Arsenal 5-1 Celtic; the Good, Bad, and the Dive Heard Round the World

Match Reports

The Telegraph: Short of borrowing Roman Abramovich’s yacht, David Niven’s wardrobe and Jenson Button’s girlfriend, Arsenal could not have arrived in Monaco in more style. In reaching this afternoon’s Champions League group stage draw in the land of Rolls-Royces and Rainiers, Arsène Wenger’s side were elegance personified, barring an ugly act of deception by Eduardo.

ESPNSoccernet: Eduardo’s controversial penalty helped Arsenal secure another shot at the £30m jackpot of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-1 win on the night – 5-1 on aggregate – over Celtic at Emirates Stadium.

Match Video

You can watch the whole match, a two minute highlight, or an extended 12 minute highlight package over at the dot com, if you’re an ATVO subscriber.

You can watch the Dive Heard Round the World and subsequent expertly taken penalty here.

Man of the Match

I’m giving man of the match to Eboue. His goal was excellent and his overall level of play was very high. Yes, the midfield worked very hard and looked very good and bossed Celtic off the pitch, but still Eboue’s pulsating counters and well taken goal sealed the match far more than Eduardo’s controversial penalty. Le Boss hailed Eboue’s character and I have to admit, the guy has done pretty much everything that Arsene has ever asked, all while simply keeping his nose clean, working hard, and playing hard.

The Good

Yay, we’re into the group stage where we could face real Scottish powerhouse Rangers, which would be a tricky test for sure. We’ll find out about that around 9am PST.

All around, I think Arsenal played their game for 90 minutes last night. Song and Denilson were magnificent in the middle of the park, Eduardo and Bendtner were scintillating up front, and the back four were assured and solid for 92 of the 93 minutes. Arsenal limited Celtic to just 2 shots and only one shot on goal in 90 minutes last night, that’s pretty much all you need to know about the game. We were just that good.

The Bad

There is a little hand-wringing out there about the fact that we conceded another late goal but I just want to point out that Arsenal were up 5-0 on aggregate at that point, it was literally the last seconds, and the goal required a left-footed volley off the far post to beat Arsenal.

Sure, we don’t want to get in the habit of conceding goals at the end of games but we also don’t want to see Sagna come up with a hamstring pull because he’s straining to get to a meaningless cross.

The Dive

Holy Christ, you’d think this was the first time anyone’s ever dived. As if Eduardo came up with this unique way to trick the referee into awarding a penalty. It was a dive, no one will argue that. The ref should have awarded a yellow card to Eduardo. The referee got it dead wrong and if I was a Celtic supporter I’d… well I’d be pissed that 60,000 of my compatriots support a team week in and week out which lacks the ability to get more than 2 shots on goal in 180 minutes of play. That’s what I’d be pissed about.

Maybe UEFA will give a two match ban, fair enough, I suppose. They’ve done it before and though I might argue that UEFA handing out two match bans for diving and three match (suspended) bans for acting like an utter crybaby cunt after you lose strains the boundaries of logic. But if that’s the rule, hey, then that’s the rule. And if that IS the rule and Dudu is banned for what Wenger calls “risk aversion” then I want that same rule applied next time Ryan Babel goes to ground and Arsenal are wrongly kicked out of the Champions League. Or how about a lifetime ban on Ronaldo, or Drogba, or any of the other serial divers out there who have cost Arsenal games?

I’ve written about this before,when Hleb viciously skull-f*cked Murty and then pooped on his head as he lie writhing on the ground with a compound fracture to his whole body, there are two types of dives: obvious and make a meal of contact.

They are divided by a single factor: did the opponent make contact? If so, then most fans seem to not have a problem with fakery. But if not? ZOMG HE IS A DIVORZ!!!1!1!!ONE!!!

It’s pretty strange to me that I never heard a single Scouser talk about banning Mascherano for his dive on Aliadiere. Or how about Manure supporters decrying the 4 match ban awarded because of Aliadiere’s love tap? Which, incidentally, came after JM slapped Ali in the face. Funny how  Javier Mascherano, one of the world’s most prolific divers, on a team captained by one of England’s finest divers, goes down writhing as if he’d been shot by Lee Harvey Oswald’s magic bullet and it’s Aliadiere who’s appeal is considered “frivolous” and earns him a 4th match ban. Was that fair? No, but for some reason, I don’t recall people suggesting that Mascherano receive a European ban for his part in that disgrace.

