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Posted by Sam Limbert on 03/05/2012

Anfield has been the venue for many great Liverpool v Arsenal moments. From our point of view, Michael Thomas and Robert Pires immediately spring to mind. Usually our best results on Merseyside have been the unexpected ones. Despite the demolition on derby day last weekend, I wasn’t expecting too much from Liverpool game. After our performance early on in the match, the expectation was lowered further.

However whilst we know that in certain areas this Arsenal side are significantly down in quality, there are some big characters that can drag the others through games. Robin van Persie has grown into the captaincy this season, and has improved his own individual performances when wearing the armband. Wojciech Szczesny is 21 years old, but is never short on confidence. If you’re going to be that confident, you have to back it up with performances, and Szczesny’s showing on Saturday was sensational.

There was a distinct hangover from the midweek international break throughout the team, and following the epic victory over Spurs, it was clear the players were struggling to find the same level of intensity that was so prominent at the Emirates a week earlier. In the first half, we were out played. Liverpool were quicker to the ball and fed off the Anfield crowd. To repel the sort of onslaught we faced, you need a bit of luck and a world class goalkeeper. For the majority of the time, we had both.

We had good luck with Liverpool accurately finding the frame of the goal rather than the net, but some serious bad luck with a second dismal penalty decision in a week. Szczesny was once again penalised, and as with Gareth Bale, the opposing player made a great case to join Tom Daley at the Olympics. There may have been minimal contact between Szczesny and Suarez, but enough to send the Uruguayan almost flying over the advertising hoardings? Never. Suarez was at it all game as well. For a club with as much self-pride as Liverpool, Suarez is an embarrassment.

After another dodgy decision, it took real character for Szczesny to stand up, go face-to-face with Dirk Kuyt, and psych him out. I’m sure most Arsenal fans weren’t too concerned about the penalty when Charlie Adam initially wanted to take it, but even with Kuyt, we needn’t have worried. Szczesny, even when he hasn’t saved spot kicks this season, has usually dived the right way. He guessed right again against Liverpool and made a superb stop, and then bettered it by getting up quickly and clawing away the rebound.

The string of saves that followed was equally as impressive. In a match that Liverpool dominated, it was telling that it took an own goal for them to find a way past the Pole. That particular goal was unfortunate for Koscielny, but he recovered and had an excellent second half.

Szczesny has looked slightly fallible at times this season, but he’s a goalkeeper that can win the team more points than he’s responsible for losing. We haven’t had a keeper like that since Jens Lehmann. His name might be difficult to pronounce and spell, but whether you know him as Wojciech, Woj, Szczesny, the Pole in Goal or just Chesney, I hope he’s guarding our net for many years to come.

For most teams, Sir Chesney would have been a shoe-in for man of the match. However those teams don’t have Robin van Persie. I’m pretty sure I’ve exhausted the book of superlatives on this blog about our captain this season. We witnessed the return of the King in January, however now he’s back in New York, we finally have another striker who can lay claim to the Arsenal throne.

In a match where we struggled to create chances, any that came our way had to be taken. Robin van Persie only received the ball in the Liverpool penalty area twice in the whole match. He scored both times.

The first goal came from a fantastic cross from Bacary Sagna; once again the value of having a quality full back made a difference. Van Persie’s movement was clever as he put himself in a position where if Carragher wanted to get to the ball, he’d probably have had to have fouled the Dutchman. The header was made to look easy.

Then that winning goal. Once again, the assist was superb. I’ve been critical of Song for getting too far forward and not focussing enough on being a holding midfielder, but his passing has improved immeasurably this season, and his chipped ball for van Persie was inch perfect. Had Xavi or Iniesta played that pass, the worlds’ media would be drooling over their keyboards.

The pass still needed finishing. When the ball was in the air, my mind immediately pictured the Everton volley at the Emirates into the far corner, thinking it would be impossible for him to do it again. If anything, van Persie bettered that goal. The power and accuracy from the side footed volley, with the ball dropping over his shoulder, defied belief.

Now isn’t the time to worry about if he’ll sign a contract or not. He’s said it won’t be sorted until the summer, so there’s not much point in fuelling speculation now. Unlike with Fabregas or Nasri, emotional attachment to another club and money won’t be the issue. Robin’s emotional attachment is to the Arsenal, and he wants the club to be successful as much as the fans do. If he thinks the club can be, he’ll stay. The fears remain over how many we’ll score if he gets injured, or what’ll happen if he doesn’t stay. However for the moment we just need to be grateful that we have the best striker in the league wearing an Arsenal shirt.

