Arsenal Face The Eastenders To Prevent A Season Going South

Just as chins hit the floor with a resounding thud, spirits were lifted at 9.45pm yesterday as Frank Lampard’s penalty hit the roof of the net and inflicted a damaging wound to Manchester United’s title-winning season (© wethemediadecreeyouwontwintheleagueunitedandchelseathrewitaway plc).

Whether it is a fatal blow will be determined to a certain extent by the results in both team’s fixtures this weekend. A win for Arsenal and failure by United to do the same will put Arsenal in a strong position with a game in hand. Reverse the outcomes and the game in hand will close the gap to three points. It is becoming increasingly possible that the outcome of the season may rest on the meeting at The Emirates in May. Or April if Sky move the match forward.

The joy was relative. Cesc is a strong possibility for returning in the Camp Nou which will no doubt please the Barcelona board and faithful. No, wait they wanted him in their shirt not the colours of Arsenal. Oh well, can’t please all the people, all the time…

Robin van Persie though is likely to return to full fitness just in time for the Dutch international double-header with Hungary, a new era in club v country relationships as Arsenal decide to keep their players fit for national teams and to Hell with their own ambitions. Very generous I am sure, which will not go unnoticed in the corridors of Nyon and Zurich.

It means that Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner need to hit the ground running, finding their scoring boots very quickly. The Dane has form in replacing van Persie, 8 in 12 games last season whilst Chamakh made an excellent start to his Arsenal career this season.

The Moroccan has admitted that he struggled towards December / January but has been rested over that timescale which ought to leave him fighting fit for the rest of the season. Arsenal need both strikers to show their finest form in a crucial three weeks before the international break. FA Cup and Champions League campaigns will be made or broken in that spell whilst the Premier League can be driven forwards positively.

So to this evening. There are more walking wounded than van Persie from Sunday. The Chuckle Brothers are both out, Szczesny will be a substitute because Almunia ‘needs the games‘ according to the manager whilst Laurent Koscielny is suffering.

Not as much as we are with the mithering that is going on about world class goalkeepers and world class centre backs. Or rather the perceived absence of them, a matter of days after we were being regalled with tales of derring-do by the same voices, how the Djourou / Koscielny partnership was going to be the difference to last season.

With Abou Diaby not risked on Sunday because the Final was deemed to be too intense for a player who has missed most of the last five seasons through injury, it seems likely he will return tonight, a midfield triumverate with Denilson and Rosický most likely, Eboué wide on the right, Arshavin scampering his little socks off on the left.

Personally, I would start with Bendtner this evening. Chamakh looked out of sorts on Sunday as a substitute although it could be argued that he would be better served playing himself into form once more with the same leeway given to Arshavin. Tellingly, Bendtner was van Persie’s immediate replacement and that perhaps gives some indication for team selection whilst the Dutchman is absent.

For the rest of the side, I believe numbers are sufficiently short for the team to pick itself,

Almunia; Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs; Rosický, Denilson, Diaby; Eboué, Bendtner, Arshavin

The bench whilst somewhat threadbare has a reasonable strength available although I am sure that the manager and players will want to win this game before the ninety minutes is up. And with all due respect to Orient, they should be able to do so. Little came from the first match to suggest that Arsenal will struggle to overcome them but complacency is a killer. Ask Everton.

Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it. ’til Tomorrow.

289 thoughts on “Arsenal Face The Eastenders To Prevent A Season Going South

  1. steww says:

    Hope no one gets hurt, Orient will start to try a Newcastle soon. Hard to pull that off without the active support of the ref of course.

  2. Gavin says:

    So do you guys realize that this is the first time this season that the title is in Arsenal’s hands. They don’t have to depend on another team to lose. If Arsenal win all of there remaining games, they win the title !
    COYG

  3. IndianGooner says:

    Gr8 run from Gibbs but brought down in the box.. penalty…

  4. steww says:

    Great swerving run. Reminded me of Geordie Armstrong.

  5. Evil says:

    Hattrick Bendtner! He is getting EVEN MORE confidence. I think he might prove to be quite a test for Barca … but obviously Sunderland comes first.

  6. TimmyT says:

    Bentner ,, just what we need,,, ! Lets get that confidence up there boy!

  7. IndianGooner says:

    Big Nic gets his hattrick..

    Nasri on for TR7…. Mozart became sick??

  8. Paul N says:

    Wow, very impressive game by the “2nd” team.

  9. Team spirit says:

    hattrick for nb52.

    not bad for a response!

  10. IndianGooner says:

    Teboue is on for Orient and Lil Jack on for Big Nic… Big Nic to start against Sunderland???

  11. steww says:

    So sad to see TR7 go off like that. He is one of my absolute favourites. Beautiful, cultured footballer who has had the worst luck.

