It all begins just how it ended!!

July 17, 2010

Well shiver me old timbers, the new season kicks off today and I’m really disappointed that both Almunia and Fabianski are the two goal keepers travelling to Barnet!

I think I speak for every fan here when I say I’d much rather seen Chesney and Mannone in the twenty-two man squad….

What can be made of that, is it last chance saloon for both Almunia and Fabianski? Is it their own sudden death penalty shootout to see who stays with us next season as number 2, or is it going to be same old fight between the two of them to play each week??

There have been plenty of rumours surrounding Arsenal and goal keepers which is a good sign, so we could still see a new No1 this coming season. I sure as heck don’t want us to start the new season with either of those muppets in goal!!

The Daily Express have picked up on the Handanovic reports, as have Wikipedia. The latter suggest he is due to sign after a medical. 

Still just 25, the Udinese No1 is Slovenia’s undisputed first-choice keeper. That status has been earned over several years, but most notably during a South Africa 2010 qualifying campaign that witnessed Handanovic marshal, arguably, the meanest defence in the entire European Zone.  He conceded just three goals in eight group matches, which included an all-important clean sheet in a decisive victory over Russia.

Gianluigi Buffon has hailed him as “one of the best goalkeepers in Italy”, while Slovenian fans consider him to be among the finest in the world…

Did he impress enough at the World Cup to convince you that he is better than what we have already??

Here he is in action…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19o0bBdUV4

Could this man be our next new signing??

On to today, here’s the squad in full for the Barnet game..

Manuel Almunia (GK)
Andrey Arshavin
Nacer Barazite
Marouane Chamakh
Johan Djourou
Craig Eastmond
Eduardo
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Emmanuel Frimpong
Kieran Gibbs
Conor Henderson
Laurent Koscielny
Henri Lansbury
Ignasi Miquel
Samir Nasri
Havard Nordtveit
Tomas Rosicky
Armand Traore
Thomas Vermaelen
Theo Walcott
Jack Wilshere

I’ve paid my £3, and I really hope I and all fans get to see the two new boys and the likes of Lansbury, Nordtveit, Wilshere, Frimpong and Djourou play – I still believe they have a role to perform this coming season, especially if the cheque book stays closed….

Oh well, that’s about it, enjoy the game, the good thing is that football and Arsenal are back for another long and no doubt painful season ahead…

Finally, Arsene Wenger needs to step up in his chase for a new defender but we all know that. Now though it seems that Vidic is desperate to leave Manchester United and move to Real Madrid. Should that move take place, you can bet your bottom dollar and rumour is we have a few, that Fergie won’t hang around in the transfer market to find his replacement. So come on Arsene, if you really want Gary Cahill or Phil Jagielka, best you get on with it!

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What a plonker and Should Wenger stick, twist or juggle?

July 15, 2010

Yesterday the news broke that Thierry Henry has left Barcelona to head for USA, having signed for New York Red Bulls. What a plonker, why would a player like him go off to a country where ‘soccer’ is way down the pecking order of sports??

He’s only 32 years old and still has two or three seasons left at the top, shame he didn’t give Arsene a call and ask to come back home. Arsenal is his home, it always will be, just think how he could have helped Theo, Chamakh and all the young strikers. I’m sure he would have taken a pay cut to come back :)Money has to be the reason he’s gone to the States, not that he probably needs it but why would a player of his stature go and play there otherwise? Surely he would have been better off coming home or returning to France?

But hang on, why would he go to France right now, hasn’t the French Footballing nation taken it upon themselves to blame his handball against the Irish, for their dismal performance in South Africa.

Anyway, as far as i’m concerned, England and Arsenal are is home and why move further away from his only child..

On to Wenger…. Should he stick with his own principles, or start to juggle a few with experience??

KTR7 has this view on life under Arsene Wenger…..

What Arsene Wenger is doing will one day be remembered along with Lobanovsky’s Kyiv of 70s, the great side Ajax of 70′s, Sacchi’s Milan, SAF’s ‘kids’ and Barcelona 2008 – present day.

What Wenger has to juggle with is to fill the final piece of the puzzle which is to buy or not to buy. We reproach him when he says that buying the Alonso’s of this world will kill Denilsong or Diaby, to us it’s absolutely ridiculous because who wouldn’t want Alonso?

Hang on though, what if we buy Alonso and let Diaby go, he then goes on to become a world beater only for us to go after him later. By then he’s valued at 80mil – we won’t want to pay but do we resort to say he has London Colney DNA?

