Thursday 31 July 2008
I wrote this piece earlier and then noticed that my fellow Gooner Ted had already done an expert match report, here are also plenty of other match reports to read including this one at Arsenal.com and this excellent piece at ArsenalVision, so I won't bore you by repeating things over again. Arseblogger also has an excellent summary of the game and other bits and bobs. RVP was sharp, Adebayor was not, Eboue did better than many expected while Denilson did ok.
Theo looked lively, as did the nicely direct Nasri, Djorou and Gallas did ok, while Sagna and Clichy are the best full backs around. Basturk's opening goal was well taken but the the amount of space he found was slightly concerning. The massive plus was the way in which the powerful Bendtner and the explosive Vela combined for the first two goals, while Wilshere's great goal after Clichy's sterling work was yet more icing on the cake, and Ramsey again looked very tidy.
Although some people are spitting blood because they believe the Bischoff signing to be our last activity on the transfer front, it appears that Arsene may be keen to add one more experienced player to the squad, so I would advice those who enjoy spitting blood to remain calm and conserve their energy. I am also glad that Myles Palmer has seen the light at last, well done Myles, it's always better to face up to these things.
Football is massive business these days and footballing blogs have proliferated over recent years, meaning that some people seem quite desperate to expand their readership. We all know how the media likes to make up stories to sell their papers, and this technique is now rather routine amongst the blogging community.
Personally I think it smacks of desperation and a lack of integrity, however that hasn't stopped some rather well read blogs from stooping to this level, I'll mention no names as I'm sure you know who they are. Luckily I think the vast majority of fans are intelligent enough to realise who the culprits are, however it still doesn't stop a rather vocal minority from continuing to embarrass themselves on a fairly regular basis.
Wednesday 30 July 2008
It's very cunning of the club to have secured such lucrative sell on clauses in all the contracts of the young players that we've sold over the years, one recent example of a big dividend payout was following Fabrice Muamba's move to Bolton from Birmingham city. Long may these payouts continue!
Elsewhere Wenger has hinted just how highly he rates young Jack Wilshere, it has also been hinted on Arsenal.com that Diaby is to take 'centre stage' this season- providing a big hint that no more big names will be arriving in the central midfield slot, Fran Merida was named as one of UEFA's future stars following some good work at the U-19 championships, Gilberto has also had some sensible stuff to say on greedy short sighted footballers, while Arseblogger reckons it's the proper pre season from tonight.
William Gallas has also spoken out and apologised for some of his rather poor behaviour as club captain last season, while Gallas has also been backed by Arsene- personally I think he deserves another chance and hopefully if we support him he will repay our faith. Over and out Gooners.
Monday 28 July 2008
Wilshere looks an absolutely class act, what fantastic jinking ability on the ball, a lovely balance and a great left foot, he was my pick for the man of the match. Vela and Bendtner were impressive, Vela for his sheer class on the ball and sweet left peg, Bendtner for his power and directness. Ramsey also has the kind of talent that you cannot coach, he reads the game like a book and always seems to have a lot of time on the ball. Denilson was quietly effective. None of the others disgraced themselves either, Lansbury and Traore worked hard in midfield, while the back four were rarely tested. The lapses in concentration in the second half can be excused given the situation and the substitutions.
Obviously it's a little foolish to read too much into these games, however one can certainly get a feel for the blatant, and to me Wilshere is one of those rare talents that does not come around very often, maybe he's a bit young and not quite physically ready for the first team, but I would be very surprised if he didn't make a few appearances later in the season. Ramsey and Vela look special prospects too. I just hope we can add a little bit more experience to the squad to compliment this gang of brilliant youths, the potential could then be unleashed to the full.
Sunday 27 July 2008
We dominated the early exchanges and RVP scored an absolute pearler on the half volley from the edge of the box, and for some reason only known to the ref it was disallowed, nil nil it stayed til half time. Then in the second half Torres was dribbling in the box, no one was within touching distance, and he went over in typically theatrical fashion, penalty to Liverpool. Torres fudged it in, I felt immense rage, and it finished 1-0 to the scousers, despite a late barrage from ourselves.
