Friday, 28 August 2009

Luck of the draw


Well, you’ve got to be happy with that, haven’t you!

We’ve been paired with Dutch Champions AZ, Greek Champions Olympiacos and Belgian Champions Standard Liege, with the Greek side the only one with any previous appearances in Europe’s premier competition.

It won’t be a total cakewalk, AZ play some good football and Standard ran Liverpool close in the qualifiers a few seasons back, while Greece is always a tough away trip. But when you look at some of the teams we could have faced then you’ve got to be quite content.

Official site has the fixtures here. AZ at home a day after the old man’s birthday and the night before mine, could be a good night that!

In other news Eduardo has actually been revealed as the cause of cancer, imagine that! Also every c**t in Scotland has called for UEFA to bad Eddy, which they’re now looking into. I can’t argue, it was a dive. But the next time Gerrard, Rooney, Lumpard, Drogba et al go down cheaper than a bad hooker can you see a member of the FA calling for UEFA to ban them? Can you f**k! It’ll be brushed under the carpet as it usually is or they’ll be labelled as ‘clever’ for winning their side a penalty (like Ashley Young last night for Villa apparently). So, I propose this, ban our players for diving, do this to the others. Although come to think of it, if the referee had seen it then it would be a yellow card, so why does it now warrant a bad equal to the length of a straight red?

News ahead of United away, Cesc has a fitness test on his hamstring today, as does Ramsey on his knee, while Rosicky won’t feature. I’m predicting a score draw and Owen’s knees exploding, that’d be sweet.

Have a good weekend.


Thursday, 27 August 2009

Battle of Britain???

“A battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, wherein each group will seek to defeat the others within the scope of a military campaign, and are well defined in duration, area and force commitment.”

That there my pedigree chums is wikipedia’s definition of a battle. It involves two sides going hammer and tongs at eachother. The tie against Celtic only saw one side compete, the other was pretty damn poor and only had 2 shots in 180 minutes of football (although they did score with the second.)

Match reports here and here.

Most of the press today isn’t about how we cruised our way past a side that has given AC Milan, United and Barcelona troubles in the past. Oh no, Eduardo took a dive and now he’s more of a c**t than Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi!

Now I don’t condone diving, it’s s**t. But it’s happened to us many a time in the past and no-one has given a flying f**k. Remember when the granny shagger tripped over his own knuckles in front of the Stretford End to end our invincible run, and the media we’re practically giving him a knighthood! The gaffer also speaks of swings and roundabouts:

"We got a penalty two years ago in the quarter-final of the Champions League at Liverpool that made the difference when Ryan Babel dived,"

"Nobody ever apologised to us. It was a blatant dive and nobody spoke about it."

Reading through the Wenger diplomacy you get the message “f**k you”, and I like that! He went on to point out another fact from last night:

"I must still say that we were likely always to score the first goal because Eduardo had a great chance before the penalty. We always looked in control of the game."

Yep, this wasn’t an 88th minute dive to win the tie, this was a tie that we were in full control of and, lets be honest, we would have scored last night regardless. It wasn’t 5-1 on aggregate for no reason, something that Celtic manager Tony Mowbray pointed out too:

"Over the two legs, Arsenal had more quality and deserved to go through."

So yeah, diving is s**t and needs to be stamped down on, but lets have a bit of consistency when we do eh (and not hunt down Johnny Foreigner while pretending those that represent Iiiinnggguuuurrrrrrrrrlund are whiter than white.)

Massimo Donati, who scored with a good strike at the death last night, has called for Eduardo to be banned for two games. I call for Massimo Donati to f**k off and be used as a sex toy for a herd of Rhinos.

There’s the sound of nails being hit firmly on heads over at Arseblog today on Eduardoisadivingc**tsomustbepubliclyhung-gate.

Another standout issue last night was that of workrate. It was brilliant, and has been for all the games so far this season. But last night there were a few players that just ran ran and ran. And you know what, then they ran some more! It was awesome to watch, but one stood out more than the others

That’s right, stand up Emmanuel Eboue.

A workrate that would have made the Terminator break sweat was rewarded with a well taken goal at the end of a slick passing play, last night the guy was sublime and there’s a real danger that one of last season’s scapegoats will be a fan favourite this time around. Love it.

So, we’re in the draw for the group phases of the champions league, for the 12th year in a row, which should take place around 5pm tonight. More importantly, it frees up £30million for transfers. Lets see if Wenger gets the chequebook out and prepares for the injuries that we’ll no doubt get en masse.

‘Till tomorrow.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Credit when credit’s due

I won’t to a match report from Pompey, I hate writing them.

Then this happened

Then that happened

It’s Tuesday, you’ve all had several days to digest it from elsewhere! Scarves looked good though.

