A quick Tuesday round-up.

June 1, 2010

I’m writing this post after work on the train from Tokyo to Yokohama, so I’m not sure how long it will be. Yesterday was a quiet one in terms of Arsenal related news so I decided not to post anything as there really was nothing to say. I’m still trying to figure out if there is much to say today. One thing that did happen, in a didn’t sort of way, was the passing of the deadline which the Star set on Sunday for Joe Cole signing for us.

 

It seems like there is a real interest in him from both ourselves and ManUre. Given that he is a London lad and hasn’t ventured outside of the capital to ply his trade, you would have to figure that we would be slight favourites for his signature, if that side of things plays a factor in his final decision. Would signing both Chamakh and Cole serve to help Fabregas decide to stay for another year or two? His signing, while not entirely desirable, would certainly help to boost the strength of our squad. Luckily, he isn’t as c*ntish as some of his fellow Chelsea teammates.

 

Xavi moved one step closer to being a fully-fledged member of Mensa by saying that he predicted a whole two years ago that Cesc would one day rejoin Barcelona. Well done, Xavi. It is clear that you shouldn’t be playing for Barselona, you should instead by working at CERN. Nothing new or earth shattering in his quote and it’s just more of the usual Barselona skullduggery of trying to get a player to do their tapping up for them.

 

Arshavin has described Arsenal’s season as being nothing special, even pitiful. I’m assuming that he has been misquoted and that he actually was referring to his own performances and overall contribution to the team over the season. Maybe that is the reason we are interested in Joe Cole….taxi for Arshavin? He owes us a really good season next year, if he is still at the club.

 

Gallas missed the end of May deadline that he had been set by Wenger for the signing of a new contract, so it’s time for us to forget about him as an Arsenal player, though I get the feeling that some of us have felt that way about him for a while. Time for our former captain to go and sit sulking on a pitch somewhere else. It never really worked out as we had all initially hoped that it would. Good player but a bit of a mentally imbalanced loon, too.

 

The newspapers are becoming really, really lazy with regard to the Cesc transfer story as we are just seeing the exact same quotes turning up again and again with nothing new to add to the story. It’s all a bit tedious and boring, to be honest.

 

Almost at Yokohama, so it’s nearly time for me to wrap this post up. I’d just like to thank those that sent me messages on Twitter yesterday regarding newspaper (tabloid and broadsheet) reporting and portrayal of UK born players versus foreign players. I’m doing my MA thesis on whether or not racism, xenophobia or unfair bias is used when portraying incidents involving UK and foreign players. If you can think of any specific game/incident where you remember newspapers doing this, please leave it in a comment below. Eg: Ryan Shawcross ‘isn’t that kind of player’ after nearly taking Ramsey’s leg off, but Gallas is ridiculed for a slightly late tackle against Bolton. Oh, it can be about ANY premier league team or player, it’s not Arsenal specific. Thanks in advance.

 

Have a good Tuesday.


Black Monday.

May 24, 2010

There is absolutely nothing going on today. It’s all very quiet, I have to say.

 

Gallas avoided further injury when he overturned a buggy during some kind of French squad bonding exercise. You do have to question the logic in having your team participate in a buggy race this close to a major tournament, but that is the wisdom of that mentalist Domenech for you.

image 

Yesterday we were linked with a Nigerian suitor who, allegedly, is considering making an offer for Lady Nina’s shares. You’d have to wonder what the logic would be to buy those shares as that would still leave him around 14% short of Kroenke Tonk Stan’s current holding of 29.9% I guess all of those emails that have been coming out of Nigeria for the last few years have been so that he can make a move for Arsenal. I think that we can put this particular story and character to one side for the time being as I would be confident that it is a bit of a non-runner. It just doesn’t make sense, to me anyway, unless he has done a deal to go into partnership with our shady Uzbeki.

 

The Times says that there are eight potential suitors interested in buying Lady Nina’s shares, however I am taking that with a grain of salt as in the same article they also state that shares are changing hands for £10 apiece, but that Lady Nina wants £13. Given that both Kroenke and Usmanov have paid between £8,500-£10,500 per share, we can safely assume that the quoted figure is either a typo or extremely poor research. The article does point out, however, that her attempts to sell the shares may be prompted by a possible change to capital gains tax in the forthcoming emergency budget on June 22nd.

 

Elsewhere, there are some transfer links reappearing about Melo and Schwarzer. The is also a link to Mertesacker. Whether there is any substance to these links or not remains to be seen. Schwarzer would be good for a year or two, giving Szczesny some more time to mature by getting first team experience out on loan, that’s assuming he actually makes the grade to be our no1 in the future.

