Arsenal vs Barcelona: the night before.

February 15, 2011 20 Comments by Sian

Well guys, it’s nearly upon us! *makes ooooooooh noise*

Barcelona should have just about arrived in the UK as I write this, with Pep Guardiola and Andres Iniesta scheduled to do their press conference at the Emirates this evening. This is according to Arsenal communications director Mark Gonnella who can be followed from that link in a totally legal and non-stalkery kinda way.

It’s a pity it’s those two talking as I like them both therefore have no snotty comments to make… everyone loves a snotty comment. I’m sure Pep will sit there all wise and multilingual and attractive and Iniesta will sit there all pale and compact and smug, thinking ‘Bitch, I scored the winning World Cup goal. Brap.’

News for us ahead of the match so far is that Nasri is fit but Diaby is not. I’d sooner that than the other way around to be honest. Not to be harsh on Diaby but have you seen the goals Nazzer has scored this season? Even if we play a shocker tomorrow, I still have faith that Nasri (if played) will have the ability to create a goal from nowhere, like he has a stock of them in his sock or something.

Of course, it might be an idea to NOT play him and instead save him for the away leg on 8th March. Or even to use him as a supersub. Seeing Nasri coming on would have anyone cacking their pants. Along with Theo… ooh, what a double-sub that would be!

Barcelona team news thus far is that Carles Puyol is not playing, so he’ll be unable to break Cesc’s leg and give us a penalty, all the while being really hairy and having a name that sounds like a really street person needing the loo: ‘Poo, yo”

Moving on.

Don’t really care too much about Barcelona news because, well, they’re all good. I’m sure Joey Tribbiani (Xavi… go Google Image search him… INNIT, though?) will get a nice, warm reception from the Emirates crowd after his Cescy summer last season. You know what, whatever. Apparently he’s a really nice bloke and I’m sure he is. I don’t care what he as a single person said or didn’t say any more, I just care that he’s damn good, thus has to be played well against tomorrow.

So, assuming Barca’s players are all great, let’s focus on ours as this is, after all, an Arsenal blog. Let’s start from the back:

Our goalkeeper will be Szczesny. Even though Mannerz Almerz made some stupidly spectacular saves in the first half against Barcelona at the Emirates last year, I’m still glad Szczezzer will be starting. My seat at the Ems is right in line with the penalty spot of the goal that he stands in for the first half (unless we’re playing Wolves when they turn us around like fools, LIKE FOOLS)… if you haven’t noticed it, let me tell you, this boy wants to win. Every goal we score, he’s punching the air. Every time the ball floats towards our half, he’s screaming at the defence. He is going to be quite something. You have to feel so terribly sorry for Lukasz Fabianski and his badly timed injury but even though Fabianski was great for us earlier this season, he was still never as confident and swaggerified as Szczesny. I reckon he’s very intelligent too and how many times have I questioned the intelligence of some of our players? Plus, listen to him in an interview. He is a total cockney these days!

Obviously we’re without the suspended Bacary Sagna, which is devastating. Presumably Eboue will be in, which isn’t the end of the world but still isn’t Bac. He’d better have the game of his life tomorrow. The centre backs will be Johan Djourou and Laurent Koscielny, no? Johan is another total Gooner with a massive brain. I think (hope hope hope HOPE) he’ll be just sound against the Barca boys tomorrow. Then the Clichmeister. No complaints there, I’ve always loved him and he was super against Wolves. (Yes yes, slight difference in opposition there but still, have faith in the boy!)

In the proper midfield it will surely be Song and Jack and Cesc… all of which were missing when we fell apart against them away last year, I might add. I tend to forget about the first leg because we did hold them to a draw. The second leg was the one in which the damage was done. Except to poor bubby Cesc’s leggy-weg of course!

I do think Jack will make a huge difference. He’s not scared of anything, he’s not overawed by anyone and he’s bloody, bloody good. Plus I have to say… and I know many readers of this blog are not English thus will not give a damn… but I’d really love our little English boy to show them a thing or two. Best team in the world? Psssssh, you’re old. But look at Jacky go! Oh, and his DNA is nothing beyond Stevenage DNA, while we’re on the subject, Joey. So paws off, yeah?

One of Jacky’s fave words on Twitter is ‘buzzing’ and today he tweeted that he was ‘BUZZING’ about the match. A capitalised buzzing? That man is up for it!

Cesc is Cesc. You have to wonder whether his mind we be all of a flutter tomorrow but I think he’s professional enough to sod off his memories of living in Barcelona and remember that he’s a London boy and they need to be shut up. He did the business in the match he did play in last time around and I reckon he’ll do the same again.

