El Bastardo.

June 5, 2010

Morning. Hope that you have some nice weather with you, wherever you are reading this. The summer weather is definitely kicking in here, which means that the wet season is also right around the corner. Balls.


Anyway, there isn’t an awful lot going on as we approach the opening of the World Cup. The Arsenal news has all but dried up and indeed would have dried up were it not for that bunch of ‘see you next Tuesdays’ in Barcelona. I have a feeling that it is going to be a long, long summer on the Cesc front, unfortunately.


So, not content with basically being told to sod off by the board the other day, Joan ‘El Bastardo’ Laporta has, yet again, made more comments along the lines of they won’t give up until Arsenal relent and sell Cesc to them. He also seems to be under the illusion that Barcelona are in talks with Arsenal regarding the proposed transfer. The latter belief clearly shows that he has the mental capacity of a cock fish.


I’m not sure how Arsenal could have made their position any clearer than in the statement released the other day. I guess it just goes to show that becoming a president has no relationship with the intelligence of the person. Though, after the Bush administration in America, I think that we knew that already. I’m pretty sure that if it was our club acting in such a manner, FIFA would hammer us, but when it is Barcelona not a single word emanates out of the governing body. It really is infuriating that they are allowed to so blatantly unsettle and tap up a player. It makes a mockery of FIFA and everything that they purport to stand for.


I just hope that Laporta has an encounter with Japan’s Tulio, much like in the manner that Drogba did yesterday, in a game which Ivory Coast didn’t shy away from putting in some meaty challenges themselves.


The Bordeaux president has said that he hasn’t received an offer from Arsenal for Gourcuff, which isn’t surprising as, unless we sell Cesc, our transfer kitty is going to be allocated towards the defensive side of things, I hope.


Fabio Capello has said that he didn’t pick Theo because he hasn’t played enough games because of injury. Well, Fabio, if yourself and Stewart ‘The Penalty King’ Pearce hadn’t thought it a good idea to make him play for the u21s last year, then he wouldn’t have ended up crocked for half the season and would, therefore, have played a part in plenty of Arsenal’s games. Basically, he has been punished for agreeing to play for the u21s. Now, I know that Theo’s performances were very hit and miss over the season, but he must be seriously regretting turning out for the u21s now. Anyway, Theo’s disappointment should work in our favour as we will have him fit, fresh and ready for the start of the season and he will have a point to prove, too. Here is Capello’s statement in full:


“It was a really hard decision for me. I know Theo Walcott was really important in the games we played in qualification. But after his operation on his shoulder he did not play a lot of games. He was not the same player we knew before the injury.

I hope that he will be fit and over injury and he will be back in the team for the other qualifiers (Euro 2012). It was hard for me, but we had to choose the best players for the squad.”


The Daily Star is reporting that Japan will make a move for Wenger in the new year as current manager, Okada, is set to step down after the World Cup. It’s a story that comes up every time that Japan are searching for a new manager but I can’t see Wenger walking away from the day to day life of club football just yet. Also, you have to consider  the fact that he is in the process of building a new team and he won’t want to walk away from that before the job is done and silverware delivered. He believes in the players he has and he will want to show everyone that he was right and that these players are, in fact, capable of winning some silverware.


Apparently, we have beaten Chelsea to the signing of a 16yr old, Dutch, attacking midfielder called Kyle Ebecilio, from Feyenoord. That is a much as I know about him. The deal should go through on July 1st. Enough kids, please. Time to sign real players that are fully developed and experienced.


Elsewhere, there are reports that we have been offered the chance to sign the young Israeli midfielder, Gai Assulin, from Barcelona as his contract is set to expire this summer. Even if we don’t really want him, we should sign him just to annoy Barcelona and have Laporta let another promising youngster slip through his fingers before he leaves his post as El Bastardo at the end of June.


That’s about that for today. I’ll hopefully be back again tomorrow if there is anything going on news-wise. However, once the World Cup gets underway, I won’t be making any posts unless something major happens.


Enjoy your weekend.


*** UPDATE: It seems that Joe Cole may not be signing for us after all which, if true, seems to pave the way for him to join ManUre. On the one hand I am disappointed but, on the bright side, the money we save on the signing on fee and wages can be used to invest in the defense.


Sticking it to the (Catalan) Man.

June 3, 2010

Yesterday saw Arsenal make an official statement regarding Barcelona’s opening bid for Cesc, which was rumoured to be in the region of £30m. The response from Arsenal was very strong and definitive with regard to their resolve to not even consider the possibility of considering an offer, let alone make a counter-proposal to Barcelona. The full transcript of that statement is as follows:


"Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the Club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans.

We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the Club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment. However, yesterday evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain.

To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion. Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word."


