Cesc Needs To Apologise..

November 21, 2010

I’m not going to comment on the game..What’s to be said? We all know what happened. I don’t wish to go over it again.

What I do want to comment on is Cesc Fabregas and his stupid handball in the penalty box that lead to VDV’s leveller..What was he thinking??

If that was Denilson or Diaby or Song, they would be getting crucified right now, am I wrong??? I honestly think that Cesc’s little show of  dipstickness was the biggest individual error by an Arsenal player for a long time.. Cesc has now overtaken the likes of Fabianski and Almunia in the Arsenal hall of fame of fuck ups…

Unbelievable..

What bothers me the most is that he has done this before. Last year against the Dippers, Cesc did the exact same thing.. We were a goal up and he blocked a free kick  with his hand in the box.. We got away with it and we won, but what made him think he could get away with it again?? Especially at a time when England’s Refs and media want Cesc booked for everything.

He gave them a penalty from nothing. He cost us our lead and gave Spurs the momentum they needed to win the match. He cost us that game and he needs to say sorry..

Cesc needs to take a long look in the mirror, get his head down and lead us to the title.

I don’t wish to see that little stunt a third time..


Wengers Squad Looks Strong, But Is It Strong Enough??

August 14, 2010

So here it is..

The new season is about to start and I think we would all agree that no matter what our take is on the strength and depth of certain areas of our squad, we are all grateful and excited that kick off is just around the corner..

We have a fantastic team with some world-class individuals and I for one can’t wait to see the lads run out onto the pitch on Sunday..It’s a new season..It’s a fresh start and if we can miraculously keep the core of our key players fit for the majority of the season it would be silly to suggest we cant lift some kind silverware with this squad..You can never rule Arsenal out.. Fergie will tell you that!!

Arsene has been criticised for his transfer activity (or lack of)  this summer, but nobody can deny that if any other team in the PL had just signed the likes of Frimpong, JET, Jack and Gibbs, they would have been happy with their summer purchases..

The attacking options Arsene has at his disposal are mouth-watering and the promotion of the ‘next generation’ of Wengerball’s finest is food for thought for any media hack who dares to say we wont be a force to be reckoned with..

Arsene’s much criticised policy has never seen us drop out of the top four. I don’t expect that to change this year. 

That being said, I do see the problems that Arsenal will face this season. I’m a firm believer that we didn’t last the pace last term because the non stop clangers our ‘keepers kept making and have been making for the past few years, caught up with us and we also ran out of top quality CB’s…

We are currently going into the new season with the same clanger filled Goalkeeping options and even less CB’s than before…I see this as a major cause for concern.

Going forward we are a match for anyone but our shockingly apparent Achilles heel at the back is there for all to see once again and I’m astonished how much of the transfer window has passed without so much of an effort being made to rectify these problems..

I don’t buy into the fact that transfers are hard to complete nowadays due to factors such as – Does the player want to leave and do the club want to sell him even if he does??? For certain, these are key factors, but do people really think that with all our scouts and with all the players in all the leagues in all the world, Koscienly was the only player we could find to replace the 4 Cb’s we lost in the summer??? Arsenal are a massive club. A top 4 English club and a top 8 European club. I  don’t believe for one minute players don’t want to join us and  dont believe for one minute we couldn’t find anyone suitable for the position ability wise for the right price..

I know there’s a few weeks left of the window but not signing another CB before the dealine could lead to serious problems..There are no excuses for not reinforcing this area of the team..The problem is obvious and has been for the last few seasons. Even more so now we’ve lost so many players for that position over the summer..

It’s not that we don’t have any good players at the back because we do. The problem is we don’t have enough of them. Going into a new PL season with only 3 recognised CB’s is a massive risk..We have strength and depth in abundance in all other areas of the pitch so why are we so unbalanced at the back and why has it been allowed to get to this stage?

If a club is between transfer windows and they have been left with only 3 CB’s then it’s a problem that’s part of football..Your running out of CB’s and there’s not much you can do about it but put square pegs in round holes and try to adapt..Fair enough.

The difference with Arsenal is that we’ve had 2 months of transfer window to solve this problem and we are still going into the opening game of the season short of CB’s.. I’m struggling to understand the reason why are we handicapping ourselves before the season has even started.. We couldn’t even keep 6 CB’s fit last season so what makes Wenger think 3 will do the trick this time..An injury to Tommy V would leave us without any CB with any real PL experience under his belt. That pretty much puts the CB position at Arsenal in the same bracket as Blackpool’s…

Add to that the fact that AW doesn’t know who his number 1 is and it would be fair to suggest we are just not learning from anything the last 5 years have shown us and its hugely frustrating..

