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.

All’s quiet on the Arsenal front.

May 13, 2009

Not a whole lot going on again today so I’ll keep it relatively short. There is the same stuff being reported again about Petit urging Arsene to spend on reinforcing the squad this summer. Nothing new there and no need to link to it.


Elsewhere the Daily Mail, almost as much a bastion of truth as The sun, quotes Adebayor’s answer to an interview question last summer in which he shows himself to be the utter cunt that we have either known or suspected all along. If these comments are true, and i can’t verify them due to the clip not being available to listen to in Japan, then the cunt should be sold immediately. It has been patently obvious that he has had no desire to do anything for the team this year and it would stick in my craw to have to pay that big lazy bastard £80,000 a week to watch him do the same for another season. sell him now Arsene, please. Here is the quote:

INTERVIEWER: How important is money to footballers? A lot of them say it is not about the money. Is that true?

ADEBAYOR: It is not true, it is about money. You are talking about in life and it is about money. When we are young, of course we played because we loved the game, we play because we were passionate about the game, but when you reach a stage of playing Champions League? If it is not because of money I would not be playing for Arsenal Football Club. If it is not because of money I don’t think I would go to Arsenal to play.


What. A. Cunt.


Arseblogger has a picture of what may be our new away shirt for next season and i must admit that I absolutely hate what i see in those pictures and have no intention whatsoever of buying that shirt. Our away shirt should be yellow and blue. That’s what the fans want and it looks good. Fair enough, the club want to make money from merchandising, but blue? Though the Daily Mail is still persisting with the pictures of an equally horrible green and blue away shirt for next season. I’m crossing all appendages that the new shirt will look nothing like the ones in either Arseblogger’s or the Daily Mail’s pictures.


Reports are linking Senderos with a move to Aston Villa, but i think that we could do a lot worse than to bring him back to the club and keep him. I know that the was often made look like a bit of a tool by Drogba, but Drogba gives most defenders a hard time so we shouldn’t kill Senderos because of that. He’s certainly better than Silvestre.


Robin Van Persie has appealed for the club to keep the important players at the club. It’s a fair appeal to make and he can lead by example by putting pen to paper on a shiny new deal. He is right in that if we sell three or four of our better players every summer then we really are going nowhere fast.


Finally, our big fat Commie Uzbek shareholder has suggested that he would be ready to help the club out with some of it’s debt, should the ask. Well, firstly, he hasn’t said how he might do that and if it is in the form of some kind of loan that we would have to pay back to him then it would be suicidal for the club to consider. Secondly, he’s a cunt and we don’t want money that smells of cunt. Well, sometimes money that smells of cunt is okay, but not on this occasion.


That’s about all for today. ‘Til tomorrow, stay capitalist. Resist the commie.

A quickie.

May 12, 2009

It seems that Kroenke Tonk Stan’s (KTS) increased stake in the club has been confirmed and for me it is a good thing. It helps keep Usmanov at bay and it may, hopefully, result in some extra transfer funds being made available for the boss as I am sure that KTS won’t want to see his investment’s value drop so soon after making such a sizeable investment.


Elsewhere, current and former players are pointing out our problem areas and how they should be addressed. There is nothing really new in them and it is nothing that hasn’t been covered on this and other Arsenal blogs before. If you are interested in them Petit talks here, Silvestre here, Van Persie here. Van Persie tells ATVO that he feels sorry for the Arsenal fans and let me just assure him that we feel sorry for ourselves too.


Apparently Eduardo will be fit in about two weeks time. That’s great news, just in time for him to head off on his summer holidays…


Some Russian is being linked with Arsenal but I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it as it is probably just some lazy journalism.


Our own little Commie is a bit perplexed to be employed as a left winger, but with his goal return and performances so far I think he should be happy enough with the results of his role in the team.


That’s about it for today. Time is short and so is reportable news.