Barcelona traded Cesc for Silvinho, but right now they are regretting it. I’m not for one minute saying that Denilsong or Diaby will win golden balls but it’s good to view a situation from all angles. Barcelona has bought David Villa…yay! But it diminishes Bojan’s chances. If he leaves for a major European club and develops to a balon’dor contestant what will Barcelona do?

Was it worth enjoying 3-4 seasons of David Villa over a decade of Bojan?

Arsene Wenger’s job is difficult as it is – a bit like juggling a small blanket on a cold night.

If you cover your feet the head feels cold and vice-versa.

Wenger may or may not find the optimum point but he will for sure will leave a legacy. Who knows maybe the Emirates will be known as the Wenger arena in years to come just like Santiago Bernabeu for Madrid?

Henry – written by rico

The best bit, written by KTR7


Sell Arshavin?? No wonder players take a tumble, Barca scum!!

July 13, 2010

Having watched the World Cup Final I can begin to understand why some players take a tumble rather that trying to stay on their feet in the penalty area.

I’m not talking about blatant dives, aka Drogba and Gerrard to name just two, I’m talking about the genuine ‘touch’ by a defending player, enough to cause a slight off-balance.

Robben could and should have won the WC for the Dutch. Not only did he miss the best opportunity of the game in 90 minutes but had he ‘gone over’ in the penalty area he would have been awarded a penalty. For once though, he stayed on his feet, tried to do the right thing, but knob-head Webb awarded nothing.

In fact Howard Webbs performance was not the best, but then I don’t rate him much anyway, it always seems about him when he referees rather than the game. He’s a bit of a show-pony.

Decisions like that though will not do the game any favours, it won’t help stamp out the diving in the box will it?

Talking of Webb and the other major muck up he made, De Jong should have been off, any other referee in the world would have sent him for an early bath, Webb bottled it. He then went on to deal so many cards out you would think he was in a casino rather than on a football pitch!

I look forward to when we face one of the many sides who like to ‘get in our faces’ and I hope Webb is the referee, I wonder if he be so protective of us… I doubt it, after all Arsenal are just Southern Softies aren’t they and need to toughen up…. Match of the Day could be fun too, the same pundits who suggest Holland were thugs, what will they say about Blackburn, Stoke etc…..

Anyway, that’s my last about the World Cup, I’m just glad it’s all over and without injury to any of our players, well, apart from the mysterious Nikki B injury of course…..

I saw those pictures on Sky Sports yesterday, not happy viewing was it? For those who haven’t seen it, here it is – How low can the Barca players go…. Cesc didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to remove the shirt, did he??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C36LisjvNuA&feature=player_embedded

Now this next bit is just my thoughts, not rumours, no speculation…

When Audrey Arshavin signed for us, I was possibly as happy as anyone. True enough, he had pretty much an instant impact, some even suggest it was his signing that secured us Champions League football at the end of that season.

However, has he really impressed you as much as you thought he would?

Apart from scoring against Liverpool, what else does he really bring to the side??

He’s lazy, selfish, injured and spends an awful lot of time declaring his love for another footballing side other than the one he plays for right now. I’m not sure he’s fully committed to Arsenal, as I said the other day, when the chips are down, great players step up – with Arshavin, when the chips are down he follows the chip!! (In more ways than one by the look of him)

At 29 years old, would you keep a lazy player or would you cash in and buy a player who is fitter, healthier, more hungry to win and has more desire to perform for the club who pays him rather than dream of another???

Well, would you??

Finally, Nikki B is due to become a father – blimey I thought, he’s finally got a shot on target 🙂

On that note, have a great day all….


Sad for fans, bring back Setanta and Cesc speaks..

July 10, 2010

 

For those who haven’t seen afc.com and the new reserves format, this was released on the website yesterday….

The League format will result in teams in the Southern Group playing a total of 20 matches and teams in the two Northern Groups playing 19 matches each.

Each team will play home and away against the other teams in their group and once against all other teams (equally divided home and away).

The winners of the two Northern Groups will play off to determine the Northern League Winners.

The Northern League Winners will then play off against the Southern Group Winners to determine the Barclay’s Premier Reserve League Play Off Winners.

The Premier League Board has also given approval for clubs’ training grounds to be used to stage fixtures. Consequently, Arsenal will be staging several home Premier Reserve League fixtures, as afternoon kick offs, at the London Colney Training Centre. Unfortunately, the Club is not permitted to allow supporters at this venue and therefore these home Reserves matches will be staged ‘behind closed doors’.

