Have you ever been on an emotional roller coaster like this week ever in your life? I have had feelings of anger, fear and joy sometimes all at the same time. This week saw our famous cluib ravaged by the media. We were given no hope and then suddenly the day after, they are singing our praises. Football is a funny game as they say. So having survived the loss of two great players and managed to withstand the onslaught from Udinese, how can it get worse? I have a feeling that some of you are going to correct me all the same. So let’s dive into this week’s offerings
Had to be whether we qualify or not for the Champions League surely. Yet history has the habit removing the emotion from events, for in the archives of the Champions League qualifying results for the Group stages 2011/12 will be a result Udinese 1 Arsenal 2 (1-3agg) that observers will think, “Well as expected Arsenal gained it’s 14th entry into the Champions League.” On paper considering the opposition it was probably a formality but in reality it was an occasion for those with strong bladders. With Udinese ripping through the heart of our defence with pace and hitting the woodwork and netting once offside, the prospect of them scoring the 3 goals necessary to avert an Arsenal away goal seemed very likely. But in the second half, our noble Gunners went up a gear and played Wengerball to perfection.
Theo Walcott and Szczessy via for man of the match, with the penalty save easily giving it to our Polish shot stopper. He is no our undisputed number one and given his age, I think that he is better than Joe Hart. In the annals of the Champions League, it will also show that only Manchester United with 16 and Real Madrid with 15 consecutive season qualifications. We have been runners up once whereas Real Madrid have won it nine times and been runners up three times, the Mancs three cups and 2 runners up. Yes more than Barcelona who missed out in 2003, so that is an amazing stat to have on a CV as manager eh Arsene?
In this year’s competition Arsenal have drawn German Champions Borussia Dortmund who we shall play on Match day 1 on Tuesday 13th of September in their 67,000 FIFA regulated seated capacity which increases to 80,000 (with free standing South Stand for Bundesliga games) home stadium at the Signal Iduna park in the Industrial sector of Dortmund. Our next match day is Wednesday the 28th September at home to Olympiakos. On Wednesday 19th October we go to that cauldron in Marseille at the 60,000 Stade-Velodrome made famous by it’s partisan sections of the ground and frequent flares lit within the stands, followed by the reverse fixture on matchday 4 Tuesday 1st of November at the Emirates. Arsenal have never faced Marseille in European competition before so it should be quite special after the comments by $amir Cashri.
Well this week gave me the opportunity to have two rants against the Media. First up my latest mantra LOVE Arsenal HATE Sky, as UEFA tried to deny Arsene Wenger a seat on the touchline against Udinese. Happily they retracted the 2 match ban pending appeal. I think that this trial by televised news media has to be consistent and balanced. Sky have shown itself to be anything but balanced and I presented the evidence and asked that fans keep a watch out for other examples. The next time that there is a dive by Rooney or an elbow by John Terry I trust that Sky will re-run the footage every 15 minutes as it did for the Wenger-Primorac chat in the stands. The media have an over inflated opinion of their importance and when the Phone Hacking enquiry starts, I think that several of the papers will be embarrassed and found guilty of criminal activity.
One tabloid journalist who got special attention from RTK was John Cross of the Mirror who blamed Gooners for the bad atmosphere at Arsenal. This pathetic excuse for an objective columnist on Arsenal actually has more sympathy for Tottenham if his own words are to be believed. He claimed to have been “insulted” when Modric failed to turn out against Manchester United. He also tweeted quite wrongly that Arsene Wenger had said that Losing Fabs and Cashri would mean that AFC were not a big club. If he was actually at the Press Conference and got that so wrong, I think the owners of Trinity Mirror Group should ask themselves why they are spending such large sums employing the Bart Simpson of the tabloids.
