Sunday 29 June 2008

The premiership gluttons

If the quotes attributed to Emmanuel Adebayor are true then they reveal that a rather arrogant and deluded fool is residing in the Togolese's small cranial vault. They sum up just how far the club vs player pendulum has swung out of the realms of decency. It is true that clubs did have too much power in days of old, being able to treat players like slaves; however now players are routinely holding clubs to ransom, while showing no respect for their contracts or those who pay their exorbitant salaries. Emmanuel Adebayor behaviour sums up just how low the modern footballer has sunk, behaving in a similar manner to the equally arrogant Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Yes, I am still under contract to Arsenal but it's up to the directors to satisfy my demands or I'll leave."

No Emmanuel it is not up to the club to satisfy your greedy demands, you are under contract and cannot leave unless the club sanction it, I just wish the club had the guts to pop you into the reserves for the rest of your Arsenal days.

"If my good form of last season has increased my value, my employers have to take account of that."

Again Emmanuel, I appreciate you have the education of an West African pygmy shrew, however your employers are certainly not obliged to take into account one good season's work. By the same logic the club should have docked your salary for your rather profligate early games, you cannot have it both ways.

"I have to prepare for my retirement. Even if you are not scoring fine goals and you have money, you can enjoy a happy retirement."

These words demonstrate contempt for the many billions of people in the world who earn considerably less than yourself but will be able to find considerably more happiness than yourself because they are not greedy materialistic narcissists.

Emmanuel Adebyaor probably does not have the mental capacity to realise just how foolish his words are, if he did then he should be deeply embarassed by his behaviour. As a player I think Emmanuel Adebayor is great, a rough diamond that Arsene Wenger has been slowly polishing over the last few seasons, however he still has a very long way to go before he can think of himself as a top world player.

He has only had one season with a good goalscoring record, his finishing could be significantly improved, while if his ego continues to expand at its current rate then one his best attributes, his workrate, will probably be gone for good. I am losing my love for the game because of behaviour like this from players, I would rather win nothing than pay the likes of Adebayor a king's ransom. If these words are true then I hope we never ever see Emmanuel Adebayor in an Arsenal shirt again. The club is bigger than even the most arrogant narcissist.

ps Could Flamini's replacement be this man?

Friday 27 June 2008

Transfers, who cares...

So then. Its been another quiet week really in Arsenal land. Not much has happened - Cesc has been great at Euro2008, Jens was a bit crap against Turkey and every single day the papers have been full of bollocks about Adebayor.
For anyone who is desperate to see Arsenal making lots of transfers, and I know theres lots of you, then I suggest taking a look at the BBC website here which gives all the transfers made by English clubs so far in June 2008. The only transfers of note, and I use the phrase loosely, are Muamba to Bolton for £5m and some plonker called "Two Saints" (but "No Career") from Barcelona to Spurs for £4.6m. Yes - it is a dream to move from the Camp Nou to Shite Hart Lane. A horrible, awful dream where you realise your career is nose diving fast.
The point is that absolutely nothing has happened whatsoever. Yet all the agents are desparate to get players moving between clubs so they can earn some commissions, and the papers need stories to sell and have column inches to fill. A loose tongued agent is the perfect friend for a journo.
Will Hleb find a club who are desperate to spend £15m for that elusive playmaker who is slight of build, scores no goals and sets woefully few up? Its unlikely now that Spurs have already blown their £20m budget on Modric and Two Saints. I mean come on - I would be embarrassed if Arsene spent £20m on those two. Still, its a shame for Hleb, as he now faces the prospect of having to come back to nasty London in August to play football for nasty Arsenal. Ha Ha. Enjoy the bench next season Mr Ice-Cream.
The Adebayor story is perhaps more interesting. I really like Ade, but I think there is a sum of money that we should take for any player - how I now wish we had taken the £50m that was reputedly offered for Henry after the Champs League final. Insread, we kept Henry for another year then sold him for £15m to Barca, having paid him £10m in wages for the last 12 months - a season in which he was poor. By my rough reckoning, that decision cost the Arsenal coffers about £45m. And thats an "Ouch" in anyone's book.
So, whilst I don't want Ade to go one bit, if some fool is going to offer us £30m for him, then I say "take the money and run". Arsene will then face the barrage of demands for an immediate replacement - Santa Cruz for about £15m to £20m is widely mentioned. David Villa is another prize-goose up for sale. (I think Guiza looks the best Spanish striker). Arsene might have a ready made replacement up his sleave, but its unlikely. None of Anelka, Vieira or Henry were replaced with expensive look-a-likes, so I wouldn't bet that Arsene will this time either. Perhaps one of the best direct replacements that Arsene did was in 2000 between Overmars and Pires, but few people saw it like that at the time.
So whith that in mind, I remember Arsene's comments earlier in the year , when he saud that he sees Carlos Vela as a front man next season, rather than a winger. I said at the time that there was no space for him up front with Ade, RVP, Eduardo, Bendtner and hopefully Walcott. That would be 6 players for 2, possibly 3 at a stretch with a change of system, starting places on the pitch.
But if you take Ade out the picture, then there an enormous Togonator sized hole up front for Vela to step into, or Bendtner, or Walcott, or Eduardo, alongside our first choice striker RVP.
It also seems from the Arsenal website that Vela has been given the 12 shirt for next season. This could be quite interesting.

