CL Draw: Barça take on Arsenal

The Champions League draw was today and Barça garnered a date with Arsenal. I wanted Milan, but Arsenal is a delicious draw as well. Oh yes, indeed. Sure, now we have to live with Sport and MD going nuts about the grand and crazy return of one Cesc Fabregas, but eh, we can live with that because of the games that will be on display.

Will we win? I suppose that’s a possibility. It’s not like Arsenal is some sort of a mom and pop organization; they’re certainly better than they were a couple of years ago and, I would wager based on what I’ve seen of them this year, they’re better than they were when we met them one stage later last year.

They’ve still got some injury issues (it seems like every week someone else gets a several week knock), but if they come in healthy we’ll have our hands full. They brought in Chamakh, Koscielny, and Squillaci while getting rid of Fran Mérida, Senderos, Gallas, Silvestre, Campbell, and Eduardo da Silva. Some decent moves, if you ask me (especially dropping Mérida), though Squillaci has never impressed me and I’ve always thought Eduardo was good.

The rest of the draw is: Roma-Shakhtar, Milan-Tottenham, Valencia-Schalke, Inter-Bayern, Lyon-RM, Copenhagen-Chelsea, Marseilles-ManU. Off the top of my head, Milan-Tottenham will be the best, then Inter-Bayern, though they’ve all got something going for them and it’s hard to pick a “favorite”. I’m sure Chelsea fans are stoked, but they’re in for a rude awakening against FCK, which gave us a run for our money.

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater New York City area with his wife and daughter.


  1. Anyone can have a bad day, but I’m pretty confident we could beat any of those teams right now.

  2. This certainly gives the conspiracy theorists some ammunition.. Bayern gets a chance for revenge against a weaker Inter side, RM gets a chance against Lyon and even Arsenal gets us. TH vs AC looks like the best match, I agree, and they get a chance now to defeat the other big Italian side, another David defeats Goliath story. Of course, these are all just musings on possible motives for an (allegedly) biased UEFA draw.

    As for our game with Arsenal, I hate to be the Debby-downer, but I feel like going up against the same side so often, eventually the odds say that they will get it together and win. I have confidence in us, and we could win 99/100 times, but I really would not like that 1 time to be now.

    1. I don’t buy the conspiracy theorists. There are only 16 teams. Each team has a 1 in 8 chance, and then based on other things including nation they get lower. Arsenal had a 25% chance of drawing us and I think others were similar.

      I just can’t wait till Bale destroys whoever Milan play as RB and someone pay like 50m for him. Hah 😀

      Also, Ronaldinho might not be in Milan still by the time the next round rolls out.

  3. From what I’ve seen, their defence and midfield are better this season. The attack looks dodgy though. Chamakh can hardly do any damage on his own.

    1. Also they don’t have a good GK. Al Munia has been told he can leave in January, so that just leaves Flappyhandski and their 3rd keeper, who I don’t know much about. Unless they bring in a big-name GK in the January window.

    2. I’m not necessarily saying that we have a “good” keeper, but honestly, Flaps has been one of the best keepers in the Premiership this season, and our third keeper you refer to (actually our second keeper — Almunia is completely out of the picture) is a 20 year-old phenom who is extremely confident and one of the most physically talented goalkeepers I’ve ever seen. Time will tell if he can deliver on that promise, but he looks very, very good so far.

      And there’s a 0% chance of us bringing in a goalkeeper in January — Wenger really likes both our Polish goalkeepers and isn’t looking to change that situation.

    3. Another Polish keeper? What is it about Poland producing so many good keepers? Anyway I haven’t seen your new guy, so I will take your word on how talented he is, but the question then will be whether Wenger will risk playing someone so inexperienced in the CL game or stick with Fabianski. No disrespect, but if the game is equally balanced and it comes down to which keeper is best, Valdes wins every time.

    4. Yeah, Wenger seems pretty set on the kid Szczesny, he gave him his debut against Manchester United at Old Trafford last week. Although his hands were rather tied with keepers (no pun intended) with the injuries to Almunia and Fabianski.

  4. Lot of commentators out there are writing off Arsenal, which i think is stupid. I feel pretty confident about our chances as our team does play well in knock out rounds but this is game of football and Arsenal has enough great players to really put up good fight. Based on current form, i’d give us 60% chance of progressing but these matches are in Feb and lot can happen in the meantime. Am happy that these will be good matches though.

