Mar 092010

Having lost 2-1 in Porto, we go into tonight’s second leg in a dangerous position – score first and we’re ahead in the tie, but concede first and we face a real uphill battle.

History is either with or against us depending where you look. On one hand, we haven’t overturned a first leg deficit in thirty years, while Porto have won the last 24 ties where they’ve taken a lead from the home leg. But in six trips to London, they’ve gone away with nothing, and were hammered 4-0 on their last visit.

With Cesc absent, the role of central playmaker will go to Nasri, with Song making a welcome return to shield a back four that is still missing Gallas, who is ‘back to square one’ with his injury and will remain absent for some time.

Campbell was immense against Stoke, but their style suited him, whereas Porto are quicker and more skilful, traits any 35 year old will struggle with. Vermaelen and Song must protect him well, while Sagna is a certain starter at right back to provide a little more stability.

Looking further forward, and Diaby may get an attacking role behind a front three of Arshavin, Bendtner and Walcott. When you look at where the goals could come from, Cesc’s injury should not be a critical factor – there are plenty of others who have the ability to step up.

One such candidate is Bendtner, who will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s display of comical finishing to prove that he can be our main man for the run-in. After Campbell’s returning heroics in the first leg (which was my bet of the day at that occasion), I’m tipping the Dane to open the scoring at 9/2 with Sportingbet. The bet of the day pick has been on form recently, hopefully that will continue tonight.

The worry is what happens if and when Porto score. Having one away goal is so dangerous – you can be 2-0 up and cruising, but a single response levels the tie, and means a second goal would almost certainly knock you out. It is a night for ensuring we stay alert to the inevitable counter attacking possibilities, as Porto will look to contain and hit us with pace.

That said, I’m reasonably confident. Fabianski’s nightmare overshadowed the fact that Porto really weren’t that impressive in the first leg, and if we play anyway near the level we can, they won’t be able to live with us.

With no midweek games scheduled between now and the end of the season, we have plenty of space for the Champions League. Let’s fill it.

Enjoy the game.

  21 Responses to “Porto preview – beware the counter attack”

  1. i dont feel good about tonite.. without Cesc… we have a team of brainless cocks playing tonight apart from arshavin..

    Bendtner has a first touch of a rapist! a decent impact player coming off the subs but to lead the line.. im sorry.. just not good enough..

    Rosicky/Nasri.. players with so much skill and technical ability yet have been shirking for most of the season.. blame them for Cesc’s injury.. if they had at least shared the burden our Captain had to bear all season.. cesc wldve messed up his hamstring!

    Clichy.. worst left back in Europe bar none

    Theo.. hoping for a back to back solid performance from him.. NOT

    Diaby and Arshavin.. these two players will make or break the team tonite!

    they need to SHOOOOTTTTTT!!!!!

    gluck fellow goons

  2. Sorry joni, I have to disagree with you on a number of points.

    Nasri’s been pretty good for a 22 year old, and has moments of magic in his locker. Rosicky’s been impressive too, and has contributed more than I thought he would after such a long injury.

    Bendtner had a bad day Sat, but was good before it, and Clichy worst in Europe? Oh come on.

  3. Joni you are one of the thickest c***’s i have ever come across.

    Where do we get these w*****’s from?

  4. joni goonah are you retarded bendtner can and will provide the goods, nasri had a great game filling in for cesc on sat and we all know rosicky can provide on the big stage aswell. and clichy the worst left back in europe WTF!!! he is still one of the best in the league and recently has been regaining his form you muppet. watch the football and support your team.

  5. @ its all about arsenal i rally dont know mate fucking clowns commenting

  6. “Clichy.. worst left back in Europe bar none”

    And the ‘Overstatment of the Year’ award goes to…

  7. I normaly feel nervous before games like this, but I don’t tonight. Fab is out, but Bendtner won’t have another game like saturday and Theo still has a point to prove and Porto’s left make will struggle to contain him. BIg win coming up me think.

    (Joni, thants what looking at the positives souts like…… you f**king p***k)

  8. As long as Bendtner doesn’t play.
    The guy is the worst forward apart from Emile Heskey I’ve ever seen in 40 years of watching football.

  9. As it often falls for us, if we get out of the gate early, it could be a rollover.
    If Porto get one early or we go 0-0 into half, the pressure mounts and then who knows.
    I just don’t want to see a bunch of missed chances early and heads start to hang.