However, the Club hugely values the loyal following that has attended Reserve League matches at Barnet FC in recent years and we are keen to maintain opportunities for supporters to watch young talent developing in our Reserve team. Therefore, we have reached an agreement with Barnet FC to stage home Premier Reserve League matches at Underhill during months with more favourable weather – ie September, March and April, as well as any home FA Youth Cup matches in Rounds Three, Four and Five.

Just look at the regular bloggers here on Avenell Road, I could probably count on one hand the amount of folk who are fortunate to watch our team play at The Emirates every home game and get the chance to watch the youth/reserves play their matches. Not only do we have bloggers who live at opposite ends of England, we have a world-wide group of bloggers too.

One of the best things that happened football wise for me was Setanta bursting on to the scene and then Arsenal announcing they were launching their own television channel. It was then we all could watch the youth/Reserves play, watch the Ladies rule every competition they played in and along the way we were able to sit and enjoy a classic match involving the boys from the past.

Not only did Setanta go belly up, but our own television channel went with it last year, a sad day for me and I’m sure many other fans. I used to know who the up and coming youngsters were, where they played and be able to answer ‘Yes’ when a silly blogger used to ask,  ‘Have you actually seen this kid play?’

Now I can’t watch them on television and many fans can’t now get to see them play at home….

Now it seems that because of the new format for the reserve league, Arsenal fans can’t even go and watch the reserves in the flesh. Fixtures are being played at London Colney and behind closed doors as fans are not permitted.
Ok, they say the reserves can play at Underhill when the weather is good – but when do we get good weather in September, March and April?? What will they do when the weather is bad, will they revert to playing at London Colney??

How many fans go to watch the youth/reserves just to watch the team they love, often because it’s a lot cheaper than watching the big boys when times are hard??

Grrrrr, Come on Arsenal, surely you can strike a deal with ESPN or another digital channel, I know not with Sky as they anti-Arsenal, but what about Channel 5, or one of the other channels….

I miss Arsenal TV, do you??

Finally, Cesc has spoken if you believe his column in The Sun, yes it’s mostly about the World Cup and Spain, but he does make reference to his club Arsenal – he says its strange that his teammates are back in training but both he and Robin are just ending their season, he’s been texting Robin a lot too.

Mmme, I wonder what Robin has said to him? Answers on a postcard please!!

Mine’s – ”Ere Cesc, I hear you’ve booked your seat for next season”  🙂

Have a good day all, wherever you are ………


Will our signings be like a bus?

July 4, 2010

You know that saying, something like, you don’t see a bus for hours then three or four go by at once….

Well I have a feeling that Arsenal’s new signings could be just like that, we haven’t seen one in years, but this summer three or four will come in at one time….

So why none yet? (apart from Chamakh, and we’ve known that since January)

Firstly, Arsene Wenger is in South Africa, we all know that don’t we. I can’t see him wanting any players unveiled whilst he’s away, no, he will want to be the man in the picture next to our new boys holding their new shirt high.

Secondly, I think he wants a few more players in the door and try to wow us all by unveiling them all at once, try to get the fans lifted and start to regain a bit of trust from those who doubt him right now.

Thirdly, and finally, my cunning theory is that the players we have or are going to sign are still involved in the world cup this weekend.

JonJon and many of you will tell me I’m mad, full of hope, only to be left disappointed again just as he, I and most fans have been since we moved to The Emirates, the day the purse was zipped firmly closed, but until this window closes I am going to stay positive.

Think about it, Gallas and Senderos have gone, Sol and Silvestre are out of contract and will no doubt follow them out the door – what manager would start a season with one darn good centre half and one who has been injured for a season and even before then he was only 3rd or 4th choice? None would and I certainly don’t anticipate a manager who has the intelligence that ours does, to do that either.

Koscienly is signed I’m sure but already some are knocking him. Is that because he’s poor or is just because he’s not some big lump from a big club who costs big money… I suspect mostly its the latter, but I think those same fans are in for a shock, a pleasant one too…

Paying vast amounts of money for a player doesn’t necessarily mean that player is outstanding, look at how much we got for Lardy and Toure, doesn’t that say something…

We paid 12M Euros for Thomas Vermaelen……. He’s good isn’t he????

If my theory is right we could be in for a player from Holland, Uruguay, Paraguay, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Argentina or Ghana couldn’t we.

So please Mr Wenger, don’t disappoint us again this summer, a German, a Dutch and a player from Ghana would be mighty fine, I’d even settle for Chesney in-goal then.