Thursday 26 June 2008

Seeing what we want to see

It can be easy and sometimes convenient to see things in black and white, but the world is a little bit more grey than it first appears. I thought that this was particularly to the way that Torres' poor performance last night was turned into something 'majestic' by so many so called 'expert' commentators. It was the classical example of people having preconceived ideas and fitting these into their biased jigsaw puzzle, instead of trying to open their minds and see things a little bit more objectively.

Torres huffed and puffed, missed a few sitters, did a few of his embarrassing trademark dives with vigorous appeals, and was then subbed off for the much sharper Guiza. Torres is a very good striker, however he is not quite as good as some people seem to think, and his performance last night was certainly nowhere near as good as the commentators seemed to reckon, I also wonder why his diving is brushed under the carpet in such a manner. Bizarrely one commentator seemed to think that Guiza's quality performance which included a very well taken goal was largely thanks to Torres' endeavours, logic from the loony bin if ever there was. Some Arsenal fans have been singing Torres' praises while slagging off Adebayor, even when there is not much between them in the stats department as regards their goals to shots ratios, the grass does always appear greener on the other side.

There have been some great performances in the Euros, while it has also been rather amusing laugh at how bad some of the players we have been linked with have been. Take Mertesacker as one example, aka the tall sack of shite, admittedly he is tall so some Championship Managers amongst us put two and two together to make three by saying that he would be able to solve all our defensive problems; however his agility makes Phil Senderos look like a dainty ballerina, he is clearly not good enough to play for Arsenal. David Villa seems a tad overrated to me, great goals against Russia but he just seems a bit lightweight and might struggle to adjust to life in the Premiership. Finally a mention must go to Cesc Fabregas who was truly outstanding yesterday in Spain's semi final win, his comments earlier in the week on Barcelona et al typified what a remarkably intelligent and mature young man he is. Well done Cesc.

Sunday 22 June 2008

Top ten c***s of Euro 2008

Instead of concentrating on the positive, I have decided to be a thoroughly vindictive bastard in nominating my top ten c***s of the tournament so far. Obviously I am making no pretence to be objective, this top ten is sculpted by my most rampantly partisan neurones that care not for the pretence of being fair minded or neutral. So up to the number one in top of the pops fashion:

10. Luca Toni - aptly compared to a blancmange by Mark Lawrenson, his pathetic diving wins him his place despite it being more comedy than callous in its nature.

9. Oojer - had to get a dirty Blackburn player in and with his vicious attempts to break Ashavin's legs he has cemented his place.

8. Kovac - hard Croat defender who makes it on the list courtesy of a shocking two footed lunge in the first group game that didn't even merit a card.

7. Ruud Van Nistelrooy - despite doing nothing particularly malicious this time round, Ruud earns his place thanks to several years of disreputable endeavour as a dirty Manu player.

6. Modric - he plays for the scum and is another Croat who seems to think it's ok to dive in with two straight legs and studs showing, good player we must get used to abusing.

5. Cassano - an Italian version of Ronaldo, a despicable petulant diver who irritates me before I've even turned the TV on.

4. Camaronese - there's a bit of recurrent Italian theme here, with good reason I may add, this particular one just strikes me as a rather nasty piece of work.

3. Makelele - despite not lasting long in the competition Makele still found ample time to elbow, stamp and scythe; as he gets older he gets filthier to make up for his fading skills.