 

That’s about that for today. There’s nowt going on. The fact that I had to mention the Gallas buggy accident story shows you how slow the news is today.


Sunday round-up.

May 16, 2010

I’m a bit knackered today after a ten hour marathon beer session during and after a Yokohama Baystars game yesterday, so this post will probably be shorter than usual. Well, I say that, but what with my propensity to waffle it could be the usual length.

 

A quick look at the papers today, and when I say papers I mean their websites as I don’t have access to the papers themselves here in Yokohama. Nasri revealed that he doesn’t talk to Gallas and that he isn’t the only one to not hold El Crapitain in the highest of regards. If, as looks increasingly likely, Gallas moves on when his contract expires, then maybe some harmony will be restored to the dressing room. It’s just a shame that we won’t get any money for him, but at least we will get his high salary off our wage bill. That’s a saving of something like 4m a year, money which can be reinvested in the likes of Chamakh and whoever else we sign in the coming weeks and months.

 

Jack Wilshere says that he’d be happy to go on loan to Bolton again next season and I hope that he does. It would be great experience for him and he would certainly play more games there next year than he would if he stayed with us. That would take him a step closer to our first team when he returns at the end of next season. It would be good for him to have another year at a club that isn’t as big as Arsenal, that way he will appreciate the club more when he comes back.

 

We’ve also been linked with a move for Jagielka and I think he’d be a decent signing for us. He’s experienced and is the right age. It would be good to have one or two English players in the team, too. Who knows, we could have Gibbs, Walcott, Jagielka and Hart in our starting eleven next season. Of course, that’s assuming that Arsene relents and actually goes out and signs a keeper…

 

I could talk about the Cesczzzzzzzzzz, but I have said all that I am going to say on that matter already but, if an when something concrete happens, I will comment on it if necessary. Until that time, it’s not worth commenting on. Right now I have it filed away under the double heading of ‘Tabloid shit-stirring & Barca presidential campaign candidate pandering.’

 

We have, yet again, been linked with a move for Gourcuff, though how much truth there is in the link remains to be seen. He’s good, he’s French, so it is inevitable that he gets linked with us.

 

I’ve seen a mention of plans for a protest at the Emirates Cup should Wenger fail to sign a quality goalkeeper before then. Seriously, is that a route that we want to be going down a few weeks before the new season gets underway? We should be starting the season with an air of positivity around the club, not under a cloud of pessimism and protests. If Wenger does sign a quality keeper, I’d be delighted. But, if he doesn’t then we will just have to suck it up and get behind our team and our keepers. If fans get involved in protests about not signing a keeper, that’d destroy the already fragile confidence of our current first and second choice keepers. Plus, if we start holding protests, that puts us at the same level as ManUre fans. We should strive to be better and more dignified, more Arsenal.

 

Right, that’s about that for today. Take it easy.


The Thursday after the season before.

May 13, 2010

It already feels like a long time since the season ended, I suppose part of that can be attributed to the fact that, for Arsenal at least it ended a few weeks ago. At least there is the World Cup to look forward to and take our minds off the fact that there is no Arsenal again until mid-July.

 

There should be some news or announcement in the coming days over the signing of Chamakh. Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later and that Arsene can try and get a second player in before the tournament kicks off. When pressed in his post-Fulham press conference with regard to signings he said that we’ll see in July. I’m hoping that we will have signed more than just Chamakh by then. However, I fully expect us to be sitting on deadline day refreshing websites like mad in the vain hope of seeing us get a last minute bargain, as this is what Arsene likes to try and do.

 

I see that the ‘Transfer Linked’ page is still up on the main site. That’s is the mother of all stupid ideas. Every time I see that link on the home page I can’t help but imagine that if I was listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast, the meeting in which the decision was made to put that page on the site would appear as part of Karl Pilkington’s ‘monkey news’ segment. That’s how ridiculous I think it is. Why is the club’s official site peddling pointless tabloid speculation? Shouldn’t the main site be above that kind of thing, seeking to deal only in fact? (Adopts Droopy voice*) You know what? That makes me mad.

 

This is set to be a very interesting summer as there is the issue of squad rebuilding and also the continuing saga over who will make the next move in the club ownership issue. Things have been a bit quiet over the Lady Nina shares. Would she consider selling them to Usmanov, to get back at the board for ousting her? Or would she be willing to sell to Kroenke. I suppose a more important point would be whether Kroenke or Usmanov have the money to buy her stake without borrowing to do so. We know that they are both very wealthy, but do they have the cold hard cash readily available? Whatever happens, we don’t want to see any kind of move that would be leveraged against the club.

