Friday, 27 February 2009

Fffffffriday, and Fulham tomorrow

Friday! Is there a better day? Well, yes, Saturday, but only when there’s football, otherwise Friday’s your man.

Straight into it, injury news for tomorrow. After a decent performance midweek Abou Diaby is, unsurprisingly, injured after straining his calf, however the Mighty Atom Andrey Arshavin will feature. And more importantly will have another week of fitness under his belt.

How this will affect Wenger’s team selection I don’t know. Ideally I’d like Eboue to start on the right and give him the chance to follow up his, erm, well, not great performance midweek, lets day not shit performance, play Denilson in the defensive midfield role with Arshavin the more attacking, with Nasri in his usual spot. I’m saying this because I’m now at the point where I’d rather anything, ANYTHING than seeing that f**ker Song in midfield. Nothing against the guy personally, but he’s just not good enough. And tomorrow is a game where we need to come out of the traps and get right at them, like we did with Roma midweek, Song isn’t they type of player that allows us to do that, he’s like driving with the handbrake on.

Fulham are shite away from home but have an awesome defensive record this season, whereas we haven’t scored in 3 PL matches. It’s a game that’s screaming draw, and not in a cool Clint Eastwood kind of way, in more of a painful, mind numbing rather eat your toes than watch kind of way. But we can’t let that happen! Surely, SURELY after midweek we’ve learnt that we’ve got to go at this lot straight from the off, especially with Villa playing Stoke which you’d expect them to get 3 points from.

I suspect we’ll know within the opening ten minutes tomorrow which Arsenal we’ll get….


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Thursday, 26 February 2009

Interim financial results released

Ok, you get a double post today, you lucky people you!

Arsenal’s interim financial results were released today, click here to see the full shabang from the official

I just want to analyse a few quotes from newbie Ivan Gazidis that Setanta have got their mitts on from Arsenal TV, just to see if they worry you as much as they do me.

“Arsene is very focused on building one of the best young teams in the world, and we’re in the middle of that process,” Gazidis told Arsenal TV Online. “This is a team that is developing game by game, and month by month.”

Ok, fair point. We’re in the middle so we’re expecting and experiencing a bit of turbulence.

“When you look at the ages of the players that we’re putting out onto the field and the level of performance that these young players are producing, the next two or three years look very bright indeed.”

Ok, again, it’s a fair point that the current group of players, if kept together, will improve together and in theory create a good, dynamic and tight team.

“We will not, and Arsene will not, make purchases just to make a splash in the newspapers. We’ll only buy and sign players that we think add something that we don’t currently have. If Arsene believes there are players out there that can help the squad, the board has always been behind him in that. But don’t forget that we believe in the young players we already have.”

Nothing new here. But this is where the sh*t gets scary (I’ve skipped a few para’s out here as the rest was a bit same old same old.)

“If (hypothetically) we were to miss out on the Champions League next year obviously that would have a negative impact on our finances. But the impact is not dramatic so while we’d rather be in the Champions League for a wide variety of reasons, if we were to miss out we’d be very solidly positioned to be able to invest prudently and come back the following year.”

Ok, as you know, I’m thinking that unless we win the European Cup (we can dream) we’re not going to be dining at the top table next season. So basically, what Ivan is saying is, if my prediction is correct and we finish outside the top 4, we’re not going to be active in the summer transfer window. Unless of course any transfers are funded by players being sold on first, so either clearing out the dead wood (Eboue, Adebayor Song) or asset stripping (Cesc, RVP, Theo).

Can we get £15mil for Eboue, or am I reading this wrong?


This gave me a giggle today….


You might get a proper update tomorrow, if you’re lucky!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

One Nil to the Arsenal



Been a long time since that has rung out at Highbury/the Grove, but a Robin Van Persie penalty midway through the first half was enough as we beat Roma.

I could do a full write-up of the game, but a) I wouldn’t do it justice and b) I can’t be arsed. Arseblog has done a good job of it as always, and there’s always the official site and BBC reviews.

Looking back, Wenger has stated that his primary regret on last night was that we were “wasteful”.

"That is the regret we have tonight, I'm happy with our performance but there was room to score more goals - we know we can create chances."

He’s bang on. Last night gave us a great opportunity to put the tie to bed and take the pressure off for the second leg. Glaring misses from Bendtner (who has the first touch of a mule) and Eboue (who frankly just shat himself when he realised where he was on the pitch) could have put us with a little more than a foot in the last eight. However, these are pretty much the only negatives from the night, aside from Alex Song who is in absolutely no way good enough for this club, can’t pass 4 yards and in a game where we actually finally started fizzing the ball around the park proved himself mentally and physically unable to keep up.

