Barselona.

May 26, 2010

You what Barcelona are? A bunch of f*cking c*cks. Not content with getting Cesc to push for a move, they are more than happy to just sit back and not even bother their arse tabling an offer for the player that they profess to want so much. If I was Cesc I would be more than just a bit miffed to be treated so shabbily by his suitors that also happen to be his boyhood club. They are quite happy to sit back and watch his reputation get damaged with the Arsenal fans. I love Cesc and I really, really want him to stay at the club, but Barcelona are doing their damnedest to make sure that this will be a long, protracted, epic and dirty transfer saga. It seems like it’ll be a tantric divorce. How did we go from Tantric Cesc to a Tantric Divorce so quickly? Sting, take note, this is likely to push the boundaries of stamina.

 

As Gooners, we all accept that Cesc will leave us someday. That’s just a fact of life. He came to us as a 16yr old, we turned him into a man, we nurtured and honed him as a footballer. But, we always accepted that he would, one-day, go back to Barcelona.

 

I’ve been a proper Arsenal fan since I was around 13 or 14yrs old. I was recruited by my brother to redress the balance in our household to two Arsenal fans and two ManUre fans, my father having defected from Arsenal to ManUre about 15yrs beforehand. In my time as a fan, I have gotten just three player’s names on the back of my jerseys. The first was Pires, the second Bergkamp and the third was Cesc. I only get the players I really love on my shirt. I came close to getting Adams on my 1995 home shirt, but for one reason or another, that didn’t happen. I still wish I had done. Anyway, the point is that I love Cesc and I want him to stay and lead this team to silverware.

 

However, I am now having to finally make peace with the fact that we are about to lose our best player, the player that I love most in this current squad. Maybe it’s because he has been here since he was 16, maybe it’s because he is one of the greatest players in the world, maybe it’s a bit of both, but it is going to rip a hole in the heart of the side and also the hearts of the fans when he inevitably departs us, which unfortunately looks like being this summer. The fact that Cesc’s father has said that his son wants top leave seems to be one of the final nails being hammered home in the coffin of our beloved Catalan’s Arsenal career. The full transcript of his father’s radio interview can be seen here. Surely that interview could be used as evidence that tapping up has taken place? How do Barcelona think they can get away with telling him to ignore the clubs that can afford to pay more for him as that’d drive up the price?

 

If he does leave, our final memory of him will be finishing the game against Barcelona with a broken leg. That’s an astonishing feat, and memory, and shows how much he was willing to give for the team. Perhaps a part of him doesn’t want to bow out as Arsenal captain without having lifted a trophy? We can but hope.

 

The way that Barcelona are prepared to drag this whole saga out is really making me angry. They are more than willing to risk damaging Cesc’s relationship with the Arsenal faithful in order to back Arsenal into a corner in a bid to get their man at a lower price. Well, this really is the time for Arsenal to make a stand. Not just a stand for the good of the club, but also for the good of the game. Big clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid cannot be allowed to bully other teams around.

 

I’ve read reports in papers saying that Arsenal should let him go because we got him from Barcelona when he was 16yrs old and that, therefore, we should accept a smaller fee because we are now selling him back to that same club. The point that those reports fail to properly address is the fact that we paid the guts of £2m for him in compensation, so it isn’t exactly like we got him on the cheap as a 16yr old. The fact that he has matured and developed into the player he is now is irrelevant, the original deal to bring him to Arsenal shouldn’t be linked to this potential deal. Arsenal should receive the full market value for a player of his quality.

 

There is a paraphrased quote from Pires at the bottom of this article in Sport which, I think, says that it’ll be both complicated and difficult to convince Wenger to let Cesc go. I say ‘I think’ because I don’t speak Spanish so that is just my best guess. Super Rob is also quoted in the Daily Shite Mail as saying that he thinks Cesc will stay with us. Let’s hope he is right.

 

Elsewhere, the Mirror makes another very tenuous link between Mertesacker and Arsenal by using a quote in which he says he may be interested by a foreign club that has been playing in the Champions League for a number of years. That could be any decent club outside of Germany, so it is by no means a direct reference to Arsenal. But, the Arsenal link makes for better speculation than, say, Lyon. It’s a bit like me saying ‘I like beer, particularly beer that is regularly sold in bars’ and then someone saying that I have got a job in a brewery, or something. Maybe. But, you get what I am trying to say.