  12. TimmyT says:

    i dont get the subs ! Does not make any sense to me !

  13. Paul N says:

    TS, so many were worrying about our mental state after Sunday. Its as if they havent been watching how the team has bounced back after every defeat.

  14. IndianGooner says:

    Clichy is for Diaby..

    Gibbs playing in front of Clichy.. Practice for Farca??

  15. steww says:

    timmyT when you play total football anyone can play anywhere.

  16. Paul N says:

    TimmyT, since we dont have RVP I believe Arsene is trying to keep NB fresh for Saturday and Rosicky seems to have a issue.

  17. poodle says:

    Gibbs is very fast is he not? Barca dont like em fast do they?

  18. Paul N says:

    City ah mash up Villa to backside!

  19. trugunn says:

    unable to watch our game so am tuned into the valencia-barca game.guardiola is really trying out tactics with biscets and abidal at cb.if valencia can play like ths for 90 minutes,am sure barca could be a little bit fatigued when we play them considering they play seville on sat who i think can give them a good run for their money.does anyone know if valdes has been dropped?

  20. Team spirit says:

    @Paul N… the better to shock them

  21. Evil says:

    Clichy .. his first goal in how many years? Awesome!

  22. TimmyT says:

    Stew why risk both left backs when it would be better to perhaps throw some one on that needs a run out. The game is in the bag, what if jack was to get mowed down and joins the walking wounded. It has nothing to do with who is playing where! If one of clichy or gibbs picks up a knock we are down to one left back.. ?

  23. steww says:

    You see the smile on Samir’s face? Priceless.
    Lovely bit of skill from Miquel at the start of that move.

  24. steww says:

    Sorry timmyT misunderstood your post. I too hate seeing ‘big’ players in these bit part tournaments with huge games coming up. However we really do not know what Le Boss knows or what he needs to see from his players, what his plans are etc.
    Sometimes as fans we have to trust those who know more than us.

  25. TimmyT says:

    Steww, I have faith mate ! le boss knows best!

  26. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Tru,

    Valdes has near post-itis

    On our game – thought Charlie Daniels would be banned.

    Adrian Chiles was taking the p*ss when our first half goals were shown earlier. Nobhead.

  27. steww says:

    From the beeb
    “Emmanuel Eboue, who hasn’t been at his best defending, sets a goal up here,”
    every fucking comment has to be poisoned, even the positive has to have a negative ring to it.

  28. IndianGooner says:

    Loving the way Clichy and Gibbs rotating at will on the left flank….

  29. Paul N says:

    I wish Chamakh would get a little more direct with his play, a little more selfish.

  30. IndianGooner says:

    I’m surprised by the fitness of the Orient players… 85mins over but still full of running….

  31. steww says:

    PaulN – I wonder if it’s confidence? He looks like he needs to believe he’s good enough to lead the line at The New Highbury. Imagine training with RVP, Cesc and Nasri – it must make you think… fuck!

  32. Paul N says:

    I think it is confidence steww, he was turning with the ball at the beginning of the season but now every times he gets the ball its like he is looking to lay it off.

    I hope someone tells him about it, he is a great player and can score goal as we all know.

  33. steww says:

    Well done Arsenal. Well done you lot, great to have your company.
    Theatre Of Turds here we come.

  34. IndianGooner says:

    Gr8 game.. Couldn’t have asked for a better game to get over Sunday…

    Well done to Leyton Orient.. Gave us a good game for 180min and would love to play against such teams…

  35. Evil says:

    Good game and exactly what the doctor prescribed. Need to continue the good showing of form against Sunderland though. Everyone played well, though I’d like to single out Bendtner (obviously), Diaby, Denilson and Rosicky with the latter three really keeping it tight in midfield. Also Henderson had a decent debut and Miquel was again good.

  36. Paul N says:

    Rosicky looked really good running the show. I was desperate for him to do well after all that has been said about him recently.

  37. steww says:

    Valencia still giving Broke Back Barca a game. 0-0 approaching HT.
    I thought Miquel looked extremely composed. Bartley, Hoyte et al must be looking on and wondering. I’m delighted to have him as fifth choice CB.

  38. consolsbob says:

    I thoght the substitutions were very clever, bringing on three players who were part of that losing side at Wembley to enjoy an emphatic win with no risk and no need to tire themselves.

    Clever, Arsene, clever.

  39. IndianGooner says:

    steww,
    Messi missed couple of chances from what i read.. He still must be in Kos’s pockets.. Miquel is indeed looking good and will take him as our 5th choice with open arms..

  40. Remi says:

    Talking of Bartley, he played for Rangers against Celtic tonight.
    A game not for the faint hearted, Rangers had three players sent off, Bartley wasn’t one of them though!

