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      (Original post by R-KAM)
      Pep Guardiola :mmm:
      I was thinking of mentioning him, but wasn't he more of a normal CM than a proper holding midfielder?
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      (Original post by R-KAM)
      Go Guardian :jive:
      I'm glad I wasn't the only one that noticed, the way he emphatically said 'no way' was just comical..
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      (Original post by Kevmeister)
      Hardly a ringing endorsement, tbh.
      True, but I couldn't really think of any other rapping footballers off the top of my head. Can't believe I forgot Barnes, I love World in Motion.

      Great news about Samir, we'll steam roller them now..
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      Even though Chelsea are 9 points behind Arsenal, another draw for them tonight won't do us any harm.
      EDIT - Fulham could have won with a pen but no, so 8 points now the difference.
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      Am so massively excited for this game. See my post in the Arsenal-Barca hype thread for why last year's performance and result means pretty much nothing for this tie, as the lineups are so different. So glad we're not as fraught by injury this time round. The team sheet basically picks itself:

      Szczesny

      Eboue-----Djourou-----Koscielny-----Clichy

      Song

      Fabregas------Wilshere

      Walcott-----Van Persie-----Arshavin

      Almunia
      Squillaci
      Gibbs
      Denilson
      Nasri
      Bendtner
      Chamakh

      I hope that no matter what, the boss starts with Arshavin and keeps Nasri on the bench. First of all, we don't want to risk Nasri, he's going to be so important for the league run-in, and also to the second leg of this tie. Secondly, Andrei is just starting to get a bit of confidence back, and it's in his nature to show up for the big games, where if he can put in a performance up to his previously high standards, we won't miss Nasri at all. But I really believe that for him to do this, he needs to be given the start, for the boss to say "Andrei, it doesn't matter if Samir is fit or not, you're my man, get out there." If for whatever reason he isn't giving us what we need by the 60 minute mark, and Arsene believes Nasri can do better, with no risk of a setback, by all means withdraw Arshavin and send on Samir. But not the other way around. That way round will come across as us bringing out the big guns. The other - Nasri picking up a niggling injury and being replaced by Arshavin - would reek of panic for us. The team would be put down by the loss of our in-form player, and Arshavin would be lacking confidence having been benched in favour of someone who wasn't even fully fit.

      Boss, please take heed.

      /rant.
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      (Original post by wiggles)
      I hope that no matter what, the boss starts with Arshavin and keeps Nasri on the bench. First of all, we don't want to risk Nasri, he's going to be so important for the league run-in, and also to the second leg of this tie. Secondly, Andrei is just starting to get a bit of confidence back, and it's in his nature to show up for the big games, where if he can put in a performance up to his previously high standards, we won't miss Nasri at all. But I really believe that for him to do this, he needs to be given the start, for the boss to say "Andrei, it doesn't matter if Samir is fit or not, you're my man, get out there." If for whatever reason he isn't giving us what we need by the 60 minute mark, and Arsene believes Nasri can do better, with no risk of a setback, by all means withdraw Arshavin and send on Samir. But not the other way around. That way round will come across as us bringing out the big guns. The other - Nasri picking up a niggling injury and being replaced by Arshavin - would reek of panic for us. The team would be put down by the loss of our in-form player, and Arshavin would be lacking confidence having been benched in favour of someone who wasn't even fully fit.

      Boss, please take heed.

      /rant.

      Completely agree.
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      I have a feeling that starting Walcott as the lone striker could work :holmes:
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      Wenger has said he won't take a crazy risk, so I think Nasri will be on the bench.

      (Original post by Colonel.)
      I have a feeling that starting Walcott as the lone striker could work :holmes:
      Nah I disagree. Walcott isn't ready for that in such a big game. Lone striker is a tough position to play
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      Walcott has the pace to take advantage of the lack of pace shown in Puyol and Pique. Someone tall on the right, Bendtner or Chamakh, can also help to stretch the midget team of Barcelona.
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      Puyol is injured. Keep up Pat
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      Even better. Shut up.
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      (Original post by wiggles)
      Am so massively excited for this game. See my post in the Arsenal-Barca hype thread for why last year's performance and result means pretty much nothing for this tie, as the lineups are so different. So glad we're not as fraught by injury this time round. The team sheet basically picks itself:

      Szczesny

      Eboue-----Djourou-----Koscielny-----Clichy

      Song

      Fabregas------Wilshere

      Walcott-----Van Persie-----Arshavin

      Almunia
      Squillaci
      Gibbs
      Denilson
      Nasri
      Bendtner
      Chamakh

      I hope that no matter what, the boss starts with Arshavin and keeps Nasri on the bench. First of all, we don't want to risk Nasri, he's going to be so important for the league run-in, and also to the second leg of this tie. Secondly, Andrei is just starting to get a bit of confidence back, and it's in his nature to show up for the big games, where if he can put in a performance up to his previously high standards, we won't miss Nasri at all. But I really believe that for him to do this, he needs to be given the start, for the boss to say "Andrei, it doesn't matter if Samir is fit or not, you're my man, get out there." If for whatever reason he isn't giving us what we need by the 60 minute mark, and Arsene believes Nasri can do better, with no risk of a setback, by all means withdraw Arshavin and send on Samir. But not the other way around. That way round will come across as us bringing out the big guns. The other - Nasri picking up a niggling injury and being replaced by Arshavin - would reek of panic for us. The team would be put down by the loss of our in-form player, and Arshavin would be lacking confidence having been benched in favour of someone who wasn't even fully fit.

      Boss, please take heed.

      /rant.
      Wenger is a sub on tsr dontcha know

      There's no chance Walcott will play through the middle, both because of RvP and Walcott's pace should be well able to take advantage of the mass amounts of space behind the fullbacks.
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      http://justarsenal.com/nasri-to-play...barcelona/6848
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      Could be great, could end in disaster. Let's all pray to whatever God/mythical being/Thierry Henry it's the former
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      Bloody hope that's true.
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      I don't know why everyone is assuming it's a risk. From the way Wenger was talking, it seemed like he is fully fit. It's not like he has been out for months like Van Persie either -- he should be able to pick up from where he left off. Providing there are no "set-backs" during the fitness tests, he is set to start. I agree that Wenger shouldn't risk him if he hasn't recovered but Wenger knows that.
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      SSN are revelling in the fact that Nasri is taking a full role in training today, so I guess it's a safe bet for him to start now.
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      Everyone keeps on going about the likes of Fabregas, Walcott, RVP to deliver if Arsenal have a chance tomorrow but I feel that Alex Song is the heart of Arsenal and if he plays the best of his ability, then Arsenal has got a better chance. Without his big match performance tomorrow, I doubt Arsenal can keep control the midfield and without Arsenal keeping control of this important area, Barca can(will) repeat last season's masterclass.
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      Song does raise his game for the big ones.
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      The difference in our defence is very notable when he plays.
     
     
     
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