Archive for October 25th, 2008


West Ham v. Arsenal Preview

Not much of a preview today because, well, aside from Captain Smokey there isn’t much going on at the club ahead of a game, for once. Rosicky, Eduardo, and Sagna are the only injured players for our squad and West Ham is also at full strength. Further, despite West Ham’s recent slip in form (losing to Hull and Bolton) all the club news is positive because the honeymoon with Zola is still on.

Key men Parker, Upson, and Bellamy will all be looking to pull a Hull on Arsenal tomorrow and get West Ham back to their winning ways. Frankly, with Man U slipping to a dour 1-1 draw, Hull City not really a top team, and the Chelsea/Liverpool clash wrapping up right before Arsenal kick off I think it’s safe to say that this is a must win game.

As for lineups (which I find that only the sad people who play fantasy sports care about) I’d put money that Denilson gets a rest. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part because his performances seem to go one good then one bad and he’s due for a bad one but he’s also the only Arsenal player who hasn’t had a good rest yet. If Denilson doesn’t get a rest it’ll be because Wenger chooses to play the 4-5-1 that was so successful against Fenerbahce.

We’ll see.

Now, as for the William Gallas flap, I’ve now seen the picture (above) and have read the full comments of Arsene Wenger:

I did smoke but never a lot and never when I played. After, when I became a young coach, I sometimes had one because my assistant was smoking at three o’clock in the morning, when we had lost a big game.

In France, we all smoke. I have seen buses in France that you would not believe, you do not see each other. When I was a player, nobody would ever tell you that you should not smoke. We were driving home in coaches. You had to open the windows in winter to see each other.

Gallas has a responsibility as captain and that cannot be accepted, it is a public job with public responsibility. But there is smoking and there is smoking. I am sure you had players who were smoking 40 cigarettes a day.

This quote is hardly the condemnation that I’ve seen in the press, the blog comments, and from the holier than thou other bloggers. If William Gallas’ mental breakdown at Birmingham wouldn’t convince the boss to drop him I hardly think that the odd end is going to see him over the edge. In fact, the only thing I know for sure is that William Gallas smoking has whipped the fans into a frenzy and brought out the moralists in the blogosphere. As I pointed out last blog, this just shows poor judgement, but we all already knew that Gallas often shows poor judgement. It’s not like this is a new trait with the man, so I’d be surprised if Wenger takes any action more than just fining him — and not because he was smoking, but because he was caught.

Time to stub this story out and move on.

Speaking of fuming and blazing and someone who is smoking hot right now, St. Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi is again being linked with Arsenal. According to the French side, Wenger called during the summer to see if he was available and was rebuked. That said, the player is now expressing his interest to play for Arsenal. I know the fans feel like Matuidi would fit right in and would like to see the player signed in January but St. Etienne are insisting that the player is not going anywhere until this summer. So, once again it’s no news on the transfer market.

In our final bit of preposterous news Micah Richards is excited by the impending arrival of Thierry Henry. Let me be clear: Micah Richards has a better chance of playing with syphilis than he does of playing with Henry. Thierry Henry has categorically ruled out playing with any Premiership team other than Arsenal, end of story.

Ok, well, Arsenal are playing on Fox Soccer Channel tomorrow at 9am and I’m going to continue the live-blogging experiment, even though no one really likes it. But it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want to!

Stop by tomorrow if you’re into that sort of thing.

P.S. Hull City must be dreaming, they are winning 3-0 against W.B.A. right now and it’s some really amazing stuff from them. With a win today they will temporarily go level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea, mind boggling really.

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October 2008