 

Despite the plethora of players linked with us so far, and considering the number that will over the the coming weeks and months, it is worth remembering that we will have Djourou returning to the first team next season and he will be like one of those new signings that Arsene likes to trumpet. That would leave us with Vermaelen, Campbell and Djourou in the centre, assuming that Silvestre and Gallas leave as expected. At this point, I hope that both of the latter two leave. Silvestre is a given with regard to wanting him to leave, but I hope Gallas also goes as his attitude isn’t suited to The Arsenal Way (TAW), so replacing him with someone that is less injury prone, more mentally sound and a bit taller would hit the spot, for me. Judging by the comments Peter Hill-Wood made in his favourite paper, the club are going to hold firm in what they have offered Gallas, and rightly so.

 

One player that has been linked with us is Toulalan (if that’s how you spell it), who I must admit I haven’t really had much of a chance to see on TV here in Japan, but if Football Manager is anything to go by…hehe. If we did sign him, I’m sure we could shoehorn his name into that Trolololololo song…..’Toulalalalalala-lalalalalan!’

 

The Q&A session with Gazidis recently was fairly interesting, if not entirely earth-shattering. The video, in three 30-odd minute parts, is available to watch for free on Arsenal.com. Just click on the following links if you are interested and have the time: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

 

I’m wondering how frequent my posting will be during the summer, I think I will post two or three times a week from now until the World Cup squads head off to their respective training camps, thereby signaling the end of any chance of signing anyone. During the World Cup itself I don’t see any real point in making posts as there will be very little (read nothing) in the way of Arsenal news.

 

The BBC quote Wenger as saying that he will add one player to the attacking side of our squad, Chamakh(alaka) Boom I assume, and also look to strengthen the defense. Let’s just hope that he does the latter through signings rather than gym work.

 

Finally, commiserations to Fulham for their defeat to Atletico in the second half of extra time last night.

 

Right, that’s that for today. Take it easy.


Welcome to The North Bank! It’s a big weekend for The Arse…

March 21, 2009

Being a Gooner in Japan isn’t easy. Kick-off times generally clash with the last train home, thus making watching The Arse in the pub a bit difficult. Though we tend to get almost every Arsenal game shown live on cable/satellite, so I can’t really complain too much because the option is there to watch the game in the confines of my own apartment.

Anyway, looking forward to today’s game, it really is a game where we need to take all three points and make the most of Villa’s loss of form and our continued unbeaten run. It really is due to Villa’s recent collapse that we have regained fourth spot and not our own unbeaten run as, while we remain unbeaten, our form hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire.

Team news indicates a probable return in goal for Almunia and Eduardo will also be involved in the squad, although he probably won’t start. So, I expect us to start with Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy at the back. The midfield line-up will depend on whether Wenger goes with a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1. Should he go with 4-4-2, I’d expect to see Arshavin, Denilson, Song and Nasri start with Van Persie and Bendtner up front. Though Diaby may start in place of Song, but if you consider that Song seems to be The Golden Child, I think it is fairly certain that he’ll get the nod.

A 4-5-1, would probably see us line up with Arshavin wide right, Van Persie wide left, Denilson, Song and Nasri in the middle with Bendtner up front by himself.

Expect to see Eboue to make his obligatory appearance at some stage too. Though, to be fair, he has been doing better in the last few games he has appeared in.

The loss of Walcott to injury, again, is a massive blow for the team as he really does offer us something that no other player in our squad can. However, at this stage we can just cross all appendages that his injury isn’t as serious as we all fear it may be. If he is out for the five weeks, as hypothesised by Wenger at yesterday’s press conference, then it really is a big blow for our aspirations. However, with the return of Fabregas, Adebayor and, potentially, Rosicky these players may help to offset the loss of Theo.

Early Newcastle team news seems to suggest that Owen will be dropped in order for them to play a defensive 4-5-1 with Martins leading the line. This is a shame as they would have been less of a threat with Owen in the starting line-up. Hehehe.

Elsewhere, we’ll be hoping for Spuds to do us a favour by getting an unlikely result against a resurgent Chelsea. I suppose a draw in the Liverpool v Villa game would be the best result for us, assuming we win today, in order to put light between ourselves and Villa and while also gaining ground on third place. A result for Portsmouth against Everton would also be welcome as it would, if nothing else, sicken Moyes.

Oh, given that week that’s in it, it would be a gross dereliction of duty if I weren’t to say that I hope Wigan stuff Hull in tomorrow’s early kick-off. Phil Brown really is a despicable, lying piece of sh*t.

Anyway, there are still a few hours until kick-off which gives me plenty of time to go out and get some cans of beer in for the game.

Right then, that’s your lot for today. Come on you Reds!!!


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