A Saturday round-up.

May 30, 2009

Apologies for not making many posts lately, the pressures of work, private work, distance MA study and new bars opening and offering discounted first-day beer have eaten up most of my time over the past few weeks. But, from tomorrow onwards things will get back to normal again, although the posts will be shorter as there is no more football for Arsenal, just endless transfer speculation.

 

Speaking of which, we are again being linked with Gareth Barry. Personally he isn’t someone that I would want to sign, but you get the feeling that there may be something in this story as he is someone that can slot in either in midfield or at the back if needed. So, in many ways he is the ideal kind of Wenger signing. Decent, somewhat versatile and at the right age for our squad. Fingers crossed it is just speculation though. The Daily Star has a headline indicating the player himself has said he wants to join us, yet fail to provide a single quote from anyone…

 

Another report see us linked with Wolfsburg midfielder, Christian Genter, who is apparently the ‘new Kaiser’. No idea about the accuracy of that link, but we can expect to linked with all and sundry between now and the end of the transfer window at the end of August.

 

Elsewhere, Cesc talks about Barca and Henry and about how an player would love to play in the current Barca team. No arguments there. they’re a quality team and the blew ManUre off the field on Wednesday night. So, for him to say that is, for me, no problem at all. Of course, there will inevitably be some lazy hacks in the tabloids trying to make this out to be a sign that he wants out. But, we all know it’s not. He will return to Barca someday, but not for a few years yet.

 

And that’s about that really. Not much going on. I wonder did Marvin Gaye write that song during the off-season all those years ago…

 

Take it easy.


Nothing going on, a quick round-up.

May 27, 2009

Hello again. Not much going on this week first-team-wise. The youngsters won the FA Youth Cup last night with a 2-1 win over Liverpool, making it 6-2 on aggregate. It’s nice to get the victory and trophy on the day of the 20th anniversary of our famous victory at Anfield.

 

Hangeland has moved to distance himself a little from all of the speculation linking with him a move to the Emirates, but that is just to be expected as he will want to protect his interests should a move/bid not materialise. He doesn’t want to ‘do an Adebayor’ and make a right cunt out of himself by whoring himself around.

 

Elsewhere, Theo Walcott has said that we need to win dirty and there won’t be any disagreeing with that sentiment here. We need to make sure that we take the so-called lesser teams more seriously next season or else it will be another fruitless campaign.

 

That’s about it really, I told you there wasn’t all that much going on. I was too busy to write a post yesterday and so have missed the 20th anniversary of the Anfield victory, but other bloggers did a good job summing things up so check out some of the links on the right of this page to check them out.

 

That’ll have to do for today. Time is at a premium for me until the end of the month, unfortunately. Take it easy.


I don’t know whether to be happy or sad.

May 25, 2009

So, a fourth successive trophy-less season has come to an end. It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, there have been some highlights thrown in along the way. The emergence of Gibbs, the improvement of Almunia and Song, reaching the semi-finals of both the Champions League and FA Cup. It’s always disappointing to not win something but today we can try to forget about those and remember the positives.

 

Yesterday’s game against Stoke was a good way for the team to end the season and the fans’ love-in with Arséne was great to see. We can’t let the minority of detractors try and force him out of the club. Who would replace him?

 

We started the game with Mannone in goal, Sagna, Toure, Song and Gibbs in defence, Diaby, Fabregas, Denilson, Walcott and Arshavin in midfield and Van Persie up front. The bench was Szczesny (whose name looks a bit like a Count Down conundrum) Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner and Eboue.

 

According to the boss on Friday, Fabianski was fit to play so one must assume he had a reaction over the weekend. Van Persie showed that he is a big player for us with two well taken goals, one a very well hit penalty and the other a good chest down and volley on the turn. Our first goal came courtesy of a Fabregas ball into the six yard box, hit with pace, that James Beattie kindly diverted into his own goal. The second was Van Persie’s brilliantly struck penalty that gave the keeper absolutely no chance. Our third came from a Van Persie free-kick and Diaby rose to stick it away. It’s a shame that we didn’t put in a similar performance against them at their ground earlier in the season… What might have been.

