Thursday, 29 July 2010

The home grown turd burger

For those of you who don't understand the FA's latest and most ridiculous new rule, there is an excellent summary of the 'home grown' rule here courtesy of 7AM Kickoff. It is quite clear that this rule will do nothing to help develop English talent, it is more like a massive prolapsed haemorrhoid, it is a royal pain in the arse.

Whatever the ins and outs of it, our squad is under no pressure at all as a result of the new rule, there is plenty of space to sign several foreign players over the age of 21. I had a quick peek at Tottenham's squad and I can't see it being too much of a trouble to them, they have around twenty over 21s. Chelsea need to watch themselves, they have 18 foreign over-21s by my counting. Man City have about 25 over 21s and 16 of these are foreign, they are sailing close to the wind. Man United have 26 over 21s and 17 of these are foreign.

I could go on but the point is that despite the woeful rambling of the uneducated anti-Arsenal press, we are in a very strong position squad-wise for the new rule. That's all for now, other than have a look at these quotes from fat Sam and have a chuckle, what an immense hypocrite the fat walrus is.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A centre back please

Another interesting if not mind-blowing pre-season friendly is out of the way. Emmanuel Frimpong and JET are certainly two players who have made a big impression thus far. Not many of us would have expected them to come into contention for first team places at this stage, but Frimpong's defensive skills in midfield and JET's combination of power and skill make them both very useful squad assets. Obviously Wilshere has also shown how much he has developed over the last twelve months, but for me Wilshere has already shown he can do it in the Premiership.

The centre back area is a big problem for us at the moment. Sol Campbell has signed on for Newcastle and good luck to him. That leaves us with the proven Vermaelen, the unproven Koscielny and the injury prone Djourou. Of note Djourou suffered another niggle last night, it doesn't seem too serious but it does remind us of this tendency of his. The fact that the promising Bartley is out with a clavicle fracture also shows up the weakness in our squad quite dramatically. Arsene must know this and I will be extremely shocked if we do not sign up a proven experienced centre back before the deadline passes. We need another centre back badly.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Another day, defensive problems grumble on

There's no doubt what our biggest failing was last season, it was our defence and our ability to leak cheap sloppy goals. Reading Arseblogger this morning, he is concerned that these problems have not been adequately remedied, I am not quite as worried but I do agree that further strengthening is needed. The spot between the sticks is a problem as the boss has clearly lost faith in Almunia, Fabianski is not good enough and that leaves two youngsters, one of whom is a great prospect, but that is not enough for a title challenge. I am not convinced by the move for Schwarzer, he has experience I know, but he does look slow and cumbersome with his aged joints.

I am also not sure why Gallas seems so rated now he has gone, personally I think he has been poor for over a year, never dominant in the air or physically. If Arsene has faith in Koscielny and has paid 10mill for him then he deserves a chance before being written off as too small, after all he an inch taller than Gallas and no one ever went on about his height! If Campbell signs on then we have a reasonable complement of centre backs. For me the balance in our squad in terms of defensive midfielders is not right and has not been for a while. The only midfielders we have who can defend are Song, Diaby, Eastmond and Frimpong; two of these are unproven youngsters. Meanwhile we have a whole host of attacking players in midfield. Personally I would have replaced Denilson with a player who could defend.

This nasty, stupid and vindictive piece of journalism from Leo Spall in the Mail attracted a hell of a lot of criticism and quite rightly so. Pete Gill has completely dismantled it very eloquently at F365. Not only is Spall's useless writing foolish but it is in such appallingly bad taste on this occassion, he really should be ashamed of producing such offensive dross. Eduardo should be remembered with respect. Elsewhere a valid perspective on how the deliberate fouling of certain sides never gets punished ands how this can have a massive impact on games, something I'm never shy to point out. The Online Gooner points out just how stupid the new 'home grown' quotas are, they will not help matters at all. If the FA wanted a better England side then they would do well to create a footballing environment in which the clogging sides would struggle as violence was not rewarded, they seem to avoid this though for some reason.

ps I have now lost count of the number of Barca players that have openly tried to unsettled Cesc by talking of his desire to leave Arsenal in the media, David 'rat goatee and diving master' Villa is the latest in this long line of scum. If Cesc really wanted to leave he would make this known himself and he would hand in a transfer request, he has not, so all these little c*nts should keep their whoring mouths shut, something they find extremely difficult by the sound of things.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

A personal farewell

"Before I start a new chapter in my career with Shakhtar Donetsk, I just wanted to send a message to all my friends at Arsenal.

"The past few days have been very emotional for me. Although I am excited about the challenge ahead with my new club Shakhtar Donetsk, I am so sad to be leaving my home for the past three years - Arsenal Football Club.

"Arsenal is a very special football club and I will miss so many people - my team mates, all the staff and of course, the wonderful Arsenal supporters.

"I would just like to thank everyone for your support during my time at Arsenal. When I first came to England, I could not speak the language and knew nobody, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel at home and part of this big family. Also, I want to say thank you to the Arsenal supporters - you have been fantastic to me and always sung my name and I will never forget this.

"I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me - the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.