2. Gattuso - I've lost count of the number of dangerous tackles this dirty midfielder has made, he could have earnt four yellows in the France game alone, only an Italian could get away with such filth.

1. Ronaldo - need I explain myself, this petulant spotty little git represents all I detest about the modern game; he lacks any trace of modesty, class or sportsmanship. He now claims that his 'loyalty' towards manu means he deserves a transfer, what a deluded little shit.

Before finalising this list I shall put the debate open to the floor, so please make your arguments heard. Is there anyone I have forgotten or anyone that really doesn't deserve to be on this list?

Saturday 21 June 2008

Gossip continues as Euros unwind

It is a pretty good rule that you can trust footballers' agents about as far as you can throw them, and given that most of them are greasy overweight leaches that isn't very far in metric terms. As always major tournaments are used as an opportunity for agents to pimp their players in the window of the world's big clubs. What is in the papers in not always the truth, as Dick Advocaat points out rather dryly. The rumours of Clichy leaving turned out to be yet more baseless tabloid guff, two great bits of business so far have been signing up Clichy and Sagna on long term deals.

There's been some decent football at the Euros this year, but in my humble opinion the quality of football on show is some way short of the top European club competitions. For example Tuncay of Turkey has looked pretty handy at times with his side through to the semis, but we all know from his performances at Boro that he's not a player who would be up to playing for Arsenal. I reckon we should be slightly wary of reading too much into the performances of other players at the Euros on this basis.

Arsene will not rush to sign anyone solely on the basis of a couple of decent performances at the Euros, that doesn't mean to say he won't sign any of the outstanding performers, it just means that if he does he would have rated them pretty highly before the competition had started. The transfer gossip continues and it does appear that there is rather a lot of smoke about, so the likelihood of a fire appears high. While some people are getting rather excited about certain players, is Arshavin really that good?

ps having watched Holland Russia tonight Arshavin does appear to be that good. Holland were rather dissappointing, admittedly this was largely down to Russia's excellence, however they were several players short of being a great Dutch side.

Friday 20 June 2008

Supporting United

I'll be supporting Manchester United in their dispute with the spotty, petulant and nauseating Cristiano Ronaldo. The situation appears rather reminiscent of when a certain sulking Frenchman named Nicolas Anelka refused to play for us, whilst under a long term contract at the club, in seeking a lucrative move abroad.

It seems that Ronaldo is doing the same as Anelka did. The good news is that the club will be playing hardball. Personally I wish we had done the same when Anelka threatened his strike, I know there are financial implications but these arrogant self obsessed idiots need to be taught a lesson.

Contracts are two way streets. If a player expects a club to pay them massive wages and treat them with respect, then the player must reciprocate to some degree. Hence whilst under a long term contract a player must be prepared to see that contract out, it is simply not acceptable to openly court other clubs when one's club does not want to sell, let alone threaten to strike.

Manchester United are completely within their rights to refuse to sell Cristiano, and force him to play for the reserves for the rest of his contract. I think it's about time some of the bigger clubs did this to their disloyal and greedy players. These parasitic money grabbers are wrecking the game, they should think before they sign their lucrative long term contracts. I really hope that Cristiano is left to rot in the reserves for a few months, it will give him ample time in which to reflect on being such an arrogant obnoxious piece of shit. Or maybe the Glazers could arrange t a short trip to Guantanemo for a bit of an anal reconstruction?

Wednesday 18 June 2008

Money or Loyalty

Cristiano Ronaldo is apparently paid £124,000 per week by Manchester United. He scored a bag full of goals last season and led ManUre to a Champions League and Premiership Double. Voted Player of the Year two years running and is widely regarding as the best player in the world at the moment.
He also clearly wants to move to Real Madrid this summer, who are alleged to have offered him a mind blowing £184,000 per week. A transfer fee of £70m has also been mentioned.
As an Arsenal fan, I started off by finding this story quite hilarious - imagine how shite Manure will be next season without their Portugese hairdresser? What a relief that Real Madrid aren't courting one of our players for the first summer in a decade. Long summers of torture over Overmars, Anelka, Vieira, Henry all come flooding back.

However, I think the Ronaldo state of affairs is actually quite depressing for everyone, not just ManUre. It reflects the truth that football is really just about money for most players, and as the fans who buy the tickets, shirts and Sky subscriptions, we are all guilty of feeding the machine.