UPDATE: A bit of a dilemma for me here, it seems that Patsy Palmer has promised to depart ANR should Arshavin leave the club. Now, I think Arshavin is a top class player that undoubtedly improves our squad. But, the thoughts of never having to read/hear Patsy’s opinions again makes it a very difficult thing to decide over… Let’s hope that Arshavin going away on summer holidays counts.


Talk to you again.

Waiting to rebound.

May 11, 2009

So, yesterday’s defeat to Chelsea means that we have now lost against two of the top three teams four times in all competitions in the past month or so. That kind of a record just isn’t acceptable and it seems like this season seems destined to end like it started.


As much as the boss would have us believe that this team is capable of challenging the top three sides for honours, it is blatantly obvious that it isn’t. However, the boss has once again said that we need to add one or two quality players in the summer and that we are prepared to spend the necessary money to get them. On the evidence of the season so far, I would be hoping that he signs three top quality players


Our defending against Chelsea yesterday was not worthy of a side which hopes to become one of the major forces in European football. There is a lot of work to be done on the training ground and some quality personnel to be acquired in both central defence and central midfield before this team will be anywhere near being able to challenge for honours on a consistent basis. On top of that, getting a replacement for Adebayor should be a priority too.


Again, the manager has said that we should ‘take some distance’ before analysing the game, or our problems. But, I would suggest that no distance is needed. It is blindingly obvious what is needed for this team in order to reach the level that the boss thinks we are already at, never mind reaching a level whereby we can seriously take on the likes of ManUre or Chavski.


On our defending the boss had this to say:

“We conceded four at Liverpool, three against Manchester United and four to Chelsea. We have to improve the way we defend. However, you wouldn’t like to come out when you lose 4-1 and say ‘listen, we are going to buy four defenders. It is more a case of balancing the team defensively than the quality of our defenders.”


Well, to be honest, the quality of the defenders in a team does matter and the likes of Silvestre is not quality. That’s not just because he came from ManUre, he was shite there too.


We did miss plenty of decent chances in the game yesterday and we should have scored more than the one consolation goal that we got, courtesy of Bendtner. However, we cannot defend to save our lives and fixing that issue while also recruiting some top quality players must be the top priorities this summer if we are not to fall even further behind.


Arséne also said that the job of management is one ‘for strong people’ and part of being strong should be to admit that maybe the youth project hasn’t really turned out as planned just yet and that to stop us from slipping out of the Champions League places next season or, even worse, failing to make it out of the qualifying round for next season’s competition, something must be done to address things. Whether it will be or not, who knows.


The season is now over for us although, sadly, not officially so just yet. The final game of the season can’t come quick enough for this team, and the fans. The boss should use the remaining games to give some of our younger youngsters some valuable playing time ahead of next season.


Fabianski was again very suspect on two of Chelsea’s goals yesterday and the manager calling Drogba a diver is a bit of ‘pot calling the kettle black’ when you look at Adebayor’s attempts to con the referee. I really hope that we get rid of him at the end of the season, along with the lazy Diaby.


Thankfully there are only two more games left to this season. On the evidence of the past few weeks I see us coming away with a maximum of three points, at best, out of those two games, but more than likely we will get just a solitary point unless things improve dramatically and quickly.


Right, I’m off to eat dinner and to try and put our footballing woes out of my mind.

A chance to rebound.

May 10, 2009

Today sees us take on Chelsea at the Emirates in a game which gives us the perfect chance to rebound from the crushing disappointment of our exit from the Champions League. However, Chelsea will also be looking to do exactly the same and their exit from the competition must have been much more psychologically crushing than ours due to the manner of their exit.


The boss has said that he will stick with Gibbs for today’s game and i hope that he does because he is certainly a better prospect at left-back than Silvestre.


At the back we should therefore line up with Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou and Gibbs. In midfield, I expect Song, Cesc and Nasri to play in the middle, with Song taking up the more defensive role thus leaving Cesc and Nasri more freedom to get forward. Walcott and possibly Van Persie may operate on the flanks, with Bendtner up front. Well, I hope that he starts with Bendtner up front as the young Dane will have a bit of a point to prove to the fans after his mid-week escapades. Though, it is more likely that Adebayor will start up front.