"Although I have now left the Club, Arsenal will always be in my heart. I will always look for the Arsenal results and of course, I wish Arsène Wenger and the great players at the Club well for next season and the future."

Many thanks Dudu
, you were a dedicated and loyal servant to the club. We wish you all the best with your fresh start. There will always be that feeling of what might have been and that is what gives so many of us such great sadness in seeing you depart.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Farewell Dudu and onwards

Firstly to Eduardo who has left the club for a fee of around six million pounds, I wish him the best of luck for the future and am truly sad to see such a talented player leave. In truth he never recovered from that Martin Taylor leg breaker, I am sure part of it was mental but a significant part of it was physical as a result of the long term damage to his ankle. He has been but a shadow of his former self in recent months and hopefully he can build some confidence at his new home. If he hadn't been injured that day we may well have seen a very different story unfold, Arsenal could well have been league champions and Eduardo may well have been one of our key players in the last few years. We were robbed of a great player by that tackle and I am sure a lot of us will never forgive the media for their pathetic role in it all. Farewell Dudu.

Onto the footballing action and Sturm Graz were fairly convincingly beaten 3-0 tonight. I caught most of the game and was fairly impressed with what I saw. The stand out figures included Samir Nasri with a lovely free kick for his second goal and JET who had a very good second half with some decent dribbling. Overall thought it was just about the fitness, the sharp passing was there and no one let the side down, you really can't read too much into these games. Certainly some of the youngsters like Nordtveit, Gibbs, Frimpong, Wilshere, JET and Lansbury have matured nicely over the last year and are valuable members of the squad.

Finally a word for the mighty Barcelona, that football club that appears to have no morals and absolutely no shame at all. Amazingly Xavi's recent comments have surpassed earlier efforts from almost the entire Barca squad, incidentally have a look at this dive from Iniesta in the world cup final, without doubt one of the worst bits of cheating in the whole tournament. The 'Holic covered the way in which FIFA reported this on their website, what a bunch of corrupt cretins this governing body is, they really should be doing something about the systematic tapping up of players by clubs like Barca. Some people seem to think Barcelona have done nothing wrong, these people are morons, the systematic abuse of the rules and the rank lack of respect that they have shown to Arsenal Football Club puts them beneath contempt in so many ways. Shame on you Barcelona, no amount of success on the pitch can make up for the morally bankrupt way in which your shabby club behaves off it.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Pre-season underway, Cole and Dutch defended

So Barnet have been dispatched 4-0, the league title is ours! Well, maybe not, I always try to get very unexcited by pre-season results, they often bear no relation to how the team will perform when the real season commences. One thing that one can glean from the early fixtures is how Arsene is lining things up and who he sees in which roles for the coming year.

Interestingly Nordtveit was deployed at right back and the young Frimpong was given a first half run around in the centre of the park, one thing learnt is that in won't be a lack of physical power that stops the young centre midfielder from making the grade. It was also good to see Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou back fit. Pronunciation is set to be a huge problem for anyone commentating on an Arsenal game this year, the likes of Szczesny and Koscielny will not make life easy for pundits this year.

The lack of a No1 keeper is a slight concern. Szczesny is clearly the long term prospect, but for me Almunia is still by far the best of the bunch. Fabianski has been woeful and I have not been at all convinced by Mannone. Arsene is hinting that more may well happen in the transfer market and possibly a goalkeeper is in his mind; we still need more reinforcements at centre back, after all if Campbell doesn't sign on as looks likely, then we only have three recognised centre backs at the club (Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou) and given that one of these is just coming back from long term injury, this is not enough for the long hard season ahead.

Eduardo may be off and that makes sense given his failure to recover from that shocking Taylor thuggery at St Andrews, we have a decent array of attacking players at the club, this is why I am not keen on the club attempting to sign Joe Cole, as well as this player being overrated, we have an abundance of attacking midfielders and there is simply not a need for paying huge wages for someone who plays in an area in which we are already so well equipped.

Finally I thought I would respond again to those who seem unable to criticise Spain at all for their consistently dishonest approach throughout the world cup. There is no doubt at all in my mind that Spain were rather fortunate with refereeing decisions all the way through the competition and this was also the case in the final. The feigning of injury contributed massively to numerous soft Dutch bookings and the eventual red card for Heitinger, Iniesta was a recurrent culprit with numerous shocking dives but Villa's pathetic rolling around gave him claim to being the biggest cheat of them all.

The Spain apologists seem all to keen to point out the bad tackle by De Jong while ignoring similar filth from the likes of Ramos and Puyol. Spain have the better players and were the better team, I don't deny this, but to deny that their game involves routine cheating is to deny reality I'm afraid. That's all I am trying to say and I have genuinely lost a lot of respect for Spain over the course of the tournament as a result of these antics, they are rather reminiscent of Barcelona aren't they? The way they go to ground expecting a free kick after no contact but are happy to tug shirts and cynically clip ankles while expecting the opposition to stay on their feet is nothing but massively hypocritical and unfair. Not a surprise given how many Barca players are in the Spanish side is it?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Webb, cheating and a very sour taste

Overall I enjoyed a lot of the world cup, there was some very decent football and some good entertainment all round. However the final was symptomatic of the deep malaise in the modern game and of a tournament tarnished by a lot of diving, cheating and gamesmanship.