In a time when the press can’t even be arsed to use an active tense verb when describing Taylor’s horrific tackle on Eduardo. Or at a time when the apoplectic reaction by English managers up and down the coast is to describe what a good boy Taylor is and how he’s been destroyed by the criticism — while Eduardo’s leg has LITERALLY been destroyed. Or at at time when Taylor’s manager receives no opprobrium for his part in telling the lads to go out and get stuck in, which directly leads to Eduardo’s leg being broken by Taylor. Or at a time when a player can break a man’s leg and receive a lesser ban than the man who touches another man’s face and sees his “victim” (a serial diver) go down as if shot. At times like that, you’ll pardon me if I’m not going to get in an uproar because of Eduardo’s dive.

It’s a dive, the ref got it wrong, Dudu should have gotten a yellow and the penalty not given. It was a dive, no more or less than Mascherano, Ronaldo, Drogba, Gerrard, or Klinsmann did before him. I don’t remember the Manure’s calling for Their Boy Ronaldo to be banned from the game for his constant diving. So, you’ll pardon me if I don’t take their criticisms too seriously. As it says in the bible: pull the Drog out of your own eye before you start looking at the Dudu in others’.

Was it the kind of terrible action that deserved Glen Loovens’ racism at the end of the match? Where the Celtic player said “I don’t think he even speaks English so there was no point talking to him?” Is that appropriate behavior at the end of a match?

But more importantly, did the dive win the tie for Arsenal? Tony Mowbray didn’t think so

The referee has given it, but if the TV pictures show it should not have been given, then so be it. All the boys thought there was no contact, but we have to accept it and move on. However, you cannot deny that over the two legs, Arsenal had more quality and deserved to go through.

End of.

133 Comments on Arsenal 5-1 Celtic; the Good, Bad, and the Dive Heard Round the World

  1. Racism !!!! Glenn Loovens isn’t English, he’s Dutch…so, he’s accusing Eduardo of being thick or lazy, in not bothering to learn English.

    On what grounds could it possibly be construed as racist when accusing someone of not knowing a language.

    Hope you’ve got a good lawyer if Glenn Loovens reads this page

    • @Stephen Jack,

      On what grounds did Loovens think that Dudu couldn’t speak English?

      Eduardo has given numerous interviews in English, Croat, and Portuguese. So, what would make Loovens SAY that he thinks Eduardo can’t speak English?

      Could it have been the color of his skin?

      I don’t know, but I think Loovens is the one with questions to answer, not me.

  2. So you’re saying you will not bitch if this Sunday Berba dives in the box, which gives manure an edge and they go on and win the game? Somehow I doubt it 😉

    • @Emigre, Key phrase there “and they go on and win the game?”

      If Dudu hadn’t of dived we still would have won. Therefore your argument is an epic fail.

        • @Emigre, when Berba dives this weekend… if it happens in the 70th minute of a game in which Manure are up 2-0 and completely dominating, I will not complain as if it was the worst incidence of cheating I have ever seen.

          I will, rather, say, “yeah, well, that’s what Manure are known for, but it didn’t decide the outcome.”

          • @Tim, fair enough. I would hate to see that happen though. I dislike any sorts of divers, for right or wrong reason they might be diving for. If anything, it brings bad karma.

            I also don’t expect anything less or more from Eduardo, after all diving is pretty much in his genes 😉

          • @Emigre, Now that last throwaway line smacks of racism. “..in his genes”. A more intelligent person would have said it is in the player’s character. We know the character of Ronaldo, Gerrard, Rooney, Berbatov, etc., etc., etc. Not much of a ‘red’ devil’s advocate are you?

          • @ctpa, if saying that South American players have diving in their genes is racist then yes I suppose that makes me one, then again, more intelligent person would spot a and understand that it was a joke!
            When did I say that I was ‘red’ devils advocate?

      • Dearest cpta.
        You won and deservedly so. Arsenal were a superior team, built with superior money.
        Clearly the first goal at Emirates would be crucial if the little poor bhoys were to have any chance.
        So what does DUDU do?
        Dives and you lot get upset with the rest of the world when we say “….oh, that was naughty DUDU”

        You would have won anyway, but now your’e little cheat will get banned for at least two games.
        Hello.

        • @Gordon Campbell,

          Ah yes, the “superior money” argument. That’s a lovely one especially in light of the fact that Arsenal haven’t spent a dime, not one ruddy cent in the transfer market over the last 5 years.