Photo0498 Photo0497

One thing I will write about is those cretins on Match of the Day. We stuff Everton 6-1 away, no mean feat. MOTD chalk this down to Everton being appalling and Lescott’s head being elsewhere. Ok they were pretty damn bad that night. Next up, Portsmouth at home and a comfortable 4-1 win. MOTD explain that Portsmouth “are a club in turmoil” and that’s why we scored four. Nothing to do with the new formation, Gallas’ quest to score with every single body part this season other than his feet, our revived work rate off the ball, goals coming from a variety of positions (except forwards, Eduardo aside) or some pretty smooth finishing, oh no! Our ten (yes, TEN) goals scored in two games have come simply because the opposition have been sh*t.

Wenger said we’re going to improve, can’t wait to see what these prize pillocks come out with when we do:

“Well you see Garry, it was obvious Bolton were going to concede 7 because of the interplanetary alignment at the moment, it’s causing Jaaskelainen all kinds of problems and he can’t find the correct position. Arsenal were actually quite average and certainly not as good as United, Chelsea or Liverpool.”

Pffft, c**thammers the lot of them. Would love to hear Alan Hanson’s take on Liverpool’s capitulation last night.

Celtic tomorrow, Cesc won’t play but might make United on Saturday (a game I can’t watch as I’m going to be in the Cotswolds getting hammered at a mansion, bittersweet is the phrase I think)

More tomorrow, maybe.

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Friday, 21 August 2009

Pompey home (yeah, I couldn’t think of a creative title either)

So, yeah, Pompey at home tomorrow.

I love the first home game of the season. The sun is always shining, it’s good to see the lads again (mostly) and the beer tastes better.

Pompey are a bit of a mess at the moment, their potential takeover hasn’t gone through yet and as a result they’re having to shed players left right and centre. They’ve lost both games so far this season and are yet to find the back of the net.

So, 1-1 then!

Team news for us, Eduardo should be back following his late groin injury before the Celtic match. Theo has gone a bit Rosicky on us with his back injury and should be back sometime before the end of days. I would expect Cesc to be rested as well following his tenderising at Celtic midweek.

Erm, that’s about it really. Enjoy your scarves tomorrow!


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Thursday, 20 August 2009

One foot in the groups & The Arsenalisation continues

Apologies for no blog yesterday, the gaffer was in and I was busy. Not that anyone reads this anyway!

So, a competent performance on Tuesday night saw us come away from Parkhead as the first team to win there since 1983 and with a 2-0 lead in the tie.

While the goals were lucky and we didn’t quite click offensively we looked confident and settled at the back, Thomas Vermaelen looking exceptional again. I seriously like this guy, looks like Vidic, jumps like Cahill and defends like Adams/Bould/Keown. He’s putting his good start down to another guy who has started the season well, William Gallas, who is probably playing his best football in 2 years at the moment (and has scored in each game so far this season!)

Celtic offered little, and while they had a decent shout for a penalty the only other threat of note was a shot from a corner in the first half which Almunia gathered despite seeing it late. The much-hyped atmosphere seemed to last all of 5 minutes as well as you could only hear the away fans who made an excellent din, a bit like the Grove really!

So, one foot in the group stages, but I think we’ll see more fight from Celtic in the second leg next week as they look to score first and revive the tie. This isn't over yet!

In other news the Arsenalisation of the Grove continues with the introduction of a big cannon in the seats of the Lower East.


Ok, it’s just the one, opposite the cameras for show and will probably be painfully visible once people start leaving in the 80th minute to “beat the rush” (tossers), but its a start. Love the way its facing the away fans too!

Rumours that Bendtner has signed a new contract, nothing to back this up yet.

Righto, Pompey at home on Saturday, thoughts on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Another generic Battle of Britain headline

Right, Celtic away tonight in the first leg of the CL qualifier, and the team news isn’t great.

Theo is out for sure while Cesc, Denilson and Sagna face fitness tests. To make this even worse Diaby is fit.

Ok, a little harsh, but to lose two of our best players at the weekend to be replaced by a man who has one foot and uses that to run around in circles before being injured for 2 weeks with a “niggling knee” isn’t fantastic news.

Celtic defender Danny Fox says that the home fans can roar them to victory.

The boss says’ we need to silence the crowd.

Granted, its going to be an intimidating atmosphere tonight. Parkhead on a European night is one of the greatest atmospheres in the world and they’ve got some awesome results there in recent years against United and Barcelona amongst others, but lets not forget what we did the last time we went on a European trip to a hostile ground where the home side had an impressive record.

None the less, this will be a tough task tonight, we’ll have a real battle on our hands and I don’t expect Celtic to give us any time on the ball and to fight for everything, as they should have learnt from Everton at the weekend that you’ve got to get in our faces or we can run riot, but I can’t see them playing any other way.


