Thursday, August 10, 2006

McClarens' first mistake...

Well, after a rest due to our early and expected exit in the World Cup, we are officially back to square one with international football in England.

Steve 'I'll do it my way and differently to Sven' McClaren has done a very Sven like thing and given the captaincy to John Terry.
Whilst Terry will make a good captain, the opportunity to cast away doubts of Svenism has been blown because its a very predictable, safe and obvious choice. If you could sum up Sven's reign in 3 words then those three are going to be near the top.

Gerrard as captain would have sent out a postive, attacking message that would breathe new life into the England set up. For someone who is interested in distancing himself from Sven, he's really has dropped a bollock here. Yet can someone who was his predocessors right hand man for 5 years really seperate himself from his former boss? Are we to think that Sven NEVER listened to McClaren? Of course not, and as I've said before, the McClaren appointment is dull and uninspiring and was made to please the 'little England tubthumpers.'

Come to think of it, if that's what this national team is going to represent, Terry will make a fine figurehead.

Arsenal wise, there is deadlock between us and that small team with lots of money over the Cashley transfer fee and Reyes' phone is constantly on its charger "incase he misses something important."
I like Reyes, he always appears to try hard but he will never be the player he can over here. If we can get money back and quickly spend it before the new season then its best for everyone involved.

But for Gods' sake, lets not just take the money for these two and keep it in a bank account. So far, I think Wenger is justified in allowing the youngsters to step up to replace those players already gone, but if Assssssssshley Hole and Jose go without established players being purchased, then the experience and youth balance will dangerously distorted for this coming season.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Dinamo Zagreb v Arsenal

Season proper begins tonight then!

Getting Zagreb was a tough one in the draw; not only is the Croation league stronger than say, the Lithuanian one but they are already into their season and will therefore have far more match fitness than us.

The team put out will be a young one with a few big names missing but my real interest comes in whether Adebayor and RvP can perform together provided they both start. If the 4-5-1 served us so well last season, will we see this stick or will we go 4-4-2. Away from home in a tough qualifier against a team more up to speed than us would make me favour the lone striker approach today and then use 4-4-2 at the Emirates. Rosicky will also be someone to watch tonight; he won't be starting apparently, but when and where he comes on could be interesting. Also, if we see Reyes start, assume that all the Madrid talk is just the kind of thing that their piece of shit papers bring up every week with our players.

If we want to go only eleven minutes further and win the European Cup, we'll have to beat better teams than Zagreb but a draw wouldn't be the worst result in the world; leaving it entirely in our hands back home. For me, this soon after an 11 month season for most of our players would do me just fine for now.

Apparently there are always goals involved with Zagreb, but we aren't shy either and I'm going for a narrow win with Ade-cool being a pivitol figure.

Come on you goooooners!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The wait is almost over

The wait is over in more ways than one this week. I am back after an absence of birthdays and seeing the best hard rock band on the planet, but more importantly the wait is almost over for the new season players apparently!

All sorts of swap rumours are flying round that I'm sure you know of - the Gallas/Cole and Reyes cash for Ribery type things, but rarely do swap deals happen. Capello doesn't seem like the type to tolerate Reyes; his wingers at Juve were Nedved and Camoranesi. Much more centrally focused than if you put Reyes out wide, although he can, debateably, play up front.

Ash is off and everyones feelings on that have been clear for a long time. If Gallas is included, great, but lets not get our hopes up. The knock on effect of getting £16 million + is that other clubs know we have cash and we have to pay over the odds. Ribery is realistic but we don't need him is Jose sticks around.
Wenger has come out in the press and talked about experienced players today; one, perhaps two of them. To me, depth is as important as some earth shattering multi miilion pound Torres type signing. Our first eleven will compete with anyone, but take out Jens, Kolo and TH14 and suddenly the lack of experience will haunt us.

Its kicking into gear and we will sign players buy the time the new season begins. Its just a matter of patience.

On a lighter note, and as much as it pains me to say it, I've not yet had a chance to congratulate Spurs on bleeding the Mancs dry on Carrick - the twenty first century David Batty.

Just imagine the terrifying midfield pair of Carrick and Peter 'O'shea' Kay! Hehehehe

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Great Respect for a Great Man

There aren't many Arsenal games where the result doesn't matter; basically this one and arguably the Carling Cup, but yesterday wasn't about results, it was about fun and paying respects.

Is there any club that could have done a testimonial in such a classy way? Would Man USA have allowed 3 generations of Bergkamps to kick off a testimonial game? Their equivalent is Keane and surely at least 2 out of the 3 generations of the Keanes are in prison?
From Vieira and Ian WWW to Marco Van Basten and Cruyff; the whole day was spectacular. Bergkamp apparently shelled out for all the t-shirts on the seats and the man was treated like a God and fair play too. It was a truly special day and even some cheeky Ajax gimp scoring the first goal didn't ruin the day.

So, the 'gentleman club' says goodbye to a true legend and gentleman of the game in the classiest and most repectful of fashions. It simply couldn't have happened if it were another club or another player. That shows you how much depth the link between the club and the player has.

Dennis Bergkamp: God of the game.

Friday, July 21, 2006

We've had Dennis Bergkamp!!!

Dennis Bergkamp hangs up the boots tomorrow after the opening event at the new stadium. No-one deserves that more. Whilst it has been Wenger who has juggled transfers in order to compete in competitions and construct our new stadium, he was one of the first world class players to join Arsenal, probably leading to a knock on effect.