          No, Wenger has built this team on superior intellect, not superior money.

          You have no leg to stand on mate, all of your arguments are pathetic and make you sound petty and small.

          Celtic were outclassed, for 180 minutes, by a bunch of teenagers, who cost almost nothing to acquire. The fact is that Jack Wilshere in 15 minutes looked more dangerous than McGreedy did in 180.

          Suck it, suck it long and hard.

          • @Tim,

            Yes! Yes! While the Wenger Project has made us vulnerable to pedophile jokes for a long time running, at least we can no longer be accused of buying our way to victory? No? We Can?

            The English media will hate Wenger for being French, always. They will distrust Cesc (chesk) for being Spanish, and so on, forever. Winning is the only response, and even though it was obvious from halftime in the first leg that Celtic could not organize well enough to cope in midfield, we now have an alternate, fantastic storyline, with no actual grounding in reality. Bring on Real Madrid, better now than later on, let’s strike while the iron is hot.

    • Of course we’ll bitch. We’re just astonished at the disproportion seen when you juxtapose the press emblazoning the front pages with Eduardo’s felony and the far more muted response to other dives that have been perpetrated in the past (Kuyt against us in the Champs League, god knows how many with Ronaldo). Considering that some of the other dives were far more crucial in the outcome of their respective matches makes it that much more confounding and almost humorous.

      Forgive us, the Arsenal supporters on a blog FOR Arsenal supporters, for noting our perceptions of this disparity on this blogsite. We’ve not felt the love of the media for some time and this coverage is another reminder of that.

      • @ArseChicago, We are not the British media’s fair haired boys are we? Far from it I’d say, hence the hyperbolic condemnation. Did we cause rioting in the streets of West Ham U? Did we commit murder most foul? Did we create the credit debacle? Are we so much in debt that UEFA (Platini) now threatens to expel us from the Champions League? No sir. We’re just Arsenal.

      • Forgive you aptly named ArseChigago?
        The blog is for Arsenal supporters ONLY?

        “Oh boohoo mummy, those other bad boys are saying bad things about us on the actual internet.”

  3. Away and don’t talk rubbish. Just because there are other players diving all over the place does not make it right so stop excusing the dive by “Dudu” by commenting about all of the other divers in the game today. T1t.

    • @Stigs, Um. No. I believe Tim is pissed off at the stupid media shit-storm and the fact they ignore other teams diving in CRITICAL SITUATIONS.

    • I don’t think Tim has excused the dive. Neither did Arseblog. Simply pointing out that it has seemed that other diving incidents in the past have not generated nearly the media maelstrom this incident has. I don’t defend Eduardo’s action; I hate diving. It’s a shame it happened, and if you want to ban him for 2 matches, go ahead. Just ban everyone else in the exact same fashion. We’ll see how many matches Drogba and Torres miss.

  4. Stigs – it’s not a defence of the incident. I think he’s pointing out the ridiculous ott nature of the coverage… it literally has been like this is the first ever dive to trick a referee. ITV had to make the most of it as they had the rights to a dead, dull game.

  5. What a foul mouthed command of the English language.

    And of course, when somebody does something wrong and it is obvious, what you must do is childishly drag up every other real or imagined incident that has or hasn’t happened to Arsenal players.

    As if that somehow justifies what happened with Eduardo.

    And don’t you just love the phrase, “…..while Eduardo’s leg has LITERALLY been destroyed”
    Oh really?

    Please explain the me why Loovens is racist by saying “I don’t think he even speaks English so there was no point talking to him?”

    If he does not speak English, it is racist to say so?

    Count me in cunt, I guess I am racist then because you too cannot speak English.

  6. Like it was said before, is a rule for Arsenal and a rule for someone else.

    We are 2-0 up and dominating the game, we get a penalty through diving and all the media and poundits keep talking about it as if it was the goal that decided the tie, what about the other 4?

    And this was just a European qualifier, what about when Babel dived against us 2 years ago to put Liverpool through, did the media and pundits made a huge deal about that? no, in fact a few even said Toure fouled him for a penalty when I remember it as it was yesterday, toure even tried to get out of the way and had his arms up to prevent any dive from being beleivable, yet we got punished and no one commented on Babel’s honesty.

    Go back a bit further, 49 game unbeaten run, we are playing well and Rooney dives against Campbell, causing a run that could have gone on for who knows how many games, maybe another 15 or so to take us to 64 unbeaten games, did the media make a big deal about this dive that stopped an amazing record from being even more emphatic? no, they praised Man Utd and started going on about how Arsenal were self-destructing.

