december 31st

Well normal service, for this season anyway, was resumed when our away day troubles continued as we played out a limp 0-0 draw with Aston Villa. We had one chance in the first half when Mathieu Flamini was clean through but blasted over when at the very least he should have hit the target, Freddie hit the bar with a great left footed curler in the second half while right at the end Kolo Toure poked it wide from inside the 6 yard box.

It was a pretty insipid performance though against what is a very average Villa side who conceded 3 the other night against those goal machines at Fulham. The jury has been out on Alexander Hleb since his arrival but after seeing him today he's made it easy for them to deliver their verdict. He was useless and maybe José was rested with Tuesday's game in mind but we could have done with the Spaniard's energy and craft as opposed to the Belarussian's shite and poo.

I know the festive schedule is hard but it's hard for all teams and it was difficult to see the team look so lacklustre when this was a game we should have been able to take three points from. There is no doubt in my mind that the team needs freshening up in the transfer window. We need to add some competition for places, we need to bring in players who are hungry for success and won't accept a 0-0 draw with 5 minutes to go (witness substitute Robert Pires run away from Pascal Cygan when he was looking for someone to throw the ball to deep in our own half with just a short time to go - a perfect snapshot of what is wrong with this team at the moment), we need to bring in someone who can grab a game by the bollocks when we really need it. The manager headed for the tunnel deep in thought at the final whistle and I hope he's thinking about who he's going to buy because he needs to do something before it's too late. New tactics, teamtalks and whatever else just aren't working. A disappointing way to end the calendar year.

Tuesday sees Man United arrive at Highbury and unless there is a drastic improvement in performance and attitude it's hard to see us get anything from that game. We'll be without Pascal Cygan as he picked up his 5th booking of the season so a reshuffle of the back four will be needed as well.

Anyway, leaving aside the football which is pretty depressing I just want to wish all readers of Arseblog the very best for 2006. I hope you all have a happy, successful and prosperous new year and I'm sure you'll join me in wishing the same for the team. Have a good one, Arsefriends.


december 29th

Saw the goals from last night's 4-0 win over 'Appy 'Arry's Portsmouth. Dennis Bergkamp got the 200th league goal of his illustrious career, José looks like he's found his shooting boots at last with his second in as many games while Thierry Henry scored two.

A good confidence boost ahead of Saturday's game against Villa and next Tuesday's big game against United. Birmingham's 2-2 draw should be a sign that if a team that crap can do it against United there's no reason why a team as crap as us can't do it either </sarcasm-ish>.

In other news there is no other news. The Guinness is still very, very good. I hope you're all well, till next time.


december 27th

Hello Arsefans, I hope you had a very happy Christmas. I am most happy filling myself with Guinness and food. It's good to be home.

Saw yesterday's game against Charlton. I don't really have time to comment on the performance but it was a welcome three points, great to see José score and how festive of Pascal Cygan to try and gift the game to Charlton at every occassion.

We've got Portsmouth tomorrow evening and another three points has to be the order of the day. Leaving football aside, for those of you in Ireland I sincerely recomment the Guinness Brew 39. Limited edition but good enough to make me want to stay.

Another update tomorrow, perhaps. Take it easy.


december 23rd

Arsene: "Joan, cabron de mierda, you should not talk about signing Thierry Henry in public."

Laporta: "Calma, hombre. I am in charge of the all powerful Barcelona I can say what I want, when I want. The people love me, despite the fact my brother had to resign from the board because he's got an 'I love Franco' tattoo on his arse. It doesn't matter though the Catalan people love me because I say what they want to hear. Watch this: "Barcelona will be the greatest team in the universe and we will sign the players."

Catalan people: *drool*

Laporta: "You see, I could, how you say, jiggy-jiggy with all of their wives but once I talk big and we win stuff it does not matter. They love me when I talk about Henry and when they love me they are more likely to vote me in as President again."

Arsene: "Thierry is my player. He has a contract. If you want to sign him you do it the right way and not through the newspapers you use as your loud-hailers. Understand?"