Monday, 17 August 2009


Ok, anyone who predicted that would happen is clearly mental!

I’m a bit pushed for time this morning so wont do a full review of the game as well all know what happened and have probably seen it. If you’ve not then allow me to point you to the Arsenalist who can enlighten you.

Thoughts from the game. It was a bit retro 2004 wasn’t, especially the 4th goal. The way we moved the ball upfield with quick passing and movement was superb and has been sorely missed the last few seasons. Was anyone else a bit scared by Bendtner’s effectiveness on the wing? I was. Other surprises were basically Song and Denilson. Song just won everything, Denilson wasn’t far behind him, plus some of his distribution was fantastic, a totally different player from last season. And as for that goal, wow!

I thought RvP and Arshavin were pretty quiet apart from setting up Cesc’s first and Eduardo’s goals respectively, however if they can have a quiet game and we still notch 6 goals that can only be a good thing! Plus we can add Theo, Nasri and Walcott and hopefully some potential signings to the mix over the next few weeks and months.

Vermaelen looks like a tower of power, granted one of those towers where the first two floors are underground, but a tower none the less. There was one moment, with Jo running at him, he literally just stopped and the ball arrived at his feet before he looked up and set Arshavin away on another attack down the wing. The guy has a top footballing mind to go with some obvious strong defensive capabilities. Oh, and he can also nail a header! Think this guy is going to be a fan favourite pretty damn quickly.

Ok, Everton were pretty poor, their biggest mistake being that they let us get the ball down and play rather than getting in amongst us, although you could probably argue not tracking Vermaelen and Gallas from the 2 free-kicks was also pretty big on the mistake scale too, but lets not take anything away (yeah, Alan Hanson, just get over Anfield ‘89 ok!) we did play exceptionally well.

However, it’s important to keep our feet on the ground, one swallow does not make a summer (although I’ve seen films that might disprove that!) Lets see if we can keep this going during the run at the end of the month and into September before we start talk of being legitimate contenders.

Anyway, closer on the horizon are Celtic tomorrow night at Parkhead, who will have no-doubt learnt a few things from watching us at the weekend. But more on that tomorrow.

Hoşça kalın (that’s goodbye in Turkish y’know!)

Friday, 14 August 2009

It begins…

Yes, after much waiting and the infinite joy of a summer of transfer speculation the season gets underway tomorrow…………………….and predictably we already have some injury problems! What, it wouldn’t be the same if we actually started a season with a full squad would it?

So, we have:

Walcott: Out (back)

Djourou: Out 1 month (knee)

Fabianski: Out (knee)

Nasri: Out 3 weeks+ (broken leg)

Rosicky: Out 2 weeks (Hamstring Rosicky)

But don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll be like new signings when they return!

So not ideal for Everton tomorrow, and leaving us pretty damn thin at CB for a month, that is assuming that we don’t make a move for Brede Hangeland, who has said he’s only focused on Fulham but would consider a bid in we made one (if that's not a come and get me I don't know what is!). Offensively there isn’t too much of a concern as we’ve got quite a few options up there.

So yeah, I’m guessing the lineup will probably be something like Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Fabregas Denilson, Arshavin, RvP and Bendtner (going for size rather than the pace of Eduardo). That way Wenger can switch between the mooted 4-3-3 he’s employing this season or the 4-5-1 that Wenger tends to employ in Europe. Everton have a few injury concerns themselves, as well as the giant, green, money-infested vulture of Manchester “The Project” City circling over Joleon Lescott as a bit of a distraction.

Anyway, fingers crossed we start the season with bang and get a win under our belts early doors.


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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Vieira, Hangeland, atmosphere, not long now…..

A few snippets of news about at the moment.

Looking like the Vieira story was all Wengerbluff as Sky Sports are currently believing that he’s going to stay at Inter, however I always question it when people “Understand from their sources.” Who are these sources? Are they real? Do they have tentacles with dildos on the end*? Who knows….

Brede Hangeland says he’s in no rush to leave Fulham. I’ll take that as a “come and get me” plea then!

REDaction are placing 57,000 red and white scarves in the ground for the Pompey game in a bid to improve atmosphere. I know its a bit fake and the idea of having scarves in August is a bit mental, but we at least its a start. Lots of people say “our atmosphere is sh*te” and it is, but when someone tries something that’s also branded as sh*te. This may not be the best idea, but at least its a start. They have also revealed designs to “Arsenalise” the exterior of the Grove with a series of images depicting former legends.

Arsenal Artwork

Personally I like it, and the retro-soviet style will make Arshavin feel at home, although I can understand it not being everyone’s cup of tea.