    Yes, Eduardo dived but that goal had no bearing on the end result, Celtic werent threatening at all, so just get over it and talk about the other 2 goals we scored that were proper wengerball goals.

      • Oh the power of the internet, the only place weak people can swear at somebody and not get hurt. MY HERO.

        • Really? This coming from someone that deems it worthwhile to come on here and label someone a prick. That’s rich, champ. What’s scary is you’re likely that stupid not to ask yourself whether or not you’re being a hypocrite before writing or saying things.

  7. I’m surprised Celtic only gave up 5 goals over 2 matches. Seems to me a country that lets terrorists free like they do would only naturally give away plenty of goals on the pitch.

  8. “It was a dive, no one will argue that.”

    Except for you in yesterday’s post. Fraud.

    it’s only a ‘meaningful’ dive when a non-Arsenal player does it!

    • @Roy,

      When I first saw the action it looked like a stonewall penalty to me. With more information and a clearer shot of it, it’s a dive.

      That makes me a fraud?

  9. Wow, such violent posts today. In the grand scheme of things… One, yes Dudu probably deserves a one game ban. Two, it didnt matter, take that goal away and its still 4-1 (even if we didnt score the two goals in the second, its still 2-1 overall, there is no way celtic was going on!). Three,i believe the original intent of Tim’s post is to point out that it the media is going to crucify Eduardo, where were they on all the Gerrard dives? Just because he is English and God’s gift to the Queen’s midfield? Has anyone been to a Serie A game lately? I swear the security guards are straight up shooting people on the pitch they go down so violently. So while they are right to get on Eduardo for the blatent dive (I’m a gooner, and I even say it was pretty bad) start getting on everyone else too and get this crap out of the game.

    • @dk.nyc, aka the “everybody else is doin’ it” defense

      there is no end to the whining from Arsenal fans when someone dives against them. And rightly so. And you can try to make this an argument about the diver’s nationality, but that’s bullshit, too.

      If you’re going to whine about everyone else’s divers, you can’t rationalize when the guy in your team’s laundry does it, too. Lame.

      • @Roy, God you’re thick, are you incapable of basic reading comprehension?

        No one is saying that Eduardo’s dive is ok, except you trying to put words in our mouths.

        At the very least read the article then read the comments before you shoot your fool mouth off.

        • @Tim,

          you should have a chat with the guy who wrote this:

          “I disagree with the halftime pundits, Eduardo had the ball at feet and Boruc did clip Eduardo’s right leg. Maybe Dudu made a meal of the contact, but there was contact, AND the ball doesn’t go out until Eddy knocks it out on the way down”

          duh

          • @Roy,

            That guy was commenting live, this guy is commenting after seeing the incident severally.

            If you are incapable of understanding the difference, well then that might explain why you’re a Celtic supporter.

          • @Tim, I’m not a Celtic supporter.

            True or false – you’d accept the “Sure Ronaldo dove…but the final score made that first penalty meaningless” excuse from a ManU fan, right?

          • @Roy, Ok, United, Chelski, Litterpool, Millwall, whatever.

            If you’re not a Celtic supporter, why the hell do you care?

            You’re just a huge supporter of the mainstream media and their desire to distort this story into the world’s most egregious crime of all time?

          • Oooh Timmy.
            “….world’s most egregious crime of all time?”
            You do exagerate don’t you.
            But I likes that in a big strong man.

        • @Tim, and, no, you’re not saying specifically it’s “OK”, you’re simply rationalizing the shit out of it, due to the final score, the fact that everyone else does it, etc.

          you would jump all over that shit if, say, a Chelsea or ManU fan did that

          • Roy, we would jump all over “that shit” if Chelsea or Man U did that. Our question is, would the press jump on “that shit” like they have jumped on “that shit” in this case. What do you want to hear from the Arsenal supporters? That it was a dive? Yes, it was a dive. Is diving wrong? Yes, diving is wrong. Should Eduardo be suspended? Well, as long as it’s enforced the same on the likes of Drogba and Torres, then yes, he should be banned for 2 games. Did the dive play a meaningful role in the outcome of the series? Forgive me, here, but with 5-1 in aggregate (and their goal given up by Arsenal when they frankly were thinking about where to eat post-match), we think not. What else do you want? Why are you here anyway? You here defending the media and their disproportion? If so, you’re not making any case.