  41. IndianGooner says:

    cbob,
    Indeed.. Especially Nasri and Lil Jack.. They need to be in good state for the weekend…

  42. steww says:

    I don’t think Batca look happy, but what do I know. To be honest it doesn’t matter. It only matters how we play against them.
    Still, little matter of Sunderland first eh?

  43. IndianGooner says:

    TR7 has a small concussion… Hope he returns soon..

    According to Opta, there were 1254 passes in tonight’s game.. The game against Farca had 1114.

  44. IndianGooner says:

    Opta on twitter.
    499 – L Orient’s total of 499 passes v Arsenal tonight is higher than 13 of the 14 PL away teams to play at the Emirates this season. Pluck.

  45. Firstlady says:

    Mj:sunderland first and the barca before the red nosed f ucks.

  46. Borges Spinelli says:

    Just the sort of game we needed to reinforce the belief of our team. Should we enforce another emphatic win against Sunderland, without further injuries sustained, and Cesc back in the squad (on the bench, I’ll be the first on the plane to Camp Nou.

    Orient played well, but were outclassed by the magnificence of Arsenal. They can hold their heads up with pride at playing football the way it ought to be played. Unlike the two boring overrated Manchester teams.

    PS: I’m thrilled Chamakh proved my earlier aspersions wrong, by scoring. Boy, oh, boy did he need that for confidence boost.

  47. 1 loose cannon says:

    I heard few people moaning about a replay but I was happy to have replay. I thought lots of our players need games and they had an extra game to get their fitness and match sharpness up. My only concern was seeing Wilshere and Nasri coming on but no injuries and the job was done. It was really a good thing to have this replay to boost the confidence ahead of the Sunderland game.

  48. Mentalist says:

    Chamakh is still missing that hunger he had at the start of the season, even after his goal he couldn’t risk a shot.

    Oh and Barça looking very very fragile.

  49. deano says:

    Getting fiery between Valencia and the Farce.

  50. deano says:

    Bloody hell that Pinto looks crackers.

  51. 1 loose cannon says:

    Watching the BarcelonaV Valencia game . I’m amazed at this Velencia team , they are actually playing in the Barcelona half, battered them for the last 20 minutes and they should be 3 nil up. They closed down every Barceolona player, Barcelona look average at the moment.

  52. 1 loose cannon says:

    I think Arsenal have shown other teamsther are other ways to beat Barcelona parking the bus does not always work. Valencia playing a high line like we did and pushing Barcelona in their own half.

  53. 1 loose cannon says:

    Barca 1 up, Valencia switched off for a minute and Messi punishes them. Valencia did not take their chances.

  54. colney says:

    I don’t live in the UK so maybe you guys might know Mark Jackson. I watched the game on Fox Soccer Channel and had to listen to Martin Tyler and Mark Jackson make insulting comments about Arsenal all game.

    In the first half Denilson tried to avoid a studs up challenge from an Orient player and was caught slightly by the players trailing leg. According to Mark Jackson Denilson deserved to be injured for not committing to the tackle, he was also making fun of Rosicky, claiming the Czech international was faking his injury.

    Why do people hate AFC so much?

  55. colney says:

    I really enjoyed the game tonight, very good response after the cup loss. I think Henderson will be a very good player for Arsenal, he did seem a bit tentative, i think he didn’t want to make a mistake but his touch was a joy to behold.
    I also liked Miquel’s long range passing, he seemed to grow as the game wore on, another CB off the production line.

  56. dupsffokcuf says:

    Colney – Matt Jackson was just a journeyman footballer. Played for Wigan amongst numerous other teams.

  57. colney says:

    I think the way we can win at the nou camp will be in 3 stages

    1. don’t concede in the first half, because we will come under immense pressure.
    2. don’t concede right after the break
    3. if we can keep it tight until the 70min and score a goal they will need 3 to progress, they are not the fittest team in the world. most of our goals have come after the 70min when they seem to tire.

  58. deano says:

    Keeper should have saved Messi’s shot it was too close to the middle of the goal. He got too weak of a hand to it.

    Valencia look a bloody good team though. A lot of quality there, the ball sticks like magic. Mata in particular is very impressive.

    Conclusion: We will certainly get chances at Camp Nou. We MUST take them. Who’d have thought it eh?

  59. colney says:

    Dupps
    Makes sense now, still why the disparaging comments about AFC? I really don’t get it, can’t these commentators just “call” the game without showing any bias whatsoever?

  60. Paul N says:

    Sorry for Valencia, it seems the better team on the day didnt win, such is life.

  61. colney says:

    Abou Diaby completed all 47 of his passes in the first half according to OptaJoe

  62. colney says:

    I wonder if Jimmy Smith was laughing after we put 5 past his team.

  63. Mentalist says:

    Let’s see how long it’ll take for Barcuntslona to start talking about Miquel’s DNA.