But, like I said, we actually finally started fizzing the ball around the park. There was pace, movement and attacking intent straight from the off. Its almost as if Wenger had read this blog! Na, course he doesn’t. In fact I only know of 2 people that do, and they’re family so that doesn’t really count I guess….

And even Eboue, yes, the f**king lovechild of Wenger, had a decent game last night. Granted some of his passing was a little erratic and there was a tiny bit of his usual playacting that we know and love, but he drove forward well and added width to our play, something that had been missing recently (amongst other things), and his work rate couldn’t be faulted. Has the penny dropped?

So, the lead isn’t as big as it should have been, but it’s a lead and more vitally a clean sheet. Nick a goal out there and they need 3, it can be done but it won’t be easy, ask the Mancs and Chav$ki!

Fulham at the weekend, but as it’s Wednesday I’ll deal with that nearer the time. Work calls…..

¡Roca en, hombres!

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Roma & The Beast returns


I love the big European nights. Sitting at work all day, thinking of nothing else. Hitting the pub early before getting the train up to town. There’s a buzz all around Arsenal and its great to be part of.

Tonight is no exception, I can already taste that first beer and I’m practically bouncing at my desk to get going. Trouble is, I keep thinking this may be the last time I get this for a while….

Tonight sees Roma come to town, with 2 familiar faces amongst their ranks. Riise, who I have always rated, and the very familiar Julio Baptista, who for those who have blanked out his time here in their heads, was a bit of a donkey in the red and white.

So sods law says he’ll notch one tonight!

From an Arsenal perspective Diaby is our only returnee, while the diminutive Arshavin is cup-tied. So you’re really got to be expecting our usual 4-5-1 with Bendtner playing alone up front and RVP playing in the hole behind him. I’m hoping Vela gets a start on the wing instead of the Love Child, but I’m expecting it to be the other way around.

Fingers crossed all goes well, enjoy tonight and lets make some f**king noise, we may not get another chance for a while!


Monday, 23 February 2009

Arsene Knows?


I won’t go into Saturday as an actual report, primarily as I wasn’t there but also as it’s too depressing. But if the official site’s report isn’t as rose-tinted as usual then things must really be up! The man from East Lower gives a good write-up too

On the plus side, Arshavin started brightly, the boy looks class and will light up the league, but as his fitness faded as did our hopes of getting 3 points.

I caught the game on MOTD later Saturday night, I’d already spoken to my cousin and my old man who had already informed me it was, in unreserved terms “shite”. From the 4 minutes of highlights we actually looked creative, pressed forward well and created chances, forcing a few decent saves from Fullop.

Then I sat there and thought about it. 4 minutes of highlights from about 93 minutes of football. That’s pretty poor. The second half on MOTD started with a box saying that Arshavin had been replaced by Vela. That switch took place on 63 minutes. So what the hell happened in the minutes between 45 and 63? In fact, that highlight could have been the 67th minute for all we know. However I have a pretty good idea as to what happened, and it probably bears some relation to a crab. Sideways, sideways, sideways!


Arsenal's attacking play at the moment...

There’s the problem. I previous years we’ve started the game and really gone for the opposition lots of movement, overlapping runs and lashings of trying to get the early goal. Nowdays we rarely get this until the last 5 minutes when we realise that passing the ball sideways against the massed ranks of opposing defenders isn’t going to work. Why does this happen? Well, put bluntly, the players in the middle of the park at the moment aren’t good enough. Denilson is a squad player at best (at the moment) while Song just isn’t “Arsenal quality”, and don’t even get me started on Eb**e! However even the worst player in the world can understand the basics of attacking and ca

n be motivated. So Mr Wenger, here’s where I look at you. Jumping up and down in the last 5 mins and complaining about timewasting after giving moody gallic looks in the previous 85 minutes isn’t enough. This lot need motivation, be on your feet in the first 5 mins, prowl the touchline and let them no that this current malaise cannot continue. If we have got to watch sub-standard players, lets at least get them trying.

As for qualifying for the Champions League, well, lets just say that I’m preparing to have Tuesday and Wednesday evenings free next season.

Roma up next in what I’m expecting to be our last Champions League game at the Grove for a while, so I’m planning to get drunk and enjoy it while I can!