          • @ArseChicago, you guys sound more and more like the GOP every day.

            “Would the press jump on that shit”? Who gives a fuck what the press says or does?

            And, yes, they would.

          • Roy, if you don’t give a fuck about the press, then why do you give a fuck about what we Arsenal supporters say on a blog for Arsenal supporters. I find it strange when supporters of certain clubs go on to blogs of other clubs. You get your rocks off instigating? Like a little brother that’s annoying you in order to simply get attention? You’re a fraud asking the question why care about the media when you, friendo, are here in this wee little corner of the web caring about what a few of us say about the football club we support.

          • @Roy,

            Here’s my response to this same flawed logic spouted by someone earlier:

            ” when Berba dives this weekend… if it happens in the 70th minute of a game in which Manure are up 2-0 and completely dominating, I will not complain as if it was the worst incidence of cheating I have ever seen.

            I will, rather, say, “yeah, well, that’s what Manure are known for, but it didn’t decide the outcome.” ”

            Don’t you have a Celtic blog to play with?

          • @Tim, what’s with the obsession with who I root for? I have to be a Celtic fan to point out the hypocrisy of you rationalizing a diving cheat?

            I don’t think the dive had the slightest impact on the final result. This match was over after Glasgow.

            If you can’t come to grips with that fact that you guys are blatant hypocrites, I guess you have to resort to shooting the messenger

  10. Who said Dudu dived!!

    The press, the pundits, the know nothings!!!

    Referee and linesmen didn’t think so!

    Borfuc threw himself at the Dudu, didn’t get the ball, and caught Dudu with his leg.

    In view of recent history don’t think Dudu is going to stand around and let a kamikaze goalkeeper clatter his legs. So where’s the problem, even if the contact was minimal there was intent

    Take a look at the pic on the Celtic official web site.

    Did Dudu rollover six or seven times clutching every part of his body simultaneously? I don’t think so.

    Apart from that it made up for all the Celtic shirt pulling and shoving off the ball that went unpunished.

    It’s the same old story, no one gives Arsenal credit where it is due. All the pudits before the first leg, sucking airthrough their teeth and shaking their collective heads, saying this was a tough one.

    I say face-up to reality, Arsenal destroyed Celtic 5 – 1, what teams can put their hand up a say they’ve had that kind of success in Europe against Celtic

    As for the Celtic goal, don’t anyone mention the word luck against the Arsenal goals. A lucky volley that went in off the post, when the game was over and Arsenal down to ten men, huh!

    Viva!

  11. Celtic have a good manager and team & ‘great’ supporters.

    Arsenal have a great advantage financially, so the playing field is not fair for talent and resources. Unfortunately, when the whistle blows this key issue is buried in the background of the match action.

    Lady luck was with Gallas’s on his goal. Caldwell’s own goal, not Arsenal luck but the result of Arsenal pressure on Celtic back 4. Clichy’s cross had pace and was positioned to force Caldwell to react or allow Bendtner the tap in on the far post.

    The Eduardo incident is a part of this sport that none of us want to see ‘for’ or ‘against’ the team we support.

    For all of us who have followed Eduardo play at Arsenal, we can honestly say, THIS IS NOT HIS HABIT TO DECEIVE.

    • Ooooh.
      A rational response.From an Arsenal supporter?

      QUESTION:
      Why are you not justifying the DIVE like all the rest of them here by saying “…. mummy, but all those other bad boys do it too”
      ANSWER:
      Because you are not really an Arsenal supporter, because they cannot write articulate, reasoned posts. Your’e really a trouble making Manure fan, arencha?

      • @Gordon Campbell,

        I actually think it’s fun to watch you say the same thing over and over despite the fact that it runs contrary to what everyone here has said.

        The only one who “justified” Eduardo’s actions is you people who desperately wish that we were. So, you just keep saying the same stuff again and again.

        You’re funny.

        Yes, like a clown.

        You amuse me.

        • “It runs contrary to what everybody else here says”

          It’s an Arsenal blog you ding dong.
          So there are more of your cretins here than there are others. Do you get that? I’ll say it again for you, but a little louder.
          THERE ARE MORE OF YOU CRETINS HERE THAN THERE ARE OTHERS.

          Got it?

          “Like a clown. You amuse me”

          Oh how original.
          Just like aptly named and foul mouthed ArseChicago.
          He should not be too hard to find.