    Same for Chelsea supporters who are considering FCK to be push overs. I also think that Chelsea will be in for rude awekening. Assuming FCK do not get rusty or sell their players, i can see them really giving Chelsea run for their money.

  5. I was hoping we wouldn’t get Arsenal so they would at least have a decent chance of getting through to the next round. We are going to beat them, and beat them badly. That’s not arrogance, really, I’m just saying that if both teams continue to play at their current level, they have no chance. Now I admit that is a big IF. Arsenal is full of talented players. On their best day they could definitely beat us. Conversely, Barcelona could suffer a drop in form–but I don’t think that is going to happen. Guardiola has gotten much better at managing the physical needs of this team, subbing them off, resting players when needed. Maybe the spectre of Xavi’s tendinitis was the shock he needed. Whatever. Barring unexpected injuries, I think we will maintain our form, and if we keep playing our game, we will win.

  6. Based on current form we will definitely win, but current form is now in December and the game is in Feb.
    For me our meeting with arsenal is the game of the round; that is if you like open attacking football, both teams play the game that way, which is a good thing for us
    Unless we have a host of injuries, arsenal have no chance.

    @Euler: please write a tactical preview for our fame with espanyol, please please please

  7. Ok, so now again I have to root for my number 1 team over my number 2 team. And I will because my #1 team is much much much more important to me than my #2. We can expect an open game and some absolutely beautiful football from this draw.

    If we are anywhere near our current form in February, we go through with no problems and with a ton of style.

  8. i’m not at all threatened by Arsenal after what we did to them last season. in fact i think this could be a tie where Villa really proves his worth, as i anticipate he’ll be in a rich run of goalscoring form by the time it rolls around. Arsenal’s back four (minus Sagna for the first leg) aren’t used to dealing with so much movement between the front 3 and their midfield will again be totally dominated.

    a more pressing question from me though is: does anyone by chance know a place to watch the game tomorrow in Chattanooga, TN?

    1. just visiting, hence my ignorance of the viewing possibilities. i’m actually leaving 3 hours earlier than i’d originally planned so i get there in time to catch the game, and i’d love to be able to sit down and get a beer at the end of my journey while i watch us, Ozzy-like, bite the heads off some obnoxious parakeets.

      and GolTV’s coverage is what prompted by question, since everywhere has ESPN but GolTV isn’t a widely shown.

    2. If you have internet access, I find that I can usually find some kind of stream from this site:

  9. Isaiah’s post just reminded me to be more respectful, and we all should. Arsenal is really not some low clubs. They do well in the Prem and have something that we don’t have. We should learn something from this test. I hope the players won’t let their guards down after last year’s victory against them, because we really did stop playing football after 70 mins and let them get back to the game in the first leg.

    Of course, I expect us to go thru, just as some Arsenal fans expect their team to go out, but we should approach this match with our feet on the ground. We have to be serious in every game in order to win the biggest prizes!

  10. That’s some ugly shit:


  11. I just went and checked Pique’s twitter:

    @cesc4official Oooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh!! Ens veurem a Londres!!! Moc moc!!

    And Puyol’s:

    Arsenal oooooooohhhh!!! @3gerardpique @cesc4official

    So I guess they are excited that it is Arsenal. 😀

    1. I was a 12 year old girl once… and I don’t remember being quite so 12-year-old-girlish. Pep please do something!!!!!!

    2. Personally I love it when grown men act silly, so I’m enjoying the adventures of the Tres Amics. 😀

  12. Good write up. We’re looking forward to it, as well. We would have preferred to get one of the German teams, because I think we would have had a much better chance of advancing against them, but big ties like this are what the Champions League all about, and it will certainly be an entertaining couple of matches.

    I just wish we could form some sort of pact to not talk about any of the Cesc stuff — seems like fans of both clubs are sick to death of talking about it and hearing about it, and it would be better for all of us if it just went away. But something tells me it won’t…

    1. Oooooooooooohh!!!!!!!!!

      “I just wish we could form some sort of pact to not talk about any of the Cesc stuff”

      Said the man who’s first take on the draw is the Cesc in Barca jersey photo? 😛

      Anyhow, I agree and hope the conversation is civil. I think it’ll be fine for now, but as we approach the match it’s gonna get crazy. In both good and bad ways 😀

  13. after scouting a few Arsenal blogs to see the reaction, i’ve left with a new appreciation for this space. not only is our discourse more refined, but wow is the spelling at BFB vastly superior to what i’ve been reading today. good work everyone.

