Nov 20th, 2012 by 'holic
Another big Champions League night for Arsenal. As we know depending on the results of both matches in Group B we could progress to the knock-out phase on matchday five, making for a less fraught final group fixture in Greece. It would bring about a fitting extension to the feelgood factor that has engulfed the club as a result of the massive North London derby triumph on Saturday.
Massive isn’t too big a word for it. Three points won’t make our season, but the loss of any of those three points would have brought about something we don’t have to consider for a while longer. Progress in Europe’s premier competition would also give everybody something to look forward to in the new year. Something less to provoke waves of discussion, not all of which might be constructive.
There is mixed team news for the visit of Montpellier (who I had to point out to someone earlier weren’t the eighteenth century ballooning brothers!). Left-back Andre Santos and forward Theo Walcott miss out through injury, but by a strange quirk of fate left-back Kieran Gibbs and forward Gervinho are fit to return to the squad after recovering from injury. I have a hunch Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will take Theo’s starting berth ahead of Gervinho, but that is based on nothing more than gut feel. The rest of the side that wiped the floor with the neighbours deserves a chance to maintain that standard.
The French champions are going through an awful spell at present, have injury doubts in key areas, and have just one point from their first four group fixtures. Frankly we could not have wished for a better chance to put right what clearly went wrong, somewhat unusually, in our last home European fixture against Schalke. Overconfidence would surely be the most serious threat to us returning to winning ways?
The ‘holic pound follows the general air of wellbeing about the club and is based on us preparing thoroughly and coming out confident and positive. Under such circumstances if we get an early breakthrough we turn into the proverbial flat-track bullies so I am on 4-0 and hope to convert that pound into several tins of Guinness. A caution to any occasional visitor. The value of my investment will invariably evaporate!
So, those who are going, I hope you have a memorable evening. I know a couple of the ‘holics are making rare visits, and if you want to share in the wide-eyed joy of one of them, Wind, check out his take on his first NLD in the drinks (comments for non-regulars) on the last post. I should warn you to make a pot of tea and a couple of jam sandwiches before you do though.
Some of you will also know that one of ours has been very unwell of late. I know you will all wish to send your best wishes to Gooner Terry. Me too. Tel, stick at it big man. Sometimes we are reminded that petty online arguments are not really so important in the greater scheme of things.
Now, let’s lighten the mood again. It’s competition time and you can win a new Arsenal dvd signed by my dear friend dreamy Bob. OK, so I spent parts of one sponsors day with him, but let me enjoy my fifteen minutes or whatever. Read on, my friends…
WIN ‘ARSENAL GREATEST PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES’ DVD SIGNED BY ROBERT PIRES
Gunners legend Robert Pires was in town last week when he visited The Armoury store to sign copies of the new ‘Arsenal Greatest Premier League Games’ DVD.
The former French international was greeted by 200 ardent fans who queued for their chance to meet the ex-Arsenal midfielder.
The DVD brings together the very best Arsenal action from the Premier League era, with more than 60 matches from the past 20 years featured across three discs, including the title successes of 1997/98 and 2001/02 and the unforgettable 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ season.
‘Arsenal Greatest Premier League Games’ is on sale now in all official Club stores, priced at £15 and we’ve got an exclusive copy signed by Robert Pires himself to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this question:
How many times was Robert Pires on the losing side in a north London derby:
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive by 9am (UK time) on Friday 23rd November and I will announce the winner on Twitter on Friday lunchtime, and you will get a mention in the Villa preview on Friday night. (It might save time if you include your address with your entry. I will not share your details with any third party). Thanks to Arsenal Football Club for providing this cracking prize.
Good luck ‘holics.
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