          • @Gordon Campbell,

            Listen you monumental cunt waffle, every single one of your arguments has been utterly shredded by everyone here. Yet you keep saying the same arguments, over and over, like someone with brain damage. This last one though, you’re branching out a bit, telling me what kind of blog I write, screaming in all caps, and following the whole thing up with an idle threat.

            While it’s amusing to see you try to stretch yourself a little and make some new “arguments” I will let you know right now that I won’t allow people to make threats on my blog.

            I have noted your IP and will contact your ISP if you try to threaten people on here again.

            Just so you know that I’m not talking shite, here’s their email “abuse@cogentco.com.”

            Now, Mr. Internet Toughguy, why don’t you go bother people on Facebook, or Fark, or whatever team’s blog you crawled out from under — you’re done here.

            I said, GOOD DAY, sir.

  12. Thanks Roy,

    For consistent ignorance in the face of overt statements to the contrary. For bravely coming on to an Arsenal blog and showing us all what “hypocrites” we are for criticizing our own player. And for blatant disregard of reality and holding on to your argument despite the fact that it has been shredded by pretty much everyone here.

    You win Troll of the Day!

    I suppose someone could one up you later…

  13. ARSE CHICAGO 7-57AM..”FROM A COUNTRY THAT LETS TERRORISTS FREE” F#KN PATHETIC POST ON A FOOTBALL FORUM…AND PS IN CASE U HADNT NOTICED UR LIVING IN TERRORIST CENTRAL OF THE WORLD

  14. Oh, and regarding the dive:

    1. Upon further review, it was a dive, and as a football fan I hope he is given a one or two match ban.
    2. The PK had no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the match. It was two-nil going into the second leg, and Celtic did not even manage a single shot on target until the 92nd minute.

    Done, done, done. Let’s move on

    My advice to the SFA is to improve the quality of your league, so you get more than one automatic qualifying spot.

    • @Matt, Supposedly due to performances in UEFA tournaments in 2006 and 2007. History plays a HUGE role. Real Madrid have been sh*t in the CL since they won it in 03; hence appearing in one of the non-leader pots. Also why Arsenal gets a top slot even though they finished fourth domestically and had to play into the group stages, combination of the past few quarters, semis and final appearances.

  15. Fabregas 50-50 to be a go for Sat and that is upgraded from 60-40 on Wed. Definitive fitness test on Fri.

    Ramsey is having a scan today but the indications are that it’s just a muscle knock and not cartilage damage. Final word will come this pm.

  16. Thats it, full year suspension to DUDU for the dive and have him publicly tea bagged. would that satisfy the media and everyone else? i am already over it and on the Man U. DUDU’s punishment will happen and life will go on. he was wrong and no amount of pointing out others transgresions will disprove that. soooo… tea bag him.

  17. Like our draw for the CL. Olympiakos is somewhat of a trip, but AZ and Standard Liege are puddle jumps. Love the fact that Man Utd will need to go to Russia, Germany, and Turkey; loooong flights and travel plans will affect them domestically for sure.

  18. Also looks like Spain and Italy will be seeing eachother off with the epic Inter-Barca (Ibro-Eto), and Real-AC ties. Look for the English teams to advance far once again. All English final in Madrid?

  19. I pretty much agree with everything other than the fact that Bendtner was scinitillating. Hate to bad mouth anybody in a game where we had a very good result but Bendtner, for me, stuck out like a sore thumb. He was as bad as Eboue was good. We have come to accept that fact that he scores more goals with his head than his feet. And you know? We all give the big guy a break. He’s young, hasn’t fully developed his skills.. and so yes, he will have good games as well as bad. But why did he try to dribble so much yesterday when there were clear cut passes to be made? And what was up with that header when he missed from 3 yards out? Anyways.. like I said, it doesn’t matter cos we won but I would like to see more from him in the future.

    So is everybody convinced that Song is the CDM we want? I am not. He is been good this year but his speed, or rather the lack thereof, worries me. McGeady really had the better of him in the 2nd half and I would still like to see Arsene bring in another player in the CDM role. Man U is going to a huge test this w/e and I hope Arsene has somebody in mind he can snap up in case he doesn’t like what he sees.

    Isn’t it amazing about Eboue though? Talk about doing a 180! The guy has simply gone from strength to strength, first with his passing, then with his dribbling and now with his composure on the ball and shooting. I have no doubt that if he was European instead of African, the press would be all over him. If Joleon Lescott goes for 22 MM, then surely Eboue must be worth at least 30MM!!

