Morning all. 2-0 loss to Porto yesterday with a sub-par side shows us finishing second in the group. It really was an abject performance and I'm pretty sick of seeing a midfield of poor players (Song) and out of position players (Ramsey, Diaby). It didn't help that we had Clichy and Sagna out in defense either but the fact of the matter is the game didn't mean a whole lot since we were already qualified. Being in second though gives us an option of Roma, Panathanaikos, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Juventus in the first knockout round. Obviously you'd think the easiest draw out of all of those would be Panathanaikos, and it would also see a return for Gilberto Silva, who would certainly get a good reception. I'd like to see us draw them but I really wouldn't mind Roma or Juventus. Panathanikos finished top of their group over Inter Milan and looked really good throughout the group stages, so it wouldn't be an easy tie for certain but I think we are the better team there. Plus, I want to see Gilberto back. If we HAD finished top of the group, the possible opponents would have been Inter, Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Lyon. Probably a bit easier as a whole considering you have the second leg at home then but that's what happens when you play a below par squad in a Champions League match, you lose.
So the draw for that knockout round will be made next Friday, and I'll try to get the results of that up right after they come out if possible. Who would you all like to see us face?
Johann Djourou says it doesn't matter to him that we finished second in the group.
Right you are Johann and the moral of the story is to win the competition you have to get all the other teams out at some point anyway, so it doesn't really make much difference who you beat first.
"I don't think it matters.
"When you get through to the last 16 they're all great teams, so I don't think there's anyone in particular we want to avoid."
In some young gunner news today, it appears Jay Simpson will be allowed to go out on loan, and it will probably be to a Premiership club. Hull and West Brom are thought to be the favorites to sign him for the rest of the season according to Sky Sports. I think it would be fantastic if he could go out and get some playing time for either of those teams, particularly Hull. Playing time at a young age is very valuable especially in a side that is overachieving and willing to go and attack like Hull is. If they put the offer in I really think Arsene should accept it. He won't play here so we might as well let him go somewhere and play in the same league to really see how he does.
And last but not least, Mike Silvestre says there is still time for the squad to "grow up" before the end of the season and win some silverware. Maybe if Silvestre was a better defender then it would help contribute to that hypothesis. Still though, his point is valid. There is still a lot of season left to go and we can still win the FA Cup, the League, or the Champions League.
C'mon you Gunners!
One more thing, if you are into theme parks then please do check out the link at the right for Amusement Life. They are a great up and coming hub for all amusement news, reviews, reports, and information. It's being run by my best friend, so please do check out his website. Cheers.