¡Roca en, hombres!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Arsenal 0 - 0 Sunderland - Thats all folks?

I didn't go today due to financial reasons, I'll do a full write up on Monday (when I can get paid to do it!), however from what I heard it's probably a good thing I sat this one out as another mediocre (at best) performance potentially sees our hopes of Champions League football next season go up the swanny, although I'm now worried I'm repressing a lot of rage.....

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Commit to get fit………or die trying!


The one thing that I really regret during my hockey career to date is that my lack of fitness/speed/whatever has probably held me back from achieving more.

Some games I’m ok, stamina isn’t an issue and I can quite happily last a full game no problems. But some games, especially recently against Portsmouth, I’ve just had no energy from pretty much the moment I kit up. And I only get a kick up the arse early in the second period. I do wonder how many goals/assists/games won I’d have if I were fitter.

Part of it is probably diet. Mid morning games I tend to eat pretty light so go into matches on an empty stomach. Most of it is probably drink, which I did cut out at the beginning of the year and haven’t really gone heavily on since I got back off the wagon.

So for the last 2 weeks, Leanne and I have been hitting the gym and the pool on multiple occasions to lose weight and get fitter, although probably not on the same immense scale as Janne, who for some reason has started to quote Coldplay in his blog.

Will it have any effect, well, next game is on March 8th vs Southern Jets (our last game for 2 months!!!), I guess we’ll see then…..

Rock on!

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Like he’d never been away…


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51 days after THAT horror injury that had, at one point, threatened to end his career, Eduardo returned to the Arsenal first team and marked that return with a brace in a 4-0 win over Cardiff City.

My current financial situation meant I had to choose between going to either Cardiff, Sunderland or Roma, so I had to suffer the gems of wisdom that dropped out of Craig Burley's mouth while watching this on Setanta.

Arsenal were dominant from start to finish, to be honest I was kinda surprised by Cardiff but apparently the weather has caused them to not have a game in 13 days, not sure how true that is but would explain a lot. Anyway, some nice play between Vela and Eduardo see the former put an inch-perfect cross onto the head of the latter, and with plenty of space dispatch it past a helpless Tom Heaton.

The second came from another cross, Bendtner with a good header downwards, before Eddy got his second from the spot after a clumsy bit of defending and promptly celebrated with the medical team that worked so hard over the past year to get him back playing. RVP wrapped the night up with a 4th off his chocolate leg from a good through ball by Bendtner, and booking a home tie in the 5th round vs Burnley.

Cheers to Arsenalist for the footage.

So anyway, the night was really about Eduardo, but not totally. Personally, while Eddy’s return brought back pace, movement and creative flair up front that has been so so lacking over the last few months (take note Adebayor and Diaby), his interaction with another player who for some reason has been criminally overlooked in favour of Wenger’s love child Eboue, Carlos Vela, was the key to last night’s victory.

In more recent games Ade has dropped deeper and deeper to collect the ball, thinking he’s Ronaldinho or something. It doesn’t work and kills attacks. However last night with Eduardo doing this and Vela, playing left wing, providing the overlap and feeding Eduardo enabled us to return to the quick, freeflowing brand of attacking football we’re famous for. I mean for Christ's sake, it was timed at 14 seconds from Gallas winning/fouling at the back to Eddy planting the ball in the back of the net. We’ve not done that since the Invincibles!

Saying that we’ll probably see the return of Eboue on Saturday to fuck things up like the epic cunthammer that he is, god I hope not!

Anyway, lets bask in the glory that is Eduardo…..

Oh, and I finally cracked the 12k on my powerball, shoop da woop!


Rock on!

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Friday, 13 February 2009




Yeah, that’s me scoring at the weekend! Possibly the first time it’s been caught on camera. Kudos to Mr Stick for the pics, there’s more here, lots more infact!

I still can’t crack the 12k on my powerball, and I’ve found I can’t get close after my initial run, pretty pathetic really.

No Arsenal or hockey this weekend, so I’m off to the dogs tonight in Wim-ble-don with Lea, Scott and Carrie, fingers crossed I’m better than at the gee gees.

Ah, it’s Friday the 13th, fuck that then!

I put a Twitter update thing on here as I continue to get obsessed with social networking tools, so check that out for some schizzle, it’s top left of this page.

Oh, and the state of Florida sucks…..