The performance overall wasn’t great, but with the other results over the weekend, frankly we don’t care. There is now some daylight between us in fourth and the chasing pack, plus it now isn’t inconceivable that we’ll catch Tottenham in third. At 2-0 down against Tottenham, we were set to be 13 points behind them, now that gap is four points. Whatever the performance was like on Saturday, our comeback is most definitely on.

The focus, probably briefly, switches to Europe and a likely exit from the Champions League on Tuesday. If Milan score an away goal at any point during the game, any of our wild dreams won’t come close to coming true. However with there being no pressure on the team, there is the slightest possibility of something remarkable happening. If van Persie picks up where he finished at Anfield, create five chances for him and we’ll go through! That might be blind optimism but there’s a good feeling returning to the club, so let’s ride it while it’s here.

The way Robin van Persie gave Wojciech Szczesny the man of the match champagne on Saturday wasn’t quite a king giving someone a knighthood, but within the realm of the Arsenal, for the way those two played on Saturday, it might as well have been.


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Comments

Posted by James on 03/05/2012

Completely agree with the comments made about the Song pass. I dont think hes getting enough credit. Hes been amazing and deserves a new contract as well. That pass was absolutely sublime.

Posted by dchow on 03/05/2012

Arsenal have several sensational wins this season which sent our fans adrenalin high and will be long remembered in our hearts, these including our 5:3 win v Chelsea, 2:1 win v Sunderland, 5:2 win v Hotspur, and lately 2:1 win v Liverpool.
Sam: I think Arsenal fans would be interested to discuss what should be our strategy in the upcoming matches. Should Arsenal line up a strong team against AC Milan or save our strengths for the remaining EPL matches? Your views please.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we should play a strong team against AC Milan because the team need to keep the momentum going from the last two games. Even though we're most likely to go out, it would still be good to win the game and keep the confidence high. After Tuesday, we haven't got a game until Monday, so there will be six days to prepare for the next match.

Posted by derek on 03/05/2012

Nice post.

But please don't suggest there is ANY possibility of something miraculous happening. We are not going to beat Milan 5-nil. That's fanboy stuff, and you need to live in the real world.

Posted by yCx on 03/05/2012

loved your comments about 5 chances for rvp!! hard as it might be, i sure hope arsenal can pull through.

Posted by damina jerry on 03/05/2012

Wow the happiest day I've had this year,it used to be arsenal doing all the play getting all the chances but then losing,a painful feeling i had to cope with as an arsenal fan but thank God for the Liverpool match who cares how Liverpool played,let them do the playing and rvp do the scoring its more entertaining that way,atleast this will send fear through ac Milan spine i hope they get freaked out and out of being cautious commit blunders! I think i may take to the street naked dancing my village traditional dance if arsenal qualifies,will also probably do a thanksgiving at my church too,thou its strange but i can feel it coming! Let's do this goooonnerrrsss!! Whoah!

Posted by Louis on 03/05/2012

Another awesome post sam! do u have a website or blog elsewhere or publication or something? i always anticipate reading ur article after every match, it's such a pleasure!

Kudos to our gunners, they did their cannon crest proud! Keep this up and we will definitely be in top 4!

Sam, could u run an analysis of the remaining fixtures we have and share with us what are the potential pit holes and the chances of us finishing top 4 and even usurping spurs (comparing to their fixture). Thanks!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. This is my only regular blog, but write the occasional articles for other things. Of the remaining fixtures, Newcastle, Chelsea and Manchester City at home will be difficult, but we can beat anyone at the Emirates. Stoke and Everton away will be our toughest games away. Spurs havealso got to face Everton and Stoke, and play at Stamford Bridge. It'll be close but we have momentum at the moment so I think we have a good chance of over taking them.