Song and his silly daft hair look set to start which is brilliant also. He’s such a massive loss when injured/suspended/in the hairdressers.

Making up the rest of the team will presumably be a combo of RvP, Walcott and Arshavin. RvP is having the time of his life at the moment, so he’s a given. Walcott was great when he came on last year and he’s a bright spark too – you’d think if he’s given the opportunity, he’ll take it. Arshavin has been slowly coming back to life after a couple of months in the wilderness. Whisper it, but I can see this being his match tomorrow. I hope so, anyway.

So there’s the team. That, by the way, is without Samir Nasri. So see, if I were manager, I’d be playing that lot THEN bringing Samir and possibly Nicklas on. I don’t give a shit how good Barcelona are, THAT is a scary team.

I really think we can do it, guys. It all depends on whether the team that really wants to win shows up or not, but if it does then it’s game on. The dream scenario is that Barcelona show up all Charlie Big Bollocks, turn into Jimmy O’Complacency and end up conceding lots of Bert McGoals.

All I ask is that we play well. If we play at our best and still get beaten then, oh bugger. But given that I burst into tears when we went 3-0 up against Chelsea in December, I’m going to be one hysterically happy, mascara-streaked woman if we do make something of this. Even a very low scoring draw would be alright.

Anyway, away from that, because I’m getting all teary-eyed at the thought, the Arsenal Away Boyz were at the Emirates for the Wolves match and they were brilliant. I took a few videos on my iPhone which are admittedly of crap quality but hopefully can be found here. If you scroll down a bit, there’s also footage of the Champions League song before the away leg at Barcelona last year. It was only quick, because I had to sort my altitude-induced nosebleed out seconds later.

Finally, thanks for the really lovely comments on Sunday’s blog. It was a piss poor attempt from me so it was unexpected and great that you took the time to reply.

So that’s that. COME ON YOU ARSENAL! It might be the first leg but after all,  you need the first leg to walk.

20 Comments

  1. Treez
    2325 days ago

    Really good blog, Sian. Made me get all patriArsenalistic!
    I think you’re right. I think we can win and they’re all making the right noises and the flags should make an awesome sight. Looking forward to tomorrow. Up the Gunners!

    Reply

  2. maariyah
    2325 days ago

    AMAAAZING ABSOLUTLEY LOVED IT!!! :) KEEP THEM COMING! :P — @ArsenalAddicts // @SzczesnyFans

    Reply

  3. newfiegooner
    2325 days ago

    Great blog! Looking forward to the game tomorrow as well. I think if we are at out best we stand a chance against Barca (we won’t walk over them, but can get a result ).

    I’d be happier with Nasri on the bench tomorrow. I know if he’s fit he can play, but I’d rather he were brought back gradually like RvP than to come right back and end up injured again.

    Reply

  4. Taaza M Banda
    2325 days ago

    Great blog, I beliv we can beat Barca tomorrow. @koopa93

    Reply

  5. Girl Gunner
    2325 days ago

    Hey Sian,i truly think we have more than a chance to win against barca! Our current team is strong and organised with RVP on a scoring spree,the defence stable (i also hope Eboue does step up and show he can),Theo even better this season,Samir back and the midfield determined, we surely can leave Joey and company royally shocked! I know the boys will make us proud!! Nice blog,as usual! Do take pics! :)

    Reply

  6. Alan
    2325 days ago

    Love the upbeatness, bird. It should be a cracker. No excuses this time around. No Sylvestres . No big injuries and just about everyone’s playing well. If we don’t give Barca a run for their money this time, I’ll just accept that we’ve still got some way to go to get to their level. Let’s get the Ems rocking!

    Reply

  7. Theo van Nasrigas
    2325 days ago

    Wow, Sian – You’re on fire for the match, and it shows in your post. Great again.

    I agree with my fellow Girl Gunner – I really do think we have more than a chance. I must believe it because if our arch rivals can beat Milan at the San Siro WE MUST SLAY THE DRAGON at The Emirates.

    Barca is very scary. Forget about Iniesta, Xavi, Alves, Villa, Busquests. They have “the Flea”. Like all great champions, # 10 is unflappable and is impossible to stop. Unless we manage to keep the ball somehow. If we can keep some degree of possession and use our pace (Theo and Samir) to good use we can deny them what they want most: the ball. Barca is crazy for the ball and they go crazy without it.

    Cesc know this well. And he especially will want to prove a thing or two to his countrymen about who he is – a consummate and supremely talented professional – who when he does finally leave
    England’s shores for home – will want to do so as a starter. I think we’ll see a thunderous game from him.

