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.