Arsene’s A*se is Well and Truly Bitten.

September 26, 2010

I thought it was about time I awoke from my blog slumber and made an effort to put my hands on a keyboard, to be honest I felt like doing it last Wednesday after we beat the Marsh Landers, but although it was nice to beat the Spuds, the stopping of the gobbing off and text messages was more akin to scraping something unpleasant off the bottom of my shoe, they are just an unnecessary irritation. Not a reason for celebration.

We have spent five years blooding youngsters in the Mickey Mouse cup and making excuses when we are knocked out, then we field a half decent side to win a game and we act like we have done another double..

Pathetic, That’s double standards the Spuddies are not our rivals anymore, Real Madrid, Juve, Barca etc they are. The Emirates Cup is just as important as the Carling at least we play decent teams in that pre season competition, well except Rangers of course.

To top it off and to prove Arsene right in the way that he used to rest the first team in the MM Cup, on Tuesday we fielded a strong team considering our injury problems culminating in resting key players yesterday who are vital to the team, especially while Cesc is out, so we went on to lose our next Premiership game.

What happened yesterday is so sickening, where does it go so wrong?
The pundits on Talk Sh**e on the radio were talking of Arsenal and Chelsea going through the season unbeaten (again in our case), Almunia was a reformed character, and the Squillaci and Kosceilny are the greatest CB’s since sliced bread (Hovis and Kingsmill the famous double winning pairing), well at least we don’t have to wait for the Chavs to knock us off our pedestal.
Yesterday we just got beat, no humiliated at home by a team whose town has a Building Society more famous than their football club.

It always goes wrong when Diaby plays, does anyone know the players who started in the games we lost last year? I am sure he was on the team sheet for most of them, coincidence.. mmm

It goes wrong when Eboue plays at anything other than right back.

If Cesc plays we can afford to drop the creative players and the better passers of the ball. When he is out we need Rosicky, Wilshere and dare I say it “gulp” Denilson in the starting line up.

Song, Diaby and Eboue don’t work… any one of them in midfield with the others is just bearable but any two and we stifle Arshavin and Nasri of any creative linking up.

We normally wait for Chelsea or the Man U games for Arsene to try out that sort of line up. But yesterday the mighty WBA beat us, and beat us fair and bloody square.

I have only watched the game on a mosaic quality stream and I will try to re-watch the game before I do some player ratings.

I watched some of the game again on Sky before I fell asleep (I knew the world of pop concerts at my age would catch up with me), but I saw exactly what was happening, no creativity only from Nasri, this caused Sagna to be our main attacking option, this is where we need a DM to sit to allow the CH’s to cover the full backs when thay are upfield. But Song was in the WBA penalty area.
Basically we were pulled out of shape.

Almunia. 4 .. Had his worse game in an Arsenal shirt and he saved a penalty. We all know he has to go, Arsene never helped his confidence in the summer and the fans are certainly not helping him now, but we need to back him at least until the transfer window opens in January or it could be season over.

Sagna. 7.. I thought he played well, he was the main attacking force and never got anyone to link with or cover his defensive duties.

Squllaci. 6. The best of the centre halves I think he will partner Tommy when he is back.

Kosceilny.. 5.. He was at fault for the chance that lead to the penalty decision, he has a touch of the Sendersarous about him, he gets too close and can be turned when he charges in.

Clichy. 6.5.. 100% effort cannot always turn a game, he needs to link up better with the midfield.

Song.. 6.. Why he is playing so far up the pitch? I really don’t understand, Arsene needs to have a word and get him back in his best position.

Eboue. 5. He spends the whole game running a diagonal from the half way line to the edge of the “D” not allowing the creative midfielder space or helping Sagna out defensively… back to the bench please.

Diaby 4.5.. No effort, no creativity, lapsidazical performance,

Nasri. 8.. The only player worthy to play in the red and white yesterday, would have got an extra point if we were a winning side.

Chamakh..6.5.. Things weren’t happening on the ground for him and he never got the perfect cross to head a goal.

Arshavin.. 6.5. It is easy to mark him down when we losebecause he looks lazy and uncaring, yet when we win we love his arrogance, hit the post eary on that could have changed the games outcome.

Subs .


Rosicky.. 6
.. I am still waiting for the old Thomas to come back to his true form that should make him one of the first choices on the team sheet, he had one of the best shots in the Premiership back in those days, fingers crossed with a bit of confidence after one screams in he will be back.


Wilshere. 7
.. We shouldn’t be relying on Jack as much as we do, if Cesc isn’t playing he is our midfield general. I really hope we can keep him happy and his head doesn’t get turned by the bigger wage packet boys.

Vela..4.5. Too lightweight, he always manages to look good for the cameo rolls when is comes on in a winning side, but start him or expect him to change a game .. nil points..

This time last season we went through the same thing, with defeats to the two Manchesters, this year it feels much worse, drawing to Sunderland and losing at home..
Still onwards and upwards, lets hope the Red Sox lose today and damage is limited.


What Now For Theo??