    • I’ve been a big Bendtner backer, but I can’t say he’s been a bright spot this year, save for a decent pass or two. I’m not sure if he’s just out of position or not, but the less he handles the ball near midfield the better.

      As for Song, he’s been incredible thus far. Granted it’s only been a few games, but as it pertains to yesterday, McGeady got pulled after 16 minutes of the second half, and half of those 16 minutes following Eboue’s goal at 53′ had Arsenal up 4-0 in aggregate. Can’t blame Song for not chasing around McGeady if he didn’t really have to. McGeady’s got incredible pace, but I’m not sure his zooming runs are that fruitful against a side like Arsenal. While it’s too early in the season to say with certainty that Song is the guy at DM for years to come, is there anyone out there available that’s just unmistakably better than Song? I think we need depth at this point, not replacements.

    • @nycgunner, Thank you!! finally someone said it! While Bendtner was solid in the first two games of the year, he was autrocious last night. His passing and dribbling were way off, and I have no idea how he missed that header from 3 yards. Have to wonder, with Rosicky back in contention do we see this weekends lineup as:

      Rosicky-Arshavin-Van Persie
      Denilson-Song-Diaby

      Again, this is assuming Cesc doesn’t play. If he does, then I’m sure he would slot into the middle, pushing Arshavin out wide and Rosicky starting on the bench. At this point I just think that the middle 3 are performing much better than Bendtner at this point.

    • @Tim, Liege can be tricky. They showed it last season, almost beating Liverpool.

      The main thing to realise is that we avoided the tricky eastern European ties we’ve been faced with in previous years. Greece aside, we don’t have to travel far.

      • @Xabier,

        I actually have an aspiration to travel to Belgium and see a Liege game. I heard their fans are a lot of fun to be in the crowd with.

        Plus, like Vermy, I too am Belgian (Walloon).

      • @Xabier, But they did lose (arguably) their best player in Onyewu to AC Milan, who was a rock in defense all year (sorry I’m a USMNT homer, what can I say?). Also, it took them to the final weekend to clinch the Belgian title.

  20. Tim – Totally agree with all your points. i think it’s insane that the media made more of the dive then of the west ham v. millwall punch up. If Rooney or Gerrard would have made that dive, it wouldn’t have been a quarter of the bad press. it would have been more about beating Celtic to an 5-1 agg. Nothing shocking about the media abuse. Being an Arsenal fan, I am used to it. I just wonder if it was Walcott or Wilshire who did it, would it have been as bad?? Who knows.

    Next up Manchester, I hope this bad press fires the boys up and we get this going. Would love to see the Red Devils handed their asses to them in the Theater of Screams. The Quality is there, the steel is there, the believe is there! And hopefully Fabregas will be there. I doubt it though.

    • TX, respectfully, it might be a stretch to say the media coverage of this Eduardo incident is as voluminous as the West Ham/Millwall night. There’s been a lot of worldwide press on the latter situation. Just saying I respectfully disagree. On the other point, I agree that people are fooling themselves to think that Drogba or Torres or Gerrard or Lampard or Rooney would be suspended 2 games for pulling off something similar to what Eduardo did. I don’t even think the suggestion of a ban would be proffered, because people would know that it’d never never never go through. In this case, it’s just lowly ol’ Eduardo.

    • @TXGun, Completely agree. But about Cesc, he was added to the Spain NT for next week; you have to figure Wenger will push him into the side.

  21. I’m glad of the group we got, AZ shouldn’t be too tough as opponents plus we have the former Ajax captain in our team to help defend, standard liege should be tough and Olympiakos I know nothing about. chelsea have a very easy group both in a traveling sense and sporting sense. Liverpool got a very easy gorup too. Man utd will have to travel a bit which will be uselful for their domestic opponents.

    As for the diving incident and all the bullshit comments above me that I didn’t bother to read, he shouldn’t have done it and if he doesn’t have good explanation for it then he should be banned for two matches, reflex action from his injury is an excuse I can live with. In fact if it would shut people up then I’d gladly take the ban.

    Don’t listen to any of the comments from non-Arsenal fans for two reasons, no self respecting Arsenal fan likes diving because we’ve been on the recieving end of game winning dives. The tie was already won, if all celtic fans have to focus on is the “dive” then that says it all about the quality of their team, Stevie G.B.H. is a serial diver, Ronaldo is too and so is Drogba.