Laporta: "Pleeeeeeease. I told you already I can do as I wish. If I say I want to sign Henry the people love me more - it's hard to think that's possible but it's true. Please remember Arsene that people in football have short memories. While Arsenal were going a whole season unbeaten and winning the league Barcelona was simply rebuilding from an era when we were written off as poo-poo. We spent millions on crap players and nearly went bankrupt. You won the league, including a double, twice in that time and three FA Cups. Barcelona couldn't win a raffle fixed by St Jordi himself. Not a single person in the world of football would ever have said a player like Henry would sign for us. Now things have changed. Arsenal have struggled this season, and you'd be the first to admit that yourself, and Real Madrid - Els més tontos de tot el mon - signed all the players you wanted. You lose a few games and now it's inevitable that Henry will sign for us. I am just helping the process along."

Arsene: "Look here you fucking lawyer, shut your fucking cunt or I'll shut it for you."

And so the conversation goes. The boss is not happy and Laporta and I don't blame him. It's a very Spanish thing though the way he's talking. The sports papers here are mental though. I've lost count of the players Barcelona 'will sign today' when the transfer windows are open. They conduct their business through the press, the journos get 'scoops' and the sports papers do lots of the dirty work for the clubs. El Mundo and Sport for Barcelona, AS and Marca for Real Madrid. Anyway, when things are going bad it's easy to think that Thierry will bugger off at the first opportunity but at the end of the day none of us know, nobody takes into account the sense of loyalty and responsibility Thierry might have and until the end of the season it should be a closed book, provided that Slick Willy from No 3 Passeig de Gracia keeps his mouth shut, the wanker.

Injury news ahead of the St Stephen's day (that's Boxing day to you) trip to Charlton we could be without Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie although José Antonio Reyes should be fit again.

And apart from that all that's left for me to do is wind down another calendar year on Arseblog. Thank you all for your daily visits, for making it worth my while getting up before I need to in order to post the site every day, and I wish you a very merry Christmas and the best for 2006.

I'm going back to Ireland to partake of mucho Guinness. There will be intermittent updates during the next week or 10 days but nothing regular. Normally Tom does it but he's got lots on his plate at the moment! Again, the best to you and yours. Cheers.


december 22nd

As usual Arsenal didn't do things the easy way last night against Doncaster in the Carling Cup. They took the lead after some comedy defending between Eboue and Djourou allowed some bloke in to squeeze the ball in at the near post. We huffed and puffed but didn't do much. Hleb played in Lupoli when everyone, especially Lupoli, thought he'd shoot so the ball just bounced off the young Italian's shins. Then Nicklas Bendtner, on for the injured Robin van Persie, had a header which was well saved by some bloke.

At our end Manuel Almunia made a couple of good saves including one fantastic double stop. In the second half we didn't really look like equalising. Quincy was doing his utmost to show everyone he was the king of the stepover and the awful through pass but then disaster struck. He took a shot which was headed miles wide and it whacked off the arse of some bloke and went in 1-1.

Not much else happened in normal time. Arturo Lupoli and Bendtner combined well a couple of times and Lupoli created his own chances seeing as nobody else was creating anything for him but he couldn't score. Quincy then played another pooey pass and signalled to the bench that he had to come off. I know a lot of people talk about him but to me he's a fairly ineffectual show pony with no end product.

We had extra time then and it wasn't long started when some bloke got in behind our defence and crossed from the left. Philippe Senderos tried to clear it, miskicked and the ball ended up under Almunia and then under his feet. As he tried to clear some onrushing bloke scrapped it home. 2-1 Donacaster and you could feel the hacks sharpening their pencils again. We had some chances, Eboue blasted over, Larsson shot straight at the keeper and then in the very last minute we played our best football of the match. Some nice interplay saw Eboue set free down the right and he crossed for Gilberto to sort of clump it home to make it 2-2. Last minute goals are ace, especially when you don't really deserve them.

So it went to penalties. Gilberto scored, some bloke scored, Cygan scored, some bloke hit the post, Larsson scored, Almunia saved from some bloke, Hleb passed the ball to the keeper, Almunia saved from some bloke and Arsenal went through. Heartbreak for Doncaster who played really well but that's football and I can't feel too much sympathy for a bunch of cunts who sang that 'Same old Arsenal, always cheating' song every couple of minutes. Shut yer traps.

In the end the result was fine but the performance was not so good. I know this was mainly a young/reserve team but the display showed the lack of confidence throughout the club right now and it showed us that while some of our young players have got what it takes and have the potential to improve some of them just aren't up to it. Quincy I have mentioned above. I've been watching football a long time but I just cannot understand the hype around him. Alexander Song is young but he's already lazy and in this day and age you can't beat that out of a player. As I said the last time I saw him he's got no business being anywhere near the Arsenal first team. He certainly wouldn't have been a couple of seasons ago even in the Carling Cup.