    1. I think Marseille could surprise Man U, and Copenhagen will be a lot more challenging for Chelsea than they might think. I think at least one of these two English teams will get knocked out. Sadly, I also think Schalke will beat Valencia, although I hope not.

    2. I think Spurs are better than Milan. Schalke is as good as Valencia. The rest I agree with Greece Barca (Copenhagen has the chance of an outsider, but still Chelsea is more likely to win it). Marseille will NOT surprise ManUtd, I’m pretty sure in that regard.

  14. Oh MAN! I SO did NOT want this tie! Boo! UEFA is corrupt! I call for conspiracies! Almost all the same matches!

    (Let me rant).

  15. Their not a mom and pop side but they have no chance. Sorry if you find that disrespectful but in my opinion Barca will destroy arse0 in this game. Leo must have been delighted with the draw but he’s a class act and would never say it. Van Persie can’t run anymore it seems and Chamakh is no world beater. Also Cesc seemed in awe a little bit last year and I really doubt that will change this year.

  16. Isaiah, could it be that you didn’t watch Arsenal against ManUtd last Monday? I suppose Arsenal will lose against Chelsea on December, 27 and their title hopes are over. Pointwise, Arsenal was better last season than this…

    I think they are equally good, but not better than last season. The new center backs are not really top-class, although Vermaelen is and he will be back for the CL matches. From the remaining players that also featured in last season’s CL tie, I can hardly name someone who has improved from then to now. On our side, Messi has improved (!), Iniesta will most-likely be back and plays his best season so far, Abidal also seems to be in the shape of his life.
    So my verdict is: Arsenal are as good as last year, we are even better. Given no injuries or massive drop of form happens to us, we should win. Even if Arsenal improves and gets some of their key players rollin’.

    PS: I hope the players are less confident about it than me, ‘cuz a little bit more doubt is always better than expecting a clear-cut victory 🙂

    1. true, but you have to remember that he(vermaelen) was paired alongside song because of an injury to gallas(?).

    2. & we don’t have ibra’s tall ass to aim @ anymore. i hope we get a real 9 in the winter window that wouldn’t mind significant bench time. adebayor would have been perfect but it’s hard to see man city letting him go after the whole tevez thing.

    3. *

      song didn’t help, but it was mainly vermaelen’s lame positioning.

    4. Helge: I agree with almost your entire post, except that you neglected to mention Nasri. He’s been in spectacular form in the Premier League. His talent is obvious if you look at his goals and his assists – they come from nothing (if his wonder-goal against Porto in the CL last season wasn’t enough, check out the highlights from Arsenal at Aston Villa a few weeks back). He’s ambitious, creative, and aggressive, and this season has been Arsenal’s best attacking option without question. The only other player worth noting for his growth is Song, I think. He’s a tough player, capable of giving our guys some problems.

      Chamakh and Arshavin are physically weak, defensively inconsistent, and don’t link up as well with the midfield as Wenger wants. Arsenal’s CBs are known even in England for being easily lulled out of position. Vermaelen is a great attacking defender and a mediocre defending defender. And if they’re starting Flaps, they also have a Random Concession Handicap. I hate to come off as so arrogant, but unless Arsenal changes their style, this fixture is only going to further remind Cesc what he’s missing.

  17. I think it’s clear to say that Arsenal will be eaten ALIVE if we keep up our current form (regardless of their form).

  18. Decent write-up below:


  19. I can’t say that I’m surprised. Actually I’m quite pleased with this draw I feel confident the we CAN win but wether we will or not is a whole another matter.

  20. Arsenal-Barcelona: wednesday 16 february at 20:45 ^^^ Barcelona-Arsenal: tuesday 8 march at 20:45

    i hope i still have vacation days ;p

  21. Kxevin Bait

    I’m already hearing about how the key to an Arsenal victory will be exploiting Barca’s weak left defense–Abidal. Abidal, you see, is the weak link in our team.

  22. Don’t forgot guys around this Arsenal tie we will be introducing Afellay (who I have great hopes for) to the team and system,…Just another option in our attack for this leg in case of injuries or loss of form….

    BTW since when did we get CAPTCHA Codes??

  23. Looking forward to this. Cesc said he didn’t want to face you guys, or Real, but I’m glad he gets to play at the Nou Camp (assuming he’s fit).

    Surprised to see some writing off the attack since it’s far more potent than last year, we’re just getting Van Persie and Bendtner back from injury, Chamakh the new boy has scored 10 this season so far, Samir Nasri’s on fire this season, and Arshavin, while off form, has the highest number of assists in the EPL.