That statement is about as resolute and definitive as you will ever get from a club and it seriously puts the onus on Barcelona to back off and show that they are the type of honourable club that they would have you believe that they are, but that we all know they aren’t. Summers of endless speculation about our players moving to them have shown us that they are anything but honourable. If there was a UEFA ‘tapping up’ league they would finish top, followed closely by Real.


If an Arsene Wenger analysis of Group A in the World Cup sounds like it might float your boat, click here. I’m looking forward to watching some decent games in the World Cup, but it is hard to be too enthusiastic about it when Ireland aren’t involved. I will be cheering on Holland in this year’s tournament. I would have supported Spain, but I don’t want that meddling little turd Xavi to win anything.


There are various reports, with sources unknown, claiming that Joe Cole has agreed a 3yr deal with Arsenal. However, The Mirror’s John Cross is fairly adamant that nothing has been signed yet and that Cole will wait until after the World Cup to finally sign for someone. I must say that I am getting used to the idea of him playing for us. My most vivid memory of him is from an FA Cup game (3rd round I think…or was it the 5th round…) against West Ham at Highbury that I went to with my brother and a friend and we were laughing how the size of Cole’s jersey made him look like a tubby midget. Anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not he decides to sign for us.


Elsewhere, Big Sol has been, not so subtly, more or less telling Wenger to get the finger out and sort out his contract or else he will be off. Hope we do sign him up for another year as it would be good to have an experienced head in the squad and someone that can actually teach our young players the art of defending.


The Sun is trying to make a big deal over the absence of Cesc from a picture that was embedded in a club membership renewal email. However, I wouldn’t go reading anything into that as Cesc is right there on the physical membership application form. Who knows why he isn’t in the email’s picture, but for me it isn’t an issue. The FA used Walcott to model the England squad’s World Cup suit and look how that worked out for him. So, whether or not Cesc is in the email’s picture is irrelevant.


Some seriously lazy journalism has turned a highly speculative ‘Barcelona have offered Chygrynskiy on loan as part of the Cesc offer’ into a ‘Arsenal are interested in Chygrynskiy’ story. That kind of laziness just makes me angry. There’s more chance of Theo playing in this year’s World Cup final than there is of that story being true.


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

Theo Wal-nott & Ramsey signs on.

June 2, 2010

Greetings from a warm and sunny Yokohama. A bit of news to get on with so I may get on with it.


The big news of the day yesterday was the exclusion of Theo Walcott from the England World Cup squad. It was a surprising move by Capello and I imagine that Theo must be absolutely gutted. However, given Theo’s form he shouldn’t be all that surprised. He still has a lot of developing to do. Unfortunately, he won’t get the benefit of three or four weeks of advice and coaching from David Beckham, which begs the question; if Walcott isn’t going to the tournament, what do they have Beckham there for? I had assumed that he was there to help Theo, but I guess Capello has different ideas on that. It was interesting to hear that, at the beginning of May, Baldini told Wenger that Theo was going to the World Cup. So, what happened between the start of May and yesterday? Did Theo manage to play his way out of things during their training camp? Martin Keown has said that he isn’t surprised that Walcott hass been left out because he is a bit of a one-trick pony.


On the plus side, it means that he can have a full summer of rest and have a proper pre-season with us and actually be fit and fresh come the start of the season in August. The ol’ cloud and silver lining and all that.


It was also announced yesterday that Aaron Ramsey has signed a new contract with the club. It’s great news and obviously means that there are no real long-term fears about his injury. I really hope that he can come back and develop into a key player for us. Who knows, we could be closer to having a starting eleven including Gibbs, Wilshere and Ramsey than you might think. Give it two or three years and I think that they will all be regular first team starters. Am I being a bit overly optimistic? Ah sod it, it’s summer, the time for optimism. Hopefully Theo can also develop and become a regular starter.


Ramsey had this to say about his time at the club so far:

“I’m very happy here. It’s a great Club and I’ve learned a lot so far since I’ve been here. I think there is still a lot more to be learned and I am happy here. Every player wants to play in a team where they can play football and I feel that this is the way it should be played, so that’s one of the reasons I signed a new contract.

I think he (Wenger) has helped me massively so far. I think I have still got areas I can improve on but generally I think I have improved as a player and I had just started to show that and started to play a bit more in games but unfortunately then the injury came.

Regarding his injury, he had this to say:

"It was very frustrating. But there was nothing I could do about it. The way I think about it is that it has happened now and there is nothing I can do about it so this is my challenge now, to get back. That is what I am concentrating on.”


Apart from that, there really isn’t a lot going on today, all is quiet on the Cesc front which, to be honest, is a bit of a relief. It’s nice to get some respite from the shitfest that is Barcelona tapping up our captain. Still not a single word from either UEFA or FIFA on it. Surprise, surprise.


The Daily Shite Mail is reporting that we are considering sending Francis Coquelin to Lorient on a season-long loan in order to push through a deal for their defender, Laurent Koscielny. Can’t say that I am all that bothered about this rumour as I know nothing about the player.


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

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.