Posted by Mike Mwan on 03/05/2012

As usual, well said Sam.
Robin Van Persie has defied all expectations as a leader of this team. He is even now leading the fans in not worrying about his contract, it feels like his word is enough. The media, obsesssed about the contract, are neglecting his on-the field brilliance, resulting in conversations mentioning Silva in the same breath as Captain Van Persie.
Szczesny and the other young lads are oozing Arsenal through and through. Even if this kid was average, which he is not, nobody will begrudge him the opportunity of being the number 1 due to his poise and dedication for the club. That pat on Koscieny, when he score an o.g. spoke alot about him. A posting is in club's website where he is paying tribute to Wenger, and it is evident where his heart is.

Posted by Kish on 03/05/2012

Great post! Hit all the key points.
Good to see Diaby gave us a lot more stability in the 2nd half when he came on. Lets hope he recovers well. Nice gesture by van persie to acknowledge Szczesny.

Lets feed off the great momentum and keep the faith against Milan. Remember we lost 3-0 to inter, and we smashed them 5-1 away. Keep the faith gooners.

Wenger still the best manager ever.
Victoria concordia crescit!

Posted by Titansgunners12thman on 03/05/2012

I think you hit the nail on the head. I have to highly agree with one point. Having a competent full back helps immensely. Now that Sagna is healthy our attack is much better. From the right that is. Gibbs is another story.
RVP is playing on another level. Szczesny was outstanding. If only his central defenders could figure each other out. Our central defense hasn't been the same for an extended period all year.
Our midfield got stronger as the game went on. Walcott had a second half the was impactful again this week. His first half out wide was bad. He looked pretty active in the center.
Diaby can kiss his Arsenal career goodbye. Another injury! Good grief!
The team was not playing well and won. If Liverpool had any creativity in the middle of the park, they'd have blown the Arsenal out of the water. Our defending was out of sorts as usual. Thank goodness for Liverpool's profligacy in front of goal.
3 weeks ago I didn't think we'd see 4th again. How wrong was I?

Posted by John-Legend on 03/05/2012

They are Royals indeed. I do hope Wenger brings in some magical legs to compliment these that we have.

Posted by Adam on 03/05/2012

I actually think that Alex Song was our best midfielder attacking wise on Sat. I have felt that way several times this season and he seems much more adept to the premier league than even last year. I also feel as though, although again injured, Diaby was a big difference in retaining possession better in the second half. He really is a magnificent player when uninjured. I hope he can come back. There really isn't even a point on commenting on the two Van Persie or Szczesny because it's been said above in another good post. I was a bit disappointed that walcott failed to do much and though he looked much more confident, was just as useless as normal games away from home. I feel like looking in the future with a full squad our team is very strong and needs minor tweeks. The back plays well with verminator and kosceilny and sagna in and santos or gibbs are both decent defenders and good going forward. Jack Song and Rosicky if he plays well. Van Persie (of course) Ox and insert name.

Posted by GoonerBear on 03/05/2012

Of all the seasons I have followed the Arsenal, this has been by far the most frustrating and amazing of them all! I am glued to the TV or in the stadium to see what they are going to come with next! Just incredible stuff!

Pundits always claim that it is this kind of matches where they don't play well but found a way to win! Well characters they have!

Sagan has been missed! He finally looks like the Sagna of old! His defending, and his crosses! Great stuff! Last 2 matches? 2 assists, 1 goal! Great, great stuff!

Come On You Gunners!

Posted by Ben Simba on 03/05/2012

You capture our feelings spot on. RVP and Woj were just wonderful! Don't forget AW - he keeps the faith!

Posted by zebra on 03/05/2012

Thanks Sam! again, thanks for all of the quality blogs and thanks for such frequent posts. it helps establish a real connection for us fans.

i think that nobody could argue that we were not lucky to take three points away at liverpool. Szczesny had a spectacular game and made some huge saves and clearances. unfortunately we did not play well overall, and we were barely ever in control of the game. it's hard to know what to expect from Arsenal each week. but, we should enjoy earning the points any way that they come!

you pointed out that RvP only received the ball twice in the area and scored each time. but why are we unable to get him the ball! why are we relying on sagna's beautiful cross and song's as well. where is our midfield!

it was sad to see Arteta out like that and i hope that he is ok. as well as Diaby, who was exciting to see again. gibbs also did well.

regardless of the milan outcome, we are doing well in the EPL and can continue to climb by beating newcastle!