The other feeding frenzy relates to the lack of transfer activity at Arsenal. A Wenger sympathiser sought to redress the balance of vitriol being slung at our great manager and revealed to Football Network that in fact Wenger was not the villain, it was in fact the Arsenal Board. It goes something like this. Arsenal have a transfer budget, but not just for transfers, it also has to cover renewal of existing contracts. This is old news…yawn! Apparently Arsene Wenger has asked the Board to allow him to break the wage structure at Arsenal to enable him to pay wages in the region of 150K in order to secure the likes of Cashri and soon van Persie. I presume that it was Ivan Gazidis on behalf of the Board who said NON, as Ivan “Teflon” Gazidis is being paid almost £2 million a year to ensure that the self sustaining model remains intact.
You might be forgiven that I am referring to the self sustaining of the Arsenal finance model, but upon the revelations of the anonymous source, it is the major shareholder Stan Kroenke who is being sustained. Ivan Gazidis by his own admission knows nothing about the value of players, he also by his words stated that Arsene Wenger was accountable to the fans and they could effectively remove him if the anti Wenger atmosphere was great enough. Now my advice to the anti-Wenger faction thinking of protesting publicly at our first home game with Swansea, is to make sure you realise that Arsene Wenger is more sinned against than he has sinned. Arsene is responsible for his egalitarian wage differential structure which has seen obscene amounts of money going into the bank accounts of our teen youth. This would have to stop if the top end of the wages scale was to be hiked up from it’s rumoured current ceiling of 120k per week. The one thing that winning on Wednesday proved was that even with the loss of Fabregas and Cashri, Arsene regularly knows how to pull results out of the hat when under fire.
“We live in a society where everybody has an opinion on everything. I’m like somebody who flies a plane for 30 years and I have to accept that somebody can come into the cockpit and thinks he can fly the plane better than I do. But that is part of our job and we have to accept that. I just would like to say that the Club is in, overall, a very strong position. Tonight, for 14 years on the trot, we play in the Champions League. We have a new stadium, a fantastic training ground, a very good financial situation and a very strong team.”
Ok he is allowed a little hyperbole I suppose, and this very strong team will be getting even stronger once the predicted transfers take place. Arsene has alot to prove with only 5 days left of the transfer window, should be alot of activity on the Bank Holiday Monday at London Colney I expect.
On Twitter I had decided to name our pitbull midfielder Diddy Mr T, the problem is that this is open to misinterpretation. Diddy I now find means a female nipple! Whereas I was brought up with ken Dodd, the Liverpool comedian whose Diddy men where smaller than dwarf individuals wreaked slapstick humour in their home of Knotty Ash. Mr T of the A-Team refers to the Mohican. I have to say if anyone called Frimpong a tit, then it was likely that they would be savaged as Piers Morgan found out to his cost. So small Mr T? hardly. Eldo calls him the Tank, I think Pitbull or Rottweiler is more appropriate and perhaps with apologies to a Leeds United legend Norman Hunter, we should call him Emmanuel “Bites yer Legs” Frimpong. He was utterly majestic and providing he learns to time his tackles better than Paul Scholes, he is the successor to Gilles Grimandi and Paddy Vieira that Arsenal have been looking for.
Vermaelen has a fitness test tomorrow but should play, Koscielny had a test today and will probably make it, Bendtner out (Ankle problem and may leave club) Squillaci out. Jack Wilshire, Diaby, injured. Frimpong, Song and Gervinho suspended.
I wish that Arsenal Player would get the press conference out quicker than giving it to SKY. We pay for it too now guys… I have had to delay this blog waiting for that!
“The figure quoted for Gary Cahill is wrong, too low, I do not discuss va
“No work permit yet for Joel Campbell”
“We will lose players in the African Nations Cup for two months so we are a little light in the striking department and will try to buy one”
“If Bolton don’t want to sell the player, they can keep him.”
“There is a chance of no further signings if the selling club is not prepared to sell. We are a bit short number wise.”