Regular readers will know I'm a great fan of Arsene's faith in youth but the youth have to be in the team because they're good enough not just because they're young. Senderos, his mistake apart, and van Persie are the only ones who played tonight good enough to play in the Premiership. But we've already seen that. Eboue is a very big maybe as he has this terrible tendency to pass the ball to the opposition in and around our penalty area. Lupoli and Bendtner look very promising. Djourou did well enough without being noticeable and again the senior players, Almunia apart, didn't lead by the example (not until the very last minute anyway). Symptomatic of that was the throw in we had in our left with about two minutes of extra time left. Pascal Cygan simply threw it to a Doncaster player and if that's what the experienced guys are showing the youngsters is it any wonder we struggled?

Hats off to Manuel Almunia though who, even without the penalties, was man of the match. I'm still not convinced he's got what it takes to be the number one at a club like Arsenal but if he's into it he'd be the perfect number 2 (heh). He's a very good shot stopper and looks more at ease this season than last when everything seemed to look really frightening to him. Afterwards he said "I am very happy for the team and for Philippe because he is my friend and he was worried after their second goal. The team were very disappointed then. But penalties are lucky - sometimes you save them, sometimes you don't."

The boss was quick to praise the keeper for keeping us in the game and despite the narrow result also praised the spirit of the players, saying "When there are 60 seconds to go and you are away from home, 99 per cent of the time you are out. But you have to try to get in the goal and the credit to my team is that they tried until the last second."

True enough and Doncaster had already beaten Manchester City on penalties and they stuffed Aston Villa in the last round . That said, given the hype that surrounds some of the youngsters we probably expected a little bit more. Not our fault, the boss is always talking up the their quality. Taking nothing away from Doncaster who were a more experienced and more physical (a team full of Stephen Hawkins would be more physical than us at the moment) we were very lucky to go through last night. And in the semi-finals we'll play Wigan with the first leg at the JJB stadium. The boss has already said he'll include more senior players for this one which is the right decision if he really wants to have a chance of lifting the trophy.

In other news it appears Thierry Henry is going to be fit for the festive games after having a scan on his achilles. All the more important having seen Robin van Persie pick up a knock last night. The Sun reports some kind of 'ding dong' between Arsene and Gary Lewin over Jose Mourinho's Christmas card but without too much detail. And that's about it. I've finished work, today I'm going to do the last of the shopping and tomorrow I'm back home to Ireland for 10 days. Fa la la la la, la la la la....


december 21st

Oooh, only 4 days until Christmas, isn't it exciting? All the tinsel and mince pies aside there's a bit going on. The first thing I want to do is have a good laugh at Chelsea's explanation, which they leaked to anyone who would listen, that Arsene Wenger snubbed Jose Mourinho's personal Christmas card when the special one had merely signed all the ones to the other league managers. All that money and they couldn't hire someone to come up with a better story than that. We all know that Mourinho is a poor loser, which is not unusual amongst football managers. What makes him so objectionable is that he's a poor winner and that's the sign of a proper cunt. Anyway, he'll get his in time. The British sports minister has called on both men to 'grow up' whereas Arseblog calls on the British sports minister to 'fuck off' and concentrate on his job.

The next story is one we've all been waiting for. After months of speculation he has finally extended his contract with the club. We can rest easy. Mart Poom is ours until the end of the season! Phew and phew again, my friends. As well as that we got the first tentative comments from the manager that he's looking to bring in new players in January. He said “If it is possible I can make an addition to the team, I will.”

Excellent. Once that's a pretty good player - and I know it's difficult when people are cup tied for the CL but no matter what happens we'll have more Premiership games than CL games - and not some 17 year old on loan from some a French club that just got relegated whose uncle was one of the most average players to ever play in England and whose main claim to fame was that Gerard Houllier said Robbie Fowler's goal line sniffing celebration was taught to him by this player and that he was just pretending to eat the grass like a cow. Someone better than that please, Arsene. The boss revealed yesterday that he tried to buy Ronaldinho 5 years ago, going so far as to have talks with his brother who is also his agent, but was hampered because he wouldn't have got a work permit. The boss says "Basically, the rule forces you to wait to buy the player — but by then you cannot afford him any more."