Looking from an Arsenal perspecrive, most pundits and blogsites are furiously demanding a raft of signings. The spending has to be big and it has to be now, otherwise Wenger has to be sacked. The idiocy of that sentiment is revealed by the hypocricy that every fan who demands £100m of talent to be purchased by Wenger this summer, is either also demanding absolute loyalty from the raft of promising youngsters that they will be condemning to the bench (Walcott & Vela spring to mind), or they are quite happy to move them on to anyone willing to buy them (Rosicky, Eboue and Senderos to name but a few). That is to ask for the world and the stars.

Being an absolute cut-throat does not sit easily with trying to engender loyalty elsewhere in the squad. If a player feels that they are not on a fair wage and their agent tells them that they can earn more elsewhere, then why the hell should the player not move on if thats what they want to do?

The fact that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to move to Real Madrid highlights this dilemma. Is he a money grabbing mercenary or a shrewd pragmatist that dreams of playing football in Madrid rather that the shitehole of Manchester? I think both views are equally valid.

It also reveals that you cannot buy loyalty from anyone. It doesn't matter what wages we offer Cesc, Adebayor or anyone else. There will always be someone willing to pay more. So long as the player feels that Arsenal are paying a fair wage, then they will stay because they are enjoying their football and don't want to risk moving to another team and failing.

There is absolutely no-one better at judging players in world football than Arsene Wenger. Trust him.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Jens and his socks

As I try to ignore the tedious Championship Manager style speculation that continues around us, it's refreshing to read the odd bit of proper news that isn't just speculation or gossip. I've never supported Germany before but with Jens in goal and given that they're up against Ronaldo's Portugal it's not a tricky decision this time. It turns out that Jens will have some detailed revision notes tucked down his socks again. Good luck mad Jens, we love you.

As if we didn't have enough football on the telly as it is, Young Guns has kindly alerted us to some more quality on our screens in the form of the European under 19 championships. The games can be watched on Europsort on the TV or via the internet with Kieran Gibbs and Fran Merida the gunners taking part.

Carlos Vela has again been in action for Mexico, and on the score sheet yet again. I can't help but think that if Carlos had been a fresh signing this summer then we would be hearing lots and lots of hype about him from certain armchair experts, for some reason because he's already our player he doesn't really merit much of a mention. However he's played a full season in the Spanish top flight, scored goals for both club and country, plus he's still only just 19 years old, not bad really. Some people are never happy are they.

I'm looking forward to France Italy tonight, it promises to be a rather interesting encounter between two ageing sides that have so far underperformed given their reputations. A couple of other things before I lose interest, if you want a version of Newsnow with the rubbish filtered out then try this, plus here is a provisional fixture list for next season so that you can get really excited about all our new glitzy signings pulling their hamstrings in August.

Sunday 15 June 2008

Dazzling dutch and the rest

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the Dutch, they play such excellent crisp technical football and their orange shirts are rather unique, so I can't say that I was particularly upset to see France destroyed 4-1 the other night. France looked like a tired old side that had run out of steam, personified by Thierry Henry who despite his goal looked a shadow of his former electric self.

Henry, Thuram, Makalele and Sagnol and simply not the players they once were, while the likes of Malouda are just not up to the job. This combined with Domenech's tactical ineptitude, exemplified by playing two holding midfielders, is a recipe for disaster. Domenech is blaming the players already, maybe he should try to select a functional side that could play together before seeking to blame everyone else but himself. Italy are carrying quite a few aged veterans as well, however Donadoni is rather more clued up than Domenech so I'd tend towards Italy if I had to throw some money on the final group showdown.

Having said that Holland were excellent, RVN did lead the line well and was well supported by Kuuyt and Van der Vaart as they broke quickly and incisively. Schneider is an excellent all round midfielder, while they were physical and tough at the back. Van Basten has done a truly sterling job, as well as playing some crisp incisive football the Dutch look an extremely organised and well drilled side, and he is getting the very best out of his players, the exact opposite of Monsieur Domenech.

Spain looked decent again in their 2-1 win over Sweden, possibly a bit over elaborate and lacking in width, thus showing why they might struggle to break down some of the better defenses around. Russia deserved their win over Greece with Roman Pavluchenko looking like a rather useful centre forward, quick, tall and strong with a great goal scoring record, a premiership club could do a lot worse than bringing this lad in. Croatia's dirty tackling, Turkey's diving and Ronaldo's general smugness are other things that have slightly angered me so far. Other than that it's been a pretty decent tournament so far, in fact it's a bit of shame that it'll all be over before we've had time to blink, so here's to some more great football and to enjoying watching the Dutch while they remain in the competition.

