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Upset Alert

Alright, maybe this wouldn’t be as big of a surprise as some people would think, but I like Aston Villa’s chances to go to the Emirates and beat Arsenal on Saturday.

Martin O’Neill’s young side has only lost twice on the road this season, and they gave Arsenal everything they had and more at Villa Park back on the 1st of December, although they lost 2-1. Villa is fully healthy as well, which counts for a lot at this point in the year.

Arsenal aren’t exactly playing too well right now as they’re winless in their last three games. Emmanuel Eboue will be suspended for this match (frankly, Eboue is one of the dirtiest players in the league), and creative midfielder Tomáš Rosický is still out with a hamstring injury. There is also the question of whether or not the Gunners will be up for this game after the devastating, gruesome injury to Eduardo da Silva last week.

I’ve got Villa returning the favor and continuing their quest for 4th place with a 2-1 victory.

Also, make sure to tune in to the Portsmouth-Everton game on Sunday. Both teams have legitimate European aspirations and the three points would be huge in a game of this significance.

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  1. Django

    March 3, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Give it a rest…this blog used to be a great place to come to read articles and opinions, now it’s just a pissing contest between fanboy bloggers. Neither of you are that clever.

  2. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 7:35 pm


  3. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    even yakuba-cahill match up to your “best striking tandem in the world”

  4. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    michael, rio ferdinand is one of the dirtiest players in the premiership as well if you use eboue’s standards. and gary neville. and should i go on? michael, youre biased. ive read some of your articles from your site.
    here are some things i gathered from them:
    -so you dont care if kaka wins all the awards, cristiano is still better. OK.
    -no one can do what ronaldo can do (yeah except ronaldinho, a healthy henry, messi, robinho, kaka, eto, van nistelrooy, should i go on?)
    -you dont care if arsenal are first, theyll fall by the time winter hits. OK. (you predicted them to finish in 5th!HA!)
    -and apparently tevez and rooney are the best striking tandem in the world. (except Anelka-Drogba? Henry-messi-ronaldinho-eto? kanoute-fabiano(sevilla)? van nistelrooy-raul? tony-klose(bayern)??) oh. yeah.

  5. jm

    March 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Much like your article about Wenger, I simply do not understand the reasons for all of the ‘baiting’ language in these posts. Was picking Villa to win this match a fair bet? Sure. Was writing a post on that topic fair? Sure. Was your post in that regard fair? Sure.

    But then you include lines like this:

    “Emmanuel Eboue will be suspended for this match (frankly, Eboue is one of the dirtiest players in the league)”

    Regardless of whether or not it is true, it is a bizarre sentence. The clause in the parentheses has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post. It is not argued for which does nothing to support of the rest of the piece. What point could it possibly serve? Why is that not edited out before it is published?

    I know I have been a rather selective critic of your recent posts Michael, but choices in style and rhetoric have been consistently taking your posts off their fair targets and on to you and the team, rather than the game.

  6. Michael

    March 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Last time I checked, Arsenal didn’t beat Milan either and now Milan have the upper hand in this tie as they’re at home for the second leg. I predicted AC Milan to advance, and a 1-1 game in the first leg.

    No, the only time Man U has dropped points at home was in their loss to City and when they drew with Reading. Arsenal has dropped points now to Villa and Birmingham. The point I made in my last comment about dropping points to non-“Big Four” teams applied to when the “Big Four” teams were at home.

    Alex, you have a problem with selective reading. You see what you want to see in my reading, jump on that, and then disregard anything else I say. It doesn’t work like that, sorry.

  7. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    and you were wrong about us losing to milan.

  8. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    and michael, the point is that you were wrong, and there was no upset. we scored against ourselves and that was their best chance the whole game.

  9. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    michael youre not biased, you just prefer manu re.

  10. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    so michael, thats just like when manu re lost to bolton, man city, west ham, and man city? and when they drew with tottenham? and others? or did they gain a point in your opinion.

  11. Michael

    March 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Alex, no, you dropped two points and were fortunate to get one out of the game.

    I know that Villa has been playing well recently; that’s part of the reason I picked them to win this game. Still, Arsenal are on top of the table and are unbeaten at home this season. This was a game that Arsenal had to have fancied their chances in to take the full points, even though they had to have known it was going to be tough.

    Any time you’re at home against someone not in the “Big Four” and you don’t win, it has to be considered dropped points.

  12. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 11:52 am

    we’ve had a bad spell of late, true, but we got a point against a team that is very much in top form. and we didnt allow them to score.(we scored for them witha defender with slow feet). people are making it seem that we lost to a team from the championship, but aston villa have been on a roll until this game. we held our ground and got the point. instead of saying that its like we lost two points, its evident that we got a crucial point to hold our place in the table. this shows, like all champions, that we wont fall without a firm fight.

  13. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 11:45 am

    just getting a result yesterday shows that we can get a result with any team, even a team like aston villa playing behind the ball most of the game. we showed our resiliance and its this resiliance and heart that is carrying us on. we’re overcoming adversity as a team, over coming our darkest moments to hold the summit of the league for most of the season.

  14. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

    and its interesting that michael doesnt comment on his post. his comment a minute before the game was over about him being almost right was really bold.

  15. Alex Hleb

    March 2, 2008 at 11:40 am

    no. we’re not worried. and we’re happy with being first, no matter by how many points. remember, we were predicted to be out of the top 4 this year and miss the champions league for next year and arsene wenger was supposed to leave, fabregas was supposed to sign with real madrid, adebayor with manu, theo walcott was supposed to be loaned out to a championship side, and we were supposed to be taken over by an uzbeki oligarch. so far, i think the season has been good for us. we’re thankful.