I can't really bring myself to write a full on eulogy about Dennis, this site simply doesn't have enough space to write down all his amazing moments. Whilst it is stereotypical, my favourite moments have to be THAT goal against Newcastle, THAT hatrick against Leicester, THAT goal against Argentina for Holland. Others include the last minute winner against Thun where in the Clock End it felt like we won the competition and also the classic Bergy goal against Brom on Bergkamp day: timinig or what?! Notice that every goal was special and there really aren't that many tap ins or close range headers. Maybe the Thun goal is one of five in about 100!

You hear the 'scorer of great goals, not a great goalscorer' statement a lot - well, it belongs to this man and we know that goals weren't even his main asset to the side!! the through balls, the vision, the runs, the chips, the partnership with TH14 were every defender knew how the play would occur but was powerless to stop it, to the double winning link up with Freddie in 2002.

Dennis had it all, even the mean streak that the true greats (Zidane, Maradonna et al) have. He is a sporting god and in my opinion the best player to ever play forArsenal. Not as prolific as certain others for sure, but Christ, was he the best player.

I don't think there can be a bigger compliment than the fact that I'm gonna try and squeeze into my Bergkamp shirt tomorrow. This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't a medium boys shirt from 11 years ago!!!

Dennis Bergkamp - we salute you.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Cashley Cole, Stephen Dennis and the sun...

Dear Sirs,

Far be it from me to be a moral/academic judge, but I have reason to believe that the most 'intelligent' of the three of you has the claim of being the man that wrote the book based upon the SERVANT of princess Diana? A lady that was much loved but not of Royal blood. So your career highlight is writing the sooths of a helper who may or may not have been drunk at the time of death of a dodgily wealthy Arab and a rejected English tart?

Wow!! Not only am I humbled by your quest for truth, but I'm relieved that you scribe such hard hitting factual journalism! More than that, I'm much at ease that your clients, such as Mr Cole, believe you to be the pillar of society that you truly are; and not simply the 'I'm a celebrity/big brother/love island/girls aloud/poker face/millionaire/x factor/WAG/Johnny-come-lately/ get me out of HER' that the silly people who don't purchase your 'exclusive' version of events in the murdoch daily sun realise you are!!!!

So Cashley Cole wants to go? For 16 million?! Its a good job you told us those two bits of classified info or we'd have never known!

If Arsenal do get 16 MILLION pounds for a world class left back, good business I say.!!
Ashley Cole is an amazing player, but he is the one player at the club we can replace without really trying. With the Cole-Pires-Henry left-hand triangle dead already due to RP7 leaving, Ash would have become merely a great left back rather than be remembered as the dynamic wing back that defences simply pissed themselves over at Arsenal in previous years.

In Gael Clichy we have someone who is not as good going forward but is a much better defender. In time, along with Flamini, we will benefit from selling Ashley. He's a Gooner, he's local, he's part of the INVINCIBLES, he's English, he'll ALWAYS be a legend but he's also a greedy fuck who has wanted to be with the Russian Pillagers for almost two years.

Whether he stays or goes has nothing to do with me, but remember that whilst we may benefit from a having a world class player in our ranks, he doesnt want to be here and for that, 16 million quid in Wengers hands seems like the bargain of the century!

With players like Yaya, Lilly, Appiah, Carrick, Vieira (pls no!) and Saviola presenting like dogs on heat, replacing the only replacable player in our squad is sound business.

Lets not forget that with the new stadium, we are a business more than ever before and along with the above transfers - like yesterday with the bow down to Kolo - I'd like to give even BIGGER worship to Big Phil. Philling (excuse the pun!) Tony Adams' number 6 shirt is a different kettle of fish to KT having Keowns number 5. Arsene has some faith in you boy! Fair fucking play.

When was the last time we had a 4, 5, and 6 in our squad? Was it when we destroyed United at Old TURD-ford in 2002?

Good, its about bloody time...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The rumour mill kicks into gear...

The rumour mill has began to step up a level now that the over hyped World Cup has finished. I'm not saying the World Cup was awful, but when a team of golden oldies and an insipid but solid Italy team take the Final itself to penalties, it just summed up the tournament perfectly. In some ways it showed the transitional nature of international football right now. There are simply too many domestic superstars not ready to take their form to the international arena. There were no big upsets, not many amazing games and it got worse as it went along. Worth watching, but definately didn't live up to the promise of the first ten days by any means.

In Arsenal news, we're being linked with any large, tough tackling midfielder and without wanting to jump on the bandwagon thats been clocking up miles for years now, its that type of player that will make an impact for us next year. Whilst Saviola look increasingly likely to join, we need to address midfield and defence. Up front we have Henry, Reyes, RvP, Adebayor, Walcott and possible Saviola. Whilst in central defence we've got KT, big Phil, Djourou and Pascal and in central midfield we've got Cesc, Gilberto, Flamini and Song. Quite an imbalance no?

I'd love to see Appiah or Yaya arrive to stiffen the centre of the park and Davies to come to centre back. Davies does seem a good player, but are we judging him on that one good game he had against us? I'm sure many on the net would be screaming bloody murder if £8 million was the fee and he played normally against us. For that reason, I feel Davies would be a good investment but paying Lillian Thurams wages for one or two seasons would be nice as well! KT is an awesome athelete and now defender, but I'm not convinced he should be THE senior centre back just yet. He's one of my favourites and a cult hero but who can say having Thuram as an option would harm our youngsters development.

Thuram, Davies, Appiah/Yaya and Saviola as a luxury would be a good summers shopping...and even if we do sign Javi Saviola first, Wenger isn't stupid enough to not sign in the positions mentioned above...Have patience!!

Oh, and well done to Kolo on his 'promotion' to number 5. Its awesome to see him recognised at last. Anyone think we could see number 10 being retired now? I only see it being given to an uber-signing like Torres but anyone wearing it apart from God simply wouldn't be right.