Arsenalisation, Signings and (zzzzz) Cesc.

July 25, 2010

It’s good to hear that the North Bank and the Clock End with clock included, will be back next season as the Arsenalisation machine continues..I think the club realised last season that 60,000 scarfs placed on seats at a cost of pittance was a bit of a shitty way to get the fans giddy, so they’ve invested some more money into bringing back some of the old memories.. Since the move to the The Emirates the club has lost its identity a little. This is a good way of getting it back and the fans will have a proper feel good vibe about the place. Hopefully it will spread into the squad and the club as a whole..I think its a good move I just hope it’s not coming out of the transfer kitty..

I really hope these are the first steps in creating a better atmosphere around the place. The North Bank and Clock End are a good idea but that was Highbury and Highburylisation isn’t the answer..It’s not a substitute for success. The Emirates needs its own identity and the way to do that is trophies. They are the best kind of memories. Nobody will be sat in the pub in 5 years time and say to their mates with pride;

“remember that game in 2011 when we had 99% possession but lost 3-0 and Denilson had the best stats”

What a boring, unambitious and downbeat way to talk about the team you love. It should be more like;

“remember that game in 2011 when Denilson hit a 30 yard screamer into the top corner in the 93rd minute? Won us the game and the league and 60,000 of us sat and watched the presentation of the best league trophy in the world at the best stadium in the world. What a day for the arsenal”

The Emirates needs that kind of memory. The only way to kick-start our ambitions and prove we are actually going for the title and not some fingers crossed, half arsed attempt like we are usually do is the need to sign players of quality, good enough to improve the squad because we obviously aren’t developing them as quickly as Wenger expected..

We are doing ok at the moment but we are spending nothing and every time we face a big opponent we get schooled. We aren’t as good as them but imagine how good we’d be with a few more quality players?

The important thing to remember here, is that Wenger said he’s got the money. He said that the financial shackles had been lifted and he had the money to compete with Chelsea. Although we obviously can’t afford to compete with them on wages, transfer fee wise we could sign anyone we wanted. The wage package Chelsea could offer players would make them a bigger attraction for a target, but they can’t sign everybody can they? Which Wenger also pointed out..

Even Fizsmann has gone on record saying that if Wenger wanted £30mil to spend on players he could have it.. That was back in 2008 so imagine how much we have now?

Whether Wenger will spend it or not is a mystery..Everyone seems to think this will be the season Wenger must see he has to spend. He has no choice. We aren’t good enough to win the two (not four) trophies we aim for and we need to stop making excuses and start producing. Recent trends however,over transfer windows past suggest we don’t seem to do too well in the window and the trend seems to be continuing this year.

Chamakh excites me a little but he was free and I’m not that thrilled with Kos if I’m honest. We need more. We need about 3 more…

If we add to these signings and get another solid, take no prisoners CB, a keeper who has the ability and agile niftyness of a chimpanzee and a midfielder with the mental strength and winning mentality of the incredible hulk I’ll be over the moon.

I’m not saying let’s go out and spend £150 mil but £40 – £50mil should do the trick. With today’s market prices if we want good players we have to spend big. No messing about. If we can really compete with Chelsea then lets put our money where our mouths are. Stop talking about it and just do it. This is what we moved to The Emirates for, so we could compete for the best trophies with the ultimate opponents..

By the way I’ve got my new arsenal away kit for this season and yes I have got Cesc4 on the back. I’m not too happy about whats happened and I’m sure Cesc wasn’t innocent in the whole saga but he’s class and if he stays which i think he now will, I’ll support him…I just don’t want to see no badge kissing when he scores because its bollocks..

Sky Sports ruined my Saturday rituals….

July 2, 2010

This is, unashamedly, for Arsenal fans of a certain age. If you are not a Gooner do not read on, this is not for you.

My earliest recollection of going to watch Arsenal was when my dad took me to Highbury, for my birthday, more years ago than I care to admit to. After that, it soon became a weekly ritual and in the long week, from Sunday to Friday, leading up to the game on Saturday, I spent countless hours scouring as many newspapers as possible to glean even the smallest article about my beloved team.As Saturday came closer, the pent-up excitement and sheer exuberance was almost too much to bear.