Posted by Paul Kariba on 03/05/2012

Great Article Sam. And Ohh snap! on the bit about Suarez joining Tom Daley at the olympics. its an embarrassment and what makes it worse is the fact that if follows immediately after the award winning play act by Bale and yet the FA is not going to do anything about it. There are many people saying that we didn't deserve to win at Anfield but the rule of thumb is that football matches are won by the team which scores the most goals. All other statistics are just that...STATISTICS. Those were three points which i never expected to be very honest and all of a sudden i am euphoric about the Milan game. we have nothing to lose and i hope that we attack from the word go, give them high octane and fly from the blocks.

Posted by tan on 03/05/2012

nice article. really enjoyed it

btw, how bad is the injury to Arteta?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for the comment. From the reports I've read, Arteta went to hospital, but travelled back with the team and is hopeful of being available for Milan.

Posted by Clyde on 03/05/2012

great post yet again Sam..what more can we say about RVP?need we even say more.what i want to know is how much of our win was rily up to luck?i mean, have you seeen ssome of the games or statistics of liverpool this season at anfield.they continue to dominate opponents and are very poor in finishing.i mean, 30 premier league goals for liverpool thus far.Robin has 25!how about karma?how much of our win was just a moral punishment to the antics of 1 luis suarez.by the way i think he is a fantastic footballer,he doenst need to do some of the stuff he does.i remember him exposing his shin pads to see the damage he supposedly sustained from the chesny challenge.
and finaly,man utd did something similar at white hart lane on sunday.it is called the stuff of champions.when we do it we are lucky.how much of it is down to just scoring at the crucial time?

Posted by dan dan on 03/05/2012

if we score 2 @ 1st half then we'll definately send ac home.

Posted by Raza on 03/05/2012

Great blog Sam. Sagna's return really comes us as a relief and shows one of things we have so missed this season; besides it along with Gibbs' return allows us to put our first-choice CB pairing on the team. So good to have Gervinho and Ox coming off the bench; some depth at last. I'm concerned about how long Arteta will be out; esp as Ramsey and Coq are also out.

I think RVP needs a rest after 3 games in a week; he was clearly struggling with his groin concern, so lets hope we dont lose him to over-use and give him a rest soon, at least start him on the bench and bring him on if needed.

I say we should def be targeting 3rd spot; Spurs have had a blip and some hard games coming up, so lets catch up on them and show we're the best in London at least.

Posted by dan on 03/05/2012

Results could not have gone any better for arsenal this weekend. There is no doubt we are capable of overhauling the spuds for third place with Rvp in this form. COME ON ARSENAL!

Posted by GUASH ABAY on 03/05/2012

van carries the arsenal team!!!!!!!!

Posted by dickto on 03/05/2012

I think apart from Vp and WOCj there is Alex Song who should be remembered for his performance this season.If Barca think VP is like Fab then they are wrong, the ease with wich they capture Fab may not happen with VP coz he is aplayer with character who cant be confused easily.Fab was partly responsible for his transfer but Vp is not going to do that.With two or three additions of good players Arsenal will be on course.

Posted by SeryxMe on 03/05/2012

Beautiful description of our match performance. I had said i wouldn't watch any of our matches until we get five wins in a row, but i haven't kept that promise. I watched our demolition of Tottenham (my best Arsenal match of the season so far) and our scrape-off at Anfield and my conclusion is, with the best striker and the 2nd best goalkeeper (behind Joe Hart) in the league, anything is absolutely possible. Let's just hope the rest of the team don't go lethargic and wear them down too soon. Good work from the defence too.
My favorite part of the match, after the RvP goal and Chesney saves, was when the Verminator hacked Suarez down. Sure deserved it!!! Haha!

Posted by makun olayinka on 03/05/2012

Great game hope to see more against the almighty AC MILLAN. Only a win can make the fans to be more happy!

Posted by matt on 03/05/2012

nuff said,songs and those balls,and this guy was once a defender

Posted by Joshua on 03/05/2012

Song has been immense this season. You're exactly right, even though he is really suspect in his positional awareness, he has been superb this season with his through balls. His awareness for playing the pass has been incredible, the pass for that goal for RVP at Everton was incredible.

However, I do find it quite worrying that as usual, Arsenal are a team that is an injury away from disaster. Wenger has to remove the dross and get shot of 'useless' players like Denilson, Squillaci and Almunia. If they're getting paid 50,000 each per week, we could have two quality 75,000 per week players... Food for thought.