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Goalrush and the two Emmanuels

Morning all

Obviously I’m not referring to Sundays 0-0 in the North London Derby here, I’ll get onto that in a bit. Instead I’m talking about my 2 hockey matches that prevented me from watching the football, which thankfully we won (my god I’d have been annoyed if we’d lost and I’d missed the football for it!!!)

Our first game against University of Portsmouth was a potential bananaskin, while not the most skilled of sides they were organised and tenacious, something that usually makes us come acropper, so we were pretty happy with a 9-0 win! On a personal note my night of many beers with Leanne’s aunt, uncle and brother meant that the first half was a write off for me while I tried to muster some energy, in fact I benched myself for a few shifts (the power of assistant coach!) as I was just coasting most shifts. However once I got into the game I got a brace, controlling one with my feet before sliding it under the keeper and the other a one-timer from the top of the crease. However the first period confirmed what I already knew, I really need to limit myself to a few beers the night before a game as I don’t do myself or my team mates justice.

Second game was a demolition job from beginning to end as we game the Bristol Falcons a 15-0 thrashing, helped by the fact their keeper had never skated before in his life, let alone played in goal! Their team was mostly ice players so were pretty good, but we worked hard defensively to shut them down and Sam recorded her second shut out of the day while I bagged a hat-trick, the first a slapshot from right wing, the second a snapper from the left and the third a onetimer from high slot, so smiles all round and a 5 goal weekend for me!

So, onto the football, and looking at the result, given the fact that we were down to ten men for just under an hour I guess its a good battling point, however in the long term and with eyes on the top four we really needed a win. However, after a bright start where we had a goal disallowed (it was one of those where if you score it its a harsh decision but if you’re the one on the receiving end you’d feel aggrieved if the goal was given) our chances were significantly limited by 2 events:

1: Emmanuel Adebayor pulls up with a hamstring injury and it stretchered off. Now, he’s not having the greatest of seasons but Ade has a wonderful knack of scoring against the scum. He was replaced by Bendtner (Eduardo, on the bench for the first time in a year wasn’t seen as ready by Wenger I guess)

2: Emmanuel Eboue stupidly gets himself sent off after picking up his second yellow of the match. His first was for dissent after being told by the referee THREE TIMES to walk away, and the second was for kicking out at Luca Modric after being fouled. For all the good he did in the opening stanza, and he did actually play well, all be it a bit headless at times, it was typically undone by the side of Eboue that Arsenal fans know and loathe. Even his faked apology to Modric was pathetically overacted. Arsene, your lovechild has to go!! As a footballer he is crap and offers little more than as cover to Sagna, who is practically indestructible, and the way he conducts himself is a disgrace and frankly embarrassing!

Eboue went and realistically so did our hopes of 3 points. The team defended well however Spuds never really came at us, Gallas and Sagna both performing well in defence and Almunia making vital saves when required. Both sides had chances to nick it at the death, Song shot wide from close in as did Bendtner while Modric was denied by Almunia and the game finished 0-0, a result that doesn’t really help either side.

Next up is Cardiff on the 16th in the cup replay, team news is obviously the 2 Emmanuels are missing through injury and suspension, while Arshavin is ineligible as he wasn’t registered for the original game at Ninian Park. Diaby may return, Eduardo should feature providing he doesn’t get injured on international duty tomorrow night while Rosicky, who is now kicking a ball again, and Walcott are probably around 6 and 3 weeks away respectively.

I should probably do some work.

Oh, one more thing. How the hell did the Leafs beat the Habs 5-2? Luke Schenn, that's how!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Its Friday! I need sleep and the NLD....

The end of an odd work week here, everyone's talking about snow and have been working from home lots. I've had another 4 day week, which is always a good thing and apparently Bisley is open again which means my games this weekend will be on.

For some reason I've been going to bed at about midnight all week this week, so I'm shattered and can't wait for a lie in tomorrow morning before a trip to Leanne's aunt and uncle's, which will no doubt involve some good food, good beer and copious amounts of tequila and wine. That's how you prepare the night before a match kids!

Speaking of her uncle, we're playing his lot Sunday (see, a seemless link between paragraphs!) at the shitehole. Sadly as I'll be on the rink I wont be able to watch, so will not know the score until I'm done vs Portsmouth. Its kind of a good thing really, as if we win I get to look forward to watching the game on MOTD, and if we lose (please, I know its been 10 years since they last did us in the league and they've got to win eventually, but lets keep it going for a while longer) I can just shut it out and take out my frustrations on one of the Bristol guys in my later game and avoid any forms of the media!
They're having a really crap season (and we thought we were having a bad one!) but I just fear that they'll up it for this, especially with the Pikey making his 2nd home debut for them. The wind will be in their sails and he'll have a point to prove. But then again we're 8 or 9 games unbeaten now, RVP is on his career best form so far while Adebayor, despite playing bollocks so far this season, has something like 8 goals in his last 9 games vs the Scum. I'm thinking that a draw is probably the most likely outcome.