 

So, a great result to finish the season with optimism, although there was nothing in particular at stake and it’s easier to play well when under no pressure, it was still a good result.

 

After the game the boss said that extending Van Persie’s and Bendtner’s contracts is a priority. Let’s hope that both sign on as there is still more to come from both, especially Bendtner. Despite the fact that Van Persie can be frustrating at times, he still notched his 20th goal of the season yesterday and could have had a hat-trick but for the crossbar from a well hit free-kick. Next season, Bendtner should benefit from the expected departure of Adebayor.

 

The result yesterday left us on 72 points for the season, coming from 20 wins and 12 draws. 12 draws isn’t really good enough and maybe if we had had Eduardo available some of those would have been converted into victories. Likewise, 6 defeats is not acceptable if you want to seriously challenge for the title, especially if you are going to draw so many games along with them.

 

The return of Eduardo and Rosicky (possibly) next season should give us more of a killer instinct in front of goal, though it is clear that we need to strengthen the defensive side of our game. Not just by signing players, we need to work on coaching the team to actually defend as a team. The midfield need to offer more protection to our defence if we are to challenge for anything next season. Arséne said he would be analysing what we need to challenge next year, let’s hope he decides better coaching and two or three defensively minded players.

 

Alex Song played again at centre-half yesterday and I wonder will it be a position in which he will figure more prominently next season? He has improved dramatically over the past five or six months and is unrecognisable from the player that lazily ambled around the pitch before Christmas.

 

The boss was also happy with the love-in that took place yesterday:

“It made me feel appreciated and even more regretful that we couldn’t give them what they wanted this season. But I am very respectful of the faith they have in me.It’s very warm and makes me even more determined to pay them back.”

 

Let’s hope the boss and the team pay us back with consistency and a trophy next season. We’ve got about two months until the start of proper pre-season games, that time will fly by, though at times it may feel like it’s going in slow-motion. No doubt Adebayor and Arshavin’s agent will keep us on our toes while there is no other news happening.

 

It’s been a long and hard season to be an Arsenal supporter both due to performances on the field and boardroom manoeuvres off the field. But, we’ve made it to the end and it’s time to put the season to bed and look forward to a summer of speculation and waiting to see who comes and goes. I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it.

 

Will there be any more movement by Kroenke Tonk Stan? Will Usmanov choke on some food?

 

Let all of the speculation begin. Take it easy.


The final day.

May 24, 2009

Today’s game against Stoke should see some of our more fringe players get a bit of a run-out. The game isn’t being shown live in Japan as the TV here is focussing on the relegation battle, which is understandable as there is a hell of a lot at stake in those games.

 

Teams news, as of the time of writing, remains the same as discussed on yesterday’s post, so check that out if you’re interested.

 

In other news it is being reported that Andrey Arshavin is looking for a pay rise because of the new 50% tax rate in the UK. You would think that his agent might have mentioned to him before he signed his original deal that the tax for high earners in the UK was crazy high but there you go.

 

The club have also reportedly sent Rui Fonte back to Portugal as they felt he wasn’t really up to scratch. Shame he didn’t make it but I’m sure the education that he received while with us will stand him in good stead for his future.

 

Apparently Man Shitty are willing to pay £21m for Adebayor and if that is true and I was the boss, I would personally drive him to Eastlands in order to broker a deal as quickly as possible. That’s a lot of money for someone that has really only had ONE good season.

 

The Daily Mail links us with Ajax centre-half Thomas Vermaelen. Who knows if it’s true or not but one suspects that we’ll be linked with every central defender on the planet before the summer is out.

 

Patrice Evra is whinging about how Arsenal tried to kick him off the field in our league game against ManUre. Well, what do you expect to happen when you call the team a bunch of kids ahead of that tie? Fool.

 

So, from the end of today onwards it’s going to be lots and lots of endless speculation about who we will or won’t sign and who we will or won’t let go. Let the speculation begin.

 

Here’s to a good result today to end the season at home on a high.

 

Come on you REDS!!!!!!


Final weekend of a long, hard season.