Posted by Yusuf Sam on 03/05/2012

Great article as usual Sam! More ink to your pen!There is not a better way to capture it than the way you did in the heading " King Robin and Sir Chesney". They were without any doubt the two most outstanding Arsenal players on that pitch in Anfield. I saw ESPN's EPL team of the week and I was a bit disppointed, even though Sagna and RVP made the cut,Sir Szczesny deserved to be in more than any other keeper in the EPL. If he had not made those saves, RVP's wouldn't have counted because Liverpool would have scored at least 3 goals!

Our season has not been great, but there are a lot of positives to take. Also, we need quality addition to the current squad, at least 3 will do. A world class centre back, a creative CAM in the mould of Kaka and a forward, and with Wilshere returning, we definitely should compete for the EPL next season.

In your opinion Sam, which 3 players can add quality to this Arsenal side?

I will also appreciate a follow back on twitter; @Yusuf_Official
Thanks

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. It's difficult to name individual players at this stage because there are still three months before we can add any players to the squad, and a lot can happen in that time. At the moment, if the Podolski rumours are true, then he'd be a good signing. A back up centre back behind Koscielny and Vermaelen would be good, as would a proper centre forward as back up to RvP.

Posted by kelvin Nigeria on 03/05/2012

Nice one sam!!! U av a way of articulating ur points.as F̶̲̅Õ̳͡я̅ the match;I was really stunned,a draw would av been very ☺ķªª¥ 4 me considering the way we played in first half,bt F̶̲̅Õ̳͡я̅ Van persie grabbing all three points from it shows his class,and dedication to the club.......I feel he shld be restes in milan's match cos we dnt really av much to prove.....Love from all#Arsenal fans!!!

Posted by Cliff Holdorff on 03/05/2012

Robin Van Persie = $2.75m

Alex Song = $1m

The look on Reina's face after getting Van Persie-ed 5 mins into extra time = PRICELESS

Posted by Nii on 03/05/2012

I am surprised that most people think we cannot beat AC Milan by 4-0. My point is this if Milan scores 4 goals in 90 mins, surely we can strech our thoughts to believe that Arsenal can also score 4 goals in 90 mins at home. Milan did that so its not impossible

Posted by VDB on 03/05/2012

totally agree with most of your analysis. Just want to add a couple of things.. RvP has been immense this season and its scary to think of life without him. In the league, the next highest goal scorers are theo on 5, arteta & gervinho on 4!! Our midfield needs to perform better in terms of scoring goals. Another major difference is Rosicky gettin back into some semblance of form.. his on the ball control is good and he has the creative streak to make passes and one-twos like the arsenal of old.. Would love to see wenger stick with him for the rest of the season

Posted by Buchi on 03/05/2012

Hi Sam.... brilliant write up. Well done.

I am very optimistic that we will go through against AC Milan. I have said this in various circles, amongst Arsenal fans and what is remaining is for me to be beaten up but I wont stop.
We will lead AC Milan 3-0 at half time and the rest will be magic. I believe this strongly and do not see why we cannot do it if they did it.

Posted by hillary from radio house,abuja. on 03/05/2012

Our game on Saturday was full of unquantifiable dramatic suspense, I must say. It is true that the hangover of the midweek's international break really affected most of our players and Song not an exception. RVP and Szczesny remained outstanding while other ones really struggled very hard to come back into the game. Thank God that Arsenal can count on a bit of luck now just like other teams; this is why we had the three point at Anfield. For Robin's contract, I think he should stay for he likes Arsenal and we need him so well. But if he leaves I'm sure, a player from no where will come to fill the gap. This is the reason why I prefer him to leave Arsenal to being injured in Arsenal, for if the latter happens, no one will score for us, but the former, he could be replaceable just the way it happened to our other heroes that left.

Posted by Chris on 03/05/2012

Everyone needs to give credit to RVP. He's the best finisher in the EPL, and his talent is something special. What a joy to watch.

Posted by ragedan on 03/05/2012

great win yesterday....should lift spirits and belief immensely

7-1 for Milan tomorrow......any takers?