    That said, our problem area’s definitely the defense, where we miss Vermaelen’s leadership and are playing two new to the EPL center backs and one who’s been out of the game for a year.

    We’re better off this year with our new keepers, Fabianski and Szczesny, the latter is a talent I think a lot of gooners believe could be one of the world’s best in a few years. Fabianski had a torrid time last season, but seems to have shaken that off and is disproving the critics. If you’d like to see some of our young keeper Szczesny, do a YouTube search for “The Pole in Goal”.

    All that said, on current form you’d mash us to pieces, we’re yet to really get started and find any consistency. And frankly, I don’t think it matters how good you are if Messi is on form and given space, we’ll need to figure out a way of keeping him quiet over the two legs.

    1. *

      “Arsenal’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny thinks he might have figured out the secret to making Wayne Rooney launch comically atrocious penalty kicks miles over the crossbar, as he did in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Arsenal on Monday.”

    2. I accidentally searched “The Pole in Hole” (Damn Polo ad..) the results were.. lets say, similar to the time when I wanted to watch the highlights of the Europa league game between Athletic Bilbao and Young Boys Bern, and I typed “Athletic – Young Boys”..

  24. Just think, this time instead of a nostalgic Titi who didnt even run in that game, we can sub in young determined new signing Ibi and unleash him on the gunners. Hopefully Cesc is similarly affected at the Camp Nou like Henry was in London, but seeing how he got his “mate” sent off last time, i doubt that.How’d you guess im still pissed about many aspects of that game ? 😀

  25. @SMo4 I also will have to jettison my #2 team…oh well. Copenhagen will have to become my surrogate #2…though that creates dilemma too as I really want to face enemy #1 at some point (like the finals.) (That would be the Blues BTW not EE, who no longer appear viable competition.)

    1. So we will cheer our fool heads off for Barca and at the same time pray that no-one gets hurt (because our #2 team can’t catch a break in that dept.). I think Chelsea will have more problems with Copenhagen than they’re expecting. As for enemy #1, that’s EE for me. If Chelsea played against EE, I would root for Chelsea. If the hoards of hell played against EE, I wouldd roo…well how could you tell them apart?

  26. Honestly I feel that if Arsenal have any chance of of beating they are going to have to ask themselves a very tough question; Are we willing to do what ever it takes to beat Barca? In other words are they willing to not play attacking football and rather Park a Bus in front of goal and wait for good counters?

    I think they are willing to do just that. Both Wenger and I think Bendtner have said the key is two beat us over two games, which leads me to believe, that is exactly what they are planning? Problem is they are not very good at that. Their defense looks flimsy all too often. So its definitely a gamble plus the more time they give us with the ball the better for us. On the other hand what would their fans think of them if they did drop the attacking football ideology even if for just one tie? Or do they believe that they could beat us “al tu por tu” and stay true to their ideology? Or at least go down swinging?

    I have a lot of questions but no answers.

    1. I’m not sure I can remember the last time this Arsenal team “parked the bus”, for better or worse, even in our games against Manchester United, Chelsea et al, it’s a fairly gung ho approach to the game.

    2. I agree, Shobo, and I think that might be the problem. I don’t see Arsenal having very good options in how to approach the game; they only have options that might just work.

      Having watched pretty much every match of Pep’s Barca, though, I can tell you that I think trying to win the possession battle is consistently the worst strategy to beat Barca. Even a team as good at it as Arsenal (who is used to getting 55-60%). That’s why after our treble season, few teams have even tried.

    3. Honestly, I’d be interested in seeing more teams come out against Barca like Valencia earlier this season. It was only time I can think of since 2008 when a team beat us at our own game. Granted, we got it back, but that half was haunting.

  27. Being the hateful, vindictive and petty person I am, I’m obviously very pleased with this tie. If this game was being played right now, I’m sure we’d murder them, but it’s not.

    Just some reminders: (Feel free to add to this list or the one below)

    1) Our form is the worst in February
    2) We could get injuries. Iniesta could tear some more delicate hamstring muscles; Xavi’s tendonitis could get much worse; a defender can stomp on Messi Ramos-Ujfalusi style.
    3) Their goalkeeper is having something of a renaissance.