September 6, 2010

After spending a few relaxing weeks in the sun, I’m still struggling to get up to date with all things Arsenal. Although it’s still early days, the main two things that have caught my attention are the failure to purchase a new goalkeeper this summer, as well as the recent re-emergence of Theo Walcott..

I’m going to say no more about the GK situation for now..I’m feeling the need for a positive post today so im going to share my thoughts with you over young Mr Walcott..

To be honest I’ve never been impressed with Theo and I’m still yet to be convinced. Over the past few years the lad has failed to live up to any potential.. I find him irritating in that he has so much pace, yet doesn’t know how yet to use it.. Recurring errors in his final ball and his shockingly poor ball control make him look out of his depth in the Arsenal squad.. He’s not a Wengerball player and he struggles to fit the system.

His main problem to me is that he puts his head down and runs anywhere he can. This attribute tends to lead him into a lot of blind alleys and he more often than not ends up giving the ball away cheaply. A player of his pace should be terrorising the defences not giving them the ball back every time he gets it..

After a few seasons of me saying he couldn’t beat an egg and he couldn’t finish his dinner he has stood up to be counted after a difficult and distracting summer for the club as a whole and has left me impressed with the way he has responded. 4 goals already is a fantastic return and if anyone has an issue with the about the club at the minute I don’t think there’s one person out there that would say their issue is Theo. He has been one of the shining lights at the start of this season and credit where credit is due.

To be honest I don’t think anything about Theos game has really changed.. He’s still got more flaws than a tower block but he’s finally found what he’s good at.

Finishing..

Theo has got more selfish and instead of running down the wings he’s started to come inside like Freddie used to and have a run at goal.  He’s not tried the dribbling, passing and the crossing as much and it helps because he’s not that type of player. He’s too fast, there’s no point in running down the wing to try to pick a pass to a team-mate because nobody can keep up with him and there’s no point trying to dribble because he just leaves the ball behind.

He’s not a play maker. He’s not a creator. He’s stopped trying to be the trigger and I think he’s starting to realise he’s the bullet..

Keep doing what you’re doing Theo. Keep coming inside and having pops at goal. Just kick it and chase it and shoot..Keep your game simple and you’ll score goals for fun in this team..Let the others do the tricks and flicks you just head for those sticks..

His pace is too much to deal with and if he can keep that direct selfish streak and stay fit he could win us the league. Theo needs to forget about his team mates. He leaves them in his dust and the only thing that should be on his mind is to shoot.

Sometimes I’m over critical of Theo. I’ve even had a dig at him for writing a children’s book, but listening to his interviews he seems to be a nice polite lad. I’d rather a player who writes books for kids than a player who cheats on his pregnant wife, wouldn’t you?

After whats been a bad summer for English football in general Theo has done the nation and the club proud by doing his talking on the pitch.

Cheers Fabio. Dropping Theo was the best decision you made all summer..

What now for Theo. The PL Golden Boot..

<strong>


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


Does the French Demise Mirror Arsenal’s? and the New Away Shirts are Rubbish.

June 18, 2010

I watched the Mexico v France game last night and it was good to see our manager watching the game too. He would have seen the freshness in which Mexico played, the ball was moved very quickly from defence to attack, the ball stuck to the Mexico players like it had Blue Tack on it even when it was passed with a vengeance, the swiftness of the attack was like our reserves in an early round of the Carling Cup.

The French team though was woeful, made up of a quarter of Arsenal players. clueless, each player running for himself, no quick passing. I lost count of the amount of times Diaby gave the ball short to a teammate and went on a run looking for a return ball like he would see at Arsenal only for him to have wasted his time. Ribery the third best player in the world was made to look just average.

So is it a coincidence that when France ruled the football world from 98’ to 02’ Arsenal ruled the Premiership, with players like Petit Vieira, Anelka and Henry?
Now the French team don’t seem to be able to function and we aren’t winning anything either. We have Diaby, Gallas? Sagna who played last night Diaby was average, Gallas a liability and Sagna was okay. Clichy was on the bench and Nasri isn’t even considered good enough for the squad.

Perhaps we need to start looking to buy players from the inform countries, Germany? Bayern made it to the CL final…. Spain.. We know the problems with Spanish players, they all want to play for RM or the other sneaky mob down the road.
Is the answer Mexico, Argentina or even Uruguay? I don’t know but I sure don’t fancy and more French players coming to the Arsenal this summer.

I know the new away shirt pictures have been released for a few days now on Arsenal.con, but  I don’t remember discussing them on here to see if we like them.

They are rubbish literally, made out of recycled water bottles from Japan and China that would take 500 years to disintegrate in a landfill site. So Nike have made them a fabulous yellow colour and as a mark of respect to where they belong they have put brown on the collar and cuffs. Funny I thought we had new away shirts last year and Arsenal promised they wouldn’t rip the fans off by bringing new kits out every season and the new home kit is out soon. So that’s another £80 for the loyal supporters to chew on.

Have a good day Roadsters, England play this evening.. whoopee.. not..


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..


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.