Posted by diesoh on 03/05/2012

A very nice and deep description of the win over the weekend...Sam if you remember last week I wrote asking whether Wenger should change tactics or the team for liverpool's match and you were right by saying that we should stick to the same formation and players. now, against AC Milan with 4 goals down, do you think we should go for a more adventurous formation? let's say have Gervihno, OX, Walcott, RVP on the side from the let go, or would you keep the same formation as the one from spuds and pool games?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we'll be forced to change our formation slightly because of the lack of central midfielders available. Plus the need for goals means I think we'll commit more players to attack.

Posted by david fitch on 03/05/2012

A great win and three points gained.The same old problems for Arsenal in the first halve was the front men could not get beyond the defense,they filled the midfield and Arsenal had no answer to these tactic's.So the win should not blind us we got a win at Sunderland then the second game same tactic's and lost Arsenal cannot always rely on the perfect pass and finish they have to find a way to play against these teams.It also highligthed how easy it was for the Liverpool defense to stand solid and push the Arsenal players off the ball it begs the question that Arsenal like a body type that is a bit light weight this could account for constant injury count prehaps they need to bulk up.The next game is Newcastle who play 442 solid at the back and score's on the break this type of team which Arsenal so often have been beaten by.

Posted by regi on 03/05/2012

lets play a young squad, rest all the regulars. we are down 4-0, how bad can it get, im sure we will be in for a surprise.

Posted by Snipes on 03/05/2012

Great post again Sam:

Let me get your thoughts on bringing M'Vila to the emirates because i think Song is doing a marvelous job as a defensive midfielder. I remember Arsene expressing interest in his style of playing.

I dont care what happens on Tuesday, Gunners all the way. I just wish we can make KPBoateng pay for his comments and humble Zlatan.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I haven't seen much of M'Vila, so it's hard to comment too much on him. It feels like we're short in central midfield at the moment because of injuries, but when the likes of Arteta, Wilshere and Ramsey return, we're quite well stocked in there.

Posted by MegaMan on 03/05/2012

Great read Sam! due to the large number of comments i don't know if you've already answered this, but what do you think about the Podolski-to-Arsenal subject? would he be a good siging?? how would he fit in???

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Podolski would be a good signing as he could play on the left or the centre of the front three.

Posted by Patrick on 03/06/2012

Great goals by RvP, and great saves by the keeper. Both assists were perfectly weighted balls from Sagna and Song. A lucky win, but we'll take it!

Posted by Drew Leopold Tschappat on 03/06/2012

It really would not make any sense for Wenger to field a strong lineup against Milan. Even if we pull off a miracle and win 5-0, the reality is that our team is not going to beat the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid this season. Our only priority right now is securing 4th place (maybe 3rd at this point) and making sure we are in Champions League next year so we can attract some new players and not give RVP a reason to leave. Therefore we can't risk everyone's fitness by playing them a 4th time within two weeks as another important premier league game looms next weekend.

Posted by Mike on 03/06/2012

If somebody slid at me in the box like an idiot, I'd probably sidestep the ball and wait for him to kick me too. Scezsny only has himself to blame for that PK, but he was pretty awesome throughout, especially on that save after Suarez beat like 5 people. As soon as it was injury time and tied, everyone knew Arsenal would win it, as Liverpool has been doing that all season. I've also been a big RVP fan for years. He has always played this well, he just always got injured for months. This is the 1st season I can even remember him playing more than 5 months, he'd be up with Henry in the goals charts already otherwise

Posted by Reggie on 03/06/2012

Great insight into the game, Sam.

Cheers

Posted by Stevan R on 03/06/2012

another fantastic article sam,really spot on.i nearly lost my faith when we lost 7-1 to you know who.now evrything is coming together again like it shoud.But we still have to remember that once again we underachieved with a good team.yes,RVP is the best right now but how long can we hold on to him? a promiss of success and cash surely will lure anyone away.its frustrating because so many of our good players went out this way..fab,nasri its all the same,i just hope RVP still can be our leader next season.as for UCL,im keeping the faith..i believe we can go through if we play like we did in the last couple of games,but my concern will be on our defence,can they stop ibra who is red hot right now??? we just have to wait and see for ourself...
And sam, all this talks about padolski coming to our team,personally im a fan of him but can he fit in??? can we play him with RVP at the same time up front????

once a gunner,always a gunner-greetings from Malaysia

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Podolski could fit into the team and play with RvP, probably as part of a front three rather than a two.

