07.34 – So it’s Milan, Moscow and Kiev in the Champions League.
A tough enough group, although Arsenal and Inter would be favourites to go through. It does mean that we’ll be with out Dennis Bergkamp for all our away games in the group. Of course, there’s only one group stage this year. After that it’s straight knockout over two legs, and given our success in cup competitions in recent years, maybe this is our best chance of Champions League glory. For those of you that are superstitious, the fact that the final is being played on May 26th might be an omen of some kind. If only it was at Anfield.
Sep 17 Arsenal v Inter Milan CL
Sep 21 Man Utd v Arsenal PREM
Sep 26 Arsenal v Newcastle United PREM
Sep 30 Lokomotiv Moscow v Arsenal CL
Oct 4 Liverpool v Arsenal PREM
Oct 18 Arsenal v Chelsea PREM
Oct 21 Dynamo Kiev v Arsenal CL
Oct 25 Charlton v Arsenal PREM
Nov 1 Leeds v Arsenal PREM
Nov 5 Arsenal v Dynamo Kiev CL
Nov 8 Arsenal v Sp*rs PREM
*with thanks to fatay
Taking a look at our fixtures in this period though, it all adds up to a lot of big games in a short space of time. Still, Arsenal vice Chairman, David ‘D.I.S.C.O.’ Dein is confident that the Gunners will do well. He says “The club is now seeded fifth in the whole of Europe, so that means since Arsene Wenger arrived we’ve done exceptionally well. I think we’ve got a strong squad and let’s hope we can go further than we have before.”
The good thing is that we’re not going to Moscow when it’s really, really cold. The last time we had to play in Russia it looked very cold and after taking the lead with a top class Silvinho goal, we got hammered 4-1 by Dinamo Brezhnev.
Thierry Henry says Arsene Wenger has told his front men to be more defensively responsible this season. TH says “The manager wants us to defend more positively and I think that so far it is going well. We can still score perhaps even more if we challenge get higher up the field and win the ball back. The quicker you do that the better because the most important thing is getting the ball back after you have lost it.”
Le Boss himself said of Robert Pires’ renewed application “I was much happier with his defensive work last weekend than I have been for a long time.” Read into that what you will. The tunnel incident with Mellberg was much ado about nothing, and there won’t be any charges forthcoming.
Thank god it’s Friday. That is all.