May 23, 2009

So, the weekend that we wait a good 10 months to arrive has finally come and I must admit I’ll be glad for it this season to finally end. The only thing that there is to look forward to tomorrow is the potential relegation of Hull Shitty. God, I hope and pray that they get relegated. I’m not a religious man, not by any stretch of the imagination but, if there is a God, they will get relegated this season and continue all the way down to League Two over the coming years. Should Hull manage to survive, at least we’ll get to see Alan Shearer head for the Championship, no doubt doing his annoying trademark celebration and chanting ‘howay (with) the lads (to the championship.)’

 

Since my last post, Cesc has been cleared of the whole alleged spitting incident regarding Brian Horton and all those other cuntbags over at Hull. It vindicates our Catalan captain and shows those fuckers up to be the lying sack of cuntbags that the so obviously are.

 

Tomorrow sees us take on Stoke at the Emirates in a game that is absolutely meaningless for both teams. So, hopefully the manager will give a Sunday afternoon run-out to some of our younger young players such as Ramsey. I’d have liked to have seen Wilshere get a game but what with this league game being sandwiched between the two FA Youth Cup final games against Liverpool, that won’t be happening. On the subject of the FA Youth Cup final, our kids beat Liverpool 4-1 at the Emirates last night with the return leg at Anfield next Tuesday. Well done to them on that result and let’s hope that they can see out the tie in the second leg.

 

It is clear from the manager’s Friday press conference and his ATVO interview that he was very hurt, upset and disappointed by the treatment of both himself and the players. He was disrespected by the shareholders and the tone and wording of their questions. We, as fans and supporters need to come together again and get behind the Arsenal cause in the right way. We have enough people on the outside trying to destabilise the club so we don’t need to help their efforts by destabilising from within. Don’t get me wrong, I think that criticism of the club and squad is somewhat justified, but it’s the way in which that is done which is the critical factor. We can criticise, but in a respectful manner.

 

Arséne also reiterated his commitment to the club and also stated that despite what people may think, he is not afraid to spend money and if he finds the right person he will spend the necessary money to get him.

 

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Fabianski is available after being a 50/50 doubt due to a knee injury. Nasri has tendonitis and so he is also ruled out. Apart from that the squad available is the same as the one for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against ManUre. Though apparently Adebayor still has a ‘groin problem’, from being kicked in it by the boss no doubt, and so he will not be involved. As Cilla Black would say, ‘surprise, surprise.’

 

Tomorrow we should line up with Fabianski,  Sagna, Toure, Djourou and Gibbs. Midfield should see us line up with Walcott, Fabregas, Song and Arshavin. Up front, I hope that we will go with Bendtner and Van Persie. There is always the chance that the boss will play Silvestre in place of Djourou to try and say to the fans ‘I’m the boss’ and also to try and show that Silvestre has qualities that none of us believe he has. Though, I hope he is on the bench.

 

One thing I have noticed from watching ATVO is that Nasri doesn’t do interviews in English, let’s hope he isn’t the first to be subjected to Arsenal’s forthcoming mandatory English proficiency tests…

 

I just wish that the games were today and not tomorrow. Sunday is a shite day to have the league’s final games on, especially when it means that they start midnight in Japan and there is work the next day. What a load of cock.

 

Anyway, have yourselves a good weekend. Take it easy. I’m off out to enjoy the hot, hot weather.


Feels like the season has already ended.

May 21, 2009

There isn’t a whole lot to look forward to until August, is there? It currently feels like the season is already done and dusted and i suppose for all intents and purposes it is, for us anyway.

 

It’ll be brief today as there isn’t much going on. It seems that Eduardo has had the pins etc removed from his ankle and that he should be back in full training in time for the start of pre-season, which is good news. He will be a big player for us next season, like one of those new signings that the boss has often talked about. Let’s hope our other ‘new’ signing, Rosicky, will join him in pre-season training.

 

Elsewhere the new away kit has been officially revealed to be the blue, kind of pin-striped jersey that some had feared it would be. Personally, I prefer our away shirt to be yellow and blue, but if we win something next season, anything, I won’t give a monkeys what colour the away shirt is.

 

Cesc_Fabregas_280x3_808254a

 

It seems like Amaury Bischoff is keen to leave. Does anyone care? I don’t.