The season is getting closer, that feeling of losing is not a pleasant one, that vivid nightmare reminded me of that. There were so many painful moments towards the end of last season that it's hard to pick out just one pivotal moment, personally the defeat to Birmingham containing Eduardo's awful injury and two appalling refereeing errors was the key moment for me. It's so much easier to take a defeat when it is deserved, but when it is undeserved and simply down to powers outside of one's own control, that makes it so much more frustrating.
I just hope and pray that Lady Luck is on our side this season, this in combination with one or two movements on the transfer front could work out quite nicely for us. If the likes of Eduardo and RVP can stay fit, if our new talents can gel quickly, then you never know. Just remember that Emmanuel Petit was once a defender, Toure a winger and Eboue once scored a goal. Strange things can happen.
Thursday 24 July 2008
I had a peek at the highlights of the pre season games, not a surprise to hear that they weren't breathtaking spectacles, they very rarely are. They are just about gathering fitness before the real business starts, whilst hopefully avoiding any serious injuries. There have been glimpses of a few of our younger players, with a few shining, however judging players on pre season games is never a good idea, I seem to recall a certain Chris Armstrong scoring a fair few one July and we all know what happened to him after his 'great' pre season.
Emmnuel Adebayor is still an Arsenal player, and we all know what he's been up to this summer. If you feel, as I do, that Emmanuel should make a formal apology to his team mates, fans and Arsenal football club then please email me at email@example.com to add your name to the letter, we're almost at 100 names so far.
One thing that has been particularly notable this summer has been the disgraceful behaviour of certain clubs on the transfer front. Real have been at it as always trying to tap up Ronaldo, the hypocritical Manu have been up to their old tricks with Berbatov, while Liverpool's conduct regarding Gareth Barry has been quite shocking, I also feel that AC Milan and Barca deserve a special mention for being equally annoying little jockstraps.
As Arseblogger says, Arsene is quite right to have a go at these scummy reprobates, I hope Arsenal FC never sinks to that level. Don't lose too much sleep over the pre season games coming up, get out there and enjoy the sun while it's here, it won't last forever.
Monday 21 July 2008
Friday 18 July 2008
Quite a contrast to a certain Arsenal player who has just joined Barcelona, he who shall remain nameless didn't take long to start slobbering over his new club's badge, if I were a Barca fan then not only would I be stupid, but I would also be rather repulsed by this slimy behaviour. It looks like Emmanuel Adebayor may well be staying at the club, making for a rather interesting situation given his antics over the summer, can I plug you to read my open letter to Adebayor and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to add you name to the list, we're at around fifty names so far.
The players get their first run out against Barnet on Sunday, I can't help but get very unexcited by pre-season friendlies like this one, it seems that the feeling is mutual, at this stage it's really just about building up match fitness and trying to avoid any injuries. Indeed a few of our exciting young players will be involved, however these games tend to lack any flow with large numbers of substitutions and novel team selections not being particularly condusive to creating the most gripping of spectacles. This kind of game may help to remind us that we do have one or two forgotten talents who may yet turn into some top drawer material, for example Denilson. Maybe something will happen on the transfer front, maybe it won't, I still have the gut feeling that there are a few big moves to come.
Wednesday 16 July 2008
One thing that I feel we can be justified to be disappointed by is the behaviour of Emmanuel Adebayor. He had a great season last year, even if his performances did fall away towards the end, there also may have been signs of a bit less effort and a bit more egotistical petulance creeping into his game as well in the latter part of the season. His and his agent's behaviour this summer have been embarrassing to the club, football in general and themselves. Players are well paid and should show a little bit more respect towards their contracts, they should not seek pay rises via the media when they have several years left on their current deals, they should show some respect to their employers and behave like adults, not spoilt children.