 

The Mirror also links us with another Spanish kid but, to be honest, I don’t want to see links to teenage footballers this summer. I want to see us sign proper men with experience and quality.

 

Some good news, Carlos Vela might be seeking pastures new after the World Cup. Hope he isn’t counting on teams signing him based on his actual  performances on the pitch, or we’ll be lumbered with him. I also have a feeling that his departure won’t be up to him, I reckon he could get the old ‘Spanish archer’ from Wenger.

 

Unsurprising news, but Fran Merida has officially been signed by Atletico Madrid on a 4yr contract and looks set to  be unveiled by them this coming Friday. Good luck, Fran. Hope it all works out for you. When you signed for us, your YouTube compilation video clips were very impressive.

 

UEFA’s new financial fair play rules are set to be introduced tomorrow and will take effect from the 2012-2013 season onwards, though they will be gradually introduced. Basically, clubs will have to live within their means with regard to wages and transfer spending. Spending on infrastructure can still be subsidized by by the owner in the form of equity investment, not a loan. I wish that they were coming into effect from next season as that would put Arsenal in a very strong position. However, we will soon see the likes of Chelsea and City looking to severely cut their costs in order to meet the new financial regulations, which is good news for Arsenal.

 

It’s a long post today thanks in no small measure to Kirin beer, as I wrote the first 700-800 words while drinking last night. Hope you have made it through and are still awake. If so, well done!

 

There is a comprehensive month-by-month season review over at Gunnerblog. It’s good, so check it out.

***UPDATE: The latest on the Cesc situation is that it is, apparently, all down to what Arsene wants to do and what he decides is best for both the club and Cesc. I guess we will just have to wait and see. The video of that interview is here.

Venting done. Take it easy.

Advertisements

The final Friday.

May 7, 2010

This is the final Friday of the season for The Arsenal and as of yet things have been a bit slow news-wise today. Things have also been a bit quiet on the official word front, in terms of a confirmation/denial of the Chamakh(alaka) Boom deal. But, I suppose no news is good news.

 

Since my last post, Spuds beat Man Shitty 1-0 thus securing a crack at the Champions League for them and putting a bit of pressure on us to get a result against Fulham this coming Sunday. Not that we didn’t want our team to go out and get a result against Fulham, regardless of the Spuds game, but to be in the situation where we need to get a result in order to absolutely guarantee automatic qualification for the Champions League just shows how poor we have been over the final month of the season.

 

It amazing how a few inept and lazy performances have done so much damage to our overall assessment of the team’s performances and progress over the season. There are still a lot of issues with this squad, the greatest of which being in defense, but the team is on the cusp of improving it’s league position this year and that isn’t something which should be overlooked. That said, I think the performances of the other teams around us have made us look a bit better than we actually were. Yes, we may finish third which would be an improvement, but in terms of overall quality I am not sure we have actually improved a great deal. Certainly with regard to injuries picked up, we have taken a step backwards this season, though not all of those could be legislated for.

 

This season has shown that players like Vela, Diaby, Silvestre and Eduardo are not up to the task of representing Arsenal. The jury is still out on Rosicky and I would like to see him get another season to see if he can regain some form when playing regularly with Cesc, Van Persie and Arshavin next season. I mean, who wouldn’t struggle for form when playing alongside mediocre players such as Denilson and Diaby, who can’t really be arsed giving their all.

 

Of the four others mentioned above, I would expect Silvestre and Eduardo to depart in the summer but I don’t see Wenger letting Denilson or Diaby go. I quite like Diaby, he is capable of putting in great performances. The only problem is that he is even more capable of being a lazy sod that puts in some woeful performances.

 

Team news ahead of the Fulham game is a bit thin on the ground at the minute as ATVO still hasn’t put up the manager’s weekly interview in full yet, though today’s press conference should shed some more light on that matter a bit later. However, it would appear that Clichy is the only one of the players absent from the Blackburn debacle that has a chance of returning. It’s frustrating to not have Song for such an important game and it’s also disappointing for the player himself to not get the chance to play in the final home game of the season after having his best season for us. It seems likely that Arshavin and Van Persie will start. Let’s hope that Arshavin puts in a decent performance, he’ll need to be phenomenal if he wants to trick Barca into buying him in the summer…

 

I share Arseblogger’s incredulity at those that would like to see Spuds finish ahead of us in the league. How f*cking stupid is that? How in the name of f*ck would that help our cause in any way? If we finish fourth and then go out in the qualifiers, then you could forget any chance of splashing the cash next year. So those people need to get real and get behind OUR team, not those crowd of tossers down the road. We need automatic qualification for the Champions League, end of story.