Got to mention the Leafs at the moment, urgh! If you call up Pogge from the Marlies wouldn't it be nice to actually give the guy a bit of protection? In football it happened with Richard Wright, went from Ispwich to play for Arsenal and England and it just broke the guy. So, please, just if you're going to call him up just make sure he's not totally hung out to dry by his team mates again before it ruins him!
Not looking forward to the Habs game on Saturday, unless we just beat them up rather than beat them again, that may be enjoyable. I just can't subscribe to the Tank Nation way of thinking, just seems wrong to will my team to suck immeasurably.
Sadly being stuck the wrong side of the pond I never get to watch games live so only manage to feed on online highlight packages, but we all knew that this year would be a rebuild season, but was it meant to be this bad??

Have a good weekend, come on you Reds, Leafs and Arrows!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Hockey is cancelled and I've eaten a load of carbs.....

The weather has managed to kill training tonight, and I've already had my usual carbtastic Wednesday lunch.

However I have a backup plan! Aha! A trip to the local pool and going for longer than our usual session and work on my front crawl should give me a good work out. Trouble was I was really looking forward to Hockey, Ginge and I had a good session planned out, starting out with basics and progressing onto breakouts, passing and movement and set plays through transitional moves ahead of our 2 games this weekend vs University of Portsmouth and the Bristol Barracudas.

Acutally, if the ice remains they could be cancelled and I could watch us play the scum! That'd be a bonus!

So yeah, the pool calls tonight!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The longest transfer in the history of football is finally over!

As usual the fee is undisclosed but rumoured to be near the £15 million mark and the contract a 3 1/2 year one taking him up until he's 30, which is believable knowing Wenger's policy on the over 30's, a bit like Logan's Run!

Arshavin had previously claimed on his personal website to be wearing the number 23 which is indeed true, seems an odd number for an attacking player, but then again this wasn't a normal transfer!

It's on, it's off, It's on, it's off, It's on, it's off, and a shit load of snow!


Back at work today after about 8' of snow kept us indoors yesterday, apart from a swift excursion outside to get bacon and mock those trying to destroy their cars getting to work! Apologies for the formatting on this post being a bit sketchy, not sure whats going on with this.

Since my last blog I've been on a legends tour with Eddie Kelly, gotten pissed, very pissed, then got pissed again. In between all that was Arsenal vs West Ham, which I should probably mention.

Now I've mentioned that lets never speak of it again, other than to shake our heads and utter "fucking shite". I did however get to stay in my uncle's flat at Highbury, which is pretty fecking swish as you can see from the pics above (I'll have to work on the formatting of that!!)

So, Arshavin, The Owl. Well, he flew in by private jet on Sunday night and since then we've had:

8am - Deal is on
10am - Deal is off: We can't afford him
2pm - Deal is on again, we checked behind the sofa
3:30pm - We've agreed a fee and personal terms
4pm - He's passed a medical

Then silence, not a sausage, until at 5:50pm a Zenit spokesman comes out and says the deal is off again, then countered by Wenger at 6:45pm saying its all agreed in principle and we'll confirm it later tonight.

Later tonight has now passed, in fact I'm pretty certain it's mid morning, otherwise I really shouldn't be in the office, and the most potracted transfew in the history of transfers still isn't resolved. Apparently the only thing preventing it being completed is that Premier League staff who register players were snowed in and only one member of staff was available and had a few other last minute players to register. Obviously as the deal was done at the death Arshavin would have been at the bottom of the pile.
Personally I think it's a good move on our part. After previous games without Walcott, Cesc and Rosicky (although thats a years worth of games for him!) we've been seriosuly lacking in creativity, which came to a head on Saturday (fucking shite) and our inability to break down the most defensive and non-attacking side I've ever seen. Anything that will take some pressure off Nasri, who isn't consistent enough to provide that spark, and prevent us from relying on Eboue (as if Wenger would actually start Vela!) has got to be a winner in my book.

So, fingers crossed its a done deal and we'll hear at some point today some official news!

Rock on!