Well welcome back to TGIF, a blog desigined to warm those parts of your body that the sub zero temperatures lately managed to turn into frozen plates of meat as any good cockney will tell you. The fires were lit on the Emirates steps by the Club’s attempt to enable the Bolton game to be played. However we were beaten by political correctness and a desire to protect the world and its mother from falling over after leaving home. What is the world coming to when the risks of living have to be managed by law suits? Three inches of snow in the south east and the modern world has come to an end. Why don’t we hear about the plight of those poor people in the North and Scotland who have to put up with much worse on a regular basis. Anyone for a southern softie? Lets get on and debate the week’s events.
Sol is again a Gooner until the end of the season at least, and Gallas must stay after 30, is the theme as Arsene Wenger does a very welcome u-turn on his over 30 limit on long contracts. What amuses me is that how Arsene Wenger views these old age pensioners now that he has accepted they have a role to play. Ok they may not run quite as fast, but they have experience. There appears to be a lack of experience in this Arsenal squad. Until the youth have actually won something significant, they will continue to bottle it at the eleventh hour.
The over 30 rule was quite controversial when Dennis Bergkamp was supported by many Gooners at Highbury in his quest to receive another years contract. The thinking behind the rule related to the decline in athleticism when it came to Arsene Wenger’s fitness criteria. It is so pleasing that now Le Boss has ditched his stopwatch in favour of common sense. It is alos a welcome u-turn on his statements that whilst he could never says never, once you leave Arsenal Football club, that is usually the end with no hope of a return. So could this open the door for other ex Gunners? I think not, because the only ex Gunner that would make a difference at the moment is Nicholas Anelka. (Bet you thought I was going to say Thierry Henry…lol)
The other big issues related to the financial problems being experienced by two of the big four, namely Manchester United and Liverpool. There is something quite wrong about the manner in which Premier league titles can be bought, and I have already written a blog about how much it costs a club to secure that accolade. UEFA created a Club financial control panel headed by former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dahaene which will enforce rules in 2012 to ensure that Clubs balance their expenditure based upon the revenues received.
Whilst this will not impact upon the Spanish giants whose lucrative broadcasting and image rights deals enable them to secure hundreds of millions of pounds in excess of their franchising and stadium receipts, it is thought that the measures will impact upon Premier league clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, the new kids on the block who appear to have bottomless pockets thanks to the oil rich Mansour family. The Bundesliga who have a different model requires clubs to keep their shares as public listed companies and therefore private ownership is not common. There are also strict financial reviews that require Clubs to balance their books similar to the systems in place in France.
Our back page round up author Eldo71 got a real kicking this week, and readers may have noticed that i have unleashed the dogs of war in the shape of jimc. This contributor is willing to give any abusers who come onto this blog as good as we get. Robust debate is one thing, offensive personal attacks is quite another. It detracts from the quality dicussions we have, and there are at least two other blogs that I can think of that have enough obscenities and four letter words in their content and abusive responses so why don’t these low lifes go to their spitual homes? This is a blog where we write original articles and the back page round up saves you having to surf and find that content. This is very good value and again I repeat that Eldo71’s tabloid round up does what it says on the tin!
“No. I wasn’t [upset that Everton played on],” said the Frenchman.
“I said to Denilson afterwards: ‘If that happens [again] you have to commit a handball.’
“I’m very serious. If you go down, and there hasn’t been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter-attack and not to score.
“So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it’s a free-kick.”
Well Arsene has made it plain that if spormanship is lacking from the game then Arsenal players will just have to bring an element of the “Chelsea way” into their game. The Russian tarts know every off the ball and gamemanship trick to barge players out of the way, fall on the ball and handle it, or slip over and accidentally pull your opponents shirt and him to the ground. I have to disagree i’m afraid. the referee is the one that should stop the game. leaving the decision to the other team to put the ball out only works if they have nothing to lose.
Arsene made more views known at his media press conference today. He announced that Sol Campbell would finalise a deal today with the club.
The signing of Sol Campbell until the end of the season was very welcome and already the young players have welcomed his input. Arsene Wenger was guarded about the possibility of Sol Campbell staying beyond the end of the season and was confident that the player was sharp in training and has more than 45 minutes in his tank. He expects him to be in the squads over the coming weeks and this was an opportunity for the player to relaunch his career. Arsene Wenger refused to be drawn upon the manner in which Sol Campbell left the club. He did mention that Sol Campbell had indicated that it would be abroad, confirming the annoyance that many felt when He turned up at Portsmouth instead the following August, leaving the club without a transfer fee.
On the injury front Arsene confirmed that Theo Walcott is out for a further two weeks, and so is Denilson for a week following his chest muscle injury. Fabregas is fit and so is Gael Clichy so they will be in the squad for Sunday. Arsene Wenger mentioned in today’s press conference that he had made the observation that five or six clubs could compete for the Premier League title. He denied any imminent transfer deals and on the exclusive Website interview yesterday he confirmed that he would buy a striker if a bargain came along. He also mentioned that Niklas Bendtner was making good progress and was only two weeks away from a return after a good development in the last four days.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas provided the performance of the week with a hat-trick in Arsenal 4-2 victory over West Ham United at Upton Park. The first was a delicate glancing header from a corner to give Arsenal a 1-nil lead. His second followed a solo penetrating run into the box, and he finished with a firmly driven low left foot drive past the keeper. He secured his hat trick with a another firm left footed shot into the far left bottom corner, as he received a nice reverse pass from Frimpong which found Emmanuel-Thomas sensibly wide in space from about 15 yards out. Jay is a tall confident player who has made much progress and will feature in the first team in the coming months.
Mark Randall has joined Milton Keynes Dons on loan, and this is a good move for him as from watching his performances I have been concerned that his progress had slowed down this season. He seemed less focused and his possible first career will now be able to be rekindled.
Contracts have also be signed by Craig Eastmond, and Rhys Murphy. Gavin Hoyte has extended his loan at Brighton and Hove Albion, and there is no news about the possibility of Jack Wilshere possible loan to Owen Coyle at Bolton Wanderers the team that we are due to play twice in the space of four days. Phillipe Senderos appears to be on his way out after not being able to secure a long term place at Arsenal.
Friday Finger goes the referee who was in charge of the West Ham v Arsenal reserves games. His award of two penalties were dubious at best and at worse totally stupid. Take a bow sir, and enjoy the finger where the sun don’t shine…
Thanks again to Arsene Wenger the reasons should be obvious and if they are not, then place a comment below and I am sure that the answers will come thick and fast from readers of this blog. That’s all until next week, so have a good weekend!