Posted by jay on 03/06/2012

hey Sam. i"ll start off by saying i am a united fan all they way. i love to read your blog. spot on about your comment on song. i ve been telling my sister for years now (she is an arsenal fan) how song is an extremely important player and makes a lot of wonderful passes.she's just starting to agree with me.congratulations on the win...

Posted by Black Hei on 03/06/2012

Hi Sam,

This game was won by a few senior players playing to their capacity. Unfortunately quite a few in the team has been found wanting.

Furthermore I can't help but realise that we have a bunch of promising youngsters on one hand and a whole bunch of aging squard players on the other.

Senior splayers like Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh and Benayoun will not be here next season. It just does not make sense to have them around given their hefty salaries and limited imapct off the bench or playing time.

But since they have little sell-on value and we have a limited transfer budget, do you think we should cash in on some of our very talented young players? Couqelin, Frimpong and Landsbury can fetch alot of $$.

As for Walcott the role of the promising young attacking player has been taken by Ryo and Ox. In the final year of his contract should we cash in on him too? Since he can't seem to cut it in the 1st team consistently and his only value is being RVP's buddy.

Posted by Dotman on 03/06/2012

£35 million on Andy Carrol
£30 million on Downing
£20­ million on Henderson
£7 million on Adams
many more­ millions on Doni, Coates, Enrique, total of more than­ £100 million on rubbish and cannot even finish 4th­ position more less win the Premier League.
Sam pls how much do u think winger will buy them?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think don't think Wenger will buy any of them as they've proved they were overpriced.

Posted by Emmanuel on 03/06/2012

I think it is time to sell Diaby, Arshavin, Denilson, Bendtner, Chamakh, Park,and even Vela. I think they will not improve above where they have reached already. With the money from their sale we can get three good signings e.g Podolski, Gotz and Verteghan from Ajax. These three can very much change arsenal for good. If you look at the guys to be sold, they have played very few games for arsenal and dont seem to see their future at arsenl. I would like our line up nxt season to be Chesney, Sagna, Santos, Vermeline, Verteghan, Song, Wishere, Gotz, Walcott, Podolski, Van Persie. (Gervinho, Ramsey, Ox, Arteta, Fabiansky, Rosiscky, Gibbs, Kosienly, Per, and the new right back from Charlton). I think with this squard we can do only one more thing, INSTIL DISCIPLINE and DESIRE and we are good to go.
What do you think of that line up sam? Can I have your ideal line up and compare notes? As usual thank you for the wonderful post.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I doubt we'll sign Gotze and Vertonghen, plus Koscielny deserves to be in the starting XI. As always with Wenger, any players we sign could be unexpected so it's hard to give some player predictions for the squad.

Posted by Ethan on 03/06/2012

Hi Sam,
can't find a better way to give credit to the star players as you did.
Captain Arsenal is simply top class as he has proven so many times this season.Winning goal looked familiar.Was it against Liverpool? Or Chelsea?
The real question is: will RVP be a Gunner next season.I have serious doubts.No one wants to stay in club with no ambition and concern over only finances.
Only downside is the loss of Arteta.Without him,I don't think Song can move freely against Milan.Now,we miss Jack.
Once again,we are at a juncture where we need a second line of good players to cover the absentees.That's why we should have signed some good players during January.Anyway,it's over now.
I am sorry.I don't think we will beat Milan by 4 goals.We will collapse when we concede the first.It's hard to defend well and score freely at the same time.If it really happens,winning trophy is considered little achievement compared to this.Hope the lads put up a good fight as they did for the last 2 games.

Posted by Ryan on 03/06/2012

Nah - it's Sir Robin. Brave Sir Robin! Boldy Brave Sir Robin, rode forth for Arsenal!!

Posted by seth on 03/06/2012

your reference to suarez diving or play acting is pathetic & ironic considering that you support arsenal.

Posted by blave on 03/06/2012

Great to see the team dig deep and back up the emotional Spurs win with another huge result!

Hail RVP and Szczesny! Suarez is a great talent but just a despicable character. I would love to see the FA and FIFA start banning players for diving using video evidence after the match. This could help stop this unappealing trend! Either that or he needs a Frimponging.

Hoping for but not expecting miracle vs Milan. At least make it interesting and maintain some momentum though.