There is continued speculation about the future of Adebayor and it’s something which is likely to roll on and on for the majority of the summer unless the moneybags at Man Shitty or Chavski decide to go at it early doors in the transfer market. Let’s hope they do and that we can get a good bidding war going, get the Milans involved too, if possible. Who knows, that buffoon Florentino Perez may also throw his cunt-hat into the ring too. Fingers crossed, eh.

 

Right, that’s that. Need to chill out for a while. It’s been a long boring day and the humidity is leaving me drained, only another 3 or four months of intense heat and humidity to go…


Limping to the end.

May 20, 2009

So, we are stuttering slowly but surely to the final day of the season and as we all know we have nothing to play for and there isn’t whole lot happening news-wise on the Arsenal front.

 

Of course there has been plenty of tabloid hack speculation about the chances of Arsene winging his way to Real Madrid in the summer, but speculation is all it is, and lazy speculation at that.

 

It’s easy to take Arséne’s hairy exchanges with the shareholders last week and the impending presidential election at Real and make a nice juicy story about how he is going to walk out on us and sign up with Real where he’d apparently have over a hundred million to spend. But, we all know that the way that Real operate is not how Arséne likes to work and he has a job to do at Arsenal. For all of our current problems, I think we still need him at Arsenal too.

 

The manager has been defended by former goalkeeper and coach Bob Wilson:

“There were a couple of vindictive shareholders who went too far and upset Arsene with their agendas. He was particularly offended by one remark that he had signed a ‘geriatric’ in Mikael Silvestre, and he responded brilliantly to the questioner’s unpleasant tone. Wenger turned the tables and asked, ‘Does that mean Tony Adams, David Seaman, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown and Dennis Bergkamp were geriatric when they won the Double? The general tenor of the meeting was constructive, but that upset Arsene like I’ve never seen him before. I found it very difficult not to jump in and tell Arsene he didn’t have to answer it. This guy was really abusive, and I should have told him I was not prepared to accept questions based on such a personal premise. I’ve been upset ever since that meeting, and a minority of shareholders are playing with fire because it would be a virtually impossible task to replace Wenger if he did walk away. We would have only half a hope of finding a successor who could replicate his success: it’s like trying to replace Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest. Arsenal have not won a trophy this season, but they are one of only five clubs in Europe who have qualified for the Champions League 11 years in a row. Is it such a bad season when you reach a Champions League semi-final, an FA Cup semi-final and finish fourth when, at one stage, you are nine points behind Aston Villa and you have had a series of long-term injuries to key players? Wenger is one of the greats of the modern game in my book. After he won his first title, I remember Arsene saying that Arsenal was the perfect club for him and he had taken the job at a perfect time – and I don’t think the perfect marriage is ready for a divorce just yet.”

 

we certainly aren’t ready to part with the manager yet and you can put your house on all of his detractors changing their fickle tune when he turns things around again.

 

The boss himself has moved to quash the rumours:

“There’s nothing to worry about, it’s not an issue for me. I’m staying here. If that changes I will let you know, but don’t worry about that. It’s not an issue.”

 

The sooner we can decisively draw a line under this nonsense the better.

 

Apart from that non-news news there isn’t a whole lot going on and so I will bid you adieu and talk to you again soon.

 

Take it easy.


A decent result, shame we didn’t spoil the party.

May 17, 2009

So, yesterday saw us draw 0-0 with ManUre at Old Trafford. We dominated the game without ever really creating much in the way of clear0cut chances. Song played very well at centre-half and he is certainly more useful there than Silvestre.

 

Diaby was very disappointing yet again. He is a frustrating player as he seems to just lope around the pitch and make lazy passes. He has the physical stature to be able to really impose his authority on a game and boss the midfield but he seems to choose not to use it. Very disappointing, but what can you do.

 

Adebayor gave an interview to Football Focus yesterday wherein he basically criticised the Arsenal fans for giving him such a hard time. Well, I’m sorry, but if you spend a season wandering aimlessly around the pitch without any effort to challenge for a ball and then at every given opportunity talk about how other clubs want you then you can’t expect the fans to do anything else than give you a hard time. If you disrespect the club by whoring yourself to AC Milan, then don’t expect the fans to sing your name with the same gusto as before.