The squad for tonight's Carling Cup game against Doncaster was revealed yesterday. You can get the full list here, it's the usual kids with some names like Senderos, van Persie, Pascal Cygan and Gilberto thrown in. Again it's a chance for some of them to impress and for some of them to show us that, despite fairly average performances whenever I've seen them, that they're worth the hype. Not mentioning any Quincys in particular.

The Sun reports that Thierry Henry went to a private hospital to have scans on the achilles injury which has been troubling him all season. Obviously worrying if it's true and if the injury has come back.

Given the state of things up the Arsenal at the moment when asked about spirit most of us would say 'A large whiskey, please' but not Kolo Toure. He reckons we'll be all right, considering. Kolo says "We have big games coming up and we need to have a big response. The team spirit is still strong. We are family here at Arsenal and we care passionately about the team."

There might be one or two or perhaps four players you might doubt the committment of this season but Kolo would never be one of them. In case you missed it on the news feeds yesterday Safety wrote a new article which is called Collateral. You can check out his, and the other columnists scribblings, on this page.

Right, it's my last day in work today before I take my holidays. Woooo and indeed Hooooo.


december 20th

Letter to Santa


december 19th

I think it's safe to say that three mistakes cost Arsenal the game yesterday. Two of them were blindingly obvious, one of the them was a small mistake but very costly.

van Persie

Mistake 1: After about 20 minutes, just after Thierry Henry had hit the post, Freddie Ljungberg played in Robin van Persie and he finished quite clinically to make it 1-0 to Arsenal. However, for some reason the linesman disallowed the goal for offside. There is no disputing the fact that Thierry Henry was offisde but he did not touch the ball, the pass was not made to him and the goal should have stood. It should have been 1-0 Arsenal but soon it was the other way around.

Mistake 2: Kolo Toure allowed Arjen Robben to get away from him for just second but that's all a player of his pace needs when he's being played onside by Sol Campbell. He raced through and scored off the post to make it 1-0 to Chelsea when it should have been 1-0 Arsenal.

Mistake 3: The ball came across the pitch and Lauren tried to take it down but only succeeded in playing the ball into the path of Joe Cole. He still had Sol Campbell to beat but he didn't have to do much to make Sol look silly and finish with a left foot curler low past Jens Lehmann. From 2-0 down there was never any chance of coming back against a team as defensive as Chelsea and the three points were always destined for West London. What a shame.

For me there is no question that van Persie's disallowed goal was the pivotal moment. We had weathered Chelsea's early storm, Henry had hit the post a minute or two before and then we scored a perfectly good goal which meant Chelsea would have had to come out and play instead of scoring themselves and then sitting back and showing everyone - AGAIN - how strong they are defensively. It was a really poor decision by the linesman and it cost us the game. Arsene Wenger was not at all happy, making a comment that could land him in hot water with the FA. He said "We scored a regular goal but the referee made a very bad decision. I associate the referee and linesmen in the same team - the Chelsea team."

Not long after that football's ambassador for fair play, Michael Essien, knocked out one of Lauren's front teeth with an straight arm while fending off the ball. For me the replays were inconclusive, maybe I need to see them again, but given his form he was lucky to escape with a yellow card. Moaninho said Arsenal were picking on him because of past events where he has tried really hard to break somebody's leg and said Philippe Senderos should have been sent off twice which would be an achievement even for Rob Styles. Robin van Persie was booked for bouncing the ball in an agressive manner and it really does show the terrible disparity between mild indiscipline and dangerous, violent play. Why should bouncing the ball merit the same punishment as knocking somebody's teeth out?

In the second half we huffed and puffed but didn't create very much. Henry was very quiet, Cech made a good save from Lauren and with about 20 minutes to go we brought on Pires and Bergkamp for the ineffectual Ljungberg and Alexander Hleb who looked promising but still without enough end product. A couple of minutes later Chelsea scored their second after Lauren's error and that was game over.