Then Friday evening was spent getting my Arsenal shirt, scarf and bobble hat ready for the off, neatly folding and re-folding to ensure they were pristine, until my Mum yelled for me to turn the light out and go to sleep!
Saturday morning dawned, I leapt out of bed and hurtled into the shower and distantly heard other family members shouting at me “it’s only 4 a.m.”. Oh no! So, back to my room once more, squirming with the need to be quiet and patient, willing the hours to fly by. To pass the time, I got down my carefully stored box of Arsenal programmes, and equally carefully read thru my lovingly collected programmes, with the teams printed on the back cover.
Then, at last, the moment arrived! Everyone was up for a hurried breakfast; then I tore down to the shops to buy three papers, it had to be three papers or Arsenal might not win. Sports pages read, chores done, we were off.

Down to the tube station, tickets obtained, the journey had begun. Arriving at Arsenal (a tube station named after my club … Bliss); the fans surged off the train, and, with my dad’s arm wrapped protectively around me, we were squeezed into the long and slightly spooky passenger tunnel, until we emerged out of the exit onto Gillespie Road, like a human sausage. Not long now. Up Highbury Hill to the West Stand turnstiles, click, click we are in. Then, I am throwing myself up the stairs to grab my seat opposite the East Stand where the teams would eventually emerge, like a human snake.

The teams are out, the big hand on the Clock in the South Stand is ticking inexorably towards 3 p.m., the crowds’ singing is growing louder until, in a huge crescendo, the hand reaches the 3; the referee blows his whistle and the game is on.

Such joy, such ecstasy! I didn’t know it then, but no orgasm in later life would ever match that moment.
After the game, with hands, nose and feet frozen, it’s off to get a hot cup of reviving Bovril, before beginning the journey home. Did you see that tackle? I’m sure he was offside! I think Rocky Rocastle is brilliant, I want to play like him. My poor dad had to put up with my prattle all the way home. Home at last, exhausted, in time for the Grandstand sports report.
That ritual was repeated week in and week out, with the substitution of Beer for Bovril as I grew older. 🙂

Happy memories, indeed, but what is Sky’s connection?
Well nowadays, because of Sky’s schedules, the ritual of a Saturday 3 p.m. kickoff is almost a thing of the past. There is Saturday and Sunday lunch time kick offs; Saturday and Sunday evening Kickoffs and so everything has changed!
There is though an upside to this. As a passionate Gooner I love the fact that I can see, not just the home games, but also many away games, frequently shown on TV. Many Arsenal fans in Africa, America, the Philipines and all over the world can see the games and enjoy them too.

One final massive benefit is that it has led me, indirectly, to a great website, here at Avenell Road, where I can chat about all things Arsenal, with so many good friends and fellow Gooners, and share with them moments of serendipity and humour.

That is worth losing my Saturday ritual for.

Now, where are the morning papers with their rubbish but fascinating transfer rumours!

Written by Red Arse

Keeping Cesc Could Cost Us £20 Million !!!

June 15, 2010

I know we have all been avoiding this subject, but no matter how much we try to bury our heads in the sand this is the most important thing going on at our great club at the moment.
Barca want Cesc and boy don’t we know it. My heart says we should hang on to our greatest talent and Captain, I have admired his play on the field, I have admired his conduct off the field and I have defended him when he was having an off spell the season before last.

Now let me make it clear, I do NOT want to see Cesc go. This would be  our biggest loss since we lost Liam Brady at a similar age..  Here comes the but.. But the only way that I can see us hanging on to our playmaker is if we do a deal with Barca and Cesc which would delay the inevitable for another year.

This would be a bad move in a lot of ways, the main one being it will give Barca the exclusive rights and eliminate other clubs in the sale hence driving the price we would get for him down to the bare minimum.

Let’s say for instance we could sell Cesc for £35 million plus Yaya Toure (who was valued at less than £10 mill last season) that deal would be worth in the region of £50 million.
Next season we may only get a mere £25 million if we snake up to Barca and beg for him to stay. It may be similar to the deal we did with the great Thierry, at the end of 06 he was the best striker in the world and would have commanded a price close to £40 million and we all know the pittance we got for him leaving it a year too late.

So is it worth Arsenal playing the nice guy and letting Cesc have what he wants and doing a deal. Or should we sell him now and take the readies??