  16. Todd

    March 2, 2008 at 4:32 am

    predictions mean very little…the only thing that matters is today united closed the gap as they did last week. arsenal fans cant be happy right now, even for rescuing one point. though i have to admit, after our final whistle, it was painful to see you guys equalize. sometimes results like that matter, but right now arsenal have to be a bit worried. i think arsenal may benefit from being knocked out of europe

  17. dragonki2012

    March 2, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Eh a draw isn’t the end of the world.

    Just gonna say one thing,
    Not a bad place to be for a team that was suppose to finish outside the top 4, right?

  18. Django

    March 1, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Give it a rest Alex…Numbers don’t always tell the tale, I can say for certain Villa outplayed Arsenal for the first 45, wasn’t able to watch the second half. Regardless, your sycophantic postings get old quickly. You’re an Arsenal fan, I get it. You’re ahead of everyone else in the league. Other teams lose matches. You’re petty.

  19. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    and spurs lost to birmingham 4-1. man u lost 4 this year and arsenal only lost 1. man u lost to west ham, city twice, and bolton.

  20. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 4:40 pm


  21. Dimi Berbatov

    March 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Still a bad result for Arsenal. Manchester United seem inevitable champions this year (hence the Gallas’ sob fest during draw with Birmingham).

  22. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    plus, the only goal for them was ours scoring for them.

  23. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:28 pm


  24. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    you cant look those up if you dont believe me.

  25. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Match Stats
    ……………………….Arsenal …………Aston Villa
    Shots (on Goal) ……16(7)………… 5(4)
    Fouls …………………. 8…………….. 13
    Corner Kicks ………. 8 ………………7
    Offsides ……………… 0……………… 7
    Time of Possession .58%………..42%
    Yellow Cards ……….. 1…………… 2
    Red Cards…………… 0…………… 0
    Saves …………………. 6……………. 6

    but again, it doesnt matter, all that counts is the final score. and the league table.

  26. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    villa outplayed arsenal?

    Match Stats
    Arsenal Aston Villa
    Shots (on Goal) 16(7) 5(4)
    Fouls 8 13
    Corner Kicks 8 7
    Offsides 0 7
    Time of Possession 58% 42%
    Yellow Cards 1 2
    Red Cards 0 0
    Saves 6 6

    great analysis michael.

  27. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    upset alert: michael is upset.

  28. Alex Hleb

    March 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    sorry michael.

  29. Michael

    March 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Less than a minute away from predicting correctly.

    Not bad at all.

    Villa outplayed Arsenal today, but again, it doesn’t matter. All that counts is what goes up there on the scoreboard.

  30. LemmusLemmus

    March 1, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Well, almost.

  31. dragonki2012

    March 1, 2008 at 2:02 am

    everton v pompey will be a bore. 1-1 draw or 2-2.

    Umm Micheal just doesn’t like Arsenal.
    I understand that there could be an upset, but there could always be an upset to any team, even Man utd.

    Eboue dives a lot, but that doesn’t make him the DIRTIEST PLAYER IN THE EPL, come the fuck on, on that one bud. He’s the dirtiest player in Arsenal, but in the EPL, I don’t think so,
    He just hasn’t been thought how to dive by Ronaldo

  32. AtlantaPompey

    February 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Pompey-Everton is a huge match. With a win, Everton solidifies their chance at a Champions League spot. With a win, Pompey takes a huge step towards not only catching Everton, but putting themselves in a UEFA Cup spot.

    Having been in the awkward position of cheering on Chelsea last weekend in the Carling Cup Final(damn blues!), I know that we need the points even more now. Only 5th & 6th are likely to be UEFA spots.

    …unless we win the FA Cup.





  33. Alex Hleb

    February 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    the power of john carew? does adebayor have any of that? or bendtner? the pace of young? i wish we had some players with pace and ability like aston villa. maybe we can get rid of that old coot wenger and hire you as manager. because your analysis of the game are breathtaking.

  34. Alex Hleb

    February 29, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    we’ll only score 1?

  35. Alex Hleb

    February 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm


  36. Mike

    February 29, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Oops..sorry. Posted too late.

  37. Mike

    February 29, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Arsenal beat City 3-1 in Manchester on Feb. 2nd and Blackburn 2-0 at the Emirates on Feb. 11th.

    And you can’t discredit the home advantage and their record of one loss ever at the new stadium. They don’t look very good at the moment but I think they’ll be up for this one just to win it for Eduardo.

  38. Michael

    February 29, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Dave, you’re right, I should’ve said winless in their last three games.

    When I checked ESPN Soccernet for Arsenal’s results in February, it only listed those three games for some reason, and they didn’t win any of them.

    I stand corrected.

  39. Michael

    February 29, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    No, because it has nothing to do with the pace and ability of Ashley Young or the power of John Carew up front, or that Villa have lost once in their last eleven games, while Arsenal have fallen in a bit of a rut recently.

    Dave, don’t give me that rubbish about just trying to attract more comments or whatever, that’s wrong. I don’t need that kind of thing to justify my opinion or make myself sleep well at night, trust me, I could care less about angry Arsenal fans spouting off at me.

  40. Dave M

    February 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    winless in the month of Feb…? Weren’t their City and Rovers wins in Feb?

  41. Dave M

    February 29, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    From your lips to God’s ears, Michael, but I think you’re just trying to rattle some cages here – you must have been secretly pleased by all the Arsenal fans that left comments on your “Shut-up, Wenger” article. Hateful comments, true, but at least people were reading.

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