If Emmanuel Adebayor is still an Arsenal player next season then I would find it impossible to cheer him unless he makes a formal sincere apology to Arsenal fans, the club and his fellow players. Personally I think the best treatment we could give him is complete silence. For this reason I have decided to write an open letter to Emmanuel as below, encouraging him to apologise for his behaviour. If you wish to add your names to the letter then add them below or email me at email@example.com; then I will send the letter with names attached to Emmanuel if he is still an Arsenal player at the start of the season:
I am writing on behalf of myself, a loyal Arsenal supporter and the other loyal Arsenal supporters named at the end of this letter. We would very much appreciate it if you could take the time to read this letter and reply in person.
We have been very disappointed by you and your agent's behaviour this summer. We appreciate that you had a good season for us last year, but you are under contract to Arsenal and should respect your contract. If you want a pay rise then you should go about this in the correct manner by speaking to the club and not by leaking quotes and stories to the media.
We are happy to forgive and forget your behaviour on one condition, that condition being that you issue a formal apology to the club, your fellow Arsenal players and the fans for your behaviour this summer. If you do not apologise then I will not jeer or boo you, however I will show my lack of support for your actions by greeting your efforts with silence until an apology is issued,
Any names added below would be very much appreciated or alternatively email the info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if this letter could be linked up to any other posts then it would also be very kind. I see no point in getting angry about the likes of Adebayor, I feel silence is a more deadly weapon.
ps keep an eye on the top right of the blog for the tally, if we get enough names then it may even be newsworthy
Tuesday 15 July 2008
Interesting words indeed. Obviously the current financial climate will inevitably have a significant impact on football clubs and consequently players, however the clubs that are run by billionnaires may not be quite as affected as those that are run as viable profitable businesses. There is logic in behaving slightly cautiously when it comes to splashing the cash at the moment, who knows how a major recession would impact upon football clubs. He then reiterated this point:
He also talks of the new stadium, our financial postion, the hunt for a new Chief Executive, the lack of recent trophies and he hinted that things may happen in the next couple of weeks on the transfer front.
I am sure that there are many people who will not be happy with Hill-Wood's words, however I'd much rather have this kind of sensible and pragmatic approach to running the club in the long term than a risky strategy that would risk the club's long term future for short term gains.
The transfer fees being banded about at the moment are not in touch with reality, over 40 million for Robinho- a player who has hardly set the world on fire as yet, 20 million for Ronaldinho- an overweight shadow of his former self, 20 to 30 million for Adebayor- one good season and 17 million for Bentley- not even a regular England international as yet.
There is currently no need to panic, although I am sure some will use Hill-Wood's words to jump on the same old tired bandwagon. The transfer merry-go-round has not yet commenced, Hleb and Adebayor remain, once a few moves a made a bit more momentum may be gathered as a result of the availability of funds to the selling clubs. We undoubtedly need one or two more players, but this will depend on who actually leaves, and as we know and Peter Hill-Wood says there are a lot of people out there doing 'silly things'.
Sunday 13 July 2008
Well Stephane you c**t, it's a bit rich for a greedy bastard like you to be fed up with media attention given that you've just cynically and unethically got your greedy client a move by manipulating the very same media. Your sort make me want to vomit, you really are the lowest of the low, you live off the talents of others and have the ethics of an incarcerated weasel. If Adebayor goes to Milan it may well be the beginning of the end for his career, Italy is not kind on strikers and Ade may well regret listening to your short sighted money grabbing advice.
On the topic of greedy bastards, there's a piece here on this theme in the Sunday Mirror. It seems strange to me that there are so many hypocrites out there who were happy to love the obnoxious Ronaldo right until the last minute, despite the warning signs being there from day one. It's amusing to see that 'badge kissing' fat Frank 'sumo' Lampard is 'insulted' by Chelsea's offer of 140 grand a week, rather reminiscent of the Ashley Cole saga. Personally I think it's got to the point now where fans should unite against these hypocritical greedy players, if they knew that they would be booed for the rest of their careers for this kind of behaviour it may force them to demonstrate some ethics in their pursuit of a career.