I said yesterday that we needed big performances from the likes of Henry and Campbell and unfortunately we didn't get them. Thierry, his shot against the post apart, was really quiet while Sol continues to be a terrible worry. He was beaten to a header by Joe Cole (up there with Drogba for hideousness), for God's sake, and at one point took a free kick with his left foot, skidding the ball straight to a Chelsea player. He's right footed. What the hell was he thinking? I know we've got too many kids playing and that we lack experience but it's the experience that's letting us down this season not the kids and Sol is one of the main culprits. He never even got close to Joe Cole for Chelsea's second goal. Lots of people were talking about the duel between Drogba and Senderos but Big Phil defended like Tony Adams. He made everything difficult for Drogba and maybe he skirted the edge of yellow cards and so on but he was there every single time. His tackle on Robben just at the start of the second half reminded me of Steve Bould.

Elsewhere Jens played well again, Cesc and Flamini did ok in a midfield against two sly cunts and Lampard, Helb was ok, Freddie anonymous, Robin was good but playing on the left and Thierry was quiet again. It seems like we played a 4-5-1 but I really would have preferred the boss to play a good old 4-4-2. Despite the bad luck we had it's fairly obvious again that this squad needs some strengthening come January because without it the 4th place we need to get into the CL qualifying rounds could be out of our reach.

Finally, let's talk about Jose Mourinho. At the final whistle he disappeared down the tunnel and didn't even have the basic decency and manners to shake hands with Arsene Wenger. Lots of managers have problems with each other, can't stand each other, can't abide the methods/face/sight of their rival, but to a man they always have enough manners to shake the hand of their rival. Not Mourinho though. He's as ill-mannered, as arrogant, as childish as they come and for a manager of a team to come to Highbury and not have the consideration to shake hands with his opposite number says everything about Chelsea and the way they have come to be at the top of the English game. They're owned by a cunt, managed by a cunt, supported by cunts and staffed by cunts. I already have my tickets on order and I am praying that Barcelona rape them when they come here. Afterwards Mourinho said "Do you think that's important for the game? I don't think it is important for the game. What is important is 90 minutes of football on the pitch."

A fairly pathetic attempt to take away from the fact that he couldn't have put aside whatever his feelings are about AW for 2 seconds in order to shake his hand. Classless. And what's more, if you or I had all the money in the world to sign whatever players we wanted - and make no mistake that those are the resources Mourinho has available to him - I'm pretty sure we'd try and build a great team which played great football. No matter what Chelsea win they will never be regarded as a great team because of the negative football they play. It might sound rich coming from an Arsenal fan but there were times Arsenal won things with a style of play that was never pretty. We'd never have been compared to a 94 vintage Milan though and neither will this Chelsea side. Defensive, negative, dour, without beauty - just like their coach. His paranoid ramblings about Arsenal's plot to get Essien sent off really makes you wonder about what world he lives in. He really does think everyone is out to get him and always has an excuse for his bad manners.

Anyway, that horrible cunt apart the fact remains we've lost 3 in a row, lost our home record, failed to score for 3 games and sit 8th in the table at Christmas time behind the obvious teams as well as Wigan, Man City and Sp*rs. Arsene Wenger says "We have to show our strength now and come back, and finish as close as possible to the top team."

Amen to that. You've got to make them show their strength though, Arsene, and you've got to bring in the new players we need in January to make us strong enough again.


december 18th

The Christmas party was quite a timid affair really. One player ended up in hospital because of a peanut allergy, the rest of us felt like we needed to poo after the food and I was home by 2am. Not quite the debauched night I was thinking of. Still, we won 3-1 and now have a three week break to grow large with food and Guinness.

All the focus today is the game against Chelsea when Benitez and Demento will be hoping we can peg Chelsea back a bit for them. Arsene Wenger says "'I want to beat them because I want to show we are a very strong team, that we are going the right way and that we can fight for the championship."

Not this season but next season for sure, given the right signings. What else can we say about today's game? It's a must-win to, perhaps, knock Chelsea out of their stride but also for the belief it will bring to the team. Surely they can take the fact that they have beaten Chelsea at home, if they do, and know they can go anywhere else and win. That's if we win though. I don't really want to think what a defeat will do so I won't think about it. What I do think is that we have to play a high-tempo game, not allow Chelsea time anywhere on the pitch and that means the forwards running their socks off and pressuring the Chelsea back 4. We need Flamini to do what he does best and that's run around making a nuisance of himself and we need something from our wide midfielders - likely to be Pires and Ljungberg - who have not contributed as much as we have come to expect from them this season. We need a big performance from Sol Campbell at the back too. If those things come together, and they have done at Highbury this season, then there's no reason we can't take three points from this game.