 

My brother is heading to the game this weekend, so I’ll be crossing my fingers that he doesn’t jinx us and that we can take advantage of what will almost certainly be a weakened Fulham team. They will rest some players and those that will play will not want to pick up an injury, though there will also be some that try and play their way into their manager’s plans ahead of the Europa League final next Wednesday.

 

Anyway, that’s about that for today. A whole lot of nothing really. I’ll have more news, views and hopefully some concrete team news tomorrow. Time for a bit of Arsecast action (on the iPhone, nothing sleazy), check it out if you don’t already. Also, check out the ‘It’s Up For Grabs’ podcast with Alan Davies, too. Both are quality.


A kick in the Flaps.

May 4, 2010

Well, what can you say about that? Lukarse did it again. I can forgive him for the first goal as I do think that he was fouled, though he could still have done better. But, for the second goal, well, he really was rubbish. There’s no excuse for him not being able to get to that ball. It proved, once again, that he isn’t good enough to play in a top four team.

 

I remember Jens Lehmann getting axed because he made two mistakes at the start of his final season at the club. Well, Lukarse has made mistakes in pretty much every game he has played in. It’s not good enough. It wouldn’t be acceptable in a school team so it certainly shouldn’t be acceptable at a club that likes to think of itself as being in the top ten of Europe’s elite.

 

Blackburn set out to test the keeper by lumping balls into the box and getting players around him to put pressure on him. That’s a totally understandable tactic to use given Lukarse’s propensity to crack under the slightest bit of pressure. So, I can’t blame Blackburn for doing that. All they did was target our obvious weakness at the back. People used to do the same to Lehmann to try and get him to lose his cool, but those incidents generally didn’t result in the mother or all rickets. Taxi for Lukarse, please.

 

To be fair to Lukarse, he did make some good saves prior to the first goal. The only problem was that the customary mistake was always going to come. With an outfield player you can generally afford a mistake or two, but when it’s the keeper making the mistakes, then those mistakes generally result in a goal. How many points have we thrown away this season because of goalkeeping errors?

 

What was utterly infuriating was the general lack of fight, ambition and ability displayed by the team. Too many players on show yesterday just aren’t up to scratch, I’m afraid. Diaby, yet again, was wholly forgettable. Vela, as someone said on Twitter, puts the ‘meh’ in Mexican. A lightweight not up to the strength and pace of the Premier League.

 

To be fair to Eboue, he started brightly and made some good runs. Van Persie got himself a rare headed goal, from a flick-on by Sagna (who went a bit Stevie Bould for a minute). Unfortunately that was to be about as good as it got. Oh, there was a great chance for Vela to score but he didn’t really get anything on the ball and it skittered wide.

 

Watching the game, which kicked off at 01:00 JST, on a stream in bed didn’t help my mood, especially in the second half when we were particularly poor. By the time Eduardo came on, it didn’t really make any difference, for two reasons; the first being that we created f*ck all in the second half so he was never going to get the ball and the second being that he hasn’t really looked like a serious goal threat since Taylor tried to take his leg home as a trophy.

 

Talking about Lukarse’s performance, Wenger said ‘…I think he had a good game.’ As much as I love you Arsene, I’m going to have to take issue with describing Lukarse’s performance as good. The keeper’s job is to make saves, instill confidence in his defense and keep the ball out. Making a few decent saves but then undoing all of that with a ricket doesn’t, in my book, count as having a good game.

 

To be beaten by Wigan and Blackburn due to defensive errors and a general lack of effort is infuriating. It shouldn’t matter that the league challenge is gone and the players lack motivation. There is still third place in the league to secure. What happened to pride as a source of motivation? Those players owe it to Wenger, who has backed them to the hilt through thick and thin, as much as they do to the fans to give their all in every game. To go out onto the pitch and not bother your arse putting in a shift, yet then expect a pay rise every year or two just isn’t on.