Elsewhere the Insider has an interesting piece comparing Santa Cruz and Falcao, assuming the greedy Togoan is on his way. Personally I'm not sure if Santa Cruz is up to the job of playing for a top side and I think judging players on video clips is a dangerous game. Unfortunately Alexandre Song is off to the Olympics, leaving us rather short of cover at centre back and defensive centre midfield at the start of the season, good luck to him though. Arseblog reports on the unlikely story of Samuel Eto'o coming as part exchange for Adebayor, there are many reasons that make this unlikely, not least his wages. Young Guns reports un the stupid UEFA rules that result in compensation having to be paid for players who are over 20 and out of contract. Meanwhile this excellent discussion piece makes a mockery of UEFA's logic.
Whatever happens in the next few days I just hope we can unload our greedy players who have shown no commitment to the club or fans with their recent behaviour. I will be just be happy if we can start the season with a bunch of young hungry players who are 100% committed to the cause. I would rather win nothing than see the likes of Adebayor and Hleb bully the club into paying them more money than their avarice deserves.
Saturday 12 July 2008
With Gilberto seemingly off to Panathanaikos and Flamini gone, the centre of midfield looks a likely area for strengthening. Rumours are rife this morning that Arsenal are to make a last minute effort to steal Gareth Barry away from the scousers, with Liverpool still haggling for a price and relations strained due to Benitez' unethical behaviour, Villa may be keener to deal with us and are known to admire Justin Hoyte who may be a sort of carrot in the deal. The Hleb and Adebayor sagas run on, and if the latter goes then I'd be very surprised if no one was brought in to replace him. Lame rumour of the week concerns Shay Given and the Sun, where on earth did they pluck that one from? Even Given has no idea where it came from.
If Gilberto is off, then I'd like to say what a fantastic pro he has been for Arsenal, he's never been one to complain or moan despite being a full Brazilian international who has sat on the bench for long periods towards the end of his Arsenal career. Subscribers of Arsenal TV can watch the gripping footage of the squad back in training set to some vibrant music.
Despite the fact that some people will always stir up panic with their rather repetitive whinging, this young Arsenal squad looks a very exciting prospect indeed. We have several young players who are already very experienced in the form of the Bendtners and Walcotts, they are now ready to make the step up to being regulars. While there are some cracking talents waiting for their chance, for example the Ramseys and Velas. If Arsene can bring a couple more experienced players in then the sqaud will be looking in rather good hungry shape for the season ahead.
Friday 11 July 2008
The situation of Emmanuel Adebayor remains unclear with rumour still persisting around possible moves to Barcelona and AC Milan, one can't help but feel that his behaviour has made his position as an Arsenal player untenable. Possibly moves are being made behind the scenes to secure a direct replacement for the Togoan. Anyways there's not much else interesting to say. Watch this space.
Thursday 10 July 2008
I'm always in favour of protecting the player and if the player, he wants to leave, let him leave. I think in football there's too much modern slavery in transferring players or buying players here and there, and putting them somewhere.We are trying now to intervene in such cases. The reaction to the Bosman law is to make long-lasting contacts in order to keep the players and then if he wants to leave, then there is only one solution, he has to pay his contract."
Think before waggling your flabby vocal chords Mr Blatter, you would do well to realise that a contract is a two way agreement and that if players are happy to sign highly lucrative long term deals then they need to take the rough with the smooth, meaning that they should not be able to just walk off for more money whenever they fancy.
Blatter's comparing of player's treatment in the modern game to 'slavery' is beneath contempt,in fact it is rather insulting to the many thousands of people that are genuinely subject to slave like conditions around the world. Modern footballers are the very opposite of slaves.
We don't need to exclusively protect the players, we need to protect the game, in my opinion there is a great danger that the game will be wrecked if players are protected too much at the expense of the clubs. There is a balance here between players and clubs.
Players have brains and if they choose to sign long term deals then they should be prepared to see them out, they should not be allowed to up sticks and move on a whim. Football leagues are becoming less and less competitive thanks to the rich clubs getting richer and richer, so if the likes of Blatter get his way then this will only get far worse, in time you'll be able to predict the league table before the start of season.
