With just 24 hours until matchday, perhaps it was inevitable that we’d start getting snippets of information from both sets of players about this week’s Bayern game, with Arturo Vidal treading firmly on the line between praise and arrogance. Having read his comments and seen some of the headlines, you could be forgiven that he sounded a little bit like an arse, but when I read his comments, it just seemed more like a player who is confident in his t am and is confident that they won’t make the same mistakes that they made at The Emirates. In all likelihood they probably won’t, with Neuer having a great game and then a moment of madness, then us getting the second goal as Bayern pressed for an equaliser. We probably won’t find Lewandowski in as profligate form either.
At least Big Per is accepting the challenge ahead of the team tomorrow, talking up an ‘angry’ Bayern that we have to get a result from. I don’t doubt they’ll be smarting from their only defeat this season and as Per pointed out, they’ve had an extra 24 hours to prepare for the Champions League by playing Frankfurt on Friday night. This is where I do find it laughable. The English press, Premier League and it seems everyone associated with English football talk up the importance of the English teams in the Champions League, but there are no special concessions made for those teams after or before a Champions League game. You just know that Bayern will have been able to have some frank discussions about the type of fixture and when they play their fixtures with the German FA who will have been more than happy to oblige. This happens with regularity across the continent, yet the Premier League is such a massive ‘brand’, the thought never reaches Scudamore & co’s mind when it comes to the four teams in this year’s competition. Nope, instead we usually get tough games on a Sunday before, or Saturday lunchtime afterwards. Like having to travel to Croatia on a Wednesday and then to West London to face Chelski for a lunchtime kick off on Saturday. Then we hear of the outrage in the press after one of the Champions League teams rotates, is defeated or gets knocked out earlier than expected!
Still, at least we’re in the competition, for now anyway. We all know a draw would be a dream result tomorrow, but the reality is that we’re probably more likely to get beaten. So then it’ll come down to games against Zagreb and Olympiakos. Perhaps.
A lot will come down to the confidence of the players and when you’ve got someone like Gabriel talking up our chances and explaining how we should go in to the game with confidence, it gives a gooner like this one here plenty of cause for optimism. I do like Gabriel. He has the look of a man who could kill you without you even knowing it. He has that crazed look in his eye that Keown used to get when he’d see van Nistleroy. It’s great. He’s not intimidated by anyone and if he gets the nod tomorrow, I hope he goes through Vidal like a knife through butter in the first few minutes, saying “I’ve turned up. You however, may want to stay down”.
Right, that’s it from me today, I have a packed day of work and little else to say until tomorrow. If I’m overly negative of our chances, just ignore me, because it’s my mental defence mechanism against the pain of actual defeat if it comes.