 

The last few games have highlighted the inadequacies in the squad and the players that, although talented, aren’t good enough or hardworking enough for a team playing at the sharp end of the Premier League. Losing seven away games in a season just isn’t good enough. I was at the game when we secured the unbeaten season. How far, far away this squad is from that level. You look at the size, ability and desire of the respective players and it is just night and day.

 

I have no idea what plans the manager has for summer restructuring and rebuilding, but I pray that he has a plan in place with definite targets to go for. I just hope that one of those targets is a keeper.

 

Right, I’m too annoyed to write any more today. That’ll have to do.


Back to pre-season blogging after a summer break.

July 15, 2009

It’s been a while since I have written a post and to be honest not a whole lot has happened Arsenal-wise if you consider that it has been a good six weeks or so since the last post.

 

We did sign one player, Vermaelen, and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the pace of the English game. One thing is for sure, he can only strengthen us in the centre of defence as his arrival should surely spell the end of Silvestre’s appearances in the starting eleven. Fingers crossed on that.

 

Signing him so early on in the window maybe gave us some slightly misplaced optimism that we’d do all of our business early doors. That would be in a perfect world and, as we all know, the transfer dealing of Arsenal don’t ever take place in a perfect world.

 

Speaking of transfers, it is looking more and more likely that Adebayor will be on the move to Man Shitty, who seem to be assembling a team of strikers. If we get the reported £25m for him then we should take it and laugh all the way to the bank with it. He is a player that has really only ever had one good season in his career. Last season he was woeful and to make things worse he was lazy. So, to get that amount of money for someone whose only track record is to eventually cause trouble is a great deal for Arsenal, should it go through. Ray Parlour has also given his backing to the sale of Adebayor.

 

**UPDATE: It now seems that Adebayor has passed his medical…sayonara. Good riddance.

 

Let’s hope that the manager reinvests the whole of whatever fee we receive back into the team and it would seem that Chamakh is the player that will replace Adebayor. Let’s hope that the remainder of whatever cash is available goes on a ball-winning midfield hard-ass. It would be crushing to go a second summer and not sign the holding midfielder that the whole world can see that we need. No need to worry too much yet, there are still about six and a half weeks to go until the close of the transfer window. So, we should be prepared to go right down to the wire in order to get the midfielder that we need.

 

This summer has seen the transfer market go completely crazy with regard to the transfer fees being paid and quoted. I mean, there is no way you can convince me that Ronaldo is worth £80m along with about £10m a year in salary. Crazy money, but that’s the world that Arsene has to cope with and try to come up with affordable targets that still improves our team.

 

Flamini, Diarra and Gilberto were never replaced and that must be the priority. I would be more than happy to see the entirety of the Adebayor fee dropped on that midfielder and no striker purchased. As it stands, we have Van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott and Arshavin that can play in the forward role. Albeit Arshavin and Van Persie play best just off the main striker. That leaves Bendtner, Walcott and Vela vying for the main striker role. Not all that bad, a bit young and inexperienced, but there is quality there and lots of room for growth and improvement. But, there are plenty of options there to go with a forward three. Not to mention that Rosicky, Nasri and Fabregas would be the creative force behind that attack. It’s not a bad position to be in at all.

 

Can’t really say too much about Melo or Chamakh as I don’t really know anything about them. Have never seen either kick a ball, so it’s hard to have any feelings about Melo’s will-he/won’t-he sign for Juventus saga. Chamakh seems very keen to come to us, but I seem to remember him saying a few months back that he had set his sights on a smaller premier league club like Spuds. So, again, it is hard to get too excited about him either.

 

Pre-season kicks-off at Barnet on the 18th and is being broadcast on ATVO. Kick-off is at 15:00, so that’s 23:00 JST. We can expect to see the squad for that game mostly consisting of youngsters, with a smattering of some more senior players.

 

It’s now July 15th and our first Premier League game away to Everton kicks-off on August 15th. Not long to go now! I have to say that despite the lack of anything happening in the world of Arsenal over the close season, the goings-on at Real have made the time pass that bit faster.

 

Finally, my thoughts are with John Hartson and his family at this time. Let’s hope that he can make a full recovery.

 

Right, that’ll do for the first post in an age. It’s low thirties here today and I’m sweating like a pig. So, some form of iced drink is called for.