Friday 13 June 2008

Ramsey signing confirmed

Arsenal have just confirmed that Aaron Ramsey is now officially an Arsenal player. Despite some rather mentally challenged calls for to indulge some fans' calls for more transfer gossip and speculation, I am glad that our club only speaks once deals are done and dusted; the club generally conducts itself incredibly well as regards transfers and rises above the pathetic behaviour that clubs like Real Madrid like to indulge in.

I wonder why is the figure of so much fun for some Arsenal supporters, it's actually one of the better club websites around, it's pretty user friendly and doesn't involve an annoying registration step to read the news. If people want tabloid drivel then they can read the Sun, or websites like Tribal Football and others that produce and feed on manufactured rumour. actually gives quotes that are not made up and that one can trust, I know it's not quite as exciting as the Sun but Arsene said:

“We’re delighted to have signed Aaron Ramsey. He is a young player who has shown huge potential with his performances for both Cardiff City and Wales at under-17 and Under-21 levels. He is still only 17, but has already shown that he is a very intelligent and mature player with great quality. Although he mainly plays in midfield, Aaron is a versatile player and can also play across the defence. We are all looking forward to welcoming Aaron to the Club for our pre-season preparations.”
Basically he can play anywhere, so knowing Arsene he'll probably be used as left back next season. The obvious vacuum in our team is on the right of midfield and given our slight fragility defensively in midfield, especially with Flamini gone, this must be Ramsey's most likely destination. Although some supporters love to mock Arsene, this transfer does seem like a sound piece of work; it shows how Arsene's refusal to jump into big money big name signings has lead to our great reputation for developing young talent, and this must have been the deciding factor for Aaron Ramsey. However Arseblogger may have a point, the rat on Gary Neville's upper lip might just have been enough to scare young Aaron away from Manchester.

Tabloid slurry

I never ceased to be amazed by the way in which baseless rumour is swallowed as unbridled fact by some rather naive and/or foolish sections of the Internet community and media. This piece of manure written in the Mirror demonstrates my point nicely:

"...But Wenger admits agreeing terms with the player could be difficult and Atletico would promise him more starts."

I would be more than a little surprised if Nasri went to Atletico, and the claim that Arsene 'admits agreeing terms could be difficult' appears to have been plucked out of complete fresh air. Then another hollow turd from Setanta with the following more than slightly dubious quote attributed to Arsene:
"I know him to be very, very good but I have decided that defenders are no longer necessarily needed for next season."
Quotes appear out of nowhere and are automatically assumed to be absolutely correct, even if Arsene has been talking openly about transfers on some obscure TV channel, something I very much doubt in the first place, then there is still the fact that the translation might well be slightly less than perfect as well. This article in the Telegraph is based on nothing but their speculation that someone might be about to do something, truly pathetic journalism.

The media often turns out out to be lying when it appears to tell the truth, so when they appear to be lying one can be pretty damn sure they are lying. I am sure we have all seen over the years how stories can be based on completely made up quotes from a 'close friend of the the player', yeah right, a 'close friend' who has never met the player but just so happens to work for our shitty tabloid paper and have a remarkable psychic gift that can predict the quotes of total strangers.
I wish some people would stop swallowing this horse shite. It's embarrassing enough to admit that one got sucked in by the odd tabloid rumour as a nipper, but there is no excuse for a grown adult with a brain. Journalists are about as trust worthy as politicians, in fact they are often rather closely allied to their buddies in positions of power, meaning that they invariably only care about advancing their own careers and not for the truth. There is a small minority of notable exceptions to this rule though. We should be a little more careful before we jump to dramatic conclusions, and we should not rely on shoddy journalism that is based on nothing but rumour. I know some people like to attract readers by peddling sensationalist pap and inventing stories, but we should not propagate this culture of ignorance by buying into it.

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Magnum PI or useless manager?

There have been some very strange selections so far in the Euros, for me Raymond Domenech's utterly inept management of the French side stands out head and shoulders above anyone else. This is despite Aragones playing Xavi ahead of the marvellous Fabregas, but here my opinion is probably a bit more contentious.