This Arsenal side is beginning to remind me a little of Keegan’s Newcastle.. Plenty of flair going forward and not much at the back. It’s not easy to win the best league in the world if your philosophy is –  lets just have a playground kick about and hope we outscore the opposition 38 games of the season..

We really need to learn how to defend better this season and a good start would be to have a few more defensive players to choose from..

We’ve got the players to win us the big games.

Chamakh looks the real deal. RvP has slowly risen to the ranks of Arsenal icon over the past few years..Before his injury last term its fair to say that he was in the world-class bracket..Cesc is world-class and he wants to win trophies whoever he plays for – he’ll be top drawer again this season.. Nasri looks pissed off hungry and he’s going to be one to watch this year. I think the lad showed in pre season why we paid 12 mil for him and if he finds consistency to the quality of talent he has, he will tear the PL to bits..

We are better equipped this season than any of our rivals in terms of attacking power..If we can strengthen at the back and keep our defence tight we will clear up…

Have a good weekend guys..I’m off to the bookies and I’m doing my first footy coupon of the season..Im so excited..Lets hope for some good football today, a 6-0 win tomorrow and a couple of new signings on monday..


DRAWING A LINE UNDER THINGS – AT LEAST UNTIL THE END OF THIS SEASON.

August 7, 2010

Written by Oliver..

Two days after returning to London, Cesc Fabregas issued an official statement in which he committed his immediate future to Arsenal. He started off by apologizing to us Arsenal supporters for not speaking out earlier, stating he had not decided what he really wanted to do until “this moment”. He further indicated that he was (is?) seriously considering a move to Barcelona, and implying that the move did not happen primarily because of Arsenal’s refusal to sell. He paid tribute to Arsenal and us supporters and stated this issue is now closed and he will be completely focused for Arsenal, will not think of Barca and will give his absolute best for us. Here is the actual statement:


Firstly I would like to apologize to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment,


‘I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.


‘This was the club where I learned my football; it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.


‘There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona.


‘I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.


‘I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal’s prerogative not to sell me.


‘I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.


‘I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal.


‘I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch that is the only club I will be thinking about.


‘I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me.’

So that is that, then….Or is it?

Not quite. I think this statement will disappoint many in that it is not unequivocal enough to prevent future speculation. Given Cesc’s established stance that he would like to return to FC Barcelona someday, I did not really expect a long-term commitment. Perhaps he could have committed for the length of his existing contract, but that would not account for changing realities from season to season. A situation may arise in the next season or two where transferring Cesc to Barcelona is in the club’s best interest. Nevertheless, there are several things that Cesc said provide some insight into how he feels.

Those who have read my previous comments here on Avenell know where I stand on Cesc: throughout the summer, I felt that Cesc was struggling with which team he wanted to join. He is Captain of Arsenal, the team that made him what he is today. But he is also very publicly being courted by Barcelona, the team he grew up supporting, the one his family supports, and the one he began his youth career with. Add virtually the entire Barcelona team whispering in his ear during the six weeks before/during the World Cup, members of his family/inner circle quite possibly trying to engineer a move to Barcelona and hearing the Catalan media talk about him “returning home” day in and day out, and it is not difficult to see how his emotions may have been pulled in different directions. I also felt that he deliberately kept his silence – and I am not talking about the media-twisted and distorted quotes held up as proof he wanted to leave us – because he did not really know what he wanted to do and was not willing to say anything to possibly give one side and advantage over another, should transfer negotiations ever commence. Finally, I felt throughout the summer that if everything were equal – no external perception issues, an atmosphere for good negotiations existing – he would prefer a transfer to Barcelona. His statement seems to corroborate some of that, but certainly not all.

From Cesc’s statement, I infer that while he did not decide his preference “until this moment”, he had “leaned” a lot closer towards Barcelona than Arsenal than I suspected. I say this because he implies that his decision was mostly due to Arsenal’s refusal to sell, while also emphasizing the attraction Barcelona holds for him. That debunks my premise that he was genuinely undecided for much of the summer. Indeed, his statement about “respecting (Arsenal’s) decision” – with nothing said regarding his emotion towards it – indicates he will not elaborate on how he actually feels about it. Take what you will from that.

Cesc and Arsene both admitted to talking over the summer. No surprise there. I had felt, however, with the premise that with Cesc remaining undecided, he had never actually told Arsene that he preferred to go to Barcelona. Taking his statement as a whole, I now believe there was a point – possibly in a later conversation, and not the first or second (which the media constantly says Cesc told Arsene he wants to leave) – where Cesc did in fact tell Arsene that he would prefer a transfer to Barcelona and possibly even asked Arsene to start negotiating. It is likely (although not 100 per cent certain) that Arsene did not negotiate. I now think that Cesc wanted a transfer more than I had previously thought.