“ If I could change the transfer window rules then I would cap the transfers when the season started as there would be less press conferences on transfer speculation. I am not happy that Adebayor can go on loan to Tottenham with Manchester City paying his wages”
“Patrick Vieira was not part of the formal negotiations with the Nasri transfer”
“Song, Frimpong, Gervinho, Diaby, Wilshere, and Bendtner not available”
“No news about Jack Wilshere’s visit to the Specialist”
On the Next Game…
“Manchester United were good against Tottenham and have started stronger than usual are the favourites for the title. Hope that you will not be disappointed by the game. We can get a result, it is not helpful to have players suspended like Song and Gervinho, but my squad will fight. Very disappointed about the manner of the dismissals, which were very harsh.”
On the Champions League…
“ I got the pot four that I didn’t want (Borussia Dortmund) Going to Marseille will be challenging because of the passion and desire of the club and it’s fans”
Going to get a result at Old Trafford having not won there since 2006 is a challenge. Everyone has written off Arsenal, and all the media are suggesting that the 3-nil demolition of Spurs by the mancs is evidence that everyone else should just roll over and give them the title. I think that Liverpool and Manchester City might argue about that. The tabloids and SKY proclaim that Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley appear to have matured more quickly than our youth and that Alex Ferguson is the master of bringing through players. Let me say this. Manchester United would be very silly to think that because we have lost two important players, that somehow we cannot get a result. SAF would be very silly to write off our chances especially when we have the quality to put his new keeper under pressure, and the game could well be the battle of the two keepers. I think that Arsenal will line up with
Szczesney, Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen,Jenkinson, Traore, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin
Man United will probably be unchanged from the Tottenham result, however I do not know their injury status regarding Ferdinand and Vidjic.
‘Ello fellow Gooners, I av a right royal hangover today. Me and me mate Arfur sank fifteen pints of Fullers each after seeing our boys give the greasy ones a right slapping. Oi! What a bunch of pansies these boys were. Fell over if you even breathed on them. What was is name Pinzi? Pansy more like, next time put some ecking studs on yer boots before you come and play will ya?
Eh and what about Arsenal answer to putting some teeth into midfield? Listen guys I reckon even Mike Tyson would have to run and hide when Frimpong comes calling!
‘Ere Arsen, spend some ‘ecking money will ya? As for bidding just peanuts for that Cahill fella, is he a monkey? C’mon Arsen, if you want the geezer, put yer hand in yer wallet and get rid of a few mill eh? You know what… I wish that fat Ruskie bloke would come in and spend a Billion Roubles on this club, the bleedin yank is so tight… not just his lips either. I mean ‘is missus is the Walmart heir aint she? C’mon Stanley give Arsen the money he needs and lets get this show on the road.As for Cashri, the pillock has been shouting his gob off, calling us Gooners lacking in passion. Well Samir, me old mate, when you come down the Emirates, you had better bring the bleedin Foreign Legion with you to protect yourself, cos it aint gonna be pretty. Call your self a professional? A professional Idiot in my book.Anyway I gather that Shamrock Rovers have got to play the Scum in the Mickey mouse Europa cup….hahahahahaha As my mate would sing
“Who put the ball in the Tottenham net…? Arfur, Arfur
Who put the ball in the Tottenham net…? Arfur bleedin Europe!”
hahahahaha Geddit? Later my Gooners and let’s shove it up the mancs on Sunday Ok?
Samir Nasri apparently by his own words on mcfc tv wanted to be at Manchester city since the beginning of pre-season training so that he could play for his new club. He spoke with Vieira whilst he was holiday about the move, which means he has had long standing contacts with the club. Yet AW told the media only days before the signing that Nasri loved Arsenal. Arsenal fans lack passion apparently and Man City fans remind him of Marseille, He wants to play with big players who have good feet and technique, his disrespectful comments about his former fans and team mates is breathtaking and he can expect a Cashley Cole type reception when he returns to the Emirates. Nasri has shown himself to be of little class and very little intelligence to have ignited such a cauldron. Humility would have prevented what he is now going to face. So do I wish him well? No! A very big FRIDAY FINGER TO NASRI