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.


The biggest of challenges for the biggest of occasions.

May 5, 2009

Today is the day that we play what is undoubtedly or biggest games since the Champions League final in 2006. There is no real need to say what this means to the fans, the players and the staff. We all know how big this game is. This is the first truly huge night of football to be played at the Emirates.

 

It’s going to be an early start in order to watch this one live, another 03:45 kick-off, but luckily tomorrow is a national holiday, so all is good.

 

Early team news indicates that both Silvestre and Van Persie will be fit, so I expect us to start in a 4-4-2 formation with Van Persie playing in attack alongside Adebayor. Let’s hope that having Van Persie alongside him again will inspire the Togolese to get his finger out and actually try working for the team for a change.

 

That should leave us starting with Walcott and Nasri out wide and Song partnering Cesc in the middle. At the back, I expect that the boss will play Sagna, Toure, Silvestre and Gibbs, though I really hope that Djourou starts in place of Silvestre. Obviously, Almunia will be in goal.

 

It’s important that we start this game with a positive formation as we need to go at them, without taking undue risk, because we don’t have a defence good enough to absorb any kind of real sustained pressure without conceding. I think we all know that it will be ‘game over ball burst’ if ManUre get an all-important away goal tonight. With that in mind, the players will need to use their heads and not take any big risks.

 

The boss can use the memory of Anfield 1989 to give the players the belief that they can achieve a two goal win over ManUre. Though if the game finishes 1-0 to us and then goes to penalties I would fancy us to go through after our shoot-out exploits against Roma earlier in the competition.

 

I an excited, nervous and terrified all at the same time and i must admit it’s a great feeling. These are the games that we wait/hope to see our team involved in each year and they don’t come much bigger than a Champions League semi-final against the holders at your home ground.

 

Alex Fergusmoan himself admits that this game is the biggest one between our two teams:

“There’s no question this is the biggest game. The challenges and the clashes we’ve had with Arsenal in the past do not reach the proportion of Tuesday night.”

 

Cesc has, yet again, pledged his future to the club and it’s great to hear. However, I think that we all know that, in this day and age, players can quickly change their minds, but until that happens it is great to hear. We all know he will return back to Barcelona someday, but let’s hope that it won’t be for a good many years yet.

 

“How many times have I said this. My future belongs to Arsenal and I want to be at Arsenal. I see my future here. I do not have to tell anyone to be relaxed or more confident that I am staying. My name has been linked with other clubs for four years and I am still here. That should tell you something. If I had not come to Arsenal when I was 16, I would probably not be playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League or have had the opportunity to play in a Champions League final [against Barcelona in 2006. I am really grateful to what Arsenal have done for me. Now, it is up to me and all the Arsenal players who were brought here when they were young to achieve things for the club that believed in us and the fans who supported us. It is up to us to pay them back. For most of the players it could be the most important games of their career. We want to make history and we want to go through.”

 

He’s the club captain and I hope that he will lift many trophies for us before his time in England is done. It’s good to hear him talk about the players owing the club a lot for making them the players that they are.

 

The boss is bullish about our chances tonight and I truly hope he is right. It would be amazing if this team were to reach the final our Europe’s premier competition.

 

“I’m very confident the team will produce a magnificent performance. We play at home, where we have a strong record in the Champions League. For many people we are super-outsiders but I personally believe we will do it. If I had said in November that we will be in the semi-finals of the Champions League and FA Cup and go 21 games unbeaten — as we have in the Premier League — you’d have called an ambulance! I feel very proud of this team because they have been through difficult periods and shown great mental strength. And they have faced much more adversity than all the other teams I have had here. The progress this team has made since the start of the season has been remarkable.”

 

I wouldn’t only disagree with one part of his statement and that is that it hasn’t so much been a progression since the start of the season as one since November 22nd after we suffered that humiliating defeat by Man City. No Arsenal fan, not even the most ardent would ever have predicted that we would secure fourth spot in the league with three games remaining but also reach the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League as well as having a decent Carling Cup run. So kudos must be given to all involved in the club for keeping their heads and turning things around.

 

To think that we have achieved this despite multiple long-term injuries and a shortage of quality players in defensive areas makes it all the more remarkable. Of course, we still need to improve and tweak the squad in the summer, but we should all be happy that this team has salvaged some pride and respect from a season that looked doomed to abject failure just six months ago.

