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Arsenal Pies

Poll: Who do you want to face in the Champions League quarter finals?

If anyone was seeking proof that the Premier League is now the strongest domestic competition in Europe, then they surely need only look at the fact that all four English sides in the Champions League have made it through to the quarter finals.

Liverpool downed Italian league leaders Inter Milan last night to join Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in the last eight of the competition and unlike in previous rounds, the restrictions that prevent teams from the same country from meeting are now gone, meaning we have a more than 40% chance of coming up against Premier League opposition in the quarter finals.

None of the big four teams will be relishing an all English clash, but if we are drawn out of the hat aginst a domestic rival, I'd rather it was Liverpool or Chelsea than Manchester United.

Our other opponents could be Barcelona, Fenerbahce, Roma or Schalke 04. Cesc Fabregas has stated that he'd like to play Barcelona in the final so that the Gunners can exact their revenge for the loss in the Paris final two years ago. And Arsene Wenger tipped Roma as a dark horse for the competition at the start of the season, so I wouldn't mind avoiding them.

I'm guessing that our Premier League rivals will all be hoping to be picked out alongside either Fenerbahce or Schalke 04 in Friday's draw and I'd go along with that as well. But I have the feeling that we might face Chelsea in the quarter finals, allowing us to take revenge for the defeat at Highbury at the same stage in the competition four years ago.

Ahead of Friday's draw, let us know who you'd like Arsenal to be drawn against - I've given you all seven options and all it takes is a simple couple of clicks to vote. And if you have any particular reasons to back up your choice, share them here using our comments section below.

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 12, 2008 1:08 PM in Champions League| Debate of the Day| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Wigan?

It was a bad weekend for the top three clubs in England with neither Arsenal, Chelsea nor Man United recording a victory. And although our biggest rivals lost, the Gunners draw was without a doubt the worst result.

Manure and Chelski may both have lost to lesser teams, but the fact that those results were in the FA Cup strengthens both teams resolve for the Premier League campaign, while Arsenal's scoreless draw at Wigan does our league hopes little good at all.

Playing the game on a farmer's newly ploughed field didn't help the Gunners and I'm almost convinced I saw a molehill and some rabbit burrows on the JJB playing surface, but we can't use that as an excuse for some shoddy finishing and a lack of invention in the final third of the pitch.

Three Premier League draws in a row means six dropped points and that's hardly the form of champions. Criticise me if you want, but I still believe we have a better chance of Premier League glory than winning the Champions League, but if Arsenal cannot raise their game for the likes of Wigan, then we won't win anything.

Still, it was good to see the return of Robin Van Persie and Kolo Toure, both of whom acquitted themselves well. As for the Arsenal Pies Man Of The Match, well, I'm stumped, so I'll leave it up to you lot, as usual, to pick the player you thought contributed most to Arsenal's performance yesterday.

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 10, 2008 12:41 PM in News| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Aston Villa?

It was a frustrating day at Dubaibury on Saturday and although we scraped a 1-1 draw thanks to Nicklas Bendtner's injury time equaliser, there was little to shout about as a lacklustre performance didn't exactly boost confidence in our chances of winning the Premier League crown.

As usual, Arsenal created plenty of scoring opportunities, but we also, as usual, were playing as if we wanted to score the perfect goal. In the end it was the Danish striker who poked home the ball in a goalmouth scramble to allow the Gunners to retain their position at the top of the table.

Alexander Hleb looked lively, but his persistence in looking for a pass rather than having a shot himself is wearing very thin indeed. Mathieu Flamini was his usual battling self, as was Gael Clichy and Theo Walcott also looked the part as he shot on sight to trouble Scott Carson in the Villa goal on more than one occasion.

But with Arsenal taking on European champions AC Milan tomorrow night, Arsene Wenger will need to coax a vastly improved performance from his players if they are going to progress in the Champions League.

Ahead of that clash, you lot have around 24 hours to register your vote for our Man Of The Match award. Simply select the player you though contributed the most for Arsenal against Villa and click on Vote.

COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!

Posted by Gordon Masson on March 3, 2008 11:43 AM in Match Report| News| Players| Poll
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Will we actually miss Eduardo?

Every Gunners fan was devastated to see Eduardo get so badly injured last week and we all wish him well.

On the back of conceding a last minute equaliser against Birmingham and the drubbing in the FA Cup by Manchester United, the doom mongers are circling.

But could this be the impetus the team needs to focus on winning the title?

When their backs are against the wall, Arsene Wenger's sides tend to come out fighting and Theo Walcott's performance last weekend was encouraging.

So could the Gunners rise from the ashes in the face of such adversity?

Posted by David Alexander on February 28, 2008 2:02 PM in Poll
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What's more important this season?

So, three days until we take on an Aston Villa side who are creeping into Champions League contention.

Last season, we drew with them in the first ever Premiership game at the Emirates and with the talents at their disposal, they're going to be a formidable challenge.

One defeat in two seasons at Emirates, though, suggests we have enough to maintain our palce at the top of the table, but three points is essential to stop the doubts from the media becoming deafening.

But with Milan coming up next week and our squad stretched to breaking point, should Arsene Wenger rest key men such as Adebayor, Hleb and Cesc in order to have them fresh for the Milan trip?

Posted by David Alexander on February 27, 2008 10:48 AM in Poll
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Who should replace Eduardo next season?

With the transfer market closed, there's nothing Arsene Wenger can do to sign a replacement after Eduardo's injury at the weekend.

Even the most optimistic of people accept that it will be 2009 before the Croatian striker returns, unless a minor medical miracle occurs.

So with the usual suspects of Obafemi Martins, Samuel Eto'o, Adriano, David Villa and Miroslav Klose certain not to be targets, Arsene Wenger has some tricky decisions to make.

Does he go Double Dutch and sign Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who with 26 goals in 29 games this season is in the form of his life – and is certain to adapt quickly to English football?

Does he risk upsetting our North London neighbours once more and sign Dimitar Berbatov after another year when Tottenham fail to make it to the Champions League?

Does he break his golden rule about players making a return to the Club and sign prodigal son Thierry Henry after his difficult year in Spain?

Or does he stick with what he’s got and hope that Walcott, Van Persie, Adebayor, Bendtner and Nacer Barazite, who is knocking in the goals for the Reserves?

Posted by David Alexander on February 26, 2008 12:30 PM in Poll
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Can Theo fire us to the title?

The first thing I thought when Eduardo was injured on Saturday was that we’re down to our last two strikers.

Robin Van Persie may be back in the fold before too long but we can’t rely on him after five months out injured – it happens every season.

Nicklas Bendtner is still not on good terms with Emmanuel Adebayor if the Togo forward’s failure to pass to him on Saturday is anything to go by.

But hang on a minute. Step forward Theo Walcott. A fine cameo on Wednesday against mighty AC Milan and then two goals against Birmingham on Saturday.

So can he cut it? Yes he can! What do YOU think?


Posted by David Alexander on February 25, 2008 12:24 PM in Poll
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