 

Even at ManUre the fans haven’t completely forgiven Ronaldo for his whoring himself to Real Madrid but the big difference is that Ronaldo is still producing the goods on the football field so things are relatively rosy for him. Adebayor has done fuck all on the pitch all season. I know that you can point to the number of little injuries he has picked up, but the fact is that in the majority of games he has participated in he has not put in the required work-rate. It would appear that he and Diaby have struck some kind of bet to see who can out-lazy the other, much like Flamini, Hleb and Fabregas struck a bet to see who could get the most goals in a season. Except the latter bet was of benefit to the team, the apparent Adebayor and Diaby bet is of benefit to fuck all. If we can flog both and get in the region of £23m for the pair, then that would be great and would allow the manager to get in some players that would actually contribute to the cause.

 

It’s a shame really that things have gone so sour with Adebayor because he was a massive player for us last season. If only he had kept the same attitude and work ethic this season he would still be a firm fan favourite, despite his flirtations with admiring clubs the fans would forgive him for that if he was producing the goods. I think that is the point that the player himself seems to be missing, if his interview yesterday is anything to go by.

 

Of yesterday’s game, Arséne had this to say:

“United are worthy champions. They did well in every single competition and that is very difficult. It was a very interesting championship. I think United won it because they got more points at home than any of the other teams in the top four. Our ambition was to win the game. United were very cautious, and we did not find an opening. We lacked sharpness and quality in the final third but overall we dominated the game. United’s strength is to defend well and that is what they did today.”

 

As much as it pains me to say it, ManUre are worthy champions this season. They have been the most consistent team and deserve the title. We are clearly some way from achieving a similar level of consistency over a season. But, there is hope for us should we sign two or three players with the required quality and work ethic.

 

According to the Daily Mail the boss’s transfer budget has been cut to £13m for the summer, but that is a figure that they have more than likely pulled right out of their ass. The papers are full of speculation about how much the boss has to spend, but the club are never going to tell anyone exactly how much they have to spend as that would affect the prices they are quoted for players, so we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of wheeling and dealing that Arséne does when the window opens.

 

Okay, that’s all for today. Enjoy your Sunday.


A chance to salvage some respect…part two.

May 16, 2009

Today’s game at Old Trafford could potentially see ManUre clinch the title against us. How awful would that be?

 

So, fingers crossed that the players have their game faces on and really give it a go today as we need a totally committed performance against ManUre with all hands on deck. If we play like we did in the opening 7min of our Champions League second leg and against Chelsea before they went a goal ahead, then I think we have a real chance to give them a run for their money. The only problem is that there is no telling which Arsenal will turn up today.

 

In defence, I hope to see us line up with Sagna, Toure, Djourou and Gibbs. Unfortunately, Fabianski will continue in goal in place of the injured Almunia. That cunt-bag Diouff has a lot to answer for.

 

Midfield will be a more interesting selection as the boss must decide whether or not to go with a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 formation. I would hope that he opts for the former and try to take the game to ManUre as there is no point going there to try and crowd the midfield with big lazy bastards like Diaby. Better to go with four in the middle and select Walcott, Fabregas, Song and Nasri.

 

That leaves the boss with a choice over Bendtner, Arshavin, Van Persie and Adebayor for the two spots up front. I personally hope that Adebayor doesn’t play as he has had way too many lazy performances this year and we should keep him out of harms way so that he doesn’t get an injury ahead of a potential summer tug-of-war between Man Shitty and Chavski. So, given Van Persie and his chocolate groin which has the potential to melt at any moment, I would like to see how Bendtner would play up front with Arshavin floating around just behind him. I think that Bendtner would cause the ManUre defence more problems in the air that Adebayor, not least because he is actually arsed to jump/challenge for a ball.

 

In other news, Rosicky has finally returned to full training again and let’s hope that he has no reactions and can build himself up physically and mentally in order to be ready for next season.