With all of the above, it appears as this summer’s saga will end as I thought it would: Captain Cesc leading the Arsenal team out on the Anfield pitch on August 15th. I know this is not the end of the saga, just one chapter. I further think that we will have intense transfer speculation about another important player next summer, not only Cesc. I do not know who it will be, but I think several players will have very good seasons – and if we win something, that will fuel speculation even more.

As Arsenal supporters we now have a choice. Support our Captain, take his words at face value and cheer our team on, believing he is the professional he says he is: perhaps disappointed at not transferring this summer, yet able to completely set that aside and give everything he has in him to lead our team to success this season. Able to put the future where it belongs – in the future – and concentrate on the here and now, Arsenal. Or do not support him. Demand his relief as Arsenal Captain for wanting to transfer to Barcelona this summer, expect an un-motivated, sulking, malcontent Cesc, and see our season collapse around us. Most of us will choose based on how we view Cesc’s actions and non-actions over the summer. For myself, I believe Cesc is fully committed to us for this season and will do everything he possibly can to help us win something. I will worry about the off-season in the off-season. The way I see it, so many things can change between now and the end of May, that I do not feel it is necessary to worry about that now. For those who choose not to support Cesc, you may well be proved correct in the end. But at this moment, we do not know how this season – and Cesc’s performance – will turn out. He says he “owes us a lot”. I feel I owe him my unconditional support. It is my choice and I feel it is the least I can do.

(this would not be an oliver post without a reference to my struggling baseball team, the new york mets, but not today. it is all about cesc today).


Gooners’ Despair over Fabregas unfounded??

June 26, 2010

A theme running thru all the Arsenal blogs in recent weeks has been a resigned, and perhaps a somewhat cynical, expectation that Cesc will eventually leave the Gunners for his Catalonian “home” club.

I am not so sure. One thing the World Cup will have shown him is that the grass is not always greener on the other side. A splinter up the bum from the Spanish subs bench is likely to feel the same as a splinter up the bum from the Barca subs bench.

Fabregas has always been a little coy, following the end of the season, in simply restating his desire to return to Barca “at some time in the future”. During the resultant outcry from Gunners fans, everywhere, he has made only one cryptic but illuminating statement to say “I have discussed the situation with the manger, whom I trust absolutely, and the future is in his hands”. What to make of that?

I believe at the end of the season, when Arsenal came so close, but ultimately failed to win the premier League title, and coupled with his season ending broken leg, Cesc was understandably despondent. Another unsuccessful season had come and gone, and Arsene seemed to be no nearer changing his unsuccessful “youth” policy.

At the same time the Barca Presidential elections were in full swing with promises from both candidates to “bring Cesc back”. During pre- World Cup training, many of the players in the squad, who also play for Barca, put a lot of pressure on him to re-join the club and reminded him of his Catalonian heritage. But during the World Cup, Cesc would have had his eyes opened to the difficulty of getting into both the Spain and Barca teams.

At the meeting with Wenger, Cesc would have told Le Prof of his disappointment at the lack of trophies over the last 5 years; that there appeared to be no possibility of this changing while the current youth policy remained in place and that meanwhile Barca were winning titles for fun.

In response, Arsene would have promised Cesc he would make “class” signings, in the close season, to help win trophies but that if Arsenal still failed to win anything in season 2010/11, he would let Cesc go, provided a “fair and reasonable” transfer fee was offered, by Barca.

I believe that Cesc will stay for another year, we will win the Premiership and the European Champions League and Cesc will stay for life.

Written by Red Arse


Rodwell To Arsenal And Is Arshavin Doing An ‘Ade’??

April 29, 2010

With the season dwindling out into another year of pathetic nothingness at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has now conceded that changes need to be made within the clubs playing staff. Le Gaffer has stated that for years his hands have been tied in terms of bolstering the squad with top class talent, even though the evidence suggests otherwise. In seasons passed we have seen signings such as Theo Walcott-12 million, Samir Nasri-12 million and Aaron Ramsey- 5 million, all come into the club. This suggests that Wenger has always had funds to play with, yet has proceeded to go down his ‘youth experiment’ route when signing players..

After 5 years without silverware, Wenger seems to have woken up and finally realised that spending money on top class talent isn’t ‘Championship Manager’, it’s an amazing little invention otherwise known as footballs transfer market.. Something where all the clubs get together and sell their deadwood and top the squad up with quality players from other teams. For a small fee of course… When we lived at Highbury there was nobody better than Wenger in this field..How I miss that Wenger..