  10. Both Rosicky and Nasri have been improving a lot in the last few games. Nasri can be a future Arsenal legend, and who doesn’t love the little Mozart?

  11. I enjoyed the “Clichy.. worst left back in Europe bar none”, and the “Bendtner … is the worst forward apart from Emile Heskey I’ve ever seen in 40 years of watching football.

    That’s Clichy, who was immense a couple of seasons ago, but has managed to go backwards since then. This is Bendtner, who scored three in three before the weekend.

    Good strikers having a poor day get into positions to score and then miss. Poor strikers don’t miss these opportunities… because they’re not there to miss them.

    And worst left backs? Well, worst left backs have won the Champions League before in the shape of Djimi Traroe… and depending on your definition he is still playing in Europe… just not European-wide competition.

  12. Tim, I feel the need to remind you that only a few short years ago we had Baptista and Aliadiere. And then there was good ol’ Frannie Jeffers.

    Food for thought with your ‘Bendtner worst ever’ tag.

    The Clichy one confuses me more – the guy has actually been back on form in recent games.

    Alan, good point about the two striker skills – there are two parts to the job, a) getting in the right position, and b) scoring. One out of two is better than none out of two.

  13. jesus haha. yeah nasri could’ve carried the load. he was out for the first 2 months you moron. rosicky practically was out for 2 years or more, so he’s doing very well.

    and did you see that assist from nasri to cesc? cesc himself would struggle a few times to get a pass that perfect in.

    get the balls out of your face and watch the games instead of reading about them

    good to see all the support and one idiot.

  14. i agree with you Kevin

  15. Isn’t it extraordinary that a small section of our fans has turned on Clichy who’s biggest crime is to return from a very long and painful injury (fractured back) only to find himself low on form and thrown into games before he was fully sharp again.

    He had a couple of poor games and the hounds turned on him and stated they always knew Gibbs was better and that Clichy was over rated anyway and blah blah, blah. Is it any wonder his confidence suffered??

    Since that shaky return he has been excellent in his last 2 performances and, for the most part, the idiots who think their 20:20 vision is infallible have gone rather quiet (moving back to their favourite fallback stance; attacking Denilson).

    Except for you joni – your so f*cking dense you haven’t even noticed how well Clichy has played in the last two games.

    I despair of the Arsenal supporters sometimes – I really do.

  16. Jonny, unfortunately certain sections of the Arsenal ‘support’ only seem happy when they get the opportunity to bash someone. Song turned good, even Eboue is better now, so they had to find new targets.

    I don’t know if other top clubs suffer from the same sort of thing, but I can’t say I’ve noticed it as much as with ours.

  17. Don’t worry about Port scoring first, even if they do our task remains the same, that is, to score and we ‘ll still be in the tie. the real worry would be when they score twice with us not scoring at all and that is no going to happen at Emirates. Get ready to celebrate tonight guys,ooooh!!! its exciting!!!

  18. Who fcked it up for us against Birmingham from a nothing ball.. resulted in a penalty which ended our season..

    Who decided to be clever on the ball under no pressure and slipped for no fcking reason giving posession to the spuds resulting on the 3rd goal when we were 4-2 up.. the game that killed our season again!

    yeah.. Gael fcking Clichy..

    he was good once.. 3 seasons ago when he was actually trying! but for 2 seasons now.. a mixture of lax attitude, bigheadedness(downs), shitty ass competition and nearly guaranteed 1st team place meant that hes regressed beyond recognition!

    50% of the goals we let in for the past 2 seasons came from the left.. True story..

    MJ lookalike Nani looked like Garincha against Clichy.. wrong.. Clichy is the 2nd worst leftback in Europe..

    coz even he cant be as bad as Armand fcking Traore!

    ps: dont let my language/manners(lack of it) mask the point im trying to convey

  19. joni, nothing can mask the point you are trying to make – we get it. We just don’t agree with it.

    Still, football is all about opinion.

    But I fail to see how you can ever question Clichy’s attitude. Even when he’s off form he works his socks off.

    As for 50% of goals coming down the left, well, if you draw a line from goal to goal, you would expect 50% to come on either side……

  20. lol good spot on the 50% thingy.. well here we go!

    10mnts to kick off.. lets hope im wrong about clichy!


  21. i eat humble pie tonite..

    and its delicioussssss!!!!!!


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