If Arsene was given the transfer budget promised plus the entire lump sum from the sale of Cesc that would make him an extremely dangerous man in the transfer market.
And the fans should force this to happen, not buy a couple of budget players and forget about this seasons budget and half of the profit we make on Cesc..

Jose joins in, Cesc says no and Gourcuff to sign on Monday

June 6, 2010

This is the rumour I saw this morning…. (let me add, of course I don’t believe it – it’s silly season!! Its crazy rumour time!!)

Gourcuff is supposedly going to sign for us on Monday morning for £21.8M, he will be followed by Subotic and Koscienly. It’s even suggested that Diego Alves will also be joining us before the end of the transfer window.

Coquelin (loan) and Traore are suggested to be part of the Koscienly deal and I just hope Denilson is part of the Subotic deal – or even the Alves deal, maybe Almería would like to swap Brazilians??  😉

Add to them the freebie Joe Cole, we almost there aren’t we??

I know the chance of all that happening is  unlikely, but just imagine if it’s true!!

With those additions and another big lump of a central midfielder we would beat anyone, along the way we can throw all Eddie the Chavs comments he made in yesterday’s post, right back at him.

I don’t mind if we don’t get Gourcuff though, I’d be more than happy with van der Vaart – if the little magician goes, then let’s get both, ship out a few on the way to help balance the books…

Jose has done as we all hoped, its suggested he has made an enquiry for our captain, but the latter has quickly said ‘No way Jose’ – it’s the Catalan’s or he staying put!!

As far as the keeping situation goes, Arsene Wenger has the perfect opportunity to sort this out. Pepe Reina signed a new deal with dippers believing that Rafa would stay. We all know that has now changed, so why not go and offer him a decent contract, a decent wage, Champions League Football and see what he says??

I think things are about to get moving in the transfer market, Hodgson is favourite to take over at Anfield, a few players will want to follow him or move because they don’t want to play for him. Seriously, the World Cup is soon to kick off, managers will want transfers sorted out before it does. It could be a very interesting and busy few days…

I certainly hope it is for Arsene Wenger…..

Cesc Buying Out His Contract And Will The Real Number 10 Please Stand Up.

June 5, 2010

With the ‘Cesc to Barca’ story dragging out and becoming as boring and ridiculous as the ‘who killed Archie’ storyline in Eastenders, rumours have now circulated that Cesc may seek to buy out his contract in order to make his dream move. Apparently Cesc has become stressed by the lack of progression. Naughty Sir Wenger won’t let his hottest property join those darling angels from Barca, for nothing more than a packet of peanuts and a curly wurly and is looking to do a ‘Hleb’ or a ‘Webster’ if we want to use the correct terminology.

This would mean Cesc coughing up roughly in the region of £30 mil, which coincidently is the same as what the Stains value him at. In theory, Barca give Cesc the £30 mil, he in turn gives it to us and everyone’s a winner. In practice this is bullshit.

For a few reasons..

Firstly, I don’t think Cesc would do that to us, nor to Wenger. He may have Barca DNA but he’s not brought up that way, he was brought up the Arsenal way. The classy way. His recent comments suggest this;

“I will say only one thing – I have got massive respect for Arsene Wenger, Arsenal football club and the Arsenal fans. Even in my own house I have not felt as loved as I have at Arsenal. I had a long conversation with Arsene and it was the greatest [longest] conversation I have had with anyone in my life. I respect him, so, so much and I don’t want to say anything more. Wenger said to leave it in his hands and he will deal with whatever happens in the future. It is now all about Arsenal – it is not in my hands. Now I just wait: it is up to Arsenal. Right now all I am thinking about is the World Cup: everything else is the future and I am not going to say anything else.”

Which is basically translated into; I love Barca and I would love to join them, but Arsenal hold all the cards and I will do as I’m told as I have love for them also..

Secondly and more importantly (as loyalty is rarely seen in football to make the first point concrete) Article 17 of FIFA’s Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players is entitled “Consequences of Terminating a Contract Without Just Cause”, and is the fifth article of Chapter IV, “Maintenance of Contractual Stability between Professionals and Clubs”. It outlines the provisions which apply if a contract is terminated without just cause, and the requirement for the party in breach to pay compensation. Specifically, it states that any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 can buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed. If he is 28 or older the time limit is shortened to two years.