After witnessing a certain number of his protegés once again fail at the final hurdle and show they can’t even fight their way out of a wet paper bag, Le Gaffer has officially come public and said there is now more funds to spend than ever before and he is already in talks with the players he wants to improve the squad with next year.

A name that is persistently being linked to us is Everton’s ‘wonderkid’ Jack Rodwell..I like Rodwell and I think he’s going to be a top player. He’s got a good engine and he’s big and strong with two good feet..He’s a player who likes to drive the ball forward and glides across the pitch. I think he would be good for us, in a few years time anyway..But heres the dilema..Rodwell would no doubt cost anywhere between 15-20 million such is Everton’s reluctance to let their young players leave..We saw with Rooney and to a certain extent Lescott that Moyes doesn’t take any rubbish from any team with financial might and he digs his heels in until they give up or he gets top dollar..

Do we really need another under 21 player who costs a fortune who will take 3-5 years to start performing consistently? When what we really lack is experience and proven quality at international level? I’d love to see Rodwell in an Arsenal shirt and I would kick myself if he goes to Man Utd or Chelsea and turns into a top player, knowing we had the chance to sign him. But I think the days of spending big on young players should be over..We have more than enough young players, and whats wrong with our own academy? Are we not developing players like Rodwell?? The answer is yes we are, but we don’t have enough experienced players to compliment them..So although I like Rodwell I think we should leave him at Everton to develop some more and spend 15-20 million on some experience..

Other rumours that seem to be circling the club is that Russian Motormouth otherwise know as Andrey Arshavin, seems to be trying to make himself Arsenals new enemy number one,  jealous of Adebyewhores status. He seems to be rather unsettled at Arsenal and is trying to manufacture a move to Barcelona..

If this is true then let me speak on behalf of all Arsenal fans and say ‘F*ck Off then’..If you don’t want to play for us then pack your bags and off you trot.

But to me it doesn’t appear as cut and dry as it seems..

The difference between Ade and AA is that Arsenal made Ade..Without us he would have been an unknown still getting splinters on match days in the French Leagues. Ade’s words were also his own. They weren’t only newspaper reports. Ade’s scandalous and stupid comments came from his own mouth on national TV..We all remember the interview on Sky Sports don’t we? Where one minute he was staying at Arsenal and the next Milan were after him and he wanted to talk with Wenger about his future. After one good year?? Pillock..

On the other hand Arsenal didn’t make Arshavin..Arshavin made himself, coming to the worlds attentions by tearing teams a new one in Zenit’s UEFA Cup win and also single handedly tearing Holland apart in the Euros..He was Russia’s player of the year a zillion years on the trot and when we signed him he was ranked 6th best player in the world..Arshavin was a somebody when we signed him and he didn’t come to Arsenal to wait patiently for all the babies to develop sacrificing trophies in the process..

His ‘recent’ comments about Barca seem to be old news. Theres a familiarity to them. They appear to be the same comments he made before he joined us and although the tabloids are adamant its a new story, I don’t think any of us have heard the words come from AA’s mouth..So far its all been paper talk..

The reports also say he doesn’t rate Wenger in his top managers, but if we cast our minds back, Wenger also said AA wouldn’t make it in the PL..Then we signed him.

We all know he wants to win trophies and we all know he wants Wenger to sign some top  class players, but Cesc and RvP have said the same thing and the majority of fans agree so I don’t see a problem..

Arshavin’s situation is nowhere near the same as Ade’s and until I hear Arshavin actually say he wants to leave I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt..One thing is for sure though. If Wenger sticks to his side of the bargain and gives AA some top quality players to play with, then AA better pull his socks up and play better than what he did this season..Or I’ll carry him to Barcelona myself..


Campbell and Keown get together ….

April 27, 2010

With their opinion of course, what did you think I meant….

I’m going to cheat today and for two reasons,

1) All is quite quiet on the Arsenal front as we head towards the season’s close.

2) I have a busy day or so ahead, so I’m just making life easy for myself.

Sol Campbell has said this

The main thing is you have got to get the right balance, there is a fantastic amount of talent here and we just have to believe we can win a major trophy – and you also need a bit of the rub of the green now and again.
That said, I believe you make your own luck in the game – how you play, how you conduct yourselves, how you approach matches, making sure you are seriously thinking about football, you create luck with all those things combined.

Training-wise, you have to work on your weaknesses, preparing yourself properly for the game, on and off the field.
It is not that you have to be locked up 24/7, but I think all these things do add up – you ensure that things go your way by doing all the things which come before you actually step on the pitch.