Add them to Chamakh and Koscielny and we are there, we are ready to take on and beat the world……

Go on Arsene, get rid of this label, once and for all 🙂


Wenger unfair to the youth, how can that be?

June 29, 2010

Now let’s get this clear. I am not attempting to disrespect Arsene Wenger’s brilliance as a manager, in this article! What I am trying to do, is to understand the logic of how he sees certain youth players, and the way he treats them from a first team perspective.
Arsene has long held a justified reputation for his careful, studied treatment of young players and for allowing them to develop their careers in what is recognised as one of the best club structures in the world. But what is the actualite?

Well, over the past number of years, Le Prof has successfully put out “youthful” teams in the Carling Cup and to a lesser extent in the early rounds of the FA Cup. So, what do we define as “successful”? Well from 2003/4 to 2009/10 these youthful teams have, in the League Cup, reached 3 quarter-final rounds; 3 semi-final rounds and 1 final. Many clubs putting out their first team squads would be proud of this achievement.

So far, so good for the youth development system, it seems. But what has happened to the kids who have played in these teams, as regards their first team opportunities? Go on, tell me, how many have gone on to be included regularly in the first team squad, let alone play in the first team? Their names do not exactly flow off the tongue, do they?

Well, you could say that the youthful Cesc, Song and Denilson could fall into the successful category, but they were really “bought in” players, recruited from other teams’ youth development systems. There have also been many others included in the “bought in” category, including Merida, Barazite etc, who haven’t made it, as of today.

O.K. so, what of the British kids who have successfully come thru the Arsenal youth system and, via the League Cup, made it as first team regulars? How about Hoyte, Lansbury, Randall, Bentley, Sanchez-Watt to mention a few? Well none of these!
We have high hopes for the future success of young Jack Wilshire and perhaps Kyle Bartley, but so many others look doomed to make a living with lower league clubs.

There is undoubtedly a great new crop of youngster coming thru the system such as Zak Ansah, Chuks Aneke, Beni Afobe and Jay Emmanuelle-Thomas. I wish all of them a successful future for themselves and Arsenal.
But is Arsene, on the strength of the current situation, deserving of his reputation as a great developer of youthful talent for the Arsenal first team?

Well what do you think?

Written by Red Arse

The future of England 🙂

 


Why Özil after two good games? Is it Goodbye to Dudu?

June 27, 2010

It seems that the whole world of footballing fans suddenly want their club to buy Mesut Ozil and we Arsenal fans are no different are we.

One great display against the ten men of Australia, an average performance during Germanys loss to Serbia but then a wonder strike from the player to earn his country a 1-0 win over Ghana, seems to have convinced us all that he is the man we want Arsene Wenger to sign.

Well, yes it would be wonderful wouldn’t it to finally bag ourselves an out-and-out attacking midfielder, a winger some would call him. I’ve forgotten what a winger was its been so long since we’ve had a ‘real one’.

But hang on, were we not crying out for players with experience, did we not ask for players who have been there and done it, did we not say we have too many young players in our squad and we wanted oldies to ‘show the way’ to the young uns??

We did, so what makes us all suddenly believe that Mesut Ozil is good enough for Arsenal Football Club. Be honest with yourselves, did you want him before this World Cup? No, nor did I!

We have little to no chance in buying him in my opinion and feel free to voice yours loud and clear, but Wenger has said he will not buy a player off the back of a four-week competition. Add to that, he has had two very good games in three, is that really enough to convince Wenger to splash out vast amounts of money? Nah, I don’t think so.

Werde Bremen will be sat rubbing their hands together as this tournament goes by knowing that if their 6’0″ attacking player continues to shine they will be able to stick a £20M price on his head.

That price tag will be far too much for Wenger. However, his contract ends this time next year, maybe we will see another Audrey Arshavin scenario in January if he hasn’t been snapped up by then..

I don’t think we’ll get him, but I’m sure he’d look good in Red and White and he wears the Number 10 🙂

Sad news this morning written in many papers, that is that Eduardo could be on his way. Reports are that Arsene Wenger no longer has him in his first-team plans and he would be better suited to league where football is a less hard. Well, I wonder how Martin Taylor feels this morning having read the papers?

If this transpires to be true then I truly hope it’s not the beginning of the end of our little poachers career…

Well done to Ghana for yesterdays win, great to see the African flag flying and today it the turn of England. No doubt it will be a high scoring, entertaining match with plenty of goals.

Have a good day all, enjoy the sunshine and the football…