2-1 but that is also the same feeling I got just before the FA Cup semi, so i dint know if its good or bad.

  7. SF: Enjoyed the podcast. Solid first effort. I’d like to hear more discussion/debate re: Arsenal’s best 11 and the formation thereof. I think we’ve got all the pieces now, I’m just not sure how they best fit together. Also, surely you can find an Aussie Man In The Bar.

  8. Im starting to get a bit nervous. We will be missing our 2 best players (Arsh + RVP) and have a teen on ROnaldo (unless Sagna moves over). The logic says its tough but I believe we can do it.

  9. Almunia

    Ebou- Toure- Djourou- Sagna

    Walcott- Song- Nasri- Diaby



    Nasri and Diaby could be switched but i like the idea of Nasri linking Defense and Midfield a la Pirlo…

  10. cacking my pants.

    biggest game of the year. young gibbs has done well so far but he will need to be completely focussed, lets just hope ronaldo does his usual and dissapears against the big teams.

  11. Gday all,

    Wiltord’s special goal – i was at Old Trafford for that one, greatest day in my life just about, its up there anyway!

  12. i think for the line up scenario, depending on the fitness of Silvestre and Djourou, Song might stay on the bench as a back up CB. If one of the first 2 dont make the squad because of injury, there is no back up CB – Eboue and Sagna definitely arent back ups in the CB spot.

  13. good to finaly see the pod cast up and running and i am sure it will only get better !
    little woried about our defence aginst manure will be intresting to see how well young gibbs will cope with ronaldo (if he starts) other than that i am quietly confidant well come away with a 1-1 draw at the least that would leave us in good steed for the return trip to the grove !





  14. Good GOD Chelsea was a disgrace to football today. I really cant believe so many are praising them on the result. If this becomes the English mentality EPL dominance will be short lived…

  15. Couldnt agree more MoMONEY. That was a disgrace to football. They totally refused to play, they were like Blackburn tonight. I wish Barca could demolish them in their own back yard next week. Pathetic Chelsea performance, they dont deserve to go through to the final.

  16. Gibbs and MoMOney.

    Seriously guys saying its a disgrace to football and pathetic performance is a bit out of line.

    I hate chelsea more then anyone and prefer to see barca in the final, however to this is a 2 leg compitition. Tatically thats the game chelsea needed to play away from home against a very good attacking team. Give them space and they will beat you.

    Chelsea closed down the space and sat back. They will be more adventures with the crowed behind them at stamford bridge.

    To me it was a good performance tactically and could get chelsea through to the final.

  17. Ronaldo7 – Chelsea got the result they wanted, good for them. But they were dirty and they cheated. Drogba’s theatrics, dives and pops he took at Dani Alves, Ballack’s tackles. Thats a disgrace imo mate. Im sorry but i just cant appreciate that. Chelsea were nasty, thats how i see it.

    The only good thing i can say about Chelsea is Messi was in Bosingwa’s pocket for almost the entire 90mins. He was great

  18. yeah drogba;s diving was woeful. His acting skills were great.

    I hate ballack so enough said.

    But chelsea tactic was what was required.

  19. Sure you can say they got the result. But this is the semi-final of UCL. These are supposed to be the top 4 teams in the world. When one of them plays like they are Sunderland away at Old Trafford, I have a problem with that. Man United had a similar tactic last year and I didnt like it. But Man Utd at least tried to counter as much as they could… I like to see the team that plays the best football win. not the most physical. Otherwise I would watch Rugby or boxing… Chelsea had no intention of playing football tonight… Im praying Barca dismantle them at home so justice can be served…

    Also I just have to say- Maybe you can answer this better Ronaldo7. But it seems that whenever Man Utd need to win- they move Rooney back or bench him and Tevez plays. I half expect it tomorrow again. But what is the point of keeping Rooney then? He is a good player, nothing super special IMO, but I kinda think he is only hailed because he is English… Idn. Cant wait till tomorrow.

  20. MoMONEY-

    I disagree, rooney is never ever subbed for Tevez. Rooney gets sacrificed on the right or left wing.

    Usualy it is cause Ronaldo doesnt defend too well and against good sides that know that. Rooney is then moved to the wing cause you know he will track back.

    On Rooney he is in absoultely fantastic form atm and i expect him to be a constant threat to arsenal tomorrow.

    Tevez on the other hand is the poor fella who finds himself on the bench more often then not cause Fergie loves Berba and Rooney is a must starter.

    Tevez also gives the team alot of energy off the bench and more often then not finds a vital goal late in games.

  21. i suspect this will be the United Formation but im not too sure to be honest.

    Oshea Vidic Ferdinand Evra

    Ronaldo Carrick Anderson Giggs

  22. OK Ronaldo’s defending could explain it… It was just a question I always had- because it seems in the important games Rooney is often playing midfield instead of upfront…

    After today’s snoozefest Im hoping for some craziness tomorrow. We NEED the away goal IMO. I expect we will go 4-5-1 though I do think we will see the deadly Eduardo at some point.

    CANT WAIT!!! Should be studying for a midterm but absolutely cant…

  23. I watched the game last night and thought Chelski defended well but were truly outplayed by a very good Barcelona team. If it wasn’t for Cech then Barce would be through by now. I thought Chelski’s tactics were very good, well they defended well anyway but Ballack should have beens sent of imo, Essien was crowded out and when he did run at them he didn’t have the speed, Lampard was his usual non existent self. I think that even though Chelski managed a 0-0 the game is for Barcelona to take, 1 goal will mean Chelski require 2. They say that the home team has the advantage in the second leg but I am not so sure that is the case now.

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