Rocky, 8yrs gone and a Tuesday round-up.

March 31, 2009

I suppose I should start today’s blog by giving a reminder, not that it’s needed, that today is the 8yr anniversary of the passing of David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle. Time passes quickly but a legend will never be forgotten. There is a nice tribute to him on ArsenalInsider where there is also an interview with Rocky’s sister, Karen. It’s good to remember.

 

Elsewhere, in The Mirror Adebayor talks about how we have been killed by injuries this season. He has a point, no other team has been hit by so many long-term injuries to key players this season. However, it doesn’t explain the fact that he has been a big lazy bastard since signing his new £80,000 a week contract. It’s time for him to get the finger out and start putting himself about on the pitch, get stuck in and actually attempt to earn his salary. Otherwise, I would be hoping for him to be shown the door in the summer if he is no longer prepared to do his bit for the team.

 

Also in The Mirror, Hull Shitty’s chairman goes on about how this whole spitting incident could be settled amicably and gracefully if Cesc would only apologise to them for what happened. Well, first, go fuck yourself. Cunt. Second, Cesc denies that anything untoward has happened. Third, you can’t help but feel that the reason he is making this statement is so that his club can avoid shaming themselves in this farcical situation that they themselves created. If Cesc says he didn’t do it, then he should be believed. So, I hope that Hull get shown up to be the shower of cunts that they clearly are. Also, you can’t help but feel that that fat fucker over at Blackburn has some kind of a hand in this whole situation. One more point, yesterday Hull claimed that this FA inquiry is not of their doing, that it is the FA that has taken it unto themselves to investigate. So, how would Cesc apologising to Hull bring an end to the matter? Wankers.

 

It seems that Robin Van Persie is a doubt for the Holland game with a groin injury, so let’s hope that it’s just a minor complaint and that he will be available for The Arsenal sooner rather than later. But, given Robin’s history, we may not see him for a few weeks. Looks like the chocolate leg syndrome may have spread to his groin.

 

There is still plenty of discussion going on about the power struggle, or perceived power struggle, going on at the club and it looks set to come down to whether or not Lady Nina is actually looking to offload her shares or not, which amount to 15.9% of the club, and if so to whom will she sells those shares.  But, one thing is for sure, we are more financially stable with Kroenke on board as his own personal fortune far outweighs that of Danny Fiszman. So, there is no need to worry too much about the future direction of the club just yet.

 

Right, more tomorrow. Have a good one.

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Kroenke Tonk Arsenal.

March 30, 2009

So, the big news of the day is inevitably the increasing of his shareholding in the club by Stan Kroenke. He purchased 5,000 shares at £8,500 apiece from fellow board member Danny Fiszman. His stake is now sitting at just over 20%, while Fiszman’s drops to 16.1%. This places Kroenke as the 2nd biggest shareholder in the club and will inevitably lead to media speculation regarding the long-term commitment of Fiszman to the club. The club are on a big PR drive today to try and reassure fans that the day-to-day running of the club won’t be affected in any way by this transfer of shares as both Fiszman and Kroenke share a similar philosophy on how the club should be run. Both are advocates of self-sustainability, which can only be good for the long-term future of the club.

 

Fiszman was at pains to state that his commitment to the club remains as strong as ever and that he still attends virtually every game, both home and away. However, in an interview with Arsenal.com there was one comment from him which leaves his long-term shareholding in the club open to speculation:

 

“Arsenal.com: You have stated in previous interviews that you have no intentions of selling your shares in the Club. However, is this sale to Stan Kroenke an indication that you have changed your views and you are going to sell-out completely?

Danny Fiszman: I have no current intention to sell any more of my shares in the Club. This sale to Stan was a one-off sale. I certainly intend to continue as a long-term substantial shareholder.”

 

The fact that he says ‘current’ would seem to indicate that he may be open to reviewing his position in the club at a future point. Though, I suppose that this isn’t such a surprising thing as any investor in any business will review their holding from time to time and see what’s the best way forward both personally and professionally. As of yet, Arsenal.com are the only ones reporting the Fiszman quote with ‘current’ in it, so maybe we will escape the endless speculation over Fiszman’s commitment to the club.

 

The man has worked tirelessly for the club over the years, particularly on the Emirates stadium project, and I don’t think it is right to question his intentions and his continuing commitment to the club. Certainly we are a much better club for having Fiszman on board and if his selling of shares to Kroenke helps to keep Usmanov at bay, then I think it is in the best interests of the club. We should also remember that it is a transfer of shares between two existing board members and that it has been agreed to by all members of the lockdown agreement. It’s not like the shares have been sold to someone on the outside of the club.

 

New CEO Gazidis was also at pains to state that Kroenke is a sports man and that he doesn’t sell shares in clubs that he has invested in: “Stan is a long-term holder in everything that he does. In the sports arena he has never sold a share in any team he has had an interest in.” So, if he stays true to form, that should give the club some long-term stability off the field and allow it to move forward on the field.

 

Certainly, it’s better to have a shareholder on board that has a passion for sport, American or not, rather than a big fat Uzbek that is a self-professed ManUre fan and clearly has more of an interest in eating all the pies than the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club.