Firstly how on earth Domenech can leave both Clichy and Sagna out of his squad is beyond belief. I have seen Abidal in action several times this year and he's been pedestrian at best, dodgy defensively and lethargic offensively; both Clichy and Evra are miles better. Sagnol in his prime would not half the player that Sagna is, so playing an ageing Sagnol ahead of Sagna is indefensible.
Flamini should be in the French squad, he was one of the best players in the Premiership last season; so how the mediocre Toulalan, who I barely noticed on the field of play in France's bore draw with Romani, can be starting while Flamini is not even in the squad is again well beyond me.
France have some great individuals but collectively were a very lethargic bore, and this has invariably been the case under Domenech's command. The man even admits that astrology affects his team selection, it certainly doesn't appear to be down to who is best at football. They played with no tempo and no drive, it was all so very predictable and drawn out.

If the likes of Flamini, Clichy, Evra and Sagna were involved then France would have a little bit more tempo, a little bit more zip and they might just be able to have a crack at winning it. As it is they look but a shadow of their great world cup winning side, admittedly they do not have the quality in the centre of their team from the front to the back, however they should be blooding their young players ahead of the likes of Sagnol, Thuram, Makelele et al. Maybe France will prove me wrong, I doubt it though, and even if they do they are certainly not preparing well for future championships.

Ramsey chooses wisely

I hope I am not being premature but even the official Cardiff City website is reporting that Aaron Ramsey has opted to join Arsenal, snubbing Manu and Everton in the process. Although Ramsey is inexperienced and unproven, this must be seen as a bit of a coup for Arsene Wenger given how keen Manu were on the player.

Ramsey is very highly rated, technically gifted and at home either on the right or in the centre of midfield, positions where he may well be challenging for a first team place sooner rather than later. Personally I have only seen brief glimpses of Ramsey in action, but he did look very sharp as a substitute in the cup final and it certainly is not easy to come by good young versatile midfielders these days.

I think this signing would not have happened if we were a Manu or Chelsea type club. Arsene has created a culture in which young players have come through year after year, and this would not have happened if there was not some room in the squad to allow these players to develop. Young players have been proven to get their chance at Arsenal with the Carling cup becoming a great vehicle for young player development, while Arsene does not rush to replace everyone that leaves with a big money big name. Vieira was replaced by Cesc and Cole by Clichy, and there are countless other examples. I just wish those who mindlessly clamoured for big names would bear this mind.

Sunday 8 June 2008

Platini - xenophobe at best

Not much is happening on the Arsenal front, so I won't bore you by filling this page with transfer gossip, that would be rather tiresome. Euro 2008 is underway, it hasn't exactly set the world on fire as yet, however it's still better than having nothing at all on the box. I'm sure it will pick up a bit once a few of the weaker nations have been sent packing, then the real competition can start. Only one group promises some real competition and we all know which one that is.

Michel Platini, great player in his day, but appears to be a rather repulsive piece of work judging from his efforts as a political stooge thus far. The UEFA president has labelled certain English clubs as cheats, from the horse's mouth:

'it is the clubs who cheat that are winning'

I am not claiming I'm a fan of the ethics behind Roman Abrahmovich's empire or the way in which the Glazer's have mortgaged Manu up to the hilt, however to single out English clubs in this way is immensely stupid given the behaviour of other big European clubs.

Michel Platini is obviously not an economist, as there is nothing illegal about the way in which the Glazers have increased Manu's debt and set about paying it off with revenue. It is a silly gamble for the Glazers to take in some ways, but it is entirely legal. Abrahmovich certainly obtained his funds in rather dubious ways to say the least, however again there is nothing illegal about the way in which he has bailed Chelsea out. What does Platini intend to do? Ban any club with any debt or just ban English clubs because he doesn't like them?

Silvio Berlusconi's role at Milan appears to me to as bad as anything in Europe, he is a corrupt dictator and has even manipulated the Italian law in order to avoid prosecution, he continues to bankroll Milan with his corrupt media empire. While Real Madrid have effectively had their debt paid off by the Spanish government, a very dodgy deal in 2000 saw their training ground sold for a rather over generous price. I haven't even touched upon Juventus and the Agnelli family, the Italian match fixing and the leniency of UEFA, Porto and their bribery of officials, match fixing in Germany and on and on. I certainly reckon that English clubs would have taken a much bigger blow on the chin if found guilty of such bribery and corruption.