    As for our striker, isn’t he in the best possible form to face this club right now and stick a couple of goals down their throat? If there’s any striker in world football is capable of this at the moment, surely it’s him.

    Finally, I also have high hopes for our little Russian. Arshavin has improved in the New Year match by match and this can really be his opportunity to shine.

    Whew! Sorry for the long post, but like I hope our boys do tomorrow I wanted to leave all on the pitch of your lovely little blog. My hopes are high but my fingers are also crossed.

    God love us Gooners and ARSENAL FOREVER!

    Theodora

    Reply

  8. Fukdupguy
    2325 days ago

    For Tomorrow all I want is, a kick on xavi’s #$%, a punch on pique’s #@$% and a couple of goals…. that’s it…

    Reply

  9. fourstar
    2325 days ago

    Just *so* excited about tomorrow, and your post has made it worse/better :)

    There’s no shame if we don’t go through, but we *can* do this.

    Up the Arsenal.

    Reply

  10. ManishTheGoon
    2325 days ago

    Brap! Brap!

    Reply

  11. HR
    2325 days ago

    This is such an awesome article.

    Reply

  12. kmkoetters
    2325 days ago

    Great post Shawn (Hey, if your landlord can call you Shawn then so can I!). There is a tendency amongst us Gooners to see the proverbial glass half empty. It is refreshing to read your positive enthusiasm. Let’s hope it is infectious and spreads rapidly amongst the faithful.

    I’ve become increasingly tired of so many of the pundits slagging on the Arse. In the last few years they all love to say “they play pretty football but have no spine” or “they can’t match up physically with team X”. Starting last season and really blooming this season is our “dark side” – from Jackie and Blondie making hard tackles to Cesc getting in the faces of opponents and refs to everyone serving up physical play when needed. After years of saying we were soft, these same experts now say things like “Cesc is one of the most disliked players in the league”, “Arsenal is dirty and overly physical”, etc… Obviously, they feel the need to find some way to denigrate us.

    I guess when we win 2,3 or 4 pieces of hardware this season it will be that much sweeter!

    Keep up the good work!

    Kevin

    Reply

  13. Sebastian
    2325 days ago

    I loved the closing line. Nice blog, Siany (and really sweet, too).
    Tomorrow’s gonna be something special. I’m sure. Win, lose or draw, I’m certain we’ll be proud of our boys.

    Up the Arsenal! :)

    Reply

  14. Kumar
    2325 days ago

    Much needed dose of Arsenal Positivity! Bring ‘em on!

    Reply

  15. Irishgray
    2325 days ago

    Well Shawn..eh …..I mean Sian sorry, great post!!! Absolutely convinced of a win tomorrow but more than that we need a clean sheet. Those away goals are like gold at this stage. Myself and a few friends have all taken the day off work tomorrow (it’s flu season :) ) As Jack would say we are “Buzzing”.

    In Arsene We Trust.

    Victory Through Harmony.

    Reply

  16. Daniel
    2325 days ago

    COME OOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN FFS

    Reply

  17. Daniel
    2325 days ago

    PS. Great blog, such an entertaining read, always. Almost had me tearing up at the thought of you tearing up at teh thought of Walcott reeling away celebrating his Chelsea strike.

    We CAN do this…

    I just wish I was there, going mental. This is what it’s all about.

    Come on Arsenal!

    Reply

  18. blaugranachica
    2325 days ago

    Hola Sian !!
    Brillant and awesome article!! you are ON FIRE !

    You know that my heart are 100% culé but i think Gooners can really make a good game tonight at home and may win; barca is not invincible, we drawed against Gijon in Liga last saturday so everything is possible!

    Looking forward you screaming at the Emirates tonight :) )

    see u on twitter
    kiss kiss

    bc

    Reply

  19. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2325 days ago

    Great post Sian, full of positive vibes. We are much stronger this year than last as many have already pointed out. Barca have already paid us much respect in the press, and now it’s down to the match itself. Daniel is right, we absolutely CAN do this
    Have a great time at the Emirates and look forward to reading your post-game thoughts.
    LET’S GO GUNNERS!
    1NTTA

    Reply

  20. Lish
    2325 days ago

    excellent article. i couldn’t have agreed more with you. if the team does their best out there, i’ll be proud of them regardless of the result! then again, with a winning mentality, i don’t see why we can’t beat barca since we’ve got just as much quality as them in that line up.
    COME ON GUNNERS!! :D

    Reply

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