I think that Vela and Ramsey will get some playing time today, too. At this stage, I think it is important to give players like Ramsey, Vela and possibly Wilshere some proper first-team playing time ahead of next season.


Let’s hope that Arshavin can overcome his illness to play some part in today’s game.


In the Guardian today, Amy Lawrence talks about how Drogba is just the kind of player that Arsenal need. While he is a loathsome, diving cunt that I would hate to ever see wearing an Arsenal shirt, a player of similar stature and ability would be great for us. We need strikers that are willing to put themselves about and work hard for the team.


Despite Arséne’s comments on Friday that the players don’t know what is best for the team, Almunia has again come out and voiced his dissatisfaction with how we have done this year and that things need to change.


The young players are internationals and have been playing for Arsenal for a long time. They have played many games. They should have the experience now.

“Everybody is concerned by what happened against United. We need to be criticised. We need to do some self-analysis because Arsenal is a big club and we are not here to lose. Four years without a trophy is a long time. It’s too much for the fans – they deserve something more from us. Every time a team is in a bad situation you need someone to find a big solution.”


He went on to say:

“We played crazy from the start. We played more with the heart than the head. United didn’t do that. Can we compete with them next season? I don’t know. We’ll have to see what happens in the summer.”


He is right to say that this team need to be criticised, because they have been molly-coddled  a bit too much by the manager and they need to know that they have to start performing and delivering. They excuse of youth can not, and should not, be tolerated next season. This squad have been together for a few years now and the honeymoon period is now most certainly over. Time to deliver. It is a very big summer for the club in terms of transfer activity and maybe a look should also be taken at our coaching positions and maybe the assistant’s position, too. When I see Pat Rice sitting next to Arséne i just get images of Phil Neal sitting next to Graham Taylor in the infamous “Do I not like that!” documentary. He comes across very much as a ‘yes man’.


Reports in the Daily Star link us, yet again, with Fulham’s Brede Hangeland who I think would be a decent signing for us and could definitely strengthen our defence, given his performances for Fulham this season.


It appears that some tosser Portsmouth fan spat into Theo’s water bottle during the game at Fratton Park. Filthy bastard. That’s just not on, by all means shout abuse at someone, but spitting INTO a drink is out of order. I’m sure that the media won’t say much about it but, if they do, I am sure that Mark Bright will say that he’d rather get an elbow in the face, a broken arm, rib and leg and dislocated shoulder rather than have someone spit in his drink. We can but hope…


Even Alisher Usmanov is sticking his big fat oar in by saying that we need to invest heavily in the squad to catch up with ManUre. While despising the big fat Uzbek, I do agree that we must invest in this squad, but it need not necessarily be heavy investment as long as we get the right quality.


Reports in papers suggest that Wenger has between twenty and forty million to spend this season, but I imagine that this figure has been plucked right out of each journalist’s over-imaginative ass.


Lee Dixon has a good article in today’s Times and he is spot on with everything that he says. I must admit I like Yaya Toure and was impressed with him when he played for Barcelona against Yokohama Marinos (not the best of teams, I must admit) in a friendly a year or two ago.


Non-Arsenal related news, it was great to see Stoke beat Hull yesterday and with West Brom winning it sets up the possibility of Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Hull being the teams to be relegated. How great would that be?! Fingers crossed it’ll be ‘howay (with) the lads’ to the Championship next season.


If you don’t already, check out these other Arsenal blogs, they’re very good and offer well-balanced opinions. Arseblog; Gunnerblog; Goonerholic; East Lower.


** UPDATE: hahahahaha. Thankfully our players just have belt and gravity issues.


** UPDATE 2: The domain name for the site has now changed to http://thenorthbankblog.com


That’s all for today. Take it easy.