Platini and Blatter should think before they open their rather greasy and unpleasant mouths, they should also attempt to get their own houses in order before they begin lobbing stones at our English castles. In actual fact English football has been remarkably free from corruption compared to football in other European countries and corrupt institutions like FIFA, I just wonder what the motives are behind Platini's biased diatribes? I think many of us would be very happy for UEFA to try to root out the corruption and cheating in the European game, however this has to be done consistently and fairly across the board.

Currently Platini is unfairly picking on people he doesn't like, while not adequately dealing with the cheating and corruption that he could and should do something about. Luckily for English football, I think the likes of Platini and Blatter will find it very tricky to selectively punish those they simply don't like, there is a thing called European law standing firmly in their way.

Thursday 5 June 2008

Sweating out the summer

Not a lot of any substance has happened over the last few days, and it shouldn't be particularly worrisome that not much has happened, one can always read into things in a way that suits one's particular predetermined interpretation of events. It's also always sensible to think before opening one's mouth or writing down one's take on events, otherwise the product of our thoughts can be rather embarrassing, to say the least. Generalising and dividing arguments into 'you're either with us or against us' don't breed an environment for sensible adult debate. It's also rather amusing that some people cannot recognise satire, maybe I should forewarn people at the beginning of the piece next time?

The media can never be trusted, we've always known that, it's even the case with match reports, so when rumours are circulated about Arsenal being interested in certain players, even a three year old should have learnt to take these with a pinch of salt by now. Arsenal is a club that plays things by the book, so if the club speaks about a transfer then it's virtually always reliable, but this fact still doesn't stop some criticising the club for not indulging their unquenchable thirst for rumour. In my humble opinion we should not slag off our club, manager or players before their 'guilt' as it were has been proven beyond a kind of 'reasonable doubt', hence slagging off a player on the basis of one Sun article is not really fair game to me. We would do better to wait until the waters have cleared and then pass our judgement when the facts of a situation can be seen with relative clarity.

As I'm on foreign shores at the moment, it has given me a chance to see things with a bit of perspective, and in the cold light of day the current close season feeding frenzy looks all the more irrational to me. There's nothing wrong with a bit of speculation, indeed there's nothing wrong with sensible joined up criticism of clubs and managers, however shooting from the hip is not big and it's not clever, we should all try to get at least a slight grip on the facts of a story before letting rip.

Some rumours have more basis than others but it still would not be surprising if they came to nothing. Arsenal Football Club will be busy behind the scenes trying to make things happen, it's pretty obvious that only a small fraction of potential transfers become a reality, so the close season should be seen in this perspective. There's plenty of football on this summer, with plenty of our own in action, so why don't we just relax, soak up some sun and enjoy ourselves without getting too worked up by the latest dishonest creations of some tabloid hack? So let's have a bit more reasoned debate and a little less of the over aggressive reactionary ranting.

Sunday 1 June 2008

Arsene knows less than I

It's hard carrying the world on one's shoulders, not only is the world heavy but having to bear the responsibility that I have chosen to take on is no mean feat . Fortunately I am made of better more hardy genetic stock than your average Gooner, so I have decided to appoint myself as the single unified voice of Gooner reason. This was motivated by watching years and years of dismal failure under our snail eating disgrace of a manager, Arsene Wenger, and having to put up with so many idiots who could not see the man for what he really is, an almost German who has wasted several years of his life away from football educating himself. The man is a bad joke, he knows so very little and may even be a Tottenham fan in disguise trying to sabotage our once great football club.

If anyone should disagree, they are wrong, if anyone should argue, then would be advised to pipe down, and if anyone should continue to argue, then my friends shall release the hounds. I can tell you that Wittgenstein and Russell would be shitting their pants if they had to take on my logic in a one on one. It's a sort of democratic thing, I represent the opinion of Gooners by popular demand, I'm the Zanu PF of North London because I'll only leave my self appointed post if confronted by several large tanks and a couple of tooled up choppers.

I won't say I haven't been feeling the strain though, I have been known to have problems with a split personality; luckily I upped my lager consumption in order to kill off my second brain cell, and now my visions are crystal clear. My rage has been consuming me from within, my hands tremble constantly and insomnia tortures my soul, but divine visions greet me in the night; I have seen the holy land, Arsene is no more, he is in my back garden underneath the sprouts, and I am our new manager and have just spent 1.6 billion on talent from the Championship creating a new English spine for our team. The silverware will be ours Gooners, just agree with me and bully anyone who does not, come join me in this self congratulatory party of wanton flatulence.