  64. dupsffokcuf says:

    Colney – his comment about Rosicky was appalling. Something along the lines of, ‘maybe he thinks he has done enough tonight and wants a rest’.

  65. Passenal says:

    “Let’s see how long it’ll take for Barcuntslona to start talking about Miquel’s DNA.”

    Apparently BBB wanted him back at the time Arsenal were showing an interest having let him go earlier in his career. However, Ignasi made the right decision!

  66. colney says:

    Arsene Wenger’s reaction after the game:
    on Conor Henderson’s debut…
    “If you look at all the English players that come out now, it’s amazing. He has done well, and shown that he is technically at the level that we request here. He has a nice, smooth left foot and good build. He would have been involved a long time ago but he was injured.”

    on Tomas Rosicky’s injury…
    “He is good, he had an elbow on his head. He was a bit dizzy so we took him off.”

    So Matt Jackson whoever you are go fuck yourself!

  67. Passenal says:

    The game was good fun tonight. Everyone played well. I thought our two young reserves were impressive. A couple of stray passes from Henderson, but that’s to be expected from a youngster on his first start for the first team. It was great to see Denilson getting more involved in the game, he’s playing himself into form at just the right time. Shame about Rosicky, I just hope it’s not serious and any c*nt making jokes about it deserves to die horribly.

    I have to give credit to Orient, who played football tonight and did not resort to the overly physical stuff (Chorley excepted!) or the long ball unlike some limited PL teams! All in all the game was just what the doctor ordered – a run out for those in need of it, an easy victory without having to break into a sweat, clean sheet, a hatrick for NB52 and a goal for Chamakh. Shame that some of our fair weather fans didn’t bother to turn up tonight, but those of us that did showed our support for the team and ‘one Arsene Wenger’. Here’s to step two, Sunderland on Saturday.

  68. colney says:

    I liked the way Abou played tonight, his one-two with Chamakh deserved a goal but he was unlucky, his shot just missed the inside of the post. I just hope he doesn’t get injured and can get a run of games he can give Song some much needed rest.

  69. Passenal says:

    P.S. I nearly forgot to mention, the collectors item – a goal for Gael Clichy. And very well taken it was too!

  70. colney says:

    In a few years the English national team could have some of the most technically astute players around thanks to Wenger’s vision of molding his own English talent. 😀

  71. colney says:

    Clichy has more goals than Jermaine Defoe lol

  72. klon says:

    @Colney

    I caught the commentators comment about Denilson deserved to be hurt and thought that was one of the stupidest things I have heard all week. A grown man should be well and truly ashamed to say something so silly.

  73. colney says:

    Miquel reminds me of Pique he’ll fill out his frame in the coming years.

  74. ponyboy says:

    Lovely moment when Sammy waved his finger and smiled at Gael; really good vibes in this team..
    Consols: Enjoy a little Leonard too.. it’s not in the least depressing, esp. “Famous Blue Raincoat”. Cheers me up everytime..

  75. Bradys right foot says:

    The replay was a blessing in disguise as it put a little more distance in football terms between Sundays loss and the rest of the season. Regardless of how the fans feel atm the players have to be absolutely buzzing. Ok the result on Sunday was bad but look at the position in the league, an opportunity of FA cup progress at Old Trafford, the chance to play Barca at the Camp Nou and the league title in our hands. Seriously all gooners should be captivated excited and yes nervous but its going to be a great ride hold on tight and enjoy gooners.

  76. Bradys right foot says:

    ponyboy | March 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

    “Lovely moment when Sammy waved his finger and smiled at Gael; really good vibes in this team.”

    Seen that to mate. Sammy was ribbing our free scoring left back saying he didn’t mean it lol.

  77. ponyboy says:

    @Mark Hughes – When even Tony Pubis doesn’t shake your hand, and the elegant Mancini (for now!) hardly touches you ; have you got undesirable habits ??? AW and Cesc, as ever, knew you for what you are.. (smirk)
    Thanks to Harrods for keeping Citeh down though. Bed ? Oh, ok, mama.

  78. MDGunner says:

    At the risk of being risque, enjoyed Cohen’s book “Beautiful Losers”?

  79. Frank says:

    Well well well well well…just got back from the game. It was freezing. Must have been about 45,000 in the ground, which given that LO had an extra allocation was fucking pathetic. Perhaps the poor lambs don’t like the cold.

    Players did not care though. Excellent performance and, like Passenal, I enjoyed watching Ignassi and Conor. I was intrigued by Kieran and Gael playing together down the left in the last part of the game. I wonder if we might try that against Barcelona Athletic on Tuesday.

    ….Arsenal….

  80. IndianGooner says:

    Frank,
    Even I liked the Gibbs-Clichy cameo from the left… I wouldn’t mind seeing that game against Farca targetting Big Nic andor Chamakh with crosses…

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