 

Anyway, I am sure we will be hearing and reading a lot more on this story over the coming hours, days, weeks…zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

 

Also doing the rounds today is the never-ending saga of Hull and their complaint to the FA. it really is dragging on at this stage and has become quite boring. But what makes my blood boil is the fact that Hull are basically making out that they haven’t really been the instigators of the inquiry and that they must co-operate with the FA, as if they are somehow reluctant to do so. You hear shit like Phil Cunt Brown saying that they wont ‘tittle-tattle’ to the FA, yet their banging on about it in the media was clearly done with the intention of getting the FA so start an inquiry. So, you can just fuck right off Cunt Phil. Their chairman has also been a bit cunt-ish in the papers too by saying: “The matter has its own momentum now because the Football Association have started an inquiry and they’ve asked us to submit evidence in terms of the players and coaching staff of Hull City who were involved in the incident. We can’t refuse to give evidence to the FA so we are co-operating with it and we totally welcome the inquiry. There’s no question in my mind that Brian Horton, Phil Brown and the coaching staff and players saw something happen.”

 

Having started the season as a club that most people warmed to and were happy to see doing well, they have now put themselves right up there with Spuds as the team that most Gooners want to see relegated. If only they are joined by Blackburn in the Championship next season, that would be a great end to the season.

 

On to football matters, finally, and it seems that Bendtner has picked up a knee injury while on international duty, though the true extent of the injury has yet to be clarified. Let’s hope that it isn’t too serious and that he will be available for us against City, should he be needed. However, the timing of the injury isn’t so bad, given that we could possibly have Eduardo, Adebayor, Van Persie, Arshavin, Walcott and Vela all available for the game against Man City. So, even if he is injured for a week or two, we aren’t exactly bereft of choices in attack. It is a shame though as he was beginning to find some form recently.

 

Thankfully we are now approaching the end of the interminably dull international break and we can begin to look forward to what will be a huge game against Man City at the Emirates this Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm and, given that the clocks went forward on Saturday night, this means that it will be on the box at the slightly more sociable time of 11pm on J-Sports 2. Five more days until The Arsenal are back….

 

Right, that’s that for today. I’m off to polish off a can of sweet, sweet beer.


A good weekend for The Arsenal.

March 23, 2009

So, yesterday’s game saw all results going Arsenal’s way. The day’s earlier games saw Fulham defeat United 2-0 with United having two men, deservedly, sent off. Scholes, went for a deliberate handball on the line and in the 90th minute Rooney was sent off for a second yellow which he got as much for stupidity as anything else. The Spuds also did us a favour by defeating the Chavs 1-0. Everton, potential rivals for fourth place, were dispatched 2-1 by Portsmouth.

 

That meant that it was more vital than ever that Arsenal get all three points in the day’s late kick-off away to Newcastle. Credit should be given to Newcastle as they started quite brightly and created some decent chances in the first half with Martins and Lovenkrands lively for the home side. Steven Taylor was in inspired form at the back making some crucial blocks for the home side although he should have seen red for a blatant, and deliberate, forearm smash into the face of Arshavin. To make it worse, the commentator on TV said that it looked worse ‘cos Arshavin is small and that if it was a taller player he wouldn’t have been hit in the face. Yeah, right. Fuck off, cunt.

 

Almunia made a bit of a hash at trying to come and claim a ball into the box and gave away a soft enough penalty, which he then redeemed himself for by diving to his left to save the resulting Martins taken spot-kick. It must be said that it was a poor penalty, more like a back-pass than one struck with any real vigour.

 

Arsenal did up their game and created some chances and after Cichy was what can only be described as assaulted twice in quick succession by Ryan Taylor. Arshavin took the resulting free-kick and Bendtner rose to guide the ball into the net for a very well taken goal. Let’s hope he can get a few more goals over the remainder of the season.

 

Bendtner and Nasri

 

Almost immediately Newcastle hit back due to some truly shambolic defending by Gallas when he really should have been putting his foot through the ball and hoofing it clear, he fluffed at it and allowed Martins to get his foot on it with some quick thinking and stick it in the back of the net for 1-1 within a minute of Arsenal having taken the lead. Frustratin and infuriating stuff, especially when you have sat up well past 3am to watch the game live.

 

Arsenal though were finding their groove and a neat one-two between Diaby and Van Persie saw Diaby steaming through to finish with aplomb. Not quite sure what an aplomb is, but Diaby did it. To make the goal even sweeter, GBH Taylor had been off the field receiving treatment when Diaby steamed through to score from the space that Taylor would otherwise have been occupying. A sweet, sweet moment which prompted me to shout, a la Roy Keane, “Take that you cunt!” at the TV. Hehe.

 

The three points were basically in the bag at that stage but things were cemented when Van Persie played in Nasri to make it 3-1. Diaby was somewhat unlucky not to get a second with a sweet shot that struck the post. But, all in all, it was a more than fair result though things may have been very different had Martins struck his first-half penalty with more conviction.

 

But, a result is a result and it gives us a glimmer of hope of catching Chelsea for third spot. We can still dream that maybe, just maybe, we can still have a go at a late title charge but I think we all know that the title is a bit beyond us this season. Too many points dropped against teams that we really should have done much better against. Let’s hope that the players learn from this season that you can’t take the games against so-called weaker opposition as forgone conclusions and that it actually takes concentration and graft to get a result against every team in the league, not just the top six sides.

 

As I sit here writing this, it has just gone half-time in the Liverpool v Villa game with the ‘pool holding a healthy 3-0 lead. With Villa in such a poor run of form and their next game being against United and ours against Man City it really is a great opportunity to make the gap between fourth and fifth a healthy six points.  It’s just a shame that those games won’t be played until after the international break.

 

On the plus side, the international break allows time for us to get Cesc and Adebayor back fit, along with Eduardo and possibly Walcott for the City game. If we can get those four back, fit and in form then it really could be an interesting and exciting end of season for The Arsenal.

 

Right, that’ll do for today. It’s just gone 2am and I am off to bed.

 

Slán.

 

PS: Great to see that Wigan beat Hull today to heap more pressure on their piece of shit manager. A fantastic weekend all-round, I think you’ll agree!


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!!!