Speaking of tea……

*Apologies, Leanne is away so I have no morals……

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Friday, 7 August 2009

An afterthought

You lucky people you, 3 posts in one day!

Something my old man mentioned to me regarding a Wenger quote.

"Usually the transfer market only speeds up from August 26 up to midnight on August 31 – and especially in the last two hours."

9:30pm on August 26th is the time we’ll know if we’re in the group phases of the CL or not. It’s at that point we’ll know if we’ve got the ludicrous money from Europe’s top table, or if we’re £30mil down.

So you’ve got to ask, if we stumble against Celtic, is the money available for transfers and from the sale of Kolo, Greedybollocks and potentially Senderos going to fill that gap?

Food for thought.

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Anyone shocked? Course not……

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Rosicky, Vieira and the CL qualifying draw

Anyone remember when this used to be the qualifier, and has now been “Americanised” into the ‘Champions League Playoff!’ Pffffft.

Anywho, we find out who stands in our way of making the group stages of the CL at sometime after 11am today, once the tools at UEFA have finished poncing about with opening ceremonies and rimming eachother. We can face one of the following:


Athletico Madrid



FC Timisoara

Personally I’d prefer Anderlecht as they’re easier than Fiorentina, Athletico Madrid and Celtic and not an unknown quantity like Timisoara so we won’t underestimate them. However I expect we’ll get Celtic and probably f**k it up and wind up getting knocked out of the Europa League by Fulham. God I miss the times when we could be pretty much guarantee we’d get someone like the champions of the Isle of Wight and know we’d make the group stages! I’ve got a bad feeling about this, I can feels it me me’s loins, I tells ye!

In other news, Thomas Rosicky’s period of fitness has ended at the 3 weeks mark with a hamstring injury. Not a surprise considering Eduardo had a similar problem after a lengthy period out. The club think it’ll be 6 weeks until he’s fit again, we’ll see!

In transfer news, Wenger confirmed that he’s thinking of maybe bringing in one offensive and one defensive player, and that he’s keen on Fulham’s Brede Hangeland but the club haven’t been in contact. He also said any deal to bring Patrick Vieira back isn’t on the cards at the moment. It’s good to know that Wenger realises we’re a bit short of experience and quality at the back and I would welcome those two in with open arms frankly.

Anyway, a spot of breakfast and a meeting before the draw. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The hit of the whole fruit


Photo0490 Photo0491 Photo0480 Photo0482 Photo0487 Photo0489

Plenty to write about at the moment, which makes a pleasant change!

First off, Emirates Cup. The first game wasn’t really much to write home about. We looked comfortable but not overly threatening and it was only after Arshavin put us one up with 8 left on the clock that the game got exciting. However the entertainment did increase significantly at half time with the midget footballing genius that is Jack Wilshire, more on him later. Anyhoo, Athletico beat our offside trap with worrying ease to equalise just minutes later, before Arshavin scored from a ludicrous angle shortly after that to win us the game.

The next day was Rangers, who were dismantled with brutal ease, Wilshire finishing off a nice passing move inside 2 minutes, and Eduardo applying a good finish after 8 mins. Wilshire made it 3 towards the end with a nice left footed volley as we re-gained the Emirates Cup.

Since then it’s all been about the boy Wilshire, who got man of the match in both games yet somehow didn’t get player of the tournament (AA did, got to be a sponsor thing I guess). Responses have ranged from the red-tops calling for Jack the lad to be in the England squad for the next qualifiers, to Wenger saying that he wants to protect him and use his sparingly. Wenger obviously speaking more sense than the tabloids, as well as Wilshire played at the weekend, had they been competitive games there wouldn’t be a hope in hell the Rangers players would have given him as long on the ball as they did! Still, the future looks bright.

Arseblog and Gunnerblog announced that Senderos to Everton was a done deal, confirmed this morning, by the Swiss FA, that talks had begun but so far nothing from either club or the player, who incidentally is training at the members day even as I write this. In fact Sky Sports News are now reporting that Everton have confirmed talks are taking place with us for Senderos. The rumour elsewhere is that this will be part of a 3 way transfer (kinky) of Big Phil going to Everton, which will then see Lescott leaving them for Citeh who in turn will sell us Micah Richards. Probably all b****cks but I’d take Senderos out and Richards in!

Marouane Chamakh isn’t a happy bunny, saying that his current employers Bordeaux are blocking his dream move to Arsenal, this after Wenger saying he won’t improve on the alleged £6 million offer that has been rejected.

The Vieira thing has gone quiet, although he’s been dropped from the French national side after Domenech stated that he needs to play regularly. Le Boss has said he wants all his transfer business to be concluded by the time we play Valencia on Saturday

So, here’s hoping to a busy end of the week!