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It's up for grabs now: time for Arsenal to show their true character

Another draw at Emirates Stadium did neither Arsenal nor Liverpool any favours on Saturday, as both managers selected weakened sides for the Premier League clash.

Now Arsenal travel to Liverpool for tomorrow's Champions League showdown knowing that they have to score to progress and every Arsenal fan old enough to remember May 26th, 1989 will be hoping Arsene Wenger can drum that sense of achievement into today's squad.

If you are not aware of that fateful night, it was the final game of the season and Arsenal needed to beat Liverpool by two clear goals to win the league title. Arsenal had not won at Anfield in 15 years, but a goal early in the second half by Alan Smith gave the Gunners hope and in injury time Michael Thomas wrote himself into folklore when he slotted home the second.

Personally, I think he would do well with simply showing the players the movie Fever Pitch when they're travelling north for the game, thus giving them a bit of a giggle, as well as a sense of how much these results mean to us lowly fans - the people who pay their wages.

A victory tomorrow night (or even a 2-2 draw) would give the Gunners the momentum to go to Old Trafford on Sunday to remind Manchester United that they won't have it all their own way in the final sprint to the Premier League title. And it would also, of course, set up a Champions League semi-final with either Fenerbahce or, more likely, Chelsea, giving us Gooners another massive game to savour as the season draws to an end...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on April 7, 2008 10:58 AM in Champions League| News| Players
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Play Fantasy Arsene Wenger: Pick your team to face Liverpool

Arsenal and Liverpool line up at Emirates Stadium tomorrow for the middle of the three-part act that is vital to the Gunners bringing home some silverware this season.

Arsene Wenger knows that his team outplayed Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League clash on Wednesday, but their failure to convert all of that possession into goals is a concern and Le Gaffer will be be hoping for improvement tomorrow.

Personally, I think he'll go with a pretty much unchanged side, perhaps replacing the injured Robin Van Persie with the in-form Theo Walcott in the starting line up.

Share your thoughts here on who you'd pick to start tomorrow's game, but for the record, here's who my line-up would be:

Toure Gallas Senderos Clichy
Eboue Fabregas Flamini Hleb
Adebayor Walcott

Posted by Gordon Masson on April 4, 2008 10:25 AM in News| Players
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Bolton?

At 2-0 down on Saturday with Arsenal reduced to 10 men, following Abou Diaby's sending off, many Gooners must have been thinking what might have been, but luckily some inspirational half time words from Le Gaffer seemed to remind his troops of what they are capable off and they pulled off a remarkable comeback.

Coming back from 2-0 down away from home is a hard enough task at the best of times, but to do it agaist our bogey side, Bolton, when we played the last hour a man down was nothing short of maginificent.

The realist in me is asking why the team could bot have shown such spirit a few weeks ago, but as Arsene Wenger pointed out after the match, there is still a long way to go to the end of the season and anything is possible.

If you didn't get the chance to watch the highlights of the game, then I'd urge you to do so, but for those who did see some coverage, vote here for who you thought was the key player in sparking the Gunners comeback.

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 31, 2008 2:12 PM in Match Report| News| Poll
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REDaction launches presence in cyberspace

After two years in the planning, Arsenal's hardcore fan group REDaction has launched its website and we at Arsenal Pies would like to be among the first to welcome them to the wonderful world of the interweb.

As with the philosophy behind the organisation, REDaction are pledging that their website will be an open forum which anyone can join to contribute to or suggest ideas for adding vibrancy to the average Arsenal home match experience.

REDaction have a great working relationship with the Arsenal FC hierarchy and those lucky enough to have seats in the REDaction area of Emirates Stadium should be commended for their efforts in trying to improve the match day atmosphere.

To visit the REDaction website, click here. Or if you want to find out more about the group's activities (and if you're lucky enough to own a season ticket), why not get yourself along to The Rocket on Holloway Road for weekend pre- and post-match home game entertainment.

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 28, 2008 1:11 PM in News
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Play Fantasy Arsene Wenger: Who would you pick to start against Bolton?

Arsenal travel to one of their least favourite grounds this Saturday - Bolton's Reebok stadium - knowing that anything except a win will end any hopes we have of winning the Premier League.

Title race rivals Man United face a tough game when they host Aston Villa on Saturday evening, while all Gooners will be hoping that Middlesbrough can put in the same kind of fighting display they showed against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago when they travel to Chelsea on Sunday.

With the Champions League quarter final first leg against Liverpool looming on Wednesday, Arsene Wenger might be tempted to rest some of his players for the weekend, but if he still harbours any hopes for the league crown, that is unlikely.

Aside from Eduardo, the only injury Le Gaffer has to deal with is Tomas Rosicky, for whom there is apparently no return date scheduled.

With that in mind, I reckon Wenger will try to show some faith with the team that played at Chelsea last weekend, with the possible exception of giving Theo Walcott a start and benching Emmanuel Eboue.

Share your thoughts on who you would like to see start on Saturday here. My choice would be this:

Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy
Walcott Fabregas Flamini Hleb
Adebayor Van Persie

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 27, 2008 11:09 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players
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Does Arsene Wenger need to rethink Arsenal's signing policy?

Within the space of a few days Arsenal's eight month reign as the Premier League pace setters has all but been forgotten as the team have slipped to third place in the table.

There's a school of thought that basically says that at the start of the season us Gooners might have been happy with that situation at this point of the season, but quite frankly I think that's bullshit.

Nobody can doubt that Arsene Wenger's team are one of the top four in the country, but being top four doesn't cut it - this is our third year without silverware and that just is not acceptible for a club the size and stature of Arsenal.

There's also a number of fans who argue that the team is in transition and that they should be allowed to grow organically, but how many years should we be prepared to wait? I'll tell you how many - none.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 26, 2008 11:06 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players| Rants
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Chelsea?

Once again Didier Drogba was on hand to break Arsenal hearts at the weekend and it's taken me until now to write about the subject as it hurt that much.

Sunday's defeat now means that the Gunners haven't won a Premier League fixture in five games and that simply is not good enough for a team that has title ambitions. There will be some twists to come in the run in to the end of the season, but I'm of the opinion that we are simply playing for pride now, as I cannot see Manchester United making the same mistakes that we have made.

For a while at the weekend I thought we might be about to relieve Chelski of their impressive unbeaten home record, which now stretches back over four years, but in the end it was the Ivory Coast striker who made the difference, albeit with two controversial goals - one offside and the other following a push on his fellow Ivorian Kolo Toure.

Bacary Sagna took his goal very well, but the goal drought for Emmanuel Adebayor continues and our lack of firepower upfront was all too obvious to see. Time to bring in a new striker? Yes, I think it is.

Anyway, it wasn't an abysmal performance against our west London rivals, so if you can muster up the energy, vote here for the player who think deserves our Man Of The Match accolade.

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 25, 2008 11:10 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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