 

The boss also tries admirably to defend Adebayor but to be honest it doesn’t really wash with me and it is clear to all that he needs to return to the kind of form that he showed for us last season.

 

“I can understand the criticism Adebayor got at United. But I watched carefully that game again and he put a lot more effort in, more than people think — and he was really isolated. We didn’t give him enough support on the night. He works hard in training, he’s focused and he wants to do well.”

 

Congratulations must go to the Arsenal ladies who defeated Sunderland ladies 2-1 to bring home yet another FA Cup for Vic Akers and the ladies. That’s thirty one trophies in twenty two years for Akers and the ladies. What a record!

 

In other news, Marc Overmars broke his leg in the last minute of a game at the weekend. Let’s hope that he makes a speedy and full recovery.

 

So, that’s about that. There are now twelve hours until kick-off and I will be looking into adjusting the angle of my TV so that I can watch the game from the comfort of the throne should things be going down to the wire. I have my lucky Cesc jersey sitting waiting to be worn. I would have it on right now, but i don’t want any of it’s lucky charms to wear off before kick-off.

 

One thing we must all remember is that if we progress tonight, we still have a lot of work to do before winning anything. Likewise, should we lose, we must strive to keep our heads and not lose the plot calling for the manager’s head. To achieve what we have this season and to have progressed so much since the end of November should constitute quite a successful season, all things considered. Twenty one games unbeaten in the league is quite an achievement and has been done largely unnoticed by the mass media, just the way I like it.

 

The performances of Cesc, Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie and Adebayor will be absolutely vital for our chances tonight. Let’s hope we get big performances from all.

 

Okay, time to go and stock up on toilet paper, snacks and ginger ale. No beer for me tonight. I want to remain focussed and able to aim my rage and hatred in a more controlled way at Ronaldo and co.

 

‘til tomorrow. Let’s hope we get the performance that we all crave tonight. I would love a 3-1 to the Arsenal with our third goal coming in the 5th minute of injury time due to a deflection off Ronaldo. That would be sweet. But, any victory that would put us through will do.

 

Come on you REEEEEEEEEEEDS!!!!!!!!!


We were very lucky.

April 30, 2009

This is going to be an uber-short post as I have just returned home after working for fourteen hours and am knackered.

 

One thing I have to say is, 03:45 is no time to be getting up to watch a football game on a work-night. Second, it’s infuriating when you roll out of bed at said hour to watch that fucking performance that we put on last night. I won’t go into it in any detail as it will just make me angry all over again, but Arseblogger has done a good job of summing it up, so please check his post out.

 

There were one or two good performances last night, notably from Almunia who singlehandedly kept us in the tie. Gibbs did well considering that that big lazy cunt Diaby gave him no help at all. What Arsene sees in him is beyond me. Yes, he has a lot of skill but if he isn’t prepared to work his arse off and get stuck in, then he is absolutely no addition to this squad, let alone the starting eleven. It may as well have been me out there last night for all the use Diaby was. To describe his performance as useless, lazy and abject is being kind. The same goes for Adebayor and I hope that Diaby doesn’t start the second leg, because if he does and he plays like that again it is bye bye to any chance of silverware this year.

 

I’ve voiced my disgust for Adebayor’s laziness on previous posts and so I won’t go into it again. Suffice to say, I really hope Milan come in for him in the summer. For every decent game he has had this season, he has had fifteen woeful ones. That’s Michael Owen kind of statistics, enough said.

 

Somehow we came off the field at only 1-0, so on the face of things it was a great result, considering the ‘performance’.

 

The thing that worries me is that the players not only believe Wenger’s words about them deserving to win something, but that the feel they have a divine right to silverware without the need to work for it. Well, last night should have showed them that that isn’t the case…..if the games against hull, Stoke and man City haven’t already gotten that message across.

 

Bottom line, we were woeful and that kind of performance isn’t acceptable. The whole fucking team should be dropped, if possible, for the weekend league game so that they have no fucking excuses at all for not putting a great performance in at the Emirates next Tuesday.

 

Right, that’s it. Am knackered and there’s no point in talking much more about what we are all already thinking and feeling about last night.

 

Luckily, it’s all to play for next week. Thankfully. Have a good one, we can take solace in just being one goal down.