The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo are not abused slaves, they are much more like spoilt brats, and by pandering to their demands Blatter is stupidly risking the future health of the beautiful game. Contracts are two way agreements, not one way mechanisms for players to get paid and then walk off at the first hint of a better offer. Ironically if players continue this trend then their contracts may become shorter, as long contracts may eventually mean so little that clubs may see no need to tie a player to a long term deal, this would obviously not be good for those who suffered nasty career ending injuries. I doubt Ronaldo cares for the consequences of this actions though.
Tuesday 8 July 2008
Monday 7 July 2008
Moving onwards and upwards, contrast the modern footballers' selfish behaviour this summer to the unbelievable demonstration of skills and sportsmanship from the best two tennis players in the world yesterday at Wimbledon, it is quite a contrast. Here we had two of the greatest players of all time providing arguably the finest ever Wimbledon final, neither losing their cool nor showing any sign of arrogance.
Both men have every reason to be both conceited and arrogant, but both are exemplary role models both on and off the court. It was fantastic to see such grace in defeat from Federer and such modesty in victory from Nadal. The tennis itself was breathtaking, the level of play rising as the important points came, resulting in the brilliant fourth set tie break and fifth set crescendo.
There was something very refreshing about yesterday's Wimbledon final and it put the pathetic behaviour of modern football's mercenaries very much into perspective. It is true that tennis is helped by more intelligent media coverage, but it seemed to me that the players were not just chasing the money, they had a healthy respect for each other and the sport itself. The likes of Ronaldo and Adebayor should have been watching and taking notes, however I suspect they lack the insight to realise what embarrassments they are.
Sunday 6 July 2008
While I do not doubt that the club has to pay back the money that it owes, I find the comments about buying less expensive players and selling every year to be detached from logic. Arseblogger has already said the same."The strategy of the club is to sell every year and to buy less expensive players. We manage at Arsenal to maintain all our football ambitions — national and European —while having to free up - for 17 more years - an annual surplus of £24m to pay for our stadium. The club’s strategy is to favour the policy of youngsters ahead of stars and to count on the collective quality of our game."
Given that the club's operating profit was over 50 million pounds last year I find it absurd to suggest that we will have to make more money from selling players than we can spend on new arrivals. The maths are not complicated, I do not deny that we are no Chelsea, however our increased revenues mean that we can afford to spend a few million on new signings without being forced to sell players that we do not want to sell.
The same old voices will jump on the bandwagon criticising Arsene Wenger without even considering that these quotes are a little economical with the truth to say the least. I think it is rather more likely that the Screws are making up some rubbish to sell papers. Our transfer policy over the last few years has been generally spot on, very few players have left the club and gone on to do much of significance, while the space created from selling some of our big names has left the way clear for some great young talent to emerge. After all the likes of Aaron Ramsey would not have joined if they thought their path to the first team would be blocked indefinitely.
Friday 4 July 2008
If Rafael Nadal were a footballer he would be one of the best to have ever played the game, his awesome athleticism and brilliant technique are really pretty special, Andy Murray is no mean player himself, but he was simply blown away by the Nadal tornado. The final promises to be a tight encounter as the improving Nadal takes on the mighty Federer, whether it will be as close as last year remains to be seen, I just fancy Nadal to do it this time round, he has been getting closer and closer and closer.
Some quarters of the media have not hesitated to distort Arsene Wenger's words, yet again, twisting his hinting at improvements and domination next season to mean something that is rather arrogant and deluded. Arsene correctly points out that we 'want' to improve and that 'if' we improve our performances, thus bettering last season's points tally, we could well be the dominant team in England, not unreasonable really. The manipulation of Wenger's words is deeply dishonest as Arsene is labelled 'giddy' in the process and his posing of the hypothetical is taking as a claim that Arsenal 'will' be the dominant force in English football. It shows how the media works these days, it is more profitable to sensationalise the reasonable than to report the facts accurately, that's progress for you again.