The tabloid and general media reaction to the final was poor and far from objective. No doubt Spain have the better bunch of players, however Holland were their match for a lot of the game and were done in the end by some despicable cheating from Spain and some very poor officiating from Webb.

The Dutch were unfairly portrayed as thugs in order to conveniently ignore the routine Spanish diving and feigning of injury. De Jong's tackle in the first half was no worse than Puyol's, as many Spanish players as Dutch players were lucky to stay on the field.

Some of the play acting from Iniesta and Villa in particular was beneath contempt. Iniesta should never have been on the pitch when he scored the winner, he had been guilty of at least four blatant dives and one clear kick out off the ball which ref Webb chose to ignore for no good reason. Heitinga's first booking came from Villa's pathetic theatrics and double pike dive, his second yellow came from Iniesta's fondness of gravity. Webb lost control of the game in the second half and started rewarding the Spanish diving, this was the beginning of the end of the game as a footballing contest.

Spain reminded me of Barcelona, happy to foul at one end but so keen to go to ground when the boot was on the other foot that it reduced the game to a joke. Iniesta may be a great player, but he is also a despicable cheat, routinely and quite deliberately acting in order to get his fellow player sent off. I used to like Spain for the way they play the game, now I can no longer stand to watch the routine cheating that has become so integral to the way in which they play. Spain may have won the World cup but they have lost the respect of many neutrals for the gamesmanship that they exhibited in the final.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Is it Christmas? (Not for Barca it ain't)

They say good things happen in threes and it appears that this may well be the case. One of the least unexpected transfers of the summer was concluded as Laurent Koscielny joined the club. I like the sound of him as Arsene describes him:

"Koscielny is a central defender with great ability who performed extremely well last season for Lorient. We identified him as a very strong centre half, who has made big progress very quickly. He has shown he is mentally strong, he's a fighter and a very strong competitor. Koscielny is a great addition to our squad."

William Gallas has turned down a new contract, what a great shame and I couldn't be sadder to see such a benign influence leave the club. Gallas has been a problem wherever he has been, it is a bit of running theme and I really think his departure is a very good thing for Arsenal football club in a number of ways. Gallas is not mentally strong, he is a disruptive tosser and good riddance.

Read this and enjoy it, please savour every word and gloat as you have never gloated before. Barca's finances are in about a healthy a state as a mouldy corpse's maggot infested colon:

"We found a club in debt, with liquidity problems. At this point we have to take a loan to pay the wages of the players"

Oh deary me, my heart bleeds for them, it really does. They need an emergency loan to pay their staff? They are drifting towards Tottenham creek without a paddle, it couldn't happen to a nicer club, could it?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Rosell - the new Laporta

How amazingly tedious is this whole Cesc to Barca story becoming? The collective of scum that passes for a football club named Barcelona appear to have even less class than some imagined, their vice-president feels it is appropriate to say:

"Our objective is for him to become a Barcelona player this summer."

This is outrageous. They are talking about a player who is under a long term contract with another club, they should be sanctioned for such disrespect for the rules. Sandro Rosell has followed this up with:

"We won't pay an unjustified sum, we won't lose our heads over this business."

Well Sandro you c*nt, if you won't pay a decent fee then you won't be signing Fancesc Fabregas, he is our player and under a long term contract with us. End of. Seeing as we're on the topic of c*nts, at last the England team are being portrayed as the selfish morons that they are. Irrelevant of their ability, it is clear that they are an egotistical group of primadonnas who let down the country with their lack of effort.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Nonsense and general rambling

I am an angry man. The stupid transfer rumours continue and everyone continues to be really surprised that England aren't that good as if it's a sudden thing. Mertesacker? Sack of sh*te more like, he's a donkey and I'd rather see Mikel Silvestre back at the club next season. The good news is that Cesc has hinted he may well be with us for another year or two, but that's hardly a surprise given Barca's c*ntliness is it?

England are not bad but they aren't great, our record over the last couple of decades is reasonable. Some people seem to think we were amazing in Italia 90 but that's just the trick of the retrospectoscope, we scraped through and rode our luck, Cameroon and Belgium were arguably far better than us. We were good in 1990 but we could have easily done the same this year with a different draw and a bit more luck, after all if Lampard's goal had been given who knows how Germany would have reacted, it is on these moment's that history is changed.

The media chat a lot of horse sh*te. The reason for England's mediocrity is not the foreign players in our league, it is the clogging style of football that hampers the development of good young technical players and that sees the likes of Ryan Shawcross prosper. English youth football is too result based and too macro, it needs to be based on skill and technique. The Premier League is exciting but there is not enough protection for technical talent, it leads to cloggers like Robbie Savage prospering at the expense of genuine talent.

Watch and take note of the recent world cup games. The best sides are far better technically than England, they have a different type of player that we so rarely produce on these shores. The possession of the football is the key and England are simply not good enough at this. We are too slow, too sluggish and too pedestrian by far. It is time we stopped blamed foreigners for our problems and started addressing the malaise in our game.