I think RVP's unsettled contract situation will actually benefit the club. The club is desperate to keep him as they should be. He is obviously in the form of his life and will have leverage.

But he is as mentioned, a real Gunner, worthy of captaincy and not a wantaway.

He should be able to influence the club to make some proper purchases to retain his services. Agree with you Sam and Mike M. The core is strong. No big overhaul needed. Couple key additions will make us trophy winners again!

Posted by Okalebo Charles on 03/06/2012

We need a very strong team against AC Milan, because 4-0 was a curse in our club history.

Posted by I.Nace on 03/06/2012

Hi Sam!Nice article.I see you always try to stay positive and I agree more so when we win.We had pure luck against Liverpool, which we've been missing.When we win like this is normal, when Man.Utd wins and they don't play well, theirs is champions stuff.Let's keep playing and wining, by showing on the field and let the pundits do their talk.The reality, though is that we don't have consistency and big teams need that.We have the philosophy, the foundations with the stadia,the board,the managers,most of the players and of course the Fans.Now we need to do and show it consistently.My worry is: which team will turn out to play on the day; the one which performs or the not motivated,soft other? We're playing 2 good games and than 1 bad one or 2 good ones and 3 bad ones.Simply we have the foundations, we need winners! And Sam don't be affraid to critisize, the same way we applause.We have to be realistic.We raised the standarts, we have to do it again to go higher.

Posted by GL on 03/06/2012

Am I alone in thinking that Vermaelen should stay at left-back? Give him the summer to work on the position, and we've solved our problems there. Gibbs can back him up, and we can move Andre Santos to LW, since he likes being up front anyway. It's pretty obvious that Koscielny and Vermaelen don't work well together - they are the same type of player. Koscielny + Mertesacker is the best central partnership we have. Koscielny brings some speed and some aggression, and Mertesacker brings the height and some traditional sweeping ability.

Posted by ofe on 03/06/2012

Thumbs up to RVP and chezny(its easier like that)
I'm a die hard gunner and though my dream is to watch arsenal in the emirates very soon , i will support till the end.
unexpected result for sure...but if that spirit of never say die can live on, than arsenal can surely win the league within the next 2 years with 3 world class buys added.
though arsene was my number 1 enemy early in the season i can say he deserves a little pat on the back after bringing the boys back into contention for CL spot...for milan I think only a miracle ...

Posted by Kutch on 03/06/2012

Sam, read ur blog for the first time if the previous were this good mehn u are great. I didnt want to watch the liverpool game as i thought we would lose but then i said to myself what is there to lose by watching. Was i surprised?

Posted by 76ers on 03/06/2012

If milan cn score 4 nil at hme then y nt Arsenal!!! Provided tht the gunners shouldn't receive any goal whch cn evm take them to the tie breaker! Go gunners go!!!

Posted by Leo on 03/07/2012

In reply to derek, we could have beaten ac milan 5 nil. Abiati saved 2 good effort from rvp last night so it was not all fanboy stuff.

Posted by Oladimeji Olatawura on 03/07/2012

I'm very glad 4 Arsenal results these days.But I want us 2 keep on supporting Arsenal.We need 2 be focused & keep on praying 4 this club so dt we can be in Top 4.I want AW 2 please swallow his pride by sign us additional quality players.And he should sell the players that are not good in the squad.He must make sure he retain our best legs so that we will be able 2 compete well in next season.A player like miyachi is supposed 2 bring back 2 join the squad so that he can acclimatised 2 Arsenal playing pattern in time because he, Chamberlain,Coquelin, Miquel, yennaries, Aneke, Afobe, Fripong are going 2 be good future players in future.Gunner 4 life!

Posted by PJPGunner on 03/07/2012

Sam, we now realize how much donkey Djouru cost us with his fouling Zlatan in the first leg. Is he that stupid not to realize that Iba would obviously "fall down" in the box with a mere touch? Instead of wasting time on the Arsenal site (www.arsenal.com) I think Djouru should pack his bags. And to think he was on the bench yesterday. What do you think? Also, having to rely on the other donkey Chamak?? What does Wenger see in these players??

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. It's harsh to say Johan effectively cost us our place in the Champions League. The penalty itself wasn't entirely his fault as he turned away towards the ball and Ibrahimovic went into him.

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About
David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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