Cesc signed an eight year deal in 2006, keeping him with us until 2014, which technically means he falls under the Hleb Webster Clause. Or so we thought, until a club atatement blew Barca out of the water with this classy statement.

“Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the Club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans. We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the Club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment. However, yesterday evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain. To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion. Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word.”

Which is basically translated into; I don’t care if Cesc has the Barca badge tattooed on is arse, he’s an Arsenal player and £30 mil wouldn’t buy his right leg so get f*cked..

The key part of that statement for me is the fact it specifically said Cesc was contracted until 2015..Cesc signed an extension to his contract last summer which means he’s only one year into his current deal, not the four years everyone seems to think that puts him in the Hleb Webster category..

Wenger gets a lot of flack sometimes for giving his young players new deals every 18-24 months, we all want to know why we are giving players new deals when they are only two minutes into a 100 year contract but by doing this Sir Wenger is stopping them from getting past year three and getting picked off by the vultures for a bag of peanuts and a curly wurly.

Cesc isn’t going anyhere..Not for £30mil anyway!! We still hold all the cards, morally and legally..

Onto the next topic

I never understood why when Gallas signed he was given the number 10 shirt. It frustrates the hell out me when i see players like Gallas wearing 10 and Diaby wearing 2.. Whats all that about?? I always had the theory that Wenger didn’t want to put any pressure on any of his strikers by giving them the IceMans old number, so he gave it to a defender. Call me old fashioned if you like, but its like a pet hate that defenders wear attackers jerseys and attackers wear defenders.

With Gallas technically not with the club anymore I wondered who will get the oh so sacred Number 10. Will Wenger promote from within and maybe Arshavin gets it? Or will we see a nice new quality player like a Gourcuff, a Van Der Vaart or even a Joe Cole donning the famous number??

Whatever happens no team is complete or looks right without a Number 10, so I hope Wenger doesnt retire it.

Barca finally get their man! Shock, horror, we’ve signed Chamakh

May 22, 2010


Yep, yesterday Barcelona finally confirmed David Villa had signed for them and he did the usual parade at the Camp Nou. I am gutted, I always hoped Villa would join us, but I now have to accept it was all a dream, he’s now tied to Barca for four years…

Oh well, life goes on I guess… 🙂

Back to us, yesterday we were linked with Zapata, Tasci, Subotic, Cahill, Jagelka and Van Der Wiel on the footie gossip page, its funny how Cahill and Subotic keep getting mentioned isn’t it, I for one would be happy if they did sign too, the defence would be very strong, especially if you add Vermaelen, Djourou and Big Sol to those two. All we need then is a better goal keeper and we would reduce our goals conceded by at least half!

I like the sound of Subotic, 6′ 4″ and viewed as one of the best young defenders in the Bundesliga. He has height (no more Diaby in defence),he has power and speed, just what we need. Stick him alongside Vermaelen and add one more and we are sorted!

So after another transfer saga, none of us will be surprised to know we have signed a centre forward who goes by the name of Marouane Chamakh…… Here is what he said after securing his deal..

“This is a dream come true and a great joy to be joining Arsenal. My goal was always to play in the Premier League and Arsenal was the choice of my heart.

“Without any hesitation, Arsenal was my preferred club. The team and history of Arsenal, they make me dream. My goal was to join Arsenal out of the all the English clubs because it is a club that makes me dream and I have been a fan since I was a child.

“I’m very excited about playing at Emirates Stadium in front of the Arsenal supporters. I have heard many great things about the stadium and I cannot wait to be playing there in an Arsenal shirt.

“I will give my best to this Club, the Club that I used to support. We have many great players at Arsenal and I will be giving everything to help the team win trophies next season.”

No we have a new No9, his though has a No2 in front of it, he will wear the number 29 shirt, but in all honesty, where does this leave our own No9, Eduardo??

I think it could well spell the end for him, this league is hard, tough and very physical. Without proper ref’s many a tackle goes unpunished which results in players ultimately being injured the way that he was. Why would he now want to stay?

There’s another player who constantly gets kicked week in week out, I’m not going to mention his name, but maybe he want’s out before another player puts him out of the game for good…..

Here he is, just in case no-one has seen him 🙂

Have a great day all, one in and may many follow 🙂

‘Cescgate’..You Decide!!

May 19, 2010