Thierry Henry knows what's needed today. He says "I think it is clear we have to win. We have made some mistakes in the league which we are not used to but we know we have the players here to turn things around."

Read interviews with Cesc and Robin van Persie. Sadly there is no interview with Philippe Senderos so I could casually mention how much I want him to kick Drogba up in the air all afternoon so I'll just have to find some other way to fit that in.

In other news The People reports Southampton wonderkid Theo Walcott will join Sp*rs in a £9m deal. And there you go. I'm off to get some breakfast, the newspapers then bite my nails until kick-off.

Have a good one and come on you reeeeeeeeds.


december 17th

Ahh, the Saturday morning lie-in. It can't be beat. Lots going on ahead of tomorrow's game with Chelsea and after yesterday's Champions League draw. We'll start with the CL tie against Real Madrid, a draw that Double-D described as 'pure showbusiness'. Gunnerblog gives you a run-down of all the bits and bobs and let's not forget from his list how often they tried to buy Patrick Vieira.

Some people might think we'd have been better off playing Rangers or someone else less ... erm... gigantic but fuck that. This is what the Champions League is about. Games against top quality opposition and not dead games like the ones against Ajax or Thun. It'll be great to see our lads at the Bernebeu and it'll be fantastic to see Ronaldo, Beckham, Zidane et al at Highbury. Despite some people's miserable outlook and belief that our European season is as good as over I don't buy into that. I know we're not playing well at the moment but there's time for things to change and in a knock-out competition anything can happen. I don't remember us being given much chance against Parma in 94. A great draw and Mrs Blogs is going to get lots of presents in January and February so she can't complain when I head for the capital to see the game. Cesc on the game (more in the link about Chelsea) - "When they told me I was so happy. It was one of the moments when you feel something inside your body and you want to be there - you want to be there right now, just playing.

Chelsea v Barcelona looks like it could be fun too. I'm not sure of the dates but I might have to go to that one too.

Now, Chelsea. In team news it looks like José Antonio Reyes will miss out with a thigh injury but Dennis Bergkamp will return and I have a feeling he'll start. I just think with Gilberto also missing from midfield he'll bring in the experience knowing that Robin van Persie, as well as he's playing (and I would start with him), can come on and make an impact from the bench if needed. No doubt Chelsea will be physical and Arsene Wenger has called for more steel from his players but this has always been a good footballing occassion rather than the kickathons we get against United and Bolton. That's if Michael Essien decides to not to perform surgery on someone's lower leg with his boot, of course.

Peter Cech says Arsenal have quality but lack experience, which is hardly the most insightful comment but not one you can really argue with, while a short article in the Sun has Thierry Henry saying Arsenal willl be no pushovers. As well as that there'll be all eyes on what happens between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho after the Chelsea manager's over the top comments some weeks back. The boss won't be dwelling on it though, he says "I feel the matter is in the past and what is important is that everyone sees a good football game, and for me it's important that Arsenal beat Chelsea."

Is is truly going to be a massive game, as I mentioned earlier in the week defeat is just unthinkable for Arsenal and a win could do wonders and restore some confidence. I'm excited already. Today my team has its final game of the season followed by our Christmas party which means I'm going to be a little bit on the delicate side tomorrow which means I need Arsenal to win to make me feel better. My hangover depends on you lads! Till then enjoy your Saturday.


december 16th

Good morning, a very quick one due to last night's Christmas party/dinner/boozeathon with my team from work. Freddie Ljungberg says the game against Chelsea is a must win (he's obviously been reading the blog), José Antonio Reyes goes down the whole 'My Dad is bigger than your Dad' road as he claims Arsene Wenger is better at stuff than Jose Mourinho while Lee Dixon claims Arsene Wenger's job would be safe even if Arsenal finished mid-table.

The usual crap. More importantly this morning is the draw for the first knock-out stage of the Champions League. David Beckham wants Arsenal or Liverpoo, Ronald Koeman wants Arsenal, and I want Rangers. No doubt we'll get Bayern Munich although there have been whispers that we'll draw Werder Bremen. The draw starts at 11am GMT so, given the arsing around they do, we should know by about 4.30pm who we're going to play.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to have a massive crap then I'm off to work.



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