    Some more reasons for confidence

    1) The serious underrating of Abidal (our starting LB to the shock of some)
    2) The maturation of Pedro!
    3) Their starting LB is suspended meaning Clichy? will play. <— Can just hear the Gunners using that as an excuse if they lose the first leg
    4) We will know better than to turn off after 70 min.
    5) No Marquez or sentimental comebacks (on our part)

    — Shobo and Theirry Ennui have been polite in coming here. I appreciate it.

    However, seeing as 95% of Gunners believe the fake interviews of Barca players are true (despite the stories originating from their press. And despite the fact the majority of our players were on vacation and DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH.), if there is bad blood here on BFB, it’s going to be started by Gooners.

    1. Kari, you did it now! mentioning injuries before they happen is a no no so if they do happen we’re coming with pitchforks 😀

    2. People still dont get it.

      This year, with a fit iniesta , a more versatile and unpredictable messi , with pedro’s football brain vastly improved and the work rate and options villa offers – even if he is still far from fitting well in our system – this team is much better than 2008 , and of last season’s.
      More options to score , more focused till the end of the game, better defending pressure , more fluenty in the attack line , less chances of a bus parked as a recommended solution.

      If you park the bus against this barca , its like an invitation of your defence to be penetrated and when the first goal comes ,you will get butchered.

      2 months is a long time. We might decline.
      We already know though that even with this kind of form we can improve.

      Imagine if february comes and pique is in top form too , villa is more adapted, and krkic continues to score goals.Plus afelay.

      Oh and kari no offence but im laughing my ass off with the “maturation”word you used (i misread it fora different word when i glanced at your comment :D)

    3. Just a quick note, Kari. Clichy actually is our starting LB, I think a lot of Gooners are wondering just what has happened to his form over the past two years, but I think it has a lot to do with the change in formation to 4-3-3, and the fact that Arshavin provides him with no cover, leaving him exposed.

      It’s actually our starting right back, Bacary Sagna who’s been suspended. Now that I think of it, the prospect of Eboue (second choice RB) starting against your attack kind of fills me with dread.

      Lastly, I actually didn’t know that the majority of interviews from Barca players over the summer were fake. It certainly makes sense, since the interviews seemed to come once every couple of days.

    4. Shobo, re. the fake interviews, it got so bad that our club was forced to issue an official statement discrediting them, although that was not widely reported in the English press. It was very frustrating for us here as we were at times deluged with Gooners (and Scousers) posting their righteous outrage at our “arrogant” players.

      And sad for me personally, as Arsenal and Liverpool are the only EPL teams I have any time for.

  28. I have the entire tie downloaded on my computer. I’m thinking of uploading it on YouTube, but I’ve never uploaded a video before…

  29. man, all I know is come February it will be “put up or shut up” time for both clubs. It’s a chance for us to put an end to the debate of “oh well, we had a million players injured so you didn’t really beat us” and it’s a chance for Arsenal to show they have some teeth and some chance of getting deep into champions league. this is going to be insane, especially the match in London, those gooners are going to give us hell.

    But may the best team win, much respect for Arsenal and what they try to do in an otherwise dirty, boring, ugly league..

  30. So, I’m currently uploading the first half of the first leg on YouTube. I have no idea how to upload the video in parts, so it’s the whole she-bang. It’s going to take a little over an hour under 50 minutes to upload.

    In the meantime, I’m thinking of ways to make sure the video isn’t easily found in the search engine and the privacy settings.

    I think videos are found via the tags listed. I’m going to set the tags for “Lona Barca Lanesra” etc. so it’s not easily found.

    There are 3 privacy settings: Public, Private and Unlisted.

    Public (anyone can search for and view)
    Unlisted (anyone with the link can view)
    Private (only specific YouTube users can view)

    I’m debating which one to set it as…

    1. private is only valid for 10 people i think.
      However , you can list it as whatever since you can always change this option later on.
      And take your time , the processing of the video from utube takes about 2-3 hours after you finished uploading.
      So the quality of the video will be at its best available after 3 hours you finished uploading.

    2. your efforts are most welcome, please post a link or tip to finding the videos once they’re up.

  31. This isn’t to write Arsenal off or anything, but for some reason they just do not show up for the big games. These will probably be their biggest games of the season and they have to show up if they want a chance.

    Their fans complained they needed new centre-bcks in the summer, they got them and yet they are still complaining they need another. The two they did buy are not that convincing and I’m not convinced they’ll be able to cope with Barca’s movement up front. Their defensive work in midfield still isn’t good enough. At times they struggle to track back and they don’t have a decent holding MF.

