Plovers or wagtails?

When you’re having a discussion – mid match – as to whether the skittish birds circling and swooping at the Grove are plovers or wagtails, you can safely assume that the fayre being served up on the pitch does not match the tucker promised on the menu.

Contenders or pretenders? On Wednesday night’s evidence we are frankly none the wiser. Arsenal ambled through the game until Partizan equalised, at which point there was a palpable upping of the ante. We duly scored two good goals and immediately took our foot off the gas again. Either we are the most astute, efficient and confident side you will see or we have a collective inability to see danger when it stares us in the face.

Still, we’re through with seemingly the minimum energy expended (last night at least – we should have sealed it weeks ago), and that can only be good news for Monday night’s match. Are Sky calling it Manic Monday? Magic Monday? Monumental Monday? Have they moved these big games to Mondays purely because they’ve expended their stock of Super Sundays and Battles of Britain?

A week today we will find out whether we face Bayern, Schalke, Real or Barcelona in the last 16 of the European Cup, and I’m all for the hottest potato of them all. I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I have moaned incessantly about the flatness of the Champions League group stages (though we took it upon ourselves to make an easy group hard this year) so it’s a bit rich for me to then pray for the least glamorous of the four options on the table. Arsenal’s accountants will no doubt disagree, as will those who argue (strongly, I concede) that we need all the help we can get if we genuinely harbour hopes of getting to Wembley in May. But me – Arsenal v Barcelona or Arsenal v Real Madrid is what this competition is all about. I’ll have a B please, Bob [that doesn’t really work – Ed].

In fact, the European draw is one of the things I ramble on about with arseblogger on today’s Arsecast. Fire it up when it’s cooked.

That’s about all. I’ll leave you to mull over the most vexing and mentally straining of issues to face gooners today, namely: is it actually possible for both Chelski and the Spuds to lose when they play each other this weekend?