    My suggestion, give Eduardo the ban now seeing as we have two easy games coming up in ths CL. Then when either of the other three do it in one of the knockout stages, which they will, flood boards and blogs with messages of cheat and call on uefa to enact a ban on them too, let’s see how they like it.

    • @Bongo, I disagree on the ease of the other English teams groups. Chelski and Liverpool both have two good sides and an average team. Manure have a very tough group, travels to the German champions and out to Russia and Turkey are never fun.

  22. I’m saying it now. Sevilla, Rangers, Stuttgart – hardest group to call.

    In other news it seems my incidental mistake of calling Bougherra a Celtic player has opened the flood gates of Hell into 7am and all manner of things and stuff are overwhelming Tim’s blog.

    Did I unleash bad press or free advertising?

    Our group is easy peasy

  23. So to cheat TWICE for the opening goal in both legs has no bearing at all on the reast of the game?
    You goonads really know your football!!

    • @max, Are you Helen Keller? Which goal in the first leg was a “cheat”? Gallas’ deflection? I’m not sure what prescription glasses you wear but that goal was totally fair, despite being lucky. In any case numbers don’t lie. Celtic had 1 shot on goal and Arsenal half a dozen. Celtic were never going to come close to winning. The SPL is a dying league and it’s getting almost impossible to sell it to any network because no one who wants to see actual football want to watch 22 men week in and week out kick the piss out of each other. If they wanted to see that they’d watch UFC.

      When Scotland can learn to develop more actual footballing talent instead of thugs posing as footballers then maybe it can be considered as an actual footballing power.

  24. I’ve gone back and looked through the historical comments and have reached a single conclusion: “Roy” in a Manure supporter.

    Now if that doesn’t take the fucking cake.

    • You’d think the Manure supporters would be on the City blogs, spouting insecure drivel since they’ll likely be the second best team in Manchester in a few years’ time.

  25. @Emigre, you’re a Chelsea supporter.

    It’s all making sense suddenly. There have been precious few Celtic supporters here because they know their team was beat fair and square. What we have here is Chelsea and Manure supporters who, after suffering for years being called cheats, have decided to get their pound of flesh back at Arsenal.

    Good for you, Dudu cheated.

    Happy now?

  26. Greetings from a site n00b. Good site, nice blog: I’m a bit miffed that I only discovered the site recently – how dare you not advertise 😉

    Who cares what anyone else thinks? We are Arsenal & we’re going to rip the Mancs a new one (in a harmonious manner of course because,as all Gooners know, Victoria Concordia Crescit).

  27. IMO – Nothing will happen to Eduardo. This is not based on whether he is innocent or guilty.

    The referee was not obstructed, saw the play and in his judgment made the call for the penalty. Every governing football body 100% supports officiating decisions on the field – made in real time.

    If Eduardo receives a 1 or 2 match ban, then the can of worms will spilled for ALL CLUBS.
    Any suspect call will come under the microscope. Fan and club frustration will shower down on every association – each match day.

    This is not the publicity the sport wants or needs.

    • @arsesession, Thank you. If they ban Eduardo, it will be because they relied on video replay to convict him. We all know UEFA and FIFA are Luddites who are trying valiantly to keep football in the 19th century.

    • @arsesession,

      The Celtic goalkeeper was carded, not Dudu. The referee’s decision is final there’s is no more to be said or done on the matter. Certainly any hint of bans made retrospectively, and contrary to a referees decision, would leave every ref’s decision open to re-interpretation. It could also leave the various national and international football bodies open to legal action from the clubs.

      Viva!

  28. I guess when you’ve spent 140m on players, you’re obliged to start a full strength squad for Crystal Palace. Then you ‘only’ win 2-0.

    Mejuto-Gonzalez stands by his PK decision and he consulted w/ his linesman to get it ‘right’.

  29. Eboue says the club is tighter now without Adebayor and Toure (although he misses them).

    We are early into the season but WOW, Eboue is like a “new signing”.2 goal game at the end of last after his ‘comeback’ and now he shows great composure to score against Celtic. If Eboue is now going to become a goal threat, everyone had better watch out

  30. A**hole Czech coach has included Rosicky because he is “back in full training and can start at Man U”. Wenger doesn’t feel he’s up for Man U and he will not start or ? make the bench. Czech’s are desperate though because they’ve called up Koller.

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