We have got a lot of that in place here and I am sure that, once everything comes together, there will be no stopping Arsenal winning trophies season after season. You have to truly believe in your skill and trust that you can do something.
‘Wherever we finish, we will have to build on it and keep on going.

Martin Keown has said this,

The staff have worked hard for another year and they will go away disillusioned for another summer because this year has been a missed opportunity. The title was there to win this season.

If you look at the age of the team this year then I think they have over-achieved. They are all very young but we can’t keep saying that forever.

Arsenal need to buy in a sprinkling of proven quality players and introduce them alongside the current players, and they will drag them over the line.

It’s very important that you have these people in the squad. They are people who have been there and done it. They are people who you can look up to and rely on to show that quality. When you have a squad full of youngsters you get inconsistency and you are never quite sure how they’ll perform.

All the Arsenal players are now playing for their futures, they only have a few games to prove that they deserve to play at their club and that they deserve to have a future and that goes with the territory when you are playing for a big club.

The minute you can’t win a trophy then you don’t deserve a place, it’s as simple as that!!

Finally, Arsene Wenger has ‘allegedly’ said this,

“The construction of the Emirates Stadium meant that for many years we could not spend a lot of money. Our financial situation has greatly improved. We are finally able to buy the players we think we need.”

Will the summer of 2010 finally see one plus one make three?? I hope so because all three comments together are very positive 🙂

Have a good day peeps…..


The Cream Beat the Black Cats and Claw Back Up the Table..

February 21, 2010

Arsenal 2-0  Sunderland

I suppose this match was always going to be an anti climax compared to the run of games that we have just had, but how important it could turn out to be.
Everton had already given us a helping hand and a win for us would put us just 2 points behind the Salford’s.
I kind of sort of knew how the game would pan out even before it started. The ingredients were all in place, we were at home, just had a midweek game away in Europe with only two days rest, an average team coming to town, injury crisis. Blah blah, belief, blah blah..

When the teams were announced it brightened things up a tad. Ramsey in for Diaby, Song back to replace the Crabman, Theo in for Rosicky and what turned out to be the most exciting change Eboue in for Sagna.

The first goal came from great work from EE, he put it on a plate for Nikki to tap in from 3 yards out.

We did our usual 66% possession and missed a hatful of chances, It was one of those games where it would be better if the opposition scored first or equalised, then we would have focused, but the longer the game went on there was always that niggling doubt in the back of our minds that Sunderland could sneak a goal back and when they got a free kick when normal time was nearly up, I thought we could blow it.

Instead a minute later, Fabregas just got to the line of the penalty box and got tripped, I would have swapped it for the shout Rosicky had in the week, but none the less we were given something that was as rare as hens, Fabbie stepped up to do the business. I watched his goal celebration, he doesn’t look like a man packing his bags to me..

Almunia… 7.. I know he isn’t everyones cup of tea, but thank the lord he is back.. Did quite well when needed.

Eboue.. 8.5.. If he could play like this every week he would be the number one right back choice. We either need a more energetic midfielder who could cover him going forward or Sagna will always get the nod in the bigger games.

Vermaelen.. 7.5.. An excellent performance even though he looked a little awkward at times on the right hand side.

Silvestre.. 6.. One of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt, I am sure I heard the commentator say we have offered him a new contract.. Not the best plan for an ambitious club..

Clichy.. 7.. He went back to basics, he is a defender foremost and yesterday he defended, and quite well

Song.. 7.5.. He had another good game, he is setting high standards now and consistent. Would you swap him for Cana?

Fabregas.. 8.. Really he was the best player on the park, but for him a average performance, I don’t see how he managed to find his way into the refs book.

Ramsey.. 6.5.. He does some great stuff, yet his work can be undone with his over elaborate keeping of the ball in dangerous area’s.. He must wear different boots when he plays for Wales, he cannot hit the target for us.

Nasri.. 7.5.. A very tidy, but Hleb like performance.. End product please.

Walcott ..6.. Oh Theo, if only you could play the final ball, how many final passes did you cock up?

Bendtner.. 7.. When he stood in the wall defending the 89th minute free kick you could see he is clearly 6”-7” taller than either Vermaelen or Song, he just needs commitment and confidence he could be a monster in the air and with good feet for a big guy..

The Subs were not on for long so no marks given.

All in all a good days work, considering the midweek European hangover…

So all you gloom merchants plaster up you wrists and join us for a title run in and we are involved.. This is what supporting is all about, it doesn’t ever get much better than this. Enjoy the ride.