 

The club moved quickly to deny the suggestion that Pat Rice was set for retirement this summer. not sure if I am all that happy about that as maybe a new number two is exactly what Arsene needs, but it’s unlikely to happen now.

 

The boss left the door, possibly a barn one, ajar for Adebayor to depart the club in the summer. Fingers crossed on that one.

 

Cesc has said that he hopes that we can stop ManUre celebrating yet another title just yet, and I truly hope that we do. So, hopefully our Catalan captain will rally the troops in the changing room before kick-off.

 

Martin Samuel has a good interview with Andrey Arshavin and it makes for an interesting read and it’s nice to read something which comes across as a player being totally open and honest for a change. i particularly like his views on women drivers. Hehe.

 

That’s more than enough for today. Let’s hope we are party poopers at Old Trafford today.

 

Come on you REEEEEDS!!!


A chance to salvage some respect…part one.

May 16, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days, things have been hectic.

 

Today sees us take on Manchester United at Old Trafford, not exactly the game you want when your season has petered out and you have nothing to play for but pride. It is a chance for the players to show that they can still give ManUre a run for their money when they actually give 100% to the cause.

 

While it is clear that we are not capable of maintaining a challenge to the top three teams over a whole season, I feel that on our day we can still beat this ManUre team. Some might say that I am being overly optimistic but, fuck it, there are enough people losing their heads, calling for the manager’s head and generally wallowing in self pity at how our season has finished with a whimper and no silverware.

 

Four years without a trophy is a long time, but if you look at the history of the club four years isn’t actually all that bad. It’s a measure of how far the club has progressed that we see this lack of silverware as not good enough.

 

I’m one of those that isn’t happy about ending the season, yet again, with nothing. But we have to put our faith in the manager to put things right with the resources he has available to him. The boss himself has been stressing that he won’t put the club’s financial security in danger by going all David O’Leary in the transfer market and I fully agree with his stance on this matter. I want us to sign some new players to strengthen the defensive side of our team (that includes central midfield), but more important is for Arsenal to still be a financially viable club. There’s no point in going out and stretching the club financially and then end up in administration, or having to accept money from Usmanov.

 

Now that the dust has settled and the pain of our results against ManUre, Chavski and Liverpool too, it is a little easier to be more objective. We need strengthening, but how much money the boss has to do that, we don’t really know. All I know is that the reported figures being bandied about in the tabloids are, more than likely, a load of donkey cock.

 

The manager got a bit of grief off some disgruntled fans on Thursday and it may have been good for him to hear exactly how the fans feel about our season. Some of it may have been a bit over-the-top (calling Silvestre a geriatric) but I think we can all agree that he is not of the standard that should be playing for Arsenal Football Club.

 

Arseblogger has a good summation of our current state of affairs here and his Friday podcast has a good conversation with Goonerholic, too. Gunnerblog has a good piece on Thursday’s meeting with the manager here.

 

The boss himself has called for a but more objectivity from the fans.

“When you look now at people assessing the situations of the clubs, it has become ridiculous. You sit here, you are in the last four in Europe, and every day you feel you have killed someone. If you do not take a distance with it, you think what kind of world do you live in? We lost against Manchester United who have 10 times more resources, they are the best in the world. In sport, you have to accept that. It is like they are ashamed to be fair.”

 

He makes a fair point, but as fans invest so much into a club, both financially and emotionally, it can be quite hard to take a step back and view things objectively. So, he needs to understand it’s because we care that we are reacting like this.

 

But, as much as we demand more from the club we should also be giving more to the club. That can start by NOT leaving a game when there is still a sizeable proportion of the game left to play. We need to send the right message to the team if we want to get it back. We need to support the team at home, not boo them and not turn our backs on them when they need us most. It’s true that players like Adebayor and Diaby do the team no favours in terms of fan support, but the players that DO try deserve our total support, especially as this is a young team. The average age of our team isn’t ideal and that is down to the manager and finances of the club but, that’s what we have and so we must get behind them.

 

It’s not just the players that need to salvage something from this season. The fans do, too. We need to get behind the team again, no matter how much we are pissed off with the current situation.

 

That’s enough for part one, I’ll look ahead to today’s game in part two and have a little Saturday round-up going on, too.