I must say I always enjoy it when a German club comes to town. They invariably bring loads of fans, make lots of noise and have a cracking time. Marseille and Arsenal might still be in the driving seats in this group, but Dortmundâ€™s win on Matchday 4* means they are very much back in it, and if that fact hasnâ€™t been drummed into the team throughout this week in training then Iâ€™m a goalscoring Dutchman.
So while these things can occasionally be grindingly dull (the 0-0 against Marseille…) I canâ€™t imagine for a second that tonight will tootle along serenely. To coin a tired old cliche, itâ€™s a massive game and itâ€™s no surprise that Wenger is retaining all the big guns. Not that Fulham on Saturday isnâ€™t important – just that this one could be pivotal.
Great news too that Diaby returns from his latest injury hell. Thereâ€™s no doubt heâ€™s playing for his Arsenal career – maybe his whole career if things carry on like this – and fingers crossed that this latest comeback is the icing on the comeback cake [need better idiom – Ed].
It has all the ingredients of a cracker. Letâ€™s hope it is a cracker.
*If there is an unlovelier and more sterile way to define a match, I need to know it. But then again, this is the Champions League containing mostly non-Champions, which only gets truly buzzing when itâ€™s not a league anymore, so who am I kidding?
Fixtures from the golden olden days
Intermittently, as some of you will know, I stumble across an Arsenal memory and stick it up on here. Last up was the Gunners shop price list from 1986, and today itâ€™s the Fixture list from 1988-9 (note: the pdf is about 600k). Iâ€™m guessing I kept it for a reason. Canâ€™t for the love of god think what that reason was…
Itâ€™s not enormously fascinating, though it did remind me of two words Iâ€™d not heard for over 20 years – â€˜Mercantile Creditâ€™ – and ticket prices on the back made me weep into my Â£10 Emirates meal deal. Â£5.50p to sit in the lower tier. Iâ€™m guessing north bank terracing was even cheaper – probably Â£4-Â£5.
Donâ€™t get me started, itâ€™ll set me off…