    Here in England they’re already discussing how Arsenal can beat Barcelona and of course the oh so amazing Walcott is already being mentioned and they’re already writing off Abidal. They say they watch Barcelona but I don’t believe they do because they obviously haven’t seen him this season and how good he has been. And they also don’t think too much of Pique and Puyol at CB because they think they will have problems if the ball gets beyond them, but again they obviously don’t see that Busi basically drops in as a third CB for cover.

    Barcelona should win over the two-legs though. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing Fabregas play at the Nou Camp (hoping he’s not injured or suspended though) should be good for him and his family.

  32. @jordi, I only jinx the opposition teams that play EE (that aren’t us of course). If it spreads to injuries, I’ll provide the pitchforks!

    @mei, no offense taken. My Bio exam and lab have obviously taken a toll on my vocabulary. Still immature though 😛

    @Shobo, thanks for the correction.

    Oh and what should I call the title of the video? “Arsenal v Barca” is too obvious, no?

    Video is done in under 30 minutes, so quick suggestions would be nice!

    1. like Barcenal!
      Although it kinda insinuates a Barca-Arsenal equality that even this gooner can’t accept.
      Seriously, girl, I’m in awe of anyone who can do these things on a computer. I can’t even figure out how to add accent marks to my Spanish/Catalan words.

      Barca will dominate them (as long as Xaviniesta and Messi stay healthy)!

  33. It was 1 year ago when i came in here and had chats about a match up that sent goosbumps around the world. Im back a year later, and we have that same match up again. If someone out there doesnt like a match up like this, then you dont like football. Could care less about Barca and Arsenal facing each other again, hell i dont care if we face Barca every year, these games are a wonder to watch, games like this is what football is all about.

    We got our ass handed to us last year, say what you want about us having injuries but at the end of the day, just like Arsene says “if you play for Arsenal Football Club, you are good enough to play on that pitch.” I think i speak for everyone including Barca fans that, we want to see both teams fit, every player healthy, both teams at there best so we can really see a football games.

    Im very excited about these 2 legs. Really want Arsenal to win this but if we dont, then we can at least say we went out againts a team that is favored to win the whole competition.

    1. It takes a big person to say what you just said, for that i salute you.
      And yes i want to see both teams in full strength and hitting top form when the match is played, we the fans will benefit the most of that.

    2. Those two matches are already highlghted in my 2011 calendar 😀

      I EXPECT 180 absolute amazing, offensive and magical minutes at the Emirates and the Camp Nou, and hopefully with some more magic from you guys, too. Tbh, last season the first leg ended 2-2 but it should have been more like a 4-2 or higher for Barca.

  34. @mei Nice one! 😉

    Barcenal it is.

    I thought of Arselona (being the first leg and all, but people might see that as an insult to Barcelona and think I’m an Arsenal fan

    Just under 10 min!

  35. I’ve decided to make it “unlisted” and give people here the link.

    “Unlisted” means that only people who know the link to the video can view it. The video will not appear in any of YouTube’s public spaces, such as search results, your channel, or the Browse page, but the link can be shared with anyone.

    I’ll link the post to my name when it’s done and ready. All you have to do is click on my name (when it’s done of course)

  36. *Link the video to my name.

    Upload is finished. The video is being processed.

    Just a question, can I close window or do I have to leave it until the video is done being processed?

    (Sorry for all the questions. I’ve never done this before, so just bear with me…)

  37. @Chris M, You get to watch this live, don’t you? 😛

    Just kidding, Chris. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

    @Shobo, Chris M, Thierry Ennui,

    You might read some lasting bitterness from the past summer, no less from me, but the politeness of your posts are most welcome and certaintly will not go unnoticed.

    Thanks for coming by. I mean it.

  38. well, we’ll get to see how good we are sooner than usual. if we lose, there’s no shame, as long as we keep it respectable. and we get to concentrate on the league and fa cup. if we win, well, bloody hell, that will be awesome.

  39. i hope you guys do very well until our CL tie, before which xavi and iniesta and messi all get a minor case of food poisoning which, while entirely benign and not at all significant long term, rules them out for both legs. and that they play happily and healthily the weekend after we advance to the last 16.

  40. So, like old perrenial friends we meet again. There is no doubt that to most people Barca are the favourites fo this tie.
    However I predict that Arsenal’s injury crisis will be nowhere near as bad as it was the last time the 2 sides met last year, and it could be difficult for you.

    And it would amaze me if you carried on